Emergency Tax Planning Guide Review

Income Tax Planning: How to plan your taxes early and minimize your tax outgo

There are two types of taxpayers – those who plan their taxes at the very last minute and are at risk of making certain costly mistakes, and others who start their tax-planning early and are better-positioned to minimise their tax outgo and boost their savings. So, if you’re looking to ensure a smooth tax filing process and save money in tax outgo, you’ll be well-advised to plan your taxes early. Read on as we discuss a few tips on how to go about it.

  1. Select the right tax-saving instrument

As you start planning your taxes early, i.e. several months before the current financial year ends, you should try to strike the right balance in terms of choice of tax-saving instruments. You should ideally select tax-saving investments that can help you achieve your financial goals in time. Early planning allows you to carefully evaluate the returns offered by your shortlisted investment products and figure out which ones are aligned with your financial goals and risk appetite and can suffice your liquidity requirements.

For example, if you are close to retirement, you might benefit more by investing in tax-saving debt-oriented investment products that carry minimal risk, like Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), among others. On the other hand, if you are young and looking for a high return, you should keep certain equity-oriented tax-saving products like Equity Linked Savings Schemes in your investment portfolio.

It will be pertinent to note here that there are various tax-saving tools that come with a lock-in period of 3 years, 5 years, and even longer, and you can choose as per your financial goals and other considerations.

  1. Invest through instalments

A common misconception is early tax planning is synonymous to investing lump-sums in tax-saving instruments. This is not true. In fact, it’s better to invest through instalments to gain rupee cost averaging benefits while keeping liquidity concerns at bay. As you get closer to the end of the financial year, you can increase or seize the investments depending on whether you have exhausted the tax deduction limit under the prescribed Income Tax Act. For example, under section 80C you can invest in the ELSS, PPF, etc. every month.

You need to keep in mind that you don’t exceed the investment threshold allowed under the applicable act for a tax deduction. For example, the deduction threshold u/s 80 C is Rs 1.5 lakh, and if you invest more than this applicable prescribed limit, you won’t get any additional tax benefit on such excess investment.

  1. Exhaust the allowances received from the employer

There are several allowances that employers provide to their employees – like food coupons, reimbursements on mobile and internet bills, among others – which can lower your tax liability. By planning early in the financial year, you get sufficient time to utilise these allowances efficiently and reduce the tax outgo. Using tax-saving allowances also helps in alleviating the burden on your financial budget as you can focus on using the fund for other expenses.

  1. Estimate your tax obligation and avoid last-minute glitches

Make an estimation of your tax liability for the current financial year and use that estimate to determine your monthly or quarterly tax obligation. It will help you to ascertain how much would be your tax liability at the end of the year, and accordingly, you can fine-tune your tax-saving investment steps every month or quarter. If there is a deviation in income in any month or quarter, you can accordingly increase or decrease your tax-saving investments.

Taking last-minute tax-saving steps can also put you at risk of committing serious and irreversible financial mistakes. So, the better option is to always plan it early and remain stress-free.


Important Tax Deadlines

Mark your calendar with these tax filing and retirement account deadlines. Doing so can help simplify your financial life and may help you avoid IRS penalties.

January 31, 2020

  • Is the deadline for employers to mail out W-2 Wage and Tax Statements and generally, for businesses to send various Forms 1099, which report non-employee compensation, bank interest, and distributions from a retirement plan, and help calculate your total taxable income. However, extended timelines may apply, resulting in a later mail date.

Feb. 18, 2020

  • Is the deadline for businesses to send various Forms 1099 for accounts which include securities and report interest, dividends, capital gains and losses, and other income to help you calculate your total taxable income. However, extended timelines may apply, resulting in a later mail date.

July 15, 2020

  • Is the filing and payment date for 2019 federal income tax returns due April 15. You can file electronically or postmark your paper submission by that date.
  • The new due date to file an extension to income tax returns is July 15, 2020 (extended from April 15, 2020). The extension only goes to Oct.15, 2020. Payment is still due July 15.
  • The new deadline to make your IRA contribution for the 2019 tax year is July 15, 2020.

October 15, 2020

  • Individuals who filed for an extension need to file their 2019 federal income tax return by October 15, 2020. Returns filed by mail must be postmarked no later than this date. However, you should estimate and pay any owed taxes by the July 15 deadline to help avoid possible penalties.
  • If you are self-employed and filing for an extension for your personal taxes, you will have until the Oct. 15 deadline to file the paperwork for your individual tax return. However, any taxes you owe are still due on July 15.

December 31, 2020

  • Is normally the deadline to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 tax year, but due to the CARES Act no RMD is required to be taken in 2020.
  • December 31 is the last day to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA for the 2020 tax year.
  • The deadline to sell non-qualified securities to realize a gain or loss for the 2020 tax year is December 31, 2020, if appropriate.
  • December 31 is the last day to make charitable gifts which may qualify for a federal income tax deduction on your 2020 return.


Timing is Everything

Timing can make a big difference when it comes to your year-end tax bill. When you sell assets or pay your debts can make a big difference.

If you look at the investments in your non-retirement accounts at the end of the year, and see which investments are winners and losers, you might want to decide whether to sell these winning or losing investments. Selling those investments can affect your tax situation for the year.  You can use up to $3,000 in short-term losses to offset up to $3,000 of regular income each year. However, you can carry forward unused short-term losses for future use. Figure out which of the investments in your portfolio you want to sell now or later, depending on how it will affect your present and future tax plans.

There are other ways to plan ahead for spending that can help you reduce your tax bill. Charitable contributions can affect your tax bill as well. If your charitable giving doesn’t typically push you above the standard deduction amount, you might want to consider bunching deductions. That essentially means you donate several years’ worth of charitable gifts in a single year, which ends up pushing you above the threshold so you benefit from itemizing your deductions. A tax attorney or another financial professional can help you figure out how to time your giving and how to plan for that.


What Is Income Tax

Income tax is a direct tax that a government levies on the income of its citizens. The Income Tax Act, 1961, mandates that the central government collect this tax. The government can change the income slabs and tax rates every year in its Union Budget.

Income does not only mean money earned in the form of salary. It also includes income from house property, profits from business, gains from profession (such as bonus), capital gains income, and ‘income from other sources’. The government also often provides certain leeway such that various deductions are made from an individual’s income before the tax to be levied is calculated.

Income Tax Returns

Income Tax Returns (ITR) form are the basis of calculating a person’s income tax. It is a statement showing the status of a person, all their sources of revenue, deductions and, lastly, the tax payable or tax refund, if any.

Income Tax slabs

What income tax rate a person pays depends on the slab they fall in. The government has categorised incomes into slabs like — up to Rs 250,000, Rs 250,000-Rs 5,00,000, Rs 5,00,000-Rs 1 million, and more than Rs 1 million. The rates on different slabs might be different based on age groups.

Standard deduction

Tax on some components of income can be waived by the government. These tax reliefs are known as standard deductions.


Tax Preparation VS. Tax Planning

Many people expect to save the most amounts of taxes by hiring a professional to prepare their tax return. However, you may be surprised to learn that you could probably get some additional tax savings after your professional tax preparer’s work.  Recently, a fellow fee-only financial planner shared a story with us. He reviewed five tax returns prepared by an experienced CPA, and he was able to find extra tax saving opportunities from four out of the five tax returns. Other advisors and I also have the same experience. This week, I am going to explain the difference between tax preparation and tax planning, and how to get some real comprehensive tax planning advice.

First of all, you have to understand that tax preparation and tax planning are different. From a professional perspective, they are technically two different services.

Tax preparation is a service that helps you file your tax returns. The main goal is to make sure your tax reporting complies with both federal and state tax laws.

Tax planning is a service that helps you optimize your tax situation before reporting. The purpose is to use legitimate ways to optimize your potential tax consequences based on your goals and plans for future.

Some professional tax preparers may give you general tax guidance and tax savings advice based on your tax returns for recent years. Or they just answer your specific tax-related questions upon your request. However, many of you may not get proactive tax planning advices from them, such as how to use tax loss harvesting to offset your investment gains, how to manage your tax bracket, how to maximize your charitable deduction in a tax-efficient way, when you should do a Roth conversion, what to do with your stock compensations from the tax perspective, what’s the most tax efficient way to take your money out from all your taxable and retirement accounts, how to strategically qualify for a larger mortgage amount or financial aid from the income perspective, and so on. Why? Mainly because tax planning is a separate engagement, requiring additional information, time and various aspects of knowledge other than tax filing

Your House Cleaning Skills With A House Cleaning Job

Places in your home you should be cleaning, but aren’t

You may think your house is clean, but there are many commonly missed cleaning spots you might not have considered… until now. Grab the antibac – sneaky dirt traps, we’re coming to get you!

