Bookkeeper And Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping: How to Keep Records for Your Small Business

It’s true that doing your own bookkeeping can be a complete nightmare. Whether you’re starting a new business or have been running an online store for years, learning how to track your expenses and revenue can feel like a huge challenge.

You’re not alone. Nearly three-fourths of small business owners feel they are not very knowledgeable when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.  On top of running your business, you also have to manage an asset account, tax returns, credit card chargeback, and more. It can be confusing and overwhelming if you’re diving in for the first time. But it doesn’t have to be.

What is bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the process of recording and managing all financial transactions for your business, including sales, purchases, and payments. Bookkeepers track all costs and income, to help a company make informed financial decisions.

The basics of bookkeeping

In business bookkeeping, an account is a record of all debit and credit entries of a certain type, such as accounts payable or payroll.

There are five basic types of accounts:

Assets. Resources or things of value owned by a company as the result of its transactions (e.g., inventory, accounts receivable).

Liabilities. The obligations and debts owed by a company to suppliers, banks, lenders, or other providers of goods and services (e.g., loans, accounts payable).

Revenues or income. Money earned by the company through sales or providing a service.

Expenses. Cash that flows out of the company to pay for assets or services (e.g., utilities, salaries).

Equity., The remaining value of an owner’s interest in a company, after all liabilities have been subtracted(e.g., stock, retained earnings).

 

Things New Business Owners Should Know About Bookkeeping

Whatever your trade may be in the small business world, you probably love the type of work you get to wake up and do each day. Or, perhaps you’re still transitioning into a true entrepreneurial lifestyle.

While self-employment can be a breath of fresh air, there are likely some tasks you just plain can’t stand, such as bookkeeping. To help make the process of tracking your business finances a little easier, consider the following bookkeeping concepts for new business owners.

Maintaining well-organized business financial records is a must.

You must always maintain a solid recordkeeping system that contains all of your business financial files — invoices, bank statements, receipts, previous years’ tax returns, and the like.

It’s imperative to categorize your business income and expenses.

How can you gauge the true growth of your small business over time? The answer comes via good bookkeeping.

Reporting all relevant sales tax information is critical.

There are numerous business tax filings you must make when diving into formal entrepreneurship, but one critical requirement many newly crowned business owners overlook revolves around sales taxes.

 

Things Only Students of Accounting Programs Will Understand

It takes a special kind of person to become an accounting professional. You must be willing to learn new topics, work with software, use basic math every day, be a problem solver, and communicate well with people. Not everyone is up to the task of learning accounting and working in the field, but if you are, you have a great future ahead of you.

Once you join the accounting club, you will be one of a limited number of professionals who  know what it’s like to feel the joy of creating a spreadsheet, to revel in working with numbers every day, to learn and use new software programs, and best of all to have a career that is not limited. You are joining a group of professionals who are ambitious, driven, and who earn a great living working in accounting

Math is everything.

You never thought you would say this, but now that you have worked on an associate degree in accounting, you understand the truth: math is really everything. It’s all about numbers. When you study accounting your life becomes nothing but numbers. They tell the story behind a business, a spreadsheet, tax returns, and audits are so important in accounting programs and coursework.

A spreadsheet is your best friend, or your nemesis.

Underneath it all is math, but on the surface you will be working with spreadsheets, all the time. This type of software will become your new best friend, but at times it will also be your enemy. All students of accounting programs understand the joy that comes with creating a perfect spreadsheet, one that actually works, with no errors, with totals that actually make sense. Creating such a perfect spreadsheet will make your day.

You know where you’re going after finishing accounting programs.

So many students pursuing higher education have no path. They go to college because they know it’s what they’re supposed to do. They major in communications, psychology, or art history, with no real thought for where those degrees will take them. Accounting students are different.

 

What Does a Bookkeeper Actually Do?

Whether you sell handmade alpaca socks, enterprise software, or legal advice, there are two things we can guarantee about your business: you earn money and you spend it. Bookkeepers are the ones who help you keep track of all that.

If all your mental powers have been focused on getting your business off the ground, you might not fully understand what a bookkeeper does. In this guide we break down the day-to-day role of a bookkeeper, and why a good one is worth holding onto.

Bookkeepers, defined

A bookkeeper is someone who prepares your accounts, documenting daily financial transactions. Bookkeepers have been around as far back as 2600 BC—when records were tracked with a stylus on slabs of clay—making bookkeeping not the oldest profession, but pretty darn close.

A (very) brief history of bookkeepers

In colonial America, bookkeepers would record transactions in a “wastebook”—so called because the data would eventually find its way into an official ledger and the original book would go into the trash.

Bookkeepers vs. Accountants

There are some financial tasks that bookkeepers aren’t equipped for; that’s where accountants come in. While bookkeepers record daily transactions, accountants use the information compiled by a bookkeeper to produce financial models. Bookkeeping is straightforward and transactional, while accounting is more subjective and calls for skilled interpretation—like helping you understand when it’s time to incorporate, or filing your taxes to get the best return possible.

 

Bookkeeping Basics for Entrepreneurs

Bookkeeping is the process of tracking all of your company’s financial transactions, usually by entering them into accounting software or a physical set of “books.” It lets you see exactly where your business is spending money, where your revenue is coming from, and which tax deductions you’ll be able to claim.

You need it to do your taxes

You need to know your net profit in order to do your taxes, and to figure that out, you need to know your total income and expenses. And the only way to know that for sure is to have accurate, up-to-date books.

ou need it to borrow money

If you need to borrow money from someone other than friends and family, you’ll need to have your books together. Doing so lets you produce financial statements, which are often a prerequisite for getting a business loan, a line of credit from a bank, or seed investment.

It tells you where your money is going

Getting your books together and producing financial statements is the only way to gauge the financial health of your small business.

t helps you catch errors quickly

If you wait until the end of the year to reconcile or get your financial transactions in order, you won’t know if you or your bank made a mistake until you’re buried in paperwork at tax time. Regularly organizing and updating your books can help you catch that erroneous overdraft fee today, rather than six months from now, when it’s too late to bring up.

A Quick Guide To Get Rid Of Those Pesky Carpenter Ants

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST

If you’re besieged by ants, then you may know that the best way to deal with them is to go after the entire colony. It’s a great strategy, but finding the colony can be a lot more difficult than you would expect. After all, ants can disappear into places where it’s impossible to follow them – whether it’s behind a baseboard or deep into the ground.

CAN YOU FOLLOW ANTS BACK TO THEIR NEST?

Trailing ants back to their nest is possible, but it can be very difficult. Ants are often hard to track due to their size and ability to sneak into spaces were humans cannot. Still, if you have patience and determination, you can try following the ants you see. With luck, they will take you back to their nest site.

However, you should be aware that ants rarely walk in a straight line from a food source to their colony site. Instead, many ants walk a zigzag pattern — the result of previous ant-explorers searching for something to help feed the colony. Those scouts laid down a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. Since these trails often meander, it can take an ant a long time to cross even a short distance.

HOW TO FIND AN ANT NEST INDOORS

Tracking ants to a nest inside your house is very important. You want to address these house ants as soon as possible to eliminate the colony that could be damaging your structure and polluting your food and water.

Look for Wood Shavings – This could be a sign of carpenter ants. These shavings will often appear underneath beams in your cellar or attic.

Look for Swarmers – First, determine if the “ants” are really ants and not termites. Assuming they are ants, be aware they may be nesting outside and entering through a crack beyond your foundation. Indoor swarmers may be a sign of pharaoh ants or carpenter ants.

Look for Dead Ants – Piles of dead ants, particularly around a window, is another sign of an interior infestation nearby. Once again, check to see whether these bugs are ants or termites, and then take the appropriate steps to further locate the nest site.

Look for Moisture – Aside from food, ants need moisture. Inside your home, wet wood can invite an ant invasion, so study these areas for signs of these insects. Leaky pipes or pipes that get covered in condensation may also be an attractant to a variety of ant species, including odorous house ants. Since a route to water should be well established, it should be easy to follow these ants back to their nest site.

 

How to Find an Ant Nest: Common Places Where Ants Hide

The Kitchen

Curious about how to find an ant nest? If you really want to nip your ant problem in the bud, then you might want to start looking for them in the kitchen. This is the most likely place in your house where an ant problem will begin.

Let’s face facts here. Ants live for feeding on our spare food and drinking up our stagnant water. So, what better place to find ample water and food supplies than your kitchen? The kitchen is a fave hangout for ant colonies everywhere. Want to prevent them from slipping into your pantry? Make sure that you clean up any spills or crowns immediately.

The Bathroom

As often as your bathroom gets used, chances are that there’s a buildup of excess water and moisture in your washroom. Naturally, ants are attracted to water. In case you didn’t know, that means ants will be racing to lap up the pooled water and accidental leaks in your restroom. For those of you who want to stop and colonies in their tracks, be sure to clean up any spilled water after taking a shower or a bath.

Pet Food and Water Bowls

Attention: your pet food and water bowls are no longer safe from ant invasions. Since ant colonies are so intelligent, they’ll be able to find any leftover food that you have around your house, including pet food. Whenever your cat or dog leaves their chow in their bowl, you can add a bit of petroleum jelly to it.

Inside Walls

Can ants live in walls? The answer is yes. When it comes to ant control, inspecting the inside of your walls for ant invasions should be one of your first priorities. You might be surprised to find out that damaged or cracked walls provide the perfect crawlspace for ant colonies to populate and nest. Although certain ant species prefer to build outside colonies, inside walls give them the chance to find more sources of food while still remaining inside of your home.

