bookmark_borderCommercial Painting Estimating Guide

A Beginner’s Guide to the Many Different Paint Types and Finishes

If you’re looking to add a splash of new color to your home, choosing the right type of paint and finish for the job can be a little daunting at first, especially if you’re a novice when it comes to paints. Not only are there a multitude of colors to choose from, but there are paints made from different materials and several types of finishes, or sheens, available as well. Different paints also feature their own attributes, such as ease of cleanup and durability, which will impact your project and the final product.

There is a lot to consider, but with just a little research, you can confidently choose the ideal paint and finish for your project and avoid feeling any buyer’s remorse once the paint dries.

CONSIDER THE AREA YOU WILL BE PAINTING

This step is important, because certain paint finishes mesh differently with certain rooms. For example, if you’re painting your kitchen, you should choose a paint that cleans easily and is fade-resistant, like a high-gloss finish. If you’re painting a room that receives ample sunlight, it might be best to stray from shiny sheens that reflect too brightly and instead opt for a matte finish.

PAINT TYPES

Paints are made from a variety of different materials. While the most common paints are water-based and oil-based paints, there are also specialty paints and natural wood finishes that are mineral spirit or thinner-based. There are also paints made from natural oils and alkyds. The paint type you choose could change the entire dynamic of a room or your home’s exterior.

  • Primer and First Coat – It’s recommended you first apply a base coat of primer before painting any wall. Interior decorative finishes last much longer and are less likely to peel and crack when a primer coat is first applied. Primer also helps cover up old paint and minimizes the appearance of old stains and even odors.
  • Water-Based – Water-based paint – either latex or acrylic – is the most common paint type used on interior walls. In general, water-based paints are quick drying, feature easy clean-up, are resistant to cracking and provide a more stable covering. Plus, water-based paints are considered more environmentally friendly, as they carry low levels of toxic emissions (VOCs).
  • Oil-Based – Oil-based paint is a nice option if you’re looking for a higher quality alternative to water-based, as they are more durable, feature a more attractive gloss and possess a smoother finish. It does, however, require turpentine or paint thinner for clean-up. Using oil-based paint on trim while using water-based on the walls is a popular choice, as trim takes more abuse and walls require more frequent cleanup.

Finishes

There are many types of finishes and while no one finish is better than another, they all have applications that they are best suited for and varying levels of sheen (how much light bounces off of it).

  • Matte – Matte finishes deliver a pigmented and smooth look, with little to no sheen since they absorb light. They cover imperfections and stains but are not very durable, which means they are best suited for low-traffic areas like a bedroom.
  • Eggshell – Eggshell finishes are similar to matte finishes in sheen and are one of the most popular finishes. They are perfect for mid-traffic areas such as hallways and living rooms since they are more washable than matte sheens.
  • Satin – Satin finishes are the most commonly chosen finishes, providing a soft, almost pearl-like sheen. It is ideal for indoor or outdoor use and is resistant to mildew and facing. Satin finishes work well in high-traffic areas such as kitchens or playrooms, as well as areas that are exposed to moisture such as laundry and bathrooms.
  • Semi-Gloss – Semi-gloss finishes are more reflective than satin, with a smooth and shiny appearance. They are also resistant to moisture and stains, so they work well in high-traffic or high-humidity areas. One downside is that they are more likely to show blemishes on surfaces since they reflect light, so using a primer is an important step before painting with a semi-gloss paint.
  • High-Gloss – High-gloss has the highest level of reflection, giving a high-shine and glass-like finish to any surface. It is ideal for doors and cabinets, as well as outdoor spots that have great curb appeal, such as shutters. It is also the most durable and easiest to clean of all the paint sheens.

Different paints for different places

Find out at a glance if a paint shade you like is suitable for your space by reading the tin. You’ll find that some paints are designed for particular environments: for example, you can buy paint specifically designed to withstand steam and condensation that’s ideal for bathrooms. Kitchen paints are moisture-resistant and can withstand grease and stains.

What Is Powder Coating?

Powder coating is a multi-step finishing process. In the first step, a product (usually a metal part) is cleaned and prepared for coating. Next, it is coated with a fine powder. The powder covers the part’s surface. In the final step, the part is moved into a curing oven. The product is then heated in the oven, allowing the powder to melt and flow into a uniform coating that adheres to the part. This creates a very durable and attractive coating around the product once the melted powder cools and harden

Acrylics – The Beginner’s Choice

Acrylics are widely favored by those just starting out with painting as they are easy to use and do not require any special supplies. The downside is they dry very fast.

Acrylics may suit you if:

  • You are a complete beginner and do not want to worry yourself with the complexities of oil and watercolor painting.
  • You want an easy cleanup time.
  • You are painting on a limited budget.
  • You enjoy experimenting with mixed media.
  • You are sensitive to the harsh chemicals involved with oil painting.

The downsides of acrylics are:

  • The paint dries very fast. This means you only have a limited amount of time whilst your paint is responsive on the canvas.
  • Some colors darken as they dry (the colors which are lighter tend to have a greater change).

bookmark_borderTermite Control Using Bait Stations

Homeowners Can Prepare For Termite

How often in life do you plan for something that is upcoming? Are you the type who has every detail accounted for before an important event, or are you more of the “whatever happens, happens” kind of individual? No matter what kind of person you are, one thing is undeniable – termite season is here. If your home does not already have termite protection in place, now is the time to start considering steps you can take to ensure it will!

What Termite Swarmers Are & What They Could Mean For Your Home

There are a lot of dangerous creatures in life that we can agree don’t need wings. For instance, if lions, tigers, and bears could all grow wings once a year, it would raise some serious concerns for everyone; yet, home-wrecking termites do sprout wings once a year, and most homeowners don’t even know it! This is not surprising since winged termites can be mistaken for flying ants or other known flying insects. Unlike most other flying insects, however, winged termites pose a serious threat to your home.

If you see termite swarmers around your property this spring, it is not a good sign. They are either a sign that your home already has a major termite problem, or a sign that a termite problem is on the horizon. That being said, let’s discuss some practical prevention steps you can take as a homeowner before termite swarmers show up.

Steps To Take To Mitigate Your Risk Of A Termite Infestation

If you are not seeing termite swarmers around your home, and there are no signs of an already existing termite infestation, there are some things you can do to deter future termites from settling down on your property. Before we start our list of helpful tips, you should know one fact: termites are attracted to water-damaged wood and moist conditions. Every step below works to reduce or eliminate these attractants as much as possible.

Trim back greenery from the perimeter of your home. This allows more direct sunlight to touch your home’s exterior and keep it dry.

Find and fix any leaky piping or appliances inside and outside of your home.

Eliminate sources of water build-up.

Make sure your gutters and drains are in good working order.

Fix or replace any structural wood of your home that has been water damaged.

TERMITES

Termites cause billions of property damage every year – don’t let your home be compromised by these hungry creatures. Termites love to eat and digest wood and other cellulose material (like cardboard and paper). The wood studs and joists in your home are made of the same cellulose wood material, the wallboard has a paper backing, and those cardboard boxes you have stacked in the corner are mighty tasty

TERMITE TREATMENTS

In the thousands of termite treatments we’ve performed, we’ve continuously learned and adapted our treatment methods to be the most effective in battling termites. Whether you need a spot treatment, a soil barrier, a complete perimeter barrier, or the foundation’s stemwall treated,

DO I HAVE TERMITES?

The best defense against termite damage is a good offense, mainly, your own eyes. What you should look for are the small, sandy mud tubes the termites build and travel within. Check around the foundation of your home – if you see a sandy-looking ‘vein’ going from the soil up to the stucco/siding, it’s probably termites.

HOW DO I STOP TERMITES?

The best way to stop termites is to remove potential food sources and eliminate moisture problems.

