Lettuce rafts (Deep Water Culture) are perhaps the simplest most economical way to grow small herbs and plants in an aquarium or water container that is at least one foot deep. Essentially small plants such as herbs, spinach, basil, cilantro are placed in the lettuce raft and placed on top of the water source. You can grow your seedlings in a growing medium. One example would be the Hydroton balls. They are placed around the seedling to help support them in the lettuce raft. The water source is nutrient filled to feed the floating plants. Some examples of nutrients is, GH Flora Series. It consists of Flora Grow, Flora Micro and Flora Bloom. It's important that the roots of the plants are long enough to reach the water right after you plant them in your lettuce raft. You will also want to keep the pH of the water in the proper range which is 5.5 to 6.5. Of course, 6.0 if ideal! The reason the pH is so important is because the plants cannot assimilate the nutrients well if the pH is off.
The water must be aeriated so that the nutrients and the water itself do not become stagnant. One option for an aeriator is called an Air Stone. This stone is hooked up to a small single-outlet air pump which is outside the reservoir. Some people like to place the air pump higher than the reservoir so that the nutrients don't back up into it.
If you are excited to see plants grow right away, consider choosing plants that have a short growing cycle. Lettuce and other leafy greens are great for a start. For your kitchen you may want to have herbs at your fingertips! Just place your lettuce raft system in a sunny window. Some types of plants may require an additional light source such as a T5 compact fluorescent grow light. Other fun plants to consider growing are hot peppers, endives, watercress, basil and dill. What you don't want to grow are heavy bulky plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, or sweet peppers.
A little hint for success is to cover any glass aquarium sides with thick paper or cardboard. This will block out the light and help prevent algae. When you want to show off the roots to your visitors, simply remove the paper for all to see.
Most of all have fun and happy growing!
Designing a haunted house is achievable in almost any location in your home. In case you would like to break from Trick or Treating, why not develop a haunted house at your house? With the help of some fire retardant black plastic sheeting, you can build multiple rooms that are creepy, dark and scary! Of course those lucky folks who have a basements to work with- all the better! Use illumination and music to manufacture a terrifying surroundings.
Many different house hold accessories can be put to good use to make a spooky design. These things can work with nearly any budget. Old articles of clothes as well as materials, or perhaps previous bottles as well as canisters may be recycled as well as employed to create a spooky home-crafted interest. Continue scouring magazines and get ideas to help make your own haunted household.
Fire retardant black plastic sheeting plus a garage or carport, can transform that space into a wonderful haunted room. Just give it a creepy name, and have a blast! Positioning Halloween props, creepy sound effects, and giant spiders crawling up the wall will have the little ones screaming. Put up fake tombstones as well as a great inflatable haunted household entrance for the wow factor!
Most likely you will need something to hold up your black fire retardant plastic sheeting. This is where fire retardant tape comes in. It is so important to use a many fire retardant items in your haunted house, just in case it should come in contact with an open flame. Fire retardant plastic will not add to the fire. It will melt or extinquish when the flame hits it.
If you want to suspend some creepy things from the ceiling, consider using fire retardant red stripe strapping. It's much stronger than most twine, and will not be a fuel source should a fire break out. We know it's unlikely that your haunted house will have a fire- but it's better to be safe than sorry. If you are building a haunted house for the general public- say at a school, church, or a warehouse- check with your local fire marshal. They may require fire retardant plastic sheeting, along with the documentation to prove it meets the fire codes. Click here if you would like to view fire retardant plastic sheeting and tape for use in your haunted house adventure!
What does flexible plastic sheeting and wine have in common? If you are a vineyard trying to conserve water, plastic sheeting can play a big role in your effort. One of our customers, Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch Vineyard came up with the brilliant idea to take our scrim reinforced plastic sheeting and place the tarps between the rows and connected them under the vines, insuring there weren't any gaps. When the rains came, the water ran down the plastic right into their silt pond as planned. This plan worked like a charm saving water while allowing the vines to grow.
It's that time of the year again when Haunted House designers are ordering our GPS Black Plastic Sheeting
that is fire retardant. Now more than ever, fire marshals insist that the black plastic sheeting be flame resistant in the even someone lights their lighter. This insistance on the plastic being flame resistant is happening not only in commercial places like amusement parks, but also at smaller venues such as fund raising events at local schools. Plastic sheeting when ignited makes for an "exciting" fire- meaning it burns like crazy! By using fire retardant black plastic, the plastic won't add to the fire as a source of fuel.
