Important Vacuum Attributes For Residential Cleaning

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring Professional Cleaning Services

If you’ve ever tried to clean a commercial workplace by yourself then you’ll know that it is a difficult and demanding task and it can end up looking ‘not quite right’. This is because despite your best efforts it is still missing the professional touch. So, if you are thinking about hiring professional cleaning services but haven’t quite made up your mind yet, these 5 reasons should convince you that it’s really worth it! All businesses can see astonishing results and will notice many benefits when they hire a professional cleaning provider.

Specialised Tools and Equipment

A professional provider will be aware of all of the major innovations and developments in the cleaning industry. They have invested their resource into finding the absolute best cleaning materials and equipment available on the market. They should have a wide range of supplies and specific tools and cleaning products for every job. They will know when and where to use each tool and will use these to deliver impeccable and high-quality cleaning results.

Trained and Skilled Staff

A professional cleaning company will have a pool of highly trained and skilled staff. The employees are professional and have attended many hours of training. They will have unique training to clean all commercial environments and will do be able to deliver cleaning results efficiently. All of their staff should also be security vetted and background checked so that you are confident that they are hiring only the best teams of people.

Reduce your Environmental Footprint

When it comes to environmental care, the cleaning industry has made great strides in recent years. A reputable cleaning company will be committed to ensuring that its products are as environmentally friendly as possible. They will have environmentally friendly solutions that are safe for both the environment and of course the people in contact with them.

A Plan Tailored to your needs

Professional cleaning companies will be eager to please their clients and will listen to your requirements closely. They will work alongside you ensuring that they devise a cleaning schedule that suits your business. They should be flexible and ready to work inside or outside of your business hours and should be able to mobilise their teams if extra work becomes a requirement. They will also remain adaptable and will change their schedule to suit business needs.

Deliver Exceptional Results

The most noticeable overall benefit to your business will be the physical transformation. You will be surprised at just how much of a difference a professional cleaning services provider can make to the look of your business. Your business will be gleaming and will become a very welcoming environment. With their professionally trained staff, superior work and fast response times you should be 100% satisfied with the look of your business. A superior cleaning routine like this leaves a great impression every single time.

Why hire a commercial cleaning service?

Hiring a professional cleaning company can bring great benefits to your company.

There are a number of reasons to hire a professional cleaning service to clean your retail space or office building.

Below we will cover just a few of the reasons why you should hire a professional cleaning service.

  • The #1 reason to hire a cleaning service for your business is because they are the professionals! They are trained in the proper way to clean, dust, and sanitize your office space. Having a clean office is more than just being organized. The professionals know the way to give your office the clean environment it needs.
  • When the professionals come they bring their own supplies. Chances are you don’t just have toilet cleaner or disinfectant in the supply room. In order to get the deep clean your office or retail space needs, you have to have the right cleaning supplies. And you will always know that the paper towels in the bathroom are stocked.
  • Time is money. If you are spending time cleaning your own office or delegating cleaning duties to your staff, you are losing time, money, and productivity. It can also lower morale in the office. Your staff does not want to clean the toilet, they want to do what they were hired to do. Let your staff do what they are best at, and leave the cleaning to the professionals.
  • When your office or retail space is clean, dust free and properly sanitized it can cut down on germs and your staff will be less likely to get sick. If your staff is out sick it puts a strain on the rest of the staff and could lower productivity. A clean and healthy environment leads to a happy office staff.

Move Stress Free

Even though you may feel excited from moving out, there’s also the stress that comes with it. You will have to pack up, find a new place to live, and tend to family and job responsibilities as well. If you are moving out because you are selling your home, you also have to stage the house and deal with the realtor and the buyer whom they represent. Although you would have many things to do, you still will need to clean your house before it is sold.

How to remove the stress out of your move

Torn wallpapers, dust bunnies, and tons of accumulated junk are among the things you’ll leave behind when you move. However, you can’t leave your home as it is, especially if you are selling it. You need to make it look appealing for the new owner, which is a stressful but necessary task to do. You can lower your stress level by hiring a professional cleaner  who would help clean up before leaving.

By letting a professional do the cleanup and garbage disposal for you, more time is freed up for you to focus on other important tasks related to your move and house sale. The house gets cleaned up while you hop from one place to another, looking for a new place to stay. The peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional cleaner is worth it. You can even let the cleaning company redo their work if you are unsatisfied with the quality of their job.

How to Keep a Mop Clean

With a few easy steps, you can keep your mop sanitary so that it successfully cleans your floors.

  • Rinse the mop thoroughly after each use. When you are finished mopping, rinse any cleaning solution and dirt from the mop in a sink until the mop is completely clean. Traces of dirt will spread grime during the next use, and leftover soap residue can damage your mop.
  • Wash your mop. If your mop is machine washable, use the washing machine to clean it. Follow the cleaning directions on the mop. A gentle cycle at the hottest temperature is usually recommended. If the mop head is not machine washable, create a mixture of half water, half bleach in a clean bucket (enough to cover the mop head), and soak the mop head for 15 minutes. Rinse the mixture from the mop until the water runs completely clear.
  • Allow the mop to completely dry. To prevent bacteria growth make sure the mophead is dry before storing it away. To do this, start by wringing the mop out as much as you can. Then place the mop head outside on a clothesline; sunshine will naturally kill bacteria and mold. If that’s not possible, stand the mop upright in a bathtub or other well ventilated and dry area. The goal is to avoid mildew and bacteria growth.
  • Store the mop properly. A cool, dry place is a perfect storage location. Try hanging it so the mop head avoids brushing against the floor. If you’ve allowed the mop to dry thoroughly, the mop should be fine for the next use.
  • Replace the mop head when needed. Prevent your mop from becoming a cleaning hazard by replacing the mop head. Aim for a replacement every two to three months or sooner if it looks very dirty. Your floors are only as clean as your mop head; a soiled and worn mop will not be effective.

Kids Ceiling Fans

Can you Paint Popcorn Ceilings

Can it be done? Yes!

I was quite surprised, and she said she had read that you can’t paint these ceilings because the stucco falls off. So to set the matter straight I figured I would research and write a blog about it. You certainly can paint “stucco” ceilings. Sure they aren’t easy, but it can be done. Another surface to decorate in your home!

Has it been previously painted?

Painting stucco ceilings is more difficult than painting regular ceilings. The stucco ends up flinging paint everywhere (much more than painting a regular ceiling) and some of the stucco itself does fall off the ceiling too. Just like painting any surface, putting paint on a stucco ceiling has some tricks to it.  Spraying the stucco is probably the easier way to do it, but sometimes that’s not practical (like if there is furniture in the room). Considering most homeowners paint their home after thy move in, painting the ceiling with a roller is the only option available.

Step one to paint stucco ceilings:

The first thing you need to do to paint stucco ceilings is to find out if it had been painted before. When painting this Pickering home shown here, we knew that the ceiling was previously painted. If it hasn’t or you don’t know, you’ll need to prime it first and prime it with an alkyd (oil based) primer.

Before painting, make sure everything is covered.

Step two is to COVER EVERYTHING! When you’re priming, if the stucco ceiling hasn’t been painted before there will be some pieces that fall off the ceiling. Don’t worry though, it won’t be enough to notice a difference in the texture, but you will want to make sure that the area is completely covered under the stucco you’re painting. If you’re not planning on painting the walls after the ceiling, you’ll need to tape plastic to the walls as well because otherwise you’ll have primer and paint splashes all over.

Paint ceiling and let it dry

Step three is to paint the primer and let it dry. If there are stains on the stucco ceiling, you might want to paint over those stains with the primer, let it dry, then prime the whole ceiling.  Be aware that it will take longer for the stucco to dry than it does walls. It takes longer because there is so much more paint on the stucco than what gets put on the walls and because there is crevices that the paint goes into and needs longer to dry. If you’re painting the walls it’s not a bad idea to cut in the first coat of the walls while you’re waiting for the stucco to dry.

What is this bumpy stuff on my ceiling that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese?

The ceilings of many homes and apartments are not painted, but instead are coated with a substance that has a bumpy texture. It looks like this: This treatment is normally called a textured finish or an acoustic finish by builders, but most people refer to it as popcorn.

This sort of ceiling treatment is popular for several reasons:

It keeps you from having to plaster and sand the ceiling. If you’ve ever done it, you know that plastering a ceiling is no fun.

It hides lots of imperfections in the ceiling. The ceiling is a huge, flat, uninterrupted and well-lit expanse. Any imperfection is immediately obvious. The texturing hides imperfections very effectively.