EXAMPLES OF FOOD SOURCES:

Wood chips abutting the home

Firewood stacked against the home

Wooden fence or gate posts that are in direct contact with the soil and are also in contact with the home

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

A termite infestation can cause a lot of damage to your house. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), they cost homeowners an estimated $5 billion a year to control and repair damage

IS TERMITE DAMAGE COVERED BY MY INSURANCE POLICY?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), many homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termite damage or removal. Termite infestations may be prevented with routine home maintenance and is the responsibility of the homeowner.

ARE THERE ANY SCENARIOS IN WHICH HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE WOULD COVER TERMITES?

If termites were to chew through your home’s wiring and cause a fire, your insurance company may step in to help pay for the damages, as fire is a covered peril under most policies

To help prevent termite damage to your house, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends:

Avoiding moisture accumulation by diverting water away from your home’s foundation (make sure you have properly functioning gutters, downspouts and splash blocks)

Regularly checking for changes to all your wooden areas, like windows and doorframes

Inspecting the foundation of your home bubbling paint, or wood that sounds hollow when you tap it

Maintaining an 18-inch distance between the wood portions of your home and the soil (termites can still gain access by building so-called shelter tubes or chewing through non-wood materials, but barriers can be built to discourage them)

HOW TO SPOT TERMITE DAMAGE IN YOUR HOME

The type of damage your home suffers often depends on the type of termite you’re dealing with. The three most common types are dampwood termites, drywood termites and subterranean termites. Dampwood termites prefer wet wood, drywood termites (which are rare in the U.S.) seek out dry wood.

TERMITE FAQ

Can termites spread disease?

Yes, termites do bite people but only if you get them angry. Most termites have to be biting on thin skin (like between your fingers or similar) before you’ll even be able to notice their grim determination. They don’t set out to bite people, but they will bite in defense and they do tend to hang on. The bites of bigger species like Mastotermes, Macrotermes and some dampwood termites are quite easily noticed. I’ve seen small blood marks from a Mastotermes bite near a technician’s navel. Strangely, it is much more often the meek-looking workers that bite (me) than the big-jawed, heavy-set, scary-looking soldier termites. Alates (swarmers) may have bitten me. I’ve never noticed.

What’s a termite lifespan?

There’s no simple answer to this one. It depends. The species, life-type, wear and tear, the colony’s health–all these things affect the potential for a termite’s long life. A worker or soldier termite can live to about three years in my lab, but most probably only live a year or so in the wild. They can also get killed soon after starting work and so, on average, many only last a few months. A reproductive female, the termite queen is something quite different. In some mound-building species queens are reported to last more than 40 years, perhaps several decades more! The reproducing males also last a long time

As usual, though, termite reality is stranger than we first thought. Imagine an amoeba, a superbly simple single-celled animal. If one splits (binary fission), producing two individuals, is the original one alive or dead? I think it is still alive. Do we think the same if the animal is multicellular and reproduces less simply? The issue arises with termites.

Like, where did they live before there were termites to live in?

Termites are just cockroaches that have learned to cooperate very well. They are thought to have begun as something like the wood-feeding cockroach genus Cryptocercus. The microbes that live so successfully in their guts are derived from similar free-living forms in rotting logs that get eaten when cockroaches eat the rot.  So both the ancestoral microbes and the ancestoral cockroaches were living in logs and soil well before termites came about.  You can imagine a termite as a streamlined cockroach shaped by the needs and profit of the microbes as well as the benefits of living in social groups. Over time, the gut organisms became adapted to their unique habitat and co-evolved tightly with their hosts to the point that most are critical for the termites’ success.

They don’t, just the vast majority of them.

Termite scientists are a fairly conservative lot, and like patterns. Termes is a Latin word meaning wood worm. It is a widely followed convention that the genera of termites be given names with -termes at the end, but it isn’t required by the rules of naming animals. Just makes things easier I guess. Some genera don’t. This is because the taxonomist who authored them broke with convention

Termite Control: Liquid VS. Bait

The most destructive insect in the United States is the subterranean termite. These wood-destroying insects cost U.S. property owners billions of dollars each year in repair costs, and billions more to exterminate these pests and arrest the damage being done. But it does not have to be this way. You can actually stop termites before they enter. The two ways that work best are liquids and baits. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of these two processes, and see which works best

Liquid Barrier

This process, which creates a barrier of termiticide in the soil around a structure to kill termites that pass through, has been the industry standard for controlling termites for many years. This method is extremely effective, but it has two drawbacks. First, it is necessary to bore holes and trench around the foundation of the structure and this can sometimes be problematic. Second, some liquid barriers do a good job of killing termites, but they do nothing to destroy the colony that is sending workers to breach the barrier. When the liquid barrier slowly wears out, worker termites will eventually find a way through.

realize that liquid barriers can have drawbacks. That is why we use Altriset. This eco-friendly product doesn’t just kill termites, it also works to kill the colony that is attacking. Chlorantraniliprole, the active ingredient in Altriset, causes a paralysis in the jaw muscles of worker termites, slowly making it so they can no longer eat. Those workers then carry and spread Chlorantraniliprole to other workers in the colony, causing them to starve and die. This can work its way all the way back to the colony and kill the queen. Without a queen, the colony dies.

What is most amazing about Altriset®, compared to other termiticide barriers, is that it doesn’t affect other beneficial insects. You don’t have to worry about honey bees or earthworms dying off because of your termite treatment. Altriset® is completely safe for the environment. And, if you’re looking to protect a new home, Altriset is the perfect product. It can be put into the ground before construction, without trenching, and protect a home for years.

Termite Bait

Baits work in two ways: they can be used to monitor for termites, and they can be used to kill termite colonies

bookmark_borderProven And Effective Eye Care Tips

Tips to Save Your Vision

More than 20 million Americans suffer from severe vision loss. While not all eye diseases can be prevented, there are simple steps that everyone can take to help their eyes remain healthy now and reduce their chances of vision loss in the future.

Here are tips from the Academy to safeguard your vision:

Wear sunglasses

UV blocking sunglasses delay the development of cataracts, since direct sunlight hastens their formation. Sunglasses prevent retinal damage; they also protect the delicate eyelid skin to prevent both wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye, and both cancerous and non-cancerous growths on the eye. Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.

Don’t smoke

Tobacco smoking is directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.

Eat right

Vitamin deficiency can impair retinal function. The belief that eating carrots improves vision has some truth, but a variety of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, should be an important part of your diet. Researchers have found people on diets with higher levels of vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are less likely to develop early and advanced AMD.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam

You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages. During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate or widen the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye, the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if your vision is at its best.

Know your family’s eye health history

Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition, since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk of developing an eye disease or condition.

Eye Tests and Exams

Everyone needs to have their eyesight tested to check for vision and eye problems. Children usually have vision screening in school or at their health care provider’s office during a checkup. Adults may also get vision screenings during their checkups. But many adults need more than a vision screening. They need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Getting comprehensive dilated eye exams is especially important because some eye diseases may not have warning signs. The exams are the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages, when they are easier to treat.

The exam includes several tests:

  • A visual field test to measure your side (peripheral) vision. A loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.
  • A visual acuity test, where you read an eye chart about 20 feet away, to check on how well you see at various distances
  • Tonometry, which measures your eye’s interior pressure. It helps to detect glaucoma.
  • Dilation, which involves getting eye drops that dilate (widen) your pupils. This allows more light to enter the eye. Your eye care provider examines your eyes using a special magnifying lens. This provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of your eye, including the retina, macula, and optic nerve.

Myopia – a widespread problem

Take a look at your child’s class photo. How many of the kids are wearing glasses? We’ll bet it’s up to half the class. That’s because Singapore has one of the world’s highest rates of myopia. When you cultivate good eye care habits in your child, you could help delay the onset and progression of myopia.​

Here are some simple eye care tips for your child.

Reduce time spent on near work

  • Reduce the time your children are allowed to spend playing games on hand-held electronic devices, handphone games and other computer-related activities such as blogging and internet chats.
  • When indoors, monitor the time your child spends on continuous reading, writing and other near work. Encourage your child to take a break after 30-40 minutes of near work such as reading or writing. Your child should look at distant objects for 3 to 5 minutes. They could look out of the window into the distance or at nearby greenery, or go outdoors for a while.

