Posts Tagged ‘walls’

If you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware of the IKEA furniture recall. However, as mentioned in my previous blog, “What Everyone Should Know About the IKEA Furniture Recall,” the safety considerations and implications are not specific to IKEA brand furniture, or to furniture itself. Below are steps individuals can take to ensure that their furniture, and any heavy objects for that matter, are securely fastened to the wall.

Tip Over Restraint Kits

For the IKEA furniture recall, a colleague of mine mentioned that she voluntarily participated in the recall by requesting several safety kits from IKEA. I asked if I could examine the Secure It Safety Kits she received. The furniture models you own will determine which kits to request. My colleague received Kits R1 and R2.

Each IKEA kit includes instructions and diagrams for three kinds of wall materials:

  • Drywall or plaster with available wood stud wood-stud_opt

 

 

  • drywall-no-studDrywall without available wood stud

 

 

  • masonry_optMasonry

 

 

Page 2 of the safety kit’s instructions manual further illustrates four necessary tools for the job: a Phillips head screwdriver, cordless drill, 5/8” (8 mm) drill bit, and a 1/8” (3 mm) drill bit.

ikea-tools-needed_page_1

If you ask us, the fifth item should be a Zircon stud finder!

Considerations Before Fastening

Fastening your heavy object to a wood stud with a screw is ideal. However, if your dresser needs to be fastened to the wall and there is no wood stud, you can either move the dresser a few inches to where a stud is or you can use a drywall anchor to fasten into the hollow wall.

Having a Zircon stud finder will help you determine which fastener to use by determining whether a stud is present or not.

To fasten your heavy object to concrete or masonry walls, and to avoid rebar and other metal such as electrical conduit that may be embedded in your wall, you’ll need a Zircon tool with Metal Scan mode.

The IKEA safety kit instructions mention that if you have any questions, customers should consult their local hardware store. Fortunately, almost every hardware store and home improvement center in the U.S. can also explain the benefits of a Zircon stud finder and recommend the model that’s right for you.

If you need assistance during your fastening project or have questions related to which model is right for you, please don’t procrastinate! Call our Zircon Tool Pro experts at 1-800-245-9265, Mon – Fri, 8AM – 5PM PST. Take Chairman Kaye’s advice, please act immediately!

 

“Every two weeks a child in the U.S. is killed in a tip-over related incident involving furniture or TVs,” states the June 28, 2016 Press Statement from Chairman Elliot F. Kaye of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). “Think about that. Every two weeks. And in that time hundreds more are injured, often seriously. These are tragic numbers.”

Six children have lost their lives after an IKEA chest or dresser tipped over and on to them. “To protect young children in millions of American homes, CPSC and IKEA are announcing today a joint recall of 29 million of these IKEA chests and dressers. If you have, or think you have, one of these products, act immediately. It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unsecured, especially if you have young children.”

062816_recall_wide_v2

The CPSC adds that this furniture is safe, however, when securely anchored to a wall. Owners of the recalled furniture can either:

  • return it for a refund
  • request a free Secure It Safety Kit from IKEA, or
  • call IKEA to arrange for a free in-home installation of the anchor.

But just because you may not have any IKEA furniture doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. This hazard is much more widespread than the IKEA furniture recall. Regardless of whether you own IKEA furniture or have young kids, securely fastening heavy objects to the walls in your home is something everyone should do and as soon as possible!

Look around and evaluate the potential hazards in your home. What else could tip over if a child climbs on it or in the event of an earthquake or hurricane? Is your flat screen TV mounting bracket properly fastened to the wall? What about the entertainment center? Do you have tall bookshelves? Are your mirrors and artwork hanging from a flimsy wire or are they safely fastened to the wall? Is your hot water heater securely fastened to a stud?

Adults and pets are also prone to injury when heavy objects tip over or fall. The CPSC is looking into potential hazards related to other furniture brands as well.

Now that we’ve covered the reasons why you need to fasten your furniture and heavy objects to the wall, make sure to visit the blog, “The IKEA Furniture Recall – What’s Next?” to learn the next steps.

Take Chairman Kaye’s advice, please act immediately!  If you have stud finding questions, please call our Zircon Tool Pro experts at 1-800-245-9265, Mon – Fri, 8AM – 5PM PST.

