Is Your Tap Water Testing Causing Toxic Water Infirmities

Water Softener Buying Guide

Hard water can cause many problems around your home, from spots on glassware and a film on shower doors to plumbing problems and inefficient operation of water-using appliances. Installing a water softener can help. Learn more about water softeners to get the best one for your home.

Introduction to Hard Water and Water Softeners

A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium ions that make water hard by replacing them with salt/sodium via ion exchange. Look for a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-certified water softener with a system monitor. This will indicate when salt is low and ensure you maintain optimum levels for soft water

What does the grain capacity of a water softener mean?

The rated capacity of a softener is the maximum number of grains of water hardness the unit can remove prior to regeneration.

How is the hardness of water measured?

The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). One grain of hardness is equal to 1/7,000 pound of rock. Your municipal water supply may measure water hardness in milligrams (mg), liters (L) or parts per million (ppm). One gpg is equal to 17.1 mg/L or 17.1 ppm.

How do I determine my water hardness?

You can call your municipality if you use city water, or purchase a water test kit.

How do these numbers impact my water softener purchase?

To determine the appropriate water softener size for your home, multiply the number of people in your home by the gallons of water they use each day (80 gallons per person is the average). Multiply that number by the grains of hardness in your water to figure out how many grains need to be removed each day. Then, shop for a water softener equipped to handle the load. Most four-person households use a 33,000-grain unit.

What is regeneration?

Over time, the resin bed inside the water softener becomes coated with hardness particles. When this happens, the softener goes into its regeneration cycle. During regeneration, the salt in the tank is mixed with incoming water to rid the resin bed of these hardness particles. After regeneration, the unit is ready to provide a steady stream of soft water to your home again.

What type of salt should I use?

A clean pellet or nugget-style salt is recommended. Other types of salt are available for specialized applications.

Does the recharge water from the softener harm my septic system?

No, water softener recharge water won’t affect septic system operation or drain field soil percolation.

How much water does each recharge use?

It uses about as much water as it takes to wash a load of laundry.

How much electricity does a water softener use?

It uses about as much as a digital alarm clock.

 

Copper in drinking water

Copper is a metal that exists in the environment as a mineral in rocks and soil. It is commonly found at low levels in natural water bodies. It is also an essential trace element that is required to maintain good health.

Copper pipes are used extensively in plumbing systems throughout Western and in many countries of the world.  However, where copper pipes corrode they can release copper into your drinking water to a level that can affect its quality and safety. The information contained in this guide will help you identify signs of copper corrosion and provide advice on how to minimise its effect on your health.

How does copper get into drinking water?

Low levels of copper can be found naturally in all water sources. However drinking water that has been left standing in household copper pipes for long periods of time is usually the main cause of higher levels of copper.

What are the potential health effects of copper?

The normal adult requires approximately two to three milligrams of copper per person per day. More than 90% of your dietary need for copper is provided by food. Drinking water usually provides less than 10% of your daily copper intake.

Is drinking water tested for copper?

In Western all mains water supplies are continually monitored by the Department of Health to ensure copper levels do not exceed Drinking Water Guidelines.These guidelines set two levels for copper:

1mg/L for aesthetics to prevent taste and staining problems

2mg/L to prevent any health related problems

 

A Guide to Brewing Water Treatment

Brewing Water Profiles

Water is a deceptively understated and underrated force in the making of any beer. Hugely variable throughout the world, it is abundant with minerals and organic compounds that have the ability to elevate an ordinary recipe to the status of a world classic, or drown it in the shallows of mediocrity. Luckily for brewers, water is also a flexible substance that can be made to order to brew beers of any style — provided it is treated right

 

Soil Quality Test Kit

The Soil Quality Test Kit Guide describes procedures for 12 on-farm tests, an interpretive section for each test, data recording sheets, and a section on how to build your own kit. The NRCS does not build or sell soil quality test kits.

For an abbreviated and economical build-your-own Soil Quality Test Bucket and associated Soil Quality Kit – Guides for Educators, visit Soil Quality for Educators.

Section I contains step-by-step instructions for running each of the tests included in the Soil Quality Test Kit. It is fully illustrated with photos to show the procedures and equipment needed to complete each step. Appendix D includes instructions for building a test kit.

 

FAQs: Water for Pharmaceutical and Analytical Purposes

  1. Why are there no microbial requirements included in the monographs for Purified Water and Water for Injection?

Because of the various uses of these waters, microbial requirements are not included in these monographs since this would unnecessarily burden some users with meaningless and/or inconsequential or inappropriate requirements, e.g. water used for many laboratory analyses. Microbial guidelines are provided under the informational chapter Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes where it states that the user should establish in-house specifications or fitness for use microbial levels above which the water is unsuitable for use.

  1. What is the purpose of microbial Alert and Action Levels for Purified Water and Water for Injection?

Alert and Action Levels are process control terms and should be established at levels indicative of the water system trending outside of its normal microbial control range. These levels should be established at levels no higher than, and preferably lower than, those listed in Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes based on the normal microbial performance trends in your water system. The purpose of Alert and Action Levels is to trigger additional, non-routine, rather than routine microbial control measures. These additional control measures should prevent objectionable levels and types of microorganisms from being present in the water, based on for the water’s use.

  1. For off-line testing of water samples for Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon , how long can I store samples before testing?

USP is silent on a specific answer to this question. It is understood that some manufacturers have their analyses performed by external laboratories – which may take several days or longer. For this reason, there is no time limit.

In general, you can wait as long as you want – at your risk. But it is advised to test as soon as practical for the following reasons; 1) when stored, the water purity only degrades over time. Since Purified Water, Water for Injection or the sterile waters are of such high purity, the passage of time does not do anything except potentially degrade the sample due to environmental, ambient, or container factors; and 2) water is typically not produced in batches, but rather it is usually purified, produced, and consumed continuously. The water may have had direct product impact or contact before any lab analysis is executed. Delays in testing only increase the amount of potential product impact – in the event of a failed test.

  1. For off-line testing of water samples for General Chapters Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon , how should I store the samples?

For lab analyses, samples should be stored in containers that do not adversely impact the test results. This is to prevent false positives and unnecessary investigations. For example, storage of water in a glass container for a few hours is usually good, but storage for a longer time will result in a modest increase in the sample conductivity. This is due to the leaching of sodium silicate from the glass, raising the pH and the water conductivity, and threatening to fail Water Conductivity. In general, clean plastic containers are a better choice for long term storage of samples for Water Conductivity testing. For Total Organic Carbon, there is a similar rationale – many types of non-shedding plastics or glass suffice. In general, storage at ambient or refrigerated temperatures is best for these chemical tests, while refrigerated storage is advised for samples used in microbial testing. Cleanliness of any container is most critical. Due to the very high purity of these waters, fingerprints, soaps, and other residues must be avoided. False positives can result.

  1. Can I do Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon testing on-line?

These two chapters specifically state that these tests can be performed off-line or on-line. There are benefits and challenges for each approach, and they are described in more detail in these chapters and in Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes. In general, on-line testing avoids the risk of contamination of off-line samples by humans, containers, or the environment, and it provides immediate analysis and direct opportunities for real-time control, decision and intervention. For example, you can continuously test and accept the water (for these chemical attributes). Conversely, you can prevent the distribution of the water in the event of a failed test in real time. However, for a facility with multiple types of waters and loops, a centralized lab analysis system may offer a more economical choice. In either case, the water sample must be representative of the water used in production.

Ways To Manage Your Tax Planning

The Need for Tax Planning

What Is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is the practice of using effective strategies to delay or avoid taxes. When you sit down and make a tax plan with your tax planning advisor, you look at ways to defer or avoid taxes by taking advantage of provisions in the tax law that benefit taxpayers. You find ways to accumulate and speed up tax credits and tax deductions. Tax planning means taking advantage of every tax break available to you under the federal tax code.

Tax planning goes hand-in-hand with financial planning, which means making a plan to achieve your short- and long-term financial goals. It is hard to effectively financially plan for your current situation or your future without employing tax planning strategies to meet those goals.

If you enjoy financial success, taxes will be a large expense. Cutting down on those taxes or even eliminating them when possible is an important element of preserving your wealth.

The main purpose of tax planning is to make sure you approach taxes efficiently. Tax planning reduces your tax liability by employing effective strategies that explore ways that not only decrease taxes but secure a more solid future and retirement. It does not matter whether you make $50,000 a year or $500,000 a year. When you take the time to make a tax plan, you will find numerous ways to save money.

 

General areas of tax planning

There are several general areas of tax planning that apply to all sorts of small businesses. These areas include the choice of accounting and inventory-valuation methods, the timing of equipment purchases, the spreading of business income among family members, and the selection of tax-favored benefit plans and investments. There are also some areas of tax planning that are specific to certain business forms—i.e., sole proprietorships, partnerships, C corporations, and S corporations. Some of the general tax planning strategies are described below:

Accounting Methods

Accounting methods refer to the basic rules and guidelines under which businesses keep their financial records and prepare their financial reports. There are two main accounting methods used for record-keeping: the cash basis and the accrual basis. Small business owners must decide which method to use depending on the legal form of the business, its sales volume, whether it extends credit to customers, and the tax requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The choice of accounting method is an issue in tax planning, as it can affect the amount of taxes owed by a small business in a given year.