Increase time spent on outdoor activities every day

  • There is a growing body of evidence that outdoor activities may delay the onset or progression of myopia in your child. So get your child to spend time playing ball games, walking in the park or go on family picnics at the beach, etc.
  • Outdoor activities should not include reading or playing hand-held games outdoors. Instead, encourage your child to engage in fun activities that involve body movements to increase physical fitness. Better yet, join in the fun!

Encourage other healthy eye care habits

  • Ensure there is adequate lighting in the room.
  • When reading, make sure they hold the book about 30 cm away from their eyes.
  • Choose books with a large print.
  • Refrain from reading in bed and in moving vehicles.
  • Make sure when using the computer, the monitor screen is about 50 cm away from their eyes.
  • Place the computer screen at a distance from the eyes.
  • Adjust its screen to reduce glare from the reflection of other light sources.
  • Sit at a distance from the TV that is appropriate to its size. The bigger the TV, the further away your child should sit.
  • Sit upright in a comfortable chair.

Take your child for eye check-ups yearly

Even if your child has been screened for myopia in school, it’s a good idea to take them for a check-up if they are squinting, having headaches or blurred vision.

Ensure a healthy lifestyle

  • Encourage them to eat a balanced diet.
  • Try to make sure your child has at least eight hours of sleep each night to rest the eyes.
  • Instead of just playing computer games, get them to participate in outdoor games as well.

Factors That Can Impact Your Vision in Winter

Before we get to the eye care tips for winter specifically, let’s first get introduced with the factors that can impact your vision through winter.

Outdoor Dry Air

With outdoor temperature dropping significantly in winter, the air also cools down, unable to hold as much of humidity as held otherwise through the rest of the year. During winter, cold winds blowing outside can turn out to be quite dehydrating for our skin as well as eyes, both of which need adequate moisture to remain healthy. For our eyes, exposure to cold dry air means losing essential moisture content rapidly (due to quickened process of evaporation) through the eye surface (which is comprised of 99% water), getting irritation due to excessive dehydration.

UV Radiation

Excessive UV exposure via direct sunlight is already known to increase the risk of cataracts as well as skin cancer. That’s why experts recommend resorting to sunscreens and sunglasses during prolonged outdoor activities. The bad news is that you can get excessive UV exposure due to reflection from snowy surfaces (though not getting the sunburns necessarily!) and it is equally bad for your skin and eye health.

Warm Indoor Air

Cold dry air is not the only nuisance for your eyes in winter, warm dry air indoors can also be equally (if not even more) dehydrating and damaging for your skin as well as eyes. In fact, the re-circulated indoor air is also laden even more with other dehydrating elements like ambient skin flora and bacteria.

bookmark_borderHow An Electrical Panel Upgrades Works

Electrical Panel Upgrades

Your electrical panel is like the brain behind your electrical system. It is at your panel that the energy from the public grid enters your home and where it is distributed across the many various circuits that lead to different devices throughout your home. For this reason, it’s important to have a panel that’s properly-wired, functional, and in good condition. A damaged or worn-out panel is not only inefficient, but possibly even dangerous as it may not shut off in the event of a dangerous situation. The average electrical panel has a useful lifespan of around 20 to 30 years, so if it’s time to replace your panel

we service all types of electrical panels, and offer upgrades and new panel installations for both residential and light-duty commercial applications. Every panel we install comes from a reputable manufacturer with a long history of building quality products with premium technology and materials. Our installation technicians are also of the highest quality—each has been thoroughly trained and educated in modern technology. Plus, each is carefully selected for their friendliness and knowledge in their trade, ensuring your home receives the best service available. This combination provides you with an experience that’s unmatched and an electrical panel solution that you won’t find anywhere else

Electrical panels are something that the average homeowner doesn’t think about all that often, and that means most people aren’t aware of the fact that they may need to have theirs replaced. Panels have very few moving parts, and yet they are integral to your home’s functionality and safety in so many ways. This is why we encourage every homeowner to keep an eye out for signs that it’s time to replace your panel and have the service completed as soon as possible.

Your panel is more than 30 years old. If you still have your original electrical panel and your home is more than three decades old, or if an inspection of your panel reveals its manufacture date is more than 30 years ago, then you should consider replacing it soon to keep your electrical system safe and functional.

You need at least one panel repair per year. Are circuit breakers constantly giving out? Are you frequently calling an electrician to come out and investigate yet another electrical issue? The problem may very well be with your panel itself. Replacing it may be the answer to all of the problems.

DO YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR CIRCUIT BREAKER BOX?

Here are some things to be aware of so you can make an educated decision.   If you think that you do need to overhaul your electrical system there are a few main components that need attention.  The first thing to consider is upgrade your panel to bring more power from the utility company into your home.   From there one could also identify if it’s needed to replace the existing meter to handle the increase in power supply.  Once inside your home the circuit breaker box and circuit breakers also need to be upgraded so to ensure current electrical code is met and there are not obsolete, damage or worn components.  While the electrician is overlooking your system it is important for them to also do a look-over of your wiring and it’s capacity to handle an increase in power to your home.

The next step is to add any additional circuits needed to distribute adequate power to your rooms, outlets and appliances. While tackling this it is wise to address replacing old and worn out receptacles and updating your switches to the modern decora style.  These decora style switches and plate covers are available in many colors and styles to match the decor of your home.

Do you have enough circuits available?

Your electrical panel is the hub that powers all your plugs, lights and appliances in your home. The panel will determine how much power can be distributed to power your electrical needs. The quantity and size of the circuit breakers in your main breaker box will tell you whether or not you can do this with ease or if you are putting too much load on your system.

SIGNS YOU SHOULD REPLACE YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL

An electrical service panel is where the main power line from the national grid enters your home and is distributed throughout your electrical system to the lights, plugs, and appliances. The electrical panel contains circuit breakers whose role is to disconnect circuits in the event of power surges to keep the excess electricity from burning your gadgets and appliances.

So if you have an old, faulty, or malfunctioning service panel, that does not fulfil its functions properly, you are at risk of burning electronics in your home, suffering a blackout, electrocution, or even electrical fires.

Circuit Breakers That Keep Tripping

When the service panel starts to wear down, it becomes increasingly susceptible to power surges. As a result, you may experience regular episodes of disconnected circuits. Another reason why the circuit breakers may be tripping is because your home’s electrical needs extend beyond the current capacity of the panel.

The Breakers Don’t Reset

Ideally, resetting a circuit breaker that has tripped should solve the problem. But if the breaker doesn’t reset long enough to resume your activities, or if resetting it fails to restore power to the application, then you could be dealing with a faulty electrical panel. You should have it inspected as soon as possible by a professional residential electrician and proper remedial action taken before the problem escalates

Signs Of Electrical Fires In The Panel

All things wear down, including the wires inside your electrical panel. These exposed wires quickly burn out, so you won’t notice unless you are around the panel. However, the signs should be evident, including a distinct odour coming from the panel, and some charring or burn marks around the circuit breakers. If you notice these signs of small electrical fires in the service panel, you may be in need of emergency electrical service.

When Do You Need an Electrical Panel Upgrade?

Most homeowners are pretty familiar with their breaker panels or fuse boxes. In the event of a power problem in one area of the house, this is the first place to check. However, How do you know when your panel needs to be upgraded?

How can you know what size panel you need, how many breakers should be inside and how many circuits your home demands to function properly? If you have performed a renovation lately, or have been having problems with your electrical system, it may be time for an upgrade.

Most houses are built to handle the amount of electricity that is required at the time that the home is built. As your house ages, so does your breaker panel.

electrical needs have grown greatly over the past 50 years, meaning that there are many houses that can no longer safely handle the amount of electricity that is used on a daily basis. Instead of addressing this issue properly, by having an electrical panel upgrade, many homeowners choose to deal with constantly flipped breakers and other issues.

Sometimes this could be dangerous. You may need a breaker panel in the cases below:

· Your breakers trip often.

