Signs You Need Mold Remediation Done On Your Home

How to Remediate Mold

Mold and mildew problems in your home are no laughing matter. For starters, mold is an indicator of another serious problem: excess moisture. Whether it’s a roof leak, poor attic ventilation, or moisture problems in other areas of the home (basements are common problem areas), excess moisture can cause a large array of building materials to warp, stain, crack, fail, and rot. Furthermore, once mold sets in, serious health concerns come into play.

Consider Hiring a Mold Remediation Contractor

If you have a mold problem in your home, be it black mold, green mold, white mold, or any other color, your first step is to pick up the phone and call a mold remediation contractor. These specialists are licensed by the state you live in and educated in the safest, most efficient ways to eliminate mold from your home. Never try to tackle a mold problem by your lonesome.

You Can’t Remove Mold until You’ve Fixed Your Moisture Problem

Mold remediation starts with fixing the source of your moisture problem. If you’re experiencing mold in your attic, then roof leaks or poor ventilation are your most likely causes. If you have mold problems elsewhere in the home, everything from leaking plumbing to a seeping foundation could be to blame. Whatever the cause of your moisture issue, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Your mold problem isn’t going to go away until you’ve addressed it, and you also risk serious structural and aesthetic damage to your home if you choose to ignore the problem.

Once your mold remediation contractor has identified and fixed the source of your moisture problem, they will then move on to removing the mold itself. The steps for mold remediation are the same, whether you’re dealing with black mold, green mold, or another variety.

Seal off the area. Mold remediation always requires that you begin by sealing off the area with plastic sheeting and tape before you perform any work. This keeps potentially dangerous mold spores contained in the work area itself, instead of distributing the mold throughout the home.

Wet vacuum. A wet vacuum will clean up any standing water and water soaked surfaces, as well as vacuum up mold itself. Never use a dry vacuum to remove mold, however, since a dry vacuum is the perfect vehicle for launching mold spores into the air.

Kill the mold using an approved fungicide applied with either a sprayer or fogger. Never use bleach, as it is ineffective at killing, or keeping away, mold problems.

Clean the area thoroughly. Clean the area using whatever means necessary. This may include scrubbing, scraping, cleaning up dust and debris with a HEPA vacuum, and even removing building materials, furniture, and anything else contaminated by mold. Any materials that are removed should be sealed in plastic bags and labeled before being disposed of.

Dry out the Area. Finally, be sure to dry out the area thoroughly by using fans, dehumidifiers, and father time. If you don’t dry it out completely before doing restoration work, you’re very likely to have mold resurface again shortly down the road.If you’ve got black mold, green mold, or any other type, call a mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. Remember, your home and your health are riding on it.

Tips On Hiring Mold Removal Services

Having mold in your home or workplace can be quite challenging. Mold is not only harmful to your health but will also lower your home’s value if not treated early enough. Experts suggest that you treat mold as soon as you notice and while it is still manageable. The health problems caused by mold usually come out as allergic reactions, causing illnesses such as asthma attacks, skin rashes and sneezing among other conditions. If you ever notice any mold in your home or office, you’ll need to call a professional mold removal service provider.

Mold removal involves the use of various products and tools to kill the parasite that brings about the spread. Without proper use of these products and tools, mold will usually come back. This is why it is important that you only hire a professional to handle your case.

Choosing a Professional Mold Removal Service

There are many mold remediation services to choose from and deciding which one to select can be confusing. A simple Google search will present you with countless mold removal companies operating in your area, making it even more difficult to separate the good from the not-so-good.

Experience and Reputation

The first thing you need to check when considering a potential mold removal service is an experience. It is essential that you only choose a company that has been operating for an extended period of time. You also need to ensure the company you choose has a good reputation among previous customers by reading reviews from various sources. Before treating your home, a reliable company will first carry out an inspection before formulating strategies that will both get rid of your current predicament and prevent farther problems down the road.

License and Insurance

Mold removal services must adhere to strict rules and regulations before they are handed a license to run their business. Proof of license, therefore, indicates professionalism and you’ll have more confidence in trusting your home to a licensed professional. Workers compensation insurance is an insurance policy that covers workers in case they get injured while working at your home. This type of cover will protect you from financial responsibility in case one or more workers get into accidents while at your premise.

Residential & Commercial Mold Prevention Tips

For large moldy drywall jobs, we recommend that you contact a mold remediation professional to ensure the moldy sheetrock is properly removed to avoid cross contamination. They can also ensure the water leak or condensation source is identified and fixed. Use our online mold remediation contractor directory to find a water damage mold remediation professional in your area.

First turn off your heat or air conditioning and close/seal vents in the damaged room. Close or seal doorways, too. Mold spores will get airborne when removing mold damaged sheetrock. So sealing the room is important.

For maximum safety, professionals will tell you to use a fan to vent air in the room directly to the outside of the home.

Professionals will also tell you to use an industrial HEPA filter vacuum on the mold damaged surfaces to prevent mold spores from getting airborn during the moldy drywall removal process. We suggest using our Endurance BioBarrier Mold Prevention Spray on these moldy surfaces before removing. Let the spray penetrate for 24 hours to eliminate the mold spores.

Protect yourself against mold allergy symptoms by using a P100 mask, rubber gloves, goggles, and a body suit. After removing water and mold damaged drywall, be sure to check for mold that may have spread to the insulation and studs, plus the opposite side drywall behind the insulation. You may need to remove moldy insulation and the drywall on opposite side behind the insulation.

Top Tips for Mould Removal and Prevention

Whether you own or rent a property, mould can be a huge problem. On the one hand a mould infestation can affect your quality of living – especially if you suffer from asthma; on the other hand if the mould occurs during your tenancy you may be expected to cover the cost of the cleaning. A common problem in flats, apartments, and maisonettes, mould can strike any property. As with most issues in life, prevention is the best cure, although there are many ways you can deal with an existing mould problem.

Dry clothes outside

Wet clothes can be a major reason for damp and mould developing. From just one load of washing, over 2 litres of moisture is released into the air! Drying clothes outside may not be practical for everyone, as not everyone has access to an outdoor drying area. If you do need to dry your clothes indoors, ensure a window is opened to provide the much-needed ventilation that may prevent damp developing. You can also look into products such as this ‘Moisture absorber’ which is a low-cost solution to deal with excessive moisture in the air.

Open a window and shut the door!

If you are doing something that will release a lot of steam into the room, close the door and open a window. This applies to boiling a kettle, having a shower/bath, and cooking. If you have an extractor fan then this can really help to reduce the moisture, but closing the door will prevent the moisture from spreading into the other rooms of your house. If you don’t have an extractor, be sure to open a window- especially in winter months where steam will condense on cool surfaces!

Furniture and Walls

Exterior walls are often slightly colder than interior walls and therefore more susceptible to damp and mould. Keep furniture away from these walls, instead placing them against interior walls. Another way to reduce your chances of mould is to leave a slight gap between all walls and furniture to leave room for air flow. If you have limited space, then try to regularly clean behind the furniture and ensure you dry the wall after you clean it.

Declutter

Overfilled cupboards are a breeding ground for mould as there isn’t much air-flow. Adopt the Japanese method by Marie Kondo, and declutter your life (and cupboards) for mould-free joy!

TIPS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A MOLD REMEDIATION COMPANY

Molds are silent intruders; they grow unnoticed in dark, moist and warm places or objects that are not used regularly, such as bags, shoes and other things made of leather. Cold and wet seasons are often the times when molds appear. The seven suggestions on how to choose a mold remediation company are: choose a remediation company wisely; examine the degree of infestation, count the cost of remediation, hire an expert, do research, seek advice, and compare and contrast services.

CHOOSE WISELY

The first thing you have to consider is to choose wisely. You have your property and money at stake, so be wise. Do not be fooled by appearances or offers of discounts and attractive offers. Trust your instincts and investigate.

EXAMINE THE DEGREE OF INFESTATION

Secondly, removing mold is not a DIY job. You need help in evaluating the condition of your residential or commercial unit. The bigger the place, the more mold problems could be hidden from your view. It takes an expert to examine the severity of the mold infestation and determine the proper treatment and cleaning.

COUNT THE COST OF REMEDIATION

Does your insurance cover some or all of the processes? ServiceMaster of Cobb works with your insurance company. Money is something that you have to be careful of especially when getting the services of a mold remediation company. You have to make sure that you get your money’s worth. This can be measured by the quality of their performance and products, the length of warranty, and consumer satisfaction

HIRE AN EXPERT

A professional mold remediation company will be able to make a thorough evaluation of your property after mold has grown within your premises. You have to choose a company offering mold removal Cartersville that can be trusted because their technicians are well-trained and equipped for every residential or commercial mold remediation and related concerns.

Upholstery Cleaning Service

Reasons To Choose Us As Your Sofa Cleaning Company

Sofa cleaning is a really tedious exercise for most individuals. Most homeowners feel that they would rather be doing more important things than clean their sofa sets. For this reason, outsourcing presents the best solution. Many homeowners find it very convenient to hire a service provider such as Singapore laundry. As we perform upholstery cleaning, there are a number of procedures we follow to ensure your furniture looks sparkling. Below are seven reasons why you should choose us as your preferred sofa cleaning company.