Accounting records prepared using the cash basis recognize income and expenses according to real-time cash flow. Income is recorded upon receipt of funds, rather than based upon when it is actually earned, and expenses are recorded as they are paid, rather than as they are actually incurred. Under this accounting method, therefore, it is possible to defer taxable income by delaying billing so that payment is not received in the current year. Likewise, it is possible to accelerate expenses by paying them as soon as the bills are received, in advance of the due date. The cash method is simpler than the accrual method, it provides a more accurate picture of cash flow, and income is not subject to taxation until the money is actually received.

In contrast, the accrual basis makes a greater effort to recognize income and expenses in the period to which they apply, regardless of whether or not money has changed hands. Under this system, revenue is recorded when it is earned, rather than when payment is received, and expenses recorded when they are incurred, rather than when payment is made. The main advantage of the accrual method is that it provides a more accurate picture of how a business is performing over the long-term than the cash method. The main disadvantages are that it is more complex than the cash basis, and that income taxes may be owed on revenue before payment is actually received. However, the accrual basis may yield favorable tax results for companies that have few receivables and large current liabilities.

Under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the accrual basis of accounting is required for all businesses that handle inventory, from small retailers to large manufacturers. It is also required for corporations and partnerships that have gross sales over $5 million per year, though there are exceptions for farming businesses and qualified personal service corporations—such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and consultants. Other businesses generally can decide which accounting method to use based on the relative tax savings it provides.

 

Why Should I Tax Plan?

The main reason to tax plan is to ultimately have more money that you can either invest in new projects, save or even spend. Or do all three. The choice is yours.

There are more good reasons for tax planning.

  1. Strategic Tax Planning and Tax Management Can Lower Your Taxes

In the end, tax planning is all about reducing your tax bill. Keep in mind that tax planning:

  • Is especially important if you own a business or if you are self-employed
  • Makes sense if your investments have hefty unrealized losses or gains
  • Is useful when you experience a major event in your life, such as getting married or divorced, having a baby, buying a home or retiring
  • Is helpful if you move to a new job or sustain a significant change in your income, either up or down
  • Can help you save money if you are sending one of your children to college for the first time
  1. Tax Planning Gives You Time to Strategize and Get the Most Out of Your Benefits

Too often, people wait until the very last second to try to use a tax benefit. While this works on occasion, effective tax planning requires that you allow for time to study the situation and make the appropriate decisions. Smart tax planning happens all year long, not on the last day of the year or the day before your taxes are due.

  1. Tax Planning Lets You Take Advantage of Changes the IRS Makes

Tax laws are always a little different every year. Very often, there are only minor changes, but after 2017, tax laws looked significantly different. Tax planning allows you to ready for these changes, whether minor or major, and make decisions about how you wish to deal with them and how they will affect your taxes.

  1. Tax Planning Helps You Avoid Deadline Dread

Regardless of changes the government makes to tax laws, decisions about how you want to deal with these changes and with your taxes every year have a firm deadline of midnight on April 15. Tax planning at the appropriate time means you are well prepared to deal with any contingency and in no danger of suffering deadline dread. A tax planning consultant ensures you are ready.

 

Types of Tax Planning

There are a few different types of tax planning that are useful for individual people, companies and organisations. Some of the tax plans include; short term tax plans, long term tax plans, permissive tax plans and purposive tax plans. The short term planning allows you to reduce taxes at the end of the income year. Long term plans allow you to plan at the end of the beginning or end of the year, permissive tax plans are permissible under different law provisions. The purposive tax plan gives you the chance to make different investments.

How It Works

When you start tax planning, you can find many guides online and you can also speak to financial advisors and solicitors to help get you started and give you all the important information that you will need to know. For example, each person has an inheritance tax allowance up to £325,000 with anything over the threshold being charged at 40%. So, if an estate was valued at £400,000, only £75,000 of that would be taxed. Since the majority of people won’t leave an estate over this amount, most feel they don’t need to know about inheritance tax. However, actively considering it and your future can help you to avoid any nasty surprises later on.

 

What Are Strategic Income Tax Planning Strategies for Individuals?

When you work with a tax or wealth advisor, you can develop strategies to reduce your tax bill, save money and plan for your future. Here are several tax strategies you might want to consider that reflect the importance of taxes for personal finance planning.

  1. Make the Most of Tax-Efficient Accounts

In most cases, this means taking advantage of retirement savings plans. Depending on which type of plan you choose, you can reduce your current tax bill or your future tax bill.

Whether you choose a traditional IRA, 401(k), a Roth IRA, or a Roth 401(k) they are all subject to limits on how much you can contribute. The amount is quite different between all four, and so it is smart to talk to a tax consultant about what might be the best plan for you.

Traditional 401(k)s and IRAs are the best idea when you want to defer taxes until later. Roth 401(k)s and IRAs are the best choices when you want an investment that offers you tax-free potential growth.

  1. Mix And Match Your Accounts

When you split your contributions among various types of accounts, whether they are retirement savings plans or brokerage accounts, you give yourself space to determine what your future taxes will be and how to deal with them. This is only possible if you take the time now to create different accounts that allow you to diversify your taxes.

  1. Reduce Your Taxable Income

Reducing your income does not mean you want to make less money every year. It does mean you take a look at strategies that could decrease your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) by using effective tax strategies. This includes:

Putting contributions into retirement savings plans

Making donations to charity

Using investment losses to reduce your income

  1. Implement Personal Income Tax Planning Strategies for Investors

Everyone wants to invest wisely, of course, but there are specific investments that provide generous tax benefits. For instance, you do not pay federal taxes on municipal bonds, and that is often true of state and local taxes as well. Managers of taxed-manage mutual funds work hard to ensure they are tax efficient. There are many other types of similar investments you can make, so it is important to talk to your tax advisor to understand what the tax benefits may be connected to different kinds of investments.

  1. Connect Your Investments With the Right Type of Account

It does not make much sense to have tax-efficient investments if you are not putting them in the right place. You want to make sure your investments work with accounts that offer the best tax treatment. For instance, if you have investments like taxable bonds or stock funds that generate income, it is smarter to hold them in a tax-deferred account like a traditional IRA. This will give you the greatest potential benefits.

  1. Hold Onto Your Investments to Avoid Higher Capital Gains Taxes

Normally, it does not make sense to keep a stock that you want to sell only because you want to avoid taxes. Sometimes, however, you do want to hold off on selling an investment. For instance, if you sell stocks that you held for less than a year, they will be taxed at your ordinary income rate.

If you wait longer than a year to sell stocks, they are taxed with a long-term capital gains rate. In many cases, a long-term capital gain rate will be significantly less than your regular income tax rate. Before you decide to sell a stock, check with your tax advisor about tax implications.

  1. Employ Your Losses to Offset Your Gains

If you have any investment losses, use them to offset your gains on investments. Tax gain-loss harvesting can minimize your tax liability. If you lose more on your investments than you gain, you can then use those losses to offset as much as $3,000 of earned income in a single year. So if you make $50,000 a year, but you lost $3,000 in investments, your taxable income would only be $47,000. You can also carry additional losses forward.

Give Yourself A Break From Housework With Professional Residential Cleaning Services

The Ultimate Guide to Residential Cleaning Services

When selecting a professional to conduct cleaning services on your residential property, it is important to ensure they hit the minimum health and safety requirements listed below:

IRATA certified for rope access

Advanced Rigging

EWP Licence (elevated work platform)

licence to perform High Risk Work

Working at Heights

White Card

Working with children’s check

Police checked

20 million public liability

Water Fed Pole

Certificate of compliance

 

How to Make an Efficient Weekly House Cleaning Schedule Template & Checklist Chart

A few weeks ago, I had some friends over for lunch. I hadn’t cleaned my house in weeks so before they arrived, I had to go into mad dash cleaning mode. For about three hours my husband and I were running around like chickens with our heads cut off dusting everything in sight. Our friends wouldn’t have judged us on the cleanliness of our home (they may not even have noticed), but you don’t want guests to have to experience – or witness – your messiness.

Why Make a Cleaning Schedule?

No More Frantic Cleaning – Your house will be reasonably clean all the time if you stick to your cleaning schedule.

Share Responsibilities – I usually end up doing all the cleaning in my house simply because I know what has been done and what needs to be done. If there is a posted schedule, people can be assigned tasks or pick up tasks that haven’t been done yet.

Less Stress – When my house isn’t clean, I always feel as though I have something I should be doing, which makes it hard to relax. If I follow a schedule, I can relax once I have done everything on my checklist for the day.

Greater Efficiency – If you don’t have your tasks planned out, time is wasted figuring out what to do. With a schedule, everything is mapped out for you to get started. Not only that, your schedule can be tailored to your family members’ strengths and availability.

Fight Procrastination – I procrastinate cleaning for a variety of reasons, but being organized and having a cleaning schedule is one way for me to stop and overcome procrastination.

