Tips To Make A Water Testing In Your Home

Why a Water Test Kit Can Make a Difference

What is a home water test kit?

Home water test kits come in a variety of methods, styles, and shapes. They include simple test strips that you dunk in the water and swirl around for a few seconds and then compare the test strip colors to the colors on the side of the bottle. Test kits also include chemical titration tests that work for hardness and iron, a photometer, or a TDS electronic handheld meter that test for total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH or ORP (oxidation reduction potential).

 

Typical low-tech, portable, field test methods for chemical water quality monitoring fall into three categories:

  • Test strips – These are small, single-use strips that change color to indicate the concentration of a specific chemical. Depending on the particular test, the user “activates” the paper or plastic strip by dipping it into the water sample and swishing it around, or by holding the strip in a stream of water. After waiting for a short time, the user compares the test strip color with a color chart to read the concentration of the chemical. These kits are extremely simple, but they are less accurate than other methods, especially if users don’t follow the instructions.
  • Color disk kits – Color disk test kits are available for a wide range of chemical tests.  In a typical set-up, the user adds a powder packet or a few drops of a liquid reagent to a water sample in a reusable plastic tube.  The user then places the sample tube in a small plastic viewing box.  This viewing box contains a plastic disk with a color gradient printed on it.  The user rotates the color disk to find the part that best matches the color of the sample, and then reads the concentration of the chemical from the disk.  Color disk kits typically have multiple steps and often include prescribed wait times, so they’re a little more complicated and costly, but generally more accurate.
  • Hand-held digital instruments – Lightweight and portable digital meters, colorimeters, and photometers are available for water testing.  They provide the most accurate results of these three testing methods, but they are also more expensive and delicate than the previous options.  These instruments require batteries and calibration.  While digital instruments are helpful to field technicians and are an essential part of any continuous or remote monitoring network, they are unlikely to be suitable for “citizen science” or crowdsourced water quality testing.

 

What is the best way to test water quality for your purpose?

  1. Biological Indicators

Biological monitoring metrics is the simplest and least expensive method. It involves monitoring the presence and abundance of members of bio-indicators common to the area, eg:

  • Insectssuch as the mayfly, stone-fly and caddisfly. Generally, the greater the number found, the better the water quality. Organisations in the United States, such as EPA offer guidance on developing a monitoring program and identifying members of these and other aquatic insect orders.
  • Bivalve molluscsare largely used as bio-indicators to monitor the health of aquatic environments in both fresh water and the marine environments. A typical project is the Mussel Watch Programme, but today they are used worldwide.
  • Benthic macro-invertebrates (such as the aquatic earthworm) is a bio-monitoring tool that is used by the Southern African Scoring System (SASS) system to measure river health. miniSASS is a simpler scoring system that can be used by anyone, even school children.
  1. Test Strips

Test strips for various water quality parameters are available, such as pH, chlorine, etc. Here you dip a little paper strip with graduated colours into your water sample and match it with a colour on a printed list, to determine the level of the parameter.

Test strips are inexpensive, quick and easy to use, but offer the least accuracy and precision, due to printing variations, poor resolution and the variability of the human eye.

  1. Titration / Drop Test Kits

This simple method uses visual titration. A chemical (reagent) is added to a water sample and the concentration is then determined by counting the number of reagent drops or tablets required to induce a colour change.

It offers higher accuracy than test strips, but involves some technical ability, because careful counting, basic calculations and and the ability of the human eye will be required. It is a rapid, economical test for all chemical parameters, such as pH.

The exception to the rapidity of the testing are microbiological tests, such as those for coliform / e.coli. These require incubation for 12 – 48 hours.

  1. ATP / Luminescence Tests

A luminometer and a consumable testing device can be used to instantly measure the presence or absence of bacterial contamination in water. It is ideal for quick screening, but more in-depth and time consuming testing will need to be undertaken if more detail is required.

  1. Electro-Chemical Testers

These testers comprise of a pen-type, hand-held or bench-top meter and an electrode. They are very useful for in-the-field / in-situ testing and are usually rugged and waterproof. However, the electrode needs to be carefully maintained and will need to be replaced every few months to few years, depending on circumstances.

Only a few key parameters can be measured in this way, such as pH, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids and salt. The many other water quality parameters will need to be measured using another method

  1. Colorimetric / Comparator Test Kits

Colorimeters or comparators have been widely used by companies for well over 100 years, to measure the quality of water. A reagent is added to a known sample of water. The intensity of colour is then compared with coloured plastic or glass filters, in order to see the concentration of chemical present in the water (eg. Chlorine).

  1. Photometric Test Kits

The most popular option today is the modern electronic photometer. This is the easiest and most accurate way to test water, if you are performing frequent water testing, or require precise results.

  1. Spectrophotometers

For specialised water testing that requires many parameters to be tested with the highest precision levels, a spectrophotometer is the ultimate instrument.

This instrument features a dual beam optical system, one of which is reference beam, for above average accuracy. UV light and / or visible light can be used. Further functions can include measurement of transmission and absorbance, scanning of spectra and kinetics analysis.

 

Five Sources Of Error In Water Testing…And What To Do About Them

  1. The sampling location

Take a sample of water that is representative of the whole pool or spa—not from the surface, which is subject to special conditions, and not in the immediate vicinity of a return line for the same reason. For pools, sample midway between the shallow and deep ends. Use a clean plastic bottle. Insert it bottomside up so the trapped air keeps out the water momentarily, and then turn it rightside up when you get to elbow depth and let it fill.

  1. The operator

It may seem obvious, but experience shows people still need to be reminded to read the testing instructions completely before beginning to test. You should do this:  A) whenever you buy a replacement test kit or bottle of strips, just in case the manufacturer has changed something in the procedure, and B) whenever you buy a brand for the first time because manufacturers’ products all are a little different, including our test strips. You should continue to read over the instructions before starting the tests until you are completely familiar with each step.