· You have renovated your house or adding additional rooms.

· You have installed tank-less water heaters or central heat and air.

· You have bought new kitchen appliances.

· You are utilizing 240V tools in your garage.

· You still have a fuse-box, or other outdated electrical panel.

Electrical Panel Upgrades

Your electrical panel is one of the most important pieces of equipment that helps keep your Sagamore Hills home powered up all year long. However, like all good things in life, they can’t last forever. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your electrical panel, you’ve come to the right place. Stack Heating, Cooling & Electric provides electrical panel upgrades all

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Outdated Electrical Panel

You might have noticed a few indicators that your electrical panel is getting a bit older.

You’re planning on upgrading your home appliances. Ready for that new dishwasher? Well, a new home appliance means your home will be using a new amount of energy. New appliances usually mean that your electrical panel needs some attention, too.

You’ve been using a lot of power strips. Feeling like your home just doesn’t have enough outlets? Your electrical panel is probably working pretty hard to accommodate all of the extra need for power, so it might be a good idea to upgrade.

You’ve noticed your electrical panel is smelly. This is the most common sign. If your electrical panel smells like it’s burning, that probably means that you have a disconnected wire or a bad circuit breaker. This is an immediate need for an electrical panel upgrade, as this could result in a dangerous electrical fire!

bookmark_borderAluminum Roof Repair

Roofing Sales Pitch Tips That Work

Want to close more sales? Of course, you do! But you can’t do that if you’re dogged by poor pitching techniques. Reboot your presentation with these effective roofing sales pitch tips to help boost your close ratio

Sell value.

As they say: Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Sure, the homeowner needs a new roof (or gutters or siding), but what he or she really wants is a roofing contractor who will provide quality product and workmanship while protecting the property.

Listen to the homeowner

This is one of the single most important roofing sales pitch strategies. Careful, active listening will clue you into opportunities to educate the prospect and start building a trusting relationship. For instance, when a prospect expresses concern about a shady roofer who messed up a neighbor’s home, use it as an opening to explain what to look for in a professional roofing contractor—then you can differentiate yourself by outlining how your company fits that professional mold.

Be prepared to talk financing.

Roofing replacement price tags can knock a roof-sized hole in a homeowner’s budget! Alleviate sticker shock (and sharpen your roofing sales presentation) by offering several payment options—even better if you can offer your own financing. Not only does financing make it easier for prospects to say YES, it also helps your roofing business maintain a professional, trustworthy image.

Always take pictures during an inspection.

As you inspect the roof and attic, snap pics of any existing damage and potential future trouble spots. Use the photos during your pitch to guide the homeowner into the repair or replacement decision that’s right for them

Roof Repair vs Roof Replacement

Your roof is one of those things you forget it exists until it starts causing you problems. It’s like your house’s walls. You never give it much thought until it becomes a problem and is impossible to ignore any longer.  The same goes for your roof.

As with any complex system, your roof needs regular maintenance in order to keep functioning for the duration of its lifetime. As it were, waiting until your roof is practically falling apart can cause a host of unnecessary problems, which —in turn— will cost you more time and money in the long-run.

Damaged Shingles

One of the glaring signs that it’s about time for some much-needed repairs is damaged shingles.

Clogged Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is a critical step in ensuring your roof system is functioning correctly.  A clogged gutter can cause water to back up into the fascia and eave of the roof line.  This can cause substantial damage to the soffit and even to interior walls

Roof Leaks

Once the roof begins to leak you’re definitely in need of professional assistance.  There are numerous signs of roof leaks, the most common of which are stains on the ceiling, matted insulation in the attic, and stained roof sheathing.  If you see any of these signs, call us immediately for a free inspection.

How To Make Your Roof Last For Decades

The knowledge that you get to come home to a roof over your head is one of the most rewarding parts of being a homeowner. The knowledge that you’ll eventually have to replace that roof, however, is often one of the most daunting.

Getting a roof to last is easy. All it takes is proper care. By following the right maintenance routine, anyone can keep a roof in great shape. Even if your unsure when it comes to roof care, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it

We’ve compiled a guide that will help you get your roof in to great shape. Read the post below and work the tips into your home care routine. With just a little extra effort you can make sure that your roof will last for many years to come.

Keep An Active Maintenance Routine

Like any sizable investment, the best way to keep your roof in tip-top shape is by developing an active maintenance routine – and actually following it. While, home maintenance may be the last thing you want to think about on a lazy Saturday, a little TLC will go a long way towards making your roof last for the long haul.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to happen every day. Roof care should take place at least twice a year. Make an effort to take a look at your roof once at the beginning of fall and again at the beginning of spring. Think of it this way: the main goal of roof maintenance is to prevent damage by ensuring that moisture can easily travel away from the roof. By doing work in the fall and spring, you’ll know that your roof is prepared for winter storms and heavy summer rains.

Things Your Flat Roof Repair Company Looks For When Finding the Best Roofing Solution

It’s important to keep your business with a roof over its head. Especially in the winter months, a leaking roof can spell disaster for any business. Incoming water can damage office equipment such as computers, as well as lead to rot in the walls. If left alone, a leaking roof can even end up causing structural problems for your building as water gets into the foundation.

In order to prevent the many problems a leaking roof can cause; you should rely on a flat roof repair company to keep your roof in good condition. With regular inspections from a professional flat roof repair company, your business should have no issues keeping your roof where it belong

What steps can you take when you notice a leak? We don’t recommend trying to fix a leak yourself. Flat roof repair is a difficult and technical business that requires experienced professionals to get right. If you spot a leak, you should call your flat roof repair company to come and take stock of your situation. Here are a few things a roof repair company will be on the lookout for.

What Are Your Materials?

Different roofs are made out of different materials. Each roofing material has its own pros and cons, and some are much more difficult to fix than others. When your flat roof repair company inspects your roof, they will be able to determine what the best solution is for you.

Depending on your roofing material, it may be easier or more difficult to fix the roof. If you have an asphalt flat roof, the best way to plug a leak is a patch of roofing felt. On the other hand, for a fiberglass or concrete roof, most leaks come from cracks, so a simple sealant will usually solve the problem

Picking a roofing contractor can be a stressful ordeal.

You might be dealing with a leaking or damaged roof, and then on top of that, you have to sort through all of the available roofing contractors in your area to find one who will get the job done right while still being affordable. Understandably, you might not be sure about what makes a roofing contractor good or reliable, especially if you’re a new homeowner or have never needed one before.

ARE YOU A LICENSED ROOFING CONTRACTOR?

Most states require roofing contractors to be licensed in that state in order to work; but codes and requirements will differ between states, which means it will help you to understand the code requirements for your area. This way you know you’re working with a roofer who will comply with your state’s codes. Knowing whether they are licensed, and whether that license is up to date, will give you legal recourse in the event that something goes wrong with the work, too

DO YOU HAVE WORKMAN’S COMP INSURANCE?

Although it’s now required by law that roofing companies offer workman’s compensation insurance to their employees, regardless of their number, it’s wise to ask anyhow. Some contractors might choose to do without and take their chances, but if the injury happens on your property, there’s a risk that you could be held liable for the medical expenses—which no homeowner wants. Protect yourself by making sure that the roofing specialist you’re hiring offers workman’s compensation insurance.

DO YOU CARRY GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?

Workman’s compensation insurance covers the roofing employees while they’re on your property, but you still have to worry about damage to your actual property as a result of work. Ask to see an insurance certificate to verify that the roofer has general liability insurance, so that in the event your roof, house, or property is damaged, you won’t be responsible for covering the damage that someone else caused.

DO YOU USE ROOFING SUBCONTRACTORS?

Some contractors will hire subcontractors to handle roofing work. Ask if they use subcontractors and then get verification that they have workman’s compensation and general liability insurance. You may also want to pick up lien waivers as these documents can protect you in the event that the contractor doesn’t pay the subcontractors.

bookmark_borderStarting Your Own Post Construction Cleaning

The Best Way To Clean Up Post-Construction Dust

If there’s anything that can take away from the joy of a newly renovated bathroom, it’s the dust that lingers after. No matter how well your contractor seals off the construction area from the rest of your apartment, dust always seem to find its way through and settle on everything. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to clean everything up and finally enjoy your new space.