Steps to a Cleaning Schedule

  1. Determine the length of your schedule

Before you begin to list out your tasks, you need to determine the length of your schedule. Will it be a weekly, biweekly, or monthly schedule? I suggest making a 4-week schedule because that way you are able to include tasks that you do daily as well as monthly tasks, such as checking your smoke detectors to protect your home in case of a house fire.

  1. List your tasks

Make a list of everything that you can possibly think of that needs cleaning. Use my document as a starting point. Your list will probably vary from mine since we all have different homes and different needs.

  1. Determine frequency of tasks

To determine the frequency that you need to do a certain task, think about what makes sense and what is reasonable for you. If you have a guest room that no one ever uses, perhaps you just need to dust it once a month. If you have 2 dogs that shed a lot, like I do, you probably need to vacuum more than the average household. You may have some tasks that you only need to do once a year or a few times a year. For those tasks, assign them as fall or spring cleaning. Then spend a day in the fall and a day in the spring knocking out these tasks.

  1. Assign specific tasks to specific days

If there is a day of the week that is particularly busy for you, don’t schedule any tasks on that day. And if you want to have a couple days off each week, that is OK (and probably good for your sanity). Do what makes the most sense to you. For example, I go to the grocery store on Tuesdays because that is when their truck comes so I know that everything has been restocked.

  1. Assign people to tasks

Assign tasks to the most qualified person. I cook, and my husband mows the lawn. I don’t think we would want that any other way!

  1. Put it in writing

You can document your schedule however you like. You are welcome to modify my document for your own cleaning schedule. I like using an electronic template so that I can save time by just printing it out, rather than hand writing each month’s schedule.

  1. Stick to it

Easier said than done, right? This is definitely the most difficult step. As a motivator, put a dollar in a jar each day you do not finish your tasks, otherwise known as the “Swear Jar Mentality.” This money can then be used as savings!

How to Use My House Cleaning Schedule Template

Using my document to make your own cleaning schedule is simple. After you download and open the Excel file (click on the download link above), you will notice that there are two tabs. The first tab, “Checklist,” is a matrix of chores and dates. It is a 4-week schedule, and you can enter the date of the first day of your schedule in the yellow cell at the top. Inside the matrix, a slash represents the day the chore is to be done. After you have listed your chores and owner and have made the schedule, print it out. When a task is completed, use an opposing slash to make an X to indicate that it is done.

 

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

What Would I Do?

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners do light cleaning tasks in homes and commercial companies. Those who work in private homes keep these places clean and neat. Additionally, they may polish silver, clean ovens, refrigerators, and sometimes windows. Some also shop for groceries, pick up and drop off dry cleaning, and do other errands.

Some Housekeeping Cleaners work in hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. They clean such areas as patients’ rooms, bathrooms, hallways, and emergency rooms. These Cleaners disinfect and sanitize equipment. They may need to clean blood and other body fluids. Housekeeping Cleaners must also dispose of waste material

Those who work in hotels and other commercial establishments are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the premises. Common duties include changing bed and bath linens, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and cleaning floors. Housekeeping Cleaners in hotels may deliver ironing boards, cribs, and rollaway beds to guests’ rooms. They may also share other duties.

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners typically complete the following activities:

Clean rooms, hallways, and other living or work areas.

Change sheets and towels and make beds.

Wash, fold, and iron clothes.

Empty wastebaskets and take trash to disposal areas.

Replenish supplies, such as soap and toilet paper.

Dust and polish furniture and equipment.

Sweep, wax, or polish floors using brooms, mops, or other floor-cleaning equipment.

Vacuum rugs, carpets, and upholstered furniture.

Clean or polish windows, walls, and woodwork.

Lift and move light- and medium-weight objects and equipment.

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners typically use vacuums, cleaning solvents, carpet cleaning equipment, and floor polishers. They also use cleaning brushes, scrapers, and dusters. They may operate laundry type washing machines, clothes dryers, and clothes ironing equipment. Several may use ladders and wheeled carts. Some run data entry, facilities management, and inventory management software.

 

The coronavirus is giving spring cleaning fresh urgency

Spring cleaning has taken on a new urgency this year. Heeding the Covid-19 prevention guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities, people are intensely washing, dusting, and disinfecting homes and offices, with the knowledge that lives may literally depend on it.

Though the novel coronavirus is known to spread mostly through respiratory droplets (like mucus or saliva) from person to person, there’s evidence that transmission can also happen by touching infected surfaces. These include door knobs, handles, light switches, remote controls, and even iPhone screens. A new study suggests that the virus thrives on plastic or steel surfaces for days. The CDC recommends a two-step preventive measure: “cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection.”

Some are taking extra precautions. Professional cleaning companies are now being deluged with requests for deep cleaning, a process that involves diving into forgotten nooks and crannies to snare dust, dirt and virus-carrying particulate.

Compared to the casual dust-up, a deep clean is an obsessive’s agenda. It means hunting for dust mites behind furniture and cabinets, addressing scum from shower heads and faucets, scrubbing inside ovens, mopping floors under rugs, and sweeping along base boards, ceilings, and window frames. It requires emptying out cupboards to clean the surfaces within.

the pandemic has dramatically impacted their business. More clients are calling for the deep clean service or have increased the regularity of their service. On the other hand, some clients have suspended cleaning schedules for fear of letting anyone in their homes who may have come in contact with someone infected with Covid-19.

 

How to Clean a New Home

Moving into a new home is akin to making a fresh start. Before heavy furniture or other objects are in place and the items of everyday living are unpacked, give your new abode a thorough cleaning.

Here’s how to clean your new house to help you start off with a clean slate:

Be Systematic: The house cleaners use a methodical approach as they clean room by room. Start at the entryway and move around clockwise. Clean left to right and top to bottom, so that dust and other debris that falls to the floor can be swept or vacuumed at the end of the clean-up.

See the Light: Dust or wipe down light fixtures and shades that are not washable. Glass or plastic light globes should be washed in the sink or bathtub using warm water and soap. Clean the tops of ceiling fans using a damp cloth or vacuum attachment.

Wall-to -Wall: If the previous owners haven’t repainted recently and you don’t plan to, clean the painted or paneled walls now. Test a small area to be sure you won’t damage paint or texture on your walls. First remove dust and cobwebs, then use a soft cloth with mild soap and warm water or a water/vinegar mixture to wipe down the walls. Vinegar is an effective, environmentally-safe cleaner that eliminates most molds, germs, and smells. Pay special attention to baseboards and moldings, tops of door frames, light switches, and heating vents.

Kitchen Cleaning: Pull out your appliances and thoroughly clean behind and beneath them. Use hot, soapy water – or a baking soda and water mixture – to clean your stove top. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps remove stains but won’t scratch surfaces. Remove oven racks and clean with soapy water. Turn on the oven’s self-cleaning function. Remove and wash refrigerator shelves and drawers, and clean inside with hot, soapy water (or a water/vinegar mixture). Wipe down cabinets, shelving and counters, but avoid using vinegar on marble. To get rid of sink odors and prevent clogging, pour ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain and follow with one cup of white vinegar.

Bathroom Basics: Clean hard-to-reach places such as under the sink, inside the medicine cabinet and behind the toilet. Clean tiles, tub and sink with a paste made of baking soda and vinegar that also dissolves soap scum. Wipe down glass shower doors with a vinegar/water mixture.

Floor and Carpet Cleaning: Spot-clean carpets or consider hiring a professional steam cleaner to remove pet hair, odors and stains. Sweep floors, cleaning under heating vents. Most surfaces can be washed with a mild soap and water, but make sure to follow manufacturer’s directions for your type of flooring

Standard And Cosmetic Dentist Practices

Finding a New Dentist

When you move into a new home, the first places you probably want to get acquainted with are your kids’ new school, daycare, the family doctor, grocery store, gym, and restaurants. Finding a new dentist might not be very high on your list, but it should be. Finding the right dentist for you and your family when you are new to the area can take some time, but it’s time well spent.  The sooner you start, the better.

What You Should Look for in a New Dentist

It goes without saying that you want your new dentist to be a good dentist. They should make you feel comfortable every step of the way, from scheduling an appointment to the appointment itself, be it a check-up or a more involved dental procedure. They should consider not only your dental health but also your overall health. And they should have hours, a location, and prices that work for you.

These are some other considerations:

  • Is the dentist accepting new patients?
  • How long has the dentist been in practice?
  • What is the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
  • Do they provide the services you need? (Family dentistry, orthodontics, etc.)
  • Does the dental practice have a payment plan?
  • What is their policy on missed appointments?
  • Does the dentist participate in your dental health plan?

How to Find a Dentist

  • Contact your insurance company to get a list of dentists that participate in your dental plan.
  • Contact your local or state dental society.
  • Ask for referrals from your former dentist, your new doctor, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
  • Research online and look for dentist reviews from people who have had good experiences.