It helps eliminate echo in a room. If you have ever talked in a room before and after carpeting, you know what a big difference carpet makes on echoes. An acoustic finish is like carpeting the ceiling.

There are many different ways to put a texture on a ceiling, but the most common technique involves mixing some sort of lumpy aggregate — either vermiculite or polystyrene — with ceiling paint. The mixture is then sprayed onto the ceiling using a special spray gun like the hopper texture gun from Lemmer. It goes on in one coat, and once it dries (like normal paint), you’re done!

The Easiest Way To Paint Tall Walls

Our living room has always been top on my list to paint. The colors from the previous owners never jived with me — yellow mustard and the dirt brown had to go. As much as I wanted to make this rather simple DIY change to our home, the vaulted ceilings always made me hesitate. How in the heck was I ever going to reach the tip top of our 20 ft walls?! But thanks to Wagner, who supplied me with the right tools and sponsored this post, my living room now has beautiful walls that I love! If you’ve been looking for a great tutorial, this is the easiest way to paint tall walls.

As you can see, that mustard color even made it’s way into my kitchen, off the hall. I’ve never been so excited to paint in my life!

Lucky for me, I snagged all of my paint at Sherwin Williams on sale for 30% off. I purchased 5 gallons of Repose Gray, which may seem like a lot. But I only had half a gallon leftover when I finished. So I think that was just about the perfect amount of paint.

Next I gathered my painting tools. I promise you, this is exactly what you need for the easiest way to paint tall walls! This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Then you will need your standard paint supplies:

paint tray

several paint brushes of varying sizes (for cutting and hard to reach areas)

paint drop cloths (to protect furniture and floors)

an extra high and sturdy ladder — mine extends to 25 ft (I bought a new one just for this job, but it will totally be used around the home in the future I’m sure!)

paint

Fundamental Painting Tips to Know Before You Pick Up a Brush

Consider the amount of light and the decorative elements in a room when . Light colors tend to open up a room, making it seem lighter and more spacious. Dark hues can add depth and warmth. Use a dark color on a single accent wall to create visual interest without making the room feel smaller. Before , pay special attention to how surrounding elements will reflect light and alter the color. For example,  might make white walls look pink.

One factor you , the degree of light reflection off the painted surface. In other words, how much the paint shines. Sheen affects the finish’s appearance, durability, and suitability for certain uses. As the amount of sheen increases, so does the enamel value, which determines the hardness or protective value of the coating. Generally, the higher the gloss, the better the finish will , abrasions, and cleaning. Choosing sheen can be a matter of personal preference, but there are some general guidelines to follow. Flat paint is widely  but is not a good choice for walls in high-traffic areas. Eggshell works well in bedrooms, , and hallways where frequent cleaning is not needed. Easier-to-wash satin or semigloss paints are good choices for bathrooms and kitchens. Use high-gloss paints for trim, cabinetry, and doors that are in perfect condition

You probably  by looking at it under a different type or intensity of light than what’s in your room. Sunlight, daylight, fluorescent light, halogen light, and incandescent light affect colors differently. So bring the sample card into the room you intend to paint and look at it several times during the day. See how the color looks using different kinds of artificial light before making a final decision. The only way to be certain about a paint color is to see it on the intended surface, surrounded by the room’s other elements. The best test is to buy sample sizes or quarts of a few colors, paint small sections of a wall, and observe during different lighting conditions. If you’re hesitant to paint your walls with samples, pick up some poster board and paint it instead. With this method, you can also see what the color looks like in different parts of your room.

Some manufacturers include calculators on their websites to help you figure out how many gallons of paint to buy. You can also use this formula: Add the widths of the walls, multiply that figure by the room’s height, then divide the total by 350 (the square footage that 1 gallon typically covers). This formula doesn’t factor in doors and windows, so you should have paint left over for touch-ups.

Don’t forget about a second coat, too! For the , you’ll want to apply a couple coats of paint. However, you might need additional coats, especially if you’re trying to cover a dark color with a lighter color. In this case, you’d want to use a primer as well.

DECORATING IN THE DARK – THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM HAVING DARK WALLS

Every time I put up images of our house on Instagram, I trigger a chorus of questions about having dark walls. So here are some secrets of the dark side, revealed.

WON’T IT BE TOO DARK?

Yes, it will be dark. But with enough lighting, some colour pops and a mirror opposite a window to bounce light around, it will look amazing.

SHOULD I JUST DO A FEATURE WALL?

No, feature walls are for wimps. You won’t make an impact with a feature wall, go big or go home. Immersive colour is the way forward. Plus, a room immersed in dark colour makes skin tones look amazing. You’ll feel like you’re in a film.

WILL IT MARK?

Yes, it will. Be prepared to touch it up every six months. I usually go around with a sample pot and a cotton bud touching up dings and scratches.

SHOULD I PAINT THE CEILING?

In my experience, the room will look more edgy if you paint the ceiling. If you’re after a cool look, paint everything the same colour, skirting boards, doors, fireplaces. Then make sure you add lots of soft furnishings otherwise you run the risk of looking like a gastropub or a nightclub in the daytime – Eeew, sticky floors.

The Advantages Of Hiring A DUI Lawyer

Things You Need to Know Before Representing Yourself in Your DUI or DWI Case

Yes, it is possible to represent yourself in your DUI/DWI case. You can post bail, plead guilty or make a plea deal and, if you’re lucky, you might achieve the same results as an attorney. However, that’s a best-case scenario. Here are five things to consider before handling your own DUI.

Think Twice Before Pleading Guilty

A blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more doesn’t guarantee a conviction. Before you plead guilty, you should learn about the DUI penalties and fines in your state in order to make an informed decision. Even if you’re convinced you should plead guilty, it’s always possible that a DUI attorney might offer advice or counsel that could affect the severity of your sentence. Keep in mind that if your BAC was between .08% and .10%, a conviction is less of a certainty. In that case, a DUI attorney may be able to use your low BAC to achieve a better plea bargain your case. And if you have a high BAC, there’s generally more at stake, so the assistance of an attorney may be even more critical.

There Are Two Types of Bargaining: Plea and Sentencing

If your state doesn’t prohibit plea bargaining down a DUI (where the charge is reduced to a lesser one, for instance, from a DUI to reckless driving), hiring an attorney who is familiar with local prosecutors could make an important difference in the bargain you get and in the penalties and post-conviction remedies that are imposed on you.

In addition to plea bargaining, most states have “sentence bargaining.” Sentence bargaining for a DUI is extremely useful where a guilty plea might result in a long period of incarceration. For example, you might be willing to plead guilty to a second DUI but only if you know what your sentence will be. The same is true with an aggravated DUI case where your BAC was over .15% or resulted in injury or death. In these types of cases, you probably wouldn’t want to plead guilty unless you knew what sentence you’re going to get, and you would be well advised to have an attorney to manage the sentence bargaining for you.

Penalties for Second, Third, and Fourth DUIs Are Heavy

Even if you handled your first DUI by simply pleading guilty, you will most likely need the assistance of a DUI attorney for subsequent DUI charges. That’s because second, third, and fourth DUI offenses almost always involve jail time, as well as far more serious bail bonds and penalties. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney has many benefits—lawyers have familiarity with the court system and the prosecutors, knowledge of what plea bargains and sentence bargains are available, and the ability to navigate complex administration procedures. These benefits are especially important if you are a repeat DUI offender. Read our article on case outcomes and costs for drivers arrested for DUI repeat-offenses.

Blood-Alcohol Level Determines Guilt

What the per se laws say is, in every state in the U.S., if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit, you can be found guilty of DUI. In 2020, this limit is .05 in Utah, and .08 in all other states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.1 It does not matter that you were not staggering or slurring your words or in no other way appeared to be intoxicated, your BAC level alone is all the evidence needed to convict you of DUI.

One key to determining if hiring a drunk driving attorney will do you any good is knowing your BAC level at the time of your arrest. If you recorded 0.08 or higher, there is little doubt that you will be convicted and have to pay all the fines, fees, and extra expenses involved with having a DUI conviction on your driving record.

Your License May Be Suspended—Lawyer or Not

As of March 2019, 42 states the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have passed administrative license suspension laws that allow law enforcement officials to immediately confiscate and suspend your driver’s license on the spot if you fail a field sobriety test or record a BAC level over the legal limit.1

These laws allow your driver’s license to be suspended as an administrative sanction, completely independent from criminal court proceedings. The reason is since a state can give you your driving privileges, the state can take a privilege away.