 

Ant Inspection Guide

Ants can make a nuisance of themselves because they can nest both indoors and outdoors and the nest or entry points can be hard to find. If the ants are indoors, finding the entrance points will be extremely helpful in the ant control process as you will be able to seal them off to help prevent future ant infestations. Locating the nest outdoors can allow you to directly treat the nest for faster elimination.

Most ant species prefer moist areas to nest and hide eggs. Typically kitchens and bathrooms are the first rooms to be infested. Use your flashlight to look for ants behind or under refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and cabinets. Ants may also be found in or around floor drains, inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves, behind wall paper and in cracks and crevices in cabinets and around walls.

If you are only finding a couple of ants here and there, you can do the honey and peanut butter test to help attract the ants to one spot so you can see where the trail of ants comes from and also to help detect what type of ant bait would work best in your ant treatment program.

PRO TIP

If the ants are eating just the honey, a liquid or gel bait would be a good bait choice. If the ants are more attracted to the peanut butter, a granule or paste bait would be a good choice. You should note that as an ant colony grows and changes their nutritional needs will change. At some point they may only accept sweet or gel bait and at other times they may only accept protein or granule baits.

Ants are opportunistic by nature and can make a nest just about anywhere depending on the species of ant. When inspecting for ants outdoors you should look:

In firewood piles

Under yard debris

In electrical and utility boxes

In dirt mounds in the yard

Under the siding on your structure

 

Tips for Eliminating and Preventing Ant Infestations in the House

An ant infestation isn’t the worst pest problem in the world since most species of ant commonly found in the home do no real damage. The good news is that out of more than 1,000 or so classified species of ants in North America, only a few species are likely to take shelter in homes, and even fewer are likely to sting or cause damage. The vast majority of ant species are garden dwellers that do more good than harm — such as aerating soil or controlling damaging pests such as aphids.

But ants roaming around inside the home are annoying, and they can sometimes spread unwanted bacteria. Varieties commonly known as carpenter ants (Camponotus spp.) can cause damage by burrowing through wood structural elements of the home.

Structure of an Ant Colony

Ants are social creatures that generally form colonies in which individuals assume different roles. One or more “queen” ants are the reproducing individuals that remain in a hidden nest; their role is to simply continue to produce more ants and maintain the colony. The other individuals—which can include several million individuals in larger colonies—are known as worker ants. The younger workers typically remain inside the nest, where they serve the needs of the queen and maintain or expand the nest, while older workers roam out from the nest to retrieve food for the colony. It is these older workers that you see when an ant infestation becomes apparent.

Identify Ant Trails

The key first step in eliminating an ant infestation is to identify the trails used by worker ants to move to and from the nest. Any visible ants moving inside your home are seeking food, and once an ant finds edible material, it carries it back to the nest By doing so, the ant leaves a chemical path, or trail, for its fellow worker ants to follow to collect more food.

Use Ant Bait Indoors

Avoid the temptation to simply use pesticides to spray visible ants marching along trails in your home. Pesticide sprays can eliminate a few visible ants, but more will quickly replace them, and you’ll never make real progress to eliminating the infestation. Instead, use these worker ants as the ticket into the colony by placing ant bait for them to carry back to the hidden nest.

 

How to Get Rid of Ants in Your House and Yard

Put an end to most ant problems with inexpensive products from the home center or hardware store, and save the expense of hiring an exterminator.

How to Identify Ants

Start by identifying the type of ant in your house so you can find out how to get rid of ants, their nesting habits and have a better idea of where they’re living (they may be nesting outdoors). Take a close-up photo of the ant and send it to your local university extension service (enter your state’s name and “university extension service” into any online search engine). The extension service will tell you the type of ant you’re dealing with and where it nests. They may give you fact sheets about the ant species and maybe even some advice on getting rid of that particular ant species

How to Find Ant Nests

Sometimes the solution to an ant problem is getting rid of their nest. If you’re dealing with carpenter ants, which can do structural damage to your house, it’s vital that you wipe them out ASAP. Finding the nest may not be easy and takes some detective work. Ants generally prefer damp areas, such as framing or flooring that’s soft and spongy from a plumbing or roof leak. How to get rid of ants begins by looking for areas with water damage. Attics, bathrooms and exterior walls are obvious candidates. Cut small holes in water-damaged walls to track down the ant nest. (You’re going to have to repair the walls anyway.) When you find the nest, spray it with an insecticide that contains bifenthrin, permethrin or deltamethrin (look on the label)

Ant Removal: Determine the Best Ant Bait

When you see an ant, your first impulse is probably to step on it. But don’t. You’ll kill it, but for every ant you see, there may be hundreds more hiding in the house. The ones you see are scout ants, foraging for food to take back to the colony. Use these scouts to wipe out the entire colony. Prebait ants in areas you’ve previously seen them. Ants’ tastes change during the year. They usually prefer protein in the spring and sweets or fatty/oily foods in the summer. Set out sugar or honey, fried food and peanut butter, then see which food attracts ants. Use whichever food they prefer for bait and a DIY way to get rid of ants. Once you know what the ants like, buy and set out toxic ant bait that’s geared to their taste.

Ant Removal: Erase Ant Trails

Where you see one ant, you’re bound to see others. That’s because ants leave a scented trail that other ants follow. Sweeping or mopping isn’t enough to eliminate the scent. Instead, mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water in a spray bottle for a safe way to get rid of ants in the home, then spray wherever you’ve seen ants in the past. This will stop outdoor nesting ants that entered the house to forage for food (ants that come inside are not necessarily trying to establish a nest). Vinegar and water won’t stop ants that are already nesting indoors. You’ll need to kill them with ant bait.

Home Renovation Ideas For New Home Owners And Young Couples On A Budget

How to Choose a Reliable Builder for Your Home?

Choosing a reliable builder

The time to find out the quality of your builders is before you hire them. The last thing you want is for a start to be made on the renovations, only to experience delays, unexpected complications, lack of expertise or availability problems – all of which are more common than you might think.

Check licences and insurance

Never assume that your builders are who they say they are. Check with the state authorities to ensure they are fully licensed tradesmen, qualified to work for you. Also check that they have home indemnity insurance (a Certificate of Currency) in case the builder dies, disappears or the business folds. Don’t touch any builder without one of these.

Check for building disputes

Does your potential builder have any past or present disputes? You can check this with the Building and Construction Commission, and this will give you an idea of the builder’s track record to date. Those with disputes may be questionable in terms of quality of work or reliability.

Inspect past projects

It makes sense to be able to check ‘references’ – that is, past projects the builder has been involved in, and completed. This will give you an idea of the scale and scope of work done in the past and a benchmark for the quality of the workmanship and materials that you can expect. If possible, speak to the builder’s past clients regarding service and timescales for completion.

Ensure present commitments are not too demanding

What present projects is your builder involved in? This will impact availability for your job and how often he will be on the job site to supervise. Many builders over-commit and over-promise, leading to blow outs in completion times or hiring sub-contractors who produce sub-standard work. Pin your builder down to definite dates and project management commitments.

 

Home renovation guide: Tips to avoid getting duped when renovating your first place

Congratulations on crossing another milestone in life – getting your first home! But amidst all the excitement you are probably feeling jittery about the home renovation process. Fret not

In this guide, we will share some insider tips to avoid getting duped for your first home renovation project. Choosing your ideal contractor or interior designer, the theme, getting a loan and more, we got you covered.

TAKE TIME TO PLAN YOUR RENOVATION

Start planning your renovation the moment you get the floor plan, and not till you get your keys. Because with more time on hand, you’ll be able to ask around, meet different interior design companies and compare offers carefully. Since you’ll likely be spending a 5-digit sum for your first home renovation project, never rush into making a decision!

CONSIDER AN INTERIOR DESIGN THEME THAT SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE

We understand that almost every new homeowner wants the interior design of their home to be as up to date as possible. However, don’t try to incorporate too many trends into your home. It is essential to consider an interior design theme that fits your budget and lifestyle instead of following trends blindly. Do choose a pragmatic style that suits your needs, or even increase the value of your property should you rent or sell your home in the future.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR OR INTERIOR DESIGNER

In case you didn’t know, hiring an interior designer (ID) typically costs more than a contractor. Why? Because an ID is really a project manager, who will oversee the entire renovation project from ideation to completion. On the other hand, a contractor is a person who can carry out your specific requests.

 

How to Choose the Best Contractor for Home Improvement

Educate Yourself. It’s important to educate yourself about the work you want to have completed prior to meeting with contractors. This way, you’ll have a deeper understanding of renovation lingo, you’ll be able to provide the contractor with enough information to prepare an estimate that meets your goals, be able to interpret any estimates that you receive, and to figure out whether the contractor is overpricing their work

Check Contractor References and Past Experience. To select the best of the best, you will need to check company’s procedures, specifications, references and the way they communicate with you. If the construction company or contractor does not know how to communicate well with you (even when the others have no problems), then the possibility for misunderstandings in the project increases, and that means higher costs and less satisfaction.

Consider hiring a ‘Green’ company. Today, houses are cheaper to heat and cool and more comfortable than it was a case a few decades ago. If you want to regain the money you’ve invested in refurbishing or building a house, consider connecting with a green company that understands your needs and has the knowledge how to manage your task.