 

Moving Tips: How To Find A New Dentist

Whether it’s across town or cross-country, moving means staying on top of big and little tasks. In the flurry of packing, renting moving trucks, changing addresses and all of the other checklist items that come with moving, don’t forget that one of the most important moving tips isn’t how you pack your china, but when and how you choose a new dentist. Switching health care professionals should never be done lightly or without the proper research, so if your move requires a new dentist too, make sure you take the time to choose one you’ll love. Try these tips for a perfect fit post-move.

  1. Look for ADA-Certified

The American Dental Association requires its certified dentists to abide by certain codes of both ethics and professional conduct when dealing with patients. As such, its database is a great place to start when searching for a trustworthy, skilled dentist in your new area. You can find ADA-certified dentists across the country by using the ADA Find a Dentist tool.

  1. Ask for Recommendations

One of the most reliable ways to find out more about dentists in your new area, is to ask around. If you already know some people in your new neighborhood – coworkers or community acquaintances, for example – ask which dentist they visit. If you don’t know anyone in your new location, go online and reach out to others on social media. A city social media group or parenting group can be a wealth of knowledge for someone who’s new in town, and you can rest assured you’re choosing a dentist with a proven track record.

  1. Schedule a Consultation

Before you commit to becoming a new patient, schedule a consultation. During a consultation, a dentist and his or her staff will show you around the office, explain common procedures, talk to you about dental insurance, and answer any questions you might have about policies and protocols. This initial consult goes a long way in quelling any concerns you might have about switching dentists, as well as giving you a feel for whether or not a particular dentist is the right fit for you and your family. Schedule consults with two or three dentists and you can choose the one who you feel is best.

  1. Consider Your Family Members

Consider your family members, like their ages and special needs, to narrow your search. If you have little ones, think about finding a family practice that can handle pediatric dentistry. If your teen (or you!) may need braces soon, check out an office that specializes in orthodontics as well.

  1. Transfer Your Records

Call your old dentist and make sure that your dental records from that office are transferred to your new dentist. Your new dentist will need to know about your past dental health, including checkup records, surgeries and any medications you may be taking. Transferring your records can help make the switch to a new office seamless.

 

Dental Clinic Near Me: Arranging a “Meet & Greet”

Once you have narrowed your search to 2-3 candidate offices, reach out to see if they will provide a complimentary “Meet & Greet” appointment. A lot of offices do this now and it’s a great opportunity for you to meet staff and Dentist. It’s also a great way to get a “feel” for the facility.

I find that patients get the most out of these meetings when they bring a few questions. They may also have a dental problem or concern and will use the appointment to get a second opinion. When you bring a question or concern to the candidate Dentist, you get to see how they think. Also, you will be able to see if their priorities and ways of thinking are similar to yours. And, furthermore, you’ll get a feel for their style. Do they like to listen a lot? Do they ask you lots of questions while giving you the opportunity to speak and share ideas? You’ll find this out easily if you plan ahead and bring questions with you.

 

Figure out Your “Must-Haves”

Remember: it’s not “just the dentist.” Before you start searching, think about the criteria that matter most to you. How important is the location? Many people prefer their dentist to be close to home, work or their child’s school. Having a dentist close by makes it easier to stop by for an appointment if there’s been a cancellation or if you have an emergency.

What kind of dentist do you want? If you have children, you might want a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating kids. If you use a wheelchair or have difficulty climbing stairs, you might want to visit an office that is handicap accessible. Maybe you want a dentist who speaks another language.

 

Questions to Ask When You’re Looking for a New Dentist

Before you make an appointment, do a little research. You might find out it’s not worth scheduling an appointment in the first place. Make a list of questions to ask the dentist. It might seem like an unnecessary step, but not all dental offices are created equal and you probably don’t want to waste your time. Some things to ask a new dentist include:

  • Are they accepting new patients?
  • What kind of insurance do they accept?
  • Where is the office located?
  • What are the office hours?
  • What is appointment availability like?
  • Do they offer after-hours, emergency care services?
  • How long has the dentist been practicing?
  • Is the dentist a member of a state or national dental society?

Of course, this is just a sampling of things to consider. Take your time and write down what is really important to you. Keep in mind you might have to visit several dentists before you find one you really like, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Move Out Cleaning Practices Consumers Can Believe In

When the Tenant Moves Out

You may serve the notice in one of three ways:

in person;

mail the notice by first class mail;

or post and mail if your rental agreement allows for it.

For all notices that are mailed, add an additional 3 days to calculate when the notice will go into effect. For all notices that are posted and mailed, you do not need to add an additional 3 days

If you are renting month-to-month, you must notify your landlord in writing 30 days (33 days if the notice is mailed only and not posted) before the day you move. See Sample Letter 5 in the resource ‘Sample Letters to the Landlord’. You do not need a reason to end the tenancy. Your landlord may agree to accept a shorter notice but is not required to do so. Get the agreement in writing.

You may give the notice on any day of the month, not just the first day of the month or on the day that rent is due. If you have a lease, read the lease carefully to see if the lease requires written notice before you move at the end of the lease term. You may be able to break the lease earlier if the landlord violates the lease terms or the law or you are a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault.

even if you move out before the 30 days are up, unless the landlord agrees to your moving early without paying. (Get all agreements in writing). If you do not pay, the landlord will probably deduct the rent from your security deposit and might sue you in small claims court if you did not pay a security deposit or your landlord claims that you owe more money than your security deposit. If you move out early, and don’t pay for the full 30 days, the landlord must make reasonable efforts to find a new tenant

You can terminate your rental agreement and the rental agreement of your immediate family members* with at least 14-days’ written notice to your landlord. Your written notice must include verification that you have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault within the last 90 days** or that you have a current order of protection from the courts. The “verification” of your having been the victim can be in the form of:

a valid court order requiring the abuser to stay away from you (such as a restraining order signed by a judge),

a court order of conviction or a police report regarding an act domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault, or

a statement signed by a qualified third party (law enforcement officer, attorney, licensed health care professional, or victims’ advocate at a victims service provider) law enforcement officer saying that you have been a victim of abuse within the past 90 days

 

Move Out Cleaning

It’s almost time to move out of your home, but you feel a little rushed and don’t have time to clean! Moving is a hassle in itself, so leave the cleaning to us. Whether you are trying to run down your landlords’ checklist to get your security deposit back or getting your home ready for resale

What is Included in a Move Out Cleaning Service?

A move out cleaning typically takes a little bit of extra time because we make sure to get those hard to reach areas that need some extra attention. Then rather than bundling add-on’s together such as: inside the oven, inside the fridge, inside the window etc. – we let you customize your cleaning to your exact needs. You can simply add the extra services YOU need and forget about the ones you don’t!

do ask that you have all of your belongings moved out prior to the cleaning to ensure we can clean everything to our standards. If for some reason you are unable to move everything out, we will clean around the furniture and boxes. However, this is never ideal because once you move those out… the areas will obviously not be satisfactory.

 

Cleaning and repair rules when you move out

The last thing you probably feel like doing as you move out of a rental is cleaning the place. Like it or not, though, you’re expected to leave it just as nice as it was when you moved in.

If you leave a dirty place for your landlord, they can hold back the cost to clean up from your security deposit. After all, it is your mess. But the security deposit is your money. You want as much of it back as possible, right? So just what are your responsibilities?

Read your lease

Besides typical cleanup duties such as washing the floor or vacuuming the carpet, the landlord expects you to do a thorough job of getting that rental back into shape. Move-out expectations vary, so check your rental agreement or lease to see what the landlord wants you to do.

Common cleanup duties

Common cleaning requests include wiping down baseboards, doorknobs, and light switches; dusting ceiling fixtures; washing the windows; and thoroughly cleaning appliances. Some landlords may expect a professional carpet cleaning as well. It’s definitely worth your time to read every move-out detail in your agreement, as some landlords levy extra fees if you don’t take care of an item on the list or if you don’t do it within the specified time frame.

Repair damages

Even minor damage to the rental must be repaired before you hand over the keys. A couple of nail holes may not seem like much to you, but if you don’t repair them, the landlord has to. That means they can bill you in the form of a deduction from your security deposit

 

Guide to Apartment Cleaning for Moving In or Out

Whether you’re just moving in or about to move out, you might not have thought about an important factor for both: cleaning. Cleaning before or directly after you move in might not be your biggest concern, but cleaning your rental space before moving out could help ensure return of a security deposit. Read our tips and checklists below to make sure your apartment is sparkling:

Moving In

Cleaning can be tricky during the move-in phase. Depending on when your lease starts and when you physically move into your space can determine a lot. If you have a few days in between the two, take the time to visit the apartment and do some overall cleaning and double checking of appliances, faucets and other things that might need attention before you begin using them. If you notice something that wasn’t a problem during your walk-through, or if you didn’t have a walk-through, be sure to contact your landlord or property manager to ensure it’s fixed before your official move-in.

