Safe Clean Up Methods After Mold Remediation

What Happens If You Paint Over Mold?

When you paint over mold, you could be putting the health of your home and family at risk. Painting over mold will not kill mold or stop new mold from growing. According to the CDC, mold can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation,  and more severe reactions in immune-compromised people.

Keep in mind that:

  • Paint does not kill mold.
  • Paint that is mold-resistant only works proactively, not reactively.

Painting over mold is a quick-fix many homeowners or landlords jump to because it’s cheap, or at least they think. If you paint over mold, it will return in its original form or the form of chipping, bubbled or cracked paint. In the long run, this could cost more than it would have been to receive mold remediation services in the first place.

Steps to Take Instead of Painting Over Mold

When you choose to not paint over mold, you are choosing safety and a quality environment. When you go with proper mold remediation services instead, your paint will last longer and you will have the peace of mind knowing you found and eliminated the root cause – and the likelihood of more future mold issues.

How Do I Prevent Mold After Remediation?

After professional remediation, you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent the problem from returning. There are a variety of ways to prevent mold. They will require continued diligence and maintenance. Ultimately, the work put into your home to keep mold away will keep yourself, family and household safe.

  • Mold-resistant primer

Before embarking on your painting journey, be proactive and use a mold-resistant primer. This is especially important for rooms where moisture is prevalent, like the bathroom or kitchen.

  • Take control of your humidity

By making sure your home stays dry and well ventilated, you are helping to prevent the development of mold. Dehumidifiers can help in the prevention of mold, as well.

  • Properly dry and clean spaces where leaks or floods have occurred
  • Making sure all spaces are completely dry is a huge step toward preventing mold. If you have spaces in your home that are notorious for leaking or flooding, regularly check in on them and dry the area with a towel, as needed.

 

Moisture Problems That Cause Mold Growth

It is quite difficult to prevent mold growth without proper moisture control. Water intrusion or high levels of humidity can cause mold issues. Surface or groundwater may enter your home because of poor foundation drainage. Rainwater can get into a home through leaks in the roof, windows, or walls. It can also seep through the cement floor in buildings that have a slab construction, causing mold to grow on carpets, drywall, or furniture.

Mold can also grow on damp materials or rooms with poor ventilation since there is no free circulation of air. If the relative humidity indoors is maintained below 60 percent, and there are no cold-condensing surfaces, then there will be no enough moisture for mold to grow. However, cutting off any sources of moisture may dry out mold and prevent it from multiplying but they do not die easily.

 

How do I know when professional mold removal is complete?

There are two different ways to know when mold is removed.

  • Visual: You might see that all mold is gone is away, but hidden mold colonies and mold spores can linger in hidden places and in the air. So visual inspection is not the best way to insure complete removal.
  • Third party testing is usually the best way to test for complete mold removal verification.

Your mold removal company should not test as this is a conflict of interest and State Of Maryland residents be aware that there is a law that states that a mold removal company must have certain certifications and cannot test at the same time as the remediation. Please also beware that there are different kinds of testers ranging from home inspectors to industrial hygienists. Please ask your independent tester if their tests, in writing, will stand up in court.

 

How to Avoid Having a Mold Damage Claim Denied

There are several things you can do to prevent mold and/or improve the odds of having your claim approved if you incur mold damage.

On the prevention side, you can:

  • Install dehumidifiers in areas that are prone to dampness
  • Regularly check plumbing pipes and fittings to look for leaks
  • Adequately ventilate bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and other areas of your home where mold may have an opportunity to grow
  • Keep gutters clean to prevent the formation of ice dams in winter, which can lead to leaks
  • Regularly inspect your roof—and around windows and doors—and caulk cracks that could allow water to leak in
  • Properly insulate interior and exterior pipes in winter to avoid breakages or leaks
  • Routinely check appliances and hot water heaters for signs of leaks

If you have to file a claim for mold damage:

  • Properly document the damage with photos and/or video
  • Provide up-to-date maintenance records if you have them
  • Follow any and all instructions the insurance company gives you to process the claim
  • Contract approved mold removal companies to clean up the damage

 

Using Your Mold Fogger for Optimal Effectiveness

How you use your mold fogger affects how well it can do its job. Correct use varies by equipment, so always follow the manufacturer’s directions. The basics are simple:

  • Prepare the area by removing or covering electronics and items that might be damaged by moisture, such as paper and delicate textiles.
  • Add the mold fogging liquid to the fogger tank and adjust the settings. The finer the mist, the less risk of damage.
  • If you’re using a handheld fogger, hold it 18 to 24 inches away from the surfaces you want to treat. For a stationary fogger, place it a minimum of 18 inches away from any surface.
  • Let the fogger run for around 10 minutes. For a stationary fogger, turn the equipment by a one-quarter turn every two or three minutes to prevent run-off.
  • Turn the fogger off, leave the room, and let the fog dissipate for around half an hour.
  • Dry the area by opening windows or turning on fans. Leave again until the area is thoroughly dry.
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Tips For Getting Rid Of Wasps

How To: Make a DIY Wasp Trap

Save yourself and your family from stings this season by crafting this homemade wasp trap from your kitchen recyclables.

Nothing can ruin a summer barbecue or evening by the pool like the threat of a wasp’s sting. Mind you, wasps aren’t all bad—the adults are nectar-eating pollinators, and they kill other insects (often those harmful to crops) to feed their carnivorous larvae. Still, a nearby nest can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to their sting. Should you find an infestation around your own home, you have a few options: call a pest-control company, kill them yourself with sprays, or trap them. While wasp traps are available for purchase, save yourself some money and get rid of your buzzy problem by crafting this hands-off solution using items you most likely already have sitting in your house.

STEP 1: Cut up a 2-liter plastic bottle to create the trap.

Dig through your recycling to get the materials you need to make this trap, and get crafting. First, remove the bottle cap and cut the 2-liter soda bottle just under the neck, where the bottle becomes a straight cylinder. Invert the top portion of the bottle to serve as a funnel, and fit it inside the bottom half of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together around the cut edge so the funnel stays in place. Finally, poke two holes on opposite sides of the rim and attach some string to make a handle for hanging.

STEP 2: Prepare the bait for your trap.

You’ll never catch any wasps without the right kind of bait—and the perfect lure is wholly dependent on the season. In early spring, when wasps are reproducing, they are looking for protein; later in summer, they want sugar.

STEP 3: Position your trap off the ground.

You can set your traps out on the ground, but hanging them about four feet high will probably attract and catch more wasps. Find a good tree limb or fence post on your property—one that is at least 10 yards away from your family’s play, work, and gathering spaces—and hang up the homemade trap by its string handle

 

Things You Need to Know About ‘Murder Hornets’

If you haven’t been paying attention to the news over the past few weeks, you may not have heard about these huge hornets with massive stingers. The concern is legitimate, but just how worried about the hype should we really be? We’ve been getting a lot of questions about Murder Hornets

What is a Murder Hornet?

The name “murder hornet” was drummed up through social media to evoke fear and intrigue; the scientific name is vespa mandarinia, but it is more commonly known as the Asian Giant Hornet.

They can typically be found building subterranean nests by digging or by taking up residence in small burrows that rodents or other critters have already made. Nests will generally range anywhere from a few inches deep to approximately two feet down.

As it is primarily an insectivore, we believe the “murder hornet” name partially stems from how aggressive this hornet can be towards other bees, wasps and hornets. It only takes a small handful of these hornets roughly an hour to kill off a bee hive, slaughtering the entire hive in an effort to feed.

How big is a Murder Hornet, and what does it look like?

The Asian Giant Hornet is the biggest hornet on the planet, big enough that residents of Japan have referred to it as a “great sparrow bird.” Most are approximately two inches long, with a wing span of around three inches. The sheer size of this hornet makes its “buzz” so loud that you will often hear it coming before ever seeing it.

 

Telling apart the ‘murder hornet’ from hornets

“It appeared similar in size and markings,” said Terrill. “The discovery seemed uncanny. I had just read about the arrival of the Asian giant hornet in the Pacific Northwest the same day I found this giant hornet in my house.”

Terrill’s European hornet was unusually large because it was probably a queen, according to Scott Famous, local beekeeper and queen breeder, who examined the specimen. “She was probably looking for a place to start a new colony,” he said.