Underneath the fridge

A refuge for all those unstoppable rolling peas. GHI cleaning tip: Use a flat mop, (microfibre ones are especially flat) which will go all the way underneath or if it’s on castors pull it out and give the floor and a good wipe down – and don’t forget the wall behind too.

Underneath the sofa

Lifting it up can be such a hassle, it can be easier to just forget about the cleaning situation. But if you knew what was building up underneath you’d soon be reaching for the vacuum, especially if you have pets. GH cleaning tip: Use the nozzle for those hard-to-reach corners.

Down the side of the sofa

Strapped for cash? Just take a peak down the side of your sofa. Here you’re almost guaranteed to find loose change, along with other, less exciting things.This should be hoovered using a nozzle at least once a month.

Gap behind an open door

The triangular space behind your open door is often neglected – go around your home, close the doors and see what lies behind!


A Homemaker’s Ultimate Guide to Housekeeping

Housekeeping can be an overwhelming task. Sure, it’s straightforward enough when there are only two of you, but everything changes when that first crying potato bursts into your world.

I remember when I first transitioned into being home full time. I was nearing the end of my pregnancy and my husband took on a full time job in addition to full time school so that I could quit my job.

For the longest time, I just could NOT get it together. While I feel that my struggle is very relatable and all too common, it didn’t have to be that way! Does your home stress you, and leave you feeling like you have little time left for your family, and even less for yourself?

Do you feel overwhelmed with the demands of your role, and find yourself routinely saying, “I’m only ONE person; I just can’t do it ALL!” Or maybe you feel like you could keep up with the housework just fine IF you didn’t have a needy baby or clingy toddler-monkey glued to your body all day long.

Whatever your situation, I’m telling you right now… housekeeping DOESN’T have to be stressful, you CAN get everything done, and you DON’T have to spend hours upon hours in an endless daily loop of chores. And… you can love your job, too.


Room By Room Cleaning Guide

All Rooms and Common Areas

Purge, Organize and Dust:

Declutter each room, organize all your items and dust from top to bottom

Rearrange Furniture:

Move furniture to get to those hard-to-reach places that have been collecting dust all winter

Wash Window Treatments:

Steam clean curtains

Use a dryer sheet on mini blinds

Wash shades with warm water and microfiber cloths


Achieve “Like New” Status:

Give your kitchen cabinets and appliances TLC

Clean grimy stovetops, ovens and microwaves with baking soda, warm water and microfiber cloths

Make it “Eat-Off-The-Floor” Clean:

Move everything that touches the floor and vacuum to remove dust and debris

Use baking soda and warm water to make a paste for tough stains, scrubbing with a microfiber cloth


Give Them a Five-Star Hotel Room Clean:

Use a duster or microfiber cloth for the headboard and bed frame

Vacuum every inch of the mattress

Reassemble a fresh, clean bed

Dust the Décor:

Run a microfiber cloth over and underneath every surface and décor item


Deep Clean the Ins and Outs:

Clean out and wash vanity drawers or cabinets

Refresh the Light Fixtures:

Bring fixtures back to their “out-of-the-box” condition by removing dust and polish from fixtures with a microfiber cloth


The Ultimate Guide to Household Cleaning: What You Should Be Cleaning When

There’s nothing more calm-inducing than stepping into a spotless, tidy home. No matter what happened out in the world or what kind of day you’ve had, . Believe it or not, it’s possible to always have that Zen feeling with a bit of planning and .

secret weapon: the cleaning checklist. By breaking down housework into manageable tasks sorted by day, week, month, season, and year, you can pretty much put cleaning on autopilot. The best part? Just a few minutes here and there can make a huge difference when it comes to how great your home looks and feels—and it keeps messes at bay so that they don’t become bigger headaches down the road

Take those containers of leftovers you vowed to reinvent but never got around to, for example. It’s probably best to do an audit of that back row of  and toss them (and any other expired items) each week to prevent overcrowding and keep your fridge running optimally.

Research shows that the easiest habits to keep are the ones that are automatic, like glancing at these checklists. This way, you’ll never waste time wondering where to even begin or be caught off guard by a seasonal task that crept up on you

They take minimal time and energy but produce maximum results. For example, by making your bed every morning, you ensure that the focal point of your bedroom is tidy, which makes the entire room feel more orderly. (Plus, it puts you in a good mental state to tackle your day.)


Spring Cleaning Checklist: The Ultimate Guide

Welcome spring by giving your home a good deep clean. Our handy guide breaks down the must-do chores into a three-step system. First up are the spring cleaning checklist and to-dos, the once-a-year tasks perfectly suited for spring. Next, tackle exterior spring cleaning with tips on fix-ups and repairs for the outside of your home. Finally, room-by-room cleaning tips will help you declutter and tidy up specific must-hit areas.

Spring is the perfect time to  or embark on an apartment-cleaning marathon. Work these chores into your cleaning schedule this spring and get ready to face warmer days with a space that sparkles. Before you tackle your deep cleaning, make a cleaning checklist tailored to your home and needs.

Be sure to pick a cloudy day to . “If it’s too sunny, the cleaning solution will dry too fast and you’ll have streaks,” says . Water and a microfiber cloth will typically clean windows more effectively than chemicals. Otherwise, make your own glass cleaner solution with 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/3 cup vinegar, and distilled water.

Sliding glass door tracks probably aren’t the first spots you’d think to clean, but you’ll appreciate having done it before the outdoor entertaining season gets into full swing. Smallin suggests scrubbing the tracks with an old, dry toothbrush to loosen debris, then using your vacuum hose to remove it. Finish with a wet sponge.

Spring cleaning is an opportunity to address those surfaces you overlook on a daily basis. Once a year, give your baseboards, door frames, and . Wash them with a sponge and a squirt of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.

Steps To Finding A Reputable Dentist In Your Local Area

How do i find a new dentist?

Why You May Need a New Dentist

Poor oral health can impact the rest of your body, so it’s important to find a dentist that is concerned about more than just your teeth. Therefore, one reason individuals search for new dentists is to receive improved overall care.

Superior customer service is also a contributing factor. Many people are afraid of dentists, but finding a clinic that offers an exceptional experience from the minute you arrive to the minute you leave helps you feel more comfortable and confident. Customer-centered clinics are highly sought after by new patients.

Perhaps you’re happy with your current dentist’s abilities and patient-focused mindset, but have another reason for leaving the clinic. You may require specialized treatments or are moving to a new location. In that case, it’s more practical to search for a new dentist.

Nobody necessarily wants to embark on the journey of finding a new dentist. But occasionally, it’s just what we have to do. Longtime dentists retire, jobs require us to move, and a variety of life’s situations sometimes make it necessary to seek out a new dentist. However, finding the right new dentist can be a difficult process. With so many practices in your neighborhood all offering similar services, how do you know which dentist to choose? Follow this handy guide below to help find the best dentist


Tips for Finding a Great Dentist

The simplest place to start in today’s digital age is our trusty friend, Google. Take advantage of Google so you can collect a list of prospective dentists in Edmonton or your local area. Search “dentist near me” to acquire instant results.

While Google may help you find dentists, it may not be able to confirm whether they’re great dentists. Ask your current clinic for a referral, or contact your local doctor or pharmacist to see if they can assist. You can also ask family, friends and colleagues for recommendations. We all have to visit a dentist at some point in our lives and receiving first-hand information from people you trust can benefit your search.

One of the most effective methods to finding a great dentist is to schedule meet-and-greets. Visiting prospective clinics will allow you to gauge whether the dental teams appear welcoming, professional and genuine. It takes a bit of effort, but the impressions you obtain are key to finding a new dentist.

Ask for Recommendations

When starting your search for the right dentist, begin by asking friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Compile a list of options and hit the internet to do some research on your own. Look at each office’s website, see what services are offered, read up on the doctor and team, and don’t forget to check out their reviews either on their website or on online review platforms like Google. This will help you narrow your list to a few options.

Make Some Calls

Once you have your list of prospective dentists, pick up the phone and start calling them. During these conversations, be open to asking questions that will provide you some insight into the practice philosophy, treatments offered, and overall personality of the office. Some of the basic questions you can ask include:

“What is the dentist’s level of training?”

“What type of amenities does the practice offer to make treatment more comfortable?”

“What should I expect during my first visit?”

“How do you handle insurance and financials?”

Schedule an Appointment

After your initial call with each office, you should have a pretty good idea of which practice stands out to you the most and which may be a good fit. The next thing you should do is schedule a consultation or new patient appointment. There’s no better way to ensure you’ve found your new dental home than to get into the office and check it out. During your visit, note things like cleanliness, friendliness, time-sensitivity, and thoroughness. After this first visit, you should know whether that dentist and office is best for your needs, or that you need to keep looking.