Before Move-In Cleaning Checklist

Vacuum and/or steam clean carpet

Lightly wipe down surfaces

Clean bathtub and toilet

Open a window (weather permitting) to allow fresh air in

Check vents and air filter

Check faucets for potential leaks

Clean refrigerator and freezer

Moving Out

While moving in can be less stressful when it comes to cleaning depending on how tidy you are in general, cleaning when moving out can determine whether you get your full security deposit back or not. Follow the checklist below to make sure you leave your space in good shape for the next renters:

Moving Out Cleaning Checklist

Vacuum and/or steam clean carpet

Double check for potential stains on carpeting and remove best as possible

Remove all nails, staples and hanging strips from the walls

Remove scuffs from the wall using a magic eraser

Remove all food and trash from the apartment

Cancel all utilities for that specific rental

Do a move out inspection with your landlord to discuss any, or lack thereof, damages

 

MOVE OUT CLEANING

MOVE-OUT CLEANING CHECKLIST

Kitchen Cleaning

Oven and Inside Fridge have to be cleaned if a deposit is held.

Inside/Outside and top of fridge (if Selected)

Stove top and Oven  (if selected) (Self cleaning ovens take 3 hrs to clean and 2 hrs cooling down)

please run self clean cycle the night before we are to clean

Polish stainless steel appliances. (if you have them)

Inside and outside of cabinets and drawers.

Clean light switch plates. Wash baseboards.

Wipe down door facing and frame. Sweep/mop floor.

Bathroom Cleaning

Tub, shower, shower doors and door tracks

Clean sink, toilet. Inside and out medicine cabinet/mirror.

Clean vanity, under the sink, and drawers.

Wash  windows sills, and ledges.

Clean light switch plates. Wash baseboards.

Wipe down door facing and frame. Sweep/mop floor.

When you move out of a rental apartment, the biggest priority is getting back your deposit. Landlords require a deposit before you move in .Your deposit will either be subtracted for any necessary repairs after you leave or will be fully reimbursed to you if everything is in the same shape as when you moved in. To get back your deposit, it’s important to take good care of the home while you’re living there. When you move out, it’s just as important to give it a good, deep cleaning, even if you have maintained it well over the course of your stay.

Fighting Mosquitoes In The Great Outdoors

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Anyone who lives in an area where mosquitoes are prevalent feels the constant struggle of trying to find effective ways to mitigate them. And although these insects can cause numerous fatal diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever, most people just suffer the typical symptoms which are itchy mosquito bites. These are both annoying and irritating.

Store-bought mosquito repellent products can help reduce your chances of getting bit, however they’re filled with chemicals that aren’t good for you or the environment. If you’re looking for natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes, look no further! We know it can be difficult to keep bugs and insects out of your apartment.

Camphor is a natural home remedy that will assist in getting rid of mosquitoes around your house or apartment. Its strong odor drives mosquitoes away. All you have to do is close all of the doors and then light camphor. After about 30 minutes, you’ll notice that you won’t find any mosquitoes.

Garlic is made up of several properties that help keep mosquitoes away. To test this method out, you can crush a few cloves of garlic and then boil them in water. Then, you’ll want to pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray it around your room, garage, etc. To your surprise, this solution made up of garlic will kill mosquitoes instantly. And the scent will dissipate to your nose within minutes, so no need to worry of your home reeking of garlic

You won’t have to look too far to find this one! Almost everyone has coffee grounds in their apartment and it just so happens to be one of the home remedies for getting rid of mosquitoes. Stagnant water increases the number of mosquitoes around, so all you need to do is pour coffee grounds in the stagnant water around your environment. Mosquito eggs will come up to the surface and die due to not having any oxygen.

 

The Best Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitos range from being a nuisance to carriers of diseases such as malaria, West Nile, dengue, Zika, and more. There are many ways to get rid of mosquitoes, from insecticides to natural and organic options. For example, if you’re not comfortable with bug zappers, you can use natural repellents, and if you prefer to not use DEET, you can create essential oil sprays.

There are many ways to get rid of mosquitoes, but they aren’t all equally effective. The This Old House Reviews team has rounded up the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes, all in one place. In this guide you’ll find tips on removing them from both your house and your yard.

Mosquito Basics

Before we get into the methods for eliminating mosquitoes, let’s go over a few mosquito basics. For starters, there are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes, with roughly 200 species in the U.S. alone.

It’s a common misconception that mosquitoes suck blood for food. They’re not technically parasites, because they only suck blood to nourish their bodies so they can lay and hatch healthy eggs. Mosquitoes can lay 100 eggs at a time, so populations of this pest can get out of control quickly. When eliminating mosquitoes, it’s key to use multiple methods, since not all approaches kill mosquitoes at every stage of the life cycle.

It’s also important to note that repelling and killing mosquitoes aren’t the same thing. Repelling mosquitoes will keep them away from you by making you less attractive to them (they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide from our breath, elements of our sweat, and maybe even beer, according to some studies).

 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Getting rid of mosquitoes in the yard during warm seasons will usually include sanitation, treating standing water and liquid insecticide applications every 30-60 days. Following the treatment plan will help keep mosquitoes to a minimum and will allow you to use your outdoor areas without constant mosquito bites. While it is unrealistic to expect 100% control of all mosquitoes, you can expect to reduce the mosquito population to a manageable level that will allow you and your family to enjoy your yard.

During the mosquito inspection you likely found many water sources where mosquitoes can lay eggs and develop. In all places where it is possible, such as flower pots, pet dishes, rain gutters, bird baths, etc water should be emptied frequently to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.

In areas where you cannot control water collection you do have another option, larvicides. Larvicides work to stop these aquatic immature mosquitoes from maturing into biting, breeding adults. Containerized ponds, animal watering troughs, flower pots and other areas that do not have flowing water or water that can seep into the ground or into other bodies of water can be treated with larvicides as well. How often you apply the larvicide will depend on the product chosen and the amount of rain in your area

There are different types of larvicides. One type is an insect growth regulator which bombards the developing larva with a juvenile growth hormone mimic that stops the larva in young developmental stages to prevent maturity. The second type of larvicide contains a special bacteria that affects the larva’s ability to eat. Larvicides also come in different formulations. You can use solid dunks or bricks, water soluble packets or granules. Which larvicide you choose will be based on the areas you are treating so it is important to read the product label prior to purchasing the product.

Monthly insecticide spray applications in the yard will greatly reduce the number of biting adult mosquitoes. There are many concentrated insecticide products that are labeled for mosquito control so it is important to choose one that is labeled for use on the areas you plan on treating. You may have noticed more mosquito activity in the morning, early afternoon and again after the sun goes down but not so much during the middle of the day.

 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Forever

The mosquito is a tiny insect but a large trouble maker. Throughout history, mankind has seen the devastation caused by them and most people would like to get rid of mosquitoes and be free of their itching bites. Today there are hundreds of different types of mosquitoes found in different parts of the world. Of the nearly 3400 species of mosquitoes prevalent today,

The Aedes mosquito is a deadly species known to be a vector of many diseases including dengue, yellow fever, as well as lymphatic filariasis. It is invasive and difficult to manage, so pest control is of utmost importance. Worry not, because I will be here to guide you throughout the process and show you how you can get rid of mosquitoes from your home and outdoors, and protect you and your family from their bites, which can potentially be dangerous

What are mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are tiny parasitic insects that bite animals and humans. Female mosquitoes are the ones to bite and spread deadly diseases. These blood meals help them reproduce and make eggs. On an average, an adult mosquito has a lifespan of 2 weeks to 6 months, depending on environmental factors like how warm and moist their environment is. It also varies between different species. Factors like predators (and anyone trying to get rid of mosquitoes) will naturally also affect their lifespan.

A deeper understanding of the type of pest you are dealing with will help you get rid of mosquitoes more effectively. Here are the different stages that a mosquito goes through in its life cycle.

Mosquito eggs

A single female mosquito can lay between 1000-5000 eggs in a lifetime, usually near standing water bodies, stagnant pools and ponds or containers with stale water.

 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: The Ultimate Guide

When the temperatures start rising, we know that summer is well on its way. Unfortunately, warmer weather isn’t the only indication that summer has arrived. Mosquitoes are nuisance creatures that thrive in moist, humid climates, making summer their favorite time of year. To help you with all your mosquito problems, we wrote the ultimate guide on how to get rid of mosquitoes

When mosquitoes start to make their presence known, every homeowner gets busy trying to think up ways to get rid of them. Whether you make use of a home remedy, clean up potential breeding grounds around your yard, or contact a professional pest removal company to rid your home of mosquitoes, it is possible to greatly reduce the population of this annoying insect. How do you get rid of mosquitoes? Read our ultimate guide to learn more about how to bid summer’s least favorite winged creature a not-so-fond farewell.

How Long Do Mosquitoes Live?

If you’ve got a mosquito infestation brewing in your backyard, how long mosquitoes can live is probably at the top of your list of questions. Most mosquitoes do not reach their projected lifespan as they are often eaten by other predatory animals or are killed by humans.  The complete life cycle of a mosquito from the egg stage to death from advanced age is between one to two months. However, few ever live to enjoy old age. To properly understand the average life expectancy of a mosquito, it is helpful to be familiar with each stage of the insect’s circle of life.