With the weather warming up and sightings of hornets sure to swell, I thought it would be useful to explore how the hornets common to the D.C. region differ from the Asian giant — or “murder” — hornet making news.

How can you tell the two apart? The Asian giant hornet, about 1½ to two inches long, is substantially larger than the European hornet, which tends to be a little over an inch long, as shown in the chart below. The Asian giant hornet has a head that is almost entirely yellow compared with the European hornet, which has a reddish-brown head that transitions to yellow around the face.

The Asian giant hornet is capable of destroying entire bee colonies and inflicting terrible stings with its quarter-inch stinger. The stinger is so powerful it can penetrate beekeeper suits. And the sensation of being stung is compared to a searing-hot thumbtack piercing the skin.

 

KEEPING WASPS AND HORNETS AWAY FROM THE HOUSE

Wasps and Hornets have created chaos for humans since the beginning of time.  Despite being annoying and sometimes scary with their belligerent behavior and tendency to sting when provoked, wasps and hornets can also be very beneficial to have around. These flying insects are predators and feed on many other unwanted insects you can find in your backyard, offering free pest control. On the other hand, wasps and hornets can be dangerous as well. Unlike many varieties of bees, they can sting you repeatedly when angered; their painful stings can provoke allergic reactions — even venom anaphylaxis in some people —  and can invade your personal space by building a nest in places like attics, eaves, and garages.

Sometimes, they can sneak in through your window and surprise you, buzzing around aggressively. These are unwanted guests you would never want in your home and often encourage panicking to find ways to get rid of them. In most towns and cities, you can call pest control services to deal with an infestation of hornets or wasps. These services are generally equipped to provide you with protection for a long time, months or whole season. On the flip side, these services can be quite expensive and not everyone can afford them. For those of you who prefer not to pay for an exterminator, here are a number of simple techniques that are inexpensive and can save your house from an infestation of wasps or hornets and you from being attacked by them.

Clove-Geranium-Lemongrass Oil Blend

What’s better in this world than using natural, organic blends to keep away hornets and other nasty flying insects? The excessive use of aerosols has its downfalls, most notably the ability to damage to our environment, and some pesticides are extremely dangerous as well.  They not only have the ability to hurt people as well as plants, bees, and animals, so by using this natural blend you are not only fighting wasps and hornets but doing your bit to help conserve our environment.

Plain Old Soap + Water

Another eco-friendly way of keeping wasps and hornets away is by using soap and water in a spray bottle. This is one of the oldest methods to keep away such insects. Spraying a mixture of soap and water into their nests kills them instantly. This occurs because soap clogs the breathing pores of insects. As a result, it becomes very difficult for them to breathe and therefore, they eventually die.  This is also a great mix for killing other nuisances such as boxelder bugs and some types of ticks.

Wasp repelling plants

Many people aren’t aware of this but some plants can actually repel pests. Plants such as citronella, thyme, and eucalyptus naturally deter insects like wasps and hornets. Growing these plants in your backyard will not only keep away these pests but also add beauty to your garden. It is a very effective as well as ongoing method of wasp control.

 

Selfless, Helpful and Intelligent: the Wasp; Yellow Jackets Much More Than the Evil Guests at the Picnic, Scientists Say

It is late summer, which means it is time to grit one’s teeth, get outside for a little family picnic, and practice that ever-fashionable dance routine, the Yellow Jacket Jive.

Yes, August is official yellow jacket month, as a number of entomologists have proclaimed on their Internet Web pages, and as anybody within range of a public trash can will attest. This is the season when the wretched little biblical plagues boil forth in force, bobbing and weaving like drunken marionettes, poking in fruit stands, crash-landing on soda cans, and haughtily, viciously, perniciously stinging any human who dares to protest

I’m better now. Sure, I’ve been stung a couple of times by yellow jackets, and, sure, both times I thought my leg had spontaneously combusted, but it turns out that yellow jackets are not the mean-spirited vermin their victims assume them to be. They are not nasty for nastiness’ sake. They are proactively defensive, family-values types that struggle selflessly to support and defend their kin. They may crave the same junk food we do, but they are not base freeloaders, and sometimes will even pitch in by hunting caterpillars, aphids, flies and other garden pests.

And to the entomologists who are beginning to piece together a portrait of their society, yellow jackets are fascinating insects, with all the sophistication of behavior found in bees, ants and other elaborately social insects.

Yellow jackets are not preprogrammed automatons, but learn from experience, including where and when to crash the best parties. They can communicate with one another, conveying their intentions, work assignments, the location of a hot new outdoor restaurant. Exactly how they communicate, though — whether through chemical signals, touch, sound or a kinetic language like bee dancing — is not understood.

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Avoid Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes

SIGNS THAT SHOW IT’S TIME TO CONSIDER A KITCHEN REMODEL

The two most used and most valued areas of your home are your kitchen and your bathroom, and keeping these spaces updated is crucial to the enjoyment you’ll get from the space. signs that show it’s time to think about a kitchen remodel are:

Leaks

If your sink, garbage disposal, or pipes leak, it’s high time to seriously consider what a kitchen remodel will do for you. Leaks happen when the plumbing in your kitchen begins falling to the tests of time, and this moisture will quickly lead to mold growth within one of your home’s most important areas. Having mold around food and food preparation can be hazardous to your health, but fixed simply with a kitchen remodel.

Your layout is impractical

A kitchen with an impractical layout is a kitchen that won’t be used nearly as often as needed. Homeowners with such kitchens often find that cooking and meal prep becomes more of a hassle than its worth, and they opt for going out more often than eating in. The money saved by eating in can pay for the remodel that transforms the kitchen into a functional, working, and happy space.

 

The appliances need replacing.

Because appliances are expensive and a hassle to replace, many homeowners continue to use the appliances they have, even if the work poorly or incorrectly. Waiting for an appliance to break down completely before replacing it may sound like the logical thing to do, but this could be a serious threat to your home! An older gas stove, for instance, could have a gas leak and pose the risk of a fire. A faulty dishwasher could cause flooding and lead to water damage or dangerous mold growth. Aside from the risks, it’s best to replace dated items in order to maintain a working and functional kitchen.

It’s difficult to host guests.

As food and beverages are the hub of every get-together, the kitchen is referred to as the heart of the home. This means that there is often more than one person in the kitchen at a time. Many older homes have floor plans in which the kitchen is separated from the dining or living room – a big offense against today’s trend of open-concept living. One of the most common remodeling requests we get is to open up the kitchen to the main part of the home. Opening the kitchen to the next room allows guests to mingle with the cook without crowding the workspace.

 

You Need More Space

Your kitchen may have been roomy enough when you first moved into your home. However, your family has grown over the years. These days, you always find yourself short on counter or storage space. If you keep rearranging your shelves, trying to fit everything in, a remodel can make your life easier. Talk to your contractor about adding storage options.

You Want a Change

If your kitchen is stuck in the 90s, upgrading your kitchen is one way to transform that space. If your cabinets are still in excellent condition, though, think about resurfacing them instead of buying new ones. You still get the upgrade you want while keeping your remodeling costs low.

 

Cabinets

Cabinets can be some of the first kitchen features to show their age. They’re used so often that it can’t be helped. Their finishes wear down, their hinges get loose, their doors warp, their shelves bow, and their hardwood suffers. Sometimes this can be improved with a paint job, but sometimes cabinets need to be replaced. This can be especially true if the cabinets have gone through grease damage near the stovetop.

Kids

Some older kitchens can be dangerous for young children. Things like sharp wooden corners, low-placed microwaves, drawers that can easily be pulled out of their cupboard, or cabinets that don’t have a way to be child-proofed are all hazards. If your kitchen has anything that could be a threat to a child, it’s time to remodel.

 

YOU’RE STAYING IN YOUR HOME

Taking good care of your home is one of the soundest investments you can make, but it is an investment. One of the first things to consider is how long you’ll be staying in your home. If you’re planning on moving or downsizing in the near future, this will impact the extent of which you remodel. Your design & build expert will be able to go over the details of your budget and specific returns on investment.

SIGNS OF WEAR & TEAR

Your kitchen and bathroom have seen better days. The floors look dingy, the counters are chipping, some of your cabinets or drawers don’t even work properly anymore. Maybe your windows are becoming drafty, or you have more serious structural issues. At some point, all homes begin to deteriorate and need some refreshing. Left neglected, these issues will lead to more expensive problems down the road. If you can’t look at your home without noticing all the areas that need improvement, that’s a sure sign it’s time to remodel.