It’s not just unsightly to leave the dust lying around. Left unattended, it can end up in your air ducts. So, it’s important that you clean up the dust up as soon as possible.

Start at the Top

With that in mind, the first step you should take is to vacuum up as much of the dust as possible. Vacuuming it will remove most of the dust, particularly the loose material that’s more likely to shift around if you tried to sweep it up. Don’t vacuum in random directions. Instead, start from the ceiling and work down towards the floor, moving in long sideways movements as you go. Take care of the ledges at the top of window and door frames at the same time. Light fixtures and ceiling fan blades could also use a bit of vacuuming while, closer to the ground, lamp shades and electronics should be similarly taken care of.

Once this part of the process has been completed, you’re in a good position to start cleaning with soap and warm water over the same spaces. Damp towels will allow you to clean up the remaining dust without merely spreading it around. Any section you’ve vacuumed over will need to be cleaned in this manner, too. That goes for the air vents as well. Don’t be afraid to remove the vent covers and get right in there.

Careful with the Floors

Cleaning the floors will depend more on the type of floor surface. A carpeted floor will typically trap much more dust in it and can be handled with a vacuum, plus a dust brush extension. If you like, you can even use a steam cleaner to more vigorously clean up the ingrained dust. An added bonus that comes with steam cleaning is that less dust will be kicked up into the air.

If you’re cleaning a hard-surfaced floor, vacuuming or sweeping is a necessary first step. Don’t go straight to cleaning up the dust with a damp mop. You risk scratching the surface with the fine grains of dust you’re moving around. A treated dust mop is another option you can use to safely remove the fine particles. Along the baseboards, used dryer sheets are very effective at getting into the nooks and crannies, gathering up dust.

Once the floor dust is gathered up as well as possible, a damp – not wet – mop can be applied to the floor, using a cleaner appropriate to the surface material.

Don’t Forget The Ducts

After all these parts of your home are cleaned up, the next thing you’ll want to do is vacuum inside your air vents and check your air filters. After all the construction and cleanup, there’s a good chance they’ll need to be swapped out.

With all these tasks out of the way, you’ll now be able to enjoy your new bathroom with the comfort that comes with knowing all remnants of the construction process have been cleaned away.

POST CONSTRUCTION – THE CLEAN UP

Post Construction CleaningWhether you are building a new home, commercial building or industrial park, it will need a full cleaning before it can be used on a regular basis. This means cleaning the entire facility from top to bottom, dust, residue and windows are only a small part of the entire cleaning process.

This is a cleaning that requires professional care. Common house cleaning, floors and carpets and the like are not at the same level as post construction cleanup. Extra care is necessary beyond what most people would consider clean because of the nature of the debris.

Some think post construction cleaning professionals are not necessary, and they can do the work themselves without worry. This is not the case. This is a cleaning that can take several days of full time work, time that many do not have because of their own jobs. This is our full time job at Imperial One Cleaning. So while you are working, we are taking care of the cleaning work.

There is often dust and debris left behind that can be hazardous to a family or employees. Correct cleaning standards and techniques are necessary and often mean special clothing, all of which a professional cleaning company will own and know how to use.

Post construction cleaning often means working for long times in awkward positions. Paint, for example, can land in any number of spots. Paint landing behind a toilet needs to be cleaned up and reaching the spot can be very difficult if not uncomfortable. Paint spills on the floors, carpet and such also needs cleaning – all with special equipment and chemicals. Imperial One Cleaning can do it all.

Outside needs cleaning as well since home sites are notorious for nails, left over wood, siding, bricks and more are left behind. More often than not, the waste materials are scattered across the site and will have to be collected. Most professional cleaning services bring in large trailers to haul volumes of trash to recycling centers or appropriate trash locations.

Three good ways for cleaning concrete dust

You can find quite a few tips for concrete dust removal on various forums that you might want to try.

1. Tea towel

When the cement dust is still quite fresh you can try cleaning the concrete dust with a tea towel. Rub the surface of the tiles quite hard with a dry tea towel. This may remove the cement dust, but it is rather hard work and also takes quite a long time.

2. Scrapers

You can also try scraping tools. You must be very careful not to damage the tiles if you choose this method of concrete dust removal.

3. Vinegar mixture

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water (50/50). This acidic mixture works well for cleaning concrete dust. This mixture can damage your tiles, so we recommend that you test it on a surplus tile first. Also be cautious with acids on marble and other calciferous natural stone. Consult an expert for advice if necessary.

What Steps You Should Take Before Sucking Up Drywall Dust

Be sure to switch off your central heat and air circulation. Doing so will cut down on the dust being collected in your home.

If at all possible, position a powerful fan near your windows within the area you are busy working on. Ensure the fan blows excess dust out of the room. Most of the dust will be sent outside.

Take out as much furniture as you can, especially ones that are upholstered. The last thing you want is having to suck up drywall dust from your upholstery. If there is no other way, then cover your couches or other furniture with painter’s plastic and secure the end with bungee cords or strong tape.

Be proactive by cleaning drywall dust during your remodeling project daily. Do not wait around until all the sanding work is done. You may view it as a big waste of time. But, if you leave the dust to settle, then it will be so much harder to get rid off.

Before you start cleaning, be vigilant, and put on a dust mask. The last thing you need is to deal with a runny nose or red eyes. Another issue is facing damaged lungs. Instead, do the right thing and play it safe.

Restore Fresh Indoor Air after a Home Renovation

Check out the following tips to maintain good-quality air inside your home during and after renovation:

1. Observe worksite containment at all times.

Renovating a house can be an exciting time for any homeowner. But it can also be a stressful one. During the entire process, contractors could be coming in and out of your house, bringing in a huge amount of dust and other pollutants.

A great way to lessen the amount of indoor air pollution during home renovation is to contain the worksite. This can be done simply by installing plastic barriers. You can find some in a local home depot. You can also use a tarp but a clear plastic with zipper is a more convenient use.

2. Use air purifiers and scrubbers.

You might consider renting a commercial-grade air scrubber during the renovation. This might be an additional cost but is definitely worth the price. Air scrubbers can effectively get rid of dust and other pollutants in the air, keeping your home interiors smelling clean and fresh.

This tool is specifically designed to draw in construction dust. Place one air scrubber inside the worksite and another outside and leave them turned on the whole time until the renovation is complete. You may need to change the filters from time to time to unclog dust and other particles. You should also run air purifiers in your bedroom and other areas where no renovation work is being done. Dust can easily travel to different places so it is a smart idea to purify air throughout your home.

3. Clean daily.

It may feel like an added task but cleaning your house every day during the entire renovation project is necessary to maintain quality air. You will require some high-level disinfection especially if you and your whole family (kids and pets included) are staying in the house while it’s being renovated. You can use disinfecting wipes for kitchen surfaces and items like forks and knives. Sweep the floor and vacuum carpets. Don’t forget to change or clean the filter of your vacuum after each use.

Contractors recommend using HEPA vacuum filters which exhaust much less dust back into the air. Cover air vents and clean your HVAC air filters regularly as well. You may need in-depth duct cleaning service especially after the renovation has been completed to ensure that your HVAC system is clean and remains functional.

4. Ventilate your home.

You want to ensure proper ventilation around your home during and after the renovation, especially when applying paints or finishes, installing floors or carpets, or doing any other tasks that eliminate toxic fume or gas. After the renovation work is done, open doors and windows to allow fresh air in and polluted air out of your house.

5. Employ proper storage and disposal of VOC-containing products.

If you have remaining paints and other construction products that contain chemicals, make sure to store them properly in sealed containers. If you don’t think you will need them soon enough, consider selling or giving them away.

bookmark_borderGetting Your Transmission Repair In An Efficient And Safe Condition

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DIAGNOSE A TRANSMISSION PROBLEM?

