Benefits Of Outsourced Accountant Services

Types of Accounting

Accounting is a vast and dynamic profession and is constantly adapting itself to the specific and varying needs of its users. Over the past few decades, accountancy has branched out into different types of accounting to cater for the diversity of needs of its users.

Financial Accounting

Financial accounting is the process of producing information for external use usually in the form of financial statements. Financial Statements reflect an entity’s past performance and current position based on a set of standards and guidelines known as GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). GAAP refers to the standard framework of guideline for financial accounting used in any given jurisdiction. This generally includes accounting standards (e.g. International Financial Reporting Standards), accounting conventions, and rules and regulations that accountants must follow in the  in the preparation of the financial statements.

Management Accounting

Management accounting produces information primarily for internal use by the company’s management. The information produced is generally more detailed than that produced for external use to enable effective organization control and the fulfillment of the strategic aims and objectives of the entity. Information may be in the form budgets and forecasts, enabling an enterprise to plan effectively for its future or may include an assessment based on its past performance and results. The form and content of any report produced in the process is purely upon management’s discretion.

Cost accounting is a branch of management accounting and involves the application of various techniques to monitor and control costs. Its application is more suited to manufacturing concerns.

Governmental Accounting

Also known as public accounting or federal accounting, governmental accounting refers to the type of accounting information system used in the public sector. This is a slight deviation from the financial accounting system used in the private sector. The need to have a separate accounting system for the public sector arises because of the different aims and objectives of the state owned and privately owned institutions. Governmental accounting ensures the financial position and performance of the public sector institutions are set in budgetary context since financial constraints are often a major concern of many governments. Separate rules are followed in many jurisdictions to account for the transactions and events of public entities.


Tax Accounting

As the name implies, tax accounting refers to accounting for the tax related matters. It is governed by the tax rules prescribed by the tax laws of a jurisdiction. Often these rules are different from the rules that govern the preparation of financial statements for public use (i.e. GAAP). Tax accountants therefore adjust the financial statements prepared under financial accounting principles to account for the differences with rules prescribed by the tax laws. Information is then used by tax professionals to estimate tax liability of a company and for tax planning purposes.

Forensic Accounting

Forensic accounting is the use of accounting, auditing and investigative techniques in cases of litigation or disputes. Forensic accountants act as expert witnesses in courts of law in civil and criminal disputes that require an assessment of the financial effects of a loss or the detection of a financial fraud. Common litigation where forensic accountants are hired include insurance claims, personal injury claims, suspected fraud and claims of professional negligence in a financial matter (e.g. business valuation).

Project Accounting

Project accounting refers to the use of accounting system to track the financial progress of a project through frequent financial reports. Project accounting is a vital component of project management. It is a specialized branch of management accounting with a prime focus on ensuring the financial success of company projects such as the launch of a new product. Project accounting can be a source of competitive advantage for project-oriented businesses such as construction firms.

Social Accounting

Also known as Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting and Sustainability Accounting, social accounting refers to the process of reporting implications of an organization’s activities on its ecological and social environment. Social Accounting is primarily reported in the form of Environmental Reports accompanying the annual reports of companies. Social Accounting is still in the early stages of development and is considered to be a response to the growing environmental consciousness amongst the public at large.


Characteristics of financial accounting

  • It is historical/backward looking in nature. Transactions are recorded after they have occurred.
  • It is monetary. All transaction are recorded in money terms
  • It is highly regulated by accounting legislation/rules like G.A.A.P.
  • It is mandatory to prepare and disclose financial accounting information.
  • It is more useful to external users of financial information. The category of users most targeted by Financial Accounting is that of the shareholders.
  • It reports on the performance of the entire organisation.
  • It is subjected to audit or independent external examination.
  • In financial accounting, cost classification based on type of transactions, e.g. salaries, repairs, insurance, stores etc. In cost accounting, classification is basically on the basis of functions, activities, products, process and on internal planning and control and information needs of the organization.
  • Financial accounting aims at presenting ‘true and fair’ view of transactions, profit and loss for a period and Statement of financial position (Balance Sheet) on a given date. It aims at computing ‘true and fair’ view of the cost of production/services offered by the firm.
  • In financial accounting, classification of items is based on type of transactions, e.g. salaries, repairs, insurance, stores etc.
  • Financial accounting aims at presenting ‘true and fair’ view of transactions, profit and loss for a period and Statement of financial position (Balance Sheet) on a given date. It aims at computing ‘true and fair’ view of the firm


Limitations of Financial Accounting

Financial accounting is the only branch of accounting and it is not prefect. There are large numbers of limitations which open new way to use other tools of accounting. To know what are the main limitations of financial accounting. It is very necessary for accountants . Accountants are often blind to these limitations. So, I am covering its limitation a lot of ground.

Read below and understand

Financial accounting is of historical nature

Net effect of transactions are recorded in financial accounting which has happened in past. These accounts is just postmortem of all events of business in past .These record does not help for future planning and other managerial decisions. Financial accounting shows the profitability of business but it is failure to tell that is it good or bad. Financial accounting is also failure to know the reasons of low profitability position.

Financial accounting deals with overall profitability

Accounts of business are made by a way which shows only overall profitability .It does not shows net profit per product , or per department or according to job . Thus to find difficult to all activities which do not give profit. So, it creates inefficiency in business activities.

Absence of full disclosure of facts

In financial accounting we record only those activities and transactions which we can show or describe in money. There are many other facts of business which are non financial and non monetary like efficient management, demand of products of firm , good relations in industry , good working environments which can not be known by financial accounting .


Financial reports are interim report of business

Financial statements made by financial accounting is the interim report of firm’s all business work but financial position and profitability which are shown in it is not fully true . Due to adopting cost concept, all transactions are recorded on it real cost but by changing in the time; it is the need of time to adjust cost of assets and liabilities according to inflation of market. Because, financial accounting does not records according to inflation so its result does not show true position of business.

Incomplete knowledge of cost

From cost point of view, financial accounting is incomplete. In financial accounting, accountant does not calculate each and every product’s total cost. So, financial accounting does not help to determine the price of product of business.

No provision of cost control

Financial accounting does not help business organization for controlling the cost. Because, there is no provision of controlling cost in it. In financial accounting, we write cost, if we paid any expenses. Thus there is no provision of improvement in financial accounting. Except this, there is no any other way to inspect all expenses.

Financial statements are affected from personal judgment

Many events of financial statements are affected from personal judgement of accountant. Method of calculating depreciation, rate of provision of doubtful debts and stock valuation method are decided by accountant. Thus, financial statements do not show true and fair view of business.

Make Your Home Dust Free Using House Cleaning Tips

Ways To Make Your Entire Home Cleaner Than It’s Ever Been

Zap your damp or wet sponge in the microwave for one minute to kill 99.9% of the bacteria lurking on it.

Both the USDA and Good Housekeeping found this actually works; try to do it at least once a week, if not every three days or so. And if you heard that microwaving doesn’t help, well — all those news reports were inaccurate. (It’s also essentially equally effective to run your sponge through the dishwasher, on the top rack, with the heat-dry setting, if you prefer to do that instead.)

And let your sponge dry out every single night, whether your use a simple binder clip or a stainless sponge holder.

Wipe up the sticky, dusty buildup that gathers on your range hood and other appliances using a little bit of mineral oil. Just put a little bit oil on a paper towel, and wipe; it’ll come off like a charm! If you don’t like the oily residue, just use water and dish soap to clean that right up. (You can also use olive oil for this, but if you do, definitely wash it off; otherwise it might go rancid and smell bad.)

Make a paste with water and a polish cleanser to easily scrub off cooked-on gunk from your stainless or enameled gas stove.

Then shine up your greasy stove grates by letting them sit overnight with just a little bit of ammonia. You simply seal them up in a plastic bag and let it do its work — just don’t mix ammonia with any other cleaner, and do read the tutorial on The V Spot before you try this at home.

A homemade paste of dish soap, baking soda, and water is probably all you need to spot-clean baked-on stains inside of your oven.