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Packers And Office Movers Services

LOW RATES ON OFFICE MOVERS

Managing a successful business is tough but trying to manage a business while in the middle of a full office relocation might seem impossible. Not only are you trying to keep operations going, but you’re having to do that in a constant state of flux with boxes everywhere and a flurry of packing activity.

This is a time when a professional mover is worth their weight in gold. Some may view hiring a professional moving company as an unnecessary expense. However, the time and resources you’ll save by not losing business manpower, makes up for the menial cost. A moving crew can get your office moved quickly and efficiently, so there’s less impact to your bottom line!

TYPICAL COMMERCIAL RELOCATION PROCESS

At its core, moving an office looks a lot like moving a residence: sensitive documents must be handled with care and heavy furniture transported to the new location. The primary difference between these types of moves is working around your schedule to minimize the impact on your business.

From there, the agent will discuss storage options: are you moving all at once or spacing it out over the course of a few days or weeks? Will you need long-term storage for any reason? If so, the agent will most likely set you up with a good deal from a trusted provider. Finally, the moving coordinator will work with you to make sure everything is done according to plan. You may have as many people on-site to help as you would like, but the moving team – under instruction from the team leader – will take care of all the work

MOVING SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR YOUR OFFICE

Many people are unaware of all the things that moving companies can do, especially when it comes to office relocations. Not only are professional movers responsible for transporting items from point-to-point, but they can also provide a myriad of other services  as well.

Packing and Unpacking Services – Depending on the size of your staff and how much equipment you’ll need to move, packing up an entire business can be time-consuming and possibly dangerous. Moreover, a poorly packed truck can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. Professional movers are trained to pack and stack things the right way, which minimizes the risk to you.

Trash Pick-Up – If there’s excess waste at your company, a professional mover may be able to help you clean out the debris before and after your move.

Furniture Assembly and Disassembly – Larger items like desks or cubicles can be cumbersome to take apart. For an extra fee, many movers will break those down into manageable pieces, then reassemble them at the new location.

Packing Supplies – In case you want to take care of most of the packing yourself, moving companies can also help you find the right amount and type of boxes to get, saving you the hassle of guessing and possibly wasting money.

 

Office Moving Checklist: How to Plan the Perfect Office Move

Moving to a new office can be a serious task for a business – an office relocation job that often proves to be more challenging than anyone ever expected. In the majority of cases, the worst thing about moving a business to a new location is not the actual office moving costs but rather the lost time during the corporate move.

Ultimately, every day that an office is in transit will mean lost money for the company. And if all those days should turn into too many days or even weeks due to ineffective planning and bad time management, then the business could lose quite a lot of money in the meantime – and that’s an office moving scenario that nobody wants to happen.

Without a doubt, the only way to guarantee a successful office relocation is to follow an Office Moving Checklist – a super-detailed office move plan that will make sure the tough job of moving a business to a new location gets completed as quickly and effectively as possible

3+ months before the move

The more time you have for planning an office move, the better your chances of managing a successful office relocation will be. Ideally, you’ll have around 6 months to get ready for Moving day but you should be able to make it work in half that time (3 months) as long as you rely on your business moving checklist.

MAKE SURE you have found a new location for the business – one that has a number of advantages over the current place in terms of rent, location, type of building, square footage, and so on.

REVIEW again the conditions of the commercial property lease. Is there any danger of losing the deposit fee if you break the lease too early?

GIVE the landlord or the property manager an official notice that you plan to move the business office to another location.

SCHEDULE a move-out date after you reach a mutually beneficial agreement with the landlord or property manager about how much more time you’ll have in the current business office. Do all in your power to secure least 3 months to prepare for an office move in the best possible way.

PUT TOGETHER a team of trustworthy employees that will help you manage the office move project.

DISCUSS at length the upcoming commercial move with the members of the office move planning team and ASSIGN individual tasks to each person so that they know exactly what is expected of them.

SCHEDULE periodic meetings with the office move project team to coordinate your actions and monitor the overall progress. Planning a business move requires an impeccable organization and a distinctive effort from each company employee.

GET office moving cost estimates from at least 3 top-rated office movers in your area. GET those written estimates in order to compare their rates effectively and pick the winning offer that will fit your company budget and satisfy your relocation needs.

BOOK the services of the best office moving companies in your area – the best ones in terms of price and quality of service.

SET a budget for your office move as soon as you know how much your office movers will charge you for the job. A working moving budget can keep you from overspending on a business office move that’s likely to be expensive as it is.

CONSIDER purchasing extra insurance for the valuable office equipment and machinery. Insurance coverage is especially important when you’re moving a single piece or a few pieces of super-expensive machinery that your entire business depends on.

 

What would you look for in a good office moving company?

Everyone has to move sometime or another. But seasoned moving customers are well aware that not all moves run smoothly. Just as each moving company will differ in their services and prices, it’s extremely important to know what to expect on moving day

So you’ll want to do your homework and research as many vendors as possible. When researching, keep an eye open for scams and rogue movers, as they will never have your best interest in mind.

Any estimator that does a quick walk-through of the building will not catch all of the details when giving you the quote. When calculating, they should ask questions about what exactly you will be bringing with you to your new location.

Just be prepared to answer the questions regarding which items will not be going on the truck and will need to be decommissioned. You might be surprised to find that a number of companies operate under various names to avoid being assessed by the Better Business Bureau and other online review platforms.

Make sure the company has an address that is local and information about their licensing and insurance. Check for any other name the company does business as in addition to their state and federal license numbers.

 

MOVE MANAGEMENT

Change is constant, and never is this adage truer than for facility managers facing down the realities of the modern office environment. Whether a company is embarking on a completely new build, growing rapidly, merging with another organization or simply shuffling internal seating arrangements, move management has become a core function of the facilities management team.

Even a small move can consist of many connected parts that need to be synchronized, and it’s the job of FMs to make sure that the day-to-day operations of a company aren’t too heavily impacted in the process. This demand for efficiency places a heavy burden on facilities management teams: a successful move requires the careful consideration of countless factors. And if all the stakeholders aren’t properly looped in and all the variables aren’t considered, a move can quickly end up costing more and taking much longer than anticipated.

So how do you make sure that an office move takes place as expected? Managing a move successfully demands strategic planning, effective communication, collaboration, a workable strategy for moving teams and proactive steps that protect against disrupting business operations for a significant amount of time. If this sounds like a tall order, it is: but with the right preparation and tools, a streamlined office move is within your reach.

What is Move Management?

The definition of move management is simple—it involves relocating staff members and support materials from one space to another—but the planning and responsibilities that come with it can be complex. The process traditionally sees an organization leave their current premises for a new office, although intra-office and departmental moves are also becoming the norm.

Another important aspect of move management that is often overlooked is the ad hoc movement of employees within an office, often referred to by facilities management teams as churn. In some offices, moves need to be authorized by managers, but in others, employees are allowed to decide for themselves if they want to move to another desk. Regardless of who needs to sign off on a request, though, keeping close track of these moves is important. FM teams need to facilitate and schedule changes, and also keep HR, IT and other departments fully informed of who sits where.

 

How to Prepare for Office Move?

Getting ready to relocate an office or business can be much stressful than relocating a home. The need to keep all things in your head while moving an office could be so tiring. To have hitch-free office relocation, you need to plan and prepare appropriately. Continue your business in a new place comes with lots of excitement. Relocating to a new place that is more spacious than the previous office space means that your business is growing and your employees will also be expecting to work in a more upgraded office.

Making sure the business continues without any obstacle is very important even though moving is going on. To have a hitch-free office move, hire a professional moving company that has experience in commercial relocation. Regardless of the distance of your relocation, the business owner must prepare before the moving date. Draft a moving checklist to avoid trouble during the entire office relocation will go a long way. This post will go through all you need to know about office move. Let’s start by highlight some of what should be included in your office checklist.

Office Moving Checklist

Create a moving checklist for your upcoming office relocation means that you have something to fall back on when necessary. Among the things that should be included in your moving checklist include office inventory, casting aside non-essentials, setting up of relocation committee, arrangement with interior designers, and contacting moving companies,

Develop a Timeline

The important dates on the business calendar should be the basis on which the relocation is planned. Take a note of the events on the moving timeline. The expiry date of your current lease should also be considered. The manager in charge of the property should be aware of the upcoming moving date. Inform the entire employees and suppliers about the scheduled moving date.

