Choosing A Fantastic Exterior Painting Color May Not Be Very Easy To Do

Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your House

Picking house paint colors isn’t just difficult; it can be terrifying! If you choose colors that are boring and blah, your house will seem flat and featureless, but if the paint colors are too bold, they can overwhelm the architecture or might even infuriate the neighbors. The potential rewards are substantial, though. Getting it just right by choosing the perfect exterior house color and trim combinations can change your life.

As you consider paint colors for you home’s exterior, keep in mind that the best paint colors are those that highlight the most beautiful features of your home. That’s one reason to know a little bit about residential architecture since history can tell you a lot about what colors have worked for various house styles over the years. Also remember that skillful use of color can sometimes disguise design flaws, boosting the curb appeal and market value of your home

 

Choose Your Shade First

The first thing you will want to do when deciding what color you want to paint the exterior of your home is to choose the shade of a color first. When I say “shade”, I mean do you want a light, mid-tone or dark color on the body of your home? At this point, you don’t have to consider anything else except to make a decision if you want a light or white color, a mid-tone or medium shade, or do you want a dark color.

For most of you, choosing a shade is an instant easy decision and you immediately know that you want a light or dark colored home.  However, some of you may not be sure and are open to any shade and need a little help making that decision. It will help if you search Pinterest for exterior homes for inspiration to determine what shade would look best for your home. For example, if you have a ranch style home, search “ranch style home exteriors” in Pinterest search to see all the different color options to inspire you

 

Not All Exterior Paints Are Equal

I have learned so much over the years about exterior paint products from my own projects, client projects and also working with paint companies. Unfortunately, I have also learned the hard way that not all exterior paints are created equal. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a fortune to have your house painted and you have to repaint within 2-3 years!

DURABILITY

The most important factor when choosing an exterior paint is durability.  You may be surprise to know that a highly durable exterior paint finish should last at least 5-10 years. Yes! You read that right! The best exterior paint that is applied properly can last up to 10 years! It is possible!

PAINT AND PRIMER (ALL-IN-ONE)

In my opinion, nothing is more important than using an exterior paint product that has primer in it. This is absolutely non-negotiable for me and the most important requirement that I have when it comes to choosing an exterior paint. The reason it’s so important to me is that unlike traditional paints, primer paint contains binding properties (fancy word for glues), which means the primer will act as a sealant.  Primer creates a binding layer (or) sealed layer on the material being painted that will increase durability making it more water and mold-resistance. Not too mention that you will have better coverage because primer will mask underlying color and imperfections better! That’s exactly what we need to have from an exterior paint.

 

Avoid These Common Mistakes

Even if you apply all these steps there are still some traps that you need to avoid:

Wait for the right weather conditions

It might sound obvious not to paint exterior surfaces whilst it is raining, very windy or particularly dusty. However, even smaller changes in weather can affect your work. Hot weather and direct sunlight can cause your paint to dry too quickly. Cooler temperature can stop the paint from sticking to the surface as it should. The best temperature is between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drips

Drips are common, look bad but are completely avoidable. How can you remove drip marks? If you notice a drip when your paint is still wet, then simply brush it into the surrounding paint. If the paint has dried, leave until the surrounding is completely dry and then carefully sand the area before touching it up with new paint

 

Protect your home by following these tips:

  1. Cover air conditioning units, landscaping and other surfaces close to the work area with drop cloths, old sheets or blankets.
  2. Tape windows and doors.
  3. Remove accessories such as light fixtures, doorbells, shutters, mailboxes and other detailed features. You can put them back on after the job is done.
  4. If bushes or other plants are close to the surface area to be painted, trim them back or tie them with twine to allow space to work and to keep them from touching the paint while it’s wet.

Restore Your Sofa With Upholstery Cleaning

Cleaning Household Upholstery Furniture

The smell of new upholstery furniture is an absolute delight! Not to mention the look and feel of it too. It’s soft, comfortable and more importantly, 100% clean! But then the weeks and months roll by and your brand new upholstery now smells dusty, looks dingy and feels dirty. It’s true; upholstery ages quickly if not cleaned or maintained regularly; and when that happens, it makes the whole room look rather drab. No one wants that, so if your upholstery furniture needs cleaning, you’ve come to the right place!

Vacuum Upholstery Thoroughly

Dust is the enemy! Unless vacuumed properly, dust gets smeared across your sofa and cushions when cleaning, making a much bigger mess of things. Hence, it’s never a good idea to skip step 1 when cleaning upholstery furniture. Use a soft brush attachment (or a specially made upholstery cleaning attachment) to vacuum the entire couch, removing all surface dirt and dust. Be sure to vacuum between crevices or cracks for any hidden dirt or particles. Here’s a good tip for thoroughly cleaning these hard to reach spots: take an empty toilet roll and attach it to the vacuum nozzle; then flatten the other end of the roll and start vacuuming nooks and crannies!

Attack Obvious Stains First

If you find stains or patches of discolouration due to dirt and dust accumulation over time, spot clean these areas first. Much like the process of removing carpet stains, we’ve found vinegar to be quite effective; however, you can also purchase a special upholstery cleaning agent for stain removal. Remember to specify what type of material your upholstery is made of when purchasing a cleaner as certain types of material demand specially made cleaning agents. Also, before you use vinegar or any cleaning product on your upholstery, test it out on an inconspicuous area just to be on the safe side. Allow it dry completely before checking for any damage. Once you’ve got the all-clear signal, begin spot cleaning by pouring the cleaner onto a clean microfibre cloth and rub the stain away as gently as possible.

Let the Deep Cleansing Begin!

Again, you can purchase a suitable cleaning product for your upholstery material, or make your own cleaning solution using a mild laundry detergent mixed with warm water. Soak and wring a clean microfibre cloth in this solution and gently wipe the entire surface of the upholstery, allowing some of the soapy solution to penetrate the fabric for a deep cleanse. Be careful not to let too much water soak into the sofa; wring the cloth properly each time you dip it into the solution. You may require more than one microfibre cloth (Alternatively you can rinse the same one under running water and reuse it). It’s important that the cloth is clean at all times as you wipe so that no dirt from the cloth is transferred back onto the upholstery.

Drying Your Freshly Cleaned Upholstery

To dry your sofa out, get as much air into the room as you can. Open all the windows in the room, regulate the fan to top speed (push the sofa directly under the fan if it already isn’t) and leave it there until all the dampness has dried up. To speed up the process, you could also use a hairdryer but frankly speaking, air drying upholstery is the best option. You’re your upholstery dries up naturally, it allows the detergent smell to air our and fade just enough so that it isn’t overbearing when you sit down on the couch

 

Easily clean your car seats with these great tips!

How to Clean Car Seats with Household Products

Spills happen.  But when they happen, your car seats can become quite messy and stained.  So, to help you keep your car clean and mess-free, we have some useful and easy-to-do tips on how to clean car seats with household products. You’ll notice that the cleaning items needed are linked so that you can easily purchase them.

Cleaning Cloth Seats

Instead of taking your car in to a cleaning service, there are several ways that you can clean your cloth seats on your own

For instance:

Use club soda.  Lightly spray it on the stained area and use a brush to scrub away the stain, then wipe it away with a clean towel.

Use a baking soda solution.  Mix ¼ cup of baking soda with a cup of warm water, then use a light layer of the solution and a toothbrush to scrub away the stain.  If the stain is difficult, let the solution sit for around 30 minutes.

Use a vinegar mixture.  Mix a cup of vinegar, a few drops of dish soap and about a gallon of hot water in a bucket.  Then dab the mixture into the stain and use a brush to scrub it out of the seat, use clean water to rinse the seat off.

Use laundry detergent.  If you don’t have a specific upholstery detergent/cleaner, you mix some laundry detergent with hot water and dampen the stains with it.  Use a towel with cold water to rinse the detergent off the seat and scrub the stain away.

Cleaning Leather Seats

Leather seats need extra care compared to cloth upholstery because of the premium quality of the material.