But if you haven’t kept up with regular spot or self-cleaning, a spray-on 40-minute spray-on cleaner may be just what your oven needs Don’t worry, it’s fume-free. Some reviewers mention that they got better results by leaving it in their (open) oven overnight, or by doing multiple coats

Wrap your hard-water-stained faucets in vinegar-soaked paper towels to dissolve the minerals so they wipe off in one go

And banish hard water from your faucets by attaching a plastic bag filled with vinegar, using a rubber band — or if they’re heavily stained, substitute the vinegar for a more intense mineral cleaner.


How to Clean a Living Room So You Don’t Gross Out Your Guests

How to clean a living room is a question any conscientious homeowner will ponder. Don’t your family and guests deserve a pristine place to hang out in? Don’t you? This showpiece area of your home cries out for white-glove treatment—but let’s get real, no one has white gloves anymore.

How to clean a living room’s lights, lamps, and chandeliers

When tackling any room in the house, clean from top to bottom, says Jan Dougherty, author of “The Lost Art of House Cleaning”—otherwise you’ll have to clean the floors twice. Therefore, the best starting point in a living room is to look up at its light fixtures. First off, whatever type of lights you have, don’t forget to dust the lightbulbs at least once a month—dirty bulbs shed 30% less light than clean ones, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The best way to clean them is with a dry cloth; don’t spray cleaning solutions directly onto the bulb, which could damage it, according to the GE Lighting Institute.

Beyond the bulb itself, hanging lamps and chandeliers can be easily cleaned with a feather duster; crystal chandeliers should be thoroughly washed once or twice a year. If the chandelier is lightweight, you’ll want to take it down and lay it on top of a towel spread on a table. Mix 1 ounce of liquid dish soap with a quarter-cup of white vinegar and 3 cups of water. Put the mix in a spray bottle, spray each crystal, and let it dry before polishing with a microfiber cloth.

How to clean leather furniture

Then, to remove spots or stains, dip a clean microfiber cloth in a lather of soap and water and rub the surface; then dry it with a clean towel. To condition—a process that helps the leather stay clean and pliable—use a dab of coconut oil on a cloth and gently rub it in with a circular motion

How to clean upholstered furniture

Upholstered furniture comes with a code that shows what products should be used to clean it. This code can be found on the care tag, which is typically on its underside. Here’s a cheat sheet on what the letters on this tag mean:

W: Clean with water.

WS: Clean with water and dish soap.

S: Vacuum and spot-clean only; do not apply water.

X: Vacuum only.


Workplace Housekeeping

Why should we pay attention to housekeeping at work?

Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious hazards may be taken for granted. Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards, and removing of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) and other fire hazards from work areas. It also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the whole workplace, aisle marking, the adequacy of storage facilities, and maintenance. Good housekeeping is also a basic part of incident and fire prevention.

What is the purpose of workplace housekeeping?

Poor housekeeping can be a cause of incidents, such as:

tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms

being hit by falling objects

slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces

striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material

cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

What are some benefits of good housekeeping practices?

Effective housekeeping results in:

reduced handling to ease the flow of materials

fewer tripping and slipping incidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas

decreased fire hazards

lower worker exposures to hazardous products (e.g. dusts, vapours)

better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies

more efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance

better hygienic conditions leading to improved health

more effective use of space

reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance

less janitorial work

improved morale

improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find)

How do I plan a good housekeeping program?

A good housekeeping program plans and manages the orderly storage and movement of materials from point of entry to exit. It includes a material flow plan to ensure minimal handling. The plan also makes sure that work areas are not used as storage areas by having workers move materials to and from work areas as needed. Part of the plan could include investing in extra bins and more frequent disposal

The costs of this investment could be offset by the elimination of repeated handling of the same material and more effective use of the workers’ time. Often, ineffective or insufficient storage planning results in materials being handled many times and being stored in hazardous ways. Knowing the workplace layout and the movement of materials throughout it will help when planning work procedures


How to Clean a Bedroom (Because It’s Filthier Than You Think)

This all-important room in your home gets seriously gunky.  And even though you spend roughly a third of your life there, the bedroom likely lingers low on your list of housekeeping priorities—all of which means this restful oasis is the secret hog pit of your home.

How to clean a bedroom

Look no further than our House Cleaning Guide on how to clean a bedroom right. To find out which areas need cleaning most—and the best way to make them immaculate—we interviewed professional housecleaners to get their insider tips on how to give this room the thorough cleaning it deserves

How to clean a mattress

Your mattress is ground zero. After all, you spend a lot of time there sleeping, snuggling with significant others, maybe even scarfing down late-night snacks. But that’s all OK, provided you know how to clean the darn thing.

After removing all sheets and bedding, break out your vacuum cleaner. Attach the hand-held extension, then run it across the entire mattress surface, paying special attention to seams and crevices, which is where dirt, dust, and tiny particles of dead skin (eww) collect.

How to clean a mattress pad

Mattress pads come in an assortment of materials, including cotton, down, vinyl-backed, foam, and egg crate—and cleaning methods vary accordingly. In general, cotton, down, and vinyl-backed mattress pads can go in the washing machine using cold water and a mild detergent. Foam and egg crate pads, meanwhile, are more delicate and can tear if put in the washing machine; therefore, it’s best to spot clean them with a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, and lemon juice,


How to Establish a Simple Cleaning Routine and Stick to It

You could walk into our dorm room and instantly tell whose side was whose. My roommate’s side always looked presentable and clean: bed made, desk neat, clothes put away. My side looked like a disaster area: blankets and sheets askew, books and newspapers covering my bed, and laundry only half put away. The mess on my little twin bed sometimes got so big and unmanageable that I’d just sleep on top of all my crap, like you see those crazy people do on Hoarders.

Thankfully, my roommate was quite patient with me and kindly nudged me to start routines that would keep our place looking spic and span. I soon discovered that keeping things clean didn’t take all that much time or effort. In less than 30 minutes a day, we created a haven of order and tidiness that would make Mr. Clean (and my mom) nod with approval.

For many young men heading out on their own for the first time, maintaining a cleaning routine on their own wasn’t something they had to do at home. Sure, they might have helped with chores when asked, but they probably had their mom or dad telling them what to clean and when. But keeping your dwelling space clean and tidy is important for a variety of reasons: it’s hygienic, allows you to feel comfortable having people over (and inviting in surprise guests),

Establishing a Simple Cleaning Routine

The key to keeping your place clean is to break the job up into smaller daily and weekly tasks. A lot of young men won’t clean anything for a few weeks, and then when the mess gets so huge it can no longer be ignored, have to spend a whole Saturday digging themselves out from under it. Or, the job begins to seem so enormous they can’t motivate themselves to tackle it, and let the mess grow even bigger.

What to Do Daily

Instead of letting messes pile-up, making them more of a pain in the arse to clean come Saturday morning, invest 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night in a daily cleaning routine.

Promoting Your Dentist Practice

What to Ask Your Dentist During Your Next Appointment

For many, a dentist’s appointment is an unpleasant visit that should get done with as soon as possible. We all know the importance of getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, but you should also try to view the dentist’s appointment as a time to maximize your dental health.

Spend some time getting to know your dentist and oral hygienist, as they can offer you plenty of great advice that will keep your teeth and mouth in healthy shape for years to come. Below are some questions that you should be asking during your dentist appointment.

#1: Discuss your overall mouth health

The first question you should ask is about the overall health of your mouth. Your dentist should inform you if anything is severely wrong, but it may be that you can do extra to improve your mouth health. Most people underestimate the impact that foods can have on their dental health, and a good dentist will give you the advice you need to address any potential issues that can arise.

#2: Types of implements you should be using

The range of toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss on the market can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The choice of toothbrush can vary depending on how hard you brush your teeth, with some people needing softer brushes than others. Speak to your dentist to find out what products they would recommend specifically for you.

#3: Questions about procedures

If your dentist or oral hygienist recommends some procedures during your dentist appointment, try and get much more information about them. Which of the treatments are really necessary, which are optional and which are purely cosmetic. Also discuss which of the treatments are extremely urgent and which ones are less so. This gives you a good idea of your priorities and what you should be spending your money on. Your dentist may strongly recommend vanity treatments, but these may not be necessary for your general mouth health.

#4: Grinding teeth

Many people grind their teeth and may not even know it. A good dentist will pick up on this and inform you, but if you notice symptoms of teeth-grinding such as headaches in the morning or clicking and popping of your jawline, mention it during your dentist appointment. Your dentist will be able to verify whether you do grind your teeth or not and recommend various treatments depending on the severity of the condition, such as mouth guards in mild cases to Botox in severe ones.