As you can see, that amazing thing called fire retardant additive transforms the highly flammable black plastic sheeting into a tame non-burning product. It's important to understand that fire retardant does not mean that it won't melt. It merely means it won't add to the fuel source.
When you order fire resistant black plastic, make sure you get the Certificate of Compliance (COC) which documents that your are getting the real deal. This certificate is what the fire marshal looks for.
Make your Halloween season safe for everyone, and use as many fire retardant products as you can in our haunted house.
Happy Halloween everyone!
GPS "Redline" Fire Retardant Strapping is just that....Fire Retardant! What does fire resistant mean? It means that when you hold a flame under the polyester strapping it will not catch fire and burn. It will not add to the fire source. Redline meets the requirements of the NFPA 701, "Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame Propagation of Textiles and Films, 2010 edition, (Test 1, Small Scale) for being fire retardant!
We have the documents to prove it! The U.S. Navy has specified fire retardant strapping for a wide variety of applications.
Why the redline you ask? Because this way when the product is in use, people can see that the strapping is the flame retardant version. This can mean a matter of life or death if the strapping is securing items from the ceiling. This strapping can secure pallets on trucks, item in the cavity of a plane or ship...and the list goes on.
How strong is the Redline FR Strapping? It outperforms steep strapping/ banding not only in strength but in fuctionality. When you cut steel banding it can snap and fly wildly from the pressure and seriously injurt people. The Redline FR Strapping can be cut with scissors, and wouldn't think of hurting a fly. It's just like cutting rope.
- How heavy is the FR strapping? The coil weighs 1/4 the weight of the streel strap coils.
- How is is disposed of? Unlike streel banding, disposal is as simple as tossing rope into the garbage. Just gather it up, and toss it out.
- Can it be re-used? Absolutely! If the piece is long enough, and nothing has been spilled on it, to compromise the FR additive, it can be reused. Just re-tension the strap and use it again!
- Forget workman's comp claims...this strapping cannot cut you like steel can!
What to test it yourself?
Is your crawl space encapsulated? Does your crawl space look anything like this? Does it smell like old moldy sox, dead rodents or worse? Just because you have plastic sheeting on the floor doesn't mean your crawl space is correctly encapsulated.
What is the definition of "encapsulation"?
It is, "to enclose or to be enclosed in or as if in a capsule". The idea being you want the crawl space to become sealed in a sense so it can keep out moisture, mold and hazzardous gases such as methane, radon, etc.
Tip #1: Use engineered plastic sheeting that is designed to hold up year after year- blocking out mold, radon, water vapor and the like. (Click here to see Crawlspace 1800, VaporBlock 20+ and more.) In the image directly below, a 6 mil "visqueen" was used. Chances are good the home owner did this job himself. He bought big box store plastic, and merely laid it on his crawl space. This plastic is maybe 4 years old. It has torn, and started to decay. Nowhere was this so called vapor barrier taped to the walls, and the seams were not taped closed.
Tip #2: Tape the vapor barrier to the walls and colums. As you can see from the images below, the plastic sheeting is pulling away from the post. Somehow, laying it next to the column or post just doesn't do the job. You need to use a proper sealing tape designed for this job.
Tip #3: See Tip # 1. If you have a rocky floor you are sealing, you must select a vapor barrier that holds up to rocks. It's even more important if you plan to store things in your crawl space, and people will be walking around down there.
Tip 4: Properly tape the seams closed. We recommend a minimum of 6" of overlap taped to the length of the seam.
Tip #5: Got Mold? Crawl spaces are a breeding ground for mold. Mold like dark, damp places to breed. It also likes the off-gases from visqueen. Don't waste your money on the wrong vapor barrier. Make sure the liner you select won't decompose and let the mold take over your crawl space.
Tip #6: If you live in an area that has radon, please make sure you protect yourself and your family from the effects of radon. VaporBlock 20+ is a heavy duty liner that is tested to insure it is the highest quality vapor barrier you can get to block radon and methane gas.
Tip #7: If you are buying a home that is brand new construction, make sure you have the builder provide you with proof that the home is radon free.