  1. The lighting

Doing color-matching tests in artificial light, or with your sunglasses on, is a no-no. You can buy an inexpensive, portable daylight simulator, like photographers use, if you must read colorimetric tests indoors. Some countertop testing stations have these daylight lamps already built in.

Use your meter’s light shield to prevent stray light from interfering with test results.

  1. The water chemistry

If you’ve just treated the water, wait to retest until the proper amount of time has elapsed (as specified by the treatment chemical manufacturer, typically at least one turnover (typically 6‒8 hours).

There also could be interferences in the water that cause the wrong color to develop, or no color to develop—for example, a high level of sanitizer, the presence of a monopersulfate-based oxidizer, or metal such as copper from an algaecide or iron from your fill water. The best testing products tell you what to do in these cases. Call for technical support when in doubt.

  1. The testing tool

Buy equipment from a reputable manufacturer. With that caveat, these other sources of error are easily remedied.

Most test methods are limited by an operational range. Testing a parameter outside of the range specified by the manufacturer means the results cannot be interpreted correctly. For instance, chlorine over ≈10 parts per million (ppm) and bromine over ≈20 ppm may partially or completely bleach out the pink color of a conventional DPD color-matching sanitizer test. In this instance, one can dilute the sample and retest to obtain an approximate sanitizer value. But dilution is not always the answer. For example, a high level of either chlorine or bromine can also cause the pH test and the total alkalinity test in both liquid kits and test strips to give false readings. Here, one must wait until the sanitizer level returns to normal to retest. Another example is phenol red. Whether used as a liquid reagent or on a test strip, this indicator only works between pH 6.4 and 8.4. If the pH of a sample is beyond this range, use another test method (e.g., an electronic meter or another indicator that will test as high, or as low, as needed), or retest, this time adding 1 drop Thiosulfate N/1 (R-0007) to the sample first if using a 2000 Series™ comparator or a sureCHECK™ test kit comparator.

 

Verdict: Which is the Best Water Test Kit?

Home water test kits have their limitations, and they’ll never be as accurate as tests performed in professional labs.

But, they can be helpful as a first step toward diagnosing problems with your drinking water.

If there’s any indication that your water is not safe, you should always follow up with a professional test.

Sure, you can buy more expensive home test kits that will test for a greater variety of contaminants. But, they’re still going to be much more prone to human error than testing done in a lab.

And, if you’re going to spend $100+ on a home test, why not just have a professional do it instead? You could probably get testing done by your state health department for less than the cost of one of the fancy home test kits for sale online.

So now that we’ve taken a closer look at these test kits and tried them out, the question is which one is the best?

In terms of overall accuracy, I’d say it’s a toss up between First Alert and Watersafe.

If you have well water, I’d recommend the Watersafe Well Water Test Kit because it tests for iron and copper in addition to the other basics.

But if you’re on city water, you could go with the First Alert Water Test Kit.

Tips To Find The Best Exterminator

What should a homeowner look for when selecting a pest professional, commonly called an exterminator?

  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

 

Tips For Choosing the Right Exterminator Service

Things Your Pest Control Company Can Ask You to Do

  • Let the sprayed pesticide settle and dry before allowing pets and/or kids to get indoors.
  • Keep all household pests off the treatment area to prevent them from ingesting the harmful pesticide chemicals.
  • Empty kitchen cabinets, remove personal items lying on the floor, and keep pets away from the treatment area before the team of professional exterminators arrive.
  • Use heavy plastic to cover your aquarium or remove it from the area or structure to be treated. Do not forget to turn off the air pump to ensure no pesticide gets into the aquarium.

Always follow instructions given to you by your exterminator service company, especially if they intend to use both pesticides and non-chemical pest control techniques in your home. With good cooperation, your local exterminator company will not just get rid of pests from your home, but also minimize the amount of pesticide it uses.

If not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the product label, pesticides can pollute the environment or even impair your health due to their toxic nature. Different pesticides have varying level of risks and side effects. A professional exterminator can help you find a pesticide that best suits your needs. All-State Pest and Lawn pest exterminator service provider also offers bed bug control service.

 

Pest Control: Tips and Secrets

To ensure this is a top-notch resource you can come back to again and again, we personally contacted insiders you can trust. Below are some of our favorite pest control tips:

  • Keep your gutters clean
  • Ensure food is covered
  • Leave the lights on
  • Eliminate standing water
  • Reduce pest hiding spots
  • Don’t store wood near your home
  • Keep deer away
  • Clean up cluttered storage areas
  • Cap your chimney

 

TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD PEST CONTROL COMPANY

SCOPE OF SERVICES

You should engage a pest controller that provides the complete scope of works. This ensures that they are fully accountable for their work and do not rely on others to complete other aspects of pest treatment and control. Prior to engaging the company, sit down with the pest controller to understand exactly what they are going to do. There should ideally be a short-term treatment plan and routine and periodic inspections following the initial treatment to check on progress.

DO THEY HAVE EXPERIENCE?

Even though the pest controller might have leading products and equipment, they might not have the experience to use them in all scenarios. Each property is situated in a unique environment and is subject to many internal and external forces that differ between properties. Pest controllers typically rely on their customer to provide a history of the pest problem so that they can develop their understanding of the issue. If you sense that the pest controller might be engaging in trial and error, consider asking the pest controller if they have a colleague who is more experienced to deal with the task at hand.

ASK QUESTIONS

Any question is an important question. It is vital that you ask the questions that you have, relating to pest control, so that you feel comfortable with the pest controller providing the services. Pests are a nuisance and you want to be certain that the pest controller will target and remove all pests in your property. If you feel that the pest controller has difficulty answering your questions, this might suggest that they do not have the experience or knowledge.