Assign Tasks and Set up a Relocation Committee – Optional

Involving your staff in the move at the early stage is essential. Relocation committee will help make the office transition easy on the rest of the employees, as well as help you in planning and organizing the event. Ensure the committee oversees the tasks and assignments as assigned to each member, as there are more than enough tasks to do as the relocation progresses. Ensure you assign some to your employees and add each task to the list.

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Tips On Selecting A Kitchen Sink For Your Home

How to Install a Kitchen Sink

Prepare for the New Kitchen Sink

Before you begin this project, read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow all local building codes. If you’re not comfortable installing a kitchen sink or related components (faucets and garbage disposers)

Measure your existing sink. If your new sink has different dimensions and drain location than the unit it will replace, you may need to modify the countertop opening and / or plumbing.

Good to Know

For best results, make a drawing of your old sink with all measurements including distances from the sink wall to the drain center to use as a shopping aid and reference. Or you can remove your old sink,

Remove the Old Sink

Before you begin, snap a picture of your plumbing configuration. This serves as a handy reference if you’re having trouble reassembling the plumbing later.

Turn off both the hot and cold water supply lines. The shutoff valves typically are in the cabinet below the sink or in the basement. If you cannot find them, turn off the main water line to the house.

 

Things For Anyone Who Spends Basically All Their Time In The Kitchen

Heavy-duty cleaning wipes that’ll remove sauce and grease splatters with ease.

These wipes are non-abrasive so they’re safe to use on smooth surfaces like car exteriors.

Promising review: “I have a small kitchen, and everything tends to get an oily, greasy film on it very quickly. I don’t have a tile backsplash or a range hood, and my fridge is right next to my stove, so the paint on the wall and the textured fridge get pretty disgusting. The tiniest little oil splatter seems to cover my whole kitchen. When these wipes arrived yesterday, I attacked my kitchen with them. They worked amazingly well! I didn’t realize how much grease was really sticking to everything until I saw how disgusting the wipes were getting. Luckily, they’re huge, so I was able to cover a lot before a needed a new one

A compact binder for collecting all your favorite recipes (from grandma’s secret casserole to that perfect cinnamon bun recipe you got off the internet)

This ring binder comes with 25 4″x6” recipe cards, 50 clear plastic sleeves, and nine tab dividers with categories.

Promising review: “I don’t have too many recipes (since I’m not the best cook lol), so I was looking for a really cute recipe book just to keep my favorites! They supple a handful of stylish note cards that match the binder to input your recipes, which I really liked. Also, it is a really cute decoration to display in your kitchen, too!”

A cushy floor mat to save your feet from standing on the cold, hard kitchen floors for hours during food prep

 

Easy Ways To Organize The Space Under Your Kitchen Sink

When you walk into our studio space through the side door, the first thing you see is the kitchen on your left. If you look to the right, you’ll see small room that we use primarily for storage. Because that storage room is conveniently located right across from the kitchen, we had been storing most of our cleaning supplies in the storage room rather than in the kitchen itself.

That meant that the space under the kitchen sink was going largely unused. It wasn’t really an issue until recently, because over the past year the storage room has been filling up with appliances, tools, blog projects, etc. So we decided it was high time to move our kitchen cleaning supplies to the space under the sink where they rightly belonged!

But as we started moving items into the space under the sink, it occurred to us that we needed to think about some storage solutions to keep it from becoming a mess. So today I’ll be sharing the steps a few of the tips we used to organize our under-the-sink storage space, in hopes that some of you might find them useful as well!

Tension Rod

We put up an inexpensive tension rod near the top of the cupboard to hang our sprays, cleaners, and scrub brushes. Getting spray bottles up off the bottom of the cupboard freed up a lot of space for other items! If you have larger/heavier spray bottles to hang, you may need to invest a few more dollars to get a sturdier tension rod.

Plastic Bins

The most important thing about under-the-sink storage is ensuring that things are waterproof. Not that you should be expecting a leak, but things happen and it’s much easier to keep things clean if they can’t get soggy or waterlogged.

 

Kitchen Sink Organization Ideas

Near and Dear

It’s important to have everything you use frequently within easy reach so you’re not wasting time at the sink. Keep sponges, scrubbers and soap organized with a sink caddy. These little time-savers can straddle the sink divider, sit above the sink or even be used on the side of the sink with suction cups.

Out to Dry

A drying rack is a helpful tool to save yourself time in the kitchen. If you have space, an in-sink rack is helpful as water drains right into the sink. If you’re pressed for space, a countertop drying rack is a great solution. Be sure to choose one that is angled or has a spot for draining into the sink. Some compact styles can be stored below the sink when not in use.

Below Deck

Resist the urge to allow the cabinet below your sink become a dumping ground! Utilize over the door cabinet hooks and racks to keep towels and cleaning tools tidy. Gliding drawers are ideal for cleaning supplies — the items stored will be easy to access. Or, choose a caddy for cleaning supplies if you’ll need to take them to other areas of your home.

 

Use It Up: The Kitchen Sink Drink

Once upon a time I was throwing away veggies like it was my job. It would kill me; I’d spend money on lovely, organic or local vegetables, and find myself chucking them into the trash in a week because I let them go to hell in a crisper-basket.

Then, I started making green smoothies. Now, I can’t tell you the last time I pitched produce. Why? Because I’m drinking every last scrap. AND, enjoying it. These drinks are not nose-plugging-nasty-chug-it-down-before-you-yak kind of tonics. They’re what I like to call elixirs of life! And small pores! And gut shrinkage! And every other thing a whole darn head of cabbage could probably cure

This weekend’s Use It Up Recipe is a drink. Not unlike when I talked about drinking bok choy, but this particular blended wonder was literally every color in the rainbow — AND — everything but the kitchen sink. Oh, and did I mention delicious? (or without sweetener of any kind??) My kids drank it, my husband drank it…and yep, even the puppy drank it..

Truly, how else could you eat the same amount of raw kale and purple cabbage? Without choking it down as though someone had a gun to your head?! Think about it.

The whole premise of “green” smoothie making is to do 60% veggies — the majority of the drink — but then sweeten with 40% fruit. So, essentially, you don’t even realize you’re drinking greens. Plus, unlike juicing, smoothies allow you to keep all the fiber and roughage, so these potent beverages keep you full in addition to packing a nutrient punch.

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What Is An Electrical Upgrades

Reasons You May Need to Update Electrical Wiring in an Old Home

Did you know that electrical problems were the cause of 6.3% of all residential fires? Your home is especially at risk if you live in an older house with old electrical wiring. If you’re hesitant to update electrical wiring in your home, here are 5 reasons why you may reconsider that decision.

For houses with outdated wiring, the risk is especially high. If you own an older home, aging and dangerous electrical systems could be lurking behind your walls and putting your family at risk. You may be hesitant to update electrical wiring in your home, unsure if it is worth the cost or hassle. If so, here are five reasons why you should consider replacing and repairing your wiring.

Keep on reading to learn more!

Improve Your Safety

If you live in an older home, your outlets may only have two prongs instead of three. Most modern appliances have the third prong, which can pose a problem for homeowners. Two-prong outlets, which can’t provide enough power, can cause fuses to blow. Many devices or appliances plugged in simultaneously can increase the risk of blowing. This is true for energy-intensive fixtures like refrigerators because fuses can easily overload. Old-fashioned outlets are especially prone to power surges. The third prong of modern plugs serves as a connection to the ground wire in your home electrical system. This grounding conductor protects homes from surges of power.

Give Yourself More Power

Victorian homes have minimal outlets, designed for a few electric lights to replace the oil lamps and candles of old. An old home that has never had an electrical renovation uses way more power today than it was designed for. They are incapable of accommodating the needs of today. Homes from this period service 100-150 amps of electricity. A modern family’s energy consumption typically needs 200 amps of electrical service to meet their needs. Upgrading your electrical capacity to 200 amps will allow you to run a high number of appliances without the risk of overloading. You’ll be more prepared for future product innovations and capable of powering them.