Aquaponics is all the rage! It is booming all over the world! People are creating aquaponics systems out of aquariums and making grow beds lined with fish-safe plastic sheeting. Some state of the art facilities are taking SolaWrap- the bubble film that allows plants to grow like no other and creating a green house for aquaponics.
Below is a picture of a grow bed lined with Dura-Skrim 20WW. It is our best selling film for use in Aquaponics! It is strong, and it won't kill your fish from toxic off-gasing.
Where are some of the largest aquaponics farms you ask? One of the world's largest (reportedly) commercial aquaponics project is said to be in Abu Dhabi. The center produces 60,000 heads of lettuce in 21 days! The image below is not from that farm, but from a farm in the United States. Check out that gorgeous lettuce!
Aquaponics farms are cropping up in the most unusual places! Did you know the Hamm's Brewery building in St Paul MN utilized 6 floors to create a giant aquaponics facility?
According to Wikipedia, aquaponics has "ancient roots"...I don't think a pun was intended there...The Aztecs created and cultivated islands known as chinampas which some say was the first form of aquaponics for agricultural use. Plants were raised on isands in lade shallows and the waste material dredged from the Chinampa canals were used to manually irrigate the plants.
Thailand, South China and Indonesia cultivated and farmed rice in paddy fields along with fish to create early examples of aquaponics systems.
Schools are setting up systems to teach children about farming both fish and vegetables. It's a project that brings great pride and joy to school children. They can witness first hand what it takes to grow their own head of lettuce in water.
If you would like to know more about creating your own aquaponics system small or large, please call Ken Aguilar at Global Plastic Sheeting- 866 597 9298. He knows all about it, and he will be happy to help you.
So often new home buyers make the assumption that the brand new construction home they are buying protects them from radon. That assumption could be further from the truth. Consider buying a home from a home builder that build radon-resistant new construction homes!
More and more home builders across the United States are building new homes that prevent radon from entering the home. Home builder's have come to realize that their customers need a safer, healthier, radon-resistant home. The EPA has launched a campaign that promotes the concept that living green is also breathing clean, healthy indoor air. It is environmentally responsible to chose to protect familys' from lung cancer.
What's the big deal about radon? Radon is extremely dangerous because it is odorless and an invisible gas that ranks as the number one home hazards for American homes, according to a Harvard University study. While radon dissipates outside in an open air environment, it gets trapped inside homes and buildings. Hazardous radon levels are detected in one out of 15 American homes. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. The U.S. surgeon General has made January "Radon Action Month".
If you are buying an older home you can hire a radon professional to do an inspection. Find certified professionals with the National Environmental Health Association-National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety Board.
Let's see how much you know about Radon! Answer these True or False questions.
- Radon levels within a building often change on a day-to-day basis. (True or False) True: Because of changes and air pressure through-out the building during different times of the year Radon levels in the home can increase or decrease
- The highest indoor levels are often found during the winter when you are using heat to warm your home. (True or False) True: This is because during the winter months most homes windows and doors are closed with a thus creating for lack of air flow trapping Radon and other natural occurring gases inside the home.
- Short term test kits are the quickest way to test your home for radon. (True or False) True: They will give you a quick reading, but reading over time are more reliable.
- 24 hours is enough time to determine if your home has a radon problem. (True or False) False: You need at least 48 hours at a minimum.
- There are long term tests that remain in your home for more than 90 days, and are more effective than short term tests. (True or False) True because radon levels vary depending on the weather, etc.
- If a long-term test yield results of 4pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends correcting the problem. (True or False) True
- The best place to test for radon is n the lowest part of the home. (True or False) True: Because Radon is a natural occurring gas created by decomposing Uranium underground the highest amounts of Radon Gases enter your home would be coming from the lowest point.
- It is smart to also test rooms that are regularly occupied such as a family room, den, etc. (True or False) True- It's important to be safel in your whole house.
So you live in a state that has statewide Radon-Resistant New Construction- RRNC Codes? As of June, 2014, the EPA list the following states: Illinois | Maryland | Michigan | Minnesota | New Jersey | Oregon | Washington.
There are 18 states that DO NOT have statewide RRNC codes, but DO have local jurisdictions that have RRNC codes. They are: Alabama | Colorado | Idaho | Iowa | Kansas | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | New Mexico | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Tennessee | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
There are 24 states and 3 District/Territories that DO NOT have statewide or local jurisdictions that have RRNC codes. They are: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, GA, GU, HI, IN, KY, LA, MA, MS, NV, NH, NC, ND, PR, SD, TX, UT and VT.