Seeking services of a service provider like us is really simple more so if you have allocated the budget. We cater to all your upholstery cleaning needs while ensuring we meet all your expectations. To add onto this, we will provide you with a service agreement that is reasonable since we believe that all our clients have various cleaning needs. Some may just ask for the most common routines but it is important to note that not all clients requirements are usually the same. We are highly capable of handling all types of client needs while providing them with a detailed and comprehensive breakdown of the cost of services provided.

For instance should you make enquiries to ascertain this, we will be able to give you information regarding how our personnel have been trained. Hiring firms that do not properly train their employees is likely to ruin or damage your sofa sets. In addition, personnel who do not undergo sufficient training expose you to numerous health hazards.

Upholstery and Furniture Cleaning Services

Full Content and header tag updates: We’d like to be mess-free 100% of the time, but life gets in the way of that. Kids, pets and spilled food or drink can turn your beautiful furniture into a disaster. Trust Sears Home Services with all of your furniture cleaning needs. Clean upholstery brightens up the whole room. Sears offers upholstery cleaning services to get ground-in dirt, stubborn stains and unpleasant odors out of your upholstered furniture.

wo-step upholstery cleaning process

First, a trained upholstery technician applies a heated fabric-cleaning spray to lift dirt out of the upholstery fibers.

Next, the technician uses a high-powered rinse and extraction machine to remove the dirt and cleaning solution.

New furniture is coated with built-in fabric protectors, but these wear off over time. We recommend applying new upholstery protector after each upholstery cleaning. Reapplying the protector helps maintain the beauty, color and vibrancy of your furniture. An upholstery protector not only defends your fabric from stains and spills but it buys you time to clean up a spill before a stain sets.

Quick cleaning your entry area

Make sure to inspect what your guests see when they enter your home. Clean glass on the door, remove shoes, keys and mail. Broom sweep the entry, wipe down scuffs on the door and sanitize door handles and light switches.

Quick cleaning bedrooms

Make beds, removing laundry, dump trash and quickly dust furniture

Upholstery Cleaning

Types of Upholstery Cleaning

provide hot water extraction, dry or leather cleaning depending on the upholstery type. The upholstery cleaning experts will inspect your sofa and chairs. Then, determine the most suitable cleaning technique for their fabric. We treat each furniture piece differently depending on its condition and specific maintenance requirements. The service beings by inspecting the fabric of the upholstery and choosing the most suitable cleaning method. Followed by pre-treatment of any stains. Then cleaning the upholstery and leaving it to dry. The drying time is from 2-6 hours. Depending on the fabric of the item.

Steam Cleaning

The couch steam cleaning is a process that infuses the fabric of your upholstered sofa and chairs with hot steam under high pressure. It extracts all the accumulated dirt and moisture. This method is suitable for all types of fabrics.

Takeaways: Hot water extraction removes any trace of grime, bacteria, pollen and dust that’s been accumulated inside the upholstery. Your upholstery will be left slightly damp and will dry up on its own for 2 to 6 hours depending on the fabric type and seasonality.

Dry Cleaning

The dry cleaning method is suitable for more delicate fabric. We’ll inspect the upholstery and test the cleaning solution on a small spot. Stains will be pre-treated with the proper detergents. We’ll apply a powerful liquid solvent with high pressure and infuse it deep into the fabric. The solvent will be extracted along with the dirt with the help of a commercial cleaning machine.

Pros: The process provides a gentle, yet, powerful cleaning for delicate fabrics. The high-pressure cleaning will work deep into the fabric. It will sanitise and refresh the upholstery of your sofa and chairs.

Upholstery Cleaning

Upholstery cleaning – Having your lounge suite, couch or sofa upholstery cleaned by Carpet Cleaning is an easy way to freshen up your home. Also a freshly cleaned lounge suite is the next best thing to purchasing a new lounge suite.

experienced upholstery cleaners and Springfield Lakes use the latest upholstery cleaning methods to safely clean your delicate lounge suite upholstery. Because of our experience in cleaning lounge suites, we will have your lounge suite or sofa upholstery cleaned, deodorised and dry in no time

Don’t worry, your lounge suite or couch cleaning is in good hands. We clean hundreds of fabric lounges suites and couches every year. Therefore we have seen and dealt with all types of lounge suite cleaning needs. Be it stain removal, removing dark dirty areas on the arm rests/head rests or deodorising and sanitising. We can clean it all.

First step is to identify what type of material that we are going to clean. Most lounge suites are mircofibre/micro suede, Some are made from cotton, polyester, polypropylene or nylon. We then apply the appropriate cleaning solutions paying particular attention to the head rests and arm rests. Sometimes these areas may need a little extra agitation.

powerful truck-mount cleaning system creates its own hot water. Therefore it is no match for dirt, grime and residual odours. Combined with our effective cleaning solutions, your fabric lounge suite upholstery will be left fresh and clean.

Upholstery Cleaning

The professionals at Absolute Best Cleaning know that quality upholstered furniture can be quite an investment. Children, pets, and everyday use can leave your expensive furniture looking stained and dingy. Furniture cleaning can be a challenge. It is difficult to clean upholstery without the proper equipment, and you may do more harm than good by attempting to spot clean your own furniture. Professional upholstery cleaning will both improve the appearance of your furniture, and protect your investment by extending your furniture’s useful life. Regular upholstery cleaning will also remove indoor air pollutants such as dust mites, and pollen and will contribute to healthier indoor air quality.

First, we spray a cleaning solution onto the fabric to loosen embedded soils. We then rinse with a neutralizing solution, and extract the soil and solution from the fabric. This method, steam cleaning, is very effective on most fabrics. However, we also have the ability to dry clean certain fine fabrics such as chintz, moire, etc. Our 25 years of experience and education enable us to properly identify your fabric and choose the appropriate furniture cleaning method.

After cleaning upholstery, we recommend the application of a fiber protector. If your furniture is properly protected, you will have a better chance of cleaning up spots and spills before they become permanent.

Tips To Control Racoon In Your Area

RACCOON REMOVAL

Raccoons are mammals that become problems when they raid garbage cans and bird/pet feeders, tear up gardens and lawns looking for food or use chimneys, attics, crawlspaces or hollow areas beneath porches and outbuildings for dens.  Raccoons can be very vicious when cornered or protecting their young.  They are the main carriers of rabies in our area and in the United States.

Raccoons are omnivores – they eat both plants and animals

Raccoons not only spread rabies through their saliva (which is 100% fatal in humans); they also spread raccoon roundworm eggs in their feces which cause damage to the liver, spleen, lungs, eyes, nervous system or possibly death in severe cases.  Roundworm occurs when the eggs are accidently ingested/inhaled after contacting contaminated feces.

Raccoons are very strong and agile.  They have elongated “fingers” that allow them to pry open garbage can lids, rip off shingles, flashing , roof decking, fascia (trim) boards, rooftop ventilators, crawlspace vents and doors, attic insulation, insulation on HVAC lines and ductwork, etc..

Raccoons will destroy gardens and lawns looking for vegetables, fruit, grubs (below sod), food scraps in garbage or compost, animal/bird food from feeders and other natural foods in the environment.

Raccoons will establish latrines throughout their dens.  In attics the feces and urine can stain the ceiling below – accompanied by an objectionable odor.  In crawlspaces and under decks and buildings their waste is often throughout and on the vapor barrier (if one exists).

Raccoons, as well as most wildlife, also carry a lot of ectoparasites (mites, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, etc.) which can infest adjacent living spaces especially after the animals are removed.

When capturing raccoons it is important to identify if the animal is a lactating female (breast feeding the young) so the nest can be located and the young also removed.

Raccoons are generally born in April or May (after the adults overwinter and mate) but earlier and later litters are not uncommon.

A raccoon litter will range from 3-6 babies which will grow to 2-3 feet long and weigh 10-30 pounds.  Family groups remain together for the first year then strike out on their own.

Because of the plentiful availability of food and den sites, and because of their intelligence and adaptability, urban and suburban raccoon populations can quickly become very large.

Management/removal/exclusion:

An initial thorough inspection is the most important part of solving a raccoon problem.

Raccoons are usually trapped alive and then removed

Raccoons have to be euthanized as required by law because of their high potential for rabies. Additionally, captured raccoons, if released would probably attack another dwelling.

In addition to repairing the destroyed entry, we utilized custom cut galvanized steel flashing and galvanized steel hardware cloth to reinforce the exclusion areas.  This is extremely important to prevent future infestations.

We also remove the feces/urine and associated contaminated materials and treat with organic decomposition materials to clean and deodorize the area.

If necessary, new insulation can be added by along with other repairs/replacement of vents, shingles, etc.

Finally, removal or securing any potential food sources will discourage new dominant raccoons from attempting to establish a new home site in the same area.

Contact PCA to have a state licensed wildlife damage control agent develop a plan of action to solve your raccoon problem and our associated warranty.

Raccoons

Raccoons can be major nuisances to homeowners and businesses for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, raccoons are carriers of parasites such as fleas and ticks as well as several highly infectious and dangerous diseases. Raccoons are a common carrier of rabies. Also, raccoons carry a highly infectious roundworm, that is potentially fatal to humans.

The raccoon’s dexterity can make them particularly pesky, as their long nimble fingers allow them to do things such as open garbage cans, turn knobs and work latches.

Besides the spread of disease, raccoons are known to cause a host of other problems for property owners, including:

Raiding garbage cans and spreading refuse across properties

Tearing up landscaping with their “grubbing” behavior as they dig for scarab beetles on which to feed.