Decrease Your Fire Risk

Electrical malfunctions in homes account for 51,000 fires each year. These fires result in an estimated 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries. Property damages from home electrical fires cost a staggering 1.3 billion dollars. Faulty outlets with only two prongs can be overloaded, causing sparks to erupt from blown fuses. Loose wiring in switches is also often the source of electrical sparks. Knob-and-tube wiring can come loose and electrify the wood, making surges that can cause wooden structures of the home to catch fire as well.

Houses built before the advent of modern appliances are especially prone to fire risk. They are not wired for high-powered electronics such as televisions or computers. The demands of multiple items plugged in at once can easily overwhelm their wiring, causing blown fuses and potential sparks.

Even homes built as recently as 25 years ago may need upgrades to reduce the risk of electrical fire. Be wary if you use extension cords or power strips to expand available outlets. You may be taxing your electrical system beyond its original design.

If you supplement your heating system with space heaters in winter, these heaters can increase your fire risk. Not only can they ignite nearby materials on their heating coils, but their heating elements also need a lot of electricity to heat them.

Protect Yourself From Surges

Power surges are one of the most potentially damaging risks to the electrical components in your home. Whether it be from lightning, downed power lines, or power station fluctuations, power surges can cause serious damage to devices in your home.

Computers can suffer memory loss, fried components, and even complete failure. Devices such as TVs and gaming systems are also extremely vulnerable to power spikes.

Modern electrical systems can include whole-house suppressors. These can protect your home from surges of 40,000 amps or more. Used with surge protectors, these upgrades can keep your electronics and appliances safe from power spikes.

Make Your Home More Convenient

Antique wiring was designed for utility, not convenience. If you own an old house, you might find yourself regularly frustrated with your lack of outlets.

An upgrade to your electrical wiring can include having additional outlets installed in your home. Modern, three prong outlets can be added to any room that needs more electrical access, such as your living room or even your garage. Spreading out your electric use between multiple plugs can also prevent the taxing of any one power source.

You may see a decrease in your homeowner’s insurance when you upgrade your electrical system. Many providers require that all electrical systems meet building codes. If your home still has knob-and-tube wiring, you might find it hard to get an insurance policy at all.

Today’s home buyers are also looking for convenience in their potential purchases. Adding more outlets can add attractive benefits to your home if you’re looking to sell in the future. You may add significant value to your home by making sure it is up to code for future inspections.

 

How Can an Electrical Upgrade Increase the Resale Value of Your Home?

Considering postponing electricity upgrades at home as you plan to market it? Hold on! The sale of a house with dubious cables and electrical systems is a bad idea. What should you replace before selling and what can you leave to the buyers’ judgment?

ENTICING ELECTRICAL UPGRADES FOR YOUR HOME

These upgrades are vital to reduce the need for endless price negotiations after the home inspection and help get a better price or higher offer in today’s tight housing market. Ask our electrician in OKC to know where you can upgrade your electrical system.

UPDATING WIRING SYSTEM

Tube and knob wiring, are a significant reason for domestic fires that were installed ages back and a pain for both homeowners and buyers. The entire home should have modern strong copper wires and sufficient grounding for safety and for managing the massive electronic load of today’s homes.

UPGRADING OLD ELECTRICAL SERVICE

Your home should be wired for 200 amps, not traditional 60-amp older homes that do not support today’s homes with the sheer number of electric appliances and electricity use.

GROUNDED OUTLETS

There is nothing like dusty two-prong outlets that says it won’t satisfy today’s high-tech buyers. It is the digital age, and today’s home buyers want plugs and wiring, on which they can depend. It must be possible for all outlets to accept properly grounded 3-pronged plugs. It may not matter if the old TV is surged, but buyers are concerned about their sensitive and costly smart gadgetry.

 

Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical System

Keeping an old wiring system or having insufficient amperage can pose danger to your home. Here are some indications it is time to upgrade your electrical system:

You Live In An Old House

Older homes may be charming and unique, but they are often full of electrical issues because just a few decades ago, families did not have the entertainment centers, extra appliances and all the electronic items we have today which translates to higher electrical loads. When you lose power whenever you run your microwave and coffee maker at the same time, this could be a sign that it is time to upgrade your electrical system.

Just adding new wiring may not work. Electricians say this can lead to what is known as spaghetti wiring, a mess of potentially dangerous wires behind your wall. While it is possible to salvage old wires that are still intact and just get rid of the frayed and aluminum wiring that was installed in the 1960s and 1970s, it is more cost effective and safer to rewire the entire property. Old wiring systems do not balance the electrical loads across the circuit as well as the new ones.

You Are Buying New Appliances

Having newer appliances at home that draw larger volumes of energy can exceed your property’s electrical service capacity. In the 1960s, building usually had 60 amp services but due to the growing power demands, the current minimum standard designated by the National Electrical Code for most residential properties is 100 amps. Many new houses are now installed with 200 amp services in anticipation of future electricity needs.

Insufficient electricity can strain appliance motors. Appliances can heat up and easily get damaged when appliance motors do not receive enough power. Running appliances with insufficient power can shorten their lifespan and this could become more expensive for you in the long run.

You Are Renovating Your Home

You may also need to upgrade your electrical system if you are upgrading your home. If you are turning your attic into a game room, remodeling your kitchen, or constructing an additional bedroom, these changes can likely lead to increased electrical use or require rewiring.

 

The Insurance Issues About Wiring

Some insurers refuse to cover or renew policies on residential properties with 60-amp electrical service, aluminum wiring or knob and tube wiring. Provincial safety codes don’t impose a legal requirement to upgrade or replace these services.

A 60-amp service or a service with knob and tube or aluminum wiring is not necessarily an issue if it is properly installed and maintained.

 

We started with the foundation work

We had all our panels updated and the downstairs bathroom rewired/updated, and the upstairs master bath rewired/updated. This is what we’re calling Phase 1! Whooot! Completed. It was not as traumatic as I thought. And: I can safely plug in a blow dryer. I know, the excitement. Calm down now Susan! We also upgraded to 300 amps, so as we make additions and changes throughout the years, we’ll have plenty of amps to work with.

Here’s my advice if you need to have electrical work on your old home done:

Find a really good electrician. Like really good. Make sure they have experience working on old homes and are licensed.

Make sure your electrician has experience working with plaster walls. When we interviewed electricians, one said they were going to cut horizontal channels in our plaster walls. Ummm, no. Uhhhh, the plaster walls will FALL DOWN if you cut horizontal. Moving on. I am AMAZED that we had not one hole in our walls from running new wire. That takes talent. NOT ONE HOLE.

Beware of alarmists. These are the people who make it seem like end of days if your house wasn’t built in the last 3 years. I’m so over these people and have found they have no idea what they are talking about 98% of the time. If someone says something to you that sounds off, research it. Ask a professional. That said, I’ve talked to professionals that are alarmists too. Beware. There should be a practical solution for most problems.

Ask your electrician how they will approach the project. This was super helpful during the interview process and helped us understand the work ethic and personality of the electrician, and helped the electrician ballpark how much time it would take to complete the job.

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What To Look For In A Family Dentist

Starting a Dental Practice: Tips For Success

Let’s begin by saying that, as a dentist, you’ve chosen an amazing line of work with proven high success rates. With every chapter, every experience and every challenge you encounter in your career, there is opportunity. Hopefully you will take from this article insights about growth, learning and avoiding the costly mistakes many new practice owners make.

Do some homework.

The failure rate for dental practices is very low, but when it happens, it can be a life-defining disaster, both professionally and personally. In the past, one could build a practice from scratch and have a booked schedule of patients before opening for business. This is rarely the case today. As soon as your mind is made up to become your own boss, start exploring the unknowns that lie ahead. Talk with current practice owners about what challenges they faced, what they did to prevail, and what (if anything) they would do differently today. Once you’re comfortable with the challenges you’re likely to face, you’re ready to move on to tip No. 2.

Build a network of trusted advisers.

Starting on the day you decide to start a practice, you’ll meet many people. As you filter through all the advice and various relationships you’ll establish, it is important to team yourself with industry-specific advisers who will help you with the many crucial decisions you’ll make.

Your team of trusted advisers should include:

Dental-specific building contractors. This is very important. Trying to save money with a general contractor who’s not experienced in building out dental practices can lead to overruns and frustration. Dental-specific contractors are easy to find: Your equipment specialist can likely put you in touch with contractors they’ve worked with, or you can look for contractors at your state annual session. You can also check with colleagues who may have valuable feedback about contractor performance.