References:

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/About-CPSC/Chairman/Kaye-Biography/Chairman-Kayes-Statements/Statements/Press-Statement-from-US-Consumer-Product-Safety-Commission-Chairman-Elliot-F-Kaye-Regarding-the-Recall-of-29-Million-Chests-and-Dressers-Sold-By-IKEA/

How to Find Studs through Stucco

I am often asked if it is possible to scan through stucco exterior walls. Contractors, remodelers, and DIYers are often surprised that Zircon does not recommend their tools for outdoor use on surfaces such as stucco. However, we have some tips that may still help you get the job done when you need to locate studs behind a stucco exterior wall.

Why Not Stucco?

Stud finders are designed to scan through sheet materials that have a consistent thickness and density and have a fairly smooth surface. Stucco walls typically have chicken wire, or some other metal mesh, embedded in the stucco and that metal barrier will prevent your stud finder from sensing the increased density necessary to locate the studs.

Real World Example

Al, a general contractor who has served as part of Zircon’s pro user focus groups for 15 years, recently encountered this problem. He had already built several redwood flower boxes and wanted to fasten the boxes to the exterior walls of the green stucco building.

The stucco exterior of this building contains metal mesh that prevents stud finders from working. (You can use a Zircon tool with metal scan mode to determine if there is metal mesh in the stucco).

The stucco exterior of this building contains metal mesh that prevents stud finders from working. (You can use a Zircon tool with metal scan mode to determine if there is metal mesh in the stucco).

While Al has been an expert user of Zircon products for many years, he was having difficulty finding the studs through the stucco due to the wire mesh.

Al explained that he wanted to fasten the flower boxes to the exterior walls of a commercial building, but he was having trouble finding the studs through the stucco. I proposed the tips outlined below, which can also work for people who need to install things like awnings, lighting, flag pole brackets, hand rails, or satellite dishes to stucco walls.

Work-Around Solution

The work-around solution is to locate the studs on the interior walls and then carefully measure the distance from the studs to a door or window, and transfer the exact same measurement to the outside of the building.

Locate the studs on an inside wall, and very carefully measure the distance from the studs to a window or door.  Tip: Don’t measure off the window trim.  Measure from the edge of the glass so you know the exact same reference point can be found outside.

Work-around Solution. Step 1. Locate the studs on an inside wall, and very carefully measure the distance from the studs to a window or door. Tip: Don’t measure off the window trim. Measure from the edge of the glass so you know the exact same reference point can be found outside.

Note, do not use the window trim as your reference point. Instead, measure from where you can actually see through the glass, so you know the reference point is the same on the inside as well as the outside of the building. And, of course, you must be very precise with your measurements! Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Measure twice, cut once!”

Work around Solution. Step 1. Next go outside and measure the distance from the edge of the glass to the studs behind the stucco exterior wall.  Although somewhat time consuming, many pro users have reported success with this method.  The key is being very careful with the measurements.

Work-around Solution. Step 2. Next go outside and measure the distance from the edge of the glass to the studs behind the stucco exterior wall. Although somewhat time consuming, many pro users have reported success with this method. The key is being very careful with the measurements.

This work-around solution can be time consuming, but well worth it and very necessary. Objects fastened to the exterior of the home are often heavy and exposed to wind force, so it is vital that the heavy objects are fastened securely. This method proved to be successful for Al and for many tradesmen that I have met with for several years.

Al needed to locate the studs to securely fasten the planter boxes he built to the stucco walls.  I advised him of the work around solution.

Project success. Al needed to locate the studs to securely fasten the planter boxes he built to the stucco walls. I advised him of the work-around solution.

Metal or No Metal?

To determine whether your stucco has metal or not, use a Zircon metal detector, such as the MetalliScanner® m40 or a MultiScanner® i520 in metal scan mode. Some newer construction buildings use a fiberglass product embedded in the stucco, so if there is no metal mesh, you can use the DeepScan® mode in your StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finders. However, if the building has wire mesh in the stucco, then try these work around tips for locating studs behind stucco.

We’re Here to Help

Al’s situation, and those like his, is useful for Zircon to learn and use real-life settings to test, analyze, research, and engineer better tools. And by the way, you don’t need to have a friend at Zircon like Al does to call for help. Our customer service team of product experts are available to answer your questions at 1-800-245-9265 Mon – Fri, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST. You can also visit www.zircon.com.

For additional customer service insights, please view the popular Zircon in the Real World blog, “A Wall is a Wall is a Wall“.

Zircon continuously develops, designs, and manufactures a variety of new products that meet the needs of both professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. Be sure to follow them at Twitter, like them on Facebook, or visit www.zircon.com for the latest product news.

To Scan? Or Not to Scan? That is the Question.