The egg stage

Female mosquitoes require blood to remain healthy enough to reproduce. Hence, it is this strong desire to propagate the species which promotes the need for a meal of blood to prepare the female to lay eggs.

The larval stage

The next stage of life occurs when the eggs have hatched. The mosquito larvae are quite tiny, measuring only ¼ of an inch in length. At this time in the mosquito’s life cycle, the insect does not yet have wings. Their small thin bodies are worm-like in appearance and covered in hair. Even at this tender age, the mosquito’s main body parts are already clearly formed including the siphon-like appendage which stems from the torso, and that is used to suction blood in an adult mosquito. Its primary role is to permit proper respiratory function at the larva stage.

Most Common & Expensive Transmission Repair To Avoid When Used Car Shopping

How long does it take a mechanic to replace a transmission?

An automobile cannot move without a well-doing transmission system. It is not possible to drive a vehicle without properly functioning transmission system. And yes most of us usually overlook repairs and services of the cars. But this is the time when you call for serious troubles. Transmission repair can cost a lot of money and time. And keeping it in sound shape is always necessary. Regular maintenance is the key to an effective transmission system. But you are in trouble if it is not working properly. So let us find the answer for how long does it take to replace a transmission question.

Find your answer to the question below.

How Long Does It Take To Replace a Transmission?

Three to four days. It usually takes three to four days to replace or repair the entire transmission system. But it depends on the vehicle models and transmission types.

It might take a little longer if other parts with transmission also need repair. Or the entire system needs to be replaced. Other vehicle parts may tear out if the repairs and maintenance are not done on time.

The technician will detect if there is a transmission malfunction problem.

Replacement time varies for Rear Wheel or Front Wheel transmission types. It might take a few hours or a single day if the damage is not up to an extent.

Let us discuss the replacement time in different transmission variants. .

Rear Wheel Drive Transmission System

The transmission system in the rear wheel drive is much easier to repair or replace. It is because there is no need to remove the engine or other major components first.

So, while pondering how long does it take to replace a transmission, make sure to add the engine unbolting time as well.

Replacing or repairing rear wheel drive system will only cost a few hours. It can take a bit longer depending on the level of damage.

Some professional technicians complete the entire replacement task in two or three hours.

 

How Long to Replace a Front Wheel Drive Transmission

I prefer driving rear wheel drive vehicles for reasons like this.  It can take significantly longer to replace a transmission on a rear wheel drive vehicle.  If you’ve never done it before, plan on using a whole weekend.  Make sure that you do as much homework and research as you can before going into it.

It is important to do as much research as possible with a front wheel drive vehicle.  There are so many more variables that are involved.  Including:

  • You may need to pull the whole engine
  • Disconnecting the exhaust
  • Remove starter
  • Removing axle shafts
  • Motor mounts

There’s just so much more that needs disconnected than a few simple bolts.  And there are so many more things that can go wrong.  The sheer volume of wiring and items that need moved out of the way can be daunting.  We recommend taking the vehicle to a mechanic unless you are extremely skilled and competent with your ability to work on a car.

 

How Long Does it Take to Flush a Transmission?

It can take between 3 to 4 hours to flush out the old transmission fluid by vacuuming or using a simple siphoning system. Siphoning or vacuuming is repeated to remove all sticky dirt from the synchronizing gear and until the inside of the transmission is clean.

After this the transmission can be filled with new transmission fluid specified by the manufacturer’s manual.

Transmission repair can take a full day but it will take at least 3 to 4 days to rebuild a transmission. Anders Automotive will be able to give you an estimate as to how long it will take to flush or repair a transmission.

 

Why is a Transmission Fluid Change Important?

Over time, transmission fluid becomes old and loses its effectiveness to do its job. There are many factors that dictate how often you will need to change it. Pulling things behind your car, extremely hot or cold temperatures, and driving techniques all make the transmission work harder, thereby using up some of the fluid’s effective qualities.

The transmission is the part of your vehicle that is responsible for shifting gears. This is obviously one of the most important aspects of the vehicle, whether it be an automatic or a manual transmission.

If you never have the transmission fluid replaced, you may end up damaging your transmission. Regular transmission rebuild is a significant way to save you time and money. You don’t have to leave your car at the repair shop for days or weeks, and a timely transmission service may only cost you a couple hundred dollars instead of a couple thousand dollars for a rebuild or replacement.

Tips to Remember: If your vehicle is struggling with gear changing, you may want to have your transmission fluid checked.

 

How Is A Transmission Rebuilt?

Rebuilding a transmission is a very labor-intensive job. There are a lot of steps that go into repairing a transmission. Mechanics will need to disassemble the transmission to look for any problems within the transmission. Then they need to replace all of the parts that are causing it to malfunction. Before a transmission repair, a mechanic will have to check these three aspects.

The first thing they need to do is change the fluid. If the transmission fluid is dirty or low, the transmission won’t work properly. The next thing they will need to do is check for trouble codes. The vehicle has a computer system that controls automatic shifting. If the computer system is not reading the RPM correctly, the issue could be coming from the computer system. A mechanic will need to replace the sensors. The last thing they will need to do before starting the transmission repair is to test drive the car and inspect it. Once all of those steps have been completed, a mechanic can start repairing the transmission.

Ways To Take Care Of Your Home Builder

Tips for Choosing a Home Builder

You are in good company if you are dreaming of owning a new construction home.  The current real estate market has driven many home buyers to consider new construction instead of an existing home. New construction has several advantages

You don’t have to compete with other buyers. Springs still has a low home inventory and a growing economy. Buyers continue to push into the market. Builders have adjusted to the market demands by building homes on smaller lots or without basements, while offering lower rates to accommodate buyers’ affordability issues.

You can pick your own style. You have more options than you would with an existing home. Builders offer several styles and layouts, and you can pick your own lot. Note: if you are hoping to buy in an older, established neighborhood, buying an existing home is typically the only way to go unless you find a fill in construction.

You have a full year guarantee for nearly everything in the home. Most builders provide a one-year warranty. Usually appliances are excluded from this warranty, but everything else will be repaired or replaced if there are issues

You will probably get a high-performance home. This can keep the cost of owning your home to a minimum. Even homes built 5 years ago are not as efficient as homes built in the last 12 months. Regional building standards have recently been updated and this can make a big difference in your utility bills.

 

Tips To Follow When Building A New Home

There are lots of options when it comes to finding your own special place to call home. Some people love the history and the feel of old homes. Others prefer apartment or condo life. And still others desire to create something of their very own. If you’re still on the fence about which direction to take, this list of beginning steps in the home building process may enlighten you.

Do some soul searching

Building a home from scratch isn’t for everyone. It can be a long and arduous journey. It can also be incredibly rewarding. Before you commit to the process, make sure that you (and your partner or kids) are cut out for what lies ahead. Money, patience, and time may be stretched thin. Perseverance and kindness will be required, as will a sense of stability in your life, relationship, and family.

Assess your wants and needs

Your new home will be a reflection of you and your family. Therefore, it’s important to figure out where you most want to live, and what you most value in a home. A family of introverts? Better make sure everyone has their own room. A family of socialites? Better create a huge kitchen with adjacent mudroom for all the visitors traipsing through the house.

Gather information

Talk to people who have built their own homes. Talk to architects. Talk to general contractors. Talk to house builders. Talk to modular home specialists. Cast your net wide and gather as much information as you possibly can on the topic of home building. This will aid in all your future decisions

Choose a location

Deciding where you want to build your house and buying a lot will be one of your first concrete steps toward the home of your dreams. There are many factors involved in choosing a plot of land and there can be many hidden costs. Don’t forget to get a “site prep” estimate for your piece of land. This will detail what kind of preparation the lot needs before your build begins. Also, make sure you find out how close the utilities are and how much it will cost to connect them to your new home. Many people have been surprised by these extra costs and many a house-building project has been derailed.

 

Home Builder Success And Branding Guide

In today’s complex landscape of social media, Internet, television, and growing global communities, building a successful brand is no small feat. Building a home is simple compared to laying the foundation for a strong brand for a home builder. This guide will help you hone all the parts and pieces that make up a successful brand with a special focus on the needs and challenges of home builders.

Understand What a Brand Is

Follow the history of the brand and you’ll find yourself on a long and, at times, confusing journey. It began as a way to distinguish your goods from the contractor next door, but it has since evolved to the point where branding your product is more about customer relations and social media management than slapping a logo on the side of your truck. If you’re going to succeed at building a strong image in today’s consumer culture, it is absolutely essential that you grasp everything a brand really is.

Strengthen Your Brand: Narrow Your Focus

It’s easier to have a winning brand when you’re in a narrow market. Instead of hoping to present your company as the very best home home building contractor, step back and take an honest inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Now highlight your strong points and build a niche brand from that.

Tailor Your Image to Your Market

Defining your market is one of the most important parts of brand building. Everything from your logo to your writing style should cater to your ideal home buyer. Retirees and young mothers are looking for very different experiences when they buy a home. Identify the market that you want to focus on and tailor your business identity appropriately.