To clean messes and stains off of leather, try one of these do-it-yourself ways:

Use nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.  Blotting the stain with a cotton ball that dipped in the alcohol will slowly lift the mess from the leather.  And once the stain is lifted, clean the alcohol off the seat with warm water and dish soap.

Use a non-gel toothpaste.  A more unique technique, dab a bit of toothpaste on the stain and then use a clean toothbrush to gently scrub away the stain.

Use a lemon juice and cream of tartar paste.  Mix an equal portion of lemon juice and cream of tartar into a paste and apply to the stain.  It should sit for about 30 minutes and then you can wipe it away with a damp sponge.  The paste has a bleaching effect, so it should only be used on light-colored seats.

The vinegar mixture works on leather seats as well!

 

How To Clean Your Sofa

Couch potato or not, you need to clean your sofa – all the crumbs and chips from last year’s World Cup could be turning green in between the cracks and cushions. That coffee stain from last week is starting to look like an outbreak on the sofa, what would your friends say?

Keep your most frequently used furniture clean and hygienic to last many more movie nights. Although you should be getting your sofa professionally cleaned every 6-12 months, giving your sofa a good DIY clean in between can prevent stubborn build-ups that could potentially damage the upholstery material.

Vacuum All Over

Vacuum everything – the cushions, in between the cracks, and all over the surface of your sofa. Remove any large debris, coins, pens, paperclips, crayons or keys from the sofa (did we miss anything?). You can cover the vacuum nozzle with an old stocking or pantyhose and secure it with a rubberband to stop coins from being sucked up while you’re vacuuming.

Identify Your Fabric

Your sofa should come with a care tag that gives instructions about what to do and more importantly, what not to do! Read the cleaning instructions carefully and identify what cleaning products you should use for your fabric to avoid permanent damage

As a general guide, most tags would indicate this as:

“W”: It’s okay to use water to clean, or a water-based detergent if you’re using a steam vacuum

“S”: Use only a solvent-based cleaner or a dry-cleaning detergent

“SW or WS”: You can use either water or a solvent cleaner/dry-cleaning detergent

“O”: Indicates the material is ‘Organic’ (natural fibers) and should be washed with cold water

“X”: Only vacuum or use a brush to clean, get a professional upholstery cleaner if it needs shampooing

 

How to clean a sofa

Whether you ban food and drinks from your sofa or eat your dinner on it every evening, here’s some advice to keep it looking spick and span. We asked almost 2,000 Which? members how regularly they cleaned their sofas; a quarter of them cleaned their sofa once a month and the same number cleaned their sofa roughly once every few months.

If, despite your best cleaning efforts, your sofa is looking grey around the edges, it could be time for a new one. Head to the best sofa retailers page to find out which store tops the table for best customer service, value for money and range of sofas

The most common sofa stains

Sofa stains are incredibly annoying, especially if your sofa is covered in a light fabric. But what are the most common causes of stains? We asked our Which? members

Sofa cleaning tips

If disaster strikes and your sofa ends up splattered with red wine or curry sauce, attend to spills immediately using plain water first.  In the case of small spills on a fabric sofa, it’s important to avoid the instinct to rub at the stain. This only pushes the spillage deeper into the fabric, which of course makes it harder to clean.

Sofa protection

Prevention can be easier (and cheaper) than cure – top tips to keep your sofa looking showroom-fresh include:

To maintain your fabric sofa, it should be vacuumed or brushed weekly as dirt accumulating on it can lead to the upholstery wearing and its colour dulling.

To avoid fading, place furniture out of direct or prolonged periods of sunlight, and away from heat sources.

Avoid cosmetic products such as sun cream or body lotion coming into contact with your upholstery.

Beware of sharp objects like studs, belt buckles and toys snagging fabric. Velcro is also best avoided.

 

The Right Way to Clean Velvet Furniture

Choosing velvet furniture is choosing to make a bold style statement in your space—there’s no ignoring its soft sheen, rich color, and innate elegance. But velvet’s commanding presence also means that any discoloration or stains are that much more visible. No more hiding a dusty apartment…once the sunlight hits a velvet couch, there’s no hiding those annoying, allergy-inducing particles.

Anthropologie’s website has pages of swoon-worthy velvet sofas and chairs to peruse, so who better to ask for advice on how to clean velvet? According to Anne White, the brand’s head of home interiors personal styling, the first thing you should think about is actually completely unrelated to the furniture. “If you’ve opted for a bright, richly pigmented color, like navy or chartreuse, we recommend avoiding direct sunlight, which can cause the fabric to fade,” she says. “Consider window coverings substantial enough to protect your piece but lovely enough to catch the eye. The technology for window films, which block the sun’s rays without blocking your view, has improved and may be another avenue to explore.” Craving more velvet cleaning tips? Read on to learn how to clean velvet furniture and protect it from wear and tear and those inevitable spills.

Vacuum the fabric

Remember those pesky dust particles we were talking about? Well, in terms of regular maintenance, all you need to do to the item itself is give it a good dusting. “We recommend regular vacuuming,” says Anne. “A soft brush can also loosen surface dirt and brush it away.”

Tackle spills the right way

If a friend does happen to spill their cocktail on your couch, White suggests blotting the area immediately with a clean, dry absorbent cloth. We then recommend mandating said friend to a different spot in your home. No one likes a party foul.

Test cleaning products

If a dried stain is staring you in the face and you just can’t help but do something about it, test any cleaning product (even basic soap and water) on a hidden spot to ensure it doesn’t ruin the fabric. Mix soap and water to create a sudsy solution. Use a soft cloth to blot the stain with the suds, then let the fabric dry completely.

Tips For Minimizing Auto Repairs

Why You Need to Hire a Mobile Mechanic

Cars are very important because of the mobility they offer. Moving from one place to another is much easier when you have a vehicle. You can also run your errands smoothly. The freedom you get to enjoy during your travels is also essential. However, owning a car comes with its own set of challenges. You have to fork out a lot of money when it comes to maintenance.

There are several practices you have to observe to keep your vehicle in the perfect condition and make sure it serves you for an extended period. Car breakdowns are a common occurrence for many. They might happen to you anywhere and anytime of the day. The sad part is when you experience it when you are traveling.

There are some issues you can fix by yourself while others will require the services of a mechanic. You should look for a mobile mechanic who can sort you out. They will come to fix your car anywhere and anytime. Mobile Mechanic Atlanta is one who can sort out your auto problems fast.

You must consider the availability of the mobile mechanic youtire repair want to hire. The best ones are those who offer 24-hour services. Compare service fees between the different mobile mechanics and go for one with considerable charges. There are several reasons why you should consider hiring these type of mechanics. They include:

Convenience

You will get to enjoy some great level of comfort when you hire a mobile mechanic. There is no need to stress yourself out about what to do, especially when you experience a break down in the middle of a highway or during your travel. These mechanics will come very fast to fix your vehicle and save you the inconvenience.

 

Saves Costs

Hiring a mobile mechanic will also help you save on a lot of costs. There is no need to seek the services of a towing company because the mobile mechanic will fix all the mess at your car breakdown point. The necessary on-site repairs will be conducted, and you will save on the amount you would have used to tow your vehicle to the nearest garage.

No More Queues

You do not have to worry about standing in queues because mobilemobile car service mechanics will report to where you direct them and conduct the necessary repairs or maintenance practices. Going to a garage may see you spend a lot of time in a long queue waiting for your car to be serviced. Seek the services of a mobile mechanic to save time.

 

Benefits Of Using A Mobile Mechanic

We all know that the vehicles we drive require periodic maintenance to keep them operating at 100%, but sometimes life can get in the way. Work, family and many other factors can take precedence over taking our cars to the mechanic to have servicing and repairs carried out. Having to take a day off work to drop the car off and wait around until it’s completed, or work out a way to get to and from work as well as doing the school run can make the idea of visiting the mechanic shop a daunting thought.