Consider office location and hours

Most people looking for a dentist want one close to their home or work. They find it easier to schedule appointments before going to work, during lunch, or later in the day when they’re headed home. Look for dentists in your preferred area. Then check the office hours to make sure they fit your schedule.

Review cleaning and safety precautions

During the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices are following guidelines to safely care for patients. Before scheduling a dental appointment, confirm the office’s cleaning procedures and safety protocols. Here are a few questions to ask when looking for a dentist:

  • How often do they disinfect the waiting rooms, treatment areas and equipment?
  • What type of protective gear do they wear? These items may include gloves, facial masks and shields, gowns, hair nets and shoe covers.
  • Are patients screened before treatment? How about the staff?

Check patient feedback

As you’re looking for a dentist, read reviews of the dentists on your list. Make sure to read the comments posted by patients. Also ask your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, or doctor for feedback on choosing a dentist. Find out who they prefer.


Check the Insurance

One of the first things you should do when you’re considering a dentist is to ask which insurance plans they accept. Dental care can be expensive, especially if you’re having procedures like root canals or fillings done. You want to make sure your dentist accepts your family’s insurance before you schedule an appointment.

You can also go about this the other way around and call your insurance company. Ask them which dentists in your area are covered on their network and work off that list. While you have them on the phone, check on any copays you may be required to make for your care.

Look for Short Wait Times

No one likes sitting around in a waiting room for a long time before your dental appointment. You have things you need to be doing, and if going to the dentist takes four hours every six months, you’re less likely to go as often as you need to. If you have anxiety about the dentist, this waiting time can also make that worse.

Ask the dentist’s office what typical wait times are. You may also want to check reviews online to see if current patients say anything about the wait times. If you discover wait times are an hour or more, it’s a good idea to find another dentist.

Ask About the Service Options

Depending on your oral health, you may have to have a wide variety of procedures performed. You or your family members may need to have wisdom teeth removed, get crowns or implants put in, or get orthodontic work done. You don’t want to have to juggle a million different dentist’s offices and bills.

Instead, look for a dentist who offers a variety of services. Dentists may offer cosmetic services, family services, restorative services, and emergency dental care. If a dentist offers all of these options, they’re a good choice.


Most common mistakes that patients make when choosing a dentist in their local area.


Picking a dentist within the patient’s network is the most sensible thing to do when choosing a dental professional, right? Wrong. Choosing a dentist that is outside of a patient’s networkis actually the best way to go.

Patients who choose out-of-network dentists often enjoy the full benefits of their dental insurance. It also helps to offset dental costs and lessen the amount being paid by the client directly to the dentist.


Putting too much value in reviews is another important mistake that you should avoid because online reviews can be manipulated. However, you should not disregard reviews completely. It can be a helpful tool that will help you make the right decision in choosing the best dentist.


Try to find information about the billing,financing options and the quality of work of the dentist. Through reviews, you can find out if the dental care provider stands by their work. You would want a dentist who will stay with you until you reach optimum oral health.

If the dental practice is responding to the majority of their online reviews in a positive manner, regardless if the review is good or bad, that is a good sign that they care about their patients.


Avoid choosing a dentist who does not do everything under one roof. You will want to have one dentist who will provide you complete dental care so that the quality of services will be consistent throughout all of your dental treatments.


As with other medical fields, dental technology is constantly evolving and developing. Always opt for the best dental materials and the latest dental equipment.

Dentists who have state-of-the-art technology when it comes to dental services will always provide a superior quality of work compared to those who have outdated equipment.

Move Out Cleaning Practical Tips

Move Out Cleaning Services

Schedule your move out cleaning together with a removals service or separately if you wish. We will provide you with a free no-obligation quote, which will include a breakdown of all the costs, based on your moving needs and assistance requests. On that note, the professional move out cleaning is charged per job, which means that the service is not limited by time. You can book your cleaning session for any day of the week, including public holidays.

Save time and money

We have designed a complete relocation package that can take care of every facet of your move. Depending on your individual circumstances, we can send packers and movers to wrap your possessions with quality materials, load, transport and deliver them to your new address

Getting your bond back

The professional cleaners who will handle your end of tenancy cleaning are familiar with the checklists used by letting agencies and landlords. In other words, they will make sure the priority areas are properly cleaned so the property can easily pass the check.

Complete solution

We will personalise your service to meet all your relocation needs. Whether you need furniture removals and storage or there is a load of old furniture or any other waste disposed of, or you require special packing and handling of antique items

There is nothing more stressful than losing your security deposit on top of packing, moving out and looking for a new place to rent. With our reliable, 72-hour guaranteed end of tenancy cleaning assistance, you can rest assured that the funds you’ve paid upfront will be returned in full so that you can secure more easily the rent for your next accommodation


Moving out of a Furnished Flat: Checklist – what you have to do

Your stay in your furnished flat is coming to an end? This is what you should arrange and plan in advance in order to make moving out as easy as possible.

Get in touch with the Landlord

Please arrange a day and time for the final inspection and, or the handover of the keys. If you should leave very early in the moring, please ask the owner if he or she would like to check the apartment before or after you have left.

You need to know:

where you should leave the keys

how you should leave the apartment (basically clean, will a professional cleaner come, can you do the final cleaning yourself, should you wash the bedlinen or towels… ?

discuss cleaning instructions with the landlord, if you are not sure how to get rid of a stain on a sofa, how to clean sensitive surfaces etc.

With some apartments, a professional final cleaning is obligatory. But in our opinion, you can never leave the apartment too clean. 😉 We have also had cases, when the tenants did a better final cleaning job than the professional cleaners, but with most cases, a professional cleaning IS necessary. But you can always save many, if you do as much as possible yourself. Therefore you should concentrate on the details!

Check the Apartment

You should, of course, always report if something is not working, if here are any damages etc. Even if you have not caused the problem. It is much easier fort he landlord to plan and conduct the mending if he or she knows in advance. If you are still in the apartment, you can explain the problem in detail, you can also explain that you did not use anything incorrectly.


The Insured and Guaranteed Move-out cleaning solution


you will finally have time to take care of what’s most important for you


We guarantee you a clean home. If you are not happy with the cleaning, we’ll come again for free. If still you are not happy, we will refound your money.


We rigorously vet all of our Cleaners, and in case of damage we are covered by a 10 millions CHF insurance


All our services include eco-friendly cleaning products, safe for the environment and the health of your beloved ones.


Companies offering move out cleaning solution usually take care of “after renovation” cleanings, that require expensive and heavy machines. Why hire such a company when a cleaning lady trained


Tenant guide to moving out

Moving out of your rental property? Our advice: leave it as you found it! Essentially, you are responsible for leaving the property in the same condition as when you moved in, save for fair wear and tear. If you were given an inventory check-in document at the start of your tenancy, please re-read as this will help you to understand the original condition of the property and the standard of cleaning required.

Landlords accept that there will be an element of fair wear and tear during any normal residential tenancy. However, if it’s anything more than a reasonable amount, you could see deductions from your deposit. It is worth you spending the time bringing the property back to the same standard as specified in the inventory check-in. Please follow these guidelines to make moving out as simple as possible!

Refresh your memory

Have a read through your inventory check-in report and refresh your memory about the condition of the property when you first moved in


Be sure to return all items of furniture to the original room if they have been moved around – the inventory check-in report will also help with this if you can’t remember. This helps to avoid claims for missing items that are simply in a different room.

Clean up

All areas of the property need to be cleaned to the same standard they were in when you first moved in. Don’t forget the oven, fridge freezer (get defrosting) and windows – these are the areas most likely to be forgotten! Moving house is stressful enough, so consider calling in the professionals for an end of tenancy cleaning service. Ideally, arrange an overlap between your new and old tenancy of a day or two. That way you can get your possessions moved out, the cleaners called in, and minimise your stress.


Follow This Moving Out Checklist Before Tenants Leave

If you’ve ever been a renter, you’ve likely paid a security deposit. Deposits can be steep! You probably really wanted the entire amount returned. Now that you’re a landlord, you know you’re more than happy to give renters their security deposit back—so long as they left your property tidy and free of damage. A moving-out checklist ensures keeps both renters and landlords happy. (We’ve even got a moving-in checklist, so you can start on the right foot.

Procedures and checklists streamline everything. They make the process faster and more efficient. They prevent you from smacking your forehead and saying, “Darn it, I forgot to do a walk-thru inspection!” Here’s our recommended process for renter move-out and move-in.

What Landlords Must Do for Move-Out

Moving out doesn’t happen in a day. It can be a long process—so make sure you’re dotting your is and crossing your ts from the moment your tenant turns in notice.