 

Tips and Tricks for Finding the Right Exterminator for Your Needs

  • Make sure the exterminator you hire has the right amount of insurance and the correct license. This is a real “trust but verify.” It is really important that they have the right amount of insurance. When people work on or around your home, if something goes wrong, you may be held liable. Also, licenses can be forged so you should check with the government to make sure your exterminator has the license you need.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau. That is something you can do whenever you need to hire someone to work on or around your home.
  • Ask the company about their experience. It can be really hard to get rid of pests and keep them from coming back. Termites are notorious for being hard to kill. You need to find out how much experience they have both in pest control but also in dealing with the exact pest you have to deal with. You want a company who has a lot of experience.
  • Get to know the pests in your home. Every pest is different, but all are in your home to be warm, get food, and find access to water. Find what pests you have in your home. This can make it easier for you to help the pest exterminator find and get rid of the pests in your home. Knowing what pests you are dealing with can also help you hire the right people. If you have mice, you do not need to talk to bed bug exterminators.
  • Talk to people you know. If you have pests in your home, the chances are good that the people who live around you do as well. Not everyone likes to admit they have pests, so you should talk to the people you know well. It is great to hire companies or get services for just about everything this way.

Choose The Best Immigration Lawyer

What do immigration lawyers do?

The immigration issues that have seen intense political debate and media coverage in recent years are only part of the story.

The United States sees a constant influx of people hoping to live, work, and study within its borders, and immigration lawyers can help individuals, families, and businesses navigate those various and often complex immigration pathways. A person’s immigration status might impact and intersect with other legal matters too, such as family law, criminal law, business, and tax law, and being well versed in immigration law is necessary for attorneys practicing in those areas as well.

Immigration lawyers may represent clients in administrative courts, or they may counsel clients about their legal rights and obligations related to immigration, among other things. They also suggest courses of action based on their knowledge of immigration law.

For example, immigration lawyers might help citizens of other countries through the process of gaining legal status to work in the United States with the H-1B visa program. This program provides a framework for American employers to hire non-U.S. citizens in jobs where their skills are needed. Individuals hoping to come to the United States to fill such positions must gain approval through a complex and often intimidating process. They (or often the employers hoping to hire them) often turn to immigration lawyers, who provide assistance in completing forms and taking other required steps. The lawyers may also represent clients in dealing with government officials in matters related to the visa application.

You can find immigration lawyers in various legal settings as well, from large law firms to smaller practices that include or specialize in immigration law, to government agencies to nonprofit organizations. (Every world-class performer or athlete has an immigration attorney behind them, advising on and securing necessary visas!) Some immigration attorneys provide services through a nonprofit or public interest law fair. Or they may prepare correspondence, meet with government officials, make presentations, and advise staff and volunteers, among other duties.

Finally, highly experienced immigration lawyers may pursue other career interests, such as teaching immigration law in law schools. Many universities have an immigration attorney on staff to advise incoming students and faculty as well. Other possibilities include becoming an immigration judge, a legislative aid (every member of Congress has an immigration advisor on staff), or an appointed or elected official.

Even criminal lawyers would be well-advised to understand immigration law, as they can be professionally sanctioned for failing to properly advise non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of convictions, pleas, and sentences.

At the end of the day, immigration law can be a strong fit to students interested in human rights and international law, as well as those interested in business law or criminal law.

 

10 Reasons To Book Your Free Consultation

  1. Green Card Eligibility:

While securing a green card may not always require a legal representative, you will find that doing so can make the situation much easier. In addition, discussing your situation with a reputable immigration lawyer during an immigration lawyer free consultation allows you to avoid being a victim of fraud. Many scammers operate with titles like “Notario” and “Visa Facilitator” who are not qualified to protect your interests in court nor can perform any of the functions of a certified lawyer.

  1. Legal Proceedings:

If you are somehow involved in legal proceedings, immediately contact a qualified immigration lawyer. Legal proceedings can spin out of control without proper legal representation and lead to severe results such as incarceration or deportation.

  1. Deportation Notification:

If you have received a notice of deportation, contact an immigration deportation lawyer An immigration lawyer free consultation may uncover reasons for the deportation that may be reversible. Top immigration lawyers have excellent relationships with immigration authorities and may be able to legally persuade a different approach to the reason for deportation.

  1. Application Denial:

If you have been denied a USCIS Green Card or citizenship, select a proven and successful immigration lawyer whose with a clear track record. Often application denials are a result of a misunderstanding, improper application completion, or other circumstance that a qualified attorney might overcome. Contact an expert lawyer for an immigration lawyer free consultation.

  1. Criminal Offense in the United States:

In the case of a criminal offense while living and working in the United States, you should proceed immediately to an experienced immigration lawyer. Individuals in this position are liable for deportation when serious offenses occur. During an immigration lawyer free consultation, the lawyer can advise and protect your rights in these circumstances.

  1. Moving to the U.S. for a Job:

For anyone who has been offered a job in the United States but must work out the immigration details themselves, a credible and experienced business immigration law firm is essential. The firm can represent the individual, expedite the legal paperwork, and facilitate the entire process. An immigration lawyer free consultation will begin the process.

  1. Investment-Based Visa:

Business people or investors who create or finance a United States-based business that employs ten or more full-time employees are eligible for EB5 investor Green Cardsor permanent residency. To handle the legalities and requirements of this type of situation, professional legal representation is important. Given the considerable paperwork involved and the complexities of admitting family members under 21 to the United States, setting up an immigration lawyer free consultation can be very helpful to expedite all processes.

  1. Emergency Help:

Identifying a ready and capable legal resource who is familiar with your situation is important. Sometimes events happen quickly. Knowing whom to call is important. An immigration lawyer will familiarize you with a ready legal resource to help you in a difficult situation.