But, there is a solution to all this – mobile mechanics. Mobile mechanics usually operate from a fully stocked van or utility, and can perform almost all the same tasks that traditional bricks and mortar mechanical workshops can. Here are 5 benefits of using a mobile mechanic for your next service or repair.

  1. They come to your home or workplace

The most obvious benefit of using a mobile mechanic is that they can work on your car at your home or while you are at work. As long as you have a flat, safe area away from main roads, a mobile mechanic can carry out servicing and repairs, leaving you to continue your day at home or work without having to worry about getting to and from the workshop.

  1. They can come to you when you are broken down

If your vehicle has left you stranded on the side of the road with a flat battery, or something more serious, a mobile mechanic can make their way out to you and may even be able to fix your vehicle on the spot, saving you from paying for a tow truck to your nearest workshop and then waiting for them to have an opening available to look at your vehicle.

  1. They can carry out almost all servicing and repairs on site

Mobile mechanics are fully qualified to carry out the necessary repairs on your vehicle, from brakes to timing belts and everything in between. There can be some repair jobs that they are unable to carry out, such as repairs that require a hoist, but the mobile mechanic will be able to inform you of these repairs and can often organise a workshop to carry these larger jobs for you.

 

Mobile Auto Service – The Pros and Cons

Not too long ago, I was testing a car down Berger Road when I saw a man working under a school bus! He was changing the oil on the street! This got me thinking about mobile vehicle services. Some mobile automotive services are already common, such as mobile detailing and mobile windshield and glass repair; but what about mobile mechanics?

Mobile mechanics have increased in popularity over the last 8-10 years. This trend has likely been influenced by economic necessity stemming from the recession as well as the shift towards customer convenience.

PROS

  1. Price: Mobile mechanics do not have the added overhead of a facility and associated equipment. The resulting lower costs can save customers 20-30%.
  2. Convenience: Mobile mechanics come to you at home or at work. This eliminates the need to take time from work, school, or other responsibilities in order to service your car, and can save you a significant amount of money.
  3. It makes sense: This mobile option is ideal for certain preventive maintenance jobs that don’t take too long.

CONS

  1. Limited access to the larger equipment needed to service vehicles:

Lifts: Mobile mechanics may not have access to the lifts that allow for inspection of a car’s underside.  This step is very important, so ask if they have a professional quality lift rather than a jack and stands as with the mobile mechanic featured in the photo below. A jack and stands  can be dangerous on uneven surfaces especially on the side of a road. Professional grade balancing equipment: This equipment for balancing tires and aligning vehicles cannot travel with the mechanic.

  1. Fewer resources: There is no one around to provide help if the mechanic needs a second hand or a second opinion. (Though with smartphones this is not such an issue now.)
  2. Lack of more complex tools: Some factory equivalent scan tools cost so much they are out of reach for mobile mechanics.
  3. Limitations based on job size: Larger jobs- those that require removing the interior of a car, for example- would be impossible to do in a driveway.
  4. Limitations due to weather: Limitations in emergency situations.

 

HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL MOBILE AUTO REPAIR BUSINESS

Have you ever thought about starting a mobile auto repair business? Or as a vehicle owner, have you thought about how convenient it would be for mechanics to perform vehicle services right at your home? This isn’t a foreign concept. As a matter of fact, there are many auto repair professionals who do just that for a living. However, franchise and independent service shops still outnumber mobile repair businesses by a wide margin.  Mobile auto repair is a very attractive service to many consumers, given the inconvenience of dropping off their vehicle and arranging rides while carless. So why isn’t mobile auto repair a more widely available service?

Mobile Auto Repair is Not That Simple

In a world of technology and convenience, it’s logical that a mechanic would come right to your home to service or repair your vehicle. However, house-call repairs are easier said than done.

Here were some of the common themes across respondents:

Inadequate Infrastructure

  • Tools & Equipment – Not able to carry all necessary tools or heavy equipment, such as a lift. Having tools and equipment easily accessible at the shop is ideal.
  • Location – The client may not have the best set up, such as a garage or even driveway. Some office parks and gated communities might not even allow vehicle maintenance and repair on their property at all.
  • Parts – Obtaining parts can be challenging and time-consuming. Some jobs end up needing additional parts for repairs that were not originally diagnosed.
  • Weather – Poor weather conditions make outdoor jobs miserable and sometimes impossible

Insurance/Safety Issues

  • Insurance for a mobile repair business is costly
  • Working alone is not always the safest – some jobs more than others
  • Poor weather conditions can also be a safety issue
  • Leaks or spills of containment can be hazardous if not properly cleaned up

Cost Tolerance

  • Customers aren’t willing to pay extra for the convenience of house-call services
  • Many customers believe that rates should be significantly cheaper since the mechanics don’t have shop overhead. However, mobile repair jobs often take longer and there are many other expenses involved.

The Importance Of A Water Testing

Water analysis

Drinking water

The water quality report shows typical values for a selection of characteristics from the last quarter. These values are a range of all results from the 10th to the 90th percentile unless stated otherwise.

Appliances

When installing new appliances like dishwashers, steam ovens and coffee machines, you may need to know the hardness, pH, or other information about your water. Depending on where your appliance was made, you may need this information in different formats to help your appliances work efficiently. We’ve provided the information in the most common units of measure.

Education

If you’re a student looking for information for research or an assignment, our Education pages may help. Read below to find out more about how we manage the water supply.

Water management

We supply you with high quality, safe drinking water managed under our drinking water management system. This means our drinking water

Quarterly Drinking Water Quality Report

To read our quarterly report, simply enter your address so we can show the results for your area.

 

Bacterial Safety of Well Water

Well Management Program

It is not practical to test water for every disease-causing microorganism, but it is easy to test for a group of indicator bacteria called total coliform bacteria. These bacteria are good indicators of sanitary protection of the well and water system because they are everywhere on the surface of the ground, but do not usually occur past a few feet into the soil. If they show up in a water test, they can indicate that surface contamination has gotten into the water and that disease-causing microorganisms may be present. Just as disinfection kills most disease-causing microorganisms, it also kills coliform bacteria

Health Risks

While most coliform bacteria do not cause disease, their presence suggests there may be disease-causing microorganisms in your water. These microorganisms can cause diarrheas, dysenteries, salmonellosis, hepatitis, and guardians. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, nausea, headaches, fever, fatigue, and even death sometimes. Infants, children, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick or die from disease-causing microorganisms in drinking water.

Test for Coliform Bacteria Every Year

MDH recommends you use an accredited laboratory to test your water. Contact an accredited laboratory to get sample containers and instructions, or ask your county environmental or public health services if they provide well testing services

Prevent Bacterial Contamination

You can do the following to help maintain this natural protection:

Make sure your well is located and constructed properly. Work with a licensed well contractor to do this.

Inspect your well regularly and repair any damage. Things to look for are:

Damage: Any cracks or holes in well casing, corrosion, loose wires, or soil settling?

Well cap: Is it securely attached to the well casing? Is it broken or missing?

Connections: Are the electrical conduit and other connections watertight?

Mark your well with flags or posts to avoid hitting it with vehicles.

Keep the well area clear of debris.

Maintain minimum isolation distances from contamination sources, such as fertilizers, pesticides, septic systems, and feedlots (see Protecting Your Well for guidance).

Do not tie animals to your well.

Have a licensed well contractor seal wells that you no longer use. A well that you no longer use can be a pathway for contaminants to get into groundwater and is a safety hazard.

 

Testing Your Water

Contaminated wells

Contaminants could show up in your drinking water, potentially putting your family’s health at risk. Because you may not taste, smell, or see many types of contaminants, the state Department of Health (DOH) believes regular water testing is very important.

Well water testing

If you own a private well, you are responsible for testing your own water. In most counties when you buy or sell a home with a private well, the county health or planning department, or the lending institution involved, may require the seller to provide water-sampling results to show the water is safe to drink. Contact your local county health or planning department for information on the requirements and the testing needed.