One to two weeks before move-out

Schedule a preliminary walk-through. Afterwards, alert the tenant—in writing—to the issues that need to be resolved in order for the tenant to receive their deposit back in full. For example: Tenant must repaint walls back to their original color.

Send tenant a “cleaning checklist” that outlines the expectations of how clean the unit must be. (See below.)

Remind tenant that all their possessions must be removed by 12 p.m. on move-out day, or whatever time is specified on the lease. Schedule a time for the final walk-through of the unit, preferably at 12:00 noon or 1 p.m. on move-out day.

Arrange for a cleaning crew and a handyman to come to the unit on the afternoon of move-out day.

On moving day

Come to the walkthrough with two copies (to be signed in duplicate) of three forms:

The move-out inspection checklist

The final move-out form, which states that the tenant’s lease is over, all obligations are finished, and they will not be staying

A form for a forwarding address and phone number.

Bring a camera. Any issues with the unit must be documented.

Walkthrough the unit with your tenant, photographing any and all damage or uncleanliness.

Have tenant sign all three forms.

Email tenant any photos of damage.

After tenant leaves, instruct cleaning crew and handyman as necessary.

Stop Mosquitoes From Infesting Your Home

How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

Summer’s in full swing, bringing its usual bounty of barbecues, pool parties, and other (slightly sweaty) festivities. But along with the popsicles and sandals come those universally hated pests: mosquitoes. From mosquito breeding habits, to effective ways to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, to a comprehensive guide for mosquito repellents, to recommendations for outdoor and indoor do-it-yourself remedies, our guide to getting rid of mosquitoes covers it all.

Mosquito Breeding: “Know Your Enemy”

Before getting into the various home remedies to help deter mosquitoes, it’s important to understand what often leads to the problem in the first place. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, or any space that’s sufficiently moist. Where they specifically lay their eggs varies between species, but the common factor between all of them is that they’re seeking stagnant water

Here’s a list of common locations for stagnant water buildup:





Watering cans


Bird baths


Pots and planters

All this just means you can win most of the battle against mosquitoes means disrupting pools of stagnant water. While mosquitoes will still be able to wander in from elsewhere, eliminating the areas where mosquitoes can lay their eggs will greatly reduce the amount of mosquitoes in your yard

You can do this by:

Tipping over buckets, kiddie pools, etc.

Throwing out or moving random objects in your yard that can hold water, like old tires and planters

Drilling holes in the bottom of swings

Cleaning your gutters to allow proper drainage

Grooming plants that provide shade and various biological resources

Tightening tarps covering grills, firewood, etc, instead of letting them sag and store water


Effective Remedies to Get Rid of Mosquitoes at Home

It is impossible to enjoy an evening out on the patio or open the windows to let in some cool evening breeze if your house is invaded by mosquitoes every day. Mosquitoes can be quite annoying to deal with, especially due to their constant buzzing, biting, and the range of diseases they carry. Dengue, malaria, and yellow fever are few of the many illnesses that they are known to spread


The strong smell of garlic helps keep mosquitoes away. All you need to do is crush some cloves of garlic, boil them in water and spread the smell all over the house. You can fill this solution in a bottle and spray your house with it to keep mosquitoes away.


The natural fragrance of Basil or Tulsi acts as a repellent for mosquitoes. Surround your house with Tulsi plants or keep a shrub next to each window. This herb helps keep mosquitoes away and works wonders in treating mosquito bites as well.

Cloves and Lemon

This remedy is one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes away; it is quite simple too. Slice a few lemons into halves and stick some cloves into each half. Place these around the house to get rid of mosquitoes.

Neem and Lavender oil

Mix some neem and lavender oil in the ratio 1:1 and apply it on your skin. Neem oil can keep mosquitoes away better than commercial coils. It also has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, which keep your skin safe and protected.



The sound of mosquitoes buzzing around your ears is annoying, but their bite is potentially dangerous to your health. Large populations of mosquitoes make it almost impossible to enjoy your outdoor space and activities.

Mosquitoes are a major problem in warm weather when you and your family want to spend time outdoors entertaining, playing games, or enjoying your deck or patio. If you don’t want to be restricted when you’re sitting outside, or have to spray on smelly repellents each time you go out, you need to find other mosquito control alternatives.

There are solutions that give you and your family the freedom to go outdoors when you choose without fighting off swarms of hungry mosquitoes. While there are many options when it comes to outdoor mosquito control, not every solution is effective. It may only offer a short-term solution.

If you want the best mosquito control for your yard, prepare for battle early and choose a product that offers long-term control. We have compiled a list of mosquito solutions designed to help you take back your yard.

Mosquito Traps

Mosquito Larval Control

Air Curtains

Mosquito Misting Systems

Mosquito Nets

Integrated Pest Management


How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: Complete Mosquito Control & Prevention Guide

These insects can cause numerous problems once they decide to settle down in your house. If you are here to learn how to get rid of mosquitoes, it means that they are already bothering you. Mosquitoes are small, but bring multiple dangers with them, including diseases that some species carry, like yellow fever, dengue, and malaria.

Even if they are not contagious, their bites are still painful and itchy. Apart from physical discomfort, the threat of these insects may cause anxiety and even insomnia. This is why I am going to talk about the mosquito problem here, discussing the best ways to end it.

If you are looking for the best ways to make mosquitoes go away, you must be already bothered by them. Clamping your hands each time you hear whining right near your ear is not a solution.

They can easily feed on your blood completely unnoticed until you receive itching skin irritation. This is why a detailed guide on the best way to get rid of mosquitoes in yard and houses is crucial.

Quick mosquito identification

Mosquito belongs to a flies family, called Diptera. However, inside this huge family, they are representatives of Culicidae, which is the Latin word for a gnat. Despite flies’ group affiliation, the mosquito is still a bloodsucker that carries multiple diseases that can be deadly for people. You will easily recognize its high-pitched whine, long legs, narrow and long wings, the sharp mouth, and the tube to suck the blood.


How to get rid of mosquitoes: clever tricks and natural mosquito repellents to avoid a nasty bite

Mosquitoes are unfortunately one of the downsides of weather you might otherwise be delighted by. And, hearing the whine of a mosquito flying past your ear as you nod off to sleep is not a welcome experience

Some home pests can be merely annoying, while others can be destructive or a health hazard, and our guide to how to get rid of pests has all information you need on evicting the invaders of our homes and gardens.

Mosquitoes are definitely on the list of house-sharers you don’t want, and if you’re prone to getting bitten, you’ll know why. Mosquito bites can be really itchy, and may even bring you up in blisters.

Fortunately, there are natural repellents, clever buys and smart tactics you might not have thought of to put off these nasties. Can’t wait to rid yourself of these troublesome pests? Read on and head to our cleaning hub for more knowledge on keep your space spick and span.


Obvious, right? But the fact is that if it’s hot overnight you won’t want to prevent the intrusion of mosquitoes by keeping the windows shut. The solution is to fit insect screens to your windows that still allow you to open them.

Transmission Repair And Brake Repair Tips

What goes into rebuilding a transmission?

A transmission rebuild is a major mechanical overhaul done to a vehicle’s transmission. A transmission, like a vehicle engine, is made up of a series of interrelated mechanical parts that wear out over time and with extended use. Rebuilding a vehicle’s transmission replaces these worn parts without replacing the entire transmission.


A transmission rebuild is a popular option for those wishing to avoid paying the relatively high cost of replacing a vehicle’s damaged or worn-out transmission with a new one. Brand new transmissions, especially on more modern, late model cars, can be almost as expensive as a brand new engine. Many people, especially those on a tighter budget or those simply wishing to avoid paying the full price of a brand new vehicle transmission, will opt for a transmission rebuild. A transmission rebuild includes the removal and inspection of a vehicle’s transmission, along with the replacement or refurbishment of any severely damaged or worn transmission parts.


A vehicle transmission is an intricate mechanical system consisting of a variety of gears, bands, pumps, and rotors that all work in harmony to affect optimum transmission operation. A transmission rebuild includes the careful inspection of all of the main parts of a vehicle transmission. After careful inspection, parts that are severely worn or damaged beyond repair are replaced; sometimes this means replacement with brand new parts, and sometimes this means replacement with a refurbished and/or reconditioned part. The bottom line is this: a transmission rebuild restores a vehicle transmission to peak operating function and efficiency without replacing every single transmission part.