Therefore, you want to check your transmission for problems, but are on a tight schedule. Do not worry; it happens to the best of us.  The truth is that the transmission is a very complicated machine, and prone to wear and tear if not properly maintained, and so there is a real possibility that there may be something wrong.  To better schedule your time, here are a few tips about the length of time it may take for a car transmission repair specialist, or you yourself, may take to diagnose your transmission.

Most Shops Will Ask for about a Day

There is a lot that happens in a car repair shop every day, what with dozens of clients and the individual maintenance and repairs that occur. When you bring in your car for repairs, you may be put into a queue as part of a first come, first serve system. Even though the diagnosis itself usually only takes one to two hours, the shop will tell you to leave it with them for anywhere from a half day to a full twenty four hours, so that they can finish the work scheduled before your car.  Despite the wait, and the service charge they will place on the diagnosis, a mechanic shop will give you a precise and accurate diagnosis of the transmission, and possibly other parts in the engine, as well as a quote on how much repairs will cost you. However, if you do not have the time to spare, and want to save your money, you can attempt to diagnose the transmission yourself, though this may not be as accurate.

Checking the Fluid Levels

Since a transmission is a bunch of gears all whirring at extremely high speeds, it can become a mess in a hurry if it is not well lubricated. A transmission uses a special kind of lubricating fluid, called (believe it or not) transmission fluid. While oil keeps the rest of the engine running well, this fluid is designed specifically for the pressure exerted by the transmission. Good, fresh fluid is usually a bright red color, unless you have an undyed fluid that will turn darker and browner as it ages and becomes subjected to the heat and wear of an engine. The darker in color it is, the older it is, and the less effective it will be for lubricating the transmission. The engine will have a dipstick similar to that of the oil, with which you can look at the fluid levels and color.  If any of this fluid has been leaking, then you can know trouble is imminent.

Listening to the Sounds Your Car Makes

Another indicator of transmission problems is the sounds it makes. As you drive, you can listen to the sound of the engine as you shift gears.  If you hear grinding, whining, or clunking as you change from one gear to the next, or if there is a significant delay, then you will want to take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.

7 SYMPTOMS OF TRANSMISSION TROUBLE

These 7 symptoms are classics of transmission problems:

Whining and Clunking

This may see fairly obvious, but those are often the symptoms we ignore the most. When your car starts making noises it shouldn’t be making, it’s time to get it checked out. You’ll probably hear a humming or buzzing coming from your transmission. When this happens, don’t wait to bring it in. Fix it as soon as possible before any further damage occurs.

Lack of Response

Your transmission was designed so that you can switch gears instantaneously. So when there is a delayed response and it doesn’t immediately do what you want it to, you guessed it. It’s time for a check up.

Burning Smell

The smell of something burning is never a good sign when it’s coming from your car. The cause could be any number of things, but it’s most commonly the overheating of the transmission fluid.Don’t panic when this happens, just get it checked out as soon as possible.

Leaking Fluid

Fluid where it shouldn’t be is one of the easiest symptoms to spot. The best way to find where the leak is coming from is to lay down a few pieces of cardboard when the car is parked. Then slide out the pieces to to see just where your car is leaking. Be sure to share this information with the mechanic or service professional when you take it in to be resolved.

Grinding Gears

This symptom manifests itself differently for manual and automatic transmissions. For manual transmissions, when you change gears and you hear or feel a sense of grinding; it may mean that you have just worn out the clutch and you need to replace it. But it can also mean that one of the transmission’s synchronizers is worn out and damaged. For automatic transmissions, a rough shift rather than an unnoticeable one could be caused by a few things. Take it into a professional to diagnose.

Noisy in Neutral

A bumping sound doesn’t necessarily evoke signs of caution or trouble, unless it happens when your car is in neutral. Don’t worry though; this problem can sometimes be easily fixed by replacing the transmission fluid. If however, you continue to hear noises coming from your transmission while it’s in neutral, take it in to see what’s up.

Dashboard Lights

“SERVICE ENGINE SOON.” Aren’t those the last words you want to see when you get into your car? This sign on your dashboard could mean all sorts of things and should definitely not be ignored. There are sensors placed throughout your car’s engine that can pick up the slightest of problems. Don’t procrastinate when you see this, get your car inspected as soon as you can.

Transmission Repair

There are times where it’s not worth saving your transmission. If you have an old car model, the cost of transmission repair can be astronomical seeing that parts or older vehicle are harder to come by. In addition, the technology is mostly outdated and even when fixed, the transmission system likely won’t be anywhere as good as what we have today. In these cases, owners usually just buy a new car instead of enduring the cost of a transmission repair.

Avoid transmission system issues

If you want to prolong the life of your car, you need to take good care of its transmission. You can ignore other parts of your vehicle and it still would function. Ignore the condition of your transmission and your car condition goes to the dumpster. The best thing you can do is to do regular maintenance. If you do your own car maintenance, make sure that you check the condition of your transmission once in a while. Read the manual that came with your car to see the recommendation. Follow these recommendations closely and you will have a hassle-free time.

Why is it important to have your transmission inspected or repaired?

Having your transmission inspected as soon as an issue is detected is not only vital for the safety of you and your family, as well as other motorists – but may also save you money in the long run, by preventing further damage to the sensitive internal components of the transmission. These can be expensive to repair, and may require a complete overhaul if the issue is not diagnosed early.

Cost to repair a transmission fluid leak

One of the most common maintenance issues is low fluid level caused by a transmission leak. Because transmissions are sealed, a leak indicates a problem. Common causes of leaks include a breach in the pan gasket, an axle seal leak and fluid seepage. Transmission fluid is typically bright red, dark red or brown as it ages. If you notice fluid under your car, you should have the transmission checked by a mechanic. The cost to repair a leak is typically between $150 and $200, depending on the car’s make and model

bookmark_borderHow Is Tap Water Testing For Contamination

Tips for testing with customers without making a fool of yourself

Once in a while, a QA manager comes up with the grand plan of testing with customers before a go-live event. The benefits seem obvious: the QA tester gains exposure to an actual customer and their specific application user workflows. The customer benefits by imparting their knowledge on how the application works in their setting with a member of the development staff. The problem is that the majority of testers don’t receive training before being sent out to the customer.

For example, customer service or sales personnel receive at least basic training on how to approach customers, what to say, what not to say, and basic business principles for interacting with customers directly as company representatives. However, QAs typically don’t receive this information.

Now, one would assume that most experienced testers have enough professional knowledge and skills to manage on their own. But think about that for a moment more, and consider some of the QA testers you know or have worked with. There are likely several examples of well-meaning, highly intelligent people with little to no personal interaction skills. Is it really wise to send unprepared personnel to a customer site without spending time reviewing etiquette and expectations?

The answer is no, and it really isn’t respectful to the employee or the customer, but it happens all the time. In order to receive the benefits of this practice, employees need to be prepared with at least the basics of how to gain information without offending or otherwise unintentionally causing harm to a business relationship with a customer. QA testers should equip themselves by thinking through possible situations and keeping the following tips in mind to make the experience worthwhile for everyone involved.

Respect is a two-way street

When arriving at the customer’s business, remember that mutual respect is essential. You may not get it, but you need to give it. It’s important to acknowledge that development staff and customers operate with different objectives for the software, whether in workflows or points of view. Discover more about this by observing their actions or reading through their tests. See if you notice a common theme where the application has repeatedly failed for them or they’re working around a configuration setting they don’t realize they can change. Ask direct questions in a professional manner. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish by gaining information about their workflow up front, so participants have a chance to give you the data you’re looking for.

Blue Water Task Force

Why do you want to test the water? What are you concerned about?

It is important to have a clear objective for your water-testing program before you begin. A clear objective or defined purpose will help you design a water testing program to meet your chapter’s unique interests and needs. All the rest of the details can then follow.

Does your chapter suspect a pollution problem at a particular beach? Are there beaches in your area that are not being tested by the authorities? Are there seasonal gaps? Are you looking for a program to activate your membership or to reach out to youth? Perhaps you have a data need for an ongoing campaign.

