Many Different Hardwood Flooring Uses For Your Home

Reasons to Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Are you planning to replace the flooring in your home. It’s important to select the right material. There are many types to consider and choose from. An increasingly popular selection is engineered hardwood flooring. Many homeowners shy away from a hardwood flooring installation due to potential damage and maintenance requirements. While this option isn’t for everyone, there are several beneficial features you should be aware of before making your final decision. Consider the following:

Moisture Resistance

One of the most significant differences between engineered hardwood flooring and solid hardwood flooring is moisture resistance. Engineered products are constructed using genuine wood, but it is made in layers that protect it from moisture damage.


Engineered hardwood flooring is known for its stability, which is particularly important for high-traffic areas of your home. The multiple layers of wood make this material very stable. Ask your flooring contractor which option is best suited for your specific needs.

Low Maintenance

Because engineered hardwood flooring is more resistant to moisture, it’s less likely to swell or warp over time. This makes maintaining your floors easier and limits the number of repairs you’ll need.


Resistant to expansion and contraction

One of the most significant benefits of engineered wood flooring over solid wood is that it doesn’t contract or expand. This means it is safe to lay engineered woods in environments that may not be very conducive for solid wood. For example, unlike solid wood, engineered wood flooring is not affected by bathroom and kitchen environments where temperature and moisture levels vary by a large extent.

Highly durable

Whether your home’s flooring will be subjected to heavy footfall or you are simply looking for a flooring option that last for years to come, engineered wood flooring makes an ideal choice. This is because engineered wood flooring consists of three layers composed of real hardwood, stabilizing core and balancing layer, all when placed together providing stability to every plank.

Spectrum of choices

Engineered wood flooring are available in a virtually endless variety of grains, species, and finish options. So, whether you are looking for a simple flooring design or something more enigmatic such as Herringbone patterns, engineered wooden flooring options from leading manufacturers such as Mikasa have got you covered.

Available in wider sizes

Unlike solid wood flooring that requires large trees for extracting wide boards, it is easy to manufacture wide engineered flooring boards. That’s because the core boards being made of plywood can easily be joined together to form wider boards. In fact, engineered wood flooring can be found in far wider board options than real wood flooring.

Easy on the pocket

The last and probably the most important advantage of engineered floors over solid flooring is that they don’t cost a fortune. Engineered wood floors are usually available at much lower prices than real wood flooring. So, no matter what your budget is, you can get a top quality engineered wood floor with excellent finishing, without burning a hole in your pocket.


Are Your Wood Floors Dull as Dirt?

Sure, it’s a no-brainer that dirt and dust make floors look dingy. But you may be surprised to learn that when tracked, both leave behind superficial scratches that dull the surface. Fortunately, restoring dirty floors that lost their sheen can be relatively straightforward.

Deep Cleaning is as Easy as One-Two-Three

A good deep cleaning may restore your tired floor’s former luster. Here’s what to do:

  • Begin by thoroughly sweeping floors with a soft bristle broom like this one. So that you know, stiff bristles can scratch the wood’s surface.
  • Next, use a vacuum to remove hard to reach dirt in room corners and between floorboards.
  • Afterward, mop using a micro cloth and concentrated cleaner specially made for hardwood floors. Keep in mind steam, water, vinegar and cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Soap that produces suds should never be used to clean wood floors.

Hardwood floors in high-traffic areas in your home may require a deep cleaning by a flooring professional. Experts like these typically use a scrubbing machine designed to remove embedded dirt.

After deep cleaning your floors, here’s what you need to do to keep them in tip-top shape:

  • Surface clean three times per week using a vacuum or micro cloth.
  • Deep clean once per month using a concentrated wood floor cleaner.
  • Professionally deep clean once per year.


Clean Up the Sawdust

  • Clean windowsills, moldings and any other surface where dust might gather.
  • Vacuum the floor thoroughly.
  • Wipe the floor with mineral spirits to remove all the sanding dust.

Pro tip: Apply mineral spirits with a lint-free cloth, and wear an organic vapor respirator to protect against fumes.


When Refinishing is the Best Option

Unfortunately, some hardwood floors are beyond quick fixes. Dry, grimy floors with deep scratches and wide gaps like this one need refinishing.

Getting the job done is a lengthy and labor-intensive process. Planning to DIY? You should know each step: sanding, patching, staining, and top coating will take a weekend or more to complete if you’re refinishing less than 500 square feet.