Opting for a vehicle transmission rebuild as opposed to a vehicle transmission replacement offers many benefits. First and foremost, a transmission rebuild is a lower-cost alternative to a brand new transmission. Generally, a good transmission rebuild will cost about half the money as a brand new transmission. Secondly, a transmission rebuild normally saves time. A vehicle undergoing a transmission rebuild will often times be ready after three or four days in the repair shop. A vehicle receiving a brand new transmission will often times be sidelined for over a week or more, depending on how quickly a brand new transmission is located, ordered, shipped, and installed. Lastly, a transmission rebuild replaces only those parts of a vehicle’s transmission that are severely worn or damaged, thus eliminating the overkill that results from replacing a transmission that is still in good shape, save for the broken or worn parts, with a new transmission.


Transmission Basics

In a nutshell, the engine of your car creates something called rotational power, and to make the car move, it has to be transferred to the wheels. This is done through the drive train and the transmission is the central component of that. The transmission transfers the spin from the engine into power applied to the wheels.  At different speeds, the power required to move the wheels will vary and the gear ratios within the transmission allows adjustment of power transfer from the engine to the wheels.  This allows you to seamlessly speed up, slow down or stop.

The automatic transmission connects to the engine at the bell housing, where there is a torque converter or if it’s a manual transmission, a clutch. The transmission can be thought of as a switchboard, controlling the car’s power.


Cause of Transmission Failure

Often a vehicle showing signs of a transmission issue will have one singular cause.  A proper approach to diagnostics is required to identify this cause of failure.  At Advanced Transmission Center, we employ our TrueTest Inspection It would be terrible to rebuild a transmission without taking into consideration the specific transmission codes, fluid condition or drivability symptoms discovered during the inspection.  Causes of failure could include but is not limited to hard part damage, soft part deterioration, fluid quality or contamination, or electrical failure.

Soft Parts

Within a transmission, there are numerous parts that are made from materials that will face deterioration over time regardless of the maintenance you conduct on your vehicle.  Some examples include clutches, gaskets, seals, o-rings, snap rings, etc.  Every quality rebuild should include the replacement of these items.  Parts manufacturers recognize the importance of this step and will sell all of these parts in one Master Rebuild Kit.  Purchasing this kit saves customers significant money relative to buying each component within a kit.  Some repair shops will quote customers below-average prices to rebuild a transmission and often it is because they do not replace the soft parts.  They identify and repair the single cause of failure, otherwise known as a “spot repair”, without changing the soft or marginal parts.  This lower-cost approach is irresponsible and exposes a customer to repeated transmission failures.

Marginal Parts

Although a single issue might cause the symptoms a driver is facing, normally the conditions leading to one cause of failure has already affected numerous other components.  For example, if one seal is leaking it’s likely the condition of other seals is poor as well.  Identifying and then repairing or replacing these marginal parts is a critical step to extending the life of your transmission and vehicle.

Other Known Failures

Like vehicle manufacturers, each transmission model has its own quirks.  An experienced transmission shop should know common causes of failures for common transmission.  A GM vehicle with a 4L60E has a high risk of clutches burning up in 3rd and 4th gear.  A Ford vehicle with a 5R55E will likely face a servo bore failure.  A Dodge vehicle with a 45RFE transmission often has issues due to the solenoid block.  Even if these particularly known failures might not be the specific cause of failure in one particular situation, they should be taken into consideration when completing a quality transmission rebuild.


Rebuild or overhaul

You may have heard of transmission overhauls before. If so, you’re probably asking yourself what the difference is between a transmission rebuild and a transmission overhaul is? Well, that’s a simple question to answer. A transmission rebuild is a transmission overhaul; they mean the same thing.

If your transmission requires a rebuild, you have two options. The first is to remove your existing transmission and rebuild it, then put the rebuilt unit back in your car. The second option is to replace your existing unit with another unit that has already been rebuilt or re-manufactured.

However, used transmissions often have questionable histories that could create a whole new slew of issues. New transmissions, meanwhile, are mostly aftermarket transmissions billed as new but are in fact rebuilt transmissions with new parts.


Reassembling the Transmission

Reassembly is of course the most important aspect of rebuilding your transmission; perfect parts won’t work if they’re not put together correctly. This is where the importance of labeling your parts scrupulously comes in. You should have every tiny piece of your transmission in a specific spot, waiting for its turn to be incorporated into the rebuild. Once you’ve reassembled the transmission, make sure you conduct all proper pressure tests. Everything has to be exactly where it should be for the transmission to work properly.  If there is any doubt as to the rebuilt transmission’s workability, you should consult an experienced transmission mechanic before trying to drive your vehicle.

Be Picky About Your Future Home Builder

Home Building Timeline

Though the average time taken to build a home is about 8 months (as per the US Census Bureau), multiple factors affect the timeline. The geographic location, the type of home being built, and the actual construction process can influence how long it takes to build a home.

How to Build a Home: Step by Step Planning Guide

To build a home, you first identify a location, purchase the property, prepare your dream home plans (or purchase them), and get all of the permits and licenses in order. Once the groundwork is over, you hire a contractor and gear yourself up for the actual construction.

Excavation, Foundation, Ground Leveling

The very first step that a contractor takes is mapping out the layout of your new home on your purchased plot of land. This is one of the most exciting steps because your home construction officially begins with the clearing of rocks/trees/existing structures and the leveling of the site for proper drainage. During week 1, the contractor will also set in place the footings of your new home into the ground.

Framing the House & Roof Install

After the foundation is built, the next step is to erect the frame of your home. The frame consists of the exterior walls, the floors, and the roof rafters. Once all of those sections are framed, sheathing is applied to the walls and the roof. They are also covered with house wrap – a protective barrier that prevents water from breaching your house while allowing water vapor from inside to escape. Once the framing work is completed, an inspection takes place.

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)

After the foundation or the skeleton of the home is ready, the next step is to install the wiring and the plumbing of your home. When you visit your under-construction home during the MEP phase, you will see lots of wires, pipes, vents, and sewer lines everywhere. Some siding work will also take place during month 3.


Building your new home

Building a new home can be an exciting challenge, leading to a home that’s perfect for you and your family. This guide covers some of the basics, but always get professional advice before taking the next step

Turn-Key home and land package

Simplify your build with a complete package of home and land from a developer. An initial deposit is required with the remaining balance paid upon completion.

Build only

Buy your ideal section and engage a builder to construct your dream home.  There are various options from a standard design to a one-off architecturally designed home.

Kitset or pre-fabricated home

Choose a home design, and have it shipped to your site either as a ready-to-build kitset, pre-built components or a complete home.


You usually need to provide a deposit up front before the build starts and no further funds are required until the build ends.

You don’t pay interest on your loan until you settle, which is a great help if you’re already paying rent or a mortgage on your current home during the build.

Most design and build companies already have a portfolio of house designs to choose from and this can save time.

The price is usually fixed.


Generally house and land packages are only available at certain locations. This can limit your choices.

Limited design options means limited customisation and personal touch.


Your guide to understanding the building process


Once you make the decision to build, it’s important to be familiar with the first steps in the pre-construction stage. During this stage, there are many important tasks that take place, including choosing your home design, having the engineer’s drawings prepared and obtaining all necessary paperwork to apply for a building permit.

At this stage, it’s important to have a good grasp of your budget and the style of the home you like. While the approvals are being processed, you will get to work with a Prestart Consultant to choose from a great range of colours and fittings to create a theme for your new home. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to really start customising your home and developing a theme that reflects your personal style and preferences.

During this stage, it’s also important to familiarise yourself with the land developer requirements and find out if the block you have chosen is titled or untitled. This is quite an important element because if your lot is untitled, construction process cannot commence until titles are issued.


This is the most exciting part of the building process. There are six stages in the construction process:

Stage 1 – Slab Down

The first stage of construction involves preparing your block and working on the foundations for your home. Before your slab can be poured, your concreter will work with the plumber to ensure all the pipes are in place. Once the slab is laid, the sewerage drains will be installed so that all previously laid pipes can be connected up to the sewer.

Stage 2 – Brickwork

This stage is all about erecting the frame for your new home and ensuring all metal supporting angles for windows and external doors are in place for the next stage.

Stage 3 – Roof Cover

Once the brickwork is complete, it’s time to build the roof frame that will support your roofing materials. The electricians and plumbers will return to site to complete the installations of plumbing and electrical tubes, with the roofers now ready to work on the roof cover and gutter installation.

Stage 4 – Lockup

The lockup stage is when all windows and external doors are installed. It’s time to start on the inside – plastering, ceilings and cornices, installing the windows and fixing the entry door – so that your home is ready to receive the finishing touches that make your house a home.

Stage 5 – Practical Completion

The final stage of the construction process is when all internal works are done and completed to your satisfaction- internal doors and shelving, electrical and plumbing, cabinetry, waterproof and ceramic tiling, flooring, shower screens, mirrors, plumbing and gas fit-off, and last but not least the site clean-up.