A specialized CPA. A general dentist can do root canals, but an endodontist is highly recommended for more difficult procedures. In much the same way, a specialized Certified Public Accountant is highly recommended for your practice. Of course, there are many general CPAs who would like to earn your business, but we encourage you to have a conversation with a CPA who works with at least 25 dental clients.

A dental equipment specialist. A good equipment specialist won’t try to sell you as much equipment as your financing will allow, but instead will look out for your best interests. This person can also be one of your most insightful advisers. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a dental practice owner to maintain a career-long relationship with a trusted equipment specialist. It is important to these specialists that your start-up practice is positioned for success, since they hope to provide you with updated equipment and the latest technology for many years to come.

A dental-specific lender. Many financial institutions — including local, regional, and national banks, SBA lenders and loan brokers — are interested in financing dental practices. Some are experienced in the dental industry and some are general small business lenders who typically look to lend against the collateral in the transaction and don’t always consider soft costs, which include build-out or tenant improvement and working capital. Dental-specific lenders are familiar with the true cost of a start-up practice, which may run upwards of $450,000 (and of which only a third is equipment costs.) It’s important to work with a lender who understands the project breakdown.

Secure financing.

While there is no shortage of banks wanting to lend to dentists, you may find that your local bank and others are unfamiliar with the cost and funding allocation requirements for a start-up practice. But many major lenders are familiar with your needs and can provide you with the required funds. Also, be sure not to base your loan decision solely on interest rate. Although the rate is important in keeping your payments lower, it should only be one factor in your decision-making process

 

Teeth Care Tips From Dentists That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

It’s good to have a friend who is a dentist, right? Of course, they won’t treat you for free but they can always give you some useful piece of advice and warn you of dangers you may have never even thought about. And surprisingly, our oral health depends on even the smallest details.

It’s really easy to damage your enamel this way (especially if you use a hard toothbrush). Food and drinks disrupt the pH-balance in the mouth and make the tooth enamel a little softer for a short time. Dentists recommend brushing teeth at least 30-40 minutes after having a meal.

Of course, nobody says that swimming is not beneficial for your health. But the problem is that the chemicals used to disinfect the water in swimming pools have a terrible effect on the teeth. In the 80s, American scientists published the results of a study that focused on the health of teeth of professional swimmers, 40% of whom suffered from tooth enamel damage.

Think about the way we drink tea or coffee at work. We pour the full cup of hot coffee and drink it in small sips, constantly talking to our colleague, and answering e-mails. While we are doing it, the coffee (especially coffee with sugar) is working on destroying the enamel of our teeth. So, it’s best to drink this beverage as quickly as possible.

First, a cavity is an open source of infection that spreads from the tooth tissues to the gums and could then get into the bloodstream and affect the fetus. This could lead to premature birth and the baby having serious congenital diseases.

 

Helpful Dental Tips for our Burnaby Patients

This is where we will regularly update our patients on what’s new and exciting at our practice and in dentistry at large.

This blog will provide information on advances in dental technology, oral home care health tips, news about our practice, and more! We hope you will read and respond to the array of engaging topics here, from health, beauty, technology, and family.

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” ― Kenny Chesney… How poetic, and more importantly that Kenny Chesney recognized it is the smile that comes first.

“Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” Laertius Diogenes… Here in our office time is ever present.

There are so many different toothbrushes on the market today. How do I know which one is the right one for me? Walk down the dental product isle in any drugstore, pharmacy or supermarket and the choices can be overwhelming.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush and floss?

This unfortunately is an all too common problem and generally means that gum disease (gingivitis/periodontitis) is present.

 

What Implant Crowns From a Cosmetic Dentist Can Do For You

Many cosmetic dentists recommend implant crowns over other teeth replacement options because of the long-term benefits they offer. It is helpful to fully understand what dental implants are and how they help patients when determining an appropriate treatment choice.

Many cosmetic dentists offer implant crowns as a way for patients with a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth to restore the appearance of their smile, improve oral health and make daily oral functions easier. The following is an overview of dental implants, including what they are exactly, how they help patients and how the placement process works.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are screw-like devices that a dentist or oral surgeon places into or on the jawbone above a missing tooth to serve as the root of a replacement tooth. An abutment is attached to the dental implant, which connects the implant and the artificial tooth together, completing the process. Most commonly, a dental crown is used for the artificial tooth, which is made of either porcelain, a metal alloy or gold material or a combination of porcelain fused to metal

What dental implants can do

There are many benefits to choosing dental implants over other teeth replacement solutions such as removable dentures and fixed bridges

Dental implants can last for as many as 25 years or more before needing replacement, a length of time that far exceeds other replacement options. Many people who lose teeth begin to lose confidence in their appearance as well, and improving the cosmetics of their smile and filling in gaps caused by missing teeth often restores confidence.

 

Helpful Tips for Finding the Right Pediatric Dentist

As a parent, you eagerly accept the responsibility of building a firm foundation for your child’s oral health. That means you need to find a pediatric dentist in Waverly to provide the type of care that will be just right for your little one. This is easier said than done, so it helps to have some simple guidelines to follow when looking for the right dentist

A Patient Dentist

It’s normal for children to be busy and active, so one of the most important traits for a pediatric dentist to possess is patience. Therefore, your children will feel safe and comfortable about visiting for care.

A Highly-Trained Dentist

Before trusting your child’s dental care to a dentist, you should make sure he or she has been properly trained from a reputable institution. You should be able to easily find this information on the professional’s website in the bio section

An Inviting Office Environment

It never hurts to take an unofficial visit to the dentist’s office to allow your child to get a feel for the facility. If the space is clean and the staff is friendly, then it’s a good start to building a lasting and beneficial relationship

A Dentist Who Offers Comprehensive Care

If you’re like most parents, then you’re constantly on the go, so your time is limited. The last thing you want to do, then, is to have to take your child to multiple professionals for the dental care he or she needs.

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Select A Vacation Rentals Cleaning With Your Upcoming Vacation

Why Travelers Are Turning to Vacation Home Rentals for a Safe Getaway This Summer

Hotels have borne a large share of the burden from COVID-19-related cancellations, but home rental companies like Airbnb and Vrbo are continuing to see bookings, driven by families desperate for a change of scenery after being stuck at home and groups looking to vacation together while remaining in a self-contained bubble.

The stays are getting longer.

Extended stays are becoming increasingly more popular, said Sean Breuner, the CEO of short-term rental company AvantStay, as COVID-19 has made working from home both easier and oftentimes a necessity.

“Usually we average about three to four days per stay and now that has increased dramatically,” he said. “You might see four couples get together to work from home in Scottsdale for a month at a time… people looking for control versus going to a hotel.”

A (Secluded) Home Away From Home Offers Unique Appeal

Hotels across the country and throughout the world have implemented social distancing and cleaning procedures to reassure guests. Marriott International, for example, will utilize technology like electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectant. Hyatt will train a “Hygiene Manager” to oversee disinfection protocols, and Hilton will employ a “CleanStay Room Seal” to show the room has not been touched since it was last cleaned.

Staff said Getaway is inherently built for social distancing: you let yourself into the cabin, you don’t see a check-in desk, there is no restaurant. For now, the company is also limiting capacity to around 50 percent to ensure time can pass between guests leaving and staff entering.

 

 

New Vrbo Program Promises A Closer, Cleaner Vacation Rental

As the travel industry starts down a long road to recovery, companies are looking for new ways to reassure customers that their products are safe. Vrbo just introduced a new program to help its customers find a clean vacation rental closer to home. It includes cleanliness guidelines and new search filters that will guide customers to the right property.

New cleaning standards. These new guidelines combine information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Cristal International Standards. Homeowners and property managers now have “clear guidelines” for disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays, and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitizers for guests.

New property descriptions. Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for at least 24 hours between guests. Once property owners have supplied that information, Vrbo will add it to the property descriptions that travelers see on the site and app.

New search filters for flexibility and proximity. Vrbo’s internal polling suggests more than 75% of guests are more likely to choose accommodations with flexible cancellation policies when booking their next vacation home. So the company is adding new search filters that allow customers to find vacation homes that provide a full refund when canceling by a specific date. Vrbo will also highlight listings with the most relaxed cancellation policies, making it easier for people to find vacation homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date. Vrbo is also adding a search function for proximity, so you can plan a driving vacation.