If you want your floors professional refinished, you can find local contractors using several online services like Yelp or Angie’s List. Average cost depends on your area, but you can expect to pay at least $3 or $4 per square foot.

You’ll want to get bids from three or more companies, which will involve a visit to your home to inspect the floors at no charge. Before deciding which contractors to reach out to, do the following:

  • Read all of their online reviews carefully. Got questions? Message the person who left the review for additional information. Concerned about fake reviews? Authentic ones usually provide details about the user’s experience.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. But if you spot one, don’t assume the worst until you read how the consumer’s claim was resolved. Even contractors make mistakes from time to time. But a well-intentioned one will settle customer problems in a professional manner where all parties are satisfied.
  • Confirm that the contractor is bonded, licensed and insured to work in your area. To do ask for each number and certification, then confirm if all are up to date.

Camera Operator Ways To Shoot Video Like A Pro

Videography Guide:  Tips How To Shoot Like A Pro

Nothing brings out the camcorders like the holidays, which is why this is the perfect time to admit an ugly truth: You suck at making home movies.

No, really. I’m sure you’re a nice person and all, but there’s more to videography than just taking the camcorder out of the box and pressing Record.

As with photography, good videography requires a bit of know-how. Luckily, I know how, so here’s my list of ways you can improve your home movies. You won’t come out Soderbergh on the other side, nor even Singer, but your Uncle-Henry-dropped-the-turkey-on-Aunt-Edna’s-head submission to America’s Funniest Home Videos will look a lot better.

Be prepared

Anytime you go somewhere with your camcorder, here’s what you should be packing:

  • At least one spare battery, fully charged.
  • At least two more blank tapes than you think you’ll need.
  • A lens-cleaning cloth. No matter how careful you are, the lens is going to get smudged. There’s no post-production software filter in the world that can correct for that.
  • A tripod. Throw it in the trunk, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
  • The battery charger/power supply.
  • An extension cord for the power supply, which you’ll invariably need.
  • Duct tape, for taping down the extension cord so people don’t trip over it.
  • Lighting gear, lens filters, microphones, and any other accessories you own. You bought them for a reason, right? Bring ’em!

Use a tripod

It’s a lot harder than it looks to pull off that cool shaky-camera look. Most home video just ends up looking shaky, which is absolutely no fun to watch. By mounting your camcorder on a $20 tripod, you’ll get rock-steady footage. At the same time, you’ll free yourself to perform pans and zooms, or even to get in front of the lens. If you’re planning to rely on your camera’s digital image-stabilization feature, don’t. All that does is lower the video resolution by cropping to the center of the frame. Optical image stabilization is better, but it still can’t beat a tripod.

No tripod? Lean against a wall. That’ll help keep the shakiness to a minimum. No wall? Put your butt on the ground, bend your knees, and prop your elbows on them. Presto: instant tripod.

Raise the lights

To paraphrase the old real estate maxim, good videography is all about lighting, lighting, lighting. Most of the camcorders I’ve reviewed over the years do a really crummy job under poor lighting, producing grainy, washed-out video that can’t be improved in post-production. (Hey, there’s only so much your video-editing software can do.) The easiest way to overcome lighting issues is to shoot outdoors, where even a cloudy day produces enough ambient light to keep your video crisp and colorful. If it’s sunny, try to shoot in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. When it’s directly overhead, it casts unflattering shadows on subjects’ faces.

When shooting outdoors isn’t an option, bring as much light into the room as you can. Turn on lamps and open blinds to let outside light in. If your camcorder has a built-in light, use it. At the very least, it will help bring out faces in close-up shots. A shoe-mounted external light can be helpful as well. Many camcorders allow you to adjust aperture, white balance, shutter speed, and other light-oriented settings, but these will get you only so far unless it’s a really high-end model. My advice for when the lights are low is to disable the autofocus, otherwise you risk getting that annoying pulsing effect from the lens trying to lock onto a subject.


Natural lighting is your friend

As mentioned, natural lighting is your friend – whether you’re indoors facing big windows or outdoors under soft, even light e.g. dusk, dawn or when it’s cloudy. Do avoid ‘spotlighting’ with overhead lights or direct sunlight, as this may cast unflattering shadows (you can fill them in with a well-placed LED). One way to test your lighting source is to do what we jokingly call the ‘spinny-thingy test’: grab your camera and place your hand / your talent before it, then spin in a circle around your subject to gauge where light looks best. Just don’t forget to check your white balance, which adjusts the ‘colour’ of the light; essentially, colours seen through the camera should match the human eye.

Frame a winning shot

Shot composition and positioning your talent

First up, think about your shot – your backdrop should be attractive and interesting, but not too busy. Next, position your talent within your shot and adjust your tripod so you’re filming at their eye level. Frame your shot from just above the waist, leaving enough headroom so your subject doesn’t look insignificant or imposing. For a piece to camera, your talent should be in the middle of frame with their shoulders front-on. For an interview, you’ll want them to look ‘off camera’, so position your talent using the ‘rule of thirds’ (just like on your iPhone!) in the left or right third of the frame, and have them turn towards the interviewer – off-screen, to one side of the camera.

Styling and tidying

While your focus will be on your talent, the backdrop sets the scene, even if the ‘depth of field’ is blurry – so keeping things clean and clear with minimal distractions is key. If your background is indoors, elements like greenery can add a zen vibe. A tip: take a photo of your shot then view it on a bigger screen, so you can spot any clutter or rubbish like water bottles, untidy desks, photobombing colleagues etc.


The Audio Matters as Much as the Video

A good video with poor audio quality is junk unless you plan to add a completely new audio track “in post” (while editing your video). While you want your video to look good, the quality of your audio is more important than the video – so it should matter as much, if not more. Unfortunately, the built-in microphone in most smartphones (if not all of them) is both low quality and improperly placed. It is very common to catch wind and unnecessary environmental noise that will compete with or drown out any important audio while shooting video outside. This is almost impossible to edit out later. It is advisable to shoot your video in a quiet place, preferably indoors when possible with less ambient noise. Professionals are shooting all sorts of commercial grade videos and feature films using their mobile phones, but audio is almost ALWAYS captured with a separate recording device suitable for the job. So, for exceptional quality videos with superb audio, you should get an external recording device or at least a directional microphone that will work with your smartphone. If using an external microphone isn’t possible or practical then stay as close to the audio source as possible and try this little trick: use your hand to cover around the phone’s microphone (but don’t completely cover it). This way, unwanted noise can be reduced, which might give your final product a chance.


Five Key Resume Tips For Landing A Camera Operator Job:

Relevant Experience

Make sure that the jobs, experience, and accolades that you do include are relevant to the position you’re applying for.

The Right Skills

This is a great time to run wild with those keywords found in the job description. If they’re looking for someone with Video Production, be sure to list it as a skill.

Quantifiable Achievements

Achievements and awards relevant to the position speak louder than a high GPA, especially if you can quantify your achievement with a number.

Your Unique Qualities

Recruiters and hiring managers are looking at hundreds of resumes. Let yours stand out, and try not to sound too boring.

Strong Content

If you’ve had a lot of jobs, this shouldn’t necessarily be a list of all of them. This is a document designed to market you to a potential employer, so choose the strongest content.


Market Yourself As A Underwater Camera Operator

I get it, you do a lot of different things and you want to advertise all of them. But sometimes that can work against you. People who market themselves under multiple titles may seem spread thin and all over the place. If you’re torn because you do standard camera operating out of water as well or you’re also an editor, it’s time to make a decision and stick with one title. This doesn’t mean you can’t advertise for that other job skill, but keep them separated and never use them together.

Another good way to get some gigs rolling in — invest in your career and shoot a highlight reel that presents your skill level and ability. This is always a proven way to get the ball rolling. You’re only as good as your last gig, so if you have a resume with zero underwater footage, you need to present your abilities on your own dime. Put together a small shoot highlighting your craft.

Everyone in the industry signs up for job posting sites. It doesn’t matter if you work in ‘Hollywood’ — you’re going to see plenty of people scrambling to get as many gigs as possible. This is a completely honorable way to acquire some work, but I wouldn’t use it as a number one funnel.

Even if it doesn’t garner much work annually, it’s just good practice to advertise through local production associations. Not every state has one, but for those that do, you’re likely to locate all the top local professionals there. And if you want to cover all bases, this is one of them.

Reasons Why Hiring A Commercial Electrical Maintenance Contractor Saves Time And Money

How to become an electrician: a brief overview of training options

The electrical industry is vast and there is an ever increasing demand for experts in various different areas. Anyone can see the impact that electricity has on our lives; it’s everywhere. One of the many reasons people are drawn to work in the electrical industry is because it offers such a diverse field to work in, and there is always something that is of interest to someone.

What kind of work is available?

As well as domestic there is also commercial and industrial work. Electricians can be trained to work on high voltage transmission and distribution lines, substation installations, panel building, generators and many other specialist areas. Anything you can think of that involves electricity in some way almost certainly has an electrician that specialises in that area

If physical work doesn’t sound like your ideal career, an office job may be more appealing: you can become an electrical supervisor, authorising engineer, electrical design engineer, manage your own electrical company or, once you have gained experience, you can move into consultancy, teaching, or standards development. This is only a handful of the different career paths you can pursue.

Education and the electrical industry

It is essential that anyone working in the electrical industry is adequately trained to do so. Unlike a lot of careers, learning on the job just isn’t enough. Electricity is a science, so when you’re studying to become an electrician you’re studying a science. To be a good electrician you need to have a fundamental understanding of this science. Education will enable you to learn from other people’s mistakes, have expert guidance from experienced lecturers and access the resources provided from awarding bodies. A successful assessment at the end of a qualification is just the beginning.

What are the options available for people who want to pursue a career in the electrical industry?

Minimum requirements

The minimum requirements for people intending to enrol on any electrical qualification are generally basic maths, English and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at GCSE grade C or equivalent. Many colleges and learning providers give students the opportunity to gain these qualifications while simultaneously studying an electrotechnical qualification.


Students generally start an apprenticeship at around the age of 16. The level 3 qualification usually runs for around three to four years, possibly extending to five. Any electrical company can employ an apprentice whether it is small or large. Apprentices will gain valuable on-site experience as well as learning the essential science and fundamental principles of electricity while on day release at a college or learning provider. Some larger companies provide in-house training that, in most cases, award nationally-recognised qualifications.

Colour deficiency

When applying for an apprenticeship, students are normally expected to pass a colour deficiency test before being accepted. Students who sign up for full-time courses may not necessarily be asked to take the test and may face some difficulty when attempting to transfer their full-time course to an apprenticeship.


Electrical Services

The Electrical Services sector includes the installation, servicing, repair and maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment for industrial, commercial and domestic purposes. Electrical Services workers are employed across a wide variety of industries including Construction, Mining and Civil Infrastructure, ICT and Communication, and Utilities.

Vocational education and training (VET) is required for Electrical Services related occupations such as:


Electronics Trades Workers

Telecommunications Trades Workers

The employment level for the occupation of Electricians increased overall between 2000 and 2018 before declining to around 140,000 in 2019, levels are however projected to increase slightly again between 2019 and 2024. According to the 2016 census, over half of Electricians are employed in the Construction Services industry with the rest being distributed throughout a range of other industries.

For the occupations of Electronics Trades Workers and Telecommunications Trades Workers employment levels have remained relatively stable since 2000, with small variations recorded over time. Employment levels for Electronics Trades Workers are projected to decline over the next five years, while slight increases are expected for Telecommunications Trades Workers.



Commercial Electrical Services

Electrical we take pride in our electricians, who embody the standards we have set for:





electricians possess these qualities and skills, and strive to bring exceptional value to our customers Every Day, on Every Project.  We offer a full range of commercial electrical services and can meet the demands of your project, building or development.

Main Electrical Panel

Sub Panels


Circuits and Wiring

Lighting: Security, Recess, Custom, Track, Accent, Outdoor & Landscape

Exhaust Fan Installation

Switch gear

Transfer Switches


Provides 24/7 services for emergency service calls

High-Tech Troubleshooting

Circuit Installation Upgrades

Wiring Upgrades

Service / Code Upgrades

Transformer Upgrades

Preventive Maintenance

Lamp and Ballast Changeouts

Electrical Safety Inspections


Lighting Retrofits

Occupancy Sensors

Lighting Control Panels

LED Lighting Conversions



From emergency problems needing an immediate fix to scheduling electrical testing and providing landlords with electrical safety certificates, we’re here to help. We can also put you in touch with an estimator to provide quotes for larger scale installation work and certified electricians to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Whether it’s fixing electrical faults and nuisance tripping, new socket or circuit installations, portable appliance testing (PAT), or rewiring a property, our electricians are here to help.

guarantee and accreditations

We’re fully trade accredited. registered with NICEIC as an Approved Contractor and Domestic Installer. We’re registered with TrustMark for our electrical work, and we’re members of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

electricians carry out hundreds of jobs for customers every month. Some of the most work types they do include:

New installations

Alterations & extensions to circuits

Electrical inspections and testing

Repairs e.g. sockets, switches, lighting

Portable appliance testing (PAT)

Pre-purchase visual inspections

Repairs to ventilation systems

Rewiring old or hazardous installations

Don’t delay if you have an electrical fault

Tripping fuses, faulty switches and broken sockets are all relatively common issues for people. These faults shouldn’t be left unrepaired and just left until the next time they happen. They all represent a potential risk of electric shock and should be made safe as soon as possible by a local electrician.

gradually rolling out a new regional support service. Eventually each region will be covered by a dedicated field based Service Support Manager. Find out more about the work they do by clicking on one of the regions we’re already providing this service in.


Electrical maintenance technology

This degree program provides an understanding of the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of various electrical systems in electrical and electronic equipment. Electrical maintenance concentrates on the industrial environment and prepares students to maintain and repair electrical/electronic equipment used in government, commercial and industrial facilities.

Graduates can look forward to jobs as electronic service technicians, electrical service technicians, field service technicians, electricians, electrical maintainers and electronic or electrical equipment installers.

The curriculum includes electrical and electronic analysis and fundamentals, digital electronics, electrical and electronic trouble-shooting, digital communications, transformers, National Electric Code, electrical machines, industrial controls, programmable controllers, hydraulics, pneumatics and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This knowledge is essential for graduates who are required to maintain and repair modern electrical/electronic equipment.

A graduate of this program will earn an associate of applied science degree in electrical maintenance technology.

High Quality New Electric Circuits Breakers Can Improve Home Safety

How to identify electrical faults

It’s annoying if an electrical socket or appliance doesn’t work. But with a bit of logical detective work, you should be able to find the cause of the problem – and, in many cases, correct the fault yourself. Before you begin any kind of electrical work, though, you’ll need to know how to isolate a circuit and double-check that it’s dead.

For your safety, electrical products must be installed in accordance with local Building Regulations. If in any doubt, or where required by the law, consult a competent person who is registered with an electrical self-certification scheme. Further information is available online or from your Local Authority.

Never take risks with electrical safety. Before you start any type of electrical work, you must follow these following safety precautions:

Switch off the main power at the consumer unit/fuse box. Isolate the circuit you plan to work on by removing the circuit fuse. Put this in your pocket to avoid accidental replacement

Or switch off the breaker and lock it if you can

Attach a note to the unit to advise you are working on the circuit

Check the circuit is dead with a socket tester or voltage tester/meter for lighting circuits

Follow these steps to find the cause of your electrical problem.

A plug-in appliance doesn’t work

  1. If a plug-in light doesn’t work, try changing the bulb. For any other kind of appliance, first try plugging it into another socket. If it works, the original socket could be faulty and need replacing. If it doesn’t, try again on a different power circuit (probably on another floor). If it works there, you might have a dead circuit.
  2. If the appliance doesn’t work in a socket you know is functioning, check the flex connections in the plug and replace the fuse – making sure it has the correct rating.
  3. Still not working? The appliance may have an internal fault which needs some professional attention.

A circuit is dead

  1. Turn off all the lights or unplug all the appliances on the affected circuit. Turn off the main isolating switch at the consumer unit, and repair the circuit fuse or reset the circuit breaker or RCD. Then turn the main switch back on.
  2. Switch on each light or plug in each appliance in turn to find out which item on the circuit is causing the fuse to blow or the circuit breaker to trip. When you find it, isolate the circuit again and check the fuse, the connections and the flex (see above).
  3. If the fuse blows or the circuit breaker trips again, the fault may lie in the fixed wiring. Call a qualified electrician.

A wall or ceiling light doesn’t work

  1. First, check if the other lights on the circuit are working. If not, follow the steps for a dead circuit below.
  2. If the other lights on the circuit are working, turn off the light at the switch and replace the bulb.
  3. If that doesn’t help, turn off the power and check the cable/flex connections at the light. If necessary, strip back the cores and remake the connections – making sure the terminal screws are tight. Still with the power off, check the condition of the flex with a continuity tester, and replace it if necessary.
  4. If that doesn’t work, turn off the power again, remove the switch cover and check the cable connections. If they’re loose, remake them. If they’re fine, try replacing the switch.
  5. Still not working? Call in a qualified electrician.

All circuits are dead

  1. If the circuits in your home are protected by an RCD (residual current device), check to see if it has tripped. If so, reset it. If it trips again, carry out the checks for faulty lights, appliances and a dead circuit. If the problem continues, call in a qualified electrician.
  2. Check with neighbours or your electricity supplier to find out if the power to the neighbourhood has been cut. If not – and you can’t find a problem with your domestic circuits – get in touch with your electricity supplier. They’ll be able to check the main supply cable and service fuse.


Everything You Need to Know About Electrical Codes to Safely Power Your Home

If you’re replacing an existing light fixture, switch, or power outlet, there’s usually no need to contact your local building department. But when you run new electrical cable for new service, you’ll want to be sure to work with a building inspector and comply with all local codes. This guideline applies to projects that involve wiring several circuits or adding an electrical receptacle

It’s important to diligently follow both national and local electrical codes to ensure all components are installed safely and function properly. These codes exist to protect you and your home, so you should consult them carefully before you begin a remodeling project or install new electrical equipment. Verifying that your electrical work is up to code can help reduce the risk of fire or electrical shock.

To help you make sense of the various electrical codes, we’ll walk you through some of the most common general requirements for home electrical systems, plus offer some general how-to tips for safe electrical work. This helpful information will give you a general idea of what electrical inspectors need to review before approving your work. Refer to this guide on electrical codes, including specific requirements for individual rooms, to make sure your electrical installation goes smoothly and safely.

National and Local Electrical Codes

Professional electricians often refer to the National Electrical Code (NEC), a massive volume that describes national codes for residential and commercial wiring. You don’t necessarily need to buy this book, but you might need to refer to a library copy or an online version from time to time

Local building departments often modify the NEC, and you must satisfy those local codes. It’s not unusual for adjacent towns to have very different codes. For instance, one area might allow plastic boxes while another requires metal boxes. Have a local inspector approve your wiring plans before you begin work.



Remodeling your kitchen will not only improve the look and function of your home, but you can also increase your home’s value by upgrading the electrical circuits. Older homes were not wired for all of today’s modern conveniences and technology. Many older kitchens have an electrical outlet here or there, and are missing GFCI outlets, which are to be used anywhere water is present in order to safeguard against electrical shock. If you are considering a kitchen remodel, or are already in the process of doing a remodel, include electrical wiring in your plans. You can bring your wiring up to code and make your time in the kitchen much more convenient


Depending on the total wattage of all the lights in the kitchen, a 15 amp, 120 volt circuit should power the ceiling light fixtures, recessed lights, and task lighting.


Refrigerators have come a long way since the old iceboxes. Aside from built-in ice and water dispensers, there are smart refrigerators that will snap photos of what’s inside and send them to your phone while you’re out shopping, as well as refrigerators that allow you to order groceries from a touch screen on the door. Needless to say, your refrigerator needs its own dedicated 20 amp, 120 volt circuit, even if it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles (and touch screens).

Oven Range

A dedicated circuit for your oven range is also essential in a kitchen. The cooking area requires a 50 amp, 240 volt circuit to supply power to the range and oven. A special range outlet is also required.


As microwaves have grown larger over the years, their wattage usage has increased as well. A microwave needs a dedicated 20 amp, 120 volt circuit wired with a ground. Often times, this circuit is shared with a gas stove outlet as long as they don’t overload the total safe amperage

Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal should have a separate 15 amp, 120 volt circuit. Depending on local electrical codes, a garbage disposal may be able to share a circuit with the dishwasher.


If you’ve decided to forgo washing dishes by hand, a dishwasher should have a 15 amp, 120 volt circuit. As mentioned above, it may be able to share the same circuit as the garbage disposal, depending on local codes.

Small Appliances

Small appliances, such as coffee pots, toasters, can openers, juicers, crock pots, and blenders, require at least two dedicated 20 amp, 120 volt circuits . The countertop outlets should not be placed further than four feet apart.


Atom Power Is Launching the Era of Digital Circuit Breakers

In the dark, dank depths of your home basement hangs a drab gray box that guards the building’s electrical circuits. The circuit breakers inside switch off current flow when there is risk of an overload or short circuit, keeping you safe from fires or electrocution. It’s a critical job, and one that breakers have been doing with a fairly simple, 140-year-old electromechanical technology.

But circuit breakers are about to get a digital overhaul. New semiconductor breakers that combine computing power and wireless connectivity could become the hub of smart, energy-efficient buildings of the future.

Digital circuit breakers have been a holy grail in power engineering circles. Atom Power has now become the first to earn certification from the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for its product, which combines breakers based on silicon carbide transistors with software. While UL approval isn’t legally required, it’s the industry safety standard for commercial use.

Breaker panels are the