Why LED Electrical Lighting Are Popular Now

LED Lighting

The operating life of a light emitting diode (LED) is unaffected by turning it on and off. While lifetime is reduced for fluorescent lamps the more often they are switched on and off, there is no negative effect on LED lifetime. This characteristic gives LEDs several distinct advantages when it comes to operations. For example, LEDs have an advantage when used in conjunction with occupancy sensors or daylight sensors that rely on on-off operation. Also, in contrast to traditional technologies, LEDs turn on at full brightness almost instantly, with no delay. LEDs are also largely unaffected by vibration because they do not have filaments or glass enclosures.

 

Reasons Why My LED Light Bulbs Aren’t Lasting

LED light bulbs typically boast an impressively long lifetime. It’s one of the many features that makes them worth the extra quid, but what if you find that your LEDs are burning out before their time? You’re trying to make the transition to energy efficient lighting and you’ve followed the guides, but the bulbs just aren’t lasting as long as they’re supposed to. It’s a frustrating experience and it can be hard to determine where the situation is going wrong, but we can help you avoid it by shining a light on what could be causing these failures:

Dubious dimming components

LED light bulbs are dimmable, with two caveats:

  • They have to say they are dimmable on the package. This indicates that they were specifically built to be dimming-capable.
  • They have to be connected to an LED-compatible dimmer switch.

Standard LED light bulbs aren’t equipped with the components for dimming, and old dimmers just aren’t built for the low wattage of an energy-efficient LED bulb. While an old dimmer switch may work for a while and a standard LED light bulb may still technically dim, at some point you will run into problems with high-pitched buzzing or whining noises, flickering, and premature light bulb burnout.

SOLUTION:

Select light bulbs that specifically state they are dimmable and upgrade to an LED-compatible dimmer switch:

High voltage

If you find yourself burning through multiple light bulbs throughout your home in the span of months, or you notice the bulbs burning more brightly than they should, the mains to your house might be too high. In the U.K., the electricity entering your home should fluctuate around 230V at 50 Hz. If it is consistently much higher than that, the overpowered voltage will cause any type of light bulb to burn out faster than it should.

SOLUTION:

If you suspect this is the issue, have an electrician test the voltage in your home or contact your electrical provider to have it corrected.

Overheating

Unlike incandescent light bulbs, LEDs don’t produce light using heat. This is part of what makes them so energy efficient. The downside is that their components can be sensitive to overheating, which can cause them to burn out prematurely. LEDs can overheat if they:

Are used in enclosed fixtures but aren’t designed for them (packages usually specify what types of fixture a certain bulb is ideal for).

Are too large for the fixture—just because the base fits, doesn’t mean the bulb should be there.

SOLUTION:

Select LED light bulbs that are the right size for your fixture so it gets proper ventilation, and only use bulbs rated for enclosed or semi-enclosed fixtures in places like recessed lighting fittings.

 

LED’s Sound Good, But They are Too Expensive”

The many pros of LED lighting are often overshadowed by a single myth; LEDs are expensive! Simply put, an LED bulb can cost a few dollars. Earlier models were very expensive. LEDs have been around for many years now and they are readily available at all price points. It can be hard to justify retrofitting to LEDs when you still believe this myth that LEDs are too expensive. With improvements in manufacturing, increased market saturation and rapid-development of LED technology, the benefits of an LED upgrade supersede all alternatives.

Details

The Light Emitting Diode (LED) itself is the most efficient lighting technology yet.

LEDs effectively emit light in specific directions instead of scattering it to all spaces, reducing light pollution.

Incandescent lamps waste up to 90% of their energy as heat. LEDs waste very little energy.

In certain conditions a single bulb can last over 20 years. This cuts labor hours of maintenance, costs of replacement bulbs, and of course the savings on the utility bill over that time will make up for the initial cost.

Solution

This LED lighting myth is easily avoided with smart planning. Many utility companies offer rebates as an incentive to upgrade to LEDs. There are other incentives offered for commercial properties who are upgrading to LED fixtures as well. Rebates for well designed projects that save a lot of energy can add up quickly and take thousands of dollars off the cost of a light retrofit project.  Ask your lighting professional if project or equipment rebates for lighting are available in your area.

 

How to install Solderless connectors for LED strip lighting:

  • Cut along the mark line, and tear a little bit of 3M backing tape from the mark. 
If 3M tape is not peeled off a little, it will be harder to insert the strip into the connector.
  • Lightly pull the black plastic lock out from the solderless Pulling too hard may damage the LED solderless connector.
  • Insert strip into the solderless connector. There are two sides to the connecting tray – make sure the wider of the white sides faces up. This is the top.
  • Make sure the soldering pads fully touch the conjunction metal.
  • Push the plastic lock back towards the middle into the lock position. Be gentle and make sure the mounting tray is securely closed or the lights will not light up. Double check the markings of (+) and (-) to make sure which color wire corresponds to each.
  • For long term use, try and use liquid tape or a bonding material to make sure the connector does not become loose.

 

Do LED Lights Create Fire Risks?

LED lights do not emit light from a vacuum as most other bulb types do. The illumination is provided by something solid known as a semiconductor. If you are considering changing to LED lights, whether you are looking at a retrofit of full fit solution, you will see whole lists of benefits for changing from incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. These tend to focus on the cost savings and the environmental friendliness of LED, but it is also important to note that they have a much lower chance of causing a fire.

Overheating is one of the reasons a bulb could start a fire, but that is highly unlikely to happen with LED lights. They may feel hot to touch, but they produce light at a significantly lower temperature than other bulbs. Traditional bulbs use a filament, which loses a lot of energy through heat emissions, and incandescent bulbs generate heat as infrared radiation.

The fact traditional lights radiate so much heat has meant they are sometimes used as heat sources themselves, poultry incubation and heaters for reptiles being just a couple of examples.

As LED lights do not affect the ambient temperature they are ideal for small, confined or temperature-controlled areas.

Less Heat, More Light

One of the reasons LED lights have such a long-life span is because the technology in place uses a heat sink, located at the bulbs base. This draws most of the heat to one area and keeps the electronics relatively cool. An LED light in its hottest part is approximately half the temperature of a halogen or incandescent bulb but emits the same amount of light. Traditional lights lose between 60 per cent and 95 per cent of their power to heat, so are far more likely to be a fire risk than LED lights. They hold their heat internally and use the bulk of their energy to produce light.

Could Retrofit LED Lights Be Your Solution?

If you are concerned about the state of your lights, or if they are near fabrics or materials that are easily combustible, you may be considering changing your lighting system to LED lights, but you could be worried about the installation costs.

All You Need To Know About Chiropractor

Massage appointment helpful tips

Scheduling an appointment

It is important that we know as much about your preferences, health situation and past massage experience as possible. If you are looking for a specific type of massage, deep tissue, relaxation, etc., be specific so we can pair you with a therapist that does that type of massage. Please inform us if you are pregnant, or have any major health conditions. We will ask you specific questions when making your appointment to help customize your session to meet your needs.

Preparing for your appointment

Personal hygiene is always important when you come in for massage. Shower or bathe prior to your massage. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to undress and dress easily. Your comfort and privacy are important to us. You may undress to a level that is comfortable to you (most clients are nude, or underwear only). Therapists are trained in the proper draping techniques, and only expose the area that is being worked on. Your privacy is always respected, and it is never required that you completely disrobe.

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic is a natural, safe, drug free, hands-on form of health care. The basis of chiropractic is that the nervous system directly or indirectly controls every cell in the body. The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The brain communicates through the spinal cord and nerves, and the nerves branch away from the cord between each vertebra. A misaligned bone may cause irritation of the nerve. The nerves go to the muscles and organs and influence the cells in your body. So when the nerves are irritated it may lead to pain, muscle tightness or other health problems. This misaligned bone is called a subluxation

What can I expect of a visit to the Chiropractor?