In those eight states that do not have administrative license suspension laws, your license is not suspended until you go to court, but it is suspended if you plead guilty or are convicted.

In most states, if you refuse to take a breath test, your license is immediately confiscated and revoked.

Don’t Hire A General Practitioner To Do A Specialized Job

Some types of legal cases don’t demand specialized knowledge. Certain types, such as DUI/DWI cases, are very specialized.

More than any type of criminal case, DUI/DWI cases involve detailed scientific evidence. Like CSI, a complete defense requires command of principles of chemistry, biology and physics, familiarity with hundreds of scientific studies and knowledge of the inner workings of the machines that have been used to gather evidence against you.

Ask your prospective lawyer if he or she has training in breath testing or the field sobriety tests. Remember the old axiom, “you get what you pay for”? If it’s worth hiring a lawyer at all, then it’s worth hiring the best lawyer you can afford.

Hiring a Private DUI Attorney

In most areas, there are lots of attorneys who handle DUI cases. So, choosing who to hire can be difficult. Of course, there’s no perfect formula for finding a good DUI lawyer, but here are some suggestions you might want to consider.

Attorneys specializing in DUI law. Plenty of attorneys can represent you in a DUI case. But there are also attorneys who focus on DUI defense. You may be well served to go with an attorney who specializes in DUI law over one who just takes the occasional DUI case.

Amount of experience. How long an attorney has been in practice isn’t always the best measure of quality. However, it’s still a factor you’ll want to consider. Lawyers with at least a few years of practice experience in your area should have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t in the local courts and DMV.

Trials and plea bargains. Most DUI cases end with a plea bargain. An attorney’s knowledge and skill can certainly come into play in reaching a good deal. But if you want to take your case to trial, you might want an attorney who has a decent amount of trial experience.

Free consultations. Many DUI attorneys offer prospective clients a free initial consultation. If you’re thinking of hiring someone, it’s probably worth taking the time to meet face to face before deciding. Meeting an attorney in person gives you the opportunity to get your questions answer and find out whether there any compatibility issues

Meet the Attorney for an In-Person Consultation

An in-person consultation will help you decide which attorney you feel most comfortable with and have the most confidence in. Below are some steps you should take to ensure the best consultation.

  • Be upfront about all the facts of your case: Now is not the time to be shy. Provide the attorney with all of the facts of the case so he can give you the best advice on how to proceed. Let the attorney determine what is important and relevant to your case and defense. You do not want to end up in a situation where you surprise the attorney with a fact that may harm your case right before you go to trial.
  • Bring all DUI related documents: The attorney will want to see what violations of the code of law you are being charged with. Do not assume the attorney will already know information about your case as each case is unique. Information such as the police report, DMV letters and all other documents related to the DUI should be presented to the attorney.
  • Talk to an attorney about his experience: By now you have already checked the attorney’s website or you may know about him from your friend or colleague. You will want to ask the attorney to discuss his success rate, how many cases he has brought to trial, how many he has gotten dismissed, and how many DUI cases has handled. Beware of the attorney that tells you he can guarantee a certain outcome for you as no attorney can give you that guarantee.
  • Find out who will be handling your case: The attorney you meet with may not be the one who ultimately handles your case. At larger firms, the attorney who meets with you at your initial consult might be a senior attorney or even a partner; however, a younger associate may end up handling your case. While this is common you will want to meet the attorney handling your case so you gauge whether you feel comfortable with him or her. Also find out who will represent you in court as this may also change.
  • Clear strategy: It is important that after your consultation you walk away with an understanding of the attorney’s strategy to handling your case. The attorney should provide you with a clear strategy evidencing the attorney’s experience in handling DUI cases.

Recent Advances In Sewer Inspection

PLUMBING PLAN REVIEW

Plan review, permit and inspection update during COVID-19 pandemic

Plan review:  Electronic and paper plans submitted will continue to be reviewed. Paper plans are accepted but will be processed every Tuesday. Make sure to keep copies of paper plans submitted to our office as we are not able to mail back paper plans during this time. For electronic plan review, submit plans online. Staff are working normal hours and available by phone and email.

Inspections and permits:  Online permits will continue to be issued. Paper permit applications are processed every Tuesday. Inspections continue during normal hours by contacting your regional plumbing inspector.

What you need to know:

Plumbing plans, specifications and a fee must be submitted for modification or installation of all plumbing systems that serve the public or that serve a considerable number of persons. Some of these facilities include but are not limited to restaurants, resorts, hotels, vacation home rentals, grocery stores, department stores, offices, warehouses, shops, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and housings with five units or more, such as apartments and condominiums (excluding townhomes built to the International Residential Code (IRC) with individual water and sewer services to each dwelling unit).

Plan review includes all interior plumbing, building sewer and water service connections within the property lines and storm water drainage systems. A few of the items we review include adequate pipe sizing, proper pipe connections, approved pipe material, fixture specifications and backflow prevention devices.

VIDEO PIPE AND SEWER INSPECTION

Plumbing uses the best technology to perform pipe and sewer inspections and diagnose issues. A high-resolution video camera attached to fiber optic cables is routed through the pipe to give visual documentation of breakage or blockage in your plumbing system. This record can be used later to determine the best plan for repair.

Drain & Sewer Tips & FAQ

Most people avoid thinking about their drains or sewer system as much as possible. And while it works for a while, eventually something is bound to go wrong. To avoid issues and maintain your sewer system as long as possible, the following tips are designed to keep your lines from needing major repairs.

Avoid Blocked Drains

The first and easiest thing you can do is work to prevent major blockages in your drains. Clogs and blockages are the number one reason for major sewer line repairs and they are completely avoidable.

To start, do not put anything down the drain that your system is not designed to handle. Remember that while toilet paper actually dissolves in water over time, other types of paper do not. Napkins, sanitary products, and paper towels will remain whole in the sewer system and eventually clog your sewer line. Instead of breaking down (something toilet paper is designed to do), they absorb water and grow heavy, eventually clogging the drain, if not in your home, in the sewer line. Also avoid flushing any food, dental products or hair down the line.

If you have a child, make sure they do not put any small objects in the drain such as toys, food, or clothing. Even when something actually flushes down the drain, there is a possibility it will get stuck between your home and the final sewer outlet.

In the kitchen, avoid putting any grease or other food waste down the drain. Only use the garbage disposal for things that it can safely break up and run the faucet at the same time as you grind the food. This will ensure that it completely breaks down whatever you place inside before it is flushed through. Grease, in particular, is a major problem in pipes as it coats the lining and other items can stick to it.

Limiting Root Problems

Roots are another major issue for sewer systems that can be avoided. Most of the time, trees and shrubs are planted far from sewer lines, unless they are added after the line is installed. Make sure you know where your sewer line is located and do not place any plants with extensive root systems nearby. Additionally, keep all root systems properly watered. Roots will usually only extend toward the pipes under your home if they are looking for a water source and the sewer line can provide that source.

Performing Maintenance On Your Own Drain & Sewer

Regular maintenance on your drains goes a long way when you are trying to avoid problems in your system. Pouring boiling hot water down the drain once per week will help to break up any errant grease that may have clung on. You should also install strainers and traps wherever possible to avoid the impact of things like hair or soap scum building up in the drain.

Clear out your traps regularly as well. You can use an auger if necessary to avoid any buildup in the actual drain. If you notice any foul smells escaping your drains, it is likely due to a dried trap. If you use the fixture regularly, call a professional to have the trap and the drain attached to it checked and make sure nothing is flowing backward in your system.

Sewer Camera Inspections

we’re committed to completing your plumbing service correctly the first time. We understand that plumbing problems can be incredibly stressful and it’s important that any issues are taken care of promptly and effectively. With this in mind, we proudly rely on some of the most advanced techniques in the industry, including state-of-the-art camera inspections and a pin-point location system.

Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, we’re able to quickly and accurately provide full sewer pipe inspections without causing any unnecessary damage to your property’s plumbing systems. Instead, we’re able to nail down the exact source of the problem and get right to work making the necessary sewer repairs or replacements

What Are the Benefits of a Sewer Camera Inspection?

The process of a sewer camera inspection involves the use of a flexible rod fitted with a hi-res camera that is placed into your home’s pipes. In a matter of minutes, we’ll be able to determine the nature and location of the issue. This allows us to provide you with an accurate, upfront cost estimate for any repairs or replacements needed.