DOH recommends that private well owners test their drinking water every year for coliform bacteria and nitrate. These two contaminants rapidly could affect a person’s health—possibly even with just one drink of water. If your nitrate level is 5 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or higher, you may want to re-test in six months

General Sampling Procedure

The provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act requires public water supplies to collect microbiological and chemical samples at various frequencies. This sample collection frequency is determined by each source’s water quality history compliance with previous monitoring requirements, and waiver status.

To assist water systems on when to sample and what types of samples to collect, the Office of Drinking water sends out an annual Water Quality Monitoring Reports to Group A systems

 

Drinking water quality

Supplying high quality drinking water at all times is a priority to us. Sometimes things can go wrong, so we’ve provided some information to help if your water doesn’t seem right.

Over the course of a year some 300,000 water tests are taken and analysed, and of the water we supply, 99.96% meet drinking water quality standards at customer taps.

Your water can also be affected by work or incidents in your area. You can check for planned or emergency works near you with our In Your Area service below

Discoloured water is usually caused by the disturbance of deposits in the water pipes. The disturbance of deposits can happen when a water main is shut off due to essential maintenance or in an emergency.

Discoloured water is unlikely to be harmful to health but we wouldn’t expect anyone to drink it when it looks unpleasant. It usually clears fairly quickly after a few minutes of flushing your taps through but it may take around 45 minutes of running the tap before it clears.

 

Ways to Find Out If Your Drinking Water Is Safe

The news is full of dire warnings about pollutants, toxins, bacteria, and other worrisome extras turning up in drinking water. But how do you find out if the water coming out of your kitchen tap is safe? It’s not as hard as you might think—there’s a surprising amount of information out there, if you know where to look for it.

Check With Your Water Company

You know that bill you pay every month, or every quarter, for your drinking water? It’s the first stepping-stone on your search. Every year, your water agency is required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to supply you with a Consumer Confidence Report, which is an annual water quality report that details any and all contaminants that may be present in your water and alerts you to the health risks they pose.

Search the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database

This watchdog agency maintains a handy-dandy (and easier to use) database of water quality reports, searchable by zip code and by water company.

At first glance, the results can be scary. That’s because the EWG highlights chemicals that are found to be above what it terms the “health limit” in addition to those that exceed the legal limit for safe water. The EWG’s data also includes many chemicals that aren’t regulated—meaning chemicals for which the EPA has not set legal limits. For these chemicals, it uses zero as the baseline, so water that contains any amount of the chemicals is flagged.

Use the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch Program

Eighteen states participate in the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch program, which links to a searchable database of detailed information on water quality violations, reported health hazards, and actions taken by the state to enforce water quality or clean up pollution.

Office Movers And Move Safely

COMMERCIAL, OFFICE MOVING TIPS

Whether you are getting new furniture/appliances for your move, or simply decluttering, it can be daunting to know how to dispose of large, unwanted furniture. Thankfully, finding a good way to dispose of old office furniture and equipment doesn’t have to be such a problem. In fact, there are some pretty good ways to make disposal work to be beneficial to you and the company.

When it is time to relocate your office, one of the biggest logistical headaches can often be what to do with your old office furniture and equipment. That can be especially true if you don’t want to pay to have your old stuffs moved or are going to be getting new furniture delivery and installation at your new location.

Make a Complete Inventory of Furniture

The first step in disposing of old office furniture prior to a commercial move is making a detailed inventory of what you’ve got and what you don’t want to take with you. Include everything: desks, chairs, lamps, tables, cubicles, cabinets, and so on.

To create and record the inventory, assign one person in charge of collecting the information. However, for larger companies, put one person in charge for each floor in your building and have another person combine all of the lists together in a spreadsheet or database in other to avoid missing out any part of the process.

Sell to Your Employees First

Don’t overlook your employees when it comes to disposing your company’s old office furniture. Before you move your office, consider selling your old furniture to your employees at a good discount.

 

ULTIMATE OFFICE MOVING CHECKLIST

Like any other kind of relocation, office moving has its specific issues, and it can be a stressful affair if not planned in detail.

There may be valuable electronic items and lots of bulky items to pack with care. You may also not have sufficient time to do it systematically since offices do not usually shut down for packing and keep running till the last minute

These tips will guide you to make a smooth, hassle-free move. You also need to prepare an office moving checklist to ensure that you pack precious items appropriately and also remember to pack all items essential for the smooth functioning of your office.

Plan the initial steps to take: A detailed plan with the priorities should be made months before the actual day of moving to ensure there are no hiccups on a moving day.

It should include the following:

Make teams, assign tasks to each member, and choose who will lead each team for a smooth transit

Check the expiry period of your current office’s lease. See if you may need to move early to the new location and figure out the losses that may incur because of that

Shortlist the best office removalists, get quotes from them, and opt for one who will provide the best services for your money

Check if you have insured valuable furniture and other equipment

Make a detailed budget that will cover all possible costs and also allow for contingencies. This will help you to put a limit to your expenses and prevent any excess spending

 

Tips for Moving Office Furniture

If you have an upcoming office move, keep in mind that moving office furniture is not a task for your employees. Even if a person knows how to safely lift and move heavy objects, attempting to move your office furniture could result in a strained muscle or back injury. Professional movers have the training and equipment needed to safely move heavy office furniture without injuring themselves or others, and without damaging the furniture, offices and entryways.

In addition to eliminating the risk of (and liability for) an injury to one of your employees, hiring a professional to move your office furniture helps protect your investment and ensures your furniture will look and function as well in the new location as it does in your current one. Office movers employ highly-trained technicians who can disassemble and reassemble modular furniture systems to manufacturer recommendations.

The professional movers also know the importance of careful planning in an office move. For instance, reconfiguration of cubicles and office furniture systems will likely be required, depending on the space and layout of your current and new office as well as the location of existing electrical, network and phone outlets. Discuss this with the mover you hire

Make safety a priority and avoid the risk of added costs and lost production by hiring professional office furniture movers. Even when hiring professionals, you and your employees will still have lots to do in preparation of and after the move.

The following tips will help with that:

A day or two before moving day, provide each employee with a carton to pack his or her desk or cubicle contents. Your employees should remove all contents from their desks and pack them in the moving cartons, carefully wrapping any fragile items. If possible, they can consolidate office belongings with those of other employees being relocated in the immediate area at the new location to conserve carton space. Place small items such as pens and paper clips in envelops and put the envelopes in the carton. Tell your employees to take any personal possessions with them rather than include them in the office move.

In most cases, upright file cabinets can be moved with contents intact, but someone should remove contents of lateral cabinets and pack in cartons designed for files. Unbolt any file cabinets that are gang bolted together. Files will be moved in an upright position and can be locked if unbolting is completed.

Remove and pack all contents from supply cabinets. Lock, tape, or tie cabinet doors closed.

Remove all books from bookcases and pack the books in a carton, standing on their ends.

Complete all packing before moving day. Only personnel directly involved with the move should be present on moving day

 

Tips for making your office relocation go faster

Making your office relocation go faster – some things you can do

So, if you want to make your office relocation go faster, you can do several things. Moreover, if you do them on time, you will avoid some common obstacles with last-minute relocation

Call a moving company to help you. There is no shame in calling a moving company to do your relocation for you. Moreover, moving companies employ professionals in the fields of logistics and relocation, thus, they can take good care of your move.

Do the move on your own. Now, this can get really hard. Moving on your own is hard enough, but relocating an office alone is even more. Offices are usually packed with important machines, laptops, computers, documents, et cetera. Thus, you need to be extra careful when you are trying to move your office. Ask your colleagues for help (if you are working with any), or call some friends to help as well.

Never forget the following

There are some things you should not keep out of your mind. For example, it does not matter where you move – it matters that you do your relocation in the best possible manner

Yet another thing you should not forget is cleaning. Once you have packed and loaded everything from the office, you will need to clean it. Moving can be dirty work – start by dusting everything before washing the floors. In case you do not have any time for that process, make sure to call professional cleaning services.