Stage 6 – Handover

This is the point in time you’ve been waiting for. The handover stage is when your new home has been completed to your satisfaction – and to the plans, and after paying the final invoice, the keys will be handed over to you.


Building Guide

As with any large project, planning and research is key to a home that meets your needs and stays within budget. We’ve prepared this series of Home Buyer “How-to” pages to provide you with information and questions to ask, where to start your process and what to expect. It’s not an exhaustive list, as each building project has its own quirks, but our years of experience show that building a log home with Katahdin generally involves similar steps in the process.

Site Locations

Finding land or a lot site for your cedar log home can be challenging. If you haven’t yet located land, you’ll want to work with a broker in the area who understands the ins and outs of lots and land in your area. If you’re building in an area new to you, you’ll want to get a good picture of the climate as well – average snowfall and/or rain totals, temperature ranges, hours of daylight, potential for winds from hurricanes or strong storms. Here are some of the factors to consider when looking at land.

Sketching, Plans and Pricing

This initial stage of putting your dreams down on paper and developing a budget is an important and exciting step in the journey of building

Wells and Septic Systems

If you’re building in a rural or remote setting, most likely you’ll need to build a private water and waste system.

Selecting Insulation

Most people take a hard look at a car’s miles-per-gallon ratings when researching a new vehicle. Yet it seems that fewer people take a look at their home’s “mpg” or energy efficiency, especially when it comes to insulation.


Progress to your new home with the HomeBuilder scheme.

The recently announced Federal Government HomeBuilder scheme is making it even easier for home buyers and those looking to build a new home to get onto the property ladder. A $25,000* grant will directly help young families, first home buyers, upgraders and downsizers realise their goal of home ownership sooner.

What is the HomeBuilder scheme?

The HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a $25,000 grant to build a new home, or substantially renovate an existing one

How do I apply for the HomeBuilder grant?

You can’t apply for HomeBuilder just yet. Information on when you’ll be able to apply will be released through the relevant State or Territory revenue offices. You can contact them directly if you have questions about when and how you’ll be able to apply.

What are the eligibility requirements for the HomeBuilder Scheme?

To access HomeBuilder, owner-occupiers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

you are a natural person (not a company or trust);

you are aged 18 years or older;

you are an citizen;

you meet one of the following two income caps:

$125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 taxable income or later; or

$200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 taxable income or later.

you enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either:

build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or

substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million (pre-renovation);

construction must commence on or after 4 June and within three months of the contract date

What if I want to buy an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse?

Off-the-plan apartments or town houses are eligible for HomeBuilder. If you sign the contract to buy the off-the-plan dwelling on or after 4 June 2020 and on or before 31 December 2020 and construction commences on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after the contract is signed then the property purchase may be eligible for HomeBuilder.

Outstanding Quality Electronic Leak Detection

What is Electronic Leak Detection?

Maybe you’ve heard the term and are wondering, what is electronic leak detection? And how can it help me? Today’s homes are primarily built on concrete slabs, which makes early leak detection difficult. If your water usage fluctuates without incident or you notice an increase in usage, there may be a small to substantial leak under your slab, without you having any way to know about it. All water leaks create some amount of noise, even if imperceptible to our ears. Different types of leaks have different sound frequencies determined by the degree of pressure in the pipes. An electronic leak detector can pick up these frequencies, and a professional who is trained to understand the acoustics of plumbing can decipher these sounds. An electronic leak detector can find leaks in toilets, drains, water systems, steam pipes, and pipes that transport other liquids, such as oil.

The electronic leak detector has a transducer which is sensitive to the types of sound that come from pipe systems. When a sound is registered on the machines it is transmitted to the security system at a higher frequency. A plumbing technician will assess all information regarding where a potential leak may be happening and use an electronic leak detector, line tracing equipment, camera inspection, and static pressure testing to locate the specific source of the leak. Even a very small leak can cause cracks in the slab and flooding damage. By utilizing the current technology and understanding how they work to create a full ‘picture’ of what is happening out of sight, a leak can be detected long before the homeowner would become aware, avoiding severe and costly water damage to their home.


HVAC AC Refrigerant Leak Detectors

Refrigerants leak from HVAC systems due to the deterioration of joints, fittings, or parts that are welded, which become faulty with time. Leaks might be low as 1 oz every few years, but also might be much greater, such as a few ounces per day. Losing refrigerant means compromised performance of an AC cooling system, as well as greater expenses.

Measuring refrigerant leaks is important from two points of view: economic loss and environmental pollution. EPA rules mandate proper practices in refrigerant leak detection and you want to ensure compliance with these regulations.

What methods do are used to find leaks in HVAC AC cooling systems?

Traditionally, an HVAC service tech would use the soap bubble test, a visible method to detect leaks of any refrigerant. However, this method is not the most accurate and is difficult to implement in hard-to-reach places.

Another method, using a fluorescent dye, is also a visible way to see leaks. It works with any refrigerant; however, a dye must be added to the system, and a special UV light be used in the inspection. Again, inspection of leaks in hard-to-reach places is difficult to perform.

Currently, the most popular method is facilitated by the use of electronic refrigerant leak detectors. This method is the most accurate; however, one must remember to monitor the sensor’s condition as well as calibrate the instrument periodically.


What are a types of electronic leak detectors?

Corona discharge is one of the most traditional types. In this method, air with gases passes through an electrical field around an electrode and an electric arc (discharge) breaks down refrigerants, which are detected by a sensor and “reported” with an alarm signal (sound).

Heated diode refrigerant leak detector is a second popular type in which a heater close to a diode breaks down gases, yielding a change in current flow through diode. Such a change triggers the alarm resulting in audible leak detection.In the heated electrolyte method gases are broken down as they go over electrolytic material in the sensor. Again, the resulting change of current flow triggers the audible alarm.

Sensors using corona discharge, heated diode, or heated electrolyte detectors need to be changed quite often, so proper monitoring of their use is necessary.

Infrared refrigerant leak detectors are the best option, as their sensors typically last over 1000 hours – equivalent to over 5 years of use. In this method an air sample with gases passes through an optical window of a sensor and the refrigerants absorb IR radiation. An alarm gets triggered by the amount of IR radiation absorbed and carried over the sensor. This is by far the most accurate method, as it had been used in laboratory settings for many years and now is available to HVAC technicians.

Finally, there is an ultrasonic refrigerant leak detector, one that uses sound amplification to detect leaks. Gases passing through orifices or breaks in pipes produce a high pitch sound not detectable by a human ear but easily recorded by ultrasonic leak detector. The method is great, but the main shortcoming is that very small leaks don’t produce enough sound and they might not be detectable.


High Voltage Electronic Leak Detection (HVELD)

High Voltage Electronic Leak Detection (HVELD) can be performed on vertical or horizontal surfaces under dry conditions. The principle of the HVELD process involves a generator that delivers an adjustable stabilized direct current (DC) output voltage for the detection of breaches to the electrically insulated roof or waterproofing membrane.

The generator emits a calibrated voltage discharge which conducts through membrane penetrations to a grounded earth lead, such as a metal drain body or steel reinforcing embedded in the concrete slab. Should the current make contact with the ground, this will complete the circuit emitted by the generator. An audible beep from the test equipment alerts the technician of the breach. Small sparks can sometimes be seen or heard when a breach location is contacted by the probe.

The initial test voltage is based on the thickness of the waterproofing membrane and is verified (calibrated) by creating a sample breach in a typical section of membrane being tested to ensure detection levels are appropriate. In the case of liquid applied membranes, properly calibrated HVELD equipment can also detect locations where the membrane does not meet the minimum thickness requirements, even if no breach is present.


HVELD Limitations

Multiple false positives are possible with this type of testing if the equipment is not properly calibrated for project specific materials. Due to the high voltage, testing should not be performed in inclement weather or in wet or moist conditions for the safety of the testing operator. HVELD is also not successful if the membrane is conductive, such as black ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM).

HVELD can only be performed over conductive substrates, such as metal decking and concrete. If a conductive substrate is not present, it is possible to create a conductive substrate by installing a metal mesh or screen prior to the installation of the waterproofing membrane. However, the waterproofing membrane manufacturer must be consulted to confirm that the presence of an embedded screen or mesh material will not adversely affect the membrane material or void the warranty.

Low Voltage Electronic Leak Detection (LVELD)

Low Voltage Electronic Leak Detection (LVELD) is performed on horizontal surfaces using water as a conductive medium on the surface of the waterproofing membrane. Multiple types of LVELD testing equipment and setups are available. The principle of the LVELD process involves a perimeter conductor loop placed on the surface of the membrane. The conductor loop is then connected to an electrical pulse generator. The generator is also connected to the grounded portion (e.g., reinforcing steel or a metal drain body) of the substrate below the membrane.