Raccoons also become problematic when they use areas beneath decks, porches or sheds for their dens.

If you have pets, a raccoon infestation can lead to a violent encounter that could damage the health of both animals. Raccoons are known to be fierce fighters when cornered and have inflicted fatal wounds during encounters with even large dogs.

raccoon removal services

As your local pest control experts, i understands the stress and frustration that can be caused by a raccoon infestation. All Rentokil Technicians providing raccoon removal services are individually licensed to perform wildlife trapping as required by state law.

Raccoons are extremely difficult to remove from properties without specialized training. technicians attend monthly pest control training seminars so they can stay up-to-date with the best baiting and trapping practices in the industry

Tips on choosing a wildlife or pest control company

When considering hiring a company to come to your home to control an animal or pest problem, there are a few things you can do help insure you hire a reliable, capable and experienced company that you can trust in your home and to get the job done right.

Sometimes, you don’t have a lot of time. A lot can be written about hiring the right company but since wildlife and pest problems tend to happen suddenly or be of an emergency nature, you may not have time to spend and need a few quick ideas to help ensure the right choice. Examples might be a snake or bat in your living room, a noise in your attic keeping you awake all night or squirrels chewing their way into your attic. You need help quick!  That is what I will talk about here. Sometimes, you are not rushed but want to make a informed decision. You may have a bat colony in the attic, but they have not made it into the living space. Maybe a skunk under your shed. In these case’s you may have a little more time to do some research.   All the better. Start here and in the near future I will do part B, or more tips on choosing a wildlife and pest control company.

Expect who you hire to have liability insurance.   What we see is company’s claiming to have insurance coverage when they really do not.   Not only does this leave you, the customer vulnerable should an accident occur but it suggests that  someone who lies about insurance coverage might lie about other aspects of the  job or their company as well.  The simple solution is ask them to bring a copy of their liability insurance certificate.    Don’t be afraid to ask.  Anyone who does not have proof of insurance should be passed in your hiring decision.

Consider the length of time a company has been in business.   A  fact in the wildlife control business is that a lot of start up companies last about 2 years and then go out of business.  When dealing with so many animal and pest species in so many different situations,  it easily takes two years or more just to get enough experience to handle the many different calls that arise in this business.    A Raccoon may be in your chimney, in a garage loft, under the home in a crawl space or ripping shingles off your roof to gain entry. It may or may not have young racoon pups. I address all these and many more situations differently. It is seldom just a matter of setting a trap. The experience I have gained over the last 15 years has helped me solve these problems in the quickest and most efficient way with the least amount of stress to you the homeowner and the animals involved.   Ask the company how long they have been in the nuisance wildlife or pest control  business.  Five years experience is not to much to ask.

Ask the potential company if they are licensed. Believe it or not, this is a problem in Connecticut. Recently, someone who lives on my street was arrested for hiring himself out to remove nuisance raccoons, skunks and wildlife. When a problem with the charges to the customer and the actual work itself developed, it was discovered that this person had no license for wildlife work.

Squirrels, Raccoons or Bird control

Squirrels and Raccoons

Squirrels and Raccoons may seek shelter, entering your home through an open hole(s) or creating their own entrance to warmth. Once they feel comfortable inside, Squirrels and Raccoons may choose to stay even when the weather turns warm again

We will inspect the entire premise thoroughly to find all squirrel openings. We will use repellent, bait and trapping methods to flush the squirrels / raccoons out of the occupied areas. Setting traps is also a part of the control procedure and will depend on the recommendations of your professional pest control operator. Upon elimination of the pests, our technician will patch and close all accessible openings they’ve created up to 12″ in diameter and 18″ in length. (Ladder work up to 30 ft high only.) We will also take necessary action to eliminate any additional pest the squirrels/raccoons may have been carrying on them. This will further protect you, your family and your home.

Raccoons & Wildlife

A raccoon is located in the walls, attic, or roof areas of a dwelling (or any other areas that are not common areas). In these circumstances, you can either purchase a humane animal trap from a hardware or pest control retailer (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot), or contact a Licensed Wildlife Control (removal) agency.  We will retrieve a raccoon from your location once it has been trapped for a fee or you may deliver the raccoon to our 111 West Hunting Park Avenue location. *Please note per law that prohibits us from re-releasing, all adult raccoon brought to euthanized (killed).

Healthy wildlife is found in yards, streets, parks, etc.  These animals should be left alone and trapping of healthy wildlife is prohibited under state law with the exception of certain, special circumstances.  If they are brought to the shelter, per law many CANNOT be relocated-they will be euthanized (killed).  Use the resources provided above to deter these animals from frequenting your neighborhood.

FOUND A BABY ANIMAL? Please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information.

Although Philadelphia is a large city, it is not uncommon to observe wildlife walking about on neighborhood streets—even during the daylight hours.Trapping is an ineffective way to eliminate wildlife from your neighborhood. As long as food and shelter is available, neighboring animals will move in

If you are concerned about wildlife near your property, there are several precautions you can take:

Use metal garbage cans with secure lids. Use bungee cord or wire to secure the lids. Place cans in a rack or tie them to a post to prevent raccoons from tipping them over.

Do not leave bags of trash in front of your property or on the sidewalk.  Most wildlife are drawn to the smell of trash and, if they can access it easily, will consider your property a nice place to eat.

Do not put food on the ground for birds or other animals.  If you are feeding birds, make sure you use a commercial bird feeder that wildlife cannot access.  If you are feeding feral cats, always place food in a container and pick it up after a short time.

Repair all holes and openings in your roof, siding, porch, etc.  Wildlife will often gain entry to properties through weak structures and take up residence.

Trim tree branches that overhang rooftops. If possible, a gap of at least 5 feet should exist between the tree and your roof.

Remove trellises and arbors that can give raccoons and other wildlife access to your roof.

Use Philly311 to contact Philadelphia License and Inspections and report abandoned or dilapidated homes and city code violations in your area that wildlife has inhabited.

Cover chimneys with a spark arrester that meets fire code. Make sure no animals are nesting inside your chimney before covering it.

Cover open spaces beneath structures such as porches, decks, and tool sheds with 10-gauge 1/4- or 1/3-inch galvanized hardware mesh. The bottom edge of the wire should be buried at least 6 inches deep, extended outward for 12 inches, and then back-covered with soil. This will also keep out skunks, opossums, squirrels and rats.

Ordinary fences can be made raccoon-proof by adding a single strand of electrified wire about 8 inches from the ground and 8 inches from the base of the fence. A two-wire electric fence can be used to exclude raccoons from gardens. The two wires are fastened on evenly spaced wooden posts; one wire is 5-6 inches above the ground and the other is 10-12 inches above the ground. The fence charger needs to be activated from dusk to dawn. (Make sure that you install properly and identify with warning signs.)

Designed To Provide Hardwood Flooring Stability

How to keep your hardwood floors looking fantastic

New hardwood floors — or restored old ones — can be a beautiful addition to your home. But they’re also a huge investment.

You can make that investment last longer with some simple care tips. Here’s how to keep your hardwood floors looking great, long after the installation or renovation.

Start with a clean sweep

You need to sweep hardwood once a day, but your typical broom isn’t going to cut it. Invest in a dust mop such as the O-Cedar Dual-Action Microfiber Sweeper (which is what I use) or something similar. These mops have wide heads that trap dust without making micro scratches in the floor’s finish.

Be sure to push the mop in one direction and swivel to turn. Don’t lift the head of the mop off the floor until you’re done. If you lift the mop prematurely, dust and lint will be released into the air and you’ll need to re-mop the area you just finished.  I learned this trick when I was a school janitor cleaning gymnasium floors way back in the day.

When you’re done, there will be a line of gunk where your mop stopped. Use a small microfiber brush and dustpan to gather it up.  Then place the end of the mop into a garbage sack. Close the opening of the sack around the handle with your hand and give the mop a good shake to release trapped dust and debris.

Keep it dry

This may be counter to what you’ve learned about housekeeping, but don’t use wet mops or steam mops on your wood floors. The moisture can damage the finish and may even harm the wood after a while, according to the National Wood Flooring Association. Instead, use a cleaner that’s made for wood floors. Many of these products are formulated to work with the type of finish you have on your floors, so make sure you read the labels before you make a purchase. Carefully follow the directions on the bottle when you clean. It’s usually recommended that you clean your floors only once a month with cleanser.

Beyond cleaning

Cleaning your hardwood floors properly isn’t the only thing that will keep them nice. You also need to take some preventative measures. Clean up spills or any other moisture right away to avoid damage to the wood. A damp cotton or microfiber cloth is ideal for spot cleaning. Consider applying a UV coating on your home’s windows. UV rays can bleach the hardwood over time, leaving discolored spots on areas that get the most sunlight.

Finally: Pointy things are bad. Don’t sashay across the floor in high heel shoes, for example. The pointy heel can leave divots in the wood. Furniture legs can also leave imprints and scratches, so be sure to put felt floor protectors on the bottom of each leg.  

Is Steam Cleaning Safe for Your Hardwood?

Despite what the appliance companies would have you believe, you should never use a steam mop on a hardwood floor. The pictures on the company websites and boxes of these gadgets often feature a person cleaning and happily ruining their hardwood floors with this expensive appliance.

The intense heat drives the moisture deep into the wood and causes irreparable damage. After just a one or two cleanings with a steam mop, planks can shrink or swell, buckle, splinter, delaminate, and look aged well beyond their years.