 

Download your free office move budget calculator

If you think moving home is stressful, imagine what it’s like planning an office move. Making sure that all your colleagues, documents and furniture are rearranged into their new homes to everyone’s satisfaction, and doing all of that on a strict budget and within a tight timeframe! That’s why we’ve created this office move budget calculator to help you tot up all the costs of moving offices.

Moving offices can be hard and there’s no chance of a practice run. Your office move simply has to go smoothly the first time around.

Based on our extensive experience helping others move office, this office move budget calculator will take you through the important steps, help to calculate costs and make sure you’re planning everything necessary for such a huge undertaking.

Our office move budget calculator is a spreadsheet enabling you to enter the quantities of furniture, accessories, and fixtures required. It then works out what the cost would be in your choice of three price brackets (entry-level, mid-market, top-end). The calculator even estimates installation costs, legal fees and interior design prices meaning you won’t be too caught out by any cost that you weren’t expecting.

The calculator also contains a useful “things to remember” section at the end which acts as an office move checklist for you to follow and make sure you don’t miss anything vital.

Put together a dedicated project team: It’s really stressful for just one person to try and organise everything, make sure they’ve got support.  When building your project team, make sure you get the right people on board. Make sure that the means of communicating with all stakeholders is determined in advance to avoid confusion. Make it clear who the project leader is and what everyone else’s role is. And make sure the people involved have the relevant authority to make potentially speedy decisions without waiting days for a signature.

Getting staff onside: An office move can build morale by showing staff that you are investing in their environment. Make the reason for the office move clear to all members of staff to get them on board and keep communication open and frequent. Change can be unsettling and the company has to function whilst the move is happening so it’s imperative to have your people on board. Explain the move in terms of business objectives so that they can see the value to the business. Bill it as a nice opportunity to clear out their desks of unwanted paperwork, equipment and furniture, and scan any items of paperwork you think you might need to save cluttering up valuable space.

Tips For Starting Your Own Commercial Electrical Maintenance

Factors To consider when selecting a Commercial Electrical Contractor

Whether you are looking to retrofit an area of your office, or you need to redo the whole building, hiring a commercial electrical contractor can be a very cumbersome task. You may be overwhelmed by the options available to you, but bear in mind that not all contractors offer the same standards of service. It means that you need to ascertain that your chosen contractor can fulfill your requirements aptly. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you can consider when looking for commercial

Are They Qualified?

For reputable electrical contractors, Perth Western Australia regulations are highly important. This means that the company not only adheres to any regulations but ensures that their technicians are continually trained to remain compliant. Often contractors will showcase their qualifications on any promotional material, but if you are in any doubt don’t be afraid to ask.

Are They Local?

While there are some great companies around the country, it is important to choose a company who are geographically convenient. Choosing a local company not only means that you are supporting your own local economy, but removes many of the inconveniences of transportation. Local companies will be aware of the best local suppliers and will not be delayed reaching your project by a long commute. Additionally, since many contractors factor in the cost of travel to the jobsite, you are likely to find that a local company offers the most competitive price.

Look for recommendations

Reach out to your network in order to get recommendations from friends, colleagues and other business acquaintances. Ask them about the nature of their projects and if they were pleased with the finished project or not. You can also reach out to your local electrical and hardware supply stores; they usually have a list of contacts of professionals in the area.

Remember that you aren’t just going to be working with the business owner when working on your project. To ensure that you don’t end up being a robbery victim, go with the company that conducts thorough background checks.

 

Verify their credentials

Going with the lowest bid for your project may sound enticing, but you need to ensure that your contractor has the appropriate licenses. A licensed contractor is required by law to carry their worker’s compensation along with liability insurances against any accidents and injuries that may occur on your premises. Hiring someone without these is opening yourself and your business to risk, so don’t hesitate in asking the company for a copy of these things. It’s very common and every contractor should have all this information readily available. Doing so will allow you to see if their license is active and valid.

Reviews

Having shortlisted a handful of contractors by this point, start pulling up their reviews. You can use social networks to your benefit and check up on the contractors. Through social media, you should find out as much as you can about the contractor and hire them once you are satisfied.

 

Insurance

Above all, the most important thing is to make sure your electrical contractor is insured. This means that if your home was somehow ruined, due to the electrical work, you’d be fully compensated for it. This is known as “public liability insurance”. Also ensure that your electrician has professional indemnity insurance, and trust mark warranty.

Good Quality Equipment

They tool reflects the worker. If an electricians uses good quality and well tested equipment, you know that they have experience in the field and seriously care about maintaining a good standard for the jobs they take on. Additionally, a good contractor will also use equipment that offers good value for money, meaning they can offer a reasonable price to their customers without sacrificing quality.

Properly Trained Staff

Quality equipment is important, but without properly trained electricians to handle it, it’s pointless. It takes years of training to be a properly trained and qualified electrician. Ensure that they have all the proper evidence of training.

 

Attitude

Make sure that your electrician has the correct attitude. They should be proactive, asking you questions and trying to help you, passionate, showing a clear interest in electrics. They should be helping you to help them provide the best service possible. If they are clearly motivated and making an effort in order to provide the best service, you know that you will want to hire them.

Service

Do they provide all the services that you’re looking for? Make sure beforehand that they can handle your entire job. Design, installation, after-care, etc. The design is one of the most important parts of any electrical job, as it forms what is possible in your home. Houses often have wiring that dates back to the 1940s, so frequently more houses are having their entire homes rewired in order to fit their needs.

 

Do They Offer a Full Range of Services?

While you may only be looking to have a small job completed, it is a good idea to find a contractor who offers a full range of services. While some companies offer indoor work or only outdoor work, there are contractors who offer to provide both. This allows you to build up a relationship with a company you can trust. This means that when you need another project completed at a later date, you don’t need to repeat the research process and can simply call up the company for a quote. While many contractors offer a wide range of domestic services, if you are looking for an industrial electrical contractors, Perth residents may need to look for a more specialised company.

Enough Manpower

Make sure that your electrician has a large enough team to get the job done. Most people want their jobs done yesterday, and without a large team, they will not be able to complete a big job quickly, meaning it will take them longer to get your job done.

Interstate Moving Companies

Many people find moving from one place to another as a very tedious process. There are many tasks which need to be carried out effectively with proper planning. This is the reason people consider it convenient to hire the services of a moving company. The movers can take care of all aspects related to the moving process to help you relax.

There are different types of moving companies that help in handling various packing, moving and relocating needs. Depending on your need and requirement, you may need the services of a specific type of moving company. The first step in planning a smooth move is to choose the right type of moving company. The type of move you are about to undertake will play an important role in selecting the right service. Moving abroad and moving to a building down the road are two different things and require different types of moving companies to handle the shifting.

Experience – A professional moving company has experience in moving heavy boxes and other household items from one place to another. The company’s employees are trained rigorously to properly handle all the belongings throughout the different stages of the relocation process. They do this job day in and day out and can be trusted completely.

Reliable – Hiring a professional moving company is the most reliable option while moving from one place to another. You can stay stress-free as they know all the techniques to keep your belongings safe.

Right Equipment and Packing Supplies – Professionals come equipped with all the things required in the moving process. They have pads, straps, plastic wrap, wrapping papers, markers for labeling, moving blankets, boxes and tape to pack and move things without any damage.

Safety – It is an important thing to take care of during the moving process. Hiring professionals will ensure the safety of your belongings as they come in teams to make the moving process as swift and successful as possible.

Insurance – When you move your belongings with the help of a professional moving company, your goods are covered under insurance to cover whatever might go wrong. If the truck meets with an accident or if something gets damaged during the move, you can file a claim.

No Hassle – Moving is a very stressful process. When you try to do the shifting work all by yourself, you may injure yourself while lifting heavy boxes or you may even break or damage something. Having professionals by your side, offers a lot of peace of mind. You can leave all the hard work for them and they will ensure a hassle free moving experience.