#5: Find out about oral cancer

Nobody considers oral cancer, and it is very difficult to detect in the early stages, even for experienced dentists. Talk to your dentist during your appointment to find out about ways that you can be screened for oral cancer, even if you don’t think you have it. Early detection is key to successful treatment and many dentists recommend screens at least once a year to detect any abnormal cells in your mouth, throat or tongue. This allows for a rapid response and early detection that may be the difference between successful or unsuccessful treatment.


Questions You Must Ask When Choosing a Dentist

Finding the best dentist is a very important step in ensuring your family maintains optimum dental health. Asking questions before booking an actual appointment is not only okay but highly recommended. Here are 10 questions you must ask when choosing a dentist.

Do you have experience with children?

Although all dentists must have a four-year bachelor’s degree to practice dentistry, some might have chosen to specialize in certain areas. As specialists, they might be better suited to your needs depending on conditions you might have or treatments you might require. As parents, you should always look for a dental clinic that has experience dealing with children.

Do you take X-rays?

You want a dentist who uses a preventative approach to dentistry. Using X-rays to identify serious issues and confirm a diagnosis is a must. Regular X-rays are also important to find issues that can’t be detected during a basic oral exam.

Do you provide treatment plans?

Treatment plans are very important as they provide each member of your family with specific recommendations based on their individual needs. It also provides you with a budget to determine how much treatment will cost and if it is covered by insurance.

Do you have any references?

Do not be afraid to ask for references. If you prefer to avoid this awkward question, you can opt to do a search for online reviews. Online ratings for a dentist show how well liked and appreciated they are by their patients. Established dental offices will often have reviews on their website as well.

What financing options are available?

This question is especially important if you do not have insurance. However, it can also provide insight into the success of a practice. When an office demands payment up front with no exceptions, it could be a sign they have few patients. A more successful practice will offer financing options with manageable payment plans that allow their patients to get the treatment they need.


3 Questions to Ask Your Dentist On Your First Visit

Regular dental visits are extremely important for maintaining healthy teeth and a perfect smile. Finding a dental practice and a dentist that’s right for you isn’t a very difficult job when you know what you are looking for and are aware of the questions you should ask your dentist. Good communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Your connection with your dentist depends on how effectively you communicate with them.

Discussing your health concerns, dental habits, fears, and apprehensions with your dentist makes a big difference. After all, this is the person who will look inside your mouth every 6 months. Hence, you must be comfortable with your dentist, especially when asking questions! Here are three questions that you must ask when going to a new dentist.

Question 1: How Can We Improve My Dental Health?

Dental health can be improved when you and your dentists work together towards the same goal. Share your routine with your new dentist and get the necessary guidelines about brushing and flossing. You can ask about what kind of toothbrush you should use and how often should you replace it. Ask your dentist to demonstrate the right way to brush and floss. Your dentist will guide you about the frequency of your dental visits. You can discuss the oral hygiene products that you are using or wish to use. Your dentist will give suggestions about your fluoride intake, night guards, and bad breath. Be sure to inform your dentist about any pain, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary that you’re experiencing.

Question 2: How Is My Current Dental Health?

A new dentist will most probably examine your entire oral cavity, including teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, and throat. You’ll be checked for lesions, wounds, bumps, cavities, plaque, tartar, or signs of teeth grinding. They’ll assess your overall dental health and will be able to give you a proper analysis. Once this is done, they’ll discuss your treatment options and preferences. This is a good time to ask your dentist any questions about your current oral health, and any ways you can improve your oral health.

Question 3: What Ways Can I Optimize My Dental Health Through Diet and Hygiene?

Your diet and oral hygiene impact your oral health in many ways. Ask your Dentist about ways you can adjust your daily routine to support any dental treatments or needs you may have. What foods may impact your teeth for better or worse? What daily habits will support your goals? Your Dentist may be able to advise specific changes that will help to support what they are doing to treat or maintain your oral health.


The Three Most Common Dental Procedures

If you have been experiencing prolonged dental pain, or your dentist has already discovered a significant issue during an exam and/or x-ray, it’s likely that your dentist will recommend one of the following three dental procedures:


It is much preferred to leverage proper diet and dental hygiene to reverse cavities naturally, but that isn’t always possible. If a cavity is causing pain, is overly sensitive to heat or cold, or has reached the pulp of your tooth, you probably need a filling.

A filling is exactly what it sounds like: Your dentist will remove the diseased portion from the inside of your tooth and fill the resulting hole with a material that holds the form of your tooth.

The remaining part of the tooth is still alive and will continue to remineralize and demineralize based on your habits and diet.

Root Canal

A root canal is necessary if decay has grown unchecked to reach the roots of tooth, or if there is an infection.

Root canals differ from fillings in that they are designed to preserve—not save—a dead tooth. I compare this dental procedure to the mummification process.

A tooth that is dead will become brittle and prone to breaking after it is filled, which is why you need the crown that is placed on top of the tooth to protect it. And doing this, instead of pulling the tooth, can help you avoid problematic shifting and the need for a bridge or implant to fill the space.

Root Planing

When tartar builds up on teeth and is not removed through dental cleanings, it will slowly creep down past the gum line. And when the tartar gets to a certain point below the gums, the tooth will no longer attach correctly.

A root planing, also referred to as scaling, is the process of cleaning, scraping, and disinfecting affected teeth. Those words may sound scary, but the end result of this sometimes necessary procedure is smoother, healthier teeth.

Root planing is often more expensive than other dental procedures due to the additional time and work involved. Also, your dentist may recommend that you be given anesthesia depending on the extent of the tartar and calculus on your teeth.


What Are the Best Ways to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?

It’s vital that all adults engage in daily brushing and flossing, but to take your oral hygiene to the next level, follow a handful of particular steps to good dental health. These include:

  • Using products that contain fluoride.
  • Limiting snacks that are high in sugar.
  • Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoiding tobacco in any form.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity and Why Do I Have It?

Your dentist will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.

  • Receding gums
  • Tooth grinding during sleep
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Tooth whitening
  • Orthodontics and fillings

Things To Look For That A Vacation Rentals Cleaning

Cleaning Guidelines for Vacation Rentals during COVID-19

As a vacation rental host or property manager, the cleaning guidelines you should follow, and how you communicate with your guests that your vacation rentals are clean and safe will be more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is cleanliness more important during COVID-19?

Cleaning has always been an essential part of running a vacation rental business. It is even more important because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Phocuswire, guest expectations towards cleanliness and sanitation have changed significantly due to coronavirus. Cleanliness and safety become top of mind over other considerations like price.

Cleanliness is also one of utmost priorities, especially when guests are deciding whether they should book a hotel room or a vacation home, and which vacation rental they should book if they go for the latter.

Therefore, it is important for property managers or hosts to follow guidelines to clean and disinfect their vacation rentals properly and communicate it with the guests. In this blog post, we have included the new cleaning guidelines from Airbnb, Vrbo as well as Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) for your easy reference.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfection and sanitisation?

Different guidelines have used different terms when describing the updated hygiene practices, so it’s important to first clarify exactly what is meant by them. Cleaning can remove germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. You can use soap and water to clean surfaces and remove germs. But this does not kill germs 100%.


A Complete Cleaning Checklist Template for your Vacation Rental

Cleanliness is one of the biggest pain points of short-term letting for both guests and hosts alike. For guests, a dirty home can ruin a vacation before it even begins. But for hosts, it can tarnish their whole business’ reputation.

To make sure you don’t forget a thing, vacation rental owners and property managers should always tackle big cleaning tasks with a clear game plan in mind. Whether you do the hard work yourself or have a team of professionals to help, it’s important to structure each task and how you will carry them out.

Keeping your vacation rental clean to the highest standards goes hand in hand with pleasing your guests and ensuring a great all-round experience. We’ve prepared this guide with a handy vacation rental cleaning checklist which you can use for your next deep clean.

Supplies you may need

The cleanliness of your rental home is one of the most common concerns of your guests. But before you get too overwhelmed, take a look at the list of tools and products you’ll always want to have on hand.

A quality vacuum for carpets.

A microfiber mop with both wet and dry pads for hardwood floors.

Glass cleaner.