Who else is testing your beaches?

Before you choose what beaches you want to sample, or if additional testing is even necessary, you should find out who is monitoring water quality in your area and which beaches they are sampling.

Where & when should we sample?

Once you determine who is testing in your area, look for any gaps: either beaches that aren’t being sampled or perhaps months or seasons when no testing is being done at all. You also might want to test the water at the most popular surfing beaches or at beaches where you suspect or know there are sources of pollution nearby.

How much money can my chapter afford to spend on this program?

Testing water costs money. The Blue Water Task Force uses IDEXX Enterolert/Quanti-tray Sealer methodology to measure enterococcus bacteria levels in water samples. This method is an EPA- approved method for sampling recreational waters and is easy for volunteers and students to learn and use competently.  Bacteria results are obtained after a 24 hour sample incubation period, but this method is somewhat expensive.

Lead in Drinking Water

What is lead?

Lead is a toxic metal that is found naturally in the air, soil, and water. It is also used in mining, manufacturing, and burning of fossil fuels. The amount of lead Canadians are exposed to has decreased since the 1970s, mainly due to the removal of lead in gasoline, paint, and solder in food cans

Who is at risk?

Although people of all ages are at risk of lead poisoning, it is most serious for infants, young children and pregnant women. Children absorb lead more easily than adults and are more susceptible to its harmful effects

With exposure to low levels of lead, symptoms are often not obvious, but can still be a danger to your health. Talk to your health care provider if you are worried about lead exposure. A simple blood test can find out your lead levels.

Did you know?

The maximum acceptable concentration for lead in drinking water is 5ug/L (Government of Canada, 2019). If your water supply is higher than 5ug/L and you have kids or are pregnant, you should use a different source, such as bottled water.

Is there lead in my drinking water?

The amount of lead in natural water supplies in Canada is very low. However, lead can enter the water supply from lead pipes, lead-containing brass fittings, or faucets. Homes built before 1975 often have lead pipes and those built until 1990 may have lead containing fittings.

Water Testing

The Medical Health Officer advices that, unless you get your water from a public water system, all water used for human consumption should be treated before use

It is up to individuals obtaining their water directly from wells, creeks, rivers and lakes, to treat their water before being used for drinking, washing dishes, brushing their teeth, etc

Options for treatment range from boiling water, using bottled water to installing in-home water treatment systems.

Water Testing Services Information

The documents below contain information regarding water testing services available to residents of Cattaraugus County and educational information on how to interpret your results

The “CCHD Certified Water Testing Services Price Sheet” contains a list of all potable water testing services available through the Cattaraugus County Health Department Laboratory.

The “Coliform Bacteria Brochure” contains information regarding bacteriological testing (the standard test for potability).  This brochure aims to help interpret the results of your water sample.

The “Nitrates in Drinking Water” download contains information regarding common sources of nitrates in drinking water and way to reduce their impact on your water supply.

“CCHD Instructions for Disinfection of Private Water Systems” describes how to perform a temporary disinfection of your water system.  The Department recommends that this be performed following repairs to your system, whenever starting up a seasonal water supply, whenever a bacteriological water test indicates contamination, or whenever you suspect that your well might have been contaminated.

bookmark_borderWhat To Look For During Your Home Inspection

What You Should Expect from a Home Inspection

If you’re buying a new home, then sooner or later you’ll need to have a home inspection done. While not usually required, obtaining a home inspection is common practice in real estate and is almost entirely done for the benefit of the purchaser, even if they’re paying for it out of their own pocket.

A home inspector is a qualified person who will take a detailed look at your home and alert you to any safety hazards, hidden damage, and the expected life span of various mechanical appliances throughout the home. A house inspection may give you some negotiating power to reduce the price or request repairs of any identified issues before continuing with the sale.

What to expect during a home inspection

A house inspection is a routine process during which a home inspector takes a look at the house. Once you are under contract on a home, you’re ready to hire a home inspector. Based on what the home inspector finds, you can decide to back out of the contract without a penalty, or you can proceed with negotiations.

Meeting your home inspector at the property.

It’s always a good idea to meet your home inspector at the subject property. This way you can get to know them and ask them any questions. After the inspection, the home inspector can talk you through any issues that he/she uncovered while going through the house.

Your home inspector should inspect every nook and cranny.

A good home inspector will check out every part of your house. They’ll go in the attic. They’ll go into the basement. They’ll check every door and window, and even the roof. The home inspector will also run your water to check for potential plumbing issues. A home inspection will typically last two to three hours or more — depending on the size of the home.

Choosing The Best Home Inspector Near You

Does the home inspector have proper insurance?

Choosing one that is insured should be at the top of your list of questions. Although some areas do not require inspectors to be insured, it’s in your best interest to work with one that is. Performing a home inspection does carry some level of risk for the inspector and having insurance protects you, the client, should the inspector become injured.

Are they a member of and certified by a professional association?

Being affiliated with an association requires the inspector to follow a strict code of ethics. These associations usually require some course study and passing exams before becoming a member and receiving any certifications.

Does the inspector have a professional website?

While having a good website does not guarantee the inspector is a good one, it does offer potential clients an opportunity to learn some important information about them. Having a website with information about the inspectors license, qualifications, insurance, and what is included in an inspection should be made available. Some inspectors offer additional conveniences like online scheduling, payments, and report access.

Do they have positive online reviews?

Referrals are important when researching home inspectors, but you should also check to see if they have any online reviews. A quick online search should  reveal them if any are available. You can often learn a little about their personality, inspection style, and level of professionalism from them

Find Your Answers to Home Inspection Cost and Home Inspection Service Questions

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.

What does a home inspection include?

The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

Why do I need a home inspection?

Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

What will it cost?

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.

Why can’t I do it myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.

Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Congratulations, your offer was accepted and you’re going to be a homeowner! After you’ve made all your phone calls to share the big news and sipped on a glass or two of celebratory campaign, it’s time to move on to the next step in the home buying process: the home inspection.

Inspections are Optional

To those unfamiliar with real estate, it can seem like inspections are just what’s expected. Watching enough reality TV can give you the impression that everyone completes all of their inspections because they are waiting for a huge problem to arise (right in time for commercial break, of course). In the real world, it’s up to the buyer to decide which inspections they would like completed – if any at all.

Buyers Are Responsible for Inspections

Most first-time homebuyers don’t realize that they are responsible for the inspections. This means that, in order to get to the settlement table, they agree to hire the home inspector, have the inspections completed within a reasonable amount of time, and shoulder the cost.

The Inspector Must Be Certified

A home inspector and a contractor are not the same thing. While a contractor may have know how to fix existing home maintenance problems, home inspectors are specifically trained on how to identify problems, even if they are slight enough to be easily missed by others.

What Do Home Inspections Cover?

As a rule of thumb, think of a home inspection like a well visit to the doctor. Your doctor takes looks at several of your body’s individual components – reflexes, blood pressure, and medical history – to make an overall all determination of your health. Home inspectors work in much the same way.

Things Home Inspectors Secretly Want to Tell You

Choose Home Inspectors Wisely

Don’t rely on real real estate agents to recommend home inspectors, a home improvement coach based. Instead, find a certified, independent inspector.

Make Sure the Inspection is Thorough

It should take home inspectors between two and four hours to check a house. “Any inspection that takes less than that is a warning,”. A small home with no basement might take less time.

Ask the Right Questions

Inspectors can’t tell you not to buy a home—they’re not supposed to give real estate advice. But they should outline major issues such as foundation damage

Prepare Your Space Properly

Sellers: prepare your house for home inspectors the same way you would for a showing. We also suggests taking care of smaller repairs, like loose doorknobs, before the inspector arrives.

Read the Full Report (Not Just the Summary)

Home inspectors use the summary to outline high-priority issues, but your concerns might extend beyond that.

bookmark_borderProfessional Squirrel Removal

SQUIRRELS

WHAT DOES A SQUIRREL LOOK LIKE?