Interstate moving companies charge their customers a rate that is based on what they will be moving so to make it less expensive try to get rid of stuff you do not need before contacting a moving company. If this is the first time that you have moved, do not hire the first company that you see on the internet or in the phone book. You should get quotes from at least three different companies. You need to check their reputation, and how reliable they are.

Get Your Bathroom Remodeling Superhero

Where Does Your Money Go for a Bathroom Remodel?

Per square foot, no room in the house takes more work or costs more money to remodel than the bathroom. The combination of plumbing, moisture content, electrical wiring, and decorating schemes packed into the smallest residential spaces create unique demands on remodeling a bathroom. Yet, these same demands also place unmatched value on bathroom spaces, whether in terms of day-to-day living or home property values.

Finished Products vs. Labor and Expenses

Like a kitchen remodel, there will be substantial costs in finished products from flooring, bathtubs, shower surrounds, cabinets, countertops, and numerous bathroom fixtures. These products, however, don’t typically have the same price tags as major kitchen appliances and full cabinet and countertop installations. Plus, bathroom remodeling is a more labor-intensive process between tearing out old bathroom amenities and tedious tile and plumbing installation. 60-70 percent of bathroom remodel costs are labor and expenses and about 30-40 percent is finished product. Of course, this cost breakdown indicates only an estimated average, as the cost breakdown of specific projects can vary quite a bit.

Difference Makers: Plumbing, Bathroom Designs, and Bathroom Tile

Undoubtedly, the biggest difference maker is plumbing and bathroom design. Already one of the costliest and involved subcontractors for bathroom remodeling, if a homeowner wishes to relocate a toilet, sink, or bathtub within the bathroom, extensive plumbing installation will be required, causing a substantial spike in the cost of labor and expenses. In fact, if you’re set on relocating your bathroom plumbing, not only will you need a substantially larger budget, but you’ll need more contingency room in your budget, as any number of obstacles can arise once the walls are torn out.

Another reason bathroom remodeling costs tend to skew toward labor and expenses is the prevalence of bathroom flooring and shower tile. Even the size of the tile will play a role in the cost breakdown of your new bathroom floor. Smaller tiles may cost less from the manufacturer but will require more labor to install. Dot inserts for your tile can also get expensive quickly, as tile accents can cost $12-$40 to cut per insert.

The Huge Cost Differences of Bathroom Remodeling

No remodeling project shows the cost difference between economical and luxury projects, and no remodeling project holds the potential for greater swings in the breakdown of finished products vs. labor and expenses. You might be able to find a low-end shower door, for example, for as little as $300, while luxury shower doors can run more than $3,000. A bathtub can range from $400 to more than $8,000 to buy and install. Shower surrounds can be just as varied. For a master bath with a separate shower and tub, installation costs can range from $3,500-$12,000. These huge differences in cost are also supported by the Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value Report. Other remodeling projects show twice the cost when upgrading from a mid-range to an upscale project. Meanwhile, an equivalent upgrade for bathroom remodels causes the average cost to triple.

 

Questions to Consider Before Your DIY Bathroom Remodel

So you’ve caught the DIY bug and are feeling inspired by the new year to tackle your own bathroom remodel—congratulations! You’ve got this under control and can be confident that you’re making the right decision in remodeling your bathroom to add extra value to your home. Plus, if you’re doing this on a budget you’re adding even more value to your pocket by cutting down on the expenses of renovation by doing most of the work yourself. You clever homeowner, you.

But before you get started, there are some questions you’ll want to consider that can make everyone’s life much easier. And when you’re done and enjoying the peace and quiet of your brand-new (well, kind of) bathroom, you’ll be glad you did.

What’s your mold protection plan?

There are many different options for mold-proofing your bathroom, but you’ll want to have the materials prepared and ready to go to streamline the process. Once you’ve stripped your bathroom down to bare bones, it’s time to re-build from the ground up, and if your bathroom is prone to mold, it may be worthwhile to investigate your mold protection options. For example, blue board is a form of drywall that’s mold resistant and only costs a few dollars more.

Don’t forget the fan.

It may not sound like a big deal, but think about all the moisture your bathroom creates on a daily basis, trapped in such a small space. A fan is a necessity in keeping your bathroom as healthy and mold-free as possible. But what kind should you buy? If you opt for a separate fan and light, your overall cost will be cheaper, but they’ll be trickier to replace. If you decide to go with a combination fan, you’ll be spending more money, but will be choosing the more convenient option.

What kind of budget do you need for professional services?

There’s a lot you can do on your own for a bathroom remodel, but if you’re touching plumbing or electricity, you will need to hire a professional. A remodel is a great opportunity to assess if your current bathroom is working for you and move outlets to a more convenient location or update plumbing to more efficient versions.

 

Remodeling Advice for Your Upcoming Project

Bathroom Remodeling Tips

When renovating your bathroom, it can be confusing to know which design options to pick and choose. Sometimes the results you seek can be achieved most effectively and more affordably with a near-total transformation. Comfort Shower and Bath provides help with your remodeling decisions through the guidance of our talented consultants during a private, in-home appointment that we offer as a complimentary service. Even better, by working with Comfort Shower and Bath, you are assured an exceptional outcome because we supply and install only high-quality bath fixtures, enclosures and hardware options, a brand widely recognized as the epitome of luxury and craftsmanship.

Bathroom Remodeling Tips & Ideas

Your bathroom is meant to be a sanctuary where you can literally and figuratively let down your hair. Keep this all-important point top of mind when making changes to this space. You’ll want it to be relaxing as well as functional, convenient as well as stylish

To ensure that things don’t get too cluttered or the décor too busy, here are a few things to consider:

A neo-angle shower takes up a minimal amount of space in a small bathroom.

Small bathrooms also benefit from open shelving rather than enclosed cabinets and vanities.

Solid colors are ideal for small spaces that can be overwhelmed by patterns.

An eye-catching hardwood or tiled floor does much for the overall impact of any size space.

An intense, deep color on the walls makes a more dramatic impression.

Pay extra attention to lighting, including dimmer switches, under cabinet lighting, and overhead lights, to assure ample coverage at all times of day or night.

When you have a tight budget, a basic bath liner can solve many issues while improving the bathroom décor.

The minimalist look is popular right now, and can give your bathroom décor longevity.

Choosing a Bathroom Remodeler…

When you are ready to move forward with your bathroom remodel, look for a company that is experienced and provides all the services you need. When choosing a bathroom remodeler, you should also look carefully into the quality and variety of the products that they install. At Comfort Shower and Bath, we’re happy to provide a FREE initial consultation and price estimate for any of our bathroom remodeling services.

 

Things to Look for in Bathroom Remodeling Services

Interested in remodeling a bathroom in your home? You may benefit from looking for the top bathroom remodeling services in your area.

While the “Do It Yourself” approach is commendable, it’s not always the best course of action. Weekend projects and small improvements may not need professional handiwork. A major undertaking, however, can quickly turn into a renovation nightmare. You may inadvertently increase your bathroom remodel cost after it’s too late.

Do You Need the Expertise of Bathroom Remodeling Services?

If you’re replacing an existing bathroom component, like a toilet seat or a towel bar, you can call in a handyman or fix it on your own. The same goes for adding and installing relatively simple pieces, such as shower doors or a new light fixture.

Does your renovation idea go beyond your skills and willingness to pay an hourly rate? Do you think it could be a job for more than one person or more than one weekend? It’s at this point that you should consider bathroom remodeling contractors.

Remodeling Contractor?

There’s no secret or special knowledge involved in choosing the best among all the bathroom remodeling services available to you. The tips below are basic starting points and can be used as a good base when you’re excited and planning a dream renovation.

 

Things You Should Think About Before Renovating Your Bathroom

It’s no secret that remodeling your bathroom is a great financial investment for your home. Remodeling your bathroom is one of the best home remodeling projects you can do to increase the resale value of your home.