All-purpose cleaner for the kitchen and even floors.

Disinfectant for toilets, bathtubs, and other germ-prone areas.

Plenty of microfiber cloths.

A few scrub pads for extra stubborn grime.

A pumice stone.

A toilet brush.

Wood polish to add the finishing touch.

Think about your own rental house: are there any specific cleaning tools you need?

Your Cleaning Secret?

It is advisable to plan every detail of your cleaning duties and always keep your checklist in hands. But if you want to succeed with your vacation rental business, we also recommend asking the experts; those who already have a proven business in the rental and housekeeping market.


Guidelines for owners and property managers for enhanced cleaning and disinfection of vacation rentals

As the world reopens for travel, people will be more concerned than ever about the cleanliness of their vacation rentals. In an effort to help you anticipate and deliver the experience travelers need to feel safe while staying at your properties, we’ve compiled this list of comprehensive cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.

These guidelines were created in consultation with Expedia Group partner Cristal International Standards, part of Intertek Group, and with the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA). They’re based on publicly available information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

General advice

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has created a need to take additional cleaning and disinfection measures to help prevent its spread and help ensure the safety of travelers and partners.

Partners are encouraged to:

Use accurate, reputable sources of information including the WHO, the CDC, and local authorities

Make sure to follow local regulations, where applicable

Have a proactive plan to manage and minimize the risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and similar events, such as a prevention of spread of infection plan

Implement an enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the property between stays

If using an external or professional cleaning company, communicate expectations and plans for cleaning and disinfection standards, and get periodic confirmation that they are being followed by the company contracted

Communicate to travelers on measures implemented, both pre-stay and during stay, via listing content and property information booklet

Support for guests —

Support good hand hygiene for guests and anyone involved with the property by providing sufficient hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap products at property entry points and key areas, and also encouraging handwashing regularly with water and soap for at least 20 seconds

Implement social distancing policies during check-in and check-out, and during any interactions with guests, staff, local community. When possible, encourage minimizing these interactions

Recommend removing shoes when entering the property and leaving them at the entrance (if possible, outside)

Inform guests on how they can contribute in prevention, and actions to take if they identify symptoms (refer to WHO, CDC or local government resources)

Consider providing cleaning and disinfecting products for guests to use, along with instructions; antibacterial handwash and additional personal hygiene products are also nice to have on hand for guests

If guests clean the property themselves, be sure to assess the results and the overall cleanliness of the property and to implement an additional cleaning if necessary; regardless, implement disinfection as described below


How to Properly Disinfect a Short-Term Rental

With the rapidly evolving situation surrounding the spread of COVID-19, property managers everywhere are thinking about how to reassure their guests and take proper precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

The short-term rental industry is uniquely positioned to provide assurance to guests at this time. Once a property has been correctly disinfected, the only people occupying the property are the guests themselves.

Which means that if you have guests who are concerned about traveling, you can help them feel comfortable keeping their reservations by letting them know your properties are correctly disinfected. While you certainly already have cleaning standards in place, disinfection requires an additional level of attention to detail and conscientiousness about how germs are spread

How Does Disinfection Prevent the Spread of Illness?

For many illnesses, including the coronavirus, people can spread infection before they themselves show symptoms. Transmission is possible through tiny respiratory particles that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

If the infected person coughs directly onto a surface, that is an obvious infection site. Less obviously, if an infected person rubs their mouth and then touches a surface, that site is also infected. It’s surprisingly easy to transfer respiratory particles from person to person.


Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist

Did you know that a vacation rental cleaning checklist can help you keep your property up to par and earn you more 5-star reviews? Apparently, the vacation rental industry has been booming in recent years and standards are becoming higher and higher.

With such a huge abundance of choice, customers have become pickier when choosing a perfect vacation rental property. Even though your property is stunning, has a great location, and jaw-dropping décor, it won’t be appealing to guests if you fail to keep it clean.

To meet expectations of discerning travelers you will need to put cleanliness as one of the top priorities. However, keeping the to-do list in your head is neither easy nor necessary. To make things a bit easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive cleaning checklist for vacation rental owners. Read on and find out what steps you should follow to prepare your property for the next guests.

How Does a Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist Help?

Vacation homes go through dozens of travelers every month, so keeping up with hygiene is a must. Short-term rental owners should do a thorough clean every time a guest leaves their property. However, cleaning can be very complicated and tiresome. Moreover, it requires good organization and patience.

Having a comprehensive vacation rental cleaning checklist is the key to making your rental spotless. Not only will it make the whole process much faster, but it can also act as a set of instructions in case you decide to hire a cleaning service. You’ll be able to set your expectations and highlight which areas of your property require the most attention. All in all, a well-rounded checklist for vacation rental cleaning acts as a proven algorithm that works every time!

Mosquitoes Bites

Natural Mosquito Control

It’s possible to help reduce mosquito populations around a home through the use of natural or biological means. Predatory fish, plant repellents, bacteria and even other mosquitoes can all take their toll on the mosquitoes that breed and feed in a given area.


The Gambusia is a small, freshwater minnow-like fish native to the Southeastern U.S. They are surface feeders and will eat mosquito eggs and larvae by the hundreds every day. A dozen gambusia are good for about 48 surface feet of water. The fish are hardy, capable of surviving in stagnant water, grow only to about two inches in length and breed to the size of their container to prevent overcrowding.

Most local mosquito control programs use the fish and often provide them for free to homeowners with mosquito problems. Because mosquitofish also feed on the eggs and young of other insects and fish, they should be used only in water that does not connect to lakes, streams or rivers. Improper use of the fish is suspected in the extinction of same native species of amphibians.


These insects may look like scary biters, but they are only dangerous to mosquitoes. Dragonfly larvae, “nymphs,” feed on mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes. The key to attracting dragonflies is to provide an environment that is comfortable and safe for them. A small pond, shallow at one end and deep at the other, with vegetation that grows out of the water and plenty of flat rocks surrounding it should do just fine

Citrosa, lemon thyme and rosemary

These and several other plants reportedly contain oils that are repel mosquitoes. The citrosa is even marketed as the “mosquito plant” for its supposed success in keeping the insects away. However, the problem with using any plants to repel mosquitoes is that the oil is not naturally released into the air from an undisturbed plant. The leaves must be crushed before the oil is released, and even then it does not spread far.


Mosquito Traps

One of the best ways to keep a yard clear of biting mosquitoes is to use a mosquito trap. When set up properly, just one or two of these ingenious devices can kill thousands of mosquitoes and all but wipe out a local population. The style of trap varies by brand, but generally they range from indoor units the size of air purifiers to large units that resemble barbecue grills. Some run on electricity, while others are powered by propane tanks.

They work like this:

The homeowner places the mosquito trap in the yard between the source of the mosquitoes and where people gather. For example, if mosquitoes tend to come from a drainage ditch at the back of the yard, the trap would go near the ditch to catch the insects before they reach the patio. Typically, it’s better to place the trap upwind of the mosquitoes and in a shaded spot.

Because mosquitoes find their prey by detecting CO2, octenol and other chemical odors, as well as light and heat, most mosquito traps use some combination of artificial smells and lighting displays to lure mosquitoes.

Brands like the Mosquito Magnet and Skeetervac burn propane both to power the trap and to release CO2.  Electric machines like the Mega-Catch Ultra mosquito trap rely on odors (Octenol) heat and a lighting array of oscillating frequencies in addition to an optional CO2 system that works off canisters like those used in soda-dispensing machines.

The pros and cons of mosquito trap brands

The effectiveness of mosquito traps does seem to vary from brand to brand and location to location. In a university test conducted in the salt marsh surrounding a bay in Northwest Florida, a Mega-Catch Ultra mosquito trap caught nearly 3,000 mosquitoes, outperforming several other brands, including the Mosquito Magnet Liberty, the Lentek Mosquito Trap and the Coleman Mosquito Deleto.


Mosquito Trap Reviews

What is the best mosquito trap you can buy?

When you buy a mosquito trap, you’re making an investment in the comfort and safety of your home. And, like any investment, you should give it careful consideration before making a decision on how to spend your money.