  1. Peace-of-Mind:

Having a discussion about your circumstances during an immigration lawyer free consultation can bring psychological relief and instill confidence that someone is available who knows your situation and can help. A free consultation provides you with an educated opinion of your circumstances and imparts relief that you have a ready contact to phone if circumstances change.

  1. It’s free.

You are under no obligation to continue with the relationship. During a free consultation, the immigration lawyer will explore your circumstances to determine if legal action or protection may be required. If so, a clear path can be devised to identify the clear objective and proceed. This will also allow you to determine if the immigration lawyer is the right fit for you and is sincere in protecting your rights.

 

What are Some Situations Where Hiring an Immigration Lawyer is Necessary?

Most persons hire an immigration lawyer when they need assistance in submitting an application for some type of immigration document, such as a visa or green card.  This is especially true when the person is unable to fully understand the various requirements under immigration law.

There are certain instances when hiring an immigration lawyer is absolutely necessary.  Some of these situations include:

  • If an applicant has been convicted of a crime: Nearly all USCIS forms ask whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime.  The applicant must disclose their entire criminal record, even for charges that were dropped or expunged.  It is usually not necessary to hire a criminal lawyer; immigration lawyers always understand how immigration and criminal law overlap.
  • Prior immigration applications have been denied: An immigration lawyer will be able to determine why the application was denied.  They can also tell if it is possible to appeal the application or re-apply later in the future.
  • If the person has previously been deported or excluded from entry into the U.S.: Sometimes deportation or exclusion means that the person is permanently barred from future applications.  An immigration attorney can provide advice on the effects of deportation and exclusion.
  • If an applicant has a medical condition: Some, but not all medical conditions may prevent a person from obtaining entry into the U.S. (such as some communicable diseases).
  • When an applicant is waiting an unreasonably long time during the application process: Immigration lawyers are familiar with application processes, including deadlines and waiting times.  A lawyer can sometimes help the applicant obtain expedited or rush processing.
  • If the applicant is seeking an employment-based visa, but their prospective employer is not assisting with immigration issues: Processing for employment-based visas can be complicated.  An immigration lawyer can help ensure that future employers are fulfilling their obligations to future immigrant workers.
  • If the applicant’s marriage to a U.S. citizen was terminated before they were able to have conditions removed on their permanent resident status: Visa applications based on marriages are usually filed jointly.  If the marriage has been terminated due to divorce or death, it can be particularly difficult to prove that the marriage was not fraudulent.

If an applicant is seeking to adjust their permanent resident status but was recently divorced and married to a different U.S. citizen:  The main issue here is that the first marriage may be suspected to be a scam.  An immigration lawyer may be necessary to prove that the first marriage was legitimate.

If a person is immigrating to the U.S. with their family and their child might reach age 21 before permanent resident status is granted:  Eligibility for permanent resident status is different for children under the age of 21.  A lawyer can help determine the best method of filing for children of applicants.

If the applicant has begun the application process but does not know what to do next:  At times USCIS may request additional paperwork or documentation to support an applicant’s claim.  Working with an attorney from the beginning of the process can help prevent delays and may even make the process faster.

 

What to bring to an immigration lawyer

It’s important to be prepared for your first consult with an immigration lawyer. Bring any forms the lawyer asked you to complete. These will usually include basic information, such as name, date of birth, and address. In addition, you should bring or send ahead copies of all documents related to your immigration case.

These may include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Past or present visas and/or visa applications
  • Documents you were given when you entered the United States
  • Letters from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

If you have a criminal record, you should bring all related police reports and court documents. You must be open and honest about any arrests, even if they no longer appear on your record. Keeping your lawyer fully informed is important.

It’s also a good idea to bring this list of immigration consultation questions that you want to ask, so you don’t forget anything.

 

What are the Four Categories of  Immigration Status in the U.S.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand basic immigration law and policy. There are four categories that people in the U.S. fall into, as explained below. Since a criminal conviction can complicate your immigration process, the categories of certain crimes are also explained in this article. Applying these concepts can make all the difference in any immigration petition.

To begin with, let’s look at the four types of immigration status that exist: citizens, residents, non-immigrants and undocumented.

Tips To Make Roof Inspection

Roof Inspections – Are They Necessary?

Roof inspections

In many states, especially those that see a higher amount of snow and hail, when buying a home it is usually requisite to have the roof certified from inspection. Matter of fact, many lenders required this to be done before they will cut a check. In most states, a properly ventilated roof can last 20 years or more. In states where the snow is heavy, they often have to be replaced every five years. While having a secure roof is one of the most important parts of a home, it can also be a very expensive investment, especially if you bought a home under the guise that everything was on the up and up.

Roofing Inspections

Roof inspections are simply inspections that determine the integrity of a roof, how long it may last, and when it will need to be replaced. Roof inspectors are not going to climb up on your roof or the roof of a home you are thinking of buying and pull up shingles or tiles. Roof inspectors have special procedures wherein they can determine the lifespan of a given roof without tearing into it. At first glance it might seem that roofing inspectors would have to pull up part of the roof to do a thorough examination, but if you consider your own roof, you would not want anyone tearing holes in it just to see if it was in good shape.

Are Roof Inspectors Different From Home Inspectors?

Roof inspectors also have super-technical techniques like infrared roof inspections where they don’t even have to touch the surface of the roof itself to determine a roof’s integrity. This process uses infrared rays to locate parts of a roof that are at higher or lower temperatures than the rest of the roof. These “hot spots” can show a roof inspector just exactly where heat is escaping.

Play it Safe

Because replacing a roof can be quite an investment, insurance companies and lenders require that this has been checked off. It makes sense for these companies to protect their investments, but you as the homeowner should want this to be secured as well. You don’t want to be stuck with a bill that you weren’t expecting, and you also don’t want to sell a home to a family and put them in the same spot.

Roof inspections are not all that expensive, and these roofing inspections can give you and your lenders and insurance carriers peace of mind. Because when the rain is coming down or there is a foot of snow weighing down your roof, you want to sleep comfortably knowing that you are secure from above.