You can potentially use a steam mop on hardwood if you’re confident your floors have been sealed, and that the hardwood seal is still in-tact. To test this, drip a small amount of water on your floor. If it beads up right away, the seal is likely still intact and. If the water seeps into your wood or runs without beading, your floors need to be resealed.

Things To Think About

High quality microfiber mop pads will make cleaning your floor easy, but not everyone that looks the same, cleans the same. If you get one that has pads made from superior material, it will take you less time to do the job, and you will use less energy. As an added benefit, you will also polish the wood as you remove dirt. Because you are not introducing a bunch of moisture, you never run any risk of damage, and based upon the super gentle material, you will never mark or scratch the surface either.

The broom you choose is also important. With such a wide variety out there, usefulness certainly varies, but so does safeness. If you use a low quality tool to sweep your wood floors, then you can scratch them up or ruin the finish, and that is on top of getting frustrated over removing the dirt. We always suggest a rubber broom for hardwood because they are gentle on the surface, but they also remove dirt with amazing efficiency. Other models may work as well, but these have proven to outperform most other options. The rubber bristles form a solid wall to sweep up debris in a single pass, and a slight charge that builds prevents annoying stuff like fur balls and dust that flies away. With a little bit of preventative maintenance and some common sense, you will be able to keep your hardwood floor looking fabulous for many years. There are only a few simple steps and rules to follow when dealing with hardwood flooring because it is actually one of the easiest flooring types to care for.

Hardwood Flooring Maintenance

KEEPING YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS LOOKING NEW

Hardwood floors are an elegant addition to any home, but they need a little TLC to keep them looking fantastic. Rather than just hoping for the best, you can learn all about hardwood flooring care and ensure that you treat those beautiful planks right. Here are a few tips and tricks that are easy to follow and sure to work.

PROTECTION FROM FEET

While you may worry about people walking over the floor in hard-soled shoes, the bigger concern is actually the feet on your furniture. If you can arrange the furniture so that it sits on area rugs, that’s the ideal solution. Any furniture legs that are directly on the hardwood will be prone to sliding, and that will lead to localized scratching. Put felt pads on the bottoms of all legs to protect the floor. They come in a range of sizes, and they have stick-on backs for easy application. Replace them as they wear down.

INVEST IN THE RIGHT CLEANERS

As you learn how to care for your hardwood floor, you’ll discover that there are countless products to choose from. The trick is actually to base it on what’s in your house. Older floors that have worn finishes may benefit from lemon oil to nourish the wood and keep it moisturized. New floors that have been finished at the factory should be cleaned using specialized products like Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner.

NEVER USE RUBBER

This is one of those hard and fast rules of hardwood flooring care that you’ll want to embrace. You can buy rubber mats to go under area rugs, but you’ll damage the floor by doing so. The rubber chokes the wood, prevents it from breathing and leads to discoloration. Use heavy furniture on a few edges of the rug to keep it in place, and try to reposition the carpet regularly.

Learning how to care for your hardwood floor isn’t as hard as you might think. Use place mats at the doors to capture dirt before it can be tracked on the floor, and encourage your family to take their shoes off before moving around the house. By following these rules and the ones listed above, you’ll be able to keep those beautiful wood floors looking amazing.

Things That Should Never, Ever Touch A Hardwood Floor:

Wet mops: The #1 source of damage to finishes – Although people might think that sloshing a soaking wet mop back and forth over their floors is a good idea, this will actually ruin the finish and damage the wood itself. A mop that is used to clean hardwood floors should only be slightly damp.

Vinegar is good for cleaning many things, but not hardwood floors – White vinegar was once a popular product used to clean hardwood floors. And a quick Google search reveals that a lot of people still recommend using it. But vinegar should not be used as a hardwood floor cleaner because its acidity can lead to etching in the wood’s surface.

Don’t use ammonia to clean hardwood floors

Avoid ammonia – Ammonia will discolor, deteriorate, and dull the finish. Using ammonia to clean a wood floor will take years off of its life.

Steam cleaners are bad news – You should only use steam cleaners on carpets and other surfaces that they are designed for. Using a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor can cause peeling, cracking, and cloudiness in the finish.

Popular cleaning products – Most of the cleaning products sold in grocery stores aren’t friendly to wood. They’ll damage the finish if used over a long period of time. Pair one of these products with a soaking wet mop and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Outsource Payroll Service With Benefits

Things to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Provider

Choosing a payroll provider is a crucial aspect for businesses of all sizes. It involves calculating employees’ salaries and tax deductions, liaising with HMRC, and most importantly, ensuring employees are paid on time. However, it can be a headache, and with increased obligations and regulations, payroll is now a specialist occupation in its own right. Organisations must have the correct staff with relevant skillsets, as well as the tools and software to ensure the whole process runs smoothly to minimise financial risks and penalties.

Service

Outsourcing a payroll provider can be a daunting prospect, this can make it easy to jump straight into it and settle on any provider without finding out exactly what services they have to offer. Many payroll providers nowadays offer an extended range of services that go beyond simple payroll. It may also be the case that one business requires a specific service or skillset that some providers do not offer. Every organisation is different, meaning that the services they require from a provider will be unique and depend on various factors such as company size, regularity of payroll and the industry type. Establishing what services your business needs and services a provider can offer is the first crucial step.

Accreditations

Accreditations that a provider has can often offer businesses peace of mind, as they can signify that a provider is trustworthy and has been deemed competent by a chartered body. The Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS) accreditation, for example, recognises payroll providers who: have suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes, the organisation is dedicated to life-long learning and development, and the organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payroll.

Security

With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, data security has never been more of a priority for businesses, not only for protecting customer data but employee data too. Businesses must consider how payroll providers will manage the privacy and security of employee data, as they could land themselves in a lot of trouble in the event of a security breach. In 2014, Supermarket chain, Morrisons, found themselves in a security breach disaster after an employee leaked the payroll data of almost 100,000 staff. Aside from causing utmost distress for the employees whose data was leaked, Morrisons were held liable for the security breach.

Experience

Most businesses look for payroll providers who have experience, particularly within their company’s sector. As with accreditations, experience can also offer peace of mind. An experienced payroll provider will be able to take care of all the business’ requirements and can adapt to fit the needs of the business if required. Experience may be determined by the number of accreditations a provider has, or quite simply by the number of years they have been providing payroll services. Thankfully, outsourcing a payroll provider should mean that you are choosing from a specific talent pool, who will have years of experience behind them. At Cantium, we are proud to have over 30 years’ experience delivering successful payroll functions to clients in a variety of industries such as health and education to name a new

Things to Consider When Choosing a Payroll Service for Your Small Business

If you’ve been handed the task of choosing a payroll service provider for your company, you may be wondering where to start and what to look for. If you get a headache thinking about the hundreds of regulatory changes that occur every year, you’re not alone. Outsourcing your payroll can save you time and money, not to mention a headache or two.

Experience

An experienced payroll provider will be able to cover all of your business’ needs, including web-based and traditional payroll processing, time and attendance solutions, employee screening and background checks. A good payroll service will work with your business to fit your exact needs. Additionally, check to see if the payroll provider has worked with a business in your industry before. This will help you be confident that the company you choose is ready for the specific challenges of your industry.

Options and Features

Ensure that the provider uses software that’s capable of delivering all of the services you desire. Find out what basic features the software offers as well as additional features that are available. As a small business, you may not need as many options as a larger business, but it’s still important to know what’s available. To streamline payroll and employee time tracking, you need a payroll provider that can ensure accuracies and quickly remedy discrepancies.

Trust and Security

When you hire a payroll provider, make sure you hire someone you trust with the sensitive data involved in handling payroll and taxes. Look for an established payroll company with a strong history, client testimonials and a solid reputation. Do your research online before making a commitment. Read reviews online and ask for recommendations within the business community. It’s common for businesses to give referrals, especially if they’ve had a great experience with their payroll providers.

Customer Service

You’ll want to communicate regularly with your payroll provider. Look for a provider that offers strong customer service. When you’re having a problem, you’re going to want to talk with someone who has a real understanding of your business and its challenges, not a random sales representative. Make sure the payroll provider you choose offers support each day – not only on specified days, such as when your payroll is processed. Realistically, you’re going to have questions on other days that will need immediate attention from a customer service representative.

How to safely choose the absolute best payroll service for you and your employees

Payroll service companies can be a big help when it comes to calculating and filing your company’s payroll taxes, printing checks, and being available to answer important payroll-related questions. Industry-leading companies have streamlined processes and controls that lead to greater efficiency and fewer errors, which can save your company time and money.

When considering payroll service options, it is important to choose a reputable company because ultimately your business is responsible for paying the taxes, not your payroll company. That means you must do your homework to ensure the payroll company is compliant with regulatory standards and that your taxes are paid in full and on time.

Choosing a payroll company

One of the best ways to find potential payroll service providers is to ask other business owners or payroll professionals who they recommend and why. Hearing directly from a company’s customers is a great way to evaluate the company’s processes and service levels.

You can also look up reviews of companies with the Better Business Bureau. Search for “payroll service” or a company name, based on location, and the BBB will provide a grade and information such as how long the company has been in business, contact information, and consumer reviews.