Best Hardwood Flooring Tips To Save You Money

Pros & Cons of Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen

There is a lot that happens in a kitchen that can cause damage to wood. So, one might assume that hardwood flooring wouldn’t be the best choice for a kitchen. Surprisingly though, hardwood floors, when sealed and cared for properly, work well in kitchens and can be a great option.

Yes, they are prone to water damage and plank hardwood flooring requires sanding and refinishing every decade or so, but they’ll last the duration of a home’s lifetime if they are properly maintained. That being said, they do need to be taken care of, which is why hardwood flooring isn’t for everyone.

Deciding if Wood Floors are Right for Your Kitchen

Hardwood floors are beautiful and work with any design style. If you’re in the process of remodeling a kitchen with existing hardwood floors, we recommend keeping them unless you’re dead-set on replacing them with tile or an equally durable selection. If you’re not remodeling, but simply considering new floors for your kitchen, weighing these pros and cons will help you decide if hardwood is the way to go with your kitchen’s flooring.


Natural wood is gorgeous, and the variety of color and wood grain patterns mean there’s a hardwood type for everyone. If you have a particular color in mind, be mindful that some woods take stain better than others. If you’re interested in sanding the floors and refinishing them to a color that better coordinate with your kitchen, you’ll want to pay close attention to samples, and test different stains to ensure it looks the way you want it to when the project is complete.


Water is a hardwood plank’s worst enemy. Water damage will cause a plank to warp and/or split. For this reason, many homeowners question whether wood is durable enough to be a good flooring choice. In truth, tile or concrete are the most water-resistant flooring options, but wood is a close second/third. A spill or puddle that is mopped up quickly will never cause a problem. It’s standing water, or an unresolved leak, that will cause a level of damage that would require a replacement.


What to Do with Furniture When Getting New Floors

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and treat yourself (and your home) to a brand new floor. Maybe you’ve gone for the hardwood you’ve always dreamed of in the dining room, or maybe you’re refreshing up the carpet in your much-loved family room. Perhaps you’re giving your home a total flooring makeover. It’s an exciting time, but how are you supposed to put a new floor in without moving your whole family out?

What to Do with Furniture When Getting New Flooring

Furniture and belongings must be out of the way in order for your new flooring to be installed. Exactly what you choose to do with your furniture will depend on several factors.

You can start to formulate a plan by asking yourself a few questions:

How big is your new flooring project?

Do you plan to get new flooring in just one room or the whole house? If you just need to temporarily shift a small kitchenette table and two chairs to a balcony, that’s one thing. However, if you need to think about all the furniture in every room in your home, that’s another.

How long will installation take?

You’ll also need to consider the time frame for the installation. If you’re on a tight schedule and need your furniture out fast that might change your game plan.

How big is your home?

If you have several spare rooms and a two car garage, you have more options to shift your furniture than if you live in a studio apartment in midtown.

What’s your budget?

When it comes to moving (and storing) furniture, it’s generally a choice between money and muscle. Can you carry a couch by yourself or with a buddy? Can you afford to pay someone else to do it? Or do you have funds to temporarily move it to a storage unit?

Do your hardwood floor or carpet installers move furniture?

Some companies may include furniture moving in their quote, although it’s not a standard. If you do have this option, it can save you time (and maybe a sore back!). However, it may increase the total cost of your installation.

Once you have the answers to those questions, you will probably have enough information to choose between these three main strategies for dealing with your furniture while your new flooring is installed:

Musical Chairs

Simply, move your furniture to another room while your new flooring is being installed. If you’re having multiple rooms refloored, it may mean a lot of moving and carrying from room to room. It’s hard work, but it doesn’t cost a dime — and your beloved armchair never has to leave the house.

Garage or Shed Storage

This option only works if you have outdoor storage space. A shed or garage can be a makeshift home for your furniture while you’re putting in a new floor. However, you must be confident that the facilities are waterproof and secure to avoid damage to your furnishings. Otherwise, this is an extremely convenient option.

Short-Term Storage

Renting a storage unit for a full month may be overkill for a small flooring project, but it can make life a lot easier. This rings especially true if you live in tight quarters or if you’re flooring more than one space in your house. Rented storage is convenient, safe, and secure. No constant shuffling of chairs and tables or tripping over furniture awkwardly crammed into the wrong room. If you really want to give yourself a break, you can also hire someone to move it there.


Things You Don’t Want on Your Hardwood Floors

With distinctive grains and unique tonal qualities, hardwood floors are a beautiful, time-tested addition to any home or office. Unlike carpeting or vinyl that often needs replacing after 10 or 12 years, hardwood is a “forever floor” that can last for decades—if you take good care and the precautions listed below in our wood floor tips

To preserve the ageless style of hardwood floors, start by following manufacturer’s advice for cleaning and maintaining proper humidity in your home, and stop these seven things that can detract from the look and long life of natural wood flooring:

Unprotected “feet” on furniture can be damaging to hardwood. Cover all plastic, metal, and wood bottoms with felt protectors.

Long pet nails can scratch the wood’s protective surface. This allows dirt and debris to burrow into the grain, build up, and damage the wood over time.

High heels easily scratch and dent wood’s surface and leave it exposed to more extensive harm. In fact, a 125-pound woman with spiked heels or a shoe nail protruding from a high heel yields as much as 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure—that’s more than enough to leave a trail of noticeable indents on the surface of any hardwood floor.

Cleaners and polishers can work wonders on vinyl or ceramic tile—not hardwood floors. Ironically, 2-in-1 cleaners containing acrylics or urethane polish actually dull wood and strip its finish after only a few applications. Self-polishing acrylic waxes can also make hardwood floors dangerously slippery.

Water, over time, will slowly deteriorate your wood’s finish and leave it unprotected. Even water from a traditional mop or steamer will eventually damage the wood and lead to warping. Instead, remove spills immediately with a damp cloth and stick to dry dusters.

Rubber-backed area rugs have two ill effects on hardwood—they prevent air ventilation, sealing any moisture or spills in the wood, and often contain glues or adhesives that can compromise and corrupt your hardwood surface.

Direct sunlight can either fade or darken your floors, causing discolorations in areas near windows. Exotic species and cherry woods tend to darken as the sun’s UV rays “burn” the wood, while other woods can lighten after extended exposure to sunlight.


The Impracticality of Hardwood Flooring

My absolute hands down favorite flooring choice for a home is real wood, even more than engineered hardwood. I love the look and feel of real wood in a home, in family rooms, bedrooms, anywhere. Real wood has the warmest look and a softness underfoot that tile and vinyl can’t really compete with.

But today I’m sharing my tale of woe regarding my hardwood floors, specifically in my kitchen. My kitchen addition was eleven years ago and I at the time I chose more traditional style cabinetry. If I was doing it again now I’d go with a different cabinet style like Shaker and quartz countertops not marble but that’s not the point. The focus today is on the hardwood flooring, more specifically, it’s impracticality in kitchens.

Because I’m a lover of consistent flooring throughout downstairs community spaces, when we added this kitchen to the house eleven years ago I opted to continue the hardwood into the space for seamless flow. The truth is that over time we experienced water damage in this space on several occasions, first where that French door access has to the courtyard, next under the sink and dishwasher, and this month, under the icemaker.

I’m not alone in this experience, my parents chose hardwood for their new build fifteen years ago and when their icemaker leaked a huge section of the flooring had to be replaced at great expense. I’ve heard other stories of water damage from friends and clients too because hardwood flooring’s greatest foe is water.

Ever since I refinished my hardwood floors in a dark stain a year and a half ago I’ve been anxious about any water that spills on it, whether it’s from the dishwasher or the pet bowl or any moisture spill at all. Aaaaaand just last month, the icemaker started leaking and now look what’s happened to my beautiful floors… they’re buckling from moisture and I will need to have these boards replaced. This wood runs under under the cabinetry which means the cabinets and countertop next to the fridge have to be removed to adequately repair the floors. UGH.


It’s Time to Stop Putting Hardwood Floors in Every Room

I almost entirely blame real estate shows for the modern malady that I’d like to call “Decor Generic-itis.” It’s marked by a distinct anxiety of making a mistake in one’s home decor scheme that leads to an almost paralyzing fear when it comes to any decor decision. As a result, you default to the trinity that nearly every prospective home buyer or makeover recipient lists on that show as must-haves: granite, stainless steel, and hardwood floors.