Squirrels are about 17 to 27 inches long with a rodent-like body and large bushy tail. Their color is greyish or reddish brown with a paler belly depending on the species. The most common squirrels in Wisconsin are the fox squirrel, ground squirrel, and American red squirrel.

WHY DO I HAVE SQUIRRELS?

Most often squirrels stay outdoors. If you find them in your home or scratching in your attic or crawl space they are in search of food and warmth and will begin to nest.

ARE SQUIRRELS DANGEROUS?

Squirrels have a very destructive behavior. If they gnaw through insulation, wiring, or structures they can cause a number of problems within your home.  Squirrels can also contaminate food if they come into contact with it

HOW DO I GET RID OF SQUIRRELS?

The best way to get rid of squirrels is to hire a professional. The pest control technician will know the safest way to rid the squirrels and their nests from your home, and prevent more from coming in.

HOW DO I PREVENT SQUIRRELS?

You’ll want to make sure all potential entrances to your home are sealed off. Technicians know common routes squirrels take and can make professional recommendations on home improvements to prevent squirrels.

Your Squirrel Control & Exclusion Partner

Signs that you could have a squirrel problem in your house:

Squirrels are active creatures that are capable of doing severe damage to your home. They are excellent climbers, can chew through all types of materials and can enter through the smallest openings in order to make way into your home.

Due to their harmful activity, squirrels have the ability to do a large amount of damage to your property. They are especially prone to chewing through wood, plastic, sheet metal, insulation and electrical lines.

If you are in need of a squirrel exterminator, we offer a range of residential and commercial services to ensure that your home or your business is pest-free. We are a pest control company that is committed to removing pests and unwanted visitors from your home.

Both red and grey squirrels enjoy getting into things, especially the attic. If you start hearing scraping or rubbing sounds early in the morning, there is a good chance you may have squirrels in your attic. Their gnawing can allow them access inside your home, as they can easily crawl through small openings. Once they have gained access, they will continue to chew on anything in sight. Not only do these squirrels cause damage in your attic, but they can also carry various diseases in their waste.

Flying squirrels are small, agile and love wooded areas. They have the ability to glide through air between trees, and can do this up to 100 feet from a tree to your home.  These animals are nocturnal and travel in groups, so if you hear continuous scrambling noises from above, you most likely have a group of flying squirrels in your attic. This can result in a havoc in your attic space if they go unnoticed.

Problems Winter Squirrels

You’ve probably noticed that we have squirrels. Do we have squirrels. They’re everywhere! Usually, that’s not a problem. In fact, it’s kinda fun seeing them playing in the yard, scrambling up trees or eating an acorn on the railing of the back deck. Wildlife brings life to the nature outside our homes. But, when they start to become a problem, they are a hassle few of us have time to deal with. And winter is a common time for them to become a problem

If They Are Cold, Let Them In… No

On a cold, blustery day, we humans enjoy going into our temperature-controlled homes and being greeted by the warmth. Before we even get to the door, we’re already thinking about it. We might even have in mind exactly how we’ll take advantage of that heat, such as putting our mittened hands on the radiator in the entranceway, hovering over the wood stove in the kitchen, or standing in front of the fireplace in the living room. Squirrels don’t have these ideas on their mind. They don’t know how wonderful and warm it is inside your home, until they happen to go by a current of heat escaping from the roofline of your home. When they do, it is usually more than enough incentive for them to try and chew their way in and take advantage of that heat.

Once squirrels have gotten in, there are many ways they can be a problem all through the winter months. Here are just a few of them:

Squirrels don’t stay in your attic. They go in and out of whatever hole they’ve created and search outside for food. This can increase the damage they did getting into your home and give more opportunity for water to get in. This can lead to fungus, mold, and other water issues within your walls.

Squirrels create nests in attic spaces. The materials they use to create those nests are usually found right inside your home. They rip up insulation, tear drywall, and damage other building materials.

Squirrels may use boxes as a location to nest. The cardboard of a box can be used for nesting material or the boxes themselves can be a nesting location. Either way, squirrels can damage items you have in storage as they make themselves at home. If you have precious keepsakes in your stored boxes, those items could be damaged beyond repair.

Wildlife don’t go outside to use the restroom. When squirrels get into your home, they will do their business everywhere they roam. That can be an issue as their feces and urine can have harmful bacteria and diseases.

Squirrels bring company. While it is certainly bad to have a squirrel in your home, what they bring in with them is even worse. If a squirrel is infested with ticks, fleas, mites, or some other ectoparasite, those parasites could infest your home. The diseases associated with ectoparasites is long and scary. They can spread disease, alpha-gal allergy, spotted fever, tularemia, plague, and more. These can lead to damaged internal organs, human mortality, and lifelong health complications. The risks are dependant on many factors that are too long to cover. Reasonable caution is the best course of action when dealing with wild animals and the parasites they can carry.

Squirrel attacks. This might sound amusing but being attacked by a squirrel is anything but amusing. Outside your home, squirrels are mostly docile creatures that will flee when you get too close. But a trapped or terrified squirrel can become aggressive. A momma squirrel is even more aggressive. It is never a good idea to be in a closed room with a scared squirrel.

What Should I Do?

When squirrels get in, it is best to have them removed by a licensed and experienced wildlife control professional. There are many things that can go wrong. A professional will make sure the proper equipment and methods are used to humanely extract the animal and deal with decontamination issues and secondary pest threats. Most importantly, they’ll help you prevent future infestation.

Tips for Choosing the Right Pest Control Company

Pests are a nuisance. Although they are a common problem in many homes and commercial buildings, they are a serious problem. Not only do pests disrupt your comfort but they can also carry various contagious diseases.

While you may want to get rid of a pest infestation the moment you’ve discovered the problem, it is crucial that you take time to find a reputable pest control company. With so many pest control companies to choose from, how will you find the right one?

Year of experience

Before you hire a pest control company, see that they have been operating the business for at least a few years. Also, check to see that there haven’t been any complaints filed or investigations launched against them.

Membership with professional pest management bodies

In your search for a pest control company, look for one that is a member of professional bodies that monitor industry standards. Companies that are members of such organization will use methods that pose minimal risk to your health and the environment as they operate within strict regulatory guidelines. You can rest assured that such a company will provide safe and effective services.

Licence and certification

Do not hire a pest control company if the company is not certified and licenced. Since such documentation is only valid for a specific period, ensure that the company and its workers have current licences and certification and that they have up-to-date knowledge of regulations, products and techniques. Ensure the company is covered by liability insurance as well

Squirrel Removal

If you’re looking for a squirrel removal company in the area, we’re the ones for you. Whether or not you think the squirrels are a problem, they truly do need to go. They may seem harmless, but if you let the squirrels stay, important parts of your home could be.

What do squirrels do?

We get it, squirrels can look cute. But, there’s a reason that your dog is barking at them! They move really fast, and sure, they’re entertaining to a dog. However, your dog’s job is to protect your home. So, when your dog sees a squirrel, think of them protecting your home. Look, we love dogs. We wish our dogs could be the one thing that gets rid of squirrels. Unfortunately, they aren’t.

You may think that squirrels are annoying, but let’s dig into why they are much more than annoying and bordering on very harmful. First of all, squirrels like to eat. They see your home and garden and think it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet. They’ll start with your plants. You know those gorgeous plants you’ve been tending to? Consider them the filet mignon for squirrels. A squirrel has no issue with eating all of your beautiful plants and flowers in your garden.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. When you have just one squirrel, it’s just a few plants. Still, squirrels like other squirrels. Soon enough, they’ll have babies, and then you have a squirrel hotel happening right in your backyard. Not only will they hit your plants and flowers, but say goodbye to seeds, fruits, vegetables, or anything else you’ve got in your yard.

Squirrel removal from your attic

Once they’ve made their way through your plants, they need to find a place to rest. Say hello to the squirrel nest. Didn’t know squirrels nest? Well, that’s because you probably haven’t seen their nest before. Do you know where their favorite place to nest is? Your attic!