You will learn that not all mosquito traps are created equal. Most will attract and kill some mosquitoes. But only a few can do it consistently, for the right price, and on a scale that will help clear the biting insects from your yard.  Fortunately scientists have performed tests on these machines to show which ones perform the best and under what circumstances

revealed how these machines were capable of capturing and killing thousands of insects in a single night.  And at those rates, it would only take about two months to collapse a local mosquito population.

How Mosquito Traps Work

When hunting for blood meals, female mosquitoes fly about 25 feet or less off the ground, using several types of sensing organs to find human prey.

Among their equipment:

Antennae that detect the carbon dioxide released from a person’s lungs and are capable of picking up more than 340 chemical odors produced by human skin, including octenol, a substance also found in perspiration.

Compound eyes made up of hundreds of tiny lenses designed for spotting movement and distinguishing prey, particularly useful for day-biters that rely more on visual cues. Accompanied by two light-sensitive simple eyes.

Maxillary palpus located on the head and believed to be sensitive to heat, helping mosquitoes to locate warm-blooded prey and pinpoint capillaries that are closest to the skin and more easily reached.


Mosquito Insecticide

Insecticides are a quick, powerful way to get rid of mosquitoes around the yard, but, unfortunately, they are only temporary. The effect usually lasts only as long as the insecticide is present, so as soon as it drifts away or dries out, the mosquitoes are back.

Mosquito control officials use insecticides only when mosquitoes are especially thick and only in combination with other form of mosquito control. The same should apply to use around the house. By itself, insecticide is not a long-term solution.

Insecticides are commonly dispensed through a fog or ultra-low volume mist. They are available at most home and garden stores and come in hand-held applicators or devices that can be attached to a lawn mower.

Two popular insecticides are:

Malathion – an organophosphate often used to treat crops against a wide array of insects. It can be sprayed directly onto vegetation, such as the bushes where mosquitoes like to rest, or used in a 5 percent solution to fog the yard. In the small amounts used for mosquito control, it poses no threat to humans or wildlife. In fact, malathion is also used to kill head lice.

Permethrin – one of a group of chemicals called pyrethroids, it is a synthetic form of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. It usually is mixed with oil or water and applied as a mist, about 1/100th of a pound per acre. Like malathion, permethrin kills mosquitoes by disrupting their central nervous systems. Not harmful to people and animals in small amounts, but it is toxic to fish and bees.

The insecticides will work for several days when applied to shrubbery or grass, but will break down over time, especially in rain. When released into the air through fog or mist, they usually are good only for a few hours before they become too dissipated to be effective.


Mosquito FAQ’s

How long do mosquito bites last?

The bumps are actually an allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. The reaction can vary from person to person, but usually last no more than 24 hours. Try a topical anti-itch cream or an anti-histamine such as Benadryl.

Does a mosquito have teeth?

No. A mosquito has a proboscis, which is a long, pointed mouth part used to pierce the skin. It contains two tubes; one for injecting saliva and one for drawing blood.

How many times can a mosquito bite?

A female will continue to bite and draw blood until her abdomen is full. If she is interrupted before she is full, she will fly to the next person. After feeding, the mosquito rests for two or three days before laying her eggs, then is ready to bite again.

Can a mosquito bite transmit STI’s?

Yes.  In August 2016 the CDC confirmed that Zika virus can be spread sexually from men or women.

How do mosquitoes spread malaria?

The mosquito feeds on an infected person and picks up the Plasmodium parasite. The parasite develops in the mosquito’s body for about two weeks. When the mosquito feeds, the Malaria parasite is passed on in saliva. They transmit West Nile virus and other diseases in similar ways.

How long does a mosquito live?

Males usually live about five to seven days, while females can live two weeks to a month, under ideal conditions. However, the females of some species hibernate during winter, so they can live several months.

Are Do-It-Yourself Auto Transmission Repair Safe

Tips For Making Your Transmission Last Longer

Your transmission is one of the key components of your car, truck or SUV.  It is the system that transfers energy from the engine and makes it possible for the wheels to turn and your vehicle to operate in the correct gear. Your transmission is also one of the most expensive parts of the vehicle. The average new car transmission can cost between $1,800 and $3,400. Even a rebuilt transmission is likely to set you back more than $1,000. It just makes good economic sense to do all you can to make your transmission last as long as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to maximize the lifespan of your transmission.

What you can do to make your transmission last?

  1. Check your transmission fluid regularly. This may seem obvious, but how many of us really do this. (When was the last time you checked your fluid levels?) If you have your oil changed regularly, the technician will often check your transmission fluid but, If you change your own oil, you may not have checked your transmission fluid for even longer. Experts recommend that you check your transmission fluid level in the reservoir every two to four weeks.
  2. Have your transmission serviced according to your manual’s guidelines. Like your oil, your transmission fluid and fluid filter need to be totally changed periodically. For new cars, this is usually every two years of 40,000 to 50,000 miles. For older cars, you should have this done every 18 months or 20,000 to 30,000 miles.
  3. Modify your driving style. “Jack rabbit” starts and fast stops can take their toll on your transmission. So can constantly accelerating and decelerating. Better to adopt an even speed or use your cruise control on the highway to avoid wear and tear on your transmission.
  4. Consider investing in a transmission cooler. Heat is the number one threat to your transmission’s health. It damages the seals, the metal surfaces and the electronic components. A good transmission cooler can dramatically lower the temperature in the gear box and help your transmission to last two to three times longer.


Know Your Vehicle and Transmission

Reading your owner’s manual is the first step you should take. You should know the ins and outs of your vehicle, including how it should be maintained and serviced. This could impact how often you change fluids and whether flushes may be recommended.

Change Fluids at Regular Intervals

Your manual will tell you how often to change oil and transmission fluids. New vehicles may not need changes for a long time, but used cars with lots of miles on them may need them more frequently.


Stop Riding Your Brakes

Riding your brakes is a bad habit in general, but it can be especially bad for the health of your transmission. Learn to pay attention to have often you do apply your brakes and make a mental note to begin retraining yourself to only do so when it’s really needed.

Shift After a Full Stop

When you are shifting from drive to reverse -and vice versa – make sure that you come to a full stop before doing so. Continually failing to do so can weaken your transmission over time, reducing its useful life and putting it in greater danger of failure.

Think Before You Tow

Unless you have a heavier duty vehicle that was designed to be up to the task think very carefully before you hitch anything up to the tow bar. The added weight of another car, a camper or even a heavily laden moving trailer can cause all kinds of problems for your transmission.

Don’t Ignore the Signs of Transmission Trouble

Strange smells, grinding gears, odd sounds and little drops of red (and occasionally green) fluid on the garage floor can all mean that your transmission is in a bit of trouble. If you notice any of these things don’t delay a trip to your mechanic to get things properly checked out, as a little care at the first sign of transmission trouble can save you – and your vehicle – a lot of hassle and expensive further down the line.


Advice on How to Make Your Transmission Last Longer!

Are you starting to notice jerking and stalling when your car shifts gears? Periodic transmission service is required to ensure that your vehicle will run smoothly and efficiently, with all components properly lubricated and in good working condition. A general inspection and replacement of the transmission fluid, filter and gasket will reveal minor transmission problems that can be fixed along the way.

Here are some expert tips on how to make your transmission last longer:

  • Replace Pan Gasket — The pan gasket (located around the rim of the transmission pan) can get worn and cracked, leading to transmission fluid leaks. The gasket can be replaced quite easily and is relatively inexpensive. If the current gasket is reusable (of high quality and not damaged), it may be possible to simply clean it off and then put it back.
  • Cleaning and Removal of Grime — All parts should be wiped free of any of the sludge or debris that collects over time. This includes the transmission pan, gasket, sealing surface, transmission case, and any fluid that may have dripped onto the exhaust system during the cleaning.
  • Replace Transmission Filter — Clogged or dirty transmission filters will cause undue stress and wear on a transmission. It’s important to replace this filter, a relatively easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Transmission Fluid — If there is significant buildup of sludge or grime, if you notice a burnt smell, if the color of the existing fluid is too dark and has lost its effectiveness, or if your vehicle is overdue for transmission maintenance, a flush of the transmission system may be recommended so that you are operating your vehicle with clean transmission fluid.

Remember: A full transmission service should be performed every 30,000 miles, or every couple of years, whichever comes first.