You’ve introduced some significant changes to your product today. What are you hoping to accomplish?

We know that when families decide they’re ready to travel again, they’re going to have new priorities when choosing a place to stay. Vacation homes already have the space and privacy away from crowds we know they’ll want, but there are other things we need to highlight for them, including cleanliness, flexibility, and places to stay close to home.

 

How to Turnover Your Vacation Rental Property

A fast turnover rate is valuable because more bookings equal more money. As a vacation rental owner, you want to organize your bookings to maximize profit. Organization and fast turnovers prepare your property for the next renter.

What Days Should Guests Checkout?

If you’ve vacationed before, guests are offered check-in and check-out dates. As the vacation rental owner, you have the power to decide what these dates are. This gives you the organization to schedule your turnover services, and prepare the rental.

Some rentals write, “Turnover any.” This means that guests have the power to pick any dates for check-in and check out. If you hire services with flexible schedules, you can also offer this. Keep in mind, that offering consistent dates makes managing your property and turnovers easier.

According to one article, the most popular booking dates are Saturday to Saturday. They found that 85% of renters left on Saturdays, making it the most popular turnover day.

Sunday follows with a 12% check out date. Friday was less popular at 2.2%. The rest of the weekdays tallied 1% as a check-in/check-out date.

 

Mistakes VRBO’s Often Make

Managing a vacation rental by owner property (VRBO) can be challenging.

There is so much involved in creating a profitable vacation rental business that getting it right from the start is tough — manageable but tough. It is more than learning from a few websites and hoping for the best; adopting a strategy for marketing and operating the business professionally from the outset can yield more income and occupancy than any ad-hoc approach.

Putting all your eggs in one basket

In an earlier blog post, one of the suggested mistakes was listing on too many sites. When I wrote that, there were dozens of wannabee listing sites vying to take business away from the fast-growing HomeAway family. Airbnb hadn’t appeared on the scene for whole-home rentals at that time. Since then, we’ve come full circle with HA and Airbnb dominating the market to the degree that many owners seem satisfied with listing with just one. I suggest you spread the risk by broadening a marketing strategy and of course, building a home site as well. There are a multitude of hyper-local listing sites popping up that could deliver quality reservations without the draconian measures the OTAs expect you to comply with.

Relying on listing sites alone

Following from #1, even if you decide to list on several sites, your property still becomes one of many – maybe thousands – competing for attention. The only way to stand out from the throngs is to create a website and use social media to drive traffic to it. It requires time and commitment but the results over time will speak for themselves.

Being unprepared for emergencies

A dripping tap might not rank highly as an emergency to you, but to a guest who has prepared for months for a much-longed-for vacation, it can be enough to tip them over the edge. And if it’s A/C or refrigeration that breaks down or a power outage in winter, lack of quick resolution can have severe repercussions. There are so many potential issues that can arise to disrupt a vacation, that not preparing for every eventuality is a huge mistake. Just because it’s never happened before doesn’t mean it won’t next week

 

Tips for Renting a Vacation House

If you’re looking to rent a vacation home but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Finding the perfect holiday getaway isn’t easy, but there are ways to set yourself apart from the herd and guarantee you get the residence you want without breaking your budget.

Start Your Search Early

Avoid some of the stress and excessive costs that can go with trying to secure a vacation home, particularly during peak season and on short notice, by thinking, researching and planning at least six months (but preferably a year) in advance. While this may seem excessive, keep in mind that vacation rentals – at least, the good ones—usually book up fast.

If you’re not sure where to start, your first goal should be to nail down your destination and the approximate timing of your trip. Once you’ve made these decisions, a real estate agent who specializes in your area can be helpful in finding a vacation home rental. Consider contacting popular brokerages that have a large presence or looking for individual agents that are known and respected in the area you are visiting.

Consult Multiple Sources

It’s very important to consult a variety of sources when vacation-house hunting. By shopping around and talking to many different people, you’ll not only learn more about the area you are visiting, but you may also find yourself a better deal. Leave your options open by talking to several real estate agents and consulting multiple websites.

Read the Whole Contract

Unfortunately, people are often so happy that they landed the vacation home they wanted and so eager to start having fun that they overlook the importance of the contract. But, this document should not be ignored. It explains what expenses you are on the hook for. It will outline not only your payment schedule but also your liability in case of damages or if extra cleaning is needed.

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Celebrity Divorce Lawyer Takes Into Account Every Facet Of The Case

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer in Annandale

Starting the divorce process is an intimidating step, and it starts with finding a good lawyer. But how do you know what makes a good divorce attorney?

How to Look for a Divorce Attorney

First, you need to figure out what your divorce might entail. If you have no children and are mutually separating, you will likely choose divorce mediation or collaborative divorce. If you have children and/or significant assets, litigation may be the better choice. While you don’t need to definitively know which type of divorce to choose, having a sense of what divisions you need to make and how much conflict you anticipate will help your future lawyer determine the best course of action

Once you have this information, you can begin searching for a divorce lawyer in Annandale. We suggest starting with word of mouth: if you know any family or friends who have recently gone through divorce, ask them about their experience with their attorney. Ask what they liked or disliked about how their lawyer handled their case. If the circumstances of their divorce are relatively similar to yours and they had a positive experience with their lawyer, that lawyer may also be a good fit for you

What to Look for in a Annandale Lawyer

With all the legal language and the unfamiliarity surrounding the process of divorce, it can be difficult to know what exactly to look for in a family law attorney. Start by asking the lawyer about their typical client and their personal process in divorce proceedings. After your consultation, you can look up their trial record to see their success rate. Even if you are not planning to go to court, this record will indicate their overall success in negotiation.

You should monitor what details each lawyer mentions to you. Many are just trying to buy your business, so they will tell you whatever it takes to close the deal. If they divulge personal details from cases they’ve handled, or seem distracted or impatient during your consultation, your case is probably better handled elsewhere. Unprofessional and distracted are not traits you want in your divorce attorney.

 

Divorce and Family Law News: So Many Choices!

How to select the “right” attorney is a question I often receive. There are so many divorce attorneys in Iowa that finding the “right” attorney seems impossible. This perception is exacerbated by the number of attorneys who do not primarily practice as divorce lawyers.

Friends and Family: Friends and family have the best interests in mind for the person needing a recommendation. They often have experience dealing with divorce attorneys or have heard about divorce attorneys from within their own social circles. (This is the way I receive 95% of my own clients.)

What to Ask: Meet with several divorce attorneys. Spend your time evaluating them with questions like these. Ask each how they approach divorce cases, how they envision your case going, and most importantly, how much their overall practice is dedicated to divorce law.

Final Decision: Only work with an attorney you believe has a thorough understanding of divorce law, the ability to see your case through to the end, the time available to handle your case, and a good personality. If you feel uncomfortable by the way an attorney answers your questions or you feel pressured to sign an agreement for legal services, you can walk away.

 

Getting a divorce

Getting advice about divorce

Getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership* can be an emotional, worrying and difficult time. At such a time you need someone on your side who will be there for you. A family law solicitor will support you through the divorce process – and will give you advice that you can trust about the things that matter most – your children, your home and your financial security

Your solicitor will listen to you and discuss your options with you. They will let you know where you stand, tell you what your rights are and help you to understand what your ex-partner’s rights are as well. They will try to make the divorce as simple and as stress-free as possible

While a solicitor can help you throughout the divorce process and can help you with related matters such as a property sale or purchase or with writing a new will, you do not have to use a solicitor for every stage of the process if you do not want or cannot afford to. If you take a solicitor’s advice early, they can help you decide how much support you need, and at what stage in the process.

Reasons for divorce

You will be given a divorce only if you can show that your marriage or civil partnership has suffered an ‘irretrievable breakdown

Children and divorce

Where children are involved the law puts the welfare of the children before anything else. Your solicitor will help you wherever possible to reach agreement with your ex-partner for your children’s sake. This might be about where the children live, how much contact they have with you both,how they will be provided for, and how decisions will be taken in future about things such as holidays and schools.

 

Tips for Choosing a Divorce Lawyer

Dealing with divorce is challenging, both emotionally and logistically. It’s important to choose a lawyer who has your best interest in mind and who can provide you with expert legal advice at a price that works for you.