 

What to Expect from Professional Roof Inspections

A roof inspector will be looking for leaks, unusual wear and tear, damage caused by windblown debris, organic growth issues, and problems that may have occurred during shingle installation or subsequent repairs. Ultimately, a roof inspection gets broken into four facets: structure, materials, interiors, and workmanship.

  • Structural Inspection: The inspector will check for uneven roof planes and signs of sagging, in addition to examining the condition of the soffit, fascia, and gutter system. Masonry chimneys should be inspected at this time for cracks, crumbling grout, and damage to chimney caps. The inspector may also check the venting in your attic; improper venting can lead to heat and moisture buildup that reduces roof life and increases the risk of ice dams forming at the roof’s edge.
  • Material Inspection: Here, the inspector will be looking for loose, missing, or curling shingles; stains; moss; rust; and missing flashing or fasteners. Shingle aggregate that has settled in roof valleys or on the ground at the bottom of gutter downspouts is a sign that the roof could be near the end of its useful life. The inspector will also check the rubber boots and seals around vent pipes, looking for gaps or deterioration.
  • Interior Inspection: Because roof leaks ultimately damage your home, the inspector will check interior ceilings, the attic, and interior walls for water stains, mold, rot, and other signs that water is making its way into your house.
  • Workmanship Inspection: A thorough inspector will examine your roof for problems in workmanship that could increase the risks of leaks or other roof damage in the future. Incorrect flashing around roof penetrations—including vent pipes, skylights, and chimneys—would all be red flags.

Roofing Analysis

After the inspection, you’ll receive a detailed report about the condition of your roof and what repairs, if any, are necessary to keep it in good shape. If repairs are necessary, schedule them as soon as possible—before the snow flies, if you can. That way, when snow blankets the neighborhood, you can be confident that your roof is in good shape.

 

5 Benefits of Roof Inspections

Your home is  typically the biggest investment you make in a lifetime. Proper home maintenance is a necessity if you want to maintain its value and keep your family and belongings safe. One of the biggest pieces to your home is the roof. Too often, its  is overlooked because even though you use it daily, you don’t actually see it.

A great way to maintain your roof and maximize its longevity is through a professional roof inspection. The best roofing contractors offer home roof inspections free to homeowners. Here are five benefits of roof inspections:

  1. Find Water Damage.

A roofer will check your roof for shingle condition, flashing installation, soft spots, and leaks. In addition, they should review the interior of your roofing system. Roofing contractors check your attic for the right insulation, ventilation set-up, leaks, mildew, and mold. Water damage usually begins long before you see a wet spot on your ceiling. A professional will be able to catch these leaks before they cause major damage to your home.

  1. Save Money.

Since you don’t check your attic or roof regularly, it’s impossible to know when something is wrong without a roof inspection. Professional roofing contractors can make recommendations for minor repairs that help you save money. If damage isn’t repaired quickly, it continues to fester and cause major damage which can often turn into a full roof replacement.

  1. Simplifies Insurance Claims.

Reputable roofing companies provide detailed reports with their findings and recommendations from the inspection. These reports make insurance claims easier to file and receive approval for because they explain the type of damage, what is needed to fix it, and an estimated cost.

  1. Increases the Life of Your Roof.

Getting a roof inspection annually can help extend the life of the roof because you are aware of the damage and can make minor repairs as needed. When roof maintenance is pushed to the bottom of your to-do list, it can cause a premature roof replacement. On average, a full roof replacement costs $10,000 and should last 30 years. If you need a roof replacement prior to that, consider adding an inspection to your yearly home maintenance checklist.

  1. Rested Mind.

Getting a roof inspection annually gives you peace of mind that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your family and your well-being. Even if a roofing contractor finds damage, you will have a plan in place on how to repair it, the cost, and how to maintain it moving forward.

Having a roof inspection completed annually is a decision that will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Contact the roofing professionals at Bealing Roofing & Exteriors to schedule your free roof inspection today.

 

A Roofing Inspection Checklist to Get Ahead of Problems

A regular roof inspection can head off expensive repairs.

A roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that’s easy to overlook. Don’t. Add a once-a-year reminder on your calendar to go out on a warm day and address any roof problems you find.

If you’re squeamish about heights, don’t worry. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars.

Or, you can get up close and personal with your roof using a ladder. However, there’s no need to get up on your roof just yet. The less you walk around up there, the better for your roofing — and the safer for you. Work your way around your house, noting any potential problems.

Here’s a roofing inspection checklist:

  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap. (OK, that’s technically not part of your roof, but since you’re looking anyway.)
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.

 

3 Things You Should Know About the Roof Inspection Process

Having your roof professionally inspected is a good way to learn about current issues and potential roofing problems so you can address both before an emergency arises.

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends scheduling a roof inspection during the fall, spring and following any major storm that involved high winds, hail or flying debris. However, if you invest in a roof preventative maintenance program, the frequency of your inspections will likely depend on the age of your roof. But, it’s typical for homeowners to receive a roof inspection at least once a year.

If you’ve never had your roof professionally inspected, here are the answers to some of the most common questions about the process.

  1. What are the warning signs that you may need a roof inspection?

The two most obvious signs that your roof is damaged and should be looked at by a professional are leaks and drafts. In addition to watching for water visibly leaking, you should also check for dark streaks and stains on your ceiling, as they can also be indicators that your roof is leaking and moisture is damaging both your roof and home’s interior.

Cool drafts, on the other hand, are not often 100 percent attributed to your roof, but a faulty roof can lead to problems with proper air circulation and ventilation and cause your energy bills to rise.

However, even if there are no signs that you need to have your roof repaired or replaced, a more thorough inspection may reveal damage that is not apparent to the untrained eye. So, scheduling an annual roof inspection is always a smart idea.