Differences Between Manual and Auto Transmission Repair

It’s important to know the differences in maintenance between automatic and manual transmissions if you are not familiar. In general, manual transmissions are a bit less expensive to repair, and they are built to last, with many people reporting a decade or more before the clutch needs to be replaced. Automatic transmissions also last a long time, but their fluid flushes and change-overs require more attention and occur more often, so they require more maintenance.

Fluid leaks are a common issue with automatic transmissions, but not so much with manual devices. This is because of the way that fluids become exposed or seals that can be compromised as a matter of course, when you are working with high-pressure systems that continuously operate.

If you are experiencing manual transmission problems and all your prior experience is with automatic transmissions, then you need to realize that it’s far more likely you will experience a slipping clutch or other symptoms from the list above rather than a large-scale fluid leak. That’s simply the nature of the design differences between the two.

Regular Maintenance and Manual Transmissions

If you are used to automatic transmissions, it can be tricky to understand how to read manual transmission signs of trouble; however, the guide above will help and so will taking your car in for regular maintenance. You might not need fluid flushes and changes for a manual vehicle’s transmission, but having your other fluid changes and preventative maintenance done on time means having a professional monitoring your car more often. Having the extra set of eyes can help to identify and diagnose any problems early on.

How To Make A Great Career Out Of Home Builder

What is the Code and why is it important to me?

The Consumer Code for Home Builders (“the Code”) was developed by the home-building industry to make the home buying process fairer and more transparent for purchasers.

Buying a brand new home is an exciting time. But with a new home being one of the largest investments you’re likely to make, it’s important that you understand the process, what you’re buying and what help is available should problems arise.

The Code is designed to help you understand what levels of service to expect from your Home Builder, feel fully informed about your purchase and know your consumer rights before and after you move in. In the unlikely event that problems arise, a speedy, free dispute resolution scheme is available to deal with complaints about breaches of the Code

The Code covers a range of customer service Requirements, including:

Effective customer service training

Clear and truthful advertising and marketing materials

Sufficient pre-purchase information to help you make an informed decision about your purchase

Contact details for the Home Builder and other relevant bodies

Home Warranty information

Contract information including termination rights

Timing of construction, completion and handover

After-sales service

Complaints process

Adopting the Code

Home Builders must comply with the Requirements of the Consumer Code and have regard to good practice guidance.


The Definitive Guide to Liability, Financial Protection, and Risk Management for Builders and Contractors

How Builder Insurance Works and What You Must Do to Protect Yourself with the Right Policies and Coverage at the Absolute Lowest Cost

Start up builders often ask us what policies they need to carry at a minimum. We frequently get the same question from long term builders looking to trim their expenses. Builders may need up to 9 different insurance polices and/or bonds depending on their situation, activities, and tolerance to take out of pocket risk.

At a minimum, almost all builders, regardless of how small or even if they’re a start up operation, will need Workers Compensation, General Liability, and Builders Risk.

Other policies that are commonly carried include:


Business Auto

Excess or Umbrella

License and Permit Bonds

Performance Bonds

and Home Owners Warranty products

The percentages that are indicated on this page are a rough estimate of the percentage of our builder clients that purchase the respective insurance policy. As you can see, it ranges from a low of 1% for performance bonds to a high of 100% for Workers Compensation and General Liability.

Why exactly are all of these policies possibly needed?

Some of these policies are required under state or local law such as Workers’ Compensation, Auto Liability, and License Or Permit Bonds. If you don’t carry these policies you face serious fines and sanctions.

The builder’s bank or lending institution will always require proof of Builders Risk to secure the value of the new start or project for which they have extended the loan. Also, banks want to make sure that they’re lending to a legitimate business as no legitimate business would operate without Workers Compensation and General Liability.


Books Every Builder Should Own

Old-house expert Brent Hull has an extensive library of books about building and design. He believes every builder should have a collection of at least 100 books—with a focus on house design and building styles, because today many builders have become too separate from the architectural field and lack a broader understanding of building design that will better inform their work. He includes a list of titles categorized into historical architecture, building styles, architectural details, and how-to, with additional books to consider beyond those on the list.

If you trace the word “architect” back to its mid-16th-century roots, its meaning is literally “chief builder.” Back then, and for hundreds of years after, a builder was not just expected to be skilled at the manual aspects of the craft, but also knowledgeable in the design side of the process.

Today, many builders are more specialized in their work compared to those generalists of the past, and architects have become solely focused on design. It doesn’t have to be like this. With a bit of self-motivated studying, we can gain a broader education and better understand all of the moving parts that influence what we produce on a day-to-day basis.

Builders have the how-to down pat, but don’t know why they are building what they are building. We know how to frame a house, but aren’t as good with which style is appropriate, or how to keep that style consistent. What we have lost is a deeper awareness of the subtleties of building style, house design, and construction methods, all of which make the difference between a good project and one that is truly excellent.

that the lost arts of building are found in books—many of them old ones. I think every builder worth his or her salt should have a library of at least 100 books, and to help, I’ve put together this list. Many of the titles that follow are out of print and can only be purchased from secondhand sellers; a quick search will show some of them available for viewing online. You can choose the titles that most interest you, but what follows is organized into a guided curriculum of sorts.


Guide for New Home Builders

Included in this guide are all the application forms you may need when building a new home in our beautiful Shire. All, some or none of these forms may be included in your approved cost set out by your builder and/or building surveyor. Please check what is included so that documentation isn’t completed twice

Each department has a direct email to help get your information to the best person efficiently. To ensure everything can be processed quickly, please make sure that all the requested information is attached including

for the total amount. By submitting these forms you are ensuring that all bases are covered and Council has the information required to make a quick decision. In the final section there is a collection of forms for the very end of your build such as requesting a garbage service.

Planning Permits

Depending on where your block it situated you may require a Planning Permit. Complete the Request for Written Planning Advice so that a town planner can assess whether a permit is required or not. If it is not required this will be forwarded to you in writing signed by a Statutory Planner.

Please complete the application and return with the appropriate fee. Please provide all requested documentation to ensure we have the correct information to make a quick and informed decision.


Home Building Tips for Young Families

You’re young, your family is growing, and you’re eager to build the best house possible to last for years and years. Congratulations! Now is a great time to start planning so you can enjoy your home-sweet-home as your family evolves from two to three to many.

The Home Layout

It’s easy to just go with standard layouts when you’re building your first home, but think beyond the given architecture. Imagine yourself actually living in the house. What is most important to you? Colored floor plans make it easy to see areas for entertaining, storage, de-stressing, and flexible space.

For instance, many young couples want to have clear sightlines indoors and outdoors so they can be in constant visual contact with their children. This usually means an open floor plan and window and door access to exterior spaces. Imagine yourself in each room, and envision your ideal visibility level.


Keeping a home spotless when you have a family is tough, but not impossible by any means. Proper home building planning can minimize clutter. Be sure to include plenty of spaces for overflow of “stuff” that accumulates over the years. Spaces may include closets, pantries and basement rooms.


We all want safety for our loved ones, and you can make this a mantra throughout your discussions with your preferred custom builder.

Pros And Cons Of Buying Commercial Roofing

Helpful Roof Maintenance Tips

Your home’s roofing is a major investment and you want it to hold up strongly for as long as possible. By taking some basic preventative measures, you can potentially extend the life of your roofing. Here’s a look at tips for roof maintenance.

Keep Gutters Clean

If your gutters are filled with leaves and other debris, then they may not be able to properly send away water. In such a scenario, water could spill over onto the roof, which could increase the risk of a roof leak occurring.

Trim Nearby Trees

Tall trees are a beautiful property feature, but they can pose a hazard to your roof if they are dropping significant amounts of twigs and cones, which could trap water.

Visual Inspection

Twice yearly, it’s a good idea to get up on the ladder and check your roofing for issues such as missing/damaged shingles, broken gutters, missing flashing, and piles of granules.

Seal Off Potential Nesting Sites

Your roof eaves could potentially provide ideal nesting sites for a variety of unwanted creatures. You’ll want to look for openings and seal them off as necessary.



Business building roofs such as complexes, retail shops, warehouses and even offices require a professional roofing contractor in order to ensure the quality and efficiency of output. Since these roofs differ in sizes, shapes and materials, it is helpful to ask an experts opinion on which best types of roofs suit your business establishment.