The Layout of your Bathroom

Before you start remodeling your bathroom, think about your layout and make a plan! Think about the layout and style of your current bathroom and think about what you want to improve.

Is there cracked tile or is your shower leaking? Do you need to install new cabinets? Are you constantly bumping into things? Is your sink too low or high? Think about all of these things before you start your remodeling project.

Plumbing

Many people think that it’s easy to move your shower, sink, or toilet to a different place in your bathroom. But actually, it’s very costly to move the plumbing around in your bathroom

Ventilation System

If it takes a long time for your windows to air out after taking a warm shower, it may be time to upgrade your ventilation system. Having a system to reduce mold and mildew is extremely important not just for overall health reasons, but for adding resale value to your home. Adding a fan and also adding a window to your bathroom will certainly help keep mold and mildew out.

How To Take Proper Care Of Your Snake

Snake Inspection Guide

While snakes cause virtually no damage to homes or property, the mere sight of any species of snakes is liable to strike fear in many people and most animals. Snakes will harbor in areas that serve their needs. They need a place to hide and keep warm, moisture and a food source. Snakes can move indoors if these needs are met inside or near the structure. Snakes are more commonly found outside in areas where all of their needs can be easily met.

Signs of Snakes Outdoors

Snakes live in areas where they can have all of their needs met and it easiest for them to thrive. The appearance of snakes on your property is usually indicative of a rodent population nearby. Properties with readily available water sources such as bodies of water, bird baths, standing water or animal watering troughs will also have a higher chance of having snake activity.

Signs of Snakes Indoors

Similar to outdoors, shed snake skins is usually one of the first indicators that a snake has made its way indoors. Snakes are great at hiding and can find some very inconspicuous places to squeeze in. Snakes are most often found in basements or crawl space areas but they have been known to make their way into living areas as well.

You can search the following areas for snakes:

Under and behind appliances

In rafters

On wall ledges

Near door or window frames

In or around stored boxes

In or around clothing piles

Near water water pipes

Near heat sources

In confined, dark spaces

PRO TIP

Snakes that are loose in a home are often hard to find. One thing that might help to “lure” the snake in is to place piles of damp towels covered with a dry towel at different places along walls. The pile should be at least big enough that a snake could crawl under it and hide itself. This is helpful because of snakes’ preference for moisture. The piles can then be checked several times a day.

 

How to Find Snakes on Your Property

This is a topic very few people like to discuss—how do you find the snakes that are living on your property? For many, this is a scary prospect. Most people are happy to never see a snake, much less actually go looking for one on their property.

But whether you are deathly afraid of snakes or simply don’t care to be around them, having an idea of what sorts of snakes are in your neighborhood is a good idea—particularly if there are venomous snakes in the area

Now, let’s makes this easy for many of you. If you’re the type of person who has a perfect lawn with no heavy shrubbery and no standing water (such as a water tub or small pond for goldfish and the like), then you likely have very little chance of finding a snake on your property.

While snakes do sun themselves on open grass, snakes like to hang out near places where they can crawl into things or under things. They also like to be near water, not only to drink but also to eat the toads and frogs that are also attracted to the water. If you have a perfect lawn and very little shrubbery, you may see a snake once in a while that is simply passing through.

But if you live near water and have a shed on your property or thick shrubbery or various pieces of wood or metal on the ground, then you likely have snakes. The number of snakes, of course, depends on where you live and the time of the year. Also, remember, for every snake you see, there are many more nearby that you can’t see.

 

How do you find snakes in your backyard?

Looking for snakes in your yard or other residential areas is pretty easy. First, make sure you never put your hands or feet anywhere that you can’t see them clearly. This is the best rule for avoiding a bite by a venomous snake. Typically, snake’s movements are governed by the search for food, the search for a mate, and the need to thermoregulate (control their body temperature). Since snakes are ectothermic (that is, they rely on changing their environment to regulate their body temperature, versus mammals which can thermoregulate mostly without changing environments), they tend to look for places to bask in the sun when the air is cool and there’s sun out. Likewise, on hot sunny days, they look for cover that protects them from extreme heat. You’ll have best luck finding snakes on warm, dry days. The time of year will vary depending on your location. Look for cover items—boards, roofing metal, pieces of cardboard, bark, etc. that might provide shelter for them. Using a long stick of some sort, carefully lift the cover item toward yourself (so that a surprised snake will have to escape away from you, not toward you). Finding areas where rodents, frogs, birds, or other prey animals live may also help you locate snakes. Essentially, herpetologists (those who study reptiles and amphibians from a scientific perspective) just spend a lot of time looking under cover items and occasionally finding snakes moving on the surface. Sometimes we use tricks like putting out stacks of a few sheets of tin or some plywood to help provide a hiding place, but these have to weather for at least one growing season usually before they are likely to produce any results. Above all, make sure you know how to identify the venomous snakes in your area before attempting to locate any snake, and be sure you are prepared to make a safe retreat if you encounter one.

First, understand what types of snakes you’re apt to find in your area. If you’re prone to “hots” (venomous species) in your neck o’ the woods, this is NOT a good idea.

If you’re OK as far as hots go, then think like a snake. Snakes like safe, dark places to hide more often than not, though some are excellent at climbing trees and will hang out “upstairs”. They like being away from noise and strong smells, but near water so they can drink and can soak when it’s time to shed. They want a food source (generally rodents).

Most of your “easily domesticated” species like corns, rats, kings, hognoses, ribbons, racers, garters, and such will prefer hidey-holes near trees or streams. You can tempt them into specific areas by putting down plywood sheets or bed linens for a few days, then turning them up to peek underneath. And you’d better be prepared for a bite, because no one likes being disturbed when they’re napping. You also don’t know what else is going to shelter under there, so it’s not something I’d recommend.

Rather than pulling an animal from the wild, I always recommend you try “adopting” from a reputable source first, with a second option being buying a captive-bred animal that was NOT pulled from its natural habitat and thrown into a cage. This is more expensive, of course, but animals bred in captivity tend to be robust, healthy, and free of parasites or diseases which is something you’d have to take care of on your own with a wild-caught specimen.

 

Choosing the Best Pet Snake

Snakes are fascinating animals, and with regular handling, most of them can be quite tame as pets. However, snakes are obviously not the right pets for everyone. They have unique requirements and should only be cared for by those with the commitment and understanding to meet their needs. If you are new to pet snakes, find out what you should consider before deciding to get one and what species are the best snakes for beginners.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Snake as a Pet

When choosing a snake as a pet, realize you are making a long-term commitment because many species can be expected to live over 20 years.

You must be willing to feed prey animals to your snake (though previously frozen, pre-killed prey is the safest choice) and you will probably have to devote some freezer space to frozen prey items (i.e., rodents).

Snakes are very good escape artists, so you will need to make sure you have an escape-proof enclosure. Snakes are persistent about finding and squeezing through any small gaps.

As beautiful as they are, large constricting snakes and venomous snakes are not recommended as pets due to their safety concerns.

Get a captive bred snake from a reputable breeder, if at all possible. Wild caught snakes tend to be more stressed and prone to parasites and disease, as well as being more difficult to tame

Get a Healthy Snake

You will want to do a cursory exam of your snake to check for any signs of illness, including bubbles coming out of the nose, retained skin, closed eyes, and mouth rot.

Ask for a feeding demonstration to make sure your new snake is readily taking pre-killed prey and eating well. Ball pythons are somewhat notorious for having feeding problems, so this is an especially good idea for ball pythons

Recommended Beginner Snakes

These are all reasonably sized, fairly easy to care for, and tend to be quite docile snakes to care for as pets

These ones are also easy to find from a breeder or at a reptile show since they are quite popular:

Corn Snakes

King and Milk Snakes

Ball Pythons

 

What to do about snakes

Snakes instill a deep-rooted fear in many people that few other animals can match. Even other animals seem to put them in a special category; many wild animals recognize snakes as threatening, and some birds and monkeys even have special vocalizations for sounding an alarm when a snake is seen.