Define Yourself with a Simple Mission Statement

Help your company stand out by avoiding broad generalities like “quality homes.” Do you source materials and supplies locally to support small businesses and local economies? Do you offer customizations that your competitors don’t? Do you keep on the cutting edge of green building practices? Turn your most distinctive features into a strong yet simple statement.

 

Free self-build-home-planning guide

The guide will help you on your way to build your dream home, and:

understand how to build a house from the ground

help you make the right decisions when choosing to self-build

provide help when choosing a house plan

work out how much space you need

estimate the per square footage cost to build a house

learn about the home building process

put you in touch with a mortgage provider

assess if your site meets planning policy

If you are choosing to build your own customised home this guide is invaluable to help you assess all your needs and options for your house build.

When buying land and designing your dream home from the ground up there are hidden costs, and this guide will help you to make the right decisions earlier in the process, to avoid making costly mistakes, or worse, not achieve all your needs

If you are purchasing a piece of land to build your own house this guide gets you to ask the right questions before you start and helps you to understand your needs and options in more detail, before parting with cash to purchase the plot of land, and before obtaining a construction loan.

Understanding your needs and options will make sure your buy the right plot and avoid investing in the wrong area. Too many self-build homes fail to consider daylight paths, overhanging trees, ground conditions and many other site issues that will influence how your home design will turn out. Who wants a home that is at odds with its surroundings, or worse, is costly to maintain

 

New-Construction Tips From Experts Who Know Better

Buying a home can be a tricky process. Buying a home that doesn’t exist yet can be trickier. But that doesn’t mean you have to go into it blind. To help you, we took to the streets and gathered the best advice we could find from experts who have built a house or two.

“Homebuilders follow your lead — not the other way around.” So unless you give them some direction, you’ll end up with the same generic house that everybody else has. Yet “the whole joy of building new is that you can actually customize it,”

Now that you have an idea of what you want, it’s time to make your first big decision: the floor plan. Chinburg Properties, a large builder on the upper East Coast, calls this “the baseline for your project,” since it will determine the size, style, quality and features of your new building.

Why am I doing this? I don’t even have a builder yet.

You can do the same for similar, newly constructed homes and commercial buildings in your area. Take the price of the building, subtract the price of the land it stands on, and divide the result by the number of square feet you want to have.

observes that “people plan with a budget in mind. But they build with their heart.” Our rational brains know that shiny things are expensive, but that doesn’t keep the shiny things from being irresistible.

Horrors Of Replacing Broken Pipes In Basement Cement Floors

What do you do if your water pipe breaks in your house?

A burst water pipe in your home will cause damage eventually, depending on the location and severity of the pipe damage. Whether large or small, a burst pipe and resulting water will damage your walls, floors or belongings until the water is shut off and drained from flooded areas.

Walls

A burst pipe, whether it’s just a leak or major breakage of a pipe first creates water damage in interior and exterior walls. Inside the wall, insulation may grow saturated with water. Electrical wiring exposed to water may short out electricity and increase risk of fire caused by sparks. Exterior house walls may be affected as water coats and saturates plaster, wood or stucco. If water accumulates or saturates timbers and structural components for a long period, structural weakness may occur.

Flooring

Following pipe damage, floors in the surrounding area may become flooded, depending on the location and rate of flow of water leaking or gushing out of the burst pipe. Carpeting, wood flooring and even cement floors may become damaged by water. Wood and linoleum floors warp and crack and carpeting turns moldy and smelly. Cement floors exposed to long-term water damage may crack or settle.

Interiors

A burst pipe may cause the accumulation of water in your bathroom, bedroom or kitchen or other living areas, saturating the bottom of furniture. Water soaks into the lower edges of furniture fabric and may destroy upholstery several inches or higher in such pieces of furniture. Electrical outlets may short out, as will plugs attached to lamps, televisions and other indoor appliances. Even if water damage is minimal, damp drywall and wood is a breeding ground for many types of molds, which may lead to illness, especially for those with lung or asthma conditions.

Prevention

Homeowners living in colder climes should always turn off well pumps that serve the furnace when a house is vacant, even for a short while. When leaving for vacation, turn off the water to the house if possible. If you have an active pipe leak and can hear water running, even if you can’t see it, turn off the main water valve to the home. This may help reduce water damage until the utility company or repair person can come repair the burst pipe. When vacationing, or leaving a house for more than a few days, ask a neighbor or friend to come check on the house.

 

Common causes of plumbing failure

  • Exposure to pressure If something blocks up a pipe, whether it’s inside your house or in your outgoing sewer line, pressure will build up behind that clog. Common causes of clogged plumbing include pouring cooking grease down the drain and flushing paper towels or sanitary products down the toilet.
  • Age of plumbing Many homes in the US were built in the 1950s and 1960s, meaning a lot of plumbing is over 50 years old, and older pipes are more susceptible to breakage. Furthermore, many of these pipes were made of cast iron (which corrodes over time) or clay (which is more susceptible to cracking as the ground shifts), increasing the chances of broken pipes as they age.
  • Mature trees near water lines Tree roots seek out water and nutrients from buried water and sewer lines and are a common cause of plumbing clogs and breakage.
  • Clay soil Heavy clay soils compact easily. They also have poor drainage. Both of these factors can lead to damage to plumbing over time. Furthermore, clay soil tends to be more corrosive than sandy soil and minerals in the soil can weaken pipes.
  • Flushing corrosive materials Pouring materials like paint remover or other solvents down your sink, or regular use of drain cleaners, can weaken your indoor plumbing and your sewer lines.
  • Freezing Cold weather is the biggest cause for pipe failure. When water inside a pipe freezes, it expands, and that can cause pipes to burst.

 

First Steps to Take When a Pipe Bursts

  1. Turn Off Your Water and Drain the Faucets

The first thing you need to do when you find a burst pipe is shut off your water. The sooner you can do this, the better your chances are of minimizing water damage. Your main water shut-off valve is likely located near your water heater, in a crawl space or in your basement.

Once the water has been shut off, you should open your faucets to drain the remaining cold water in your pipes. This will relieve pressure in your pipe system and can help prevent additional areas from freezing. Then, flush all the toilets in the house. Once water is no longer running from the taps, any leaks should stop.

Depending on the location and size of the leak, you may also need to shut off your electricity. If you suspect the leaking water came into contact with any electrical sockets or your fuse box, this is an important precaution to take.

  1. Locate the Burst Pipe

Your next step should be to figure out where the pipe burst. If it appears to have been leaking for a while, be careful entering rooms and look for bulging ceilings and other warning signs that water damage has already occurred. If you catch the leak early enough, place a bucket underneath to catch dripping water.

  1. Call In Professional Help

As soon as possible, call in the experts to handle repairs. Hire a professional plumber to fix or replace your burst pipes, and if you have any damage to your electrical system, you should bring in a reliable electrician.

 

Cleaning Tips on Your Own

Similar to repairing the pipes, in terms of cleaning up the mess it has caused, it is wise to call in an expert restoration services provider who can handle water damage. However, there are steps you can take while waiting for them to arrive to help make the cleanup process go faster.

First, use everything and anything you own that can help soak up the moisture. Mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums. Whatever you have, use it. Check thoroughly and make sure that you have all wet spots covered on the ground: every half hour or so, swap out the wet towels for new ones.

Next, turn up the heat (only do this after you’ve drained the remaining taps) or use a hair dryer on the area where the pipe broke. On top of this, open any cabinet doors or other doors where your pipes are located to help warm air continue to ciculate throughout the house.

 

Steps to take when your happy home faces water damage

Water damage, whether from a natural disaster or plumbing issues, can ruin your floors,  walls and ceilings. If you don’t get the place dried up quickly, you could face a severe mold problem, and of course your personal effects could be damaged beyond repair. Acting quickly and following the right steps can save your home from complete destruction and save you from having to spend a lot of money on repairs.

Immediate clean up

If it is safe to do so, your first step should be to turn off the breakers to the affected area – you don’t want get shocked by electrical current running through the water or end up with a fire on top of your flooding problem. (If water has already reached your breaker area, consider calling in a pro – safety first! Just like you don’t want a hairdryer anywhere near your bathtub, electricity and water should never mix.) In addition, assuming the problem came from a broken pipe, turn off the water supply Once you’re safe, and the source of the water has been addressed, rescue any of your personal items and take them to a dry  area, and clean up as much of the water as possible. You may be able to use a mop for lighter jobs, but if there is an exorbitant amount, a wet-dry vacuum will be a great help.

Completely dry the area

Cleaning up the water you see is important, but the most important thing is to dry up the water you can’t see – in the carpet pad, in the sheetrock, in the insulation in your walls… This means drying the room or rooms completely, possibly using a commercial air mover to force water off floors and out of carpets, walls and furniture.  Along with that, you’ll want to set up a dehumidifier. This machine will suck all of the excess moisture from the air, not only helping to dry the room quickly, but preventing mold from growing.

Fix the problem

Of course, it goes with out saying that you’ll have to fix the original problem too. Call in a plumber if needed. As they open the walls to make repairs, check for any lingering moisture or mold that might have grown, replacing insulation and patching sheetrock as needed.