Finding the fitting commercial roofing contractor might be a little difficult due to the increased competition of equally good contractors in the market today. It is best to read tips and guidelines on how to select the best people for the job to avoid wasting time, money and effort altogether.

The first thing that you need to do is ascertain the legitimacy of the contractors you’re eyeing at working with; this helps warrant the work they do. Moreover, legal commercial roofing companies have verifiable addresses and work history that could be helpful in establishing credibility and even assurance of quality workmanship. You need to be cautious of companies or contractors that hesitate on providing certification proofs; a reliable and truthful commercial roofing contractor is one who’s prepared to make available legal information and written proposal since they have nothing to hide.

Second, you need to establish and consider the outcome you have envisioned for the contractor to achieve. Having the commercial roofing contractor see your desired result will lead you both to the same direction. Also, try not to hesitate in asking questions and clarifications to your contractor; many of them specialize in certain types of commercial roofing, thus, asking them queries about such can give them time to study, research and even ask other professional commercial roofing contractors in case they have little knowledge on the matter.

Third, verifying the contractor’s previous works through people who have had earlier involvement with them could arrange for a great appraisal on your part. You can simply ask around the neighbourhood, or better yet check out their work profile or online customer feedback sites. People prove most contractors’ trustworthiness according to what previous clients have to say about them. It’s the common SOP people do nowadays.



The first thing you should do after a storm hits your area is ensure your family’s safety and make sure you have emergency supplies. Shelter is also critical, so if your roof appears to be damaged, here are some tips from your trusted residential roofing expert on what to do.

Inspect Your Roof

If your roof has sustained significant damage, keep your family away from the affected area, perhaps even have your kids stay at a friend or family member’s home while you deal with your roof. You can inspect your roof from the ground with a pair of binoculars, so keep your own safety in mind and leave the roof-climbing to roofing professionals.

In addition to impact damage, note signs of wind damage at the roof edges. Other areas you should check are the valleys, dormers and pipes – areas where flashing would be. Inspect all the ceilings in your home and note any leaks. Knowing the extent of the storm damage can help you determine whether repair, re roofing or roof replacement is the best solution.

Avoid Storm Chasers

Storm chasers are transient roofing contractors that typically arrive after storms. They prey on homeowners who are desperate to have a shelter over their heads, and thus offer what can only be described as cleverly disguised hack jobs. For example, the roof might look like it’s fixed, but will come apart a few weeks down the line. By then, these shoddy roofers will be long gone. In situations like this, it’s better to entrust your home to local, established professionals.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

A homeowner’s insurance agent and a roofing professional will assess the extent of the repair work needed and provide a written estimate. Coordinating between the two can be complicated, which is why you need to hire a contractor with extensive experience navigating the insurance claims process. This helps ensure you get the compensation you deserve


What You Need to Know About Commercial Roof Maintenance

Commercial roofs are meant to be functional and durable. Depending on the roofing material used, with proper maintenance, a roof put on a commercial building can last anywhere between 20 and 50 years.

Have Your Roof Carefully Inspected

Though you likely won’t be getting on your roof regularly, it is still useful to know what types of problems roofing contractors are looking for when they inspect your commercial roof. The problems will vary depending on the type of roofing material that you chose, so an experienced contractor will use a detailed checklist tailored to the needs of your roof.

Here are a few problems that are sure to be included on those lists:

Flat roofs are prone to leaks and surface degradation due to weathering, so you should look out for granular loss, bending, holes and punctures.

You’ll need to examine a shingled roof for granular loss, curling and bending.

Metal roofs should be checked for rust and corrosion as well as loose, bent or damaged panels.

If you come across chips or cracks in your tile roof, you’ll need to call a roofing professional to further inspect it

Correct Problems Right Away

Having your roof inspected is only the first step. Following the inspection, you need to prioritize any recommended repairs to ensure your roof is not further damaged. Typically, contractors will prepare a detailed report that notes any deficiencies and provide you with cost estimates. This allows property managers and business owners to plan and budget for their repairs.

Keep Detailed Records

When you visit your doctor for a check-up, the doctor or nurse will have your medical records handy to ensure they can give an adequate assessment about what is ailing you. The same concept should be applied to your roof when asking a contractor to give you an assessment on your roof’s health.


Helpful Tips in Finding Legit Roofing Companies

Nowadays, it’s hard to come by a trustworthy company that can provide you with your roofing needs. However, do not let this discourage you. There are still a number of legit roofing companies that will not take advantage of you. The key is knowing how to find them.

Check for business licenses This is the best way to confirm the legitimacy of a roofing company. Simply, check if they have a business license to operate. This will verify that they have fulfilled all legal requirements that are imposed by the state.

Find out about their insurance When a company is bonded, you’ll be secured that you are protected financially. This means that the company will not run away without completing the job. Roofing companies that are insured, on the other hand, makes sure that the contractors are covered for any liability issues that can come up during the working period. In this way, the company will less likely to blame you for the accident and demand that you pay the hospital expenses.

Always remember that a legitimate roofing company will always have up-to-date bonding and insurance. However, it is so easy for any roofing company to claim that they have these. Be smart enough to confirm these claims by asking them for a physical copy to serve as evidence.

Ask Questions Responsible and trustworthy roofing companies are likely to have a list of references you can contact to inquire about the quality of their work. Bee sure to call and check multiple references, not just one or two. This allows you to fully understand the services that the roofing company really has to offer. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, particularly about the roofer’s project-related behavior and consistency.

How Sewer Trenchless Pipe Replace Lining Is Done

Sewer Line Belly Vs Pipe Channeling

Sewer line belly vs. pipe channeling – are you wondering what’s wrong with your pipes? What does each diagnosis mean for your property and what repair options do you have?

You might not think the difference between having a sewer line belly or a pipe channeling diagnosis will ever impact you. After all, most people call a specialist to provide a solution and don’t worry too much about the details of the problem. Still, it’s a good idea to understand the difference and what’s involved in each situation. Once you understand the meaning of each condition, you can make the choice in the most appropriate and cost-effective repair options for your sewer line.

What is a sewer line belly?

A belly is a sag in the pipe that bows downward, creating a negative slope. Once a sag develops, the flow of the wastewater is no longer effective. Some of the wastewater will move across the belly normally. The rest gets trapped inside the sag, becoming stagnant over time. When more wastewater enters the pipe, it strikes against the stagnant water, slowing or blocking its movement. Over time, particles of waste accumulate in the belly, creating a solid clog. Eventually, the entire pipe could become clogged. With a belly, you will usually have problems with wastewater not draining out.

Sewer belly causes

Several external and internal forces can lead to a sewer line belly. If something causes the soil on the outside of the pipe to shift, it may cause the pipe to change shape. Sometimes specialists cut corners during the sewer line installation, keeping it from working effectively. If the line breaks at the joints, the pipe can take on a different shape, potentially creating a belly.

Some specialists only recommend repairing a sewer line belly if it’s causing a problem. They may suggest letting it go if there’s little to no risk that it will get worse. The problem is that the problem has already advanced to this level. Who knows how much or when it will turn into a more serious problem?

The reason many homeowners prefer to take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach is that the only repair method for bellies is to replace the affected section of pipe. Installing a new pipe will restore the slope and improve the integrity of the existing pipe. Unfortunately, this is often a large project that involves a lot of time and money. Trenchless pipe repair methods offer a less disruptive and cost-effective method of pipe repair over conventional methods. A belly is one of the exceptions where these methods aren’t recommended.


What is sewer line channeling?

Sewer line channeling is the development of a channel into the bottom of a sewer line. The motion of the water continually crossing the same area of the pipe causes it to wear down. The damage also makes the pipe vulnerable to the infiltration of tree roots, insects, and more. Sewer line channeling is a common problem in cast iron sewer pipes. Sometimes, the pipe is already gone by the time you realize there’s a problem.

Some signs of sewer line channeling include odd sewage odors, green patches in your yard, and water seepage. Like bellies, channeling sometimes causes slow drainage, making it easier to confuse the two situations.

One major difference when considering a sewer line belly vs pipe channeling is that with the latter condition, the sewer line usually retains its slope. Even though the pipe may be completely gone in one area, trenchless pipelining might still be an option. This modern approach to pipe repair doesn’t cause the disruption to your property or your lifestyle that you can expect with traditional plumbing. It also costs thousands of dollars less.