Camera inspections allow our skilled plumbers to avoid digging up your yard or cutting through walls in an effort to locate a sewer line problem. This, in turn, means less stress for you and less destruction to your home or business. Plus, it affords us greater accuracy which leads to a much faster, safer, and overall better service for you

Sewer Inspections Explained

Blocked sewer line

Most of us never think about our sewer lines until something goes wrong. The problem with this approach is that when something goes wrong with a sewer line, it can go catastrophically wrong. Your home or business’ plumbing is one its most essential systems, and having a broken or blocked sewer line can cause problems like clogged toilets and shower drains. If you’re starting to notice water coming back up out of your shower drain or gurgling noises in your toilet, it may be time to get a sewer line inspection.

Sewer line clogs are caused by a variety of different things. Some of the most frequent causes of a blocked sewer line are large solid objects obstructing the pipes, gradual food and grease buildup from the kitchen sink, and tree roots growing into the pipe and causing damage and drain speed slowing.

Plumber Pro Tip of the Week

Tip #1  Tree roots can be a particularly prevalent issue with older pipes that aren’t made of plastic.

Tip #2  Old pipes can be made of clay and other permeable or breakable materials.

Tip #3  When a tree roots sense the heat and moisture coming off of one of these pipes, it grows toward it and sometimes into it. This can lead to a bunch of roots slowing the flow of the sewer line or even the complete collapse of the sewer line.

Invest in a sewer inspection!

The health of your sewer lines is an important thing to consider if you’re interested in saving time and money and avoiding stress. Treat your sewer lines with care and avoid putting too much food and grease into your drains. If your drains are experiencing slower speeds or are at high risk for clogging (as is the case for businesses or restaurants), get an inspection. You could be saving yourself a lot of money in the future!

Inform Yourself With The Warning Signs Of Termite

How to Spot Termites in Your Home

Every year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage in the United States. Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected for years—damage that isn’t covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies.

As spring approaches and the ground begins to warm across the country, termite populations will emerge in search of new structures to invade. Starting from South to North, termite explorers, referred to as swarmers, will look for hospitable homes, with buildings that have sustained damage from severe winter weather particularly at risk. Once swarmers have determined your home to be a good fit, it’s likely that the rest of the termite colony will follow, resulting in a full-blown termite infestation.

By becoming familiar with the species of termites that are most prevalent in their area along with their habits, homeowners are better equipped to detect the warning signs of an infestation, and call in a pest professional to assist with termite identification before the problem gets out of hand. Here’s a handy guide to help you learn how to spot termites in your home and identify their species correctly.

Termite or Flying Ant?

Many people will see termite swarmers in homes during the spring and mistake them for flying ants; this can end up being a costly mistake if the rest of the termite colony follows the swarmers. Winged termites have a straight waist, straight antennae and their wings are equal in size. Flying ants on the other hand have waists that are pinched in the middle, bent antennae and two sets of wings, with the top set being larger than the lower. Termites are also most likely to swarm in the spring, while flying ants may swarm at various times of the year.

Subterranean Termites

Found in every U.S. state except Alaska, subterranean termites are creamy white to dark brown or black and 1/8 inch long. They live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to two million members. Subterranean termites also build telltale “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and protect themselves from the open air. This termite species is considered to be by far the most destructive of all termites throughout the United States.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are similar in color to subterranean termites but can grow to 1/2 an inch long. They can be found in Hawaii, California and much of the southern U.S. Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most aggressive known termite species, capable of consuming one foot of 2X4 wood in just 25 days. They live in huge underground colonies with an average of 350,000 workers and build intricate mud nests inside the walls of a structure. Because of their aggressive nature, Formosan termites are difficult to control once they infest a building; a mature Formosan termite colony can cause severe structural damage to a home in as little as six months.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites can be spotted throughout the pacific coastal and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and in southern Florida. This termite species is typically between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch long. As the name suggests, dampwood termites infest wood with high moisture content and don’t usually infest structures because of their need for excessive moisture, but it is important to avoid attracting them as they can cause serious property damage if they make themselves at home.

Drywood Termites

Unlike subterranean and Formosan termites, drywood termites do not require contact with the soil. They are typically between 3/8 and one inch long and often establish nests in roof materials and wooden wall supports, along with dead wood that may be around the home. They are found in the southern states, from North Carolina through the Gulf Coast and in to the coastal areas of California. They form colonies of up to 2,500 members and usually swarm on sunny, warm days after a sudden rise in temperature.

Differences in Castes

Termites have three different castes, each of which performs different roles within the colony. Each caste has unique physical features to help it fulfill its role in the colony. Even within the same species, termites that belong to different castes can look very different.

Workers Worker termites tend to be lighter in color. Workers are the smallest of the castes. In general, workers and nymphs are soft-bodied and look like larvae.

Soldiers

Soldiers tend to have worker-like bodies, but with hard heads that are often dark in color and have large jaws. Soldier termites have soft bodies with hard, enlarged heads and large jaws (mandibles) that help them protect the colony. Fully mature, reproductive termites have wings and hard bodies that prepare them for leaving the nest to start new colonies.

Alates Or Flying Termites

Alates (swarmers) have wings and hard exoskeletons that may be very dark in color. Additionally, flying and swarming termites can be recognized by their prominent wings. Flying termites have two sets of wings of equal length, and these wings are almost twice the size of the termite’s body. Termite swarmers appear to have two body segments with a straight abdomen, and straight antennae.

Carpenter ants

look very similar to swarming termites due to the fact that both reproductive stages have wings. If you find signs of winged insects, don’t panic and assume that they are automatically termites. Carefully pick one up and look at under a magnifying glass. Look for the most common sign – the color. Subterranean termite swarmers are solid black, drywood swarmers are solid red, while carpenter ants are usually red and black or dark brown. The other big difference is in the body. Termites all have a long body with no small segments attached. Ants always have a thin neck and a thin waist. Check out the chart below to help determine the difference. If you think you have carpenter ants, then don’t go any further, because carpenter ants require a totally different treatment than termites. Click here for more info on Carpenter Ants.

Ants species that are commonly confused with subterranean termite swarmers are carpenter ants and fire ants. Both of these ant species have winged reproductives that swarm in the early spring and randomly during the year. The important thing to remember however, is that subterranean termites only swarm in the spring in the US, and occasionally in the fall. Subterranean termite swarmers are very poor fliers and only use their wings to swarm. They will break them off soon after swarming to make crawling easier. They will then search out a mate and pair off to start a new colony. You may encounter piles of broken wings, especially on window sills, and near areas of sunlight such as doorways, etc.

What are the signs of a termite infestation?

Termites are often referred to as “silent invaders” because of their ability to enter into and live virtually undetected by property owners. It typically isn’t until the damages that they have caused are finally noticed that the termite infestation is discovered. Termites can work undetected from weeks, months, or in some cases even years. Signs of a termite infestation include:

  • Finding wood in or around your home that is splintered, weathered, or that has small holes on its surface.
  • Flooring that “feels” spongy when you walk across it.
  • Walls which sound hollow when you tap on them.
  • Doors and windows that appear warped and are no longer opening or closing properly.
  • Finding mud tubes running along the ground toward your home, running up your home’s foundation, or running along your home’s basement walls. Termites travel to and from their nest to their food source in these mud tubes to limit their exposure to outside elements and predators.
  • Observing a termite swarm. During the spring season winged termites will fly from a mature colony to mate creating a termite “swarm” in the process.

Epoxy Flooring Paint For Your Garage

Resincoat HB Epoxy Garage Floor Paint

Resincoat High Build Epoxy Garage Floor Paint is a two-part epoxy resin floor paint designed for garage floors. The original Resincoat formula offers a long-lasting smooth, glossy finish at the highest possible quality. Our best-selling floor formula, this paint offers excellent resistance to heavy foot traffic and vehicles. Ideal for both DIY/home users and industrial users alike, the floor paint can be easily applied with the surface usable again within 24 hours.