I recently attended a large event for satellite dish installers who asked me for advice and tips on how to use Zircon® StudSensorTM or MultiScanner® stud finders on the roof to locate rafters. They were really surprised to hear that Zircon does not recommend these tools for outdoor use.  I hear the same reaction from solar panel installers.

At this new roof, we don’t see tar paper over the plywood yet because the construction workers are experimenting with a few different shingle patterns.

At this new roof, we don’t see tar paper over the plywood yet because the construction workers are experimenting with a few different shingle patterns.

The reason is that stud finders are designed to scan through sheet materials, such as drywall or plywood that have a fairly smooth surface and consistent thickness and density. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a layer of wood based sheet material, usually plywood or chipboard, and normally with a layer of tar paper.

Then, the asphalt shingles are  fastened to the roof with roofing nails. The difficulty with scanning for rafters is that the asphalt shingles now create an irregular scanning surface that can result in false positives (stud indication when a stud may not actually be present).

On many other irregular surfaces, I recommend switching to metal scan mode and locating screws, but that won’t work on the roof because you are unable to differentiate the screws that fasten the plywood to the rafters from the roofing nails.

Although our newest MultiScanner® x85 OneStep® wall scanner (capable of finding studs, detecting thermal changes, and locating live AC wiring) is also not recommended for outdoor use, it is more technologically advanced in scanning over inconsistent and irregular surfaces.

A MultiScanner® x85 scans through asphalt shingles and plywood and the tool indicates the center of a rafter at Zircon’s Research & Development department. Notice the LCD screen and the SpotLite® pointing system on the shingle.

A MultiScanner® x85 scans through asphalt shingles and plywood and the tool indicates the center of a rafter at Zircon’s Research & Development department. Notice the LCD screen and the SpotLite® pointing system on the shingle.

Hundreds of installers tested the x85 on a section of roofing with asphalt shingles that I had brought and compared it against some of our other stud finders. The response was tremendously positive! Although the x85 sometimes required recalibrating one or two times, the x85 definitely worked much better on irregular surfaces than the other models.

The x85 has advanced technology that improves its performance on irregular surfaces, but keep an eye on Zircon.com for new products actually designed for indoor and outdoor scanning.

The MultiScanner® x85 has advanced technology that improves its performance on irregular surfaces, but keep an eye on Zircon.com for new products actually designed for both indoor and outdoor scanning.

For this reason and despite our recommendation, many DIYers and professional contractors still use Zircon stud finders on exterior walls and roofs because they find that they still detect their target some of the time. While Zircon does not encourage these tools for exterior use, here are some tips that may increase the detection of rafters on asphalt shingle roofs (but not tile or wood shake roofs) if you plan to use it anyway.

1.  Place a piece of thin cardboard over the irregular surface and slowly scan over the cardboard.  Start in normal Stud Scan mode The cardboard will enable the tool to more smoothly scan over the area, but it also may work fine without cardboard.

2.  If your tool continuously blinks and beeps, it may be indicating calibration errors or a decrease in density. If this occurs, switch the scan mode to DeepScan® mode. The tool will still indicate increases in density, but it will disregard decreases. Note: you may need to recalibrate in a few different locations.

3.  Don’t assume the first indication of a rafter is correct. Scan the same surface area a few times and make sure the tool consistently indicates the same stud finding results in the same location each time AND also, scan for other rafters that are equally spaced such as the standard 16 in. spacing distance apart from the other rafters.

4.  Gently tap on the roof with your hammer and listen. Tapping over a rafter will often result in a more solid sound. Although it is difficult to pinpoint the rafter this way, it can help boost confidence in the location if the hammer results agree with your stud finder, However, remember stud finders are not recommended for outdoor use (although they are used anyway).

Because we understand the challenges and need for reliable and accurate tools for every environment, indoor or out, Zircon remains committed to this R&D endeavor and will have some exciting new tools to share in the coming months. Want to know more about what your stud finder is saying to you? View the Zircon in the Real World blog, “What is My StudSensor Telling Me?“. Also, please visit www.zircon.com for the latest information, follow us @zircontools or like us on Facebook.

CAUTION: Zircon® does not encourage or promote the use of Zircon’s tools to work on roofing or other exterior surfaces. The current Zircon® stud finders are made to work on interior surfaces. The blog herein suggests different methods that may or may not work. Always use caution when using tools. For Zircon’s complete instructions, please visit www.zircon.com.

Kurt_Stauss_photo updated

Sharpen your tools with Kurt as he shares his key insights of the hardware world and how to best improve construction safety and enhance job performance by using Zircon tools.