Once you’re ready to start narrowing down your choices, ask these additional questions to determine if the company will be a good fit:

What services do you offer and what certifications do staff members hold? It’s important to know what you’re looking for from a payroll company and whether those needs go beyond the basics. The company should have a CPA on staff, and other professional certifications (like Society of Human Resource Management or American Payroll Association) are a good sign of a quality organization.

Is the company bonded and insured? Find out how much the company is insured for and request a certificate of insurance.

What security measures are in place to protect my payroll data? Companies should have antivirus and antimalware programs, firewalls, encrypted data, secure data storage with redundancy and employee training on data security. They also should perform background checks on all employees.

How often are internal controls audited and do you provide the results to customers? Payroll companies should perform audits at least annually, and they should provide a copy of their SSAE 16 report to customers if requested.

How do you remain up-to-date with regulatory requirements? A considerable number of federal, state, and local regulations affect your payroll processing, so it’s important to find a company that has an airtight process for staying up to date on all of the changes from thousands of jurisdictions.

How to Choose the Best Small Business Payroll Services

Your small business won’t perform up to its potential unless your team is happy. That’s why payroll services for small businesses are so important. If your team doesn’t get paid, on time, and conveniently, it’s going to cause issues with morale and productivity.

What to Look for in a Payroll Service

You know better than anyone exactly what your business needs. So let’s consider the factors that play into finding the perfect payroll services for your business

Pricing Structure and Total Cost

You probably already knew this, but the pricing of your payroll services is crucial. The total cost of a payroll service will depend on how many team members your business employees, what kind of employees they are, and the features that the payroll service offers.

Most payroll services will come with the pricing structure of a base monthly price, plus a per employee monthly price. Many payroll services will offer tiered services that cost more based on the additional services they offer. The additional cost will often surface in the per-employee monthly cost, so additional features will be incrementally more expensive with each employee you have.

Tax Capabilities and Guarantee

Payroll services exist in part to help small business owners pay their payroll taxes correctly and efficiently. Many small business owners purchase payroll services primarily for this reason. Some payroll services will offer a tax guarantee, which means that they guarantee that you won’t incur any fines, and if you do, they will reimburse you.

Tips for Finding the Best Payroll Software

Congratulations! You’ve gotten to a point that many other small business owners have only hoped for — growth. But now you’re required to find a more robust payroll system.

Sure, when it was you and a couple of co-founders it was pretty easy to sort out payment. But now that you’re growing, it’s necessary to put a process to your operations, offload some of the tedious work you’ve been doing since the beginning, and free up your time and resources to focus on bigger issues at hand.

One smart way to do this is to invest in a payroll software platform that can take care of one of the most important parts of your business for you: paying your employees on time, every time

Yet, as you know, it’s not nearly as easy as just cutting a check. From properly withholding taxes and reporting to the IRS to tracking PTO hours earned and much in between, there’s a lot to consider when deciding which payroll software system is right for you

How to choose the best payroll software for your small business

Overall, the best thing that you can do is get a solid understanding of your business’ unique individual needs. As you dive into the capabilities and features of the many payroll systems out there, it can be easy to get swept up in thinking that you need fancy features that will actually go unused or forget an important need you have until it’s too late. So, above all else, know what you need (and what you don’t) and compare everything to that.

Where To Start When You Need A Roof Inspection

Why You Should Never pay for Roof Inspection Services

Too many homeowners have fallen into the trap of paying a roofing expert to tell them the roof repair job is not feasible. This is the worst possible outcome. The bottom line is your roofing contractor should be willing to perform the inspection for free in order to earn your business.

Opt for a free roof inspection and you will have absolutely nothing to lose. This roof inspection will provide valuable information about your roof and possible repairs needed. Furthermore, the inspection will give the contractor the chance to get a sense of the type of project in question and begin to develop the best possible approach. This is just as much an opportunity for you to learn about your roof as it is for the roofer to get a sense of the looming repair and prove his or her worth.

Have a Roof Inspection Performed Before the Storms Arrive

Storm season will be here before you know it. There is no better time to have a free roof inspection performed. If you wait too long, there is the potential the roofing contractor will be too busy with other projects to analyze your roof.

Keep in mind roof repairs and roof replacements take some time. If the roofer is overloaded with work due to a string of storms or a particularly strong storm, it will take some time to tend to all requests for inspections. It is better to stay one step ahead and have this important part of your home assessed right away.

What’s The Difference Between A Roof Inspection And Estimate?

WHAT IS A ROOFING ESTIMATE?

A roofing estimate is often a free service from a roofing contractor to figure out the potential costs of a roofing project. People often request roofing estimates when they know that the roof has sustained damage and needs to be replaced, so they call a contractor to come at evaluate the roof and quote them on the price. You can ask specific questions during an estimate about the cost. For example, you might have a section of the roof that needs to be redone. You would ask the roofer how much it costs to cover 150 square feet with new shingles. They would then deliver an estimate on how much that project would be.

However, this free service is limited to that. The roofer might go up on the roof, but they are not inspecting it for problems. In the event that you accept the offer and they begin to work but find damages or other issues, the cost you will previously quoted will inevitably increase.

WHAT IS A ROOFING INSPECTION?

In one hand you have estimates where the roofer quotes you on a project without considering any unknown issues with the roof. In the other hand, there are inspections, which are used when you don’t know the state of the roofing and other connected parts of the building. Whenever you want more information about the roof’s condition, you hire a roofing inspector to visit your home and thoroughly check everything from the shingles to the ceilings and rafters of your abode. Roofing inspections are often carried out by paid contractors or home insurance companies. Some inspections are more in depth than others, but all of them are meant to detect issues with your home, such as missing shingles, leaks, mold and mildew, or water damage. An inspector will also go into your attic if you have one to check for moisture, insulation and ventilation issues.

The Roof At A Glance

Given the importance of the roof in protecting the building, the casual nature of many roofing company inspections—a “cursory glance” is how another roofer describes it—may seem puzzling. That is until you figure that an experienced roofing estimator can tell, literally at a glance, where a roof system is failing and what should be done to mitigate that. In many cases, when a roofing company gets a call from an alarmed homeowner with a roof leak, a glance may be all that’s needed.

But a glance isn’t good enough for everyone. Real estate agents, people buying a house, banks issuing a mortgage, insurance companies writing a homeowner’s policy; for them, nothing less than a detailed, written report will pass muster.

Many roofing companies don’t have the ability or the desire to create that report. A few, known as “real estate roofing companies,” specialize in producing detailed, written documentation on the condition of the roof. These are the companies that regularly get called when a house is on the market. In addition to the fee for the inspection and report—typically from $99 to $700, depending on the size of the structure and complexity of the roof—they’re also likely to contract for the repair work involved. Watrous, for instance, estimates that nearly half of the inspections he conducts result in jobs for Cert-A-Roof of Orange County. For clients, the fact that the company is not out there looking to get a job from the roof inspection is what makes Cert-A-Roof the desirable service provider.

Reasons Roofs Should Be Inspected

Weathering and Aging

The benchmark life for multi-ply bituminous low-slope roofs is 20 to 30 years and approximately 15 to 25 years for most single-ply roofs. All roofs undergo normal weathering and aging, and the effects of those factors are usually visible. As roofs weather and age normally, openings may occur, leading to water infiltration. Regular inspections call attention to weathered areas and enable an owner to schedule maintenance on these deficiencies to prevent further damage.

Routine Maintenance Damage

If your roof is not protected properly, damage can occur from tradespeople performing maintenance on air conditioners and other systems. This sometimes occurs because of trades failing to close mechanical access panels on roofs or leaving refrigerant containers. In addition, maintenance trades often fail to clean up their debris. Items left on roofs can become flying objects in high winds. A regular inspection program incorporates roof cleaning into the ongoing maintenance cycle.

Storm Damage

High winds, hail, and other weather events can create damage to roofs that may trigger repairs or insurance claims. Roofs should be inspected immediately following weather events to prevent further damage due to water infiltration. Damage from winds or hail can be slight and require little more than minor maintenance, or the problems can be major and require roof replacement. Insurance loss adjusters have reported that a significant amount of storm damage is actually caused by material, components, or debris blown from roofs in high winds. Tree limbs and branches can fall on roofs creating significant damage. Roof blow-offs start at the perimeter, and when roofs are not properly designed or installed to provide proper perimeter securement, severe damage can occur. Storm damage may require emergency repairs costing even more money.

What To Expect During A Roof Replacement

Though an experienced roofing professional will be available to answer your questions about the roof replacement process, understanding the process from start to finish can be beneficial to homeowners before choosing a contractor.

If you’re in need of a roof replacement, but not sure what the process entails, here’s a breakdown of what to expect during a roof replacement.

The Scope of the Project is Determined

Before choosing a contractor, many homeowners reach out to multiple companies to receive estimates, have their current roof inspected, and to discuss the scope of work and desired aesthetic of the new roof—including roofing material and color. There are many factors to consider when determining the right roof for your home, such as durability, cost and overall look. An experienced roofing contractor can help you weigh the pros and cons of each material and choose the best fit for your home and climate. Additionally, during this stage in the process, you’ll discuss the payment details. If you’re planning to finance your new roof, be sure to ask about the available options before signing a contract.

You Choose a Qualified Roofing Contractor

To ensure your roof replacement goes off without a hitch, homeowners should take time for research and planning. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in the process of getting a new roof is choosing who will do the job. Be sure to do your due diligence and choose a qualified roofing contractor who has the experience to help ensure your roofing project is completed properly.