But there’s no justification for the persecution of these animals and the acts of violence often committed when even the most harmless of them is sighted. Snakes suffer greatly from changes in their habitat. Isolated when their natural land is broken up by development, they can’t easily move across the unfriendly terrain.

Common problems and solutions

Snakes cause few problems, and the few they do are relatively benign. Some of the larger species may cause problems around poultry houses, occasionally taking chicks or eggs, but—except for the venomous species— snakes are not a threat to humans or their pets. That does not convince people who have a deep-seated fear of these animals that they are harmless, and the fear some people have at even a glimpse of these reptiles contributes mightily to what are real conflicts between humans and snakes.

Snake Identification Books on Amazon

In many places, you can call animal-control or local police or fire departments to remove the snake. What happens after that may be problematic, since most poisonous snakes have well defined ranges in which resources, such as winter dens (hibernacula), are critical to their survival.

Exclusion (preventing entry or re-entry)

Excluding snakes from buildings can be as difficult as excluding rodents. And keeping snakes out of yards or gardens may be completely impractical.

Deep Cleaning In A Commercial Kitchen Area

How to Choose a Home Cleaning Service

If the mess of your home stresses you out but you just don’t have the time or patience to keep it in order—you may want to consider hiring a home cleaning service to help lighten the load. Before you do, use these tips to hire the best home cleaning service for you and your home. A home warranty is another great investment to keep your home in top shape

How to choose a home cleaning service

The first thing to decide when choosing a home cleaning service is whether to hire an individual or a professional cleaning service.

Individual

An individual can provide a more personal touch—it may be easier to get to know them, give them specific directions about how you’d like your house cleaned, and you may feel more at ease when they’re in your home around valuables or breakable items.

Cleaning companies

A housekeeping company is a good choice if you’d like the work done quickly, as they usually send out several employees at once to clean your home. A company can often accommodate your specific schedule. There will always be back up employees, so it’s less likely a cleaning service will cancel or run late.

Choosing who to hire

Recommendations from friends and family can be the most helpful way to find a reputable cleaning service or individual.

 

How to Choose the Best House Cleaning Service

If you’re anything like me, you’ll know how boring house work can be. For the majority of home owners, maintaining your house can be an uphill battle especially when you’ve got so many other tasks to juggle at too. It’s true, hiring a home cleaner might be one of the best things you can do, not only will you save time but you’ll also get precious time back in your day to do things you actually enjoy.

Do They Suit Your Schedule?

Before you look at cleaning services, you need to decide how often you want a cleaner to come to your home. Firstly, how much do you need to clean? Secondly, and maybe more importantly, you need to make a decision on the frequency your home will be cleaned

Do They Understand Your Expectations?

A vital step in hiring a cleaning company is making your expectations clear. During an in-home or a phone consultation with a prospective cleaning service, communicate your concerns and expectations, so the company can provide you with a pricing and a cleaning scope that meets your specific demands.

Are They Responsive To You?

A good cleaning company will focus on the customer experience from the time you inquire about the services, until the time they complete the cleaning services. If you find that the company is responsive and takes the time to address all your concerns about the service, then it is most likely that you will have a great experience in hiring that company. This is because responsiveness is one of the first indicators of a cleaning company’s consistency, reliability and whether you can trust them

Do They Have Good Reviews?

Ask professional cleaning companies for any feedback from their previous customers who can vouch for the quality of their services. A good cleaning company will not hesitate to show you written recommendations and customer reviews because they know that these references reflect the customers’ trust.

 

Reasons Why Your Home Needs A Professional Home Deep Cleaning Service

With an increasingly hectic lifestyle, more and more people are realising that they do not have the luxury of time that the earlier generations had. Life is always on the run, and mundane everyday matters are being relegated to the background for lack of time and energy. Tasks such as home deep cleaning every day is now becoming cleaning the house every weekend. This is leading to build-up of dust, insects and germs in various spaces in the home. Though most people try to make an effort to clean the house thoroughly every weekend, the tremendous effort that this needs usually leaves them tired and drained at the end of the day. Moreover, they are hardly able to enjoy life in the weekend as they should.

It Saves You Time And Energy

We will not write much on this point, as it is an obvious benefit. Instead of you slogging away scrubbing the bathroom floor or cleaning the oily kitchen exhaust pipe every few months, these experts can do the work for you. You save the time and can spend it on more important matters like taking your kid out for a walk, finishing a task you like to do but have not had the time for it due to work.

It Saves You Money

Most people do not realise that hiring home deep cleaning professionals helps them save money. Let us forget for a moment the saying that ‘time is money’ and simply look at how these experts actually save money for you.

It Is Stress-free, Quick Service

When the question comes to home deep cleaning vs regular cleaning, this is perhaps the most important USP of professional services. The experts come to your house at a time that is convenient for you and help you by cleaning the areas that you cannot clean yourself. You only pay for the service you choose.

It Gives You A Clean, Hygienic Home

The professionals have specialised equipment and cleaning fluids that ensure the house is cleaned properly from top to bottom. Everything from the inaccessible places like the insides of the kitchen exhaust pipes, the top of the almirahs and the false ceiling to the places that attract more grime like the ceiling fans, the spaces underneath the kitchen drawers and bathroom cabinets, get focused treatment.

 

How to Choose the Right House Cleaning Service

The right housecleaning service can save you time and provide peace of mind. Here’s what you need to know about basic housecleaning costs and services.

What to expect for costs and services

Several factors influence the cost of cleaning, such as house location and size; the number of adults, children and pets in the home; the frequency of the service and the thoroughness of the cleaning required. A cleaning company will generally send a staff member to view your home and get a good understanding of your cleaning needs and then determine a rate. Average hourly rates often range from $16 to $25 dollars depending on the location of the business

Start with a trial run

Once you’ve found a housecleaner you want to try, start with a trial period that covers two to four cleanings. This allows time for the company to understand your expectations and gives you an opportunity to determine your cleaning requirements clearly

What to check after a housecleaning

First, do an overall assessment. Does the house look and smell neat and clean? It should be apparent that the carpets have been vacuumed but make sure to look in out-of-the-way places (such as under the beds and couch) to be sure that those areas have also been cleaned. Have the kitchen and bathroom floors been thoroughly washed or only quickly damp mopped?

If there’s a problem…

If you’re unhappy with the quality of the cleaning job, try to rectify it by speaking with the cleaner directly. The problem may be as simple as unclear instructions.

 

Criteria for Choosing the Perfect Home Cleaning Service for You!

Although it seems like a simple decision to make, there are, in fact, some very important factors to consider when choosing a maid service. This is because there are a lot of cleaning companies out there that care more about making a fast buck and less about providing a satisfactory service. Therefore, the home cleaning service you choose to hire must be one that you can trust wholeheartedly; depend on whenever, wherever; and provide quality service for your home and family.

Certified Cleaners

Unless the cleaning company you’re looking at works with certified cleaners, perhaps hiring them isn’t the best idea. You need to know that your home is in the right hands which means, certification in the cleaning industry and with the company is a must. This also ensures that the maids have been background checked and are worthy of working in the home cleaning business.

References

The reassurance of having past customers of a cleaning service vouch for the company plays a huge role in one’s decision to hire them. From online customer reviews, to written recommendations; ask the cleaning company in question for references before you decide to hire them

Insurance

Insurance is extremely important when hiring a maid service because it protects your family and home against injury and damage to your property. Therefore, if a cleaning company does not carry insurance, it’s advised that you do not consider hiring them. Having insured and bonded cleaners in your home gives you the peace of mind that your family and home are not at risk in any way.

Experience

Find out when the company was established and how long their cleaners have been working in the house cleaning industry to ensure that you are not leaving your home in inexperienced hands. The amount of training a cleaning staff has received also matters when looking to find a cleaning service that is 100% efficient and knowledgeable in going about home cleaning in a safe and timely manner. Ask for proof of their experience via certificates or cross-checks with past employers to be fully convinced of their abilities and work ethic.