On your first visit you will begin by filling out paperwork.  You can find forms located in the left hand side bar on this page.   Those forms may ask about any current health problems, past health history, family history, and request information that is used for billing purposes. Your doctor will review the paperwork and then ask you questions regarding this information and any additional information he/she may need to determine your health problem. The doctor will then do a physical examination that involves various tests to help determine your diagnosis. This may include x-rays and/or lab work. After reviewing all the information, the doctor will determine if chiropractic care can help with your health concerns. They will discuss your diagnosis and the treatment plan they recommend for you. If you are comfortable with this plan, the chiropractic treatment will be performed. This treatment usually involves a chiropractic adjustment. It may also include heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, exercise recommendations, massage therapy, and/or stretches.

Which forms do I use for my appointment?

We have provided forms for you to print and complete prior to your appointment.  See the left side bar for those forms.  If you cannot or choose not to print forms but want to review what information you will need at your appointment you can do so.  If you have never been a patient in our clinic you will need to complete the new patient appointment forms.  If you have been a patient in our clinic in the past and it has been more than 4 months since you have been seen, you will need to complete the update patient appointment forms. If you were involved in an auto accident or work related injury you will also need to complete the applicable form for the type of accident you were involved in.  If you print and complete forms be sure to bring them along with you to your appointment

 

Helpful Tips

DOT Physical Exam: Things to Plan in Advance

If you have a medical condition you’re going to need some paperwork:

Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.

High Blood Pressure – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.

Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you’ll need to bring a copy of your last stress test.

Sleep Apnea – Bring a copy of your latest sleep test results, if you have one.

Medications – List all the prescription medicines you take, including strength and dosage. If you regularly take over-the counter medications, such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too.

Contact information – Have names and phone numbers of your doctors in case you need to call and have them fax missing information.

DOT Physical Exam: Things To Do to Manage Your Blood Pressure

Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed blood-pressure medication.

Remember to take your medication on schedule. If you forget, most doctors recommend taking your medication as soon as possible.

If you’re significantly late taking your medication, tell the doctor conducting the DOT physical you forgot to take your regular medication. If your blood pressure is too high, ask to have it rechecked later that day – or even the following day.

Cutting back on caffeine and nicotine can help improve your blood pressure.

Reducing the amount of salty foods you eat and avoiding adding salt to your food can also help to lower your blood pressure.

The week before your DOT physical exam, cut back on coffee, sodas, energy drinks, potato chops, etc, and don’t add salt to your food. Also reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible. Doing this can help lower your blood pressure reading

The Day of the DOT Physical Exam:

Remember to bring the medical records you’ve prepared in advance, including your list of medications.

Remember to bring eye glasses (it’s surprising how many people forget this).

Drink water. Come with a need to pee.

Getting Past ‘White Coat’ Syndrome:

First off, we understand that this is a very real concern for some drivers.

Secondly, we work with drivers all day long. We understand that passing your DOT physical exam is important to your continued career and your livelihood

 

Tips for a Healthy Summer!

Summer is full of activity. Whether it’s volleyball with friends, vacations with family, or just spending all day on the move, we tend to be much more active during the summer months. While this is actually very good for overall health, it can cause pain for those of us who are not used to it. This is where chiropractors can really help. They can ease pain in the back and neck by reducing restrictions of the vertebrae of the spine. By removing these problem areas, pain is reduced and activity and movement become much easier. Having the best summer is more than a schedule crammed full of outdoor activities. It’s staying healthy and fit, too

Keep hydrated.  Plan on drinking fluids at least one hour before you head out for the day. Aim for half your body weight in ounces a day.  Drinking enough water per day to keep the kidneys functioning properly and flush toxins from the body. Add some variety to your water by infusing it with fresh fruit — delicious, nutritious and hydrating!

Add daily exercise to your summer routine. This winter’s cold weather was a valid reason for not getting out as much for outdoor activities. Now that summer is here, there is no excuse! Hiking, biking, running and walking are all great ways to boost energy and fitness levels. Gardening can be a great workout, too!

Support our local farmers and your health too! Farmers markets are open. Treat your family and yourself to fresh organic fruits, veggies, honey and herbs. Farmers markets often offer an amazing array of produce that are not typically available in your local supermarket.

tick to your regular wellness schedule.  There’s no vacation when it comes to your health! Keeping up with your visits helps maintain structural alignment, promoting optimal health and range of motion that helps you to do the summer activities you love. Massage and acupuncture can help soothe sore muscles from summer sports and gardening. Going long stretches without chiropractic care can set you back – which means more extensive care down the road. Don’t be a stranger this summer!

 

SPINE HEALTH TIPS FOR HOLIDAY ROAD TRIPS

Whether you’re sitting in a car for too long or working at a desk job, sitting causes a lot of pressure on your lumbar spine. For those of you who are traveling more than an hour away, it’s important to keep your spinal health in mind. In fact, sitting for too long – especially with improper posture – is a leading cause of back pain and issues.

Use a lumbar pillow. To help relieve some of the pressure, you can use a lumbar pillow. This pillow will help improve your form too. If you don’t have a lumbar spine pillow, try using a folded up sweatshirt. Place it in the small of your back to help keep the natural curve in your low back. Use either of these lumbar support options for as long as possible.

Schedule stretch breaks. Schedule rest breaks every 1 to 2 hours. Instead of pulling through a drive thru, hop out of the car and go inside. Spend 5 to 10 minutes walking around and stretching out your back, legs, neck, and arms.

Maintain good posture. While you are traveling, be mindful of your posture. Scoot toward the end of your seat and point your toes and knees inward. This posture will force you to sit up properly and make sure your spine is properly aligned. This tip is more ideal for a passenger as opposed to the driver. Always be sure you are safe while driving

Give your neck a break. If you’re a passenger, do you spend a lot time on your phone playing games and stalking people on Facebook? I know I am guilty of those habits!  Looking down at your phone or book for too long can create neck pain after a long drive. You could also experience headaches or shoulder aches. Set aside “device free” time on the road. Use a neck pillow to stay comfortable and maintain good form.

 

Tips for Travelling

Trips away are always fantastic and looked forward to all year however all too often I see patients in pain when they return. Frequently patients complain of neck and lower back pain after travelling; here are a few tips to help you whilst you are away

Bring your Own Supports

If you know you are prone to suffering spinal pain when travelling be proactive

Use a neck pillow or lumbar cushion to support your spine

Take your own pillow when you go away

Do the exercises your chiropractor has given you

Use a hot shower to mimic a heat pack whilst away

Lifting Luggage

Bend at the knees

Use your low back muscles, not your spine to lift

Don’t twist when lifting or carrying

Carry backpacks on both shoulders

Pack light, just bring what you need

Move Move Move

Don’t get stuck in one position for too long

If you’re on a plane get up every hour and walk around

If you’re driving stop every two hours and go for a walk

Try to maintain good posture, head and shoulders back, don’t slouch

Hydration and Nutrition

Drink plenty of water

Eat well, plan ahead and avoid junk food

Professional Squirrel Removal

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

There are several species of squirrel, but tree squirrels are the most common nuisance for homeowners because they inhabit attics and garages and cause damage. They often gnaw on the exterior and interior walls, timbers, cables, and electric wiring. They have been known to short out electric power transformers due to their activities around power lines. Squirrels are typically discovered because they make a lot of noise in the area they inhabit. The gray squirrel is the most common structure-infesting squirrel species.

Squirrels are abundant in the wild because their numbers far exceed the number of predators. The large population and decreasing natural habitat due to construction in many areas cause them to seek shelter in houses. The chilly months of fall and winter cause squirrels to seek the warmth that is found in attics.

Squirrel Control Recommendations

Removal of any diet source: bird seed for example, because they attract the squirrels is the first order of business.