Epoxy Garage Floor Paint is the number one choice for floor paint in the UK as it protects and seals whilst offering an attractive, decorative, professional finish. This product is part of the Resincoat High Build Range. Resincoat HB is a heavy-duty, solvent free epoxy floor coating, possessing exceptional abrasion and chemical resistance

Two coats of Resincoat HB Epoxy Garage Floor Paint can provide the equivalent of ten coats of conventional coatings containing solvent or water based epoxy products. Our floor paint is the perfect choice for your garage or car service centre as it is oil tolerant as well as being resistant to any other automotive fluid that would ruin standard paints

Preparation:

Before applying our garage floor paint we advise that you vacuum the area. Old paint finishes should be removed if flaking at all and if well bonded abraded sanded to create texture prior to applying the paint. Preparing the floor mechanically (shot blasting or grinding) is always advisable but if that is not possible our Etch and Clean is a good alternative

Please see below for the best primer for your floor:

• For new concrete floors prime with Resincoat Damp Tolerant Primer

• For dusty or old floors prime with Resincoat Deep Penetrating Primer

• For weak concrete floors prime with Resincoat Stabilising Primer

• For greasy floors with oil residue clean thoroughly scraping off any dust or dirt and prime with Resincoat Oil Tolerant Primer

DECORATIVE EPOXY FLOORING

Decorative flooring is a very broad category that can include just about any floor applied with the goal of improving aesthetics in mind.

For decorative epoxy flooring, coloured quartz floors, flake floors, glitter floors (like the stuff on party hats) or even solid-colour flooring with swirls were once the only ways to jazz things up. These days, decorative epoxy flooring has flourished through the use of metallic pigments and the seemingly unlimited effects they can create. 

Customised and reproducible – while a few companies out there are doing some brilliant decorative epoxy floors, not all of them can deliver something just for you if a designer floor is what you’re after. Likewise, not every company can reproduce their designs either. If a large retail chain wanted the same floor in all of their stores, genuine reproducibility is something they’d need to find.

Designs that work – when choosing a decorative epoxy floor, it helps to know what does and doesn’t work. At the front of the queue are the glossy plain white or black decorative epoxy floors because both have some drawbacks. For white, they’re difficult to do well and keep clean as they show every small defect, speck of dirt, scuff etc.; for black it’s pretty much the same story and they also tend to act like a giant mirror, which makes them unsuitable for change rooms and the like. Both of these finishes can benefit greatly if you add something to “break it up”, whether it’s a semi-gloss finish, textured finish or a hint of metallic pigment

Timing – a trap many fall into with decorative epoxy floors is the timing, especially in a fit out or renovation scenario. It’s tricky stuff organising all the trades within a tight schedule, however installing a decorative epoxy floor too early in the piece can be a big mistake. The movement of heavy equipment, dropped tools and abrasive dust can damage any new floor no matter what it is. If you want a decorative epoxy floor to look its best come opening day, it must be the last piece of the puzzle rather than the first.

TILE VS HARDWOOD VS EPOXY FLOOR COATING

Heard good things about epoxy flooring, but don’t know as much about it as classic tile or hardwood? Choosing the right flooring takes many factors into account, from durability to cost and more. Let’s dive into a comparison of a few popular options: tile, hardwood and epoxy coating.

Tile

Tile is a great option for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s waterproof, scratch-resistant and quite easy to clean. That being said, there are downsides to tile you should know. Tile can break or crack if you drop anything heavy, so you have to be careful handling heavy pots in the kitchen. Additionally, although it’s easy to clean up spills from tile, the grout between tiles gets dirty quick – and the darkened colour can be a hassle to get out.

Hardwood

Hardwood is a classic choice that brings a sleek or elegant look to a room, making it a good choice for living rooms and offices. It can last for decades and be made to look like new if kept in good shape as the years go on. The issue with hardwood is it is easily scratched and damaged by water. Hardwood may look smooth at first, but any dings become eyesores quick.

Epoxy Flooring

Epoxy flooring is an excellent option for sleek, durable, cost-effective floors. Unlike other flooring options, epoxy floors are water-resistant, easy to clean, and not easily chipped or cracked. It is great for garages, as it can support heavy loads like cars or machinery. Epoxy coating is also non-toxic and doesn’t need harsh chemicals to clean.

So, what’s the best overall option?

It all depends on the style you are going for when choosing your flooring – but if you want a sleek, simple design, epoxy flooring is the best overall option. Unlike hardwood, epoxy flooring is water-resistant, which works well for kitchens and bathrooms. And unlike tile flooring, epoxy flooring isn’t quick to crack or break when heavy objects are dropped on it.

How Durable is Epoxy Flooring and Is It Scratch Resistant?

Whether it’s for your home or business, you want flooring that is durable and can stand up to whatever is thrown its way – sometimes literally. Maybe you have a garage floor that you want to keep nice and new looking or you have a showroom at your business where the aesthetics are crucial to keeping your clients interested.

But Is It Scratch Resistant?

One of the most important factors of flooring is knowing whether or not it is resistant to scratches. An epoxy coating will last longer than pretty much any other type of coating and epoxy coating by itself is scratch resistant due to the composition of its ingredients.

How Durable Is It?

Epoxy flooring is one of the most durable applications available. It is resistant to chemicals, stains, cracks, and scratches. Not only that, but it is the perfect choice where heavy equipment is used because along with everything else – it is impact resistant. Imagine being in your garage and dropping a heavy tool on your floor or continuously parking heavy automobiles or equipment on your flooring surface.

The Benefits Are Many

The advantages of choosing epoxy flooring are vast. It is a safer option for your flooring and a greener choice as well. One of the major benefits though is the ease of maintenance. Just water alone will clean it easily and even for major spills, adding a bit of ammonia to the water should suffice.

Last but not least, the price of installing epoxy flooring is extremely competitive when compared to other types of flooring and best of all, it will last for years. If it is taken care of properly, you can expect your flooring to last at least 5 to 10 years, sometimes even more.

Residential Epoxy Flooring

A Full Range Of Grinding And Polishing Expertise

our epoxy flooring experts can assist with your residential epoxy flooring needs. Our epoxy flooring system is different in nature from regular paint jobs, being made up of a two-part system composed of liquid Epoxy Resin combined with a hardener to create an affordable and durable solution for concrete floors of all types. It can be used for commercial and industrial applications, in addition to residential buildings like houses and garages.

Why Epoxy Flooring Is A Great Choice?

Epoxy flooring is a durable sealant and and coating for concrete flooring, made up of a two part liquid resin. When combined, these parts bond to form a very hard plastic film across the surface of the concrete. This epoxy flooring surface protects concrete floors from dust, stains, spills and also provides a safe environment for your family and any other foot traffic.

If you’re looking for flooring that’s resistant to slips, fires, and chemicals, epoxy is a great choice. Epoxy is a suitable floor coating for both old and new concrete floors and are available in a range of colours. Decorative or polyurethane finishes are applied last for an aesthetically pleasing look. One of the great things about epoxy flooring is that it’s usually good to go on the day of application. Within a week, it’s possible to park cars and operate machinery on your epoxy floors.

The Home Remodeling Trends

Smart Home Improvements to Make Before Selling

Ready to put your home on the market? Whether you’re planning to move now or in the coming years, getting your home ready to sell can be intimidating. Some renovations can be helpful while others may actually turn off potential buyers. The goal of your home renovations should be to make it more livable for yourself and look move-in ready to future buyers. Use this list of home updates to help you attract buyers and speed up the sale of your home.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint to Sell Your Home

Not sure what to update to sell your home more easily? A simple coat of paint in a neutral shade is a great place to start. This update can be completed without a huge investment of time or money. Spend one weekend removing any bright accent walls or dark colors and buyers will be more interested in your home. Popular color options include:

  • Grey
  • White
  • Beige
  • Charcoal
  • Light blue

Be sure the new colors still go well with your home décor to further appeal to prospective buyers.

Update Your Front Door

The front of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Improve your first impression by painting your front door or replacing it with a new one. A brightly colored front door will make your home more memorable. If you aren’t interested in a colorful front door, you can also replace it with a sturdy new steel door or simply update your old screen door with a glass version for a fresh look.

Complete a Bathroom Remodel No Matter How Small

Bathrooms are always high on potential buyers’ lists, making an investment here is one of the best options for increased resale value. Before putting your home up for sale, consider making small updates that will excite anyone looking at your house. Some of the best bathroom remodels for resale include small changes likes:

  • Re-caulking the tub.
  • Replacing the vanity.
  • Changing the shower head.
  • Replacing the faucet.

Improving energy efficiency

While most homeowners think upgrades that improve the look of their home will pay off, improving your home’s efficiency may actually make a bigger difference. In fact, a Remodeling.com survey found homeowners can recoup 116% of the costs of attic insulation. And attic insulation is just one of many upgrades that improve efficiency.

While renovating the kitchen and updating the bathrooms are both great improvements that can increase property value, making energy efficient upgrades will give you more bang for your buck. As the number of energy efficient homes continues to rise, first time buyers and renters are beginning to favor these upgraded homes over traditional homes due to the potential long-term savings.