What are some of the things a builder should do to make a Radon-Resistant New Construction home?
1. GRAVEL: A layer of clean, coarse gravel below the foundation.
2. Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder: A heavy duty plastic sheeting or vapor retarder over the gravel to inhibit radon and other soil gases from entering the home. What is the best vapor barrrier that is specifically engineered to block radon, and has the tests to prove it? VaporBlock 20+. This vapor retarder/barrier far exceeds any 6 mil polyethylene plastic.
3. A Vent Pipe: A vent pipe installed vertically from the gravel layer through the house's conditioned space and roof. This safely vents radon and other soil gases outside hte hosue.
4. Sealing and Calking: Sealed all openings, creacks and crevices in the concrete foundation and walls with polyurethane caulk to prevent radon and other soil gases from entering the home.
5. Junction Box: Installed an electrical junction box (outlet) in the attic for use with a vent fan, should, after tesing for radon, an more robust system be needed.
Check out the EPA's website to learn more about controlling radon in your home.
Ever since mankind began building homes, cities and countries they have always looked for ways to protect them from harm. With this came the originals of the Sentinel. From antiquity to the modern era, the Sentinels were the guardians of the realm; protecting those in it from invading armies and marauding raiders looking to cause havoc and destruction to one’s home.
Now the days the marauding raiders are long gone but we still need to protect ourselves from the forces of nature that can cause harm to our homes and our health. Everyday gases like water vapor, carbon monoxide, and radon come up from the earth and into our homes; which if not controlled can cause series problems to our homes but worse to our health. All of these gases are naturally occurring, and have been proven to cause severe respiratory health problems and even loss of life if not monitored or controlled.
Part of our ongoing goal at Global Plastic Sheeting is to provide solutions for controlling dangerous gases that invade our living conditions. We have developed Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier. Just like the Sentinel has always been the guardian at the gates, Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier can now protect us against harmful radon.
Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier is a 5 layer barrier engineered to have low permeability, extreme strength om a very durability material. Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier blocks out radon and water vapor even during extreme seasonal temperature changes.
Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier is available in 4’, 8’, 12’ and 20’ widths. Please feel free to contact us any time with your questions. 866-597-9298.
Be the Guardian of your home with Sentinel XS Radon Vapor Barrier!
HDPE to the rescue when it comes to bamboo roots! How do you guard against Bamboo? More and more bamboo is becoming a popular alternative to wood. Why you might ask? Simply Bamboo is more sustainable than trees. Bamboo is more sustainable because unlike trees where the who tree has to cut down to be processed thus making it so another tree has to be planted to take replace it; however bamboo can be harvest without damaging the original plant. Also bamboo can regenerate itself within 3-5 years where a new tree can take up to 30 plus years to grow to a harvestable size. Also Bamboo is harder and lighter than most woods. Bamboo’s tensile strength has been compared to that of steel.
However Bamboo cultivation does have one drawback. Bamboo grows fast! Because of Bamboo grows so fast its root system is ultra-aggressive and cause problems for things surrounding it, such as other structures and other peoples’ property.
- Damage to structural foundations
- Growing into a neighbors’ yard causing for safety hazards because of Bamboo’s Rhizome (root system) is very sharp and cause bad injures to people.
- Over taking of other species of vegetation due to rapid growth.
These damages can cause for major finical hard ships. Not only in fixing the damage but lawsuits that can stem from damages caused by bamboo.
These situations however can be prevented by installing a 60 – 80 mil thick Smooth Surface High Density Poly-Ethylene (HDPE) Root Barrier to contain bamboo. Because of bamboo’s aggressive nature and that the roots of bamboo are extremely sharp thinner materials are unable to contain bamboo. The HDPE Root Barrier act as a deterrent re-directing the Rhizome to stay within the contained area set up for the Bamboo to grow in.
Installing a Root Barrier is simple. First you will need to dig a trench a 24” – 30” in depth for the root barrier to be installed into. Making sure you do give the Bamboo enough area to grow in with the contained spot. This will insure that the Bamboo will flourish in contained environment and not cause problems with its surrounding area.