Sewer Line Belly Vs Pipe Channeling: Getting Past The Confusion

Specialists who get calls from clients saying they have a sewer line belly often end up with a pipe that’s channeled. Initially, both problems seem the same. Once you call a specialist, the first step is diagnosing the problem with a special sewer camera. But that isn’t enough to identify the whole problem.

The only thing the camera shows in either case is a lot of water. Using a water jet to clear out the water and debris allows the specialist to clearly view the pipe. The importance in distinguishing between the two problems is the difference in the options for repair.


Bellied Pipe Explained

The term “bellied pipe,” also known as a “low spot,” essentially refers to a pipeline that’s sagging. A bellied pipe usually occurs as a result of improper installation, particularly when the installer uses insufficient bedding. Pipeline and trench bedding consists of a number of materials which provide a solid surface for the pipe to rest on. Without bedding, the pipeline becomes susceptible to sagging from shifting soil or poor soil compaction. A bellied pipe can only be fixed by manually repairing the line. A camera inspection will usually reveal the presence of a sagging pipe, the severity of it, and whether it requires immediate repairs.

Implications of a Bellied Pipe

A low spot will trap water much the same way as a P-trap pipe under your bathroom. This may not necessarily cause problems, and your pipes may continue to function normally. However, solid waste can collect in the low spot, causing a soft backup. This isn’t anything too serious and can usually be fixed by a local plumber using a typical manual auger. However, the low spot should still be corrected to prevent the need to clear a backup every few months.


What Is A Sewer Line Belly, Sag Or Low Area?

A sewer line belly, sag, or low area, can be identified by a pipe holding water after flow has stopped or other causes of pooling water, such as debris build up and channeling, have been ruled out. Sewer line bellies or low areas become problems when debris collects and causes a blockage or backup. A belly in a sewer line, sag, or low area is often caused by geological events such as soil erosion, foundation settlement, earthquakes or by human error such as poor soil compaction or poor installation.

Wide Plank Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

Steps to Save on Hardwood Flooring Costs

You’ve got the walls painted the perfect shade and the lighting is to your liking. Now you need the right floor to tie the room together. If you want a new hardwood floor, tread prudently: You have a forest of options at a wide range of prices.

It costs an average of $2,400 to $4,000 to buy and install 200 square feet of hardwood floor, according to national survey. That’s a wide range of $12 to $20 a square foot. How much you spend depends on:

The species of wood.

The grade and cut, which describe qualities such as color variation, whether knots are visible and the direction of the grain.

Whether the wood is solid or engineered (multiple layers of wood veneers).

The amount of preparation and cleanup work the contractor must do.

How much does it cost to install hardwood floors?

When a hardwood floor contractor prepares an estimate, the costs are usually divided between materials and labor. There might be another section of the estimate that itemizes other costs.

The cost of flooring is calculated by the square foot. The contractor usually adds between 5% and 12% to the square footage as a “cut allowance” or “waste factor” to account for scraps that will be left over. For example, a 100-square-foot room might require the purchase of 105 to 112 square feet of flooring because the planks will have to be cut to size. The leftover material is the cut allowance.

Less-expensive species of solid hardwood, such as oak and American cherry, cost $5 to $10 a square foot, according to HomeAdvisor, a referral service for home improvement professionals. Pricier species, such as Brazilian walnut and mahogany, cost $8 to $14 a square foot.



Solid wood flooring is made of one piece of wood from top to bottom and can be used in any room that is on or above ground. One of the many benefits of solid wood flooring is it can be sanded and refinished many times.

Engineered wood floors are also made of real wood, but include multiple layers, with the top layer made of high-quality wood. Because engineered wood floors expand and contract less than solid wood flooring, they are ideal for basement installations. While this type of flooring can be sanded and refinished, it cannot be done as many times as solid wood flooring.

OPTIONS Wood floors are manufactured in almost any width. Some of the most popular styles are strip, plank, and parquet. Each style is available in a variety of species, colors, and widths, so choosing the right one is a matter of preference. Strip flooring is less than 3” wide and often makes a room appear larger. Plank flooring is equal to or greater than 3” wide and often creates a more casual look. Parquet flooring varies in size and generates a geometric, non-linear look.

SPECIESWood flooring is made from hardwoods, softwoods, domestic lumber, and a variety of imported lumber. Each wood species has unique visual characteristics and maintenance needs.

APPEARANCEMany factors impact the appearance of wood flooring, including its grade and saw cut. Wood grades are determined based on the physical characteristics of the wood. All grades are equally strong and serviceable, but each looks different. Additionally, the angle at which a board is cut determines how the finished product looks and performs as well.


Best Mops for Hardwood Floors

The best type of mop for hardwood floors won’t scratch the surface. It picks up fine debris that broom bristles miss. Then, the best-wet mops for hardwood floors won’t saturate the wood with water.

Best Dry Mops for Wood Floors

Dry-mopping is a gentle but efficient way to keep your floor clean. A quick spin around the house should only take a few minutes if you haven’t let the dirt build-up.

The Freedom dust mop from Libman is best for small rooms and tight spaces. It’s just under a foot wide, but it holds a lot of hair and dust. The secret to its high capacity is the long fingers on the washable microfiber pad. It’s handy for knocking down cobwebs, too.

This dust mop has cut ends, not loops, so it’s less likely to snag. It’s made from natural cotton yarn and hand-sewn in the USA. The handle adjusts from 42 to 72 inches long when you twist to unlock it.

Sladust’s wool mop is impregnated with natural lanolin that draws dust like a magnet. It stays put until you give it a shake. On the downside, you can’t toss this dry mop head into the washing machine—it’s hand wash only. Hand-washing ensures that it retains its natural ability to dust well.


Prolong the Life of Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have long been a coveted house feature because they positively radiate a sense of classic warmth and tradition. Because hardwood flooring has literally been around for centuries and many of the floors found in historic homes are still the originals, it is easy to think of them as being impervious to damage.

But like any house element, hardwood floors are prone to damage from accumulated wear and tear as well as unexpected events such as flooding. The potential for damage is magnified by the fact that, unlike ceramic or vinyl flooring, hardwood is an organic material. Wood’s cellular structure will break down more easily than ceramic’s minerals or vinyl’s polymers, especially when subjected to moisture

Overview of Hardwood Floors

Lines tend to blur when it comes to categorizing hardwood flooring. With technological innovations in floor manufacturing in the last couple of decades, these lines have become even blurrier. Basically, though, it comes down to three areas

Solid Hardwood

Solid hardwood flooring is 100 percent natural wood from top to bottom, no additives or changes except in the case of prefinished flooring, which comes with a factory-applied urethane-based top coating. Even so, this is just a surface coating, and all material below the coating is natural wood sawn directly from hardwoods such as ash, cherry, maple, or oak

Engineered Wood

Compared to solid hardwood’s deep history, engineered wood is a baby. In the mid-20th century, flooring manufacturers began to laminate thin veneers of real hardwood on top of thicker layers of plywood. Thus, well over 95 percent of this flooring is plywood. However, the top – the part that is visible – is 100 percent real wood


Realtor Q&A: Carpet or hardwoods … which is better when selling?

“Hardwood for sure, as everyone loves that. Carpets, colors, texture can vary and not everyone likes the same thing. Tile would be preferred in the lower level and maybe the kitchen area.”

“Hardwood is preferred over carpet on the main level any day. When you get upstairs, if there is a preference, having hardwood in the hallways is important. It’s all price-sensitive.”

“Hardwood is generally preferred over carpet. Buyers can always add a rug over top the hardwood. We had heard buyers say that because of allergies they prefer hardwood over carpet. Tile can be good too in certain areas of the home.”

“Today’s home buyers are certainly attuned to the specific amenities a home has to offer and as such, hardwood floors are seen as an upgrade relative to homes with carpet (in similar price points). Sellers are aware of these competitive differences and try to position their homes in the best light possible, and often times, offering hardwood floors, over carpeting, can help justify a pricing strategy or help a seller in direct competition with other active homes in a similar pricing category.”

Homes in our area with carpeting are a tough sell. Carpeting is one of those features that buyers often cannot see past (like bold paint colors). Although hardwoods can always be installed after the sale, buyers will not pay top dollar for a home with carpeting – especially if on the main level – and it will surely affect the price for the sellers.”