The Importance Of Your Kitchen Sink

Ideas for the Space Behind a Kitchen Corner Sink

Corner sinks allow you to use a larger expanse of your countertop for preparing meals, but they also create dead space. The area behind a corner sink is often ignored, but it is usable. Instead of letting that space fade into the background, use it to stow handy kitchen items or to add a dash of interest to your kitchen decor.

Add Storage

The space behind your corner sink might be open, or it may have cabinets over top. Either way, you can add floating shelves or a small cabinet in this space to add more storage instead of wasting the space. A small shelf unit can be used to hold cleaning supplies, such as dish soap, sink stoppers and sponges. Another option is to install hooks or a towel bar to the wall and use the space to store cups or dish cloths and towels.

Accessorize for Style

The space behind your sink is often small and the angle of the corner makes it difficult to display useful items. Not everything in your kitchen has to have a use, however. Use this space instead to add decorative elements, such as kitschy knickknacks, a row of cookbooks, funky or artsy plates on decorative stands, or canning jars filled with colorful flowers or stones.

Use Plants for Texture and Color

Corner sinks leave the right amount of space for small container plants. Plants add texture and color to any space, but in your kitchen, go for plants that you can use, such as spices or herbs. Look for plants that prefer humid conditions, so they’ll thrive in the moist area of your sink. For example, lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is an easy-to-grow herb that thrives in moist, humid environments and will liven up your empty corner space as long as a nearby window provides lots of light. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) also thrive in the moist environment of your kitchen.

Spice Racks or Canisters

While the space behind a corner sink isn’t usually large enough for many items, it’s ideal for a small spice rack or a row of small canisters. Choose interesting shapes or bold colors to add a dash of style to your kitchen, and store spices you use every day or canisters full of sugar, coffee or treats for your family. Another option is to fill decorative bottles with hand soap or dish soap and fill the space with these.

Home for Small Appliances

Most homeowners have several small appliances they use daily, such as toasters, juicers, hand-mixers and coffee makers. These items are handier when they’re out and ready to use, but they often take up valuable prep space on your countertop. Use the space behind the corner sink to stow these items instead. They’ll be out of the way, but still accessible, and they dress up the empty space.

What Kind of Glue to Hold a Sink in a Vanity?

Installing a vanity requires a strong glue to hold the sink to the countertop. More importantly, the glue needs to keep water out to protect the countertop from rot and swelling. This means a waterproof, watertight substance with bonding power is the choice professionals make and the best solution for installing your counter.

Silicone Sink Caulking

Silicone caulking seals sinks to the countertop and prevents water intrusion. Today, a special type of silicone caulking compound is manufactured specifically for sink installation. This sink caulking material has water repellent properties and it bonds to ceramic and countertop laminate. It is the most commonly used glue to install a sink. This product is also called bathroom or tub and shower caulking. Either one seals and protects your counter from water.

Granite Sinks

Mounting a vanity sink to a granite bathroom counter top requires another type of glue, one that bonds to granite and the sink surface. Advanced adhesives specifically for granite counter tops are the choice here. Silicone caulking is still used on rimmed sink installations to seal out water. It acts as a protective barrier. The main focus in a rimmed vanity sink installation on granite is keeping water from dripping onto the cabinet below, anyway. Since granite is solid rock, water intruding into the counter is not an issue. The mounting clips secure the sink to the counter.

Undermount Sinks

An undermount vanity sink requires a very special adhesive. It must seal and bond very well while supporting the weight of the full sink. It is very important to seal the sink properly to the counter top, because if the supports weaken and the sink separates from the counter, water will leak into your cabinets. It also jeopardizes the stability of the sink and if it drops this has potentially disastrous effects on the plumbing beneath it. For this reason, only use manufacturer-recommended undermount sink adhesives and sealants designed for your counter surface and sink material, on any installation. Anything else is not strong enough for this type of project.

Farmhouse Fabulous: All About Apron Sinks

All this is fine, and helps to give these sinks their unique look. But it also means that if, for whatever reason, you tire of your farmhouse sink, you can only ever replace it with another farmhouse-style sink, unless you want to buy a new countertop entirely, which is a pretty expensive proposition.

Apron front sinks also require a unique kind of sink cabinet. If you take a look at your average sink cabinet, you’ll notice that it has doors below, and above the doors, in front of the sink, what looks like a drawer (to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets) but isn’t. In order to accommodate a farmhouse sink, you’ll either need to buy a sink cabinet that is designed specifically for one, or have your contractor (or yourself) cut through that fake drawer bit at the top to accommodate the apron front. It’s not a big loss in terms of storage, but it does mean that your sink cabinet is now unsuitable for any other kind of sink.

It Will Get Stained (And Potentially Chipped)

If you opt for a classic white porcelain farmhouse sink, it’s very likely to get stained, and it will require regular cleaning to keep it sparkling. Scrubbing the sink with baking soda will help remove sauce stains, yet this mild abrasive won’t scratch the surface. If you don’t want to commit to cleaning your sink often, you may want to consider getting a farmhouse-style sink in another material besides porcelain, such as stainless steel.

If you cook often with cast iron pans or other heavy cookware, there’s also a chance you could chip a porcelain sink. Being careful when washing the dishes and investing in a protective sink mat will help avoid chips.

How to Troubleshoot Low Hot Water Pressure on a Single Handle Kitchen Faucet

An insufficient flow of water is usually the result of a blockage, and to remove it, you first have to locate it. A common cause of blockages in kitchen faucets is a build-up of mineral deposits, which can collect in the supply hose, the shutoff valve under the sink or the faucet valve. Single-handle faucets can have either a cartridge or ball valve, and both types of valves have ports that can get blocked. A good strategy for diagnosing low hot water flow is to begin looking for problems at the water heater and work toward the faucet valve.

Make sure that the hot water outlet valve on the water heater is open all the way by turning it counterclockwise as far as it will go. Check the hot water flow in other faucets in the house. If they also have low flow, and the water heater valve is open, there may be a restriction in the pipes near the water heater. This is more likely if the pipes are galvanized steel and old. The solution is to replace the pipes.

Open the shutoff valve under the sink all the way, and see if that makes a difference to the faucet flow. If the valve is already open, turn it off and disconnect the faucet supply hose from the faucet with adjustable pliers. Point the hose into the bucket and turn on the valve. If the flow is less than you expect, you probably need to replace the valve or the hose.

Service the faucet if you can’t find any other reason for the low flow. Start by turning off both shutoff valves under the sink and opening the faucet to relieve water pressure.

Remove the faucet handle with a Phillips screwdriver or Allen wrench, depending on how it is attached, and take out the valve. If it’s a cartridge faucet, you may have to pull a pin with needle-nose pliers or unscrew a retaining nut with adjustable pliers to get the valve out. If it’s a ball-valve faucet, unscrew the collar holding the valve with adjustable pilers, and carefully lift the valve off.

Insert a length of bare 12-gauge electrical wire into the hot water inlet port in the valve seat to dislodge any deposits that may have accumulated there. Flush the inlet by turning on the hot water shutoff valve for a few seconds.

Inspect the valve. If you see mineral deposits around the base, you may be able to chip them off with a flathead screwdriver. If not, try dissolving them by soaking the valve overnight in white vinegar. Replace the valve if you can’t clean it.

Reassemble the faucet after cleaning the valve seat and cleaning or replacing the valve. Turn on the shutoff valves, and flush air and loose debris out of the lines by leaving the faucet open for about 30 seconds.

Things To Consider When Scouting For DJs For Your Wedding

Is a DJ a Good Career?

There’s never been a better time to start a career in the music industry as it’s easy to get started, and you have plenty of options. If you want to be a DJ, that can be a good career choice. However, more goes into a DJ career than mixing songs and making playlists

Is DJ a good career? Thanks to the rise of the internet, being a DJ can be a great career choice for many people. An aspiring DJ can show off their skills on a YouTube channel or SoundCloud account. DJs play at venues such as night clubs, bars, and even weddings or other parties. A DJ can specialise in one area or branch out for more gigs.

If you want to embark on an exciting career in music but don’t like to sing or play an instrument, DJing might be perfect for you. You can listen to music so that you find songs that fit together, and you can work in a variety of venues. Whether you’ve DJed for years or are new to it, with perseverance and some skills, you can become a professional DJ.

How to Start

The hardest part of becoming and working as a DJ is getting started. When you’re new, people won’t know your style, so it can be hard to find work. That’s why it can be helpful to open yourself up to some free work to get exposure.

Practice DJing

When you first start your DJing career, you won’t have much experience, but that’s not a bad thing. If you have the equipment, such as turntables, music, and a computer, you can practice DJing for yourself. The more you practice DJing, the easier it will be when you land a gig since you’ll know your way around your equipment.

Build Your Brand

Your marketable skills begin with your talent and your sound, but there’s more to this picture too–your consistency, dedication, professionalism and personality carry a lot of weight with your fans and with the people who want to hire you.

At the “superstar” level, DJs are a unique breed because they have to manage multiple aspects of their public persona. It’s not enough just to tour the world with an expensive light show, or to mix a mind-blowing set with passion and creativity. You literally have to be an arbiter of the future–attuned to emerging trends and technologies, and ahead of the curve with your selections, remixes, and productions–while still maintaining a vestige of the sound and style that got you there. That’s not easy; just ask Tiesto, BT and Richie Hawtin, or even eclectic outliers like Ellen Allien or Amon Tobin, both of whom have reinvented themselves more times than we can count, but draw packed houses consistently.