Unfinished Oak Hardwood Flooring Pros And Cons

How to Clean Engineered Wood Floors

For floors that add immediate warmth to a room without compromising on character, engineered floors are high quality, durable and incredibly easy to clean. Not to be confused with laminate flooring, engineered wood floors are the flooring type for the future: they sport the look and feel of real hardwood, without the disadvantages of cost and restrictions of placement. Engineered wood flooring is made up of a combination of laminate and hardwood, formed of a series of high-density layered fibres. This layering technology gives these floors greater support, meaning that they can tolerate greater fluctuations in temperature and moisture levels.

Whether you’ve already taken the plunge, or are just browsing, if you’re are worried about how to maintain your new engineered wood floors, let us put your mind at ease. To keep your wood floors looking like when they were first installed, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps: mop up spills immediately, stick to a regular cleaning schedule and use the right cleaning agents.

THE BENEFITS

There are numerous benefits to installing engineered wood flooring as opposed to solid hardwood floors, lower cost being a significant one. Engineered wood floors are incredibly budget-friendly, and come in a variety of colours, finishes and board sizes. This means that you often have more options than if you chose a solid hardwood floor type. Engineered flooring is extremely long-lasting, made from multiple solid layers that give the floorboards the strength and finish of solid hardwood. These floors can also be re-sanded up to two or three times, and then re-varnished or lacquered, to remove signs of unsightly stains and scrapes.

PREVENTING MOISTURE

One of the most common problems associated with wood flooring is moisture. Because wood is a natural material, it expands and contracts in response to levels of moisture in the air. This can lead to unsightly cracks and blemishes in the wood, and even buckling in some cases. While engineered wood flooring does not carry the same risk as solid wood, it still sports a hardwood upper and so care must be taken when it comes to maintenance.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE

Keep your floors looking as good as new by implementing a consistent cleaning routine. Sweep floors three or more times a week to remove debris and prevent scratches. Always sweep your wood floors before you mop for ultimate cleaning. Try to properly mop your floors at least once a week.

 

Tools For Hardwood Flooring Installation

While the number of tools is considerable (more than 50, according to the National Wood Flooring Association), here’s a list of 24 essential hardwood floor installation tools every flooring contractor should have on hand when installing a hardwood floor. Although some of these tools are also used during sanding and finishing, our emphasis is on installation

Safety Goggles

Eye injuries can occur when you least expect it. You never know when a piece of wood or metal or a bead of finishing material will hit you in the eye causing temporary or permanent damage. It’s why OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) regulations require eye protection when using most power tools

Dust Mask and Vapor Respirators

Sanding or applying finish requires the use of a respirator. Failure to use one can cause inflammation of the nasal tract, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, asthma, and mucosa irritations

Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs

Prolonged exposure to loud noise, especially when using certain types of power equipment, can result in hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the noise levels from a wide variety of power saws are over 100 decibels, which makes them dangerous to your ears after just two minutes! Many flooring professionals today have 30 to 70 percent hearing loss because they weren’t aware of audio hazards. Earplugs are easy to use and inexpensive. They come either as foam inserts or pre-molded plugs. If you’re concerned about earplugs getting lost in your ears, there are earplugs called “semi-inserts” that have a band or string connecting them together. Foam inserts are rolled and compressed into tiny cylinders that slowly expand inside the ear once inserted. Pre-molded plugs are reusable, flanged plugs that you insert into the ear. Foam inserts come in different ratings, so make sure to get the proper inserts.

Knee Pads

Since you will be spending some of your time on your knees, knee pads will prevent strain and pain. Use contractor-grade pads, made of cloth, that are adjustable and fit well. Since they come with a soft non-marring outer surface, they will not damage floors like hard plastic or metal versions. There are also ergonomic type knee pads containing fluid that offer considerable comfort.

 

Choosing the Best Color of Hardwood Floor for Your Home

When you’ve made the decision to install hardwood floors in your home, you might think that choosing a color (or rather, a specie) will be the easy part, but when it comes down to it, choosing hardwood floors can be a difficult choice. That said, there are a few different things to know and consider when choosing a shade that can make the process less overwhelming.

Know that the Wood Can Shift in Color Over Time

If you love the look of unstained hardwood floors, it’s important to know that the wood can take on the color present in the clear coat you use. For instance, if you use an oil-based polyurethane or tung oil, the floor will take on a more golden hue. In a similar vein, if you choose very dark wood floors, it’s essential to make sure they are UV-resistant if they’ll be exposed to sunlight, otherwise over time the color can fade dramatically.

Keep in Mind the Rest of Your Décor

If your appliances or furniture and trim are dark colors, putting in dark hardwood floors can make the rooms look very small and cramped, so if you want to make your home appear bigger, it’s important to keep that in mind. Likewise, light colored flooring, when paired with lighter furniture and fixtures creates a very modern, contemporary look, so if you want something more classic or vintage looking, that can be taken into consideration. In the same category, think about the colors of your walls, and any potential repainting projects you might do. Some floors will not look good with some colors on the wall, so if you plan on ever repainting, making sure that the flooring option you choose is a versatile one for matching to the walls will be important. Matching the floors so they complement your cabinets and architecture is important, and if you’re having trouble, talking to a designer can help.

Take Floor Samples Home With You

When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few, bring home a few samples from a showroom. Try to keep your decision to be between three shades, as more than that can cloud your decision-making process by making it more complicated. Keep in mind that some species of hardwood flooring are more expensive, while less expensive types can be stained to look like other species of wood. Be sure to look at the samples in all types of daylight and artificial light to see what the flooring looks like at nighttime, for instance. Leave the room and come back in, and note your reaction to each sample. After you can make a decision about which of the three is your least favorite, take that one out of the running and repeat until you make the ultimate decision.

Consider the Durability of Certain Species

Beyond color, the type of wood matters, as well—certain species are harder and will be able to stand up to potential damage more than others, so if you like a certain color—such as pine—it’s important to know how strong it is. If the durability is not enough for your home’s needs, certain colors may not be best for your house.

 

Things to Consider When Installing Wood Floors in Dry Climates

Then after some education about wood floors and our unique environment, the answer is of course, “Yes, you can!” I am sure that everyone has had similar experiences of misinformation. There are just some things that you need to pay close attention to in order to ensure success. It is really no different from installing in other regions. All regions have unique requirements for successful wood floor performance.

Acclimation

do experience humidity, but it happens during our hottest time of the year when HVAC units are running nonstop pulling moisture from our air. This makes us relatively stable compared to other areas of the country that can range from virtually no relative humidity to 100 percent relative humidity seasonally.

Species

Not all wood species enjoy a dry environment. This is much more prevalent when dealing with engineered wood floors, but some species don’t perform as well as others

Engineered Versus Solid

have a predominantly slab market. So we install an immense amount of engineered flooring. Most of what we install is unfinished engineered. Once installed we treat it exactly the same as a solid unfinished wood floor. Some of the benefits are increased dimensional stability, no need for subfloor, and exceptional milling tolerances.

As great as they are, some engineered floors just don’t handle the dry environment well. The failures are caused from many different issues. Some engineered floors fail due to the species or the way the product is constructed. Distress in the form of delamination, surface checking, and splitting are quite common.

 

HOW TO INSTALL ENGINEERED HARDWOOD FLOORING

My. Goodness. YOU GUYS. Is it possible to fall completely in love with your hardwood flooring?! Because that’s totally happening rightthissecond. Our new hardwood floors look SO GOOD!!! If you recall, we had three different types of flooring on the main floor of our home: dated honey oak hardwood, builder-beige carpet, and dark laminate (my least favorite thing in the world) that was installed over ceramic tile (okay, that’s technically four different types of flooring). I’m not sure why there were so many different floor choices to begin with, but I’m a big fan of a cohesive, seamless look throughout. Replacing the mismatched floors was one of the things we wanted to do as soon as we moved into this house. I’m thrilled to partner with The Home Depot on this hardwood flooring project!

I researched a ton of different flooring options, from vinyl plank to tile. I talk more about why I chose engineered hardwood in this post. While all wood floors expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity, engineered hardwood is more stable than solid wood floors because of the way it’s constructed. Engineered hardwood is made up of layers of real hardwood and high-quality plywood, each layer positioned in opposite directions. This makes for a more stable product, so the wood will less likely warp and bow in moist or humid conditions. This is especially important in rooms where moisture might be an issue, like a kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room.

rented a house with dark wood floors and it showed every dust particle and dog hair, it was next to impossible to keep clean. I vowed never to have dark floors again, so when I laid eyes on this wide plank French oak hardwood flooring

this flooring can be installed as a floating floor (not nailed or glued) or it can be glued down. We chose to float the floor just for ease of installation (and because I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe). It can be installed on, above, or below grade and no acclimation is required. I love that it comes in various lengths, with 70% of the planks being 48 inches long.

This flooring comes with click lock construction, so installation is a breeze. Each piece fits together like a puzzle; you shouldn’t have to wrestle with the floorboards to get them to lay flat and lock into place. Once you lay the tongue in the groove, it should click, lock, and fit like a glove.