Look for a Mix of Services

Divorce lawyers should have a range of services. When you compare practices, make sure that they specialize in contested/uncontested divorces, irreconcilable adultery, etc.

Decide on the Divorce Process You Want to Use

Before you can get started with your divorce

Choose the Right Type of Legal Service

The type of legal service that you need depends on your marriage situation.

Know your Budget

Attorneys can be expensive if you don’t do extensive research before making your decision. While you should be selective about the attorney that you choose, you also need to manage your expectations and choose a lawyer that you can afford.

 

Find a Divorce Lawyer

How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be an extremely difficult time for you. Although you may not want the added stress of choosing the right divorce lawyer, in the end this could be the most important decision you make regarding your divorce

You need a lawyer with experience. An experienced divorce lawyer will not only be able to handle the intricacies of the divorce proceedings, but will also be able to explain to you the repercussions of everything that is going on around you. An experienced divorce attorney understands that this is a difficult time for you and will pressure you into anything you do not feel comfortable with.

The Divorce Lawyer Directory is here to help you make the difficult decision of choosing a divorce lawyer. We have selected our divorce lawyers based on their experience, reputation, and knowledge. All that is left for you to do is choose a divorce attorney in your area.

If you are considering a divorce and would like to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer, click on the link to your state to contact an experienced divorce attorney from in your area. We work with experienced divorce attorneys across the nation who handle both contested and uncontested divorces, as well as alimony, custody, issues, child support, and more

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Why Use A Pest Control Exterminator

3 Important Steps to Choose Your Exterminator

If you have a problem with pests and you are thinking about hiring an exterminator to come in and help you out then you must consider a few different tips and tricks to help you find the best professional for your needs. There are actually some very important things that you have to consider. If you have never selected an exterminator before then you have to watch out for these things.

Pest Problem: First and foremost, you have to know what you are going to be exterminating. You have to know what type of bugs you are dealing with so that you know what type of exterminator you are looking for. All bugs and pests are going to respond differently to different types of treatments. If you do not know what type of bugs you have then you will not know what type of exterminator to call. Once you have established what type of pests you are dealing with and then you can move to the next step.

Candidates: Make a list of exterminators. Find out if each of the exterminators you are considering actually knows how to treat the pests that you have in and around your home. This can help you narrow down your search rather quickly. You do not want to pay a professional that cannot help you. Knowing the bugs that you have can help you avoid this problem.

Guarantee: Finally, always find out if the exterminator that you are thinking about hiring will come back and treat the area again if they need to. The best exterminators are going to come back and treat the area a few times. If you really start doing your research you are going to see that many of the companies out there are going to be able to offer you different contracts and guarantees. Take the time to read these in order to see which one will give you the most service for your money. Then you will know that they are going to come back and treat again and you will not have to worry about paying for it. Yes, these guarantee contracts can be expensive but they will be worth it in the end.

 

Factors to Consider While Selecting the Pest Control Company

The first thing you need to do is check on the following factors before moving on to choosing a pest control company.

License to Operate: Determine if the pest control contractors have a license to operate in your state. Also, check if the organizations hold any special certifications to authenticate their expertise. You can contact the state’s pesticide regulatory agency to check the validity of the license held by the contractor. You can also enquire about the types of licenses that contractors are required to provide pest control services.

You can also check if the contractors are affiliated with any other national pest control associations like Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO). This will prove their knowledge and expertise in pest control operations and regulations.

Liability Insurance: After license verification, the next step is to determine if the pest control companies offer liability insurance against damages caused during the pest control operations. This is especially important if you are trying to eradicate insects like termites from your premises. If the pest control company doesn’t offer any liability insurance, you can enquire about preventive steps taken by them to safeguard the property.

 

BEWARE OF COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS THAT…….

  • Want to do pest control as part of a package deal, such as general home repair or tree trimming or that will give you a special price if treatment is done immediately.
  • Don’t have a listed or working telephone number.
  • Sell services door-to-door or target the elderly or infirm persons who live alone. CHECK THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS!!!
  • Arrive unexpectedly and show you insects they have found in your neighbors house as evidence of a neighborhood problem.
  • Quote a per-gallon price. Termite control can require several hundred gallons of diluted insecticide.
  • Claim to have a secret formula.  All pesticide products must be registered by the U.S. EPA and the States Departments of Agriculture.  Registered pesticide labels contain a list of active ingredients.
  • Try to pressure you into immediately signing a contract by suggesting your house is structurally unsound and may collapse if not treated.
  • Claim to have excess material left over from a previous job and offer a reduced price for immediate treatment.
  • Claim to be endorsed by the States Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA or other government agency.  Government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.

 

7 Steps to an Effective Pest Management Program

IPM programs are successful for a simple reason. They recognize that pest management is a process, not a one-time event, and that relying solely on chemical controls when so many other tools are available is never the best solution. By addressing the underlying causes of pest infestations – access to food, water and shelter – IPM can prevent infestation before pesticides are even considered. In practice, IPM is an ongoing cycle of seven critical steps:

Step 1: Inspection

The cornerstone of an effective IPM program is a schedule of regular inspections. For food processors weekly inspections are common, and some plants inspect even more frequently. These routine inspections should focus on areas where pests are most likely to appear – receiving docks, storage areas, employee break rooms, sites of recent ingredient spills, etc. – and identify any potential entry points, food and water sources, or harborage zones that might encourage pest problems.

Step 2: Preventive Action

As regular inspections reveal vulnerabilities in your pest management program, take steps to address them before they cause a real problem. One of the most effective prevention measures is exclusion, i.e., performing structural maintenance to close potential entry points revealed during inspection. By physically keeping pests out, you can reduce the need for chemical countermeasures. Likewise, sanitation and housekeeping will eliminate potential food and water sources, thereby reducing pest pressure.

Step 3: Identification

Different pests have different behaviors. By identifying the problematic species, pests can be eliminated more efficiently and with the least risk of harm to other organisms. Professional pest management always starts with the correct identification of the pest in question. Make sure your pest control provider undergoes rigorous training in pest identification and behavior.

Step 4: Analysis

Once you have properly identified the pest, you need to figure out why the pest is in your facility. Is there food debris or moisture accumulation that may be attracting it? What about odors? How are the pests finding their way in – perhaps through the floors or walls? Could incoming shipments be infested? The answers to these questions will lead to the best choice of control techniques.

Step 5: Treatment Selection

IPM stresses the use of non-chemical control methods, such as exclusion or trapping, before chemical options. When other control methods have failed or are inappropriate for the situation, chemicals may be used in least volatile formulations in targeted areas to treat the specific pest. In other words, use the right treatments in the right places, and only as much as you need to get the job done. Often, the “right treatment” will consist of a combination of responses, from chemical treatments to baiting to trapping. But by focusing on non-chemical options first, you can ensure that your pest management program is effectively eliminating pests at the least risk to your food safety program, non-target organisms and the environment. You’ll also see higher pest control scores at audit time.

Step 6: Monitoring

Since pest management is an ongoing process, constantly monitoring your facility for pest activity and facility and operational changes can protect against infestation and help eliminate existing ones. Since your pest management professional most likely visits your facility on a bi-weekly or weekly basis, your staff needs to be the daily eyes and ears of the IPM program. Employees should be cognizant of sanitation issues that affect the program and should report any signs of pest activity. You don’t want to lose a day when it comes to reacting to an actual pest presence.

Step 7: Documentation

Let’s face it, the food safety auditor’s visit can make or break your business. Since pest control can account for up to 20 percent of your total score, it’s imperative that your IPM program is ready to showcase come audit time. Up-to-date pest control documentation is one of the first signs to an auditor that your facility takes pest control seriously. Important documents include a scope of service, pest activity reports, service reports, corrective action reports, trap layout maps, lists of approved pesticides, pesticide usage reports and applicator licenses.

 

Professional Pest Control

Ultimately, regardless of how much you educate yourself, you are not going to approach the experience and flexibility of a major pest control company. If this sounds like too much work to you, you will probably want to employ the services of a professional.  Pest control companies know the optimal place to treat, and how often to keep treating to give you the best chance of permanently keeping the problem at bay. Additionally, many companies offer service guarantees, particularly for stubborn pests like termites, and offer no cost return visits until the infestation is rectified.

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