Why Does Branding Matter for DJs?

Think about the most successful DJs in the world, and you’ll realize that they have several things in common besides their technical skills and talent. They each have a distinctive sound, look and personality, and they each maintain a steady media presence–all of which connects to being memorable as a brand. Tiesto is a perfect example; with his immediately recognizable logo and his dynamic presence on stage or in the booth (he’s known for dancing all night), his live shows have become ritual gatherings for his fans worldwide.

Creating and Curating Your Image

The way you dress and the music you play, as well as your social media presence, website, and the marketing materials you create, are all reflections of your personal brand. But don’t forget why you need it: you’re trying to get gigs so you can make a living playing music. If you’re not getting work, or if you feel stuck in a creative rut, you might want to think about retooling your brand.

Interview with Ani Quinn: DJing in the Big City of Dreams

As one of the top DJs in New York City, Ani Quinn has made the most out of his early experiences on the city’s underground rave scene. We asked him what the competition is like in one of the toughest markets in the world.

DJ Tips and Tricks for Beginners that Actually Work

DJ Tips and Tricks. A DJ typically plays records in a sequence to the entertainment of the listening audience. In recent times though, a DJ’s role has evolved slightly to include mixing and tuning the songs they play, but the role remains essentially the same: dishing out a carefully selected playlist to a teeming audience of gleeful listeners.

Determine your Music Sound

What sound gets your juices running? What music lifts your spirit? DJing is as much to do with your music taste as it involves your quality in handling equipment. Don’t worry, for now, about the sound others will like. The stunning diversity of sounds in the music world ensures that there is a market for every sound. Do you vibe only to alternative rock tunes? Electro? ‘80s hip-house?

Have Fun

Closely related to tip number one above, having fun is an important part of DJing. This is perhaps the most fun-oriented job you can ever hold. Music brings life. You have to tap into this life while DJing if you are to really get your audience to feel the music. When you are really into it, the crowd knows, and they just love it. Better your technique, follow your heart, and have fun

What Kind of DJ do you want to be?

If you are yet to ask yourself this question, then you are yet to get started on the path to professional DJing. With your sound decided, you want to focus on what type of DJing you will be doing. Are you gunning to become a mobile DJ, scratch DJ, club DJ, or house party DJ? Or do you intend limiting yourself to the role of hobbyist DJ who simply plays for a bit of fun? Not only will your answer be critical to your practice, it will be important as you consider your choice of suitable DJ equipment.

Select the Right Equipment

Your DJing experience will very likely have started with a simple PC with a DJ software. Once you decide this is something you really enjoy, it is time to go for quality equipment that will make your learning more professional, and all the more easier. This is an exciting but delicate step in your career that you don’t want to rush into. Although it might seem easy, you can easily find yourself with the wrong equipment, one that doesn’t suit your style. Selecting the right equipment early on to suit your sound and targeted career path will aid your practice and professional growth.

What Wedding DJs Wish You Knew About Choosing One

Wedding couples are frustrated. DJs are frustrated. There’s a disconnect here. But what exactly is the problem?

It depends on who you ask. DJs continually wonder why brides and grooms treat the mobile DJ — the type who lugs around his equipment to show up at big events and weddings — as a commodity. In other words, couples price-shop ruthlessly, as if any given DJ were interchangeable with the rest.

Why Is It So Different With DJs?

Part of the answer is an image problem, says Paul. “People perceive that most mobile DJs will turn up fifteen minutes ahead of time, with a couple of speakers and some cheesy circa-1970’s light screens, and play ‘Agadoo’ all night.” (For we lucky few who haven’t heard it, the 1984 song Agadoo frequently charts as “the worst song of all time.”)

When She Was Good, She Was Very Very Good

Perhaps it’s hard for the average bride and groom to grasp the difference between a green DJ with low-end equipment, and a seasoned one who knows how to transform shy and retiring Clark Kents into dance floor superheros.

The first may be nothing more than a glorified CD changer. He may or may not have a firm grasp of the different musical needs that accompany standard reception rituals, like the cake cutting or the father/daughter dance. He may lug in his entry-level Peavy subwoofers and arrange his sound system in ways that ignore your venue’s peculiarities.

The best DJ controllers

Modern software applications such as Ableton Live mean you can now technically DJ with pretty much any MIDI controller, or even just a mouse and keyboard. Nevertheless, there are several very good reasons to use DJ controller hardware designed specifically for mixing.

Whether you’re after something to replicate the feel of traditional turntables, mixers and CDJs, or a modern pad device designed for sample triggering and effects manipulation, the best DJ controllers in this guide offer skin-tight integration with your preferred mixing software of your choice, so you can properly get hands-on and expressive with your library or tracks

The best DJ controllers you can buy today

While Pioneer DJ’s rekordbox DJ mixing application remains, arguably, slightly in the shadow of the ‘bigger guns’ Serato and Traktor, used with Pioneer’s new flagship DJ controller, theDDJ-1000 it’s the perfect pairing. In fact, the 1000 is the closest thing we’ve found to condensing a club CDJ setup down into controller form.

Its meaty, pressure-sensitive jogwheels have the heft of mixing on one of the brand’s industry-standard CDJs, and the mixer section is effectively a trimmed-down DJM-900. All tracks prepared in rekordbox are ready to be loaded onto a USB and taken out to a club too – meaning this is probably the closest compatibility you’ll find between home controller setup and DJ booth

How to choose the best DJ controller for you

There are several things to consider when shopping for a DJ controller. The firstm, and possibly biggest consideration is your choice of software. If you favour Serato DJ, it’s important to note that the software is only compatible with certain controllers,

Electrical Maintenance Are Vital To Business Success

Choosing the Right Contractor for Electrical Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining your business’s electricity, choosing a professional contractor is essential. The right contractor brings with them the right knowledge and skills to repair and maintain your office’s electrical systems. So, if you’re running a business or franchise and are in need of an emergency repair or electrical maintenance, read on to make sure you get the right help and services.

WHY YOU NEED AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR

An electrical contractor will be able to identify potential issues, as well as provide ongoing maintenance to ensure that your business’s electrical systems are all running as they’re meant to. An electrical contractor provides a range of services including repairs, installation, inspections, safety testing and preventative maintenance. Modern workplaces bring a degree of difficulty when it comes to electrical maintenance and repair, with strata units having advanced systems and wiring requiring an expert electrical contractor. Master electricians are your safest option for electrical maintenance on your business or franchise, since they generally have both the electrical experience and the business know-how to ensure the best service, keeping the efficiency and successful running of your business in mind.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A CONTRACTOR

There are many ways of finding an electrical contractor, along with many considerations to make when choosing the right one. You will need to find a trustworthy and competent electrician who can meet your expectations. The first thing to consider is the purpose of requiring a contractor. Are you planning on renovating or refitting an office? Are you installing a new security system? Or is there an emergency repair that requires prompt attention?

With a clear task in mind, you can then narrow your search down to respected electrical contractors in your area who have experience with commercial building and fittings. You will then have to inform the contractor with details of your project, as well as time or budget restraints. Remember to be realistic when it comes to these, since some jobs may require more work than others. While many electrical contractors are able to finish projects that normally take 6 months in less than 3 months, the contractor must be informed of any deadline so that they can do what they can to meet it.

Five Skills Every Electrician and Electrical Technician Needs

Although this career route may be attractive to a lot of people, there are some electrical technician requirements that can’t be taught in a classroom or during an apprenticeship. It’s important to consider whether you have the following skills necessary to be good at the job, otherwise your safety and the safety of those around you may be in jeopardy:

1. Mechanical aptitude.

It might seem obvious, but not everyone has an innate sense of mechanics. If you’ve always enjoyed taking things apart to see how they work and are successfully able to put them back together, electrical work might be a good fit. On the other hand, if a simple do-it-yourself project leaves you frustrated, this might not be the right career path for you. Being comfortable around electrical work and being confident in your own abilities is a must.

2. Problem-solving skills.

Diagnosing and repairing electrical problems is a large part of a technician’s job. Once the apprenticeship is over, you will be largely on your own to respond to issues and find their solution. Understanding an overall electrical problem and investigating ways to fix it is a critical component of this job. Learning how to identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems is another vital skill for a successful career as an electrical technician.

3. Reading comprehension.

Many work orders are assigned to electricians through written communications, either on paper or through email. Interpreting these work orders and writing a summary of your own work are important components to ensure job details are followed properly and so other electricians can understand your methods should they work on the project after you.

4. Business skills.

Since many electrical technicians go on to become independent contractors, business skills are something you can acquire over the years. A general knowledge of business practices, such as invoicing, tracking inventory, managing employees and strategic planning will help many electrical technicians make the jump to supervisory positions and, hopefully one day, running their own companies.

5. Customer service skills.

The amount of interaction an electrician has with customers varies greatly depending on their type of position. If you work for a large company and spend most of your time servicing machinery within that company, you might not come in contact with many direct customers.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING AN ELECTRICIAN

When having any sort of work done around our home, we always want to make sure we get quality work done at the right price. Choosing a tradesman can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Below are the top 5 things to look for when choosing an electrician.