  1. What is the difference between an exterior and interior inspection?

While an interior roof inspection includes checking the attic for proper insulation, ventilation, as well as moisture and mold, an exterior inspection includes climbing up on the roof and checking for leaks and proper flashing, as well as the condition of your shingles and chimney.

After the inspection is done, the professional should give you a detailed guide of what needs to be repaired and execute a plan so that it can be fixed properly.

  1. What are roofers looking for during an inspection?

What a roofing professional will look for during an inspection will vary depending on the roofing materials used.

If you have a shingle roof, here are a few common issues that a roofing professional will look for during an inspection:

  • Signs of water damage – Water damage can be caused by a number of issues, including water not draining properly due to clogged gutters, improperly installed or damaged flashing and storms that blow shingles off leaving room for water to seep in.
  • Mold – Mold growing around the chimney and on attic insulation are signs of excessive water damage. During the interior inspection, a roofing professional will pay special attention to these areas.
  • Shingle deterioration – this can be missing or loose shingles as well as rotting or algae growth on the shingles
  • Clogged gutters – If your gutters contain an excessive amount of loose shingle granules, this is a sign that your shingles are being worn away. Granules give your shingles added weight and protect them from ultraviolet rays.

When inspecting your metal roof, identifying any leaks and their causes is also a top priority. Here are a few areas that roofing professionals will pay special attention to during an inspection:

  • Loose seams – Metal roofs expand and contract, depending on the weather. This can cause screws to loosen and seams to separate. If this problem isn’t taken care of right away, the roof’s underlying structure might be damaged by condensation and the buildup of water.
  • Damaged flashing – Flashing that has begun to pull apart and has created a gap can allow water to seep underneath your metal roof. It can also lead to corrosion on the underside of the panels.
  • Rust – Rust will eat away at your metal roof, creating large holes that will allow water to leak into your home or worse, cause roofing panels to literally fall apart.

Planning On Long Distance Moving

Best Long Distance Moving Tips

  1. Make a plan as soon as you know you’re moving

You’re about to move everything you own hundreds or thousands of miles away. That kind of enormous task requires a plan! Whether you like to go with the flow or you want every moving-related to-do recorded in a spreadsheet, you should write down every moving-related task you need to accomplish. We know that’s a lot to juggle, so to help you out, we’ve already created the ultimate moving checklist to help you through every phase of your move. Check it out below!

  1. Stay on schedule

Now that you’ve got a plan, you need to stay on schedule. Tasks like utility installation and school enrollment are time sensitive, so you don’t want to be scrambling to complete everything at the last minute. To keep yourself from forgetting what you need to do and when, try scheduling chunks of time on your calendar for moving-related tasks or setting up reminders on your phone. Follow this long distance moving tip, and you’ll be on schedule and ready for a stress-free move in no time!

  1. Get multiple in-home moving estimates

Since you’re moving such a long distance, you need to do everything you can to find the right moving company. Part of this process is getting in-home estimates from at least three different moving companies. We recommend scheduling your estimates four weeks before your move, but the earlier the better. Don’t forget to make sure the price estimate is as accurate as possible by preparing your home properly for the in-home estimate.

 

Semi-trailer trucks crossing a high level bridge in British Columbia

How to Prepare for a Long Distance Move

  • Moving long distance is not a joke – you’re going to have to move hundreds or thousands of miles until you reach your new home. So, the only way to have a successful long distance move is to use this long distance moving checklist in order to prepare really well for the relocation challenges ahead of you.
  • The preparation phase of your cross-country move is absolutely critical – it includes 25 tips for moving long distance, including MANAGING your pre-move time; INVENTORYING your entire home, GETTING RID OF (DECLUTTERING) all your unwanted items, FINDING high-quality packing supplies, and PACKING your things using a detailed packing timeline.
  • Moving long distance is not a good time to test your DIY moving skills – the risks will be too high and the self-moving costs will become astronomical. So, the best way to prepare for a long distance move is to hire the services of a reputable, trustworthy, experienced and affordable long distance moving company.

 

DISTANCE MOVING TIPS TO HELP YOU AVOID DISASTER

INSURE YOUR BELONGINGS PROPERLY.

A lot can happen to your stuff over thousands of miles in the back of a truck when it’s being loaded and unloaded by a number of crews.  Moving is a high risk industry; according to statistics from the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), “More than 80% of all moves have no claim filed”- in other words, up to 20% do. Be ready for something to go wrong, and get the proper coverage. Under Federal law, basic moving valuation limits a mover’s liability to only $.60 per pound.  Determine well before your move if you want to purchase full-value coverage or stick to basic coverage. Take note of the deductibles and the amount of coverage you’re getting. If you’re unsure which is better for you, your moving company will explain the differences between the coverages, and you can make a more informed decision that will help you prevent your expensive long distance move from becoming a financial disaster.

INSPECT OUTDOOR FURNITURE

You will need to inspect your outdoor furniture, or any other suspect items, for signs of insect or larvae infestation. Certain moving regulations exist on furniture in order to prevent transporting contaminants across state lines. Government pamphlets are available to provide more information on these regulations and how you can rid your furniture of larvae, moths, or other pests.

CREATE AN INVENTORY LIST

Moving companies handling your long distance move will want to know how much stuff you have. The only way to truly know how much stuff you have is to make a list of all of it. An inventory list won’t just be helpful for getting accurate price estimates from movers; it will help you stay organized while packing for your move, and allow you to keep track of your items along their long distance journey. If you check something off at the origin and destination, you won’t be worried about whether or not it safely made the trip.