Read contractor reviews. Look for contractors affiliated with the Better Business Bureau, National Association of the Remodelling Industry (NARI), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or any other local building or remodelling association. Look at each Contractors website to see what type of work they perform, any examples of already completed work and their qualifications

Make a List of questions that the Contractor must answer. When you look at the specifications of potential contractors, make a list of questions, which you want to be answered. Those, who respond to your e-mail or call you, should have an advantage over the others. Nevertheless, consider whether your questions were answered clearly. This is particularly important for issues that you are not clear about or you did not understand. Here are some questions you need to ask each contractor: Did the Contractor omit a portion of the scope of work? If so, have them revise the estimate. Are they using lesser quality materials (paint, cabinets, tile, etc.)? How long will it take to complete the work? Are they insured with a General Liability policy? Can they provide a minimum of 5 to 10 references from previous projects? Are permits necessary and if so, is the cost included in the estimate? Is the Contractor willing to let you visit several of their jobs? What type of Warranty does the Contractor provide? If they do not understand what you are talking about, ask more questions. Good builders are the ones who know how to solve a problem. However, those who insist on answering your questions and want to explain you every little detail are the best.

 

How to Choose the Right Home Renovation Company: Check the Paperwork

There’s no shortage of home renovation companies. But if you’re looking to make changes to your home, where do you start the search for the right one?

Not all renovation companies offer the same services. Start by narrowing the field of choice based on your own needs. Are you looking for design and planning services as well, for example? Companies that offer these services bring value and convenience to your home reno

One thing that separates genuine professionals from others is that the pros will point out opportunities for improving your design. If your renovator says, “If you knock that wall down, your house will come with it,” you should listen. Hopefully, the contractor you choose won’t need to say that, but when a professional speaks, keep your ears open.

Licenses and Insurance

“Did you get the license number of the home renovation company that hit your house?” Okay, it’s not quite like that. But if a renovator has a license, they also have a license number. Get it before they start work.

Warranty

You’re putting a significant investment into your home renovation. Protect your investment with proper warranty. Reputable contractors offer a warranty as part of their written contract. Fly-by-night “cash only” renovation companies are unlikely to return to fix a problem, even if they say they will. If something goes wrong after they finish their work, can you trust someone who cheats on taxes to honour their promises to you? Be safe. Get your renovation done by a company that doesn’t hesitate to put it in writing.

 

How to choose a contractor to renovate your home

If you’re looking at doing renovations, the Newfoundland and Labrador branch of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association says it’s important to do your homework before letting a contractor take a hammer to your house.

Here’s The Lowdown from Victoria Belbin, chief executive officer of CHBA-NL, on home renovations

Get it in writing

Belbin said the renovation sector is “buyer beware” — so it’s important to get things in writing before the renovation begins. “Your home is your biggest asset, and you need to protect your home. So if you’re engaging in a conversation with an individual who you want to do work with, and they say, ‘Ah, don’t worry about a written contract. We’ll work this out as we go.’ Don’t go down that road,” she said.

Find a legitimate businessperson

Belbin said there is an underground economy to the renovation sector, and that’s why it’s important to confirm that you’re dealing with a legitimate businessperson. “There are professional renovators in our marketplace that have long-standing reputations, and they provide very good quality work, and add value to your home,” she said.

The importance of permits

Belbin said, in most cases, they will also take care of the municipal permits that are needed for a job. “Permits are very important because then you know that if there’s an inspection required, there’s another party kind of monitoring the work that’s being done on your home,” she said.

A Few Natural Fast Acting Remedies For Mosquitoes Bites

Mosquito Bites  – Prevention and Treatment

Find out how to treat the bite as well as what you can do to reduce the number of biting incidences and the risk of mosquito-borne diseases for you and your family.  Start by devising an effective DIY mosquito control program which incorporates a proven trapping system to reduce mosquito numbers, personal protection in the form of repellents, and a proactive approach to reducing and eliminating mosquito breeding sites around your property.

Elimination

The first step in reducing mosquitoes on your property is to identify and eliminate all sources of standing water including low spots, ditches, and gutters. During the day, mosquitoes love to rest in tall grass or amongst shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short and bushes trimmed deprives them of a resting place. Rake up any fallen leaves as well. An overturned leaf can hold enough water for a mosquito’s eggs, as well as give them a place to wait out the day.

Trapping

Let science help solve your mosquito problems. Today’s mosquito traps are smaller, more effective and surprisingly affordable! A consumer favorite, the Mega Catch™ Ultra has outperformed many competing traps in independent tests, thanks to its unique, propane-free, CO2 system.  Combining proven mosquito-attracting science in a simple to operate, user friendly design the Ultra gives coverage of up to 1.5 acres and is designed to operate with or without Mega-Catch’s™ patented ‘Variable Quantity Slow CO2Gas Release System’.

The optional CO2 system has been designed to enhance trap performance by increasing the range and capture rates (by as much as 300-400%) of a wider variety of mosquito species and other biting insects.

Repellents

Bear in mind that repellents do not protect all users equally. The effectiveness of a repellent depends on the mosquito species that is biting as well as the age, sex, level of activity, and attractiveness (to mosquitoes that is) of the human using the repellent. In general, mosquito repellents work by masking the chemical cues that invite mosquitoes to dine.Despite rumors and anecdotes of everything from banana peels to garlic tablets warding off mosquitoes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend only three types of repellents for safe and effective use:

  1. DEET
  2. PICARIDIN by Bayer (marketed as CUTTER ADVANCED)
  3. OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS (marketed as Repel)

Treatment

It’s not possible to eliminate every single mosquito. So if you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a rogue mosquito, whatever you do, don’t scratch the bite – no matter how good it feels. It can take up to two days before the itchy bump or wheal appears, and scratching it will just break the skin which could lead to infection. Wash with soap, run cool water over the bite, and be guided by the experts.

  • Calamine lotion or Caladryl. A combination of zinc and iron oxides reported to have a soothing effect on itchy skin. Caladryl also contains a mild topical analgesic for pain.
  • Icepacks. The cold constricts the blood vessels, which helps reduce the swelling, and numbs the skin to lessen the discomfort.
  • Ibuprofen or hydrocortisone cream. Both will work to reduce swelling, and hydrocortisone also is widely used to soothe itching.
  • Anti-histamines. Any over-the-counter medication such as Benadryl should help the itching to subside

 

 

Mosquitoes’ Sense of Smell Appears to Be Stronger Than Their Sight

Researchers collected data from approximately 250 female mosquitoes (male mosquitoes do not feed on blood), tracking their behavior and recording in real time the mosquitoes’ brains during a series of experiments conducted in a cylindrical arena about 7 inches in diameter. The scientists were able to measure the mosquitoes’ wing movements (using a special type of optical sensor) in response to different odors and visual stimuli.

The mosquitoes also beat their wings faster in response to the visual cue of a bar moving horizontally across a screen around the arena. The mosquitoes tried to move in the direction of the moving bar. But increase in wing-beating speed was more pronounced when mosquitoes smelled the puff of CO2 before they saw the moving bar, compared with just seeing the bar move.

 

What’s in the Spray?

Depending on your property, a company may use larvicides — used to kill eggs, larvae and young mosquitoes — or adulticides — used to kill adult mosquitoes. In some cases, both are used. Common chemicals and compounds used include:

  1. Pyrethrins
    These compounds have been approved for use and are considered “relatively” safe. They have also been proven to be effective. These compounds work by affecting the nervous system of mosquitoes, paralyzing the insects to kill them. The labels for these compounds indicate the compounds can be dangerous if they are inhaled and ask that birds, pets, and other animals be removed from the vicinity before spraying. Pyrethrins have been linked to skin irritation and respiratory irritation. In studies involving rats and dogs, even low doses administered over time affected the liver, thyroid and respiratory tissue of the animals. Pyrethrins have also shown to be very toxic to honey bees and fish — they have an environmental impact.
  2. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
    Bt is a microbe used as a toxin in some insecticides. When insect larvae are sprayed with this insecticide, the toxins damage their gut and eventually cause death. There are different strains of Bt, and some are designed to be especially toxic to mosquitoes. Studies have suggested Bt can cause allergic reactions, and some strains have proven to be toxic to honey bees.
  3. Permethrin
    Used to treat 9 to 10 million acres each year in the United States, Permethrin is one of the most common mosquito control insecticides used. It is affordable and effective. However, it can cause skin irritation and at high doses can lead to dizziness, nausea and even coma. In addition to active ingredients, many pesticides contain other chemicals and substances to make the insecticides more effective. For example, one of the most common additions to many insecticide products is piperonyl butoxide, which prevents active ingredients from breaking down in the mosquitoes’ body and allows the insecticides to work. Unfortunately, while effective and considered safe by some, piperonyl butoxide has been labeled a group C carcinogen.

 

Mosquitoes and Blood Types

Do mosquitoes prefer one blood type over the others? As it turns out, yes. Scientists first landed on this discovery back in 1972. More recently, a Journal of Medical Entomology study further broke down certain species of mosquitoes’ preferences.

Which Blood Types Do Mosquitoes Prefer?

People with Type O blood are more than universal donors. They’re also “tastier” to mosquitoes. In fact, according to a study, certain species of the insect landed on the skin of people with Type O blood almost twice as often as they did on the skin of those with Type A. But what about your blood type draws mosquitoes to you? Well, people secrete certain chemicals through their skin. The chemicals you produce will depend on your DNA, which also determines your blood type. that some of these chemicals — like lactic acid — can attract more mosquitoes.