Upgrading HVAC, water heaters, and windows — these changes cost less than solar panels and are more likely to provide a positive return on investment when the time comes to sell. When you sell, you can recoup around 73% of the costs of upgrading 10 old windows with new ones, and your energy bills will be lower in the time before your move.

If you make energy efficient upgrades, make sure your realtor markets your home appropriately. You can even consider providing copies of your utility bills to potential buyers so they can see how low ongoing costs will be. 

Upgrade Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the first things prospective buyers will see when they enter your home (depending on layout, of course). It’s also one of the most exciting rooms for prospective buyers to enter and see themselves in. But before you make the jump on a new kitchen re-do, make sure to compare other homes on the market and price of your home. The cost of the kitchen should be in line with the cost of the rest of the house. A kitchen remodel will run you from $5,000 to $75,000 or more depending on how crazy you want to get. But you can recoup 60% to 120%  of the investment according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, so it may be worth the effort in the right market.

Update Flooring

Hardwood flooring is another great way to increase the resale value of your home, according to Realtor.com. In fact, it can add around 2.5% to the value of your home. Of course, this figure varies depending on the neighborhood and market type, so if you’re the last one on your block to replace your floors, it’s probably a good idea to pull the trigger.

Expensive Landscaping

Landscaping can transform the way your house looks, especially to potential buyers. However, going over the top to create a backyard paradise, while nice, won’t add to your asking price. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, this project can improve your quality of life, especially in the warmer months. If you plan to sell your home, you won’t recoup the cost of expensive landscaping in the sale.

Instead of investing in expensive landscaping, make changes to your lawn to add curb appeal to your home. “Wow” potential buyers with a well-kept lawn, and some well-laced shrubbery or small trees. The Cost vs. Value report states that projects that boost the “wow” value of the front of the house recoup a decent percentage, depending on the changes made. Go for classy, subtle changes to the landscaping to really make your home shine.

The Difference between Investors and Owners

Updating an investment property is generally a sound strategy–if it’s done the right way. Successful advocates of the fix-it-and-flip-it philosophy are investors, with the investor’s mantra of “buy low, sell high.” So they purchase run-down homes at bargain prices and save money on the repairs by doing most of the work themselves. A little sweat equity goes a long way toward making a real estate investment profitable. They carefully choose their remodeling projects, too, focusing on those that will result in the most value for the least amount of effort and cost. Part of the process includes paying attention to the other homes in the neighborhood to avoid over-improving the property. If none of the other houses in the area have crown moldings and Corian countertops, adding these amenities is unlikely to result in a significantly higher selling price.

Owners, on the other hand, often take a less strategic approach when sprucing up their homes. As a result, they can end up putting significantly more money into the project than they will get back out of it when they sell. While it’s certainly a smart move to make a few improvements, don’t overdo it.

Introduction To Electrical Installation And Testing

BASIC SKILLS FOR ELECTRICAL PROJECTS

Take the confusion and risk out of DIY electrical projects. Get a good grounding in how your wiring works, what tools you need, how to make connections, how to work with wire and cable, how to avoid the most common errors, and most of all, how to be completely safe around electricity.

Learn how to make electrical improvements that are safe and code compliant with the videos, photographs, and expert instruction in this class. You’ll learn about circuits, circuit breakers, and other parts of your home’s wiring system, like wires, cables, boxes, switches, and outlets. Learn how to replace or install cable, boxes, and devices and make tight, safe connections.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

Tips and techniques for working with cable, boxes, switches, and outlets so you’ll have the skill and knowledge to complete safe and code compliant electrical projects

How to identify the three types of conductors (wires) in your home’s electrical system: hot wires, neutral wires, and equipment ground (ground) wires

How to install electric boxes in open walls and how to add a remodeling box in a finished wall

Which tools you’ll need to work on your home electrical projects

How to turn off the power and make sure it’s off before you start working on any wiring

What a basic house circuit is and how to recognize the physical parts of the circuit

How to identify the three types of conductors (wires) in your home’s electrical system: hot wires, neutral wires, and equipment ground (ground) wires

How to interpret the color coding of the wires in your home

And much more!

Who should take this class:

DIY home renovators who want to complete their own electrical work

Homeowners who are looking for expert advice and tips before modifying or updating electrical projects in their house

People who want to save money by doing their own basic electrical projects

Beginners who are looking for expert advice before beginning electrical projects

Electrical Tips & Advice

Home electrical fires account for over 50,000 fires in the US each year.  The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that electrical fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and over a billion dollars in property damage. Older homes are particularly at risk. Because over half of the homes in the United States were built before 1973, this is a real concern.

Knob and Tube Wiring

This type of wiring was used from the 1800’s to the 1930’s in homes. Wires are run through ceramic tubes (or knobs) to prevent contact with wood framing. However, this type of wiring is now considered a fire hazard because it is not a grounded system. If your home has knob and tube wiring, it is highly recommended that you have your home re-wired.

Arc Faults

When any electricity is unintentionally released from home wiring or cords, it is known as an arc fault. Arc faults can be especially dangerous because the electricity released can cause the surrounding material to catch fire.

Pinched wires – From a chair sitting on an extension cord or wires bent sharply

Overheated wires or cords – Too many lights or appliances connected to one circuit (your fuse box or circuit breaker should trip) Improper electrical connections – Loose connections in an electrical light switch or outlet

No Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Any electrical outlets that could come into contact with water should have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) installed. These outlets improve safety by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in and out of the circuit. If the returning current differs even a small amount (like from coming in contact with water), the GFCI will shut of the electric current. This helps prevent deadly electric shocks and electrocution. For maximum safety install GFCIs in bathrooms, the kitchen, laundry room, outside and anywhere else an outlet could come in contact with water.

Electrical

Overview

Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work with electricity directly, including working on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and sales people, work with electricity indirectly and may also be exposed to electrical hazards.

Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions.

Construction

Electricity has long been recognized as a serious workplace hazard. OSHA’s electrical standards are designed to protect employees exposed to dangers such as electric shock, electrocution, fires, and explosions. Includes references that provide information related to electrical in construction including OSHA’s electrical construction regulations, hazard recogition, possible solutions and additional resources.

Hazard Recognition

Many workers are unaware of the potential electrical hazards present in their work environment, which makes them more vulnerable to the danger of electrocution. The following hazards are the most frequent causes of electrical injuries: contact with power lines, lack of ground-fault protection, path to ground missing or discontinuous, equipment not used in manner prescribed, and improper use of extension and flexible cords.

Possible Solutions

A variety of possible solutions may be implemented to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury associated with electrical work. Examples of solutions include the use of insulation, guarding, grounding, electrical protective devices, and safe work practices. This page provides information that may aid in controlling electrical hazards in the workplace.

Electrical safety

Electrical safety is incredibly important and we all have a part to play.

We use electricity for lots of menial tasks, like turning on a light switch, making toast and charging our phones, but we also use it to power important things like medical equipment, traffic control and street lights. We might take it for granted, but electricity is not something to mess around with – it can kill.

We all have a responsibility to use electricity safely. Every householder in NSW is legally obliged to keep their home safe, including the way it uses electricity. The same goes for business owners – they are responsible for the electrical safety of their employees and everyone else on premises.

Risks and injuries

Faulty appliances, damaged or worn power cords, power points and household wiring, electrical appliances coming in contact with water and downed power lines can all cause electric shocks. While some shocks are a minor ‘tingle’, others can be much more serious.

Electrical installation work

By law, any electrical installation work must be done by a licensed electrician. Electricians are required to provide you with a uniquely numbered Certificate of Compliance Electrical Work (CCEW) to show that the work has been tested and complies with the regulations.

Safety labels for electrical goods

Certain electrical products and appliances must be certified and approved against Australian standards before they can be sold in NSW. This includes electric room heaters and power tools that run from mains power.

Home electricity tips

We use electricity every day and often take it for granted — but you have to take care when handling it. We’ve got some useful hints that will help keep you safe around electricity.

Power points and power boards

Running too many appliances off one power point by piggy-backing double adaptors, or connecting power boards together, can overload the circuit and lead to overheating, damage to equipment, or even cause a fire in your home

Follow these safety tips when using power points and power boards:

Don’t overload individual power points.

Don’t plug in more than two cords to a double adaptor — use a suitable adaptor board instead.

Keep all electrical connections out of areas that may become wet due to watering or extreme weather conditions.

If there is no permanently-installed safety switch, use a portable type at the power point.

Never use an extension cord that has a three-pin or piggy-back plug at each end.