SAVE MONEY BY PURGING UNNECESSARY ITEMS

The more items you take with you across the country, the more it will cost you. Cutting down on your list of items can be easy if you approach this task the right way. The three best ways to get rid of items are donating, selling, and tossing. Media items like CDs, DVDs, video games and books are easy to sell, since they’re mass produced and one size fits all. Blankets and winter coats are in major demand by charities in cold weather cities. Cheap, bulky furniture items often aren’t worth the work it takes to move them, and these can often be donated as well.

 

How to Plan a Long-distance Move

Moving to the other side of town can be a very different experience from moving across the country — or to a different country. If you’re in for a big change of scenery, it pays to take stock of your situation sooner rather than later. A move to Alaska may seem exotic if you’ve never seen snow, but culture shock may have you racing back to the hot and humid South if you’re not careful. Every area has something valuable to offer, but make sure you understand a locale’s unique challenges by doing a little recon before you pack up the kids and hit the road.

We may come into the world naked, but we don’t stay that way for long. From the moment we arrive, we start accumulating possessions. Some of them stay with us a lifetime, while others don’t. One sure way to make your long-distance move a strategic disaster is to misjudge which items are keepers and which ones aren’t. From packing smart to knowing what to pitch, let’s take a look at a few strategies for implementing a long-haul move that won’t make you wish you’d stayed put where life was dull but predictable. Don’t cringe — yet. Moving is an adventure. All you need is a reliable plan.

 

Tips for Planning a Long Distance Move

Give Yourself Lots of Time

Because there are so many steps involved in planning and executing a long distance move, you’ll need more time. With a local move, I usually recommend at least 8 weeks but for a long distance move, 12-16 weeks is ideal, particularly if you’re moving to a new state or across an international border. The more complicated your move, the more time you’ll need.

Understand What Type of Move You’re Making

There are two types of moves: intrastate—meaning that you’re moving within the same state – interstate means that you’re crossing a state or international border during your move. Most long-distance moves are interstate moves and require a specialized mover who can move you across borders. The type of move will determine how you get your household stuff from your old to the new home and the costs involved. So know before you start planning.

Determine Your Moving Budget

Before you start planning too much, you should sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend on your move which will help determine how you can move regarding whether you’ll hire movers or move yourself. Remember that a long distance move will always be more costly. Not only is there the travel costs between your old and new home but also the time and higher cost services you may need to hire.

Decide How Best to Move Your Things

Now that you know what type of move you’ll be making and what your budget looks like, you can assess your options for moving which can include moving yourself, hiring long distance movers, or shipping your goods through a shipping service. When considering how to move, make sure you look at how much time you have, your moving budget and how much you’ll need to be involved. Interstate movers are more expensive than local movers. However, they will also be able to advise you about any paperwork you may need to complete if you’re moving your stuff across an international border for instance. Some states also have particular rules for what can be shipped across their borders. Know the rules and what you’ll need before you decide how to move.

Residential Cleaning Service The Best Way To Make A Better Residence

Timesaving Tips From Professional House Cleaners

Skip seldom-used rooms—this time around

For most households, says Brown, an every-other-week cleaning schedule is enough. “After all, you’re still going to wipe down counters after dinner every night, right?” she asks. But some chores need only be done monthly. Her team at Harmony Clean divides less-frequent tasks between the first and second clean of the month. They clean first-floor baseboards and ceilings in one visit, and tackle the second floor in the next. Likewise with seldom-used guest bedrooms or formal living rooms.

Give your vacuum a tune-up

Canister, upright, bagless, bagged—use whatever suits your preference and floor surface, but keep your vacuum well maintained for maximum suction power and efficiency. Every month, Brown suggests, change disposable bags, wipe the inside and bottom of the machine, and clean out the rotating brush (you know, the part that attracts and tangles hair). Then get it serviced by a professional yearly. “Once a year I drop off my vacuum at the local repair store before we go on vacation,” Brown says. “Then I pick it up when we get back.”

Shake crumbs on the floor

…and dust, and pet hair. Follow the top-to-bottom rule of cleaning every room, and knock dust and debris from curtains, bookshelves, lampshades and mantles onto the floor as you work your way down, says Reichert, then vacuum it up after. You’ll clean faster if you don’t have to worry where the dust goes, and as long as you have a good vacuum—preferably one with a HEPA filter—Reichert promises you’ll suck it all up in the end.

Steam your microwave

Maybe you took a cleaning break to heat up some tea. Maybe you always check the microwave on your kitchen-cleaning circuit. Either way, you’ve opened the door and now it’s impossible to un-see the baked-on food splatters on the walls, ceiling, and floor of this appliance. Don’t stress; follow Lane’s trick: Fill a mug or measuring cup with water and microwave for 2-3 minutes, so it gets nice and steamy. The steam will soften the residue, making the wipe-down easier. (Now go enjoy your Earl Grey.)

Develop a squeegee habit

Show of hands: Who enjoys cleaning the tub and shower? Thought so. The easiest way to reduce the frequency of this much-loathed chore is to buy a squeegee and encourage everyone in the house to use it after a shower or bath, says Lane. Wipe the walls (top to bottom), the sides of the tub—even the floor itself (send the water straight toward the drain). Soap and shampoo residue will be washed away with the water, rather than evaporating and leaving a film on your porcelain or stone. Stick with this habit and you can get away with cleaning the tub and shower just once a month. You’re welcome.

 

Clever Cleaning Hacks from Professional Housecleaners

Clean the toilet daily

If you swish your toilet every day with your cleaning brush, you’ll keep it relatively clean without a ton of hard labor. Use the water already in the toilet to swish the entire toilet bowl. Your bathroom probably gets dirtiest the fastest and is the hardest to clean. By the way, these everyday items are dirtier than your toilet seat!

Cleaning solutions

Want to know the secret to streak-free mirrors and windows? Well, it’s an easy at-home solution you can make yourself. According to Rapinchuk, all you need is:

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

3 drops peppermint essential oil

Washing windows and mirrors is probably the least favorite cleaning tasks. These clever solutions will work for even the most annoying cleaning problems.