 

5 Ways to Combat Mosquitoes Naturally

  1. DRYNESS: The first, and possibly most obvious way to win the war on mosquitoes is by keeping it dry. As we mentioned, the rainy season is the most populous mosquito weather. That’s because the momma mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. They dry out, then hatch once the water returns. So avoiding any areas of standing water on your property, from pet dishes, to birdbaths, to those bright blue tarps is essential to cutting down the mosquito population.
  2. SMOKE: There’s a reason torches are so popular for background get-togethers in Florida – and it’s not because of their more tropical look. Whether dipped in citronella or just generating an ashen atmosphere, smoke is a natural repellent for mosquitoes. Of course, some citronella is better than none, but even just placing a burning paper egg carton on the edge of your barbeque grill is a great way to keep the biters at bay.

Clothing

  1. LOOSE-FITTING Clothes: Believe it or not, just covering up with long sleeves is not enough. In fact, if your outfit is too tight, it might make you more appealing to hungry momma mosquitoes. Wearing clothing that is more loose fitting or even baggy not only makes it harder for mosquitoes to find your exposed skin, but it also keeps you cooler – and harder for the heat–driven insects to gravitate towards. We don’t, however, recommend wearing those pants that fall off your rear
  2. LIGHT COLORED Clothes: In the same vein, darker colors are more visible to mosquitoes and mark you as a more tasty treat to their insect eyes. Lighter, pale colors blend into the background in the biter’s sight. Darker colors can not only appear warmer to mosquitoes, but the contrast also makes you stand out more, potentially drawing them in.
  3. FAN: Believe it or not, a good stiff breeze – whether natural or generated by a good fan – also helps keep mosquitoes away. You might recall from your school biology class that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide for plants. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, which the wind from a decent fan disperses and dilutes. Plus, mosquitoes are weak fliers, so the breeze keeps them from getting close enough to bite you.

Benefits Of Epoxy Flooring Paint

Top 5 Recommended Flooring Options for Garages

  1. Polished Concrete Flooring – The Best of All
    Polished concrete flooring is the best option for garages. Concrete flooring is generally hard and resilient. They can perform under high pressure without any wear and tear. Concrete floors are less priced and are easily available for the customers with low budgets. Polished concrete surfaces look graceful and elegant that compliments the entire semblance. Polished concrete finishes are generally stain resistant and easy to clean making it the best option for garage flooring.
  2. Epoxy Flooring – The Smart and Feasible Option
    Epoxy flooring is quite feasible and a smart choice for existing flooring. Epoxy is a tough and long lasting coating that can be used on any flooring. It can be used on concrete floors; stone floors any floor to increase its performance and durability of your garage floor. Epoxy flooring is available in many attractive colors and can be cleaned easily. Before trying to go for epoxy make sure your sub floors are resistant to moisture and no dampness is observed. Epoxy is not suitable for the floors that absorb moisture.
  3. Rubber Tile Flooring – Easy to Install or DIY Option
    Rubber tiles are available like flexible mat and tiles. This type of flooring can be easily installed and is a good option for DIYers. Rubber floor tiles are flexible and come in attractive interlocking patterns to provide extra strength and stability to the floors. These are mostly available in the dimensions of 12×12 inch or 24×24 inch. Rubber tile flooring requires less maintenance and can be cleaned easily. The most feasible option with reasonable price is rubber tiles. They can with stand any climatic conditions. These floors can be installed on any sub-floors especially concrete floors.
  4. Vinyl Flooring – For Low Traffic Garages
    Selecting vinyl flooring for garages is not at all a wrong choice. If your garage doesn’t face much traffic and heavy pressure then enhanced Urethane coated vinyl tile flooring is a best option. These tiles are flexible and comfortable. You can enhance a unique look to your garage by picking the multiple color shades and attractive vinyl composite tile flooring available in market. Vinyl flooring requires very less upkeep and cleaning is extremely easy and comfortable with the cleaning agents available at home.
  5. Stone Flooring – Excellent but Expensive Option
    Stone flooring like sandstone, graphite and flagstone are excellent choice for garages but are a bit expensive. Stone flooring are extremely cold in winters hence considering your budget and local climatic conditions is vital before going for stone flooring for your garage. Stone flooring is resilient and extremely hard and available in eye-catchy designs and pleasant colors.

 

 

How to Choose the Best Garage Flooring

The main things you want to look for are durability, loudness (more on this soon), look, cost, maintenance and installation. It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have

It’s up to you to determine the priority for each of these – maybe you have really bad hearing and don’t care how loud your tiles are? Or, maybe cost isn’t a factor for you. Every garage is different and so is every person. Let’s dive a little deeper and discover what’s best for you.

Durability

I think this is a deal breaker for just about everyone. There’s nothing worse than getting your garage just the way you want it and having your floor fall apart right underneath your feet.In shocking new discovery: cars are heavy! So are tools. And oil, along with other automotive fluid, can be really tough on your floor. You need a beefy, brawny, durable floor that will stay sharp and intact through any amount of abuse.

Loudness

This one’s more of a personal preference. The truth is, traditional plastic garage tiles are a little noisy when you walk on them. There are some tips and tricks for reducing this (like underlayment – it’s the best!), but they will never sound as smooth and quiet as walking over a garage roll.  In fact, even something like epoxy has a certain degree of loudness. When you drop tools on a harder surface, they make a lot of noise. The softer the flooring material, the quieter your floor. Simple as that.

Look

let’s be honest; you want your garage to look sharp. Although functionality is important, you get garage flooring because you want your garage to look awesome. Most garage flooring options come in diamond, coin, smooth or vented patterns. And that’s just the beginning! If you choose tiles, you can do all sorts of fun patterns with your layout – mix and match colors, create that classic checkered look, or get real crazy with full on designs

Of course, epoxy is a whole other story, giving more of a speckled look. If you hire a pro, there’s a ton you can do with epoxy. However, it does require a bit more skill to get more than a basic wash, which, to be fair, still looks great!

 

Floor Epoxy

Epoxy floor coatings are sometimes regarded as a form of paint, since both are applied with paint rollers and paint brushes, but in reality the materials are quite different from a chemical and performance standpoint.

While paint hardens through the process of evaporation of its solvent, usually water or an oil-based liquid. True epoxy coatings, on the other hand, harden by means of a chemical reaction between a resin and hardener (catalyst). Genuine garage floor epoxy creates a durable, long-lasting, attractive coating for the garage. However, this product should not be confused with so-called “epoxy paint,” which is a one-part latex paint product with a small amount of epoxy added to it to improve the hardness of its finish. Epoxy paint is generally not as good as a true epoxy coating in overall performance.

 

Epoxy Paint

Popular epoxy floor paint is an extra-tough garage floor coating that resists marring, chemicals, oil and gasoline. It comes in many colors. Water-based epoxies are easy to apply and clean up with soap and water.

Applying an epoxy finish is a multi-step process. The floor must be clean and free of grease or oil, and holes and cracks should be patched. Next, the floor should be sealed with a primer made for concrete.

Epoxy garage floor coatings require premixing the base product with a hardener before applying. However, some manufacturer’s have simplified the product so it can be used right out of the can — mixing additives isn’t necessary.

 

Just like painting with latex

Applying epoxy—a type of paint containing a built-in hardener—requires that you patch, clean, and etch the floor if necessary. Then you blend your epoxy paint and hardener, and apply it to the garage floor—quickly, because the mix is viable for only two hours. Scatter color chips across the floor’s surface and seal with a clear coat to create a durable, long-lasting floor that resists oil stains and wipes clean easily.

The Process Of Hiring A Wedding Photographer

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.

Image quality/style

The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.

Personality

As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.

Value for money/cost

This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality.

Experience

The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.

 

Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer

Settle on a Style

Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you’ll want shooting your wedding. Get inspired! Spend time pouring over any kind of imagery you love, from décor shots to a fashion blogger’s Instagram feed. Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Maybe that’s formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photojournalistic feel. If you love sharp and contrast-y shots, perhaps a photographer with a flair for the dramatic is the right choice for you. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there’s a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.

Do Your Homework

Start your search by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and browsing local listings, like the ones on The Knot Marketplace. Carefully review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style. How do they capture the moments important to you, like a mother bustling her daughter’s gown or an emotional first look? The design of the website may also have clues about the photographer’s personality and sensibility. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too, if possible. Is the feedback from clients positive? How does the photographer respond? How do they interact with their Instagram followers, do they seem friendly and personable? You get the idea.

Set Up Interviews

This is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site—and their fees are in your ballpark range—call to see if they’re available for your wedding date. If available, go ahead and send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, you event and the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.

See a Few Full Wedding Albums

Don’t base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer’s highlights gallery or album. For good reason, photographers show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you’re seeing the best of the best. The problem with that is you won’t get a well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot (not someone else at their company) so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. If you see that the full gallery photos are just about as good as the ones chosen in the highlight gallery (that is, they’re all so good it’s impossible to choose!), you’re on the right track. And ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. For example, if you’re planning an indoor affair with dark lighting, don’t just look at weddings shot outdoors in natural sunlight. And if you’re planning to say “I do” on a beach at sunset, you’ll want to see examples of that.

 

Tips When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

You’re engaged!   Time to celebrate and then start talking wedding plans.  If you are having a wedding there are a lot of little details to think about.  Where do you start?  Maybe you know you don’t want to have a large wedding and instead are planning an intimate destination elopement.  Hopefully you’ll want to have a photographer to capture your elopement as well.  No matter how large or small your wedding celebration is, hiring a professional photographer to capture all the love, emotion and in-between moments during your celebration will be well worth it to have images of your celebration to hold onto forever

Time to Research

Once you’ve set a date it might be time to start researching wedding photographers.  Generally speaking photographers are booked 6 months to one year out.  I know from experience narrowing down a photographer can be tough.  There are so many creative, talented individuals in this industry and I had a huge list of potential photographers to choose from.