LICENSE AND INSURANCE

The most important factor to consider when choosing an electrician is whether they are licensed. A license is your guarantee that the contractor has done the necessary courses and practical work to perform the job safely and correctly. Always ask to see their license, make sure that it is current and do an online check if possible. Make sure that the license held covers the type of work you need done. Some electrical licenses may carry restrictions. It is also important to make sure the electrician carries all the necessary insurances. Ask to see copies of current policies and make sure they have not expired.

VALUE FOR MONEY

It is a good idea to get at least 3 quotes, in fact the more the better. Always make sure you communicate exactly what work you require and the exact fittings and materials you would like to use. Make sure the electrician gives you a quote with a breakdown of prices as this will make it easier to compare one quote to another. Choosing an electrical contractor on price alone is unwise as there are other important things to consider.

When having any sort of work done around our home, we always want to make sure we get quality work done at the right price. Choosing a tradesman can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Below are the top 4 things to look for when choosing an electrician.

LICENSE AND INSURANCE

The most important factor to consider when choosing an electrician is whether they are licensed. A license is your guarantee that the contractor has done the necessary courses and practical work to perform the job safely and correctly. Always ask to see their license, make sure that it is current and do an online check if possible. Make sure that the license held covers the type of work you need done. Some electrical licenses may carry restrictions. It is also important to make sure the electrician carries all the necessary insurances. Ask to see copies of current policies and make sure they have not expired.

VALUE FOR MONEY

It is a good idea to get at least 3 quotes, in fact the more the better. Always make sure you communicate exactly what work you require and the exact fittings and materials you would like to use. Make sure the electrician gives you a quote with a breakdown of prices as this will make it easier to compare one quote to another. Choosing an electrical contractor on price alone is unwise as there are other important things to consider.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Not all electricians are the same, many will have extra qualifications or experience in different areas of electrical work, and some may even have accreditations. Choosing a Master Electrician gives a guarantee that the electrician has at least 3 years experience and must offer a 12 month warranty on workmanship. Using a Master Electrician will ensure you receive the highest standard of workmanship and electrical safety. With the skyrocketing cost of electricity, energy efficiency is likely to be of interest. There are several organizations offering accreditation in the field of energy efficiency. An electrician holding this type of accreditation should have an extensive knowledge of energy saving products and technology.

ATTITUDE AND COMMUNICATION

Nobody enjoys dealing with a tradesman who displays a bad attitude or sloppy workmanship. Take note if they arrive for the quote on time or, if they are held up, did they ring ahead and advise that they would be delayed? Do they communicate with you? You need to be confident that you understand each other so that there are no miscommunications during the project. A professional appearance and attitude is usually reflected in the quality of the workmanship provided.

What Are the Most Important Safety Concerns for Electricians?

Interviewers who ask this question want to see that you are safety-minded. They want to see that you have a good understanding of the risks associated with this type of work and get a sense of how concerned you are about safety in the way you approach your work.

Answer examples include:

  • You are most concerned about fatal electrical shock.
  • The second is electrical/thermal burns, possible electrical fires.
  • There are other things you have to monitor such as lead exposure and the possible dangers during welding.
  • You’re aware of the dangers of working around machinery and equipment so you don’t slip or fall.
  • Some work requires you to be in tight spots, even contorted positions to reach areas needing repair, so you’re always on guard against accidental mishaps or muscles strains.

How to Verify an Electrician’s License

You should always hire a licensed professional for electrical work around the home.

Aside from the danger that goes along with any residential electrical project, faulty electrical work can lead to fires, and your homeowners’ insurance may not cover damages caused by unlicensed electrical work.

Why is a license important?

Electrical work requires training. In many cases, a journeyman electrician must complete five years of education and 10,000 hours of on-the-job training. Electrical training is the longest program in apprenticeship work. Electricians are taught how to safely work with electrical systems, as well as local laws and codes.

Building codes can vary by state or community. The National Electrical Code is the minimum standard for electrical work in most states. The code receives updates every three years. A licensed electrician will know the code requirements for your area, and whether it requires a permit.

Tips for verifying a license

There are three types of information that you can use to verify a license. You can use the number that appears on the license. You can get the information using the electrician’s full name. Verification can also be performed by the company’s name.

While each state has different requirements and licensing organizations, your local licensing department can verify if an electrician is licensed to work in your community. Your state’s Department of Labor should also be able to offer this information.

Simple Tips On How To Choose The Right Vacation Rental Cleaning

SHOULD YOU START A VACATION RENTAL BUSINESS?

The vacation rental market is becoming increasingly popular. Each year, a growing number of tourists are preferring this option over hotels for reasons such as they’re more convenient, they offer a more personal experience and they allow guests to feel like local residents during their trips.

Does that make it an attractive investment? Yes. Is it possible to earn a profit? Of course. That said, you will need to stay on top of coordinating all of the different aspects of your business.

Even though there is a lot of demand for vacation rentals, there is also a lot of supply, and one of your main jobs will be to make your property stand out from the rest to catch a potential guest’s eye. You will also need to balance all the tasks that running a business like this entails. For example, being available for any possible guest emergencies, managing bookings, setting rates for high and low seasons, and so on.

How to Turn Your Home into a Vacation Rental

The vacation rental industry has changed rapidly in the last several years, and it’s now easier than ever to rent out your home or condo on a long or short-term basis. Whether you’d like to permanently convert your home into a vacation rental, or just rent out your apartment for a few weeks while you’re on vacation, there are people out there who want to rent it, and websites and services that will help make it happen. Do keep in mind that renting out your home can be a major undertaking, so it is important to know what you are getting into, and to prepare accordingly. With a little bit of planning and hard work, you can put your home to work for you, and meet a lot of new and interesting people in the process.

Take down your family photos

While it may not be ideal to take down your family photographs, if you’re serious about supplying an amazing experience for your guest, it is practically essential.

The best thing you can possibly do for guests who are staying in your vacation rental is to go the extra mile to make sure you house feels like their home-away-from-home. Unfortunately, it is hard for guests to feel comfortable in homes that are decorated with the photos of strangers.

Keep the necessities

When you decide to turn your home into a short-term rental, you actually have an advantage over those who are just starting out with a new property. Many new vacation rental homeowners make the mistake of not supplying enough of the necessities. Sure they have plates and bowls, knives and forks, but they don’t have the smaller items that all homes have, such as:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Scissors
  • Extra blankets and pillows
  • A drawer of cooking utensils
  • A collection of take-out menus
  • Chip-clips
  • Tupperware
  • Stain removers and clorox wipes

Dropping off the keys

All property owners have their own rules about handing over the keys. Some hide them under a rock, others have secure key holders near the front door that require a pass code. Some even take the time to meet with renters in person and walk them around the property. Returning the keys can be as simple as tossing them through a mail slot in the door.

Go the extra mile

Marketing your property doesn’t end when your renter signs up.. You need to offer the same level of hospitality as a hotel. Leave a bottle of wine or chocolates as thank-you gifts. Doing so will help ensure they’ll rent from you again and they’ll give you a great review.

Avoiding problem guests

Worried your place will be trashed? Ask your renters for references and look them up on Facebook and LinkedIn—a professional is less likely to punch holes in your walls. Rental sites can tell you if anyone has lodged a complaint about them. If you’re really worried, try meeting the renter in person or chat by phone. As a final protection make sure you ask for a deposit of between 15% to 20% of the rental fee to pay for any damages.

4 Tips to Turn Your Home Into a Profitable Vacation Rental

Acquire the necessary permits.

Although it’s possible to handle permits yourself, this is one area where having a vacation rental manager can make things easier. Vacation rental property managers are familiar with the local permitting process and can help you deal with associated taxes, overcome unexpected roadblocks, schedule inspections, and assist with any required documentation. It’s in the property manager’s best interest to avoid disruptions in business, so you know they’ll be thorough when it comes to making sure your home is properly licensed.

Prepare the home for guests.

Although most of your guests will be courteous, careful, and conscientious, accidents are unavoidable. Remove anything from the home that is one-of-a-kind or has sentimental value and can’t be replaced. If you plan to use your vacation home frequently and want to leave some items behind, consider storing them in a locked closet or another secure area so you can access them when needed.

That being said, if you do need to replace or upgrade some furniture, don’t fill your home with ratty thrift store couches or salvaged secondhand tables. Newer furniture and appliances are generally easier to keep clean, are more appealing to guests, and sometimes come with lifetime warranties—in other words, they quickly pay for themselves. If you don’t want to buy brand new, see what you can find at higher-end consignment stores.     

Gather photos and write a compelling description.

If you’re planning to self-manage your vacation rental or if you’re working with a property management company that isn’t full-service, consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos. Photos are the first thing someone looks at when browsing vacation homes, and if the photos aren’t high quality, potential guests won’t bother sticking around to see the rates or read the description. Your house might be beautiful in person, but if the only photos you have were taken on a smartphone in poor lighting, your bottom line will suffer.

Allow time for reviews.

A few positive reviews can do wonders for a vacation home’s reservation rate. An attractive listing is important, but reviews provide potential guests with a firsthand account of what staying in the home is really like. If someone is planning a special getaway, they want assurance that everything will be perfect and as advertised, with zero chance of unpleasant surprises. Reviews add trust and validation.

If you want to be ready in time for peak vacation season, plan to have your listing live and home rented with enough time to get five to 10 reviews beforehand. Roughly 40 percent of guests write reviews, so you’ll want to plan for at least 12 reservations prior to the start of the season.