Use your dishwasher

Dishwashers are for so much more than just washing dishes. Reichert recommends using yours to dust off knickknacks like mason jars and glass candle globes. Pretty much anything glass or ceramic should be fine going in the dishwasher, but you do want to stay away from putting meltable plastics, and these eight objects in your dishwasher at all costs.

Create a cleaning plan

We all have those random cleaning bursts, but having a plan beforehand will make your cleaning process smoother. “Cleaning is really like a dance. You start high, work down and around, and carefully observe anything that needs attention,” says McGee. “As you move around, wipe light switches, door frames, baseboards, walls, working in a circle around a room and not back and forth from one thing across the room to another. Don’t get distracted, keep a smooth motion around your home.”

A pillowcase can be a cleaner

Obviously, you don’t want to use the pillowcase you sleep on every night, but using a pillowcase to clean your ceiling fans is a hack that you need to try ASAP. “The pillowcase holds the dust so it doesn’t fall on a table or bed,” says Reichert. “A very clean way to dust a fan.” Here are 11 brilliant cleaning shortcuts lazy people will appreciate.

 

Fast House Cleaning Tips

Make cleaning a group activity

Making cleaning a team effort is one of the best ways to clean a house fast. Schedule a time in advance with your family, and assign tasks to each person. Working together can add some fun to cleaning, and your house will be sparkling in no time.

Don’t forget to routinely wash your cleaning tools

An often overlooked part of cleaning the house is maintaining your cleaning tools. Using a dirty mop or a vacuum with a full bag is much less effective, and you’ll end up spending more time trying to clean.

Keep moving when you vacuum

Don’t worry about getting every nook and cranny when you vacuum. Just keep moving through the house, running the vacuum in every carpeted room in one pass through.

Sweep, then mop

Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors. Start mopping from the farthest corner of the room and move backwards towards the doorway (that is, don’t mop yourself into a corner). Rinse the mop every time you complete a 4-by-4-foot area.

Focus on tubs, sinks and toilets

Spray cleaner on the kitchen sink then on bathroom sinks, tubs and toilets. Let it sit for a few minutes so the cleaner has time to dissolve dirt and stains. Then return to the kitchen and start scrubbing. Don’t forget to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Clean toilets last.

 

Natural Ways to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Cranberry-Orange Stove-Top Potpourri

Pantry items can be used to make all sorts of stove-top potpourris. But this cranberry-orange potpourri with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and rosemary gives a cozy and warm Christmas scent.

Cinnamon-Orange Air Freshener

Not a fan of smoky candles? Then this cinnamon-orange air freshener is for you. Made with water-absorbing polymer, cinnamon oil, orange oil, and water, this air freshener will have your house smelling like fall in no time.

Plug-In Refill

Don’t throw out your empty plug-in air fresheners. Instead, save some money and reuse the glass plug-in container. All you’ll need is some essential oil and water.

Spring Simmering Pot Recipes

Simmering pot recipes are a natural way to add fragrance to your home. These premade spring simmering pot recipes are perfect for gift-giving. Or you could make some for yourself to have on hand.

Rosemary and Lavender Carpet Powder

Freshen your carpets naturally with this rosemary and lavender carpet powder. Just sprinkle the mixture of baking soda, dried rosemary, and lavender oil on your carpets, let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and vacuum it up for a fresh-smelling room.

 

Benefits of Hiring a Professional House Cleaning Service

Attracts New Customers

If you’re a landlord looking to put you houses on renting lists and attracting new customers, keeping a full tract record and cleaning every house manually isn’t beneficial for you at all.

You can try hiring a professional service of house cleaning in Denver and other surrounding areas by a reputable company to keep your houses cleaned. This will help you attract more customers, and you’ll be earning a lot more that expected due to the cleanliness of your houses. Well maintained houses also sell fast, and they often win a biggest price tag, because the buyer usually overestimates a well-maintained property and bids a high price. So, you better be hiring someone professional and well trained to take care of your property, and increase its value at the same time.

Less Insurance Disputes

Most of the landlords these days get their property completely insured before renting it to someone else, that is why if your make any mistake during the cleaning work, you might be paying him big bucks.

Professional cleaning service providers are usually well aware of these possibilities, and they are well trained to avoid them. However, if your cleaning provider dies any mistake to incur an insurance dispute, they’ll be fully responsible for that (but this must be mentioned in the contract to be viable).

Can Save You a Lot of Money

When you’re cleaning the house yourself, there are certain things that you’ll need to buy in the process, but they’re useless for you afterwards. That is where the cleaning service can save you a lot of money, because they usually have all the requisite material, machines and tools to finish the job neatly.

There is another area where these cleaning services can save you some bucks. If you’re moving out of a rental property, there’s a big chance that your landlord would inspect the quality and cleanliness of you home. He might hire a cleaning service himself, get the house cleaned and cut the charges from your advance deposit amount if he finds the house dirty. That is why it is advised to hire the service yourself and avoid the charges.

Get The Unreachable Places Cleaned

Most of the times when we decide to do the house cleaning job ourselves instead of hiring the professionals, we end up leaving the dirtiest parts of house that are often unreachable, or simply out of your eye sight.

A major benefit of the professional house cleaning services is that they know about those dirty unreachable areas, and have all the required equipment to clean them down to the last inch. So, you must hire a professional to clean the mentioned areas at least every three months to keep the environment hygienic.

Increases Your Productivity

Getting the cleaning responsibility out of the way gives you a mental clarity, and allows you to just focus on the things you need to take care of. Increased productivity enables you to focus on bigger goals and the things you want to accomplish in your life, rather than freaking out about smaller tasks as a cleaning service.

Getting this distraction out of the way and handling the work to some of the most trained and skillful professionals in the industry gives you the much-needed peace of mind, and focuses your mind on more significant tasks ahead.