Where are They Cutting Corners

I don’t want to claim all inexpensive photographers are not good at what they do; everyone has to start somewhere and many do have a great eye but as you determine where you need to cut corners on wedding planning maybe those insanely cheap photographers are also cutting corners somewhere too.  When you hire an experienced wedding photographer, you aren’t just paying someone to be a warm body to click the camera.  You are paying for the experience.  Their experience shooting weddings and THE overall experience from start to finish.   Your wedding day is going to be filled with amazing moments, emotions and don’t forget those little imperfect moments too…..  one of those imperfect moments should NOT be worrying about your wedding photographer

Have a clear idea of the STYLE you like.  This will help you narrow down the selection of photographers.   Are you attracted to more traditional photography, posed images and pretty smiles starting at the camera?  Do you prefer a documentary feel where the photographer goes unnoticed with no posed images?  Is a candid style that captures the big emotions and little details to tell the story of the entire day your preference?  Are you looking for someone who is going to unnaturally pose each image, interrupting the natural moments from happening or someone who is going to go with the flow, capturing the dirt on your dress while you walk through a mountain field, quietly soaking in the beauty of day?

Get to know your photographer.  Do your personalities mesh well?  Your photographer is going to spend a greater chunk of the day with you…. make sure you can tolerate them and maybe even like them.  😉  Just because your family feels obligated to use the local photographer you have known since you were a child…. doesn’t mean you need to.  I saw this happen once and said photographer ended up passed out drunk under a tree before the reception started.  NO JOKE.  It’s your wedding day.  Pick someone who’s work you are drawn to.  I love getting to know each of my clients better — doing this creates great rapport which is actually important when creating images filled with REAL emotion.  When you look at a photo, I want you to feel something

 

Tips to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer for Your Day

Wedding day memories and scenes are too precocious to be missed. So you need to capture them and preserve them in order to reminisce about them for years to come. That’s why it’s important to have the right wedding photographer by your side to click some of the best photos of your wedding day

Start your search as early as possible

Top photographers are always in big demand. Their services have many takers and you should not expect them to be available during the wedding season. After all, experts have their hands full year-round as far as assignments are concerned.  Some of them even get booked a year or so in advance and you need to understand that well.

Do a lot of research before finalizing one

When you do a lot of research into wedding photographers, you’re always likely to get good results. After all, there are different styles of wedding photography, different packages and costs to choose from. The more wedding photography website you visit, the better it will be for you in terms of finding the best man for the day.

Interview the photographer and check samples of the work

You should never hesitate to conduct an interview with the wedding photographer to be sure about their experience, expertise, and knowledge of the craft. It’s also important to prepare a list of questions beforehand so that you discuss in details everything you want to know from the photographer.

Ask about the equipment, style, cost, creativity, and art

A good wedding photographer is one who is passionate about the job he/she does. They will have unique styles and tones to capture events and create visual differences. Some use only the latest camera and equipment and also have a back-up in case of malfunction

 

 

Mistakes To Avoid Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Some brides make the mistake of selecting their wedding photographer without researching what they’re really getting for their money. “You get your negatives” sounds great, but when do you get them? The original price sounds great, but how much are extra prints? So often, brides buy a package knowing they don’t want everything in it, but they think they’re getting a deal because it’s all together. Nope, sorry, photography is not like buying a “value meal” at McDonald’s! To be sure, you must research before you decide. Visit as many studios as you can. As a courtesy, please call them first and set an appointment. If they’re friendly or if they call you back quickly, they’ll most likely have better standards of service. Ask if they have any information they can mail or email to you. Meet the photographer. Search through their website with a fine-toothed comb. Do you see any loopholes or issues? The biggest reason people make mistakes in hiring photographers is that they don’t have experience doing it! They’ve never had to hire photographers, and most likely their last experience with a professional photographer was a friend’s wedding, and the grumpy, sweaty, old guy was either a bore or an annoying jerk.

Find someone who cares more about your wedding images than they do about their own packages and policies. Someone you know will help your wedding run smoothly and efficiently. Choose someone that you can communicate with someone that truly understands how you want your wedding to feel. How do you know? When you talk to her, she’s more interested in learning about you than describing all of the print sizes and prices.

Is this someone that will add to the fun and emotion of your wedding? Remember your friend’s photographer, the grumpy, sweaty, old guy that was a boring, annoying jerk? Steer clear of that! Get someone that will make the work of posed pictures fun, memorable, and exciting! How can you tell who’s cool? When you talk to the photographer, ask how she feels about your family members taking pictures over her shoulder! If she stays relaxed, then everyone will have a good time.

Look for someone who has some flexibility in styles. See what they have to offer. Some of the styles you may want to consider are Traditional, Black & White, Candid, Romantic, or Photo-journalistic. Check to see how they handle both indoor and outdoor situations. Can they do fine portraiture as well as a truly candid style? Find out what they have for you. Remember that the photographer’s creativity and personality (and your rapport with him/her) is what makes your wedding images unique, and your expressions more genuine!

Find someone who has as few restrictions as possible regarding packages, number of prints, limiting locations, and limiting the amount of film they shoot. Prepaid, pre-designed packages limit the creativity of the photographer. Creativity does not come from a pre-packaged album containing, for example, 24- 8x10s. If you’re paying for an album, it should look and feel like a storybook! Think of it, not like a photo album, but an illustrated storybook that uses no words to tell the story. In most cases, packages are NOT a good thing because the photographer “knows” beforehand what he needs to shoot and will only strive for those images.

Some Information On Toilet Installation

Tips for Choosing a New Toilet

The traditional gravity-flush toilet is pretty trouble-free plumbing fixtures, thanks in part to the fact that it has no high-tech parts. Although the water-supply valves, flush valves, and wax ring that seals the toilet to the floor all may fail and need to be replaced from time to time, the porcelain or china fixture itself can last for decades in perfect operating shape unless the bowl or tank become cracked. Nevertheless, you may want to replace your toilet, either for purely aesthetic reasons, such as when remodeling a bathroom or to take advantage of new water-saving features available on modern toilet designs.

Taking Measurements

The first step is to measure carefully to ensure that the toilet you purchase will fit in the same location as the old one. Measuring is done with the old toilet still in place.

Researching Your Options

With measurements in hand, it’s time to consider what options are available for your new toilet—and there are quite a few.

Bowl Shape

When choosing a toilet, you can choose from those with bowls that are elongated, compact -elongated, or round-front. Elongated toilets offer deeper seating areas and will fit most residential applications. Compact-elongated toilets have a slightly shorter footprint and take up less space while still offering good comfort. Round-front toilets take up the least space and are a good choice where space is at a premium.

Seat Height

Standard-height toilets have a seat that is roughly 17 inches above the floor. Chair-height toilets are slightly taller at about 19 inches above the floor, making them much easier to use for older people or those with mobility limitations. There are also custom-height toilets that mount on the wall and can be set at heights ranging from about 15 inches to 28 inches above the floor.

 

Tips to Ensure You Get the Right Fit and Flush

Measure for fit

Your first step in choosing a toilet is to find your current toilet’s rough-in measurement so you can find a model that fits your bathroom. The rough-in measurement is the distance from the wall to the middle of the toilet flange, which lines up with the center of the hold-down bolts. For a toilet with two bolts on each side, measure to the center of the back bolt. If you’re measuring from the lowest part of the wall, take the thickness of the baseboard or molding into account. Ideally, measure directly from the wall.

Choose your design

When choosing a toilet, you’ll need to decide if you want a one-piece, two-piece or wall-mount design. Two-piece toilets are the most common. These plumbing fixtures have a separate bowl and tank you can buy together or separately. Because there are so many on the market, opting for a two-piece toilet gives you a greater chance of finding one with the features you want.

Decide on bowl type

Toilet bowls are available in two shapes: elongated and round. Elongated bowls are around 2 or 3 inches longer in the front than round bowls. Round bowls never surpass 28 inches, while elongated bowls can be as large as 31 inches. Despite the fact that they take up more space, elongated bowls offer some advantages. Some individuals, including the elderly and those with physical impairments, may find the bigger seat more comfortable because it supports the thighs like a chair. These bowls also retain less soiling and hold back odors better. For some, the streamlined oval shape is more visually appealing than the traditional round shape.

Decide on height

Standard toilets are around 15 inches from the seat to the floor. Although this height is comfortable for many, you may be better off choosing a toilet with a higher seat. Seats of 17 inches high are marketed as “comfort height” and are better suited for the elderly and those with physical impairments. In fact, this is the height the American Disabilities Act requires for public toilets.

Consider a dual-flush toilet

Toilets account for up to 30 percent of the water use in the average US home. If you’ve had bad experiences with water-conserving toilets, though, choosing a toilet designed to save water may not seem too appealing. Older models of water-saving toilets simply reduced the amount of water used, leaving you with no choice about how much too use. Newer models have changed that.

 

Tips on Choosing a New Toilet

Choose the right toilet height.

Toilets usually come in a standard height (the height you’re probably accustomed to) and a comfort height, which is two or three inches higher than the standard height. Unless you’re buying a toilet that will be used often by children, comfort height toilets are usually the most comfortable (hence the name)

Consider water-saving toilets and dual-flush toilets.

Nowadays, the maximum amount of water a toilet can use during a flush is 1.6 gallons, which is far less than toilets in the past, so if you’re replacing an old toilet, chances are any toilet you buy will use less water than your old one. However, if you really want to decrease your water use, consider buying a toilet that’s specially designed to conserve water or a dual-flush toilet, which has a low-volume flush for times when just a little water will work and a standard-volume flush for times when you need a normal amount of flushing power

Decide whether you want a two-piece or one-piece toilet.