Never replace fuse wire or plug-in circuit breakers with larger sizes.

Keep combustible material, such as paper, plastic and structural metalwork,150mm away from bulbs.

Never modify lighting outlets, plugs or cords.

Check that you have working smoke alarms in your home.

Tingles and shocks

It is believed that many electric shocks go unnoticed and unreported in Australia each year. Electric shocks and tingles — slight electric shocks — happen for a variety of reasons but can sometimes be an indication that there’s an underlying electrical fault that requires urgent attention.

Safety switches

Safety switches detect small amounts of constant electrical fault current leaking to earth and quickly switch off the electricity, minimising electric shock and reducing the risk of fire.

Why Only An Electrician Should Do Electrical Panel Upgrades

Electrical Panel Upgrades

About Electrical Panel Upgrades

The electrical panel is the core of your electrical system. This is where your home receives electricity from the utility company. The power is then distributed throughout your entire home until every outlet and light has the power that it needs. As your home ages, your electrical service panel suffers normal “wear & tear.” It is likely that you have upgraded appliances and technology in your home over the past years

The panel is just like anything else in your home, it needs to be properly maintained. In the event of a fire, the first place an insurance adjuster checks is the panel. If it is not kept up properly, they will attempt to show negligence

The following items should be checked for compliance:

Non-approved breakers for your brand panel

Panels that are older than 5 years

Missing Breakers

Hot Spots

Over sizing of breakers versus wiring size

When should I upgrade my electrical panel?

When technology is modernized and panels are not, frequent outages are experienced. Old service panels simply cannot handle all the power now required. Overloaded wires can lead to deadly electrical shock. In order to help prevent this from happening, electrical panels are designed to tell whenever there is a problem with your electricity and cut off power to that circuit. Older electrical panels did this using fuses, while newer panels rely on circuit breakers.

There are two ways to determine if you are in need of a panel upgrade:

You live in a home that is over 20 years old and have outdated panels.

If you have (or want) more power requirements.

How To Know When It Is Time To Replace Your Home’s Electric Panel

Does My Home’s Electrical Service Panel Need to be Replaced?

We do a lot of work for realtors and home owners in Northampton and Lehigh Counties and from time to time we get asked; “When is it time to upgrade an electrical panel?” So, we thought we should share with you the following advice from our experience.

First, what IS your electrical panel?

The electrical service panel is the component of your house’s electrical system where the electricity is brought in to the house from your power company. The electrical wiring that runs throughout your home starts at the service panel and is used to separately feed the different areas and appliances at your home that require electricity.  Each separate wire leaving the panel and feeding your home is called a circuit.  This panel is like the “heart” of the electrical system of your entire home.  Like veins and arteries, any and all wiring going throughout the walls and ceilings of your home all originate at this location! Keeping this in mind, there are several reason it may be necessary to upgrade your electrical panel.

Do you have fuses of beakers?

If you live in a home built before 1960, you may have an electrical panel with fuses. Fuses are used to control and limit the power of the electricity leaving the panel through each individual circuit.  If any circuit calls for more power than that circuit is rated for, the fuse will “blow”, meaning it will automatically stop the flow of power at that circuit and as a result will then need to be replaced. This requires you to keep a few spares of the different fuses you have within your electrical panel.  If this is the type of panel you have in your home, it is probably time to upgrade to a new panel with what are called circuit breakers.

Does your electrical panel have enough power capacity for how you use your home?

With fuses, and even if your home has an electrical panel with circuit breakers you may want to check the power capacity of your electrical panel, called its ampacity. Many homes may have only a 60-amp or a 100-amp panel and that may not be powerful enough to handle many of the modern conveniences we have in today’s homes such as central air conditioning and modern appliances. If you are often blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers, maybe notice your lights dimming low and staying low, or a burning smell coming from the area around your electric panel, it is likely past time to upgrade your panel.

Replacing the electrical panel may not always be necessary

The right professional electrician can help you decide if your panel really needs to be replaced or upgraded.  For example, if you have expanded the size of your home, upgraded all your appliances, and or added something that has put an additional electrical load on your existing system you may not need to upgrade your electrical system!  This is where dealing with an electrical contractor known for integrity can save you money.  We have worked with customers in the past who did not need to update their system.  We did the calculations on their electrical load and found they were still within the safe range.

ELECTRICAL PANEL SERVICES

The breaker panel is the hub of your home’s electrical system. It’s smart. It sends power where needed and trips if it senses any trouble in your wires. You probably don’t even notice it unless something goes wrong. When your panel is correctly sized and in good working order, it can protect your home and electronics from fire or surge damage by tripping the breaker when it senses danger

Modern households have many more electronic devices than families had even ten years ago. If your panel has never been upgraded, you may want to make sure it adequate for your lifestyle. Entertainment systems, computer equipment, appliances and all kinds of personal electronics constantly use your power. An undersized electric panel can not support or protect your technology.

SIGNS YOU NEED TO UPGRADE YOUR BREAKER BOX:

Breakers trip frequently.

Lights flicker or dim.

Overuse of extension cords or power strips inside your home.

Appliances don’t operate at full strength.

Discolored outlet covers.

Burning smells or crackling sounds near appliances.

You are planning a remodel or addition.

When you add a new appliance like a hot tub, A/C, or refrigerator to your home

WATCH OUT FOR THESE BRANDS:

Look for the brand name on your electrical panel. electrical panels are known to have a 60 to 80% failure rate. This means they seem to work just fine, but if a short circuit or a small surge occurs, the panels fail to trip the breaker and can cause a fire or damaging surge to your home. If you have one of these brands, it needs to be replaced

ARE FUSE BOXES BAD?

Older homes often have fuses instead of breaker panels. They protect your home by blowing a fuse and turning off your power when the fuse is overloaded. Unlike circuit breakers, a fuse needs to be replaced once it’s blown. The problem is that fuse boxes can handle 30-60 amps of power, but modern households typically need 100 or more amps. Sometimes people replace original fuses with bigger ones after they blow, but this can overload and overheat your wiring. If you have a fuse box, schedule a safety inspection to make sure it’s adequately handling the electrical load in your home.

Cost To Replace Circuit Breaker Box

The average cost to replace a breaker box is $1,475 with most homeowners spending between $1,287 and $1,707. A low-amp subpanel costs from $500 to $1,000 while a 200-amp panel upgrade runs up to $4,000. Total costs depend on the type of home, the number of circuits, and the amperage.

Our homes are using more energy than ever before, and the electrical system that was installed decades ago may not have the necessary capacity to handle the electrical load required of it today. To keep a house running smoothly, the proper rating of electrical panel can eliminate tripped circuit breakers and prevent fires.

Cost to Replace or Upgrade an Electrical Panel

The average cost to replace an electrical panel is $850 to $1,100 for 100 amps, or $1,200 to $1,600 is a new service panel is needed. To upgrade to 200 amps, expect to spend $1,300 to $2,500, or $2,000 to $4,000 to upgrade to 400 amps. A low-amp subpanel costs $500 to $1,000

Electrical panel replacement typically takes 8 to 10 hours which includes 200-amp capability, a new panel with main breaker and ten circuit breakers, labor, and all required materials. The biggest cost for most electrical work is labor. With an electrician’s hourly rates at $40 to $100/hour and with the first hour costing $75 to $120, you can expect to spend between $400 and $800 for labor costs.

Cost to Upgrade to 200-Amp Service Panel

The cost to upgrade an electrical panel to 200 amps is $1,300 $1,600, or between $1,800 and $2,500 if a new service panel is required. Installation costs depend on the labor required. New wires may need to be added or replaced, or if anything needs to be brought up to code.

WHY UPGRADE YOUR ELECTRICAL PANEL?

Electrical Panels are the lifeline of your home, and usually last around 25 years. Maintaining your Electrical Panel is key to providing a safe living space. Upgrading your Electrical Panel prevents the potential danger of worn or old wiring, causing shorts in the circuit, losing power and danger of an electrical fire. We understand the importance of your home, and trust you consider our certified technicians to get the job done in a respectful and professional manner. From Electrical Panel Repair, to an upgrade, no job is too big or too small, we do it all.

ELECTRICAL PANEL UPGRADE & REPLACEMENT

For comfort and safety reasons, an electrical system for your home must be in sound operation. Faulty home electrical systems can cause serious disruptions in your home, such as certain electrical fixtures not working or even worse, fire hazards. Poor commercial electrical systems can lead to failing various inspections or loss of assets due to an electrical fire.