It’s not that these features are bad or tacky. They are not. But these features aren’t always what suit your life, personality, or your property’s overall design. When arbitrarily added to a home, they can take away character, creating an odd cookie-cutter look (thus the “generic” part of “Decor Generic-itis”). As a result, all interiors (regardless of the age of a home) can have an odd, similar look. It’s especially noticeable when someone gets the idea to renovate their home to add hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors are NOT a cure-all for property value.

Look, I’m not saying that they’ll make your home worth less. But it’s not going to be the detail that suddenly takes your house up in value to the next hundred-thousand bracket. You might recoup your costs, yes. Especially if you had bad ’80s carpet beforehand. But it seems like hardwood floors are an expected feature, so they’re not valued as much as they used to be.

Your home can echo like crazy.

Any and all sound practically bounces off of the pristine surface of hardwood floors, especially TV noise. This is only a good thing when you quickly run to the kitchen for a snack in the middle of a mystery miniseries without pausing.

It’s better to have a high-quality floor covering than a low-quality wood.

No one’s budget is infinite, after all. Skimping on material can lead to durability concerns (or even toxicity), not to mention that you probably won’t get the stain or finish you love. But you can often find higher-quality options in carpeting or tile for the same price.

Tips To Finding The Right Chiropractor For Rapid Recovery

Conditions Treated

Hip Pain

Have you felt pain and tightness in your hip lately? Hip pain affects so many movements in everyday life that it can be one of the most frustrating ailments to deal with on a daily basis. It can be commonly found in people who participate in running, hockey, x-country skiing, weight training, crossfit, and a number of other sports. The hip is one of the largest weight bearing joints in the body and is important for a number of everyday activities including walking, running, jumping, sitting, and standing

Often the pain begins without a direct traumatic event and is felt in and around the hip and groin – especially during movement. It is can be caused by problems with your muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and/or the bones. Sometimes the lower back can refer pain to your hip.

Treatment for the hip begins with a thorough history and examination followed with a formal diagnosis and treatment recommendation that often involves soft tissue work, joint mobilization, and rehab exercises. You doctor may determine that radiology (x-rays or an MRI) is necessary if the they feel that more information is needed about the joint and surrounding structures. Sprain/strains, Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI), CAM lesions, piriformis syndrome, hip osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and general hip mobility are some of the most commonly treated hip problems in our office.

Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common complaints that adults will face. It is so prevalent that some researchers refer to it as an epidemic disease. Did you know that research has shown that chiropractic care is among the top options for treating low back conservatively? The low back collectively is made up of many part such as the spinal vertebrae, sacrum, pelvis, and hip joints. As the base of the spine, it bears much of the brunt of our day to day activities. Improper sitting and lifting posture, accidents, and repetitive strain can lead to injuries in the low back.

Whether it is a sprain/strain, “slipped disc”, or you feel “stuck” in a position, we will be able to evaluate and manage most cases of mechanically related back pain. Initial consultations will reveal a detailed history of the nature of your low back pain. A thorough examination will follow. Occasionally, additional information (such as an x-ray or MRI) will be necessary to arrive at a proper diagnosis. The information gathered is used to develop an effective, evidence based treatment plan to address your problem. Low back pain usually responds well to chiropractic interventions including spinal manipulation (adjustments), rehabilitative exercise, physiotherapeutic modalities (ice, muscle stim, etc.) and soft tissue work.


Things Chiropractors Want You To Know

Many times you might have heard the phrase “the backbone of a company/family/organization”, to indicate the importance of a particular person within the context. Just like the saying implies, the actual human backbone or the spinal chord is central to everything that your body does and experiences.

A healthy well-supported spine plays an essential role in our overall wellness. The health of your spine should be a top priority for you. In order to ensure that your spine is in optimal health at all times, you can seek the help of chiropractors. Regular chiropractic adjustments are not just a form of preventive care. They are necessary for keeping your body flexible, balanced and feeling top notch.

Although the first step towards a healthy and active lifestyle is a healthy spine, regular chiropractic treatments can help with other things as well. Ailments like migraines to bursitis of the big toe and everything in between can be treated efficiently and safely with chiropractic care.

Pain is not the first symptom of dysfunction:

Many people tend to believe that pain is the first symptom of a problem, on the contrary, pain is actually the last symptom of a problem. Many times it so happens that a patient’s back is often restricted or unstable for months or years before it starts hurting and they finally decide to visit a chiropractor. Also, people need to understand that absence of pain is not a sign of good health. While you may need to take medications for the pain, if you take a painkiller and the pain goes away, that does not mean that the main cause of the problem has gone away. Muscle, ligament and joint injuries often ensue as a result of a long-term biochemical dysfunction, at times from past injuries making the area more prone to future injury.

Athletes use chiropractic care for overall fitness and not just injuries:

The main reason why athletes choose chiropractic care is because they are movement specialists. There were many chiropractors spotted at the latest Olympic Games. Many famous athletes like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan etc. have successfully utilized chiropractic care to boost their career. These days it is very common for athletes to take chiropractic assistance. It enables athletes to prevent injuries, fasten injury recovery, improve balance and coordination, and give them greater vigor for their sport.


Chiropractor Talks About Improving Your Health

Every year, hundreds if not thousands of people suffer some type of low back injury. This often requires a visit to their chiropractor as a result of gardening or doing some other type of yard work. This happens a lot in the spring when people are anxious to get outside, and tend to their yards, after months of being penned indoors by the winter season.

It is relatively easy to injure your back, especially if you are moving heavy objects around the yard. While good chiropractic care is always one of the first things you should do after receiving such an injury, you also want to consider the fact that chiropractic care, that occurs on a fairly regular basis, may help to curb some of these injuries in the first place, as does following some common safety precautions when you are working in your yard.

There are a number of tips that can help you when it comes to preventing back injuries while you are working in your yard. Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that in most cases, the more fit you are the less likely you are to suffer an injury of this type. Fitness is a good idea in any case, and this is especially true when you are performing any type of rigorous physical activity. Good muscle tone and flexibility will go a long way toward helping you stay healthy and free from back injuries that can be very painful.

In addition, you always want to lift properly. Always lift with your knees, and keep your feet in front of you approximately a shoulder length apart. Whatever you do, never lift with your back. This is one of the primary reasons that people receive back injuries in the first place. Another thing you can do to reduce your chances of injuring your back is to use tools that work well for you. If you are an individual with a smaller build, you need to use smaller tools, and try not to move things that are too heavy without help.

Of course, if you do feel tightness in your back or you have had an especially hard day you can typically relieve much of the tension by icing the muscles appropriately. If you prefer, you may want to alternate ice and heat in order to reduce inflammation and then relax the muscles. Ensure that you do not apply ice directly to the skin, and that you use caution when applying heat.



In the last few decades chiropractic care has enjoyed a tremendous boost in popularity among adults. They use it to help manage their pain, relieve chronic conditions, prevent injury, and improve range of motion, flexibility, and overall wellness. But at what age should you begin chiropractic? What is the best time to start seeing a chiropractor?

Can children get chiropractic care?

Yes, children can see a chiropractor and receive treatment. Most chiropractors will see children under 18 years of age and many will see children under 2, including infants. It is safe, non-invasive, and is medication free.

Adverse events associated with pediatric chiropractic are extremely rare and there are no reported deaths resulting from the treatment. It is largely considered to be one of the safest forms of treatment available for a wide range of conditions, including pain management.

What benefits do children get from chiropractic care?

When a child’s spine is properly aligned, they tend to be healthier. Birth itself can put the body through some degree of trauma as the infant is squeezed through the birth canal, often aided by forceps or suction.

Is chiropractic safe for children?

What many parents may not know is that chiropractors have been treating children for more than 100 years. It has an excellent reputation and studies show it is extremely safe. Studies that examine malpractice insurance coverage show that chiropractors have a very low risk and exceptional safety record.


Considering Chiropractic? things you need to know

doctors apply a structural correction of the head and neck which (for many people) is an unexpectedly effective form of chiropractic treatment.

So, what is this chiropractic?

care is a set of procedures that focus on re-aligning the upper neck and the head. Using a precise adjustment approach, we aim to restore balance and correct posture to the body.

wanted to help his patients find relief from their suffering. He had such incredible success that other chiropractors requested that they teach them his upper spinal or upper neck adjustment techniques.

hat’s the difference between and traditional chiropractic?

All chiropractic techniques work by gentle force. Most chiropractic techniques work by attempting to restore joint function and mobility. While typical approaches can be helpful in certain circumstances, it’s not always enough. Due to the complexity involved, this is especially true when it comes to rebalancing the position of the head and the neck.

chiropractic focuses on returning the neck and the head back to a more correct position. The atlas, also known as the first vertebrae of the neck, is used to accomplish this goal. As the correction in the head and upper neck is achieved, postural adaptations within the entire body are brought back into balance and stress is reduced.