Two-piece toilets have tanks and bowls that are separate pieces and are the standard toilet used in most homes. Two-piece toilets function well, and many people are perfectly satisfied with them; however, some people prefer one-piece toilets, in which the bowl and the tank are fused into a single, seamless unit. One-piece toilets are easier to clean than two-piece toilets, and they have a smooth profile and a sleek look that some people prefer.

Choose a bowl shape that fits your bathroom.

Toilets come with either round bowls or elongated bowls. As the name implies, round bowls are fairly round and work well in smaller bathrooms since they have a small profile. Elongated bowls are oval-shaped and are two or three inches longer than round bowls. Some people find the elongated bowls to be more comfortable.

Understand the different flush mechanisms.

For years, homes used only one kind of toilet: the gravity-flush toilet. These toilets use the weight of water to provide flushing power. The flushing mechanism is simple, which means these toilets are low maintenance, and gravity-flush toilets are perfectly adequate for many people. However, once toilet manufacturers began looking for ways to conserve water, they devised new ways to create flushing power, which resulted in assisted-flush or pressure-flush toilets. These toilets use air to increase flushing pressure, which results in a more powerful, efficient flush.

 

Tips for Buying a Toilet

to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a toilet is a toilet is a toilet. Or so you’d think, until you take a look at the spectrum of possibilities available from today’s manufacturers and see that styles and shapes abound. Add in options for comfort, interactivity and water conservation, and today’s toilets can do almost anything—including glow in the dark

From taking care of your most basic needs to elevating your green quotient to making the ultimate style statement, there’s a toilet that’s right for you and your budget. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a basic commode to more than $7,000 for an ultra-chic toilet with all the amenities.

Two-piece toilets. These traditional models have separate tanks and bowls, which make handling easier, especially for DIY installations and for getting a toilet into tight spaces. The water inlet hole and the bolts used to fasten the tank to the bowl are sealed, and the seam between the two pieces is sealed with rubber gaskets. While the gaskets are good for years of service, they’ll eventually fail, causing leaks. Replacing the gaskets can be a hassle because the bolts and nuts tend to rust and “freeze,” requiring cutting.

One-piece toilets. This style eliminates the seam between tank and bowl. The result is a sleek design with no crevices to trap dirt. One-piece toilets tend to be more expensive than comparable two-piece models.

Round-front bowls. The snub-nose bowl design fits smaller spaces. Before the advent of the elongated toilet, the round-front was the only shape made.

 

How to Choose a Toilet for Your Bathroom: Tips from Experts

Choosing a toilet for your bathroom can be an overwhelming task. Of course, the first factor is your budget and how much the new toilet will add to your total bathroom remodel cost. However, there are several other factors that come into play as well. With so many sizes, configurations, and sizes available, your new commode should be able to meet all your requirements. Now, if you are not sure about what parameters you should consider for your next toilet purchase, go through this guide that entails expert tips on how to choose a toilet — which shall ensure you have a satisfactory buying experience.

Consider the Toilet Configuration

The first step to take before getting a new toilet is to calculate the size of your bathroom. Measure the rough-in distance — which is the length between the floor drain and the wall. You should consider a standard length of 12 inches, but you can also tweak it to measure anywhere between 10 to 14 inches, depending on the space available. Once this number is final, choose the bowl shape, toilet height, and style.

Elongated Bowls

Elongated toilets feature a bowl that extends out more toward the front for extra comfort. It takes up more space in your bathroom and is perfect if you have the luxury of more space.

Round Bowls

This category of toilet bowl — as the name suggests — comes with a round, compact design. It takes up less space and is best for small bathrooms.

Toilet Height

For standard toilets, the ADA-approved height for toilets is 15 inches off the floor. The rim or seat ring adds an extra 1 or 1½ inches. For more comfort, you can go for a taller toilet, up to 17 inches, if you have the luxury of space in your bathroom.

Maintaining A Commercial Painting Job

TIPS TO GETTING BETTER COMMERCIAL PAINTING RESULTS

One of the tricky parts of owning a business is getting the perfect look for your building. You want to appear professional and interesting in order to differentiate your business from your competition. Take the right steps to get great results from your commercial painting project to enhance the look of your building and your business. Here are five tips for getting better results.

Choose the Right Colors

While you want your business to catch the eye of potential customers, be careful to select colors that will attract attention without being overpowering. Having one bold-accent wall can really make a statement, but remember: less is more when it comes to very bright colors. By selecting a calm color palette, you can avoid overwhelming your customers. Adding bold color through pictures, pillows, and other small elements are temporary and less expensive ways to add a pop of color

Take the Time to Clear the Work Area

When commercial painting companies start a job, you won’t see them start applying color until the room is fully prepped. Before a contractor can begin prepping the room, they will need your employees to clear their work area. The best thing to do to expedite your painting project is to clear off work stations, remove art from the walls, and push light-weight furniture to the center of the room. By doing this yourself, you can save money on prep time (a cost of hiring the painting crew).

Use Primer

While some individuals may think that primer is an unnecessary step, many professionals say otherwise. Having that barrier in between the wall and your new layer of paint can prevent the color from turning dull once it dries and it can also help it to last longer. This problem often occurs because the compound used to fill holes and imperfections can pull the moisture right out of your freshly applied paint. If you are painting over a bright or deep color, primer is a good way to protect the integrity of the new color.

 

TIPS FOR PAINTING YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING

AVOID COMPLICATIONS BY FOLLOWING THESE STEPS

Painting your commercial building is an investment that should be approached strategically in order to avoid complications with the public while still getting the work completed and the look you want. A good paint job can create a positive first impression that encourages customers to come back to your premises over and over. Therefore, updating the look of your property with a fresh paint job is important for your business.

Consider the scope of the project

Take the time to consider the scope and extent of your painting project. How many buildings will need to be painted? How long do you have to complete the project? You should also consider what time of year would be most convenient to carry out the painting.

Choose the right color

Choosing the right color for your exterior commercial real estate is often an overlooked aspect. The right colors will make your buildings more attractive and appealing to customers. In fact, color choice could be the difference between a dull property and a dazzling masterpiece.

Adhere to high standards of safety

The safety and health concerns of your clients and tenants should be a top priority. Make sure you select the right paint that causes minimal health risks to people present in the space. Give preference to odorless paints to avoid problems for customers while you are open, during and/or immediately after the project occurs.

Consider additional services

Your commercial exterior painting project should involve more than just painting outside walls. The success of your project will also depend on additional services such as pressure washing, caulking, proper stripping and sanding, and restoration work to make sure the building looks at its best.

 

How to choose the Best Commercial Painting Company: Your Complete Guide

In this age of DIYs, a business owner may get tempted to do the painting job on their own to save on costs. However, it’s rare that you get to save huge amounts of money doing this. Sometimes, you spend even more.

That’s because you may spend as much as twice the amount of time it takes for a professional to complete the job. This time is better spent on building your business, which gives you better ROI. Hiring a commercial painting company also saves you from having to fix your mistakes.

Make a List of Painting Contractors

The first thing to do is to find potential contractors for the job. Google is the best place to look. But you can also ask your friends, family, and neighbors for any recommendations. This is more preferable than getting names off Google. As long as you trust the judgment of the people you asked, you’ll get introduced to a reliable company. When you drive home from work, look around for ads and physical stores of painting companies.

Get Estimates for Their Painting Services

Next, ask for their quotations for the painting job you need. This step should be free. You must already have a set budget in mind. Cross out those that get back to you with an estimate that’s way higher than your budget.

Factors When Choosing a Commercial Painting Company

The price isn’t the only thing you should look at when choosing a reputable commercial painting company. You should also look at the following information, which you can get by asking.

 

Must-Know Tips on Finding and Hiring the Right Painter for You

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for more home improvement projects. While exterior painting is best reserved for summer and fall, interior painting projects can be done right now. But first, you’ll have to find a reputable painter.

Painting projects may seem easy at first but it’s really best left to the professionals. They can get the job done in just a few days, or even hours, depending on the project. Besides that, you won’t have to worry about the mess – they’ll take care of everything!

Reputation

Before you hire a painter you need to be aware of their reputation in the community. Look for painters that have performed high-profile jobs. Also, ask former clients about the work performed and the quality of the products.

Licensing

Professional painters must be licensed to do business in their state. In Texas, the license is no different than that required for any business (Texas Sales and Use Permit), but confirming that you are working with a legitimate business provides a variety of protections to you.  Make sure that your painter can provide a copy of their license and license number as verification before they start a job.

Experience

Just because a painter answers an ad for painters for hire doesn’t mean that he or she has the experience to back up their query. Make sure your painter can provide a portfolio of previous work.

 

How to Hire the Best Commercial Painter

Are you a facilities manager or property owner? Do you need to hire a painter to freshen up the look of your buildings? If you’ve never had your building painted professionally, or if you have and weren’t satisfied with the results, how do you choose a professional commercial painter? This article provides tips for hiring a commercial painter who will provide quality results and great service

Commercial Painting Experience

First of all, don’t hire an amateur. You may be tempted to save some money by hiring some college kids or a handyman to paint your facility. What you’ll likely get is a shoddy end result because they aren’t knowledgeable about the specific requirements and processes required for commercial painting

Reputation

Regardless of the amount of experience a commercial painter has, you need to know that he’s going to do a good job. How can you tell if he hasn’t worked for you yet?