Using gutter guards and covering downspouts will reduce the number of squirrels that are entering through the rooftop and facia boards.

There are no poison baits on the market that squirrels will eat and die, except Ditrac Ground Squirrel Bait that is only made to control the California Ground Squirrel (found in western states). Typical rodent control bait for mice and rat control will not work against other squirrels.

Live trapping method of trapping squirrels is the only way to remove unwanted squirrels. Catching a squirrel is really the only way to get rid of squirrels in your attic, once they have chewed holes. It is important to seal up and repair all entry points after trapping the squirrels, so they no longer have access.

Trapping Tips

Always use work gloves when handling the traps with a squirrel inside.

Some trappers like to use a technique called “pre-baiting” to gain the squirrel’s confidence. Leave the trap out, wired open (so it won’t shut) with the bait so that they can get used to the object in their environment. However, most of the time this technique is not needed to trap squirrels successfully.

Place traps where you hear or see the activity. Using a Rat/Squirrel lure (walnut/nut oil based) on a cracker or piece of fruit behind the trip pan is very helpful as a lure. You may also try peanut butter. Next use sunflower seeds on top of that and trail a line of sunflower seeds out the front door of the trap so that there are “free” seeds a couple of feet in front of the trap. This will help overcome any anxiety the squirrels may have about entering the trap.

Exclusion and Relocation of Squirrels

After trapping and relocating the squirrels you can seal the openings with 1/4″ mesh hardware cloth or metal flashing. Look for all possible entry points. If you are not handy with tools, many nuisance wildlife control companies will seal entry points with a year’s guarantee for a fee.

 

TIPS FOR HOW TO GET RID OF SQUIRRELS IN THE YARD

Squirrels can be a nuisance in the yard or garden by eating fruit, vegetables and birdseed and chewing tree bark. Squirrels also have a way of making their way into your attic or crawlspaces and setting up nests. Here’s how to get rid of squirrels in the yard and keep them out of your home.

Don’t feed them. If you feed them, they will come. Any food found in your yard is fair game for roaming creatures or those already calling your property home. When you’re hanging bird feeders, scattering plant seeds or throwing compostable food scraps into your garden, you create the opportunity for easy meals. You should weigh your enjoyment of bird watching with the potential to attract pests with uneaten birdseed.

Remove what attracts them. The sight and smell of fallen fruit, nuts and seeds lures squirrels. Rake your yard regularly to remove these items from under bird feeders and trees. Use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to keep squirrels out of your trash.

Scare them. A dog or cat may keep squirrels out of your yard, particularly if your dog chases squirrels. If you don’t have a cat or dog, you can place plastic owls around your property on elevated surfaces such as fence posts or the roof to frighten squirrels away. You can also buy containers of predator (wolf or tiger) urine to spray in your yard or garden. The scent scares many animals, including squirrels, deer and rabbits. You need to re-apply the solution after it rains.

Spray them. Motion-activated sprinkler systems may help keep squirrels out of your yard.

 

How To: Get Rid of Squirrels

Most of the time, squirrels are completely benign, but in some situations, they can cause considerable damage. If you want to put an end to your squirrel problem, don’t miss our five-point action plan.

Don’t let the bushy tails fool you. They may be cute and and bright-eyed, but if left unchecked, squirrels can do an impressive amount of damage, not only to your garden, but also to your home (particularly the attic and eaves). While there’s no quick and easy way to get rid of squirrels, you can do a number of things to slowly shoo away these mischievous creatures. Whether you’re responding to an existing squirrel problem or seeking to prevent one, read on for a five-step action plan.

Focus on food.

If the neighborhood squirrels seem to be more interested in your house than in the one next door, it only makes sense to investigate the reason why. First things first, scan your property for an obvious food source, such as a bird feeder. Even if mounted on a tree or atop a pole, bird feeders are well within reach of squirrels, agile animals capable of jumping eight to ten feet with relative ease. If not going to go great heights in search of food, squirrels are just as likely to dig for it. Garden bulbs, in particular, are vulnerable. In lieu of protecting your flower beds with chicken wire, consider planting strategically placed daffodils. Since these perennials are poisonous to squirrels, they act as effective deterrents.

Prevent passage.

Everyone knows that squirrels are expert climbers. What you may not have realized is that, by banding tree trunks with plastic or metal collars (sometimes known as baffles), you can prevent squirrels from progressing along those routes that afford access to vulnerable areas, such as the overhang of your roof

Opt for odors.

To augment your other efforts, hang ammonia-soaked rags on the branches squirrels seem to favor. Doing so has proven moderately successful for Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. Alternatively, you can purchase and spread predator urine, available for sale at garden supply stores or home centers. The downside is that such treatments must be reapplied after every rainfall.

 

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

Squirrels are funny animals; however, despite the cute looks they have gained a reputation of the well-known pests. The pair of jittery squirrels can grow into an entire army of invasive pests and inhabit your property for a long time. This guide explains how to get rid of squirrels fast. Here you’ll find two best ways of controlling squirrels approved by scientists and 10 best products to help you succeed in eliminating your scurry nuisance.

The squirrels literally damage everything they can reach and repairs can get pricey. These curious and naturally inquisitive animals feel fine on your territory all year long. They feed on bird seeds, damage vegetables, and fruits, destroy your favorite flowers, and turn everything upside down in the attic

Start with the area outside your house. It is easier to chase squirrels away from your backyard rather than from the attic or any other space indoors, where rodents usually nest. Remove foodstuff: all fallen fruits, nuts, and other debris from the backyard to reduce food availability for squirrels. Tightly seal garbage cans. Trim the trees and shrubs adjacent to the house and avoid planting new ones, otherwise, their branches will turn into a perfect bridge to your house.

Inspect your house for any openings and cracks in the structure. Seal them with foam insulation or use metal mesh. If squirrels have already established their nests in your house, wait until they leave for hunting and only then block all access points. When applicable, build a fence extended 12 inches below the ground level, so that squirrels can’t get underneath.

Since the attic is a prime target for squirrels, clean it up: remove any garbage and foodstuff if you store it there.

 

How to Get Rid of Squirrels

They dart across the street, scurry up trees, and claw their way through small openings in homes and buildings. Squirrels are among the most widespread rodents in North America, one of the family that includes chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs

They have a benign, almost cute appearance with their bushy tails, short arms and legs, and pointed ears. But they can wreak havoc within the walls, crawl spaces, and attics of homes in search of shelter. As they move about, they can even harbor infected fleas and ticks that may transfer diseases.

Gray Squirrel

Though helpful in some ways to the environment, gray squirrels can be quite a pest in highly populated areas. When tree cover isn’t available for a habitat, gray squirrels will seek out telephone poles and roof lines. If they gain entry to the interior of your home, they will claw or chew at electrical wiring and wooden supports, leading to structural damage or even a power outage.

Red Squirrel (Pine Squirrel)

The smallest of the tree squirrels (but larger than chipmunks), this species is known for its territorial behavior. This species is most often home in wooded areas dotted with pine trees.

Fox Squirrel

This is the largest species of tree squirrel. With sharp claws and athletic bodies, fox squirrels are natural climbers and will spend most of their days in trees. During that time, they search for food ranging from nuts and flowers to insects and small birds. Fox squirrels build their nests during summer and endure the winter inside trees.

The Art Of Working With A Bookkeeping

A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Bookkeeping

Part of the accounting cycle, bookkeeping is the act of tracking, managing, and recording all financial transactions for your business. If the thought of bookkeeping is frightening, rest assured, there are a variety of small business accounting software applications on the market today that make the process easy, even if you’ve never recorded a financial transaction before

Overview: What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the proper recording of all financial transactions for your business. Bookkeeping involves a lot of attention to detail; everything from properly identifying and coding invoices, purchase orders, and vendor bills, to ensuring that bills are paid promptly

What is a bookkeeper responsible for?

Bookkeepers are responsible for accurately recording all financial transactions for a business.

Why your small business needs bookkeeping

It’s next to impossible to manage your business properly without bookkeeping. Imagine trying to run your business without knowing how much you’re spending on expenses each month, or not knowing how much money your customers owe you. Imagine not accounting for those expenses properly and then trying to prepare your tax return the following year.

You need to know how much money you have

Once you start a business, you become responsible for a lot of things. As a business owner, you need to know how much money your customers owe you and how much has been received. You also need to know how much money you need to spend in order to keep your business running smoothly.

 

How to Choose a (Great) Bookkeeper

Finding a good bookkeeper is an investment in your business

Many small business owners see their bookwork as an obligation to stop the taxman knocking. In fact it’s an integral part of running and managing a successful business. Your accounts, bookwork and transaction history, when accurately recorded, provide an important tool for all planning and decisions you make in your business and without it, you’re running blind

BAS Agent Certification

This is without a doubt the most important thing to look for in a bookkeeper. The Tax Practitioners Board holds a register of all qualified bookkeepers in Australia. Qualified bookkeepers must prove they have sufficient knowledge, qualifications, experience, insurance and ongoing professional development to sufficiently serve their clients. It is illegal to provide BAS services including entering GST transactions, Payroll and bank reconciliations without being registered

Experience

There are some things you just can’t teach and being a good bookkeeper is one of them – a good bookkeeper should have sufficient experience to answer your questions, know their way around accounting software, know where to go to get answers to the tricky questions and know when to refer to your accountant.

Skill Set

What range of business and accounting software can they use? Do they have a sound understanding in more than just the basic MYOB and Reckon (prev. Quickbooks AU). There is a huge range of software available and in many cases these out-dated program’s may not be the most time or cost-effective software for your business. If you’re going to change things up, will your bookkeeper be able to handle it?

Education

All registered BAS agents must hold a bookkeeping or accounting qualification. You should ask a potential bookkeeper what qualifications they hold so you know their level of understanding of the accounting systems. Ensure you have a bookkeeper who understands the important relationships between transactions and Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet. Holding additional or extended qualifications shows they have a varied or higher knowledge base.

 

How to Choose the Right Accountant for Your Business

Deciding that it is finally time to look for an accountant is a big step for any growing business, but you will have to make sure that your financial information — one of the most important areas in your business — is in the right hands

Certification and Experience

Passing the CPA exam is a difficult process — intentionally so. While all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. Make sure your accountant is trained well enough to meet the expectations and demands of today’s accounting profession. Although they got through some rigorous courses and exams in the past, they should also be taking continuing education and professional development courses to remain certified, licensed and on top of changing rules and regulations within the accounting landscape

Technology

Thanks to the rapid advances in technology, accounting software has become more robust — adding automation and tons of time-saving features — transforming accounting into a fast-paced and dynamic industry. Accounting software, like Xero and QuickBooks Online, helps improve productivity by performing tedious accounting tasks while reducing one’s margin of error with a single click of the mouse

Business Growth

Finding an accountant who has an empathetic ear and can truly connect and understand your business is essential. It is crucial that your business receives all the support it needs and that you are comfortable with the people handling your accounts. Remember that your CPA’s role does not stop at tax planning and preparation — they are your trusted business advisors. They can be your source of light when your business is facing uncertainties and they can help you make the right financial decisions when you need some guidance. Look for an accountant who would treat your business affairs as they would treat their own.

Services

As a business owner, time is money, and choosing the right CPA can buy you more time, allowing you to focus on achieving your goals. Some accountants are willing to do bookkeeping and payroll for example, on top of the usual services they provide.  Other accountants stick to the core stuff only, like financial statements and tax filings. You’ll need to evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are and what your pain points are — so that you can free up your time to run and grow your business.

Security

Although the digital age has opened the gates to faster and more convenient methods of handling information, it also brought along new risks and threats. Find someone who is proactive in taking regular security methods to keep their clients’ sensitive information safe. Do they use encryption software to handle your private information? What are their practices for data integrity and security? It is crucial that your CPA guarantees security that is “airtight” and has a very low risk of facing a security breach.

 

How to Hire Bookkeeping Help

Is it time to hire a bookkeeping service for your small business? Perhaps your business is growing, or you don’t have time to do it all on your own anymore. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of bookkeepers out there ready to help you keep your books in order.

Why Hire a Bookkeeper?

According to research by Clutch, almost half of small businesses (45%) don’t employ a bookkeeper, and a quarter of small businesses still record their finances on paper instead of a computer. Doing your bookkeeping by yourself isn’t easy. It can be easy to make errors or miss something important. Manual bookkeeping can also put your data at risk from damage or theft.

Hiring a Freelance Bookkeeper

Freelance bookkeepers can benefit your business in many ways. Because they typically work from home, their overheads are low and their fees competitive. Rates can range from $15-$50 per hour depending on the nature and range of work you want them to do—and you only pay for the hours you use. Freelancers are also business owners and stake their reputation on meeting deadlines and taking their work seriously.

Working With a Bookkeeping Firm

Bookkeeping firms may cost more than a freelance bookkeeper but for good reason. They bring a range of experience to the table, access to a larger team of experts, and guaranteed coverage. Unlike a freelance bookkeeper, if your dedicated bookkeeper takes a vacation or is otherwise unavailable, someone else can seamlessly step in

Understand the Difference Between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant

In your search for bookkeeping help, don’t confuse bookkeepers with accountants or CPAs. Many accountants provide bookkeeping services, but they can also prepare detailed financial statements (profit and loss statements, balance sheets, etc.).

 

What is the best way to find companies needing bookkeeping and accounting services?

To find companies who are need of bookkeeping and accounting services we need to market our company and reach through different mediums of marketing. Those companies who really need bookkeeping and accounting services can contact outsourcing companies, they can search from the internet and other mediums. If you have marketed your company good then there are more possibilities of getting selected. The other fact is that the outsourcing company should be genuine and provide professional services at competitive rates.

It is not an easy decision to take when looking for an accounting or bookkeeping service. You could be facing a dilemma of choosing an offline service over an online one. However, with the shortage of availability of good accounting services offline, it is recommended that you choose online accounting services

Industry Experience and Certified Staff – Make sure you are hiring an accounting and payroll agency with expertise and specialized knowledge of your industry

Cloud or Web-Based Service Architecture – Find an accounting agency that can provide you with immediate access to your own financial data anytime, anywhere using any devices

Metrics for Quality Assurance – The main reason you are hiring a third party accounting outsourcing agency is that they offer core functions that you lack

Pest Control Wasps Or Bee

Getting rid of wasps the right way

The best way to remove a wasp nest is contacting a pest control professional. It may seem like an easy job, but a pest control expert is professionally trained to handle and remove wasp nests in a safe and efficient manner, and here’s why:

  • Safety equipment: An exterminator has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE). This fully protects them from wasp stings, ensuring their safety when removing a wasp nest
  • Working in small spaces: Pest specialists are trained and qualified to work in small spaces such as your attic. This allows them to successfully remove a wasp nest safely from a property.
  • Expert knowledge: A pest control professional has expert knowledge on wasps; they know all about their behavior and instincts as well as how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction to wasp stings.
  • Professional products: Wasp exterminators have access to, and are professionally trained to use a variety of pest control products not available to the public. These products are more powerful than any DIY products on the market and have a proven track record of successfully removing wasp nests.

 

How To Keep Wasps From Building Nests Around Or In Your Home

Like we mentioned above, food is a key motivator for wasps when it comes to choosing where they might build their nest. To ensure they don’t do so, it’s imperative to remove any unwanted food or drink around your property and to keep your trash cans and trash areas covered and tightly sealed. More specifically, though, since wasps are drawn to sweeter foods, you may want to consider removing nectar and bird food that you may have intended for other animals if your priority is keeping wasps away.

If you are on a wasp control mission, another consideration is your home’s structure. As we mentioned above, queens find cracks and holes in your home during the colder months to ensure a secure and a warm place to hibernate. To avoid attracting additional queen wasps, be sure to repair any broken panels or siding, patch cracks in walls and repair any additional crevices you find on both the interior and exterior of your home. In your lawn, consider filling in any holes—occupied or vacant—with dirt or debris. Doing so will keep a wasp colony from making and building their home in a burrow.

 

Wasps: How to get rid of a wasp nest in your home according to pest control expert

WASPS are a dangerous pest to have in your home, bringing the risk of painful stings. An expert reveals how to get rid of a wasp nest from your home. Wasps in the home can cause misery and fear for property owners. If you experience a huge influx of wasps, it is likely you have a wasp nest and will be keen to learn how to get rid of it.

This could be in a often uninhabited part of your house, for instance in your loft. Alternatively, it might be on the side of your roof. A scratching or crackling noise could be a sign wasps are making a nest in your home. Wasp nests cause damage to your property, because they are produced by wasps chewing wood materials in your home into pulp.

 

Why Wasps Go Dormant

Although they are a fearful flyer for those who don’t enjoy the stinging insects, wasps will leave once they know their stay is no longer tolerated. This takes some work on your part to give them their walking papers without causing serious injury to you or them. Wasps will go dormant once the nest is no longer viable. There are many ways to adios unwanted wasps near the spaces where you, children or friends and family gather. If you spray the nest with soapy water at a safe distance wearing protective clothing at night, you can render the nest useless. Once a nest is useless, the wasps will go dormant, and it is safer to remove the entire nest so that the wasps know not to return to your wasp-intolerant abode.

 

How to Get Rid of Wasps in Roof Vents

Wasps cause problems when they build nests in or around your home. They will defend their territory and get aggressive if you get too close to a nest or try to disturb them. Roof vents are attractive to wasps because the vents are covered and therefore offer protection. If wasps aren’t dealt with as soon as they start nesting, an infestation becomes a greater risk. Getting rid of wasps in roof vents requires diligence to make sure they don’t return.

Step 1

Spray an insecticide into the vent to kill any wasps that are currently in the vent. Wear a breathing mask and follow all instructions on the package to prevent inhalation. Spray at dusk when the wasps are more likely to be dormant inside the nest.

Step 2

Cover the vents with plastic bags for several days to prevent more wasps from going into the system.

Step 3

Check your attic for openings that the wasps could be using to get into the vents. Breaks in the insulation or small holes in the wood are common sources for wasp entry. Any breaches require sealing to prevent more wasps from entering. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to help protect against stings.

Step 4

Call a professional if the wasp problems continue because stings could be dangerous, especially if you’re allergic to them.

Advice On Tile Flooring Choices For Your Next Home Remodel

How Marble Flooring Can Make a Small Space Appear Larger

Many older homes feature rooms that are a little on the small side, and even a brand new house can have a kitchen or bathroom that feels claustrophobic. Before you put an addition on your home, consider making some decorative changes.

Sometimes the smallest adjustment can have a powerful impact and effectively make a small room feel large and luxurious. Here are a few of the ways that adding marble to tight spaces will make them look more spacious and welcoming.

Monochromatic Colors Fool the Eye

Choose a single color of marble with minimal veining to trick the eye and visually enlarge the space.

Light colors like Bianco Dolomiti are generally a smart choice because they naturally make areas feel larger. However, the consistent shading in Adalia Cappuccino will also work nicely.

Carried to the Vertical Surfaces

Another trick used by designers is to carry the flooring materials up onto vertical surfaces. The goal is to use it in small ways that will make a great impact, including on bathtub aprons and as baseboards.

When these materials match each other perfectly, the mind automatically assumes that the vertical surface is part of the floor. While people will logically realize that matching tiles have been used, that initial impression of spaciousness remains the same.

This method works beautifully with tiles in light to medium tones. It’s commonly used with white or cream tiles, but you can create a stunning effect using light beige and even gray.

Larger Tiles, Fewer Grout Lines, More Spacious Effect

The tiles you choose are important, but how you space them is also a vital element of the room. When tiles are set a distance apart, the gap must be filled with grout.

Even when you choose a matching shade, grout lines will show across the floor.

When developing an intricate pattern, you want those lines to stand out to make the pattern more visible. Yet when you’re trying to enlarge the room and make it feel more luxurious, you’ll want those lines to be virtually invisible.

Light Colors Work Well in Small Areas

A general rule of thumb is that dark colors make a space feel cozy while light colors open it up. This is partly because shades of white and cream reflect more light to make any area feel larger and more welcoming.

 

Marble Look Porcelain Tile

There is a big market for porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Carrara look porcelain tile is a popular option because of how good of a job it does resembling the real thing. This is also one of the most highly recommended porcelain marble look tiles by many professional interior designers and decorators, as it encapsulates the smoothness, durability, and natural veining of the familiar Carrara tile.

As with natural marble, there are many different types of porcelain tile that looks like Carrara marble. Depending on the location of the marble, and the kind of impact you want to have, you will find a variety of colors and styles to match the look you prefer for your home.

Some popular Carrara marble-look porcelain tile brands include:

  • Tierra Sol
  • Olympia Tile
  • Ames Roccia Series Bianco Carrara
  • Julian Tile

 

Marble tiles smaller than 2 feet across are most common in home installations.

Marble flooring comes in tiles of differing sizes, ranging from small, 2-inch by 2-inch squares, to large, 6-foot by 8-foot slabs. For residential purposes, marble tiles are rarely larger than 2-foot by 2-foot, because larger slabs, which are very heavy, require specialized installation. Large slabs are usually found only in commercial and public buildings. Tile thickness ranges from ¼-inch to ¾-inch for residential tiles, while commercial marble slabs can be up to 2 inches thick.

Quality also varies by surface design and density. While no industry standard exists, a few factors can tip you off to the tile’s quality.

  • Mesh-backed tiles are mounted on a backing of fiberglass resin. These are typically lower-end marble tiles, which are often less dense and more prone to scratching or breaking. Mesh-backed tiles are suitable for low-traffic rooms, such as bathrooms, but they are less desirable in high-traffic areas where they may show signs of wear more quickly.
  • Lower quality tiles may feature filled areas. When you look at the tile straight on, you might not notice any difference, but if you turn the tile at a 45-degree angle, you might spot irregular dull patches, which indicate holes in the tile’s surface have been filled with a resin compound. Over time, the filled areas may work loose, leaving holes in the surface that require patching.
  • Marble tiles with deep fissures are at a greater risk of breaking under the pressure of heavy furniture or appliances. When trying to determine the quality of a marble tile, turn it over and check the backside—if a fissure is noticeable on both the front and the back, the tile may crack is something heavy is placed on it.

 

Floor Tile Designs So Good, They’ll Make You Lose Your Footing

Modern and Architectural

Play with the classic grid pattern by giving it a more modern, architecturally inspired twist. The abstract bench cushions and wall-too-wall windows in this breakfast nook reflect the grid pattern in an interesting way, too.

Colorful Alfresco

Bring some oomph to your outdoor space with colorful tiles. These cheerful blue Mediterranean-inspired tiles make a small outdoor patio feel special.

Bold and Non-Repeating

Use a larger, non-repeating pattern in a bold and cheerful color to create a unique aesthetic in the bathroom. We love how the tiles extend from the shower throughout the rest of the space in this Arent & Pyke bathroom, ensuring visual flow.

 

Marble Ceramic tile Floor For Tiny Houses

Since marble floor tiles are actually being marketed by means of square foot, therefore you have to understand the dimension needed to have before you head out and also buy marble tiles. If you do not have sealant, start by carefully cleaning your flooring along with a strong detergent or astringent and also water. Laninate floor covering is designed of a level of plastic peak and bottom along with a hardwood sustance in between. Glazed floor tiles from distinct shades and forms are made use of extensively for bathrooms as it is actually immune to water spots.

Why Tile Flooring Surpassed Linoleum In American Homes

How to choose floor tiles

Choosing floor tiles? A great flooring choice for hallways, kitchen diners, bathrooms, contemporary living spaces and even outdoors, floor tiles come in ever more varied design choices. Pick from natural stone, such as terracotta, limestone or marble, or from manmade materials, such as porcelain, ceramic or concrete. Find out everything you need to know about floor tile materials, installing floor tiles, and tips for floor tile maintenance.

NATURAL OR MANMADE FLOOR TILE MATERIALS?

Natural stone tiles have unique textures and tones, but are more likely to crack or scratch than a manmade materials, and may need sealing once laid – and resealing in future. Manmade materials are usually more affordable and come in a wide range of designs, but tend not to have natural stone’s character.

NATURAL STONE TILES

Natural stone tiles typically come in natural, honed or polished finishes. Natural surfaces tend to be matt with texture and pitting; honed tiles are smooth but matt; polished tiles have a smooth sheen. The higher the polish, the more water-resistant, but also the more slippery the tile will be

Granite is very hard, available in many colours, and if sealed and polished, resists scratching. However, it can crack. Ideal for kitchens, living and hallways.

Marble is porous so choose honed or polished finishes, particularly in a kitchen. Available in a range of colours, it’s a good choice for bathrooms

Limestone comes in earthy shades and both textured and polished finishes. It can stain and scratch, so avoid putting it in high traffic areas, such as kitchens.

 

How to Choose Floor Tiles

Tiles are a great flooring option that can work for any room. They’re easy to clean, long-lasting, and stylish, but choosing the right floor tiles for your home can feel challenging. Luckily, it’s easy to choose floor tiles if you consider your needs and personal style. You can then select a material, incorporate your own style, and shop for the tiles you want.

Selecting a Material for Your Tiles

Choose ceramic tiles for an inexpensive, classic option. Ceramic tiles are popular options because they are inexpensive and fit with any decor. You can choose large tiles or small tiles, depending on your preference. They are easy to install on your own, but you’ll need to work harder at keeping them clean, as they are porous and absorb liquids

Select porcelain tiles for a durable option that’s still budget friendly. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable on the market, and they’re also water resistant. Another perk is that they’re easy to clean. Porcelain tiles have a classic look that is easy to fit into any style

Opt for cork tiles if you want soft, quiet floors. Cork is a recent trend that can be a nice addition to any room, if you like the look. It’s great for people who want a floor that absorbs impact, and it’s also resistant to water and germs, making it a good choice for kitchens and bathrooms

Select bamboo floor tiles for a durable, sustainable option. Bamboo is becoming a popular choice for people who want to use environmentally-friendly materials in their homes. Bamboo tiles look similar to wood flooring, but they’re made of the fast-growing grass. You can find bamboo tiles in strips or planks

 

important things you should consider when you’re choosing tiles

Before you start

Think about the style of your home. Have a look through magazines and online for images of tiles you like. Try and not go against the style of your home – instead, work with it.

Tile size

Small-sized tiles are usually suited to small residential areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.

Room size

Large tiles make a room feel larger and airier. Using floor tiles on the walls will make the space seem more cohesive, but you can’t use wall tiles on the floor. A floor tile will have a harder glaze and will be made of harder materials to withstand traffic. In a small room, light-coloured tiles will make the space feel bigger. If you have a large room you have more options; you can chose from light to dark tiles

Colour

Consider the general feel you want to achieve in the room you are tiling – serene and relaxing or moody and atmospheric? Unless you have a feature area such as a splashback, tiles aren’t normally the focus of a room, but they can complement other design features of a room. In a bathroom you might want a restful relaxing setting, so go for colours that blend well together. In a kitchen you might want a more vibrant option, so choose colours that contrast.

Grout

Don’t forget the importance of choosing the right grout colour. A contrasting grout will emphasise lines and the design, while a grout in a complementary colour as the tile will give a subtle effect. Ensure your grouted areas are sealed to prevent staining

 

How To Choose A Tile Floor

Choosing a tile floor for your home can be intimidating. The combinations of color, size, style, and texture are impressive, but once you find tiles you like, how do you know they’re going to fit your home décor style?

Finding tile floors that will match your personal style and complement your home décor takes some thinking about location, color, size, shape, layout, surface pattern, and spacing. Find out how these elements combine to create a flooring surface that best complements your living space.

Location

Tile is durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean, making this material a good choice for your kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. However, not all tile suits every room in your house. Your first choice for tile should be one that is safe and practical for your floors.

Color

Color influences the overall attitude of your room, which makes choosing the color of your tiles important. Dark tiles add warmth, but make sure you have an open area and light to keep the tile color from overwhelming the palette of your living area. Consider chocolate brown, navy, or burnt-colored floor tiles in a large kitchen space

Pattern

With today’s technology, flooring tiles are available in many affordable patterns to complement your home’s interior design.

 

tips for choosing tiles

LIGHT COLOURS

Choose light colours to make a small/dark room feel bigger and brighter

BE ADVENTUROUS!

However, don’t be afraid of colour, which can also create some unique effects and environments in your home. Personal preference is the key.

DON’T COMPROMISE

See tiles as an investment, not a cost; never compromise on quality, which can still be picked up at great prices

PLAN AHEAD

Always purchase an additional 5-10% more tiles than you actually need. This allows you (or the tiler) to compensate for cuts and breakages and ensures you have the same batch/shade should you have needed additional tiles. Most companies will offer a refund on unused boxes of tiles

BLEND IN THOSE GROUT LINES

Choose a tile grout colour that compliments your tiles to help blend in grout lines.

Everything You Need To Know About Circuit Breakers

What’s Inside the Circuit Breaker Panel

The service entrance wires connect to two large terminals, called lugs, near the top of the panel. These lugs are always energized unless the utility company shuts off the power. The lugs—and all the wiring connecting to the panel box—are covered by a flat metal panel called the dead front cover. This is what you see when you open the door of your breaker panel. The dead front cover has cutouts that allow access to all the breakers, and that’s as far as homeowners need to go. Do not remove the dead front cover unless you know what you’re doing.

 

Basic

The simplest circuit protection device is the fuse. A fuse is just a thin wire, enclosed in a casing, that plugs into the circuit. When a circuit is closed, all charge flows through the fuse wire — the fuse experiences the same current as any other point along the circuit. The fuse is designed to disintegrate when it heats up above a certain level — if the current climbs too high, it burns up the wire. Destroying the fuse opens the circuit before the excess current can damage the building wiring.

The problem with fuses is they only work once. Every time you blow a fuse, you have to replace it with a new one. A circuit breaker does the same thing as a fuse — it opens a circuit as soon as current climbs to unsafe levels — but you can use it over and over again.

 

Main Safety Features of a Circuit Breaker Panel

These are the main electrical supplies and materials of the circuit breaker panel:

  • The Main Circuit Breaker – This is the switch that goes on and off to control the flow of current. So if there is an overload due to a short circuit or because too many appliances are running simultaneously, the corresponding circuit breaker automatically trips to shut off the flow of current. Standard breakers can be further subdivided into the following two categories:
  • Single-Pole Breaker – These single switches are typically between 15-20 amps, are commonly found in most circuit breakers and can handle up to 120 volts.
  • Double-Pole Breaker – These pole breakers are available in different amperages and can handle 240 volts. Double-pole breakers are designed for large home appliances like air conditioners, water heaters, washing machines and stoves.
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters – These are special purpose circuit breakers designed for additional safety against electric fires and electrocution.
  • Sub-Panels – sub-panels are small breaker boxes designed to handle more circuits when you don’t have the space to accommodate new circuits.
  • Bus Bars – The two rows in the main circuit breaker panel connect to hot bus bars. This is where the current flows from the main breaker to the branching circuits and reaches the outlet.

 

Solve an AFCI tripping problem

If you have a problem with an AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) shutting off in you main electrical panel, you’re not alone. Arc fault circuit interrupters are prone to “nuisance tripping,” which is probably what you’re experiencing. AFCIs are designed to sense an arc, which is an electrical “leak” caused when a hot wire touches a neutral or ground but doesn’t trigger the circuit breaker. Although current-sensing circuitry enables AFCIs to detect arcing conditions, unintended trickles of current may also cause the breaker to shut off (AFCIs are very sensitive!).

To solve the nuisance tripping problem and provide arc fault protection, start with things you can do yourself. Unplug or turn off surge protectors plugged into bedroom outlets, fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts, and lighting controls with LED displays that are on the AFCI circuit. They sometimes allow current “leakage” that can trip the AFCI and create a situation where a circuit breaker keeps tripping without a load. Damage or deterioration to wires or cords (which can happen when furniture is pushed against plugs in an outlet) also causes arcing faults and will trip the circuit. If you identify one of these sources, you’ll have to replace the electrical item.

 

Are All Circuit Breakers the Same?

There are different types of circuit breakers. The most common ones include:

  • Simple domestic circuit breakers: Prevent damage to home wiring by cutting power to overloaded circuits.
  • Ground fault circuit breakers (GFI): Prevent shocks caused by ground faults, which may occur when electricity contacts water.
  • Commercial circuit breakers: Used with extremely high voltage circuits, these have circuitry to adhere to per pre-defined safety criteria.

High Performance Exterior Painting

Tips for Choosing the Best Exterior Paint

Summer is here and that means we can finally tackle those big outdoor summer projects! If you’re planning on painting the exterior of your home this summer, I wanted to share some important tips that will help you when choosing the best exterior paint for your home that will last years.

It’s not easy deciding on a high quality exterior paint for the home because there are hundreds of different exterior paint products on the market. I know it’s seriously overwhelming and I’m gonna make it real easy for you today and help you sift through so you can zone in on the very best exterior paint for your project.

If you’re having your home professionally painted, it is critical that you are involved in the decision making process of what paint to use on your home. Don’t let your painter make that decision alone!  A good professional painter will welcome talking you through the paint decision so both of you are happy with the job! It’s also very important to ask your painter to paint a sample of the paint he/she is recommending for you to makes sure you are happy with the coverage

NOT ALL EXTERIOR PAINTS ARE EQUAL

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

DURABILITY

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

 

TIPS FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL EXTERIOR PAINTING PROJECT

Exterior house painting projects are a big deal. While the interior of your home is only seen by friends that you invite in, the outside of your home can be seen by anybody and everybody. You want it to have impressive curb appeal. Nobody wants to be “that house” on a street of well manicured lawns and beautifully painted exteriors.

House painting, whether interior or exterior, takes some prep work. Once you have taken the time to choose the perfect paint color, you will want to make sure your project goes smoothly. A professional painting company like New Life Painting will follow these, and other steps, to make sure that your exterior painting job is done in a timely and professional manner with beautiful results.

Clean: Even if the outside of your home looks clean to you, a professional will know to take the time to pressure wash the surfaces that you will be painting. Painting over a dirty surface will leave the exterior of your home looking rough and dirty. The house will need to fully dry for a day or two before painting

Prep other surfaces: If your painting team is painting wood trim or an area that has been painted before, these surfaces will need to be prepped for the job. A good painting company will scrape away any loose or flaky paint from these surfaces and sand down these areas to be sure that your new paint color will go on smoothly.

Watch the weather: Weather can be slightly unpredictable in most places, including Santa Ynez, Pismo Beach, and other Central Coast cities. If latex paint is involved in your painting project, weather that is too cold or too hot can keep the paint from adhering to your surface or compromise its durability. Moisture from rain or even heavy dew can negatively affect an exterior paint job, so a few good days of weather and your professional painters can get to work.

 

Smart Tips for Painting Your House

Few home-maintenance projects are as important as exterior painting because paint and caulking form the first line of defense against rain, snow, and ice. And a nice paint job will enhance the curb appeal and resale value of your home, too.

You want to repair and repaint as soon as you notice paint starting to crack, blister, and peel. Ignoring these problems will lead to a much more extensive—and expensive— job. Below are seven exterior painting tips every homeowner should know, whether you’re planning to paint the house yourself or hire a pro.

Paint Options

There are two basic types of exterior paint: water-based latex and oil-based alkyd. Latex cleans up with soap and water, dries quickly, has low odor, and remains flexible longer so it’s less likely to crack. The best quality latex paints contain 100 percent acrylic resins.

Paint Prices

There’s no absolute formula for picking the best paint for your home. Most paint manufacturers offer a wide variety of paints ranging from good to better to best. As a general rule, budget how much you want to spend on the project and then buy the best paint you can reasonably afford, because cost is an excellent indication of quality. Expensive paints contain more pigments than bargain paints, so they produce a thicker, longer-lasting, more protective coating

Read the Label

Few homeowners bother reading the tiny print on the paint can label, but they should. There’s a wealth of information printed right on the can that can help you produce a beautiful paint job. Pay particular attention to the instructions about prepping the surface and outdoor air temperature. Most paints shouldn’t be applied when the temperature is 50 degrees F or colder. But some paints are specially formulated for application when the temperature is as low as 35. Just take the time to read the label before you start painting and before the label becomes smeared with paint and impossible to decipher.

 

House Painting: Everything You Need to Know

House painting is often an important step of the moving process. If your home or rental property is in need of a fresh coat (or two) of paint, you’ll have to decide how you want to proceed. Do you hire a professional painter or break out the ladder and purchase the exterior house paint yourself? Depending on the scale of the project, your time frame, and whether it’s an exterior or interior house painting job, the answer might be different. Read up on our house painting tips and tricks to see what choice is the best for you.

House Painting Options: Hiring Help vs. DIY

When deciding whether to hire help or take on a house painting job yourself, there are a few factors to consider. Depending on your level of ambition, certain circumstances may prompt you to leave house painting up to the professionals. Think about your painting needs and see how the following situations apply to you

Scale

Scale has one of the biggest impacts on deciding whether to hire painting help or take matters into your own hands. If you want to paint your home, consider whether or not this is a realistic task to take on yourself. For instance, is your house multiple stories or a townhouse? Do you just want to paint the kitchen or the entire exterior? Once you factor in the time it takes to do the prep work and lay down multiple coats of paint, a DIY paint job can get complicated. If the house painting job is extensive, you may want to leave it to professionals

Current state of paint

Painting a brand new house with smooth surfaces dramatically reduces prep work. On the other hand, if you’re painting an old home with peeling walls or siding, it’s going to take a lot longer. When deciding whether to hire house painting professionals or do it yourself, take the current state of the paint into consideration. If you’re not up for the challenge of scraping and sanding for hours, you should hire help to get the best results

Interior vs. exterior

Needless to say, an exterior paint job tends to be more complicated. Indoors, you don’t have to deal with the elements. When painting the exterior of a home, however, you have to think about tough to reach places and the unpredictability of the weather. If you just want to repaint your front door, we trust that you’ll be able to do it yourself. Contrarily, a full exterior makeover requires professional help

 

What to Look for in a Professional House Painter

It’s true that a handy homeowner can tackle many tasks around the house without professional help. However, house painting isn’t one of them. Repainting your home, especially the exterior, is a monumental task that requires extensive use of ladders and other equipment to safely reach high heights, not to mention years of experience mastering the precise prepping, priming, and painting techniques. For these reasons, the advantages of professional house painting far outweigh attempting a DIY job

Do you provide free estimates?

While the cost shouldn’t be your only determining factor when hiring house painters, free estimates allow you to shop around before committing to one painter or another. Keep in mind that a low price doesn’t guarantee quality products or a job well done. You’ll want to ask for details about paint grade and warranties to ensure you’re not comparing apples and oranges.

Will you keep me up-to-date on the progress?

Exterior house painting and multi-room interior projects are quite extensive, possibly taking more than one day to complete. Your painters should provide you with timely updates about their progress and whether they expect to complete the job on time. It’s also reasonable to request daily start and end times, especially if you want to be at home while the painters are working.

Do you clean up after yourselves when the job is complete?

The last thing you want is to be left scrubbing mud off the floor or paint splatters from your windows. Accidents happen, but true professionals take measures to prevent them, such as by wearing shoe covers and laying down drop cloths on furniture, counters, and floors. Before they leave, your painters should thoroughly scour the work area for messes and vacuum or sweep up any dirt or dust they left behind

Can you help me find the right paint color?

After years of experience on the job, professional painters should have a keen eye for what hues look best together. If you’re not sure what color to paint the walls or exterior of your house, it’s fair to ask for advice. Painters can also recommend particular brands or grades for the work at hand. Remember, when it comes to paint quality, you get what you pay for.

Self Fullerton Mold Remediation Versus Professional Fullerton Mold Remediation

How to Choose a Professional Mold Remediation Company When Doing the Work Yourself Is NOT an Option

Every week I receive countless emails from readers who are attempting to or who would like to attempt to remediate their own homes in order to avoid the cost of professional mold remediation. Sometimes, this is easily done with techniques and products I have featured on the blog. Most small, contained mold issues are pretty easy to successfully tackle with EC3 products, a “cold” fogger, proper protective gear, and a certified HEPA vacuum. As a matter of fact, there have been many situations in our current home when we have had a small leak or water intrusion incident and have addressed and remediated the issue ourselves lickety-split. Those situations are isolated events and leaks and/or water intrusion that is caught quickly and right when it occurs.

There are other indoor mold situations that are not so straightforward and contained. Thus, I feel it is my responsibility to address the fact that there are definitely times when hiring a professional mold remediation company is the best decision for you and your family. Even with the tools and knowledge I have now, there are some mold clean-up jobs that I would not touch or advise anyone to do themselves, because the risk is not worth the possible reward or savings

When water damage has gone undetected for an extended period of time, causing lots of visible or invisible “behind the walls” damage to a home. In these cases, the damage is often structural and extensive and needs to be fixed along with proper remediation. This is also the type of work that grows in scope as walls are opened up and the extent of the damage and mold growth is revealed.

When you or your family members are extremely sick and/or mold sensitive. Attempting to remediate your own home if you are ill or mold-sensitive can cause major health problems and expose you to mold at levels that can cause your already suffering body more harm. In my opinion, it is just not worth the risk

When elevated levels of “toxic molds” have been identified inside your home. There are certain molds that produce mycotoxins which makes them more acutely dangerous to human health, even in small exposures. These molds are difficult to remediate as the mycotoxins linger and the mold can cause even more health problems when it is killed. Even the dead mold releases VOCs. A professionally trained remediator can clean structures and contents and knows best how to properly contain and handle this type of situation. Some mycotoxin-producing molds include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys

 

Remediation for landlords

Mold can be a serious problem—it’s difficult to detect, expensive to remove, and can cause health issues for your renters. Per landlord-tenant laws, however, the implied warranty of habitability requires landlords to keep their rental properties free of health hazards. That’s why it’s important to spot mold issues and remediate them immediately.

Signs Your Rental May Have a Mold Problem

If you do have mold in your rental property, detecting it early is important for the health of your tenants and your finances. Unfortunately, the presence of mold isn’t always obvious, making mold detection challenging in many cases.

Check out areas that have the most exposure to moisture, like the basement and the attic. Basements are usually the dampest parts of a home and have less exposure to light. Also check the attic, where a leaky roof could be creating a friendly environment for mold. Bathroom ceilings are also common offenders because of moisture from showers even if there’s a fan or window. Regularly inspect the ductwork of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems too as ductwork can easily circulate spores. Mold also loves dusty surfaces and condensation (from an A/C coil or faulty dehumidifier).

The Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation

Like we said before, microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, which makes the concept of true “removal” impossible. They float through the air and can settle on any kind of surface. However, when mold takes root in a humid environment and forms a damage-inducing colony, the process of clean-up is considered remediation (aka getting the spores back to normal/natural levels). Removal and remediation may be used interchangeably, but it’s important to know what they mean, especially as you do your research.

Steps to Take for Removing a Mold Infestation

If you can see mold, it needs to go—visible mold growth has no place in a healthy home. The CDC recommends removing all kinds of mold, so it’s usually not worth the time and money to pre-test the spores to see what kind of mold it is or the concentration unless you need specific data for proof or negotiation (e.g. buying a new property or submitting an insurance claim).

 

HOW TO START A MOLD REMEDIATION BUSINESS

With more natural disasters occurring each year, the restoration and remediation industry is growing at a rapid pace. With the right amount of knowledge and an investment you can start your own mold remediation business. In times of recession, a business like mold remediation remains untouched. Recession conditions do not stop disaster from striking, leaving plenty of work for the companies in business at the time

LOCATION

There are a few requirements for starting up your own mold remediation business. One is your business location. Pick an area with a high occurrence of floods or other water damage. Opportunity is key, so don’t forget to do your research before choosing a specific area.

CERTIFICATIONS

To start your own mold remediation business, you will need to check with the regulations of the state where you will be doing business. Some states require specific licensing to conduct business, and without it, you’ll be dead in the water. A mold inspection and remediation certification is a great place to start. The certification will give you the knowledge to start your business while also giving your clients peace of mind. The more certifications you hold, the more services you can provide, expanding your reach.

EQUIPMENT

Equipment is a huge expense when starting up a new business. With mold remediation, you need to be sure to get the commercial-grade equipment, designed to last on the job for hours at a time. While it will cost more up front, you won’t be constantly replacing equipment as you go, saving you money in the long run.

BENEFITS OF STARTING A MOLD REMEDIATION COMPANY

Owning your own business is a feeling like no other. You are the boss who sets the schedule and you get to choose how things operate. You do not have to worry about a recession getting in the way with a mold business, as there is always water damage somewhere. Design your business schedule around what works for you and your family, giving you precious extra time with loved ones.

 

How much does mold removal and remediation cost?

The national average cost of mold removal or remediation is $1,140. However, this cost can range from $60 to $4,300, depending on the size of the mold infestation, its location inside your home and how much specialists charge in your area.

Factors That Impact the Cost to Remove Mold

The size of the affected area can impact the mold or black mold removal cost. If your mold growth is confined to a space that’s less than 10 square feet, you consider cleaning it up yourself for a lower cost. In this case, you’ll want to buy household cleaners and gear (i.e. masks, gloves, goggles) to protect yourself as much as possible.

What to Expect During the Mold Remediation Process

Mold remediation is a multi-step process that involves mold-killing, removing the dead fungi and disinfecting the surfaces and areas to protect against mold regrowth

Performing a mold inspection. Mold testing (or sampling) takes place to identify the type of mold. This step is generally not necessary if you can already see the mold growth. If you think you need an inspection,

Identifying and fixing the source of the mold. Mold thrives and spreads in damp environments. Before mold removal can be effective, the source of the water or dampness must be identified and repaired or removed. A professional may check your attic, crawlspace, air ducts and other areas that typically experience mold growth. The water source may also need to be sealed. Professionals might use infrared scanners and probes to find hidden leaks or seepage.

 

“Mold Removal” vs. Remediation

What’s the Difference?

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.