Small Wedding Ideas For A Small Intimate Wedding Dj

How to Choose a Wedding DJ

What Makes a Good Wedding DJ?

Being a DJ is about way more than pushing “play” on an iPad playlist. Here are three qualities that set a good wedding DJ apart from the crowd.

1. Personality

If we could only give you one tip, it would be this!

Your DJ is going to be responsible for setting the tone of the evening. If you have a boring DJ…that means a boring wedding.

A DJ’s personality is the most important clue you’re going to get. Instead of relying on emails and texts, meet with your DJ in person to talk about your vibe, needs, and favorite music. This will help you decide whether they can create the party atmosphere you’re looking for.

2. Communication

You’ve probably been hearing how important communication is during all those premarital classes. Well, working a DJ is no different.

Playing music is only part of what a DJ does. The other half is talking. From making sure you’re on the same page regarding the “do not play” list to making sure the photographer captures the cake cutting, wedding DJs need to communicate and they need to do it well.

This is why it’s so crucial to hire a wedding DJ that can also MC. Other than your wedding planner, your DJ is the one person keeping everything together!

3. Flexibility

Any DJ who specializes in weddings will end up working a lot of them, so they need to be organized. But when those plans go awry, they also need to be flexible.

An organized DJ has a copy of the evening’s timeline so they can keep events on track. But if the bride and groom are an hour late, they should be able to adapt on the fly so that you and your guests are able to enjoy the evening without feeling rushed (with plenty of time for dancing).

Tips To Pick Your DJ

Finding the right DJ is imperative to ensure your wedding happens just as you planned. A great DJ can take your wedding to a level you never imagined. However, a bad DJ can make it a nightmare. Below are 5 tips to guide you through the process of finding the perfect DJ for your wedding.

Experience/Professionalism

One of the single most determining factors in the decision making process should be experience. You can plan every detail to the exact second, but no wedding occurs exactly as planned. There is a flow to weddings and an experienced DJ will make any change or delay appear like it was planned and rehearsed. In fact, a proactive DJ will anticipate common situations and prepare accordingly. You spent hours upon hours planning, scheduling and stressing about every single detail, the last thing you want is to do is spend your entire wedding worrying that something will be missed. A great DJ can put you at ease because he or she has all the necessary details and the ability to improvise should things change or fall behind.

Price

Deciding a budget for entertainment can be very challenging because prices can range anywhere from $300 to $3,000. Many DJ companies offer various pricing packages along with a la carte options, travel fees, and/or per hour add-ons. Similar to buying a car, you have to be aware of what the overall price will be after all the add-ons, extra time, additional audio system (for the ceremony, cocktail hour etc…), and additional fees.

You also have to consider you get what you pay for. Although often overlooked as not being one of the most important vendors, the DJ/Emcee controls the flow for the entire wedding. With all that responsibility, you need to know that he or she has what it takes to make your day perfect.

So how do you know what price you should beget for and if the price justifies the value you should expect? The following nine tips will give you insight on the “must haves” that any professional DJ or entertainment company should provide. But before we conclude with pricing segment, keep in mind that the average DJ package for 4 hours in Northern California is roughly $1,200.

Meet with the DJ and make sure he or she will actually be you DJ

Make sure to meet with your DJ before you book. You want to get a feel for his/her personality and mannerisms. Especially if you want your DJ to also emcee the event, overall appearance and professionalism is key. You should feel comfortable having conversation during the consultation.

Equipment

You can find a DJ with great personality, experience, talent, affordable prices, but it is imperative he or she uses the proper professional equipment. Beginning with the sound, professional speakers make all the difference in the world. Professional mics are also important. You don’t want microphone to cut in and out of signal because of insufficient range. There are also many different types of microphones for different applications. Make sure your DJ has the right type of mic for your event. A DJ should also have backup equipment in the event of technical difficulties.

Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ

These are the 40 most important questions to ask any professional disc jockey you are considering for your wedding, and will help you accurately gauge the professionalism, reliability, and honesty of any wedding DJ you are considering. This list of questions will certainly help you once you reach the DJ interview process, but doing some research beforehand will help you determine whether certain wedding DJs are even worth interviewing.  Good luck in your search!

1. Do you offer a written contract?

All of the wedding disc jockeys you interview may not have the same standards of professionalism. A written, legal contract is one of the first indicators of whether a DJ is professional and reliable. Furthermore, a contract establishes the DJ’s obligation to the client and outlines what is required for the DJ’s success, by outlining his setup requirements and other factors related to his performance. For this reason, a written contract is absolutely essential and any DJ not using a written contract should not, in our opinion, be considered for a wedding reception.

2. Will you be the DJ at our wedding?

Often, the person you speak with is not the person who will be your DJ on your wedding day. This is a very common practice among large agencies. It is absolutely paramount that you have an opportunity to interview the specific DJ that you will be working with and determine whether you feel comfortable with them. You should also expect that the individual DJ’s name is specified on your contract – it is the only way you can be guaranteed his or her services at your wedding.

3. May we meet our DJ before we sign a contract?

Many DJ companies will try to get clients to sign a contract without speaking with their DJ first, asking couples to simply trust that whoever the company sends to perform their wedding will be a good fit. In our experience, this is a terrible idea. The only way you’ll actually know whether the DJ you’ll have at your wedding is to interview them before you sign a contract. Your “gut” feeling is very important in selecting the right disc jockey, and you’ll be in a tough spot if you finally speak to your DJ a week before your wedding and realize they aren’t going to be a good match.

Here is everything you need to know about booking DJs for a party.

Whatever the occasion, hiring a DJ can add life and excitement to a party. Finding the right DJ for hire will ensure your party has the perfect soundtrack, and turns into a night your guests will never forget. Hiring a DJ doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these simple steps to do it right.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IN A DJ

Before you embark on hiring a DJ for your event, you must consider what you are looking for, as it will save on time and confusion later in the party-planning process. While many DJ’s can be versatile performers with catalogues of varied titles, many also specialize in certain events or musical genres.

A DJ for a corporate party will offer something quite different to one who specializes in wedding celebrations. For this reason, it is useful to establish what the type of party is that you are throwing, and what style of music will suit the occasion, so that you can find the best possible match for your function.

EXPLORE YOUR DJ OPTIONS

DJs often advertise using a variety of media platforms and many are registered on booking agency websites that contain a whole roster of DJs to choose from. Many clients, however, like to act on recommendations as they offer a clear and more personal indicator of what you can expect. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask around and see what presents itself.

A testimony from a friend or colleague is something more reliable to go on in these beginning stages than choosing an unfamiliar act. Alternatively, you can contact establishments that enlist DJs for similar events such as nightclubs or wedding planner companies, as they may be able to provide you with suitable recommendations.

DISCUSS THE DETAILS

It is best to consider too many than too few potential performers, so once you have selected several candidates, get in touch with them to see if they’re a good fit. You could include creative discussions about what you are looking for in a performance and what they can offer. This is also the time to hash out the essential details, checking their availability and that the date, time and location are agreeable as well as their price, the lighting and equipment costs, their set-up and performance times and anything else that you feel is worth asking.

Here is a complete guide to which vendors you should tip (and how much!) on your wedding day.

Catering:
If your contract doesn’t include gratuity, you should tip 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. Another way to tip is offering $50 to $100 for each chef and $20 to $50 per server.

Wedding planner:
Wedding planners won’t expect a tip, so this is optional based on service. If you were given a huge discount or the planner went far above and beyond their contracted services, offering a tip of 10 to 20 percent is a nice way of saying “thank you” for the efforts.

Photographer and videographer:
You’re not required to tip them if they own the studio. If they don’t, then giving them an extra $50 to $200 is a nice gesture. If there are two or three shooters, giving a $50 to $100 tip to each person (who doesn’t own the business) is optional.

Ceremony staff and reception staff:
It’s not mandatory to tip the ceremony staff, reception staff and delivery staff, but if you’d like to, then you can offer them $20-$50 each.

Officiant:
Often times officiants won’t accept tips, but a $100 donation to their church is a great way to thank them. If the officiant is non-denominational, consider giving them a $100 tip, especially if they aren’t charging for your service.

Hair and makeup artist:
A 15 to 20 percent tip is expected, just like it would be for any other regular salon visit, but it isn’t required.

Band or DJ:
Offering a 10 to 15 percent tip is a nice gesture to your band or DJ, especially if they have to carry a lot of heavy equipment from one location to the next. For musicians, a $25 to $50 tip per band member is appropriate.