Communication

When you contact a company, whether it’s by phone, email, online or another method, you should expect a quick response. Granted, a business line may not be answered 24/7, but you should receive a response within no more than 24 hours.

Free Estimates

A commercial paint contractor should be willing and able to provide an accurate and free estimate on your project. They will make an appointment to visit your location and assess the site. They’ll solicit specifications from you, answer questions, and provide recommendations. They will then document the details of the project and present it to you for review and approval.

A Review Of Prominent Circuit Breaker Manufacturers

How to Choose a Circuit Breaker

There are a few different criteria to consider when selecting a circuit breaker including voltage, frequency, interrupting capacity, continuous current rating, unusual operating conditions and product testing. This article will give a step by step overview on selecting an appropriate circuit breaker for your specific application.

Voltage Rating

Circuit Breakers Available in Different Sizes & ConfigurationsThe overall voltage rating is calculated by the highest voltage that can be applied across all end ports, the distribution type and how the circuit breaker is directly integrated into the system. It is important to select a circuit breaker with enough voltage capacity to meet the end application

Frequency

Circuit breakers up to 600 amps can be applied to frequencies of 50-120 Hz. Higher than 120 Hz frequencies will end up with the breaker having to derate. During higher frequency projects, the eddy currents and iron losses causes greater heating within the thermal trip components thus requiring the breaker to be derated or specifically calibrated. The total quantity of deration depends on the ampere rating, frame size as well as the current frequency. A general rule of thumb is the higher the ampere rating in a specific frame size the greater the derating needed

Maximum Interrupting Capacity

The interrupting rating is generally accepted as the highest amount of fault current the breaker Control Panel Circuit Breakerscan interrupt without causing system failure to itself. Determining the maximum amount of fault current supplied by a system can be calculated at any given time. The one infallible rule that must be followed when applying the correct circuit breaker is that the interrupting capacity of the breaker must be equal or greater than the amount of fault current that can be delivered at the point in the system where the breaker is applied. Failure to apply the correct amount of interrupting capacity will result in damage to the breaker.

Continuous Current Rating

In regards to continuous current rating, molded case circuit breakers are rated in amperes at a specific ambient temperature. This ampere rating is the continuous current the breaker will carry in the ambient temperature where it was calibrated. A general rule of thumb for circuit breaker manufactures is to calibrate their standard breakers at 104° F

 

How to Choose the Right Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers are a very important part of electrical safety. They control the amount of electricity that flows through a building’s electrical wiring system. If your home suffers an electric overload or a short circuit, a properly functioning circuit breaker will detect the issue and cut off the electrical supply. This will protect your wiring and appliances until you take care of the problem and restart the electricity. However, in order for a circuit breaker to do its job properly, you have to match the right circuit breaker with your exact needs. Read the following simple explanations and you’ll be ready to choose the appropriate circuit breaker for your home.

Low-voltage thermal magnetic circuit breakers are best suited for most single-family homes. They allow for electrical currents that measure only up to 1000 amps

Medium voltage circuit breakers are used in larger buildings, such as apartment complexes and businesses, that use up to 72,000 volts on a regular basis

High-voltage circuit breakers are used alongside power lines and in other places that use more than 72,000 volts regularly.

Figure Out the Breaker Size You Need

In order to choose the best-size circuit breaker for your particular household needs, check the wire size printed on the cable that is to be connected to the circuit breaker. You will see 2 measurements listed: The first will tell you the wire gauge, followed by a dash and a second number which indicates how many wires are inside the cable. Once you have established the wire gauge

 

How to Test a Circuit Breaker

Circuit Breaker Tester: Clamping Ammeter

Circuit breakers that trip every time they’re reset may be overloaded. In order to diagnose a circuit breaker overload you can test the circuit breaker by using a clamping ammeter. This circuit breaker tester is used to check overloads and shorts that are in progress and determine whether the electric current is running through the circuit. The clamping ammeter should be clamped to a single wire not the cable in order to accurately test the circuit breaker.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Electromagnetic Circuit Finder (Current Tracer)

Circuit breakers may trip and disconnect all electricity, but sometimes that is not the case. An electromagnetic circuit finder will test to see if the circuit breaker has a live connection. It will determine which individual breaker controls a live circuit.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Electrostatic Wand

Circuit breaker testing can be helpful if you are trying to determine the flow of electricity in the circuit breaker panel. A circuit breaker Need link should be tested even if you have turned it off; it is important to make sure the wires are dead and there is no current flowing in them

Circuit Breaker Tester: Multimeter

The multimeter circuit breaker tester combines the characteristics of a voltmeter and the ohmmeter in one. This multipurpose circuit breaker testing device has multiple functions. Like the voltmeter it measures the level of voltage in the circuit and also measures the continuity and resistance level (ohmmeter). Obtaining information about both electrical readings can help pinpoint circuit breaker problems quickly and accurately so that repairs can be made.

Circuit Breaker Tester: Voltmeter

Circuit breaker testing can get complicated when using small inexpensive testers. A voltmeter is a popular circuit breaker testing tool used by homeowners. This circuit breaker tester measures the voltage running through the electrical circuit. The voltmeter is used by touching one prong to each of the parts of a circuit between which you need to measure voltage. For example, you would touch one prong to the neutral wire and the other to the hot wire to measure the voltage in a circuit

 

How Circuit Breakers Work

The circuit breaker is an absolutely essential device in the modern world, and one of the most important safety mechanisms in your home. Whenever electrical wiring in a building has too much current flowing through it, these simple machines cut the power until somebody can fix the problem. Without circuit breakers (or the alternative, fuses), household electricity would be impractical because of the potential for fires and other mayhem resulting from simple wiring problems and equipment failures.

In this article, we’ll find out how circuit breakers and fuses monitor electrical current and how they cut off the power when current levels get too high. As we’ll see, the circuit breaker is an incredibly simple solution to a potentially deadly problem.

Voltage is the “pressure” that makes an electric charge move. Current is the charge’s “flow” — the rate at which the charge moves through the conductor, measured at any particular point. The conductor offers a certain amount of resistance to this flow, which varies depending on the conductor’s composition and size.

Voltage, current and resistance are all interrelated — you can’t change one without changing another. Current is equal to voltage divided by resistance (commonly written as I = v / r). This makes intuitive sense: If you increase the pressure working on electric charge or decrease the resistance, more charge will flow. If you decrease pressure or increase resistance, less charge will flow. To learn more, check out How Electricity Works.

 

How Circuit Breakers Work

The problem

It’s a dark and stormy night. You flick on the hall light, plug in the coffee maker and crank up the portable electric heater. You’re starting to feel comfy, when you hear a faint, yet ominous, click—and everything goes black. It’s not a cat burglar or a poltergeist playing tricks with your electrical system. It’s an overloaded circuit being protected by a tripped electrical circuit breaker. Kinda spooky and mysterious, eh? Not if you know a few simple things.

Figure A: A Properly Functioning 15-AMP Circuit

This circuit has wires and an electrical circuit breaker that can easily carry the amperage required by the devices

on it.

What’s a circuit?

When electricity enters your home, it goes to a circuit breaker box (or fuse box in older homes), where it’s divided into a number of circuits. Each circuit is protected by a breaker or fuse. Bedrooms, living rooms and family rooms where only lights, alarm clocks and other small electrical items are usually used are normally on 15-amp circuits. Kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and dining rooms—places where you’re more likely to use toasters, irons, hair dryers and other big-watt items—are usually served by heavier-duty, 20-amp circuits. Major appliances like 5,000-watt electric water heaters and 10,000-watt electric ranges demand so much electricity that they take their own 30- to 50-amp dedicated circuit (See Fig. D in “Additional Information” below), protected by big, “double pole” circuit breaker sizes.

What’s a circuit overload?

The circuit breaker, the wire and even the wire insulation are all designed to work as a system—and that system has limits. Try to push more current through a circuit than it’s designed for and things start happening (Fig. B). Wires heat up under the burden of carrying the excess current. When this happens, the insulation around the wire can degrade or even melt. When insulation melts, current is no longer confined within the wire. That’s when fires start. Luckily, the circuit breaker senses the excess current and “trips” to stop the flow of power before damage occurs

Figure B: An Overloaded Circuit

This circuit has too many energy-demanding devices on it and is trying to carry more amperage than it’s designed for. Things begin to heat up. Luckily the circuit breaker senses this, trips and “breaks” the circuit.

A Brief Brush Up On What You Need To Know About Termites

My Pest Control Quick Tips

All About Termites: Species & Best Protection

Imagine this scenario: you suspect your home has termites, did a research and symptoms seem like termite infestation. You then made an enquiry and a termite treatment is suggested that costs heavy. After spending a few days with the arrangement and treatment, the biggest nightmare falls on you – it doesn’t seem to work!

termite damage wood frames

I notice damages on my door frames, kitchen cabinets and bedroom wardrobe — first reaction to fixtures spoilage would either go to the renovation/interior design firm or furniture retail for damaged and faulty doors and cabinets. Before you make the complaint, pause and check if it’s a result of drywood termite infestation. Drywood Termites produce moisture as they feed into your fixtures and causes deform and warping effect. This also explains why sometimes you find it difficult to open and close your door!

termite mud tubes

I see lines or tubes grown on the wall — an Ugly muddy line, which is actually mud tubes are formed on your wall or corner of skirting. It looks unsightly, and you tried scrapping them off, but only to see other parts of your wall started to have presence of these tubes as well. These are Subterranean Termites foraging tubes that are made out of wood and soil for traveling and food sourcing purposes. Taking the fast easy way out to remove these tubes visibly could potentially mean more damaging outcome in time to come.

termite damages wall paint

My wall paint seems to be peeling off with bubbling blobs — Was it the water spillage or leaking pipes that causes paint peel on your flooring or structural surfaces? What if there are no signs or water leaks? Was it a poor paint job? Subterranean Termites are capable of producing moisture as they infest on wood, and as this moisture reaches the wood surface, it causes the pain to bubble and peel. Wood consumption also thins the paint coating, and causing the peeling and damaging effect

termite swarm

There are “flying” insects or ants around my window sills and edges — Are they flies or broken wings? Confused if those are ants, flies or other flying insects? The answer is they could be swarms of Subterranean Termites that lands on your window sills as their wings start to shed. This could also mean a possibility of a termite activity. By removing these wings and swarms, does not necessarily eradicating the problem, instead contact a pest control specialist to perform proper inspection and treatment

 

Tips To Choose Right Termite Control Services

The expected reaction from the side of home owners when they notice termite infestation in their home is contacting a professional termite control company for assistance. The DIY pest control is not preferred in such a case as the selection of the right treatment is done on the basis of the infestation. Another reason for which you should avoid DIY techniques for termite control is that the professional companies dealing in the pest control Brisbane have the necessary tools and experience to deal with the pests, which, most probably, you may not be having.

However, when you search on the internet or explore your local market, what you find is that there are plenty of pest control companies that claim themselves to be the best in the area. You are likely to get confused that which company you should rush to. Well, here we are going to mention some tips to help you out in the selection of a right company for Brisbane termite services.

Make sure the company meets the licensing requirements

As there are so many pest control service providers in Brisbane and the surrounding areas, great chances are there that many of them have started their services on the basis of their knowledge only. So, what you need to make sure is that the company is having a license for delivering the services. Also, look for the experience they are having in the field.

Be sure that they offer an inspection

No doubt that after listening to your issue, they would tell you the treatment options but always remember the surety about the fact that which treatment would be the best needs a thorough inspection of the property. It’s OK if your service provider recommends you different options, but before choosing the one, they should be ready to inspect the property.

Inspect what services they offer

When it comes to the pest control, some agencies offer the services for all types of pest, while some specialize in the eradication of one type of pest only. It can be the termites, insects, rats and more they would be offering the services for. Thus, you must know that what services they offer and whether their services list includes the one you are looking for or not.

 

How To Choose a Professional Termite Company

What should I look for when choosing a professional termite pest control company?

Every professional pest control company should offer a guarantee of effective services. Before signing with a company, make sure you understand the terms and conditions and how long the guarantee is good for.

Ask around for recommendations. A good reputation is an indicator of good and dependable service.

When you have a company in mind, check with your local Department of Agriculture or Better Business Bureau to find out if they have had any substantial complaints filed against them.

Don’t underestimate the power of credentials. The company you select should be a member of your state pest control association and the NPCA (National Pest Control Association). This is good indication that the company has access to the latest pest control technologies and education.

Don’t go with the first company recommended. Obtain proposals from a minimum of 3 reputable termite control companies. A proposal is very important and should document the company’s plan for chemical treatment procedures, bait station placements, repair or wood work, copies of insecticide labels, and warranties.

Find out about liability insurance.

Thoroughly compare bids before making a decision.

Make sure that follow-up inspections are included in the contract. The extermination contract should also include annual or semi-annual follow-up inspections to make sure the home is protected on an ongoing basis

What should I know about annual termite pest control contracts?

It is a common misconception that an “annul contract” implies re-treatment by the pest control company on an annual basis. This is not how an annual contract works. Annual treatments are actually illegal under state and federal law, unless evidence of termite activity is present.

If an annual contract is written up, then the pest control company is liable for termite treatment only if you or the company can detect evidence of termite activity.

Termite treatments carry an automatic one-year guarantee in most cases, as do some homes. After one year, the contract may be renewed if deemed necessary.

On average, it costs between $75 and $200 to renew your annual contract. The exact price will depend on the size and construction of the structure.

Do I need the annual contract?

The answer to this question is a matter of preference. Some things to consider:

If you have plans to sell your house in the near future, an annual contract is a good idea. This ensures that if termites are discovered at the time of inspection, the pest control company, NOT YOU will be responsible for termite treatment.

If you plan to sell your home, find out whether the pest control company allows for the transfer of the contract to a new homeowner, or if it automatically terminates.

If you do not plan on selling anytime soon and you feel comfortable with doing home inspections yourself, you don’t need an annual contract. The day that you find evidence of termite activity, however, you will need to decide if you can handle your own termite treatments or choose a professional company at that time.

Termites are always present in nature, but that does not mean they are always attacking our homes. However, it does mean there is a chance they will attack and that every home is at risk. Bait Stations can be a great tool for self-monitoring, to lend peace of mind.

Keep in mind that performing your own soil treatment with termiticides is not a guarantee that termites will never penetrate that barrier and invade your home.

 

Dealing with termites

Bug busters

Termites are a destructive pest. It’s important to have regular and thorough inspections of your home to detect the early signs of termite activity and infestation. However, finding a reliable and experienced pest manager can be hard to come by, and promising credentials don’t always guarantee they are reliable. Here we’ll tell you what to ask and what to look for when it comes to termite management.

There are around 300 species of termite in Australia, but only a handful cause problems. Subterranean termites (also called white ants) cause most of the damage around the country. They feed off cellulose-containing materials like timber.

Termites can cause major structural and economic damage to homes and commercial buildings by eating the inside of the structure and leaving only a thin shell for protection from the outside environment.

How to recognise termites

Temperature and rainfall seem to have the largest impact on termite activity, followed by the house’s age. If you stumble across a termite nest on your property, don’t disturb it until you’ve determined an appropriate termite management plan with a qualified pest manager. Once disturbed, termites might abandon the area, move elsewhere and remain undetected.

The different approaches to termite management

The Building Code of Australia requires that all new homes and extensions have a termite management system in place in all areas (except Tasmania, where the termite risk is negligible). Homes built after July 1995 must have a ‘durable notice’ of treatment fixed to a prominent position in the building (near the meter box or the entrance to a crawl space),

 

TIPS FOR REALTORS TO RECEIVE THE BEST TERMITE INSPECTION

Over the past few years, real estate trends in Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa have shown a steady rise in the average sale prices according to online real estate authority, Trulia. This bodes well for sellers and realtors alike but before you make a listing official, there are some things to consider regarding termite inspections and reports. When should I get the termite inspection? Who is the most qualified to complete the termite report? What if the house needs termite treatment? How much is it going to cost? These are all questions we help answer below to ensure you find a pest control company that you can easily work with for all your termite needs.

FINDING A RELIABLE TERMITE CONTROL COMPANY

If you are a realtor or you’re thinking of selling your home, it is considered a best practice to disclose any termite issues or treatments that have occurred in the home. If you have never had to deal with termite infestation before consider yourself fortunate! However, just because you don’t see outward signs of termite infestation, does not mean they are not present. Lending institutions and buyers usually require a termite inspection and report to be filed before completing the escrow process. Therefore, it’s important that you find a pest control company that you trust to efficiently complete a termite inspection and submit the W.D.I.I.R. (Wood Destroying Insect Inspection Report). Learn more about the termite report and inspections in Arizona. To find a termite control company, you can easily search the website of the Better Business Bureau for the category of ‘termite control’ and it will provide a list of businesses with the number of years they have been part of the BBB, their rating and any complaints filed against them. When calling pest control companies, always be sure to ask if they offer a full guarantee on their services, a warranty on their termite treatments and if their termite inspectors or technicians are licensed.

WHEN TO GET A TERMITE INSPECTION & UNDERSTANDING THE REPORT

As mentioned above, a termite report is usually required by most lending institutions before they will complete escrow and if a buyer is paying cash, then it is still very likely that they are going to want to know the termite history of the house or any possible concerns that a termite inspector lists. Many realtors suggest that sellers get the termite inspection and report before officially putting the house on the market. That way the seller knows if they are in the clear or if they need to budget for any termite treatment or repairs. Plus, the realtor will need to negotiate in the purchase contract what the seller is responsible for.  Because the report is only as good as where the termite inspector can look and gain access (attics and crawl spaces should be viewed when accessible) there is no guarantee that termites are not present or that they won’t be in the future. Depending on findings in the termite report, there are items termed ‘Section 1’ issues or ‘Section 2’ issues. Section 1 refers to any infestation or damage in the wood while Section 2 lists any potential problem areas that could be preventatively treated to avoid termite infestation.

NEGOTIATING TERMITE TREATMENT & COSTS BETWEEN SELLER/BUYER

Different areas throughout the country may have different practices when it comes to who is responsible for paying for the termite report and any issues that are listed. There are no laws specifying which party is responsible so that is where the realtor’s expertise comes in handy. Generally in Arizona, the seller pays for the termite inspection and report plus any Section 1 issues. This means that if there is a termite infestation the seller will pay for termite treatment plus any damage, which could be fairly pricey (in the $2,000 range for treatment or much more for repairs). That leaves the buyer to pay for any preventative measures from the Section 2 findings in the termite report. This could mean localized treatment to areas of concern such as anywhere that wood touches the earth or any place that excess moisture is present making it easier for termites to invade.

As realtors, sellers or home buyers it is important to be open and honest when it comes to termite issues and treatments. Unfortunately many homes have termite issues but that means you are not alone and you shouldn’t be surprised if the house you are buying or selling needs termite treatment or repairs. Luckily, we are always here to lend a hand so don’t hesitate to call for any termite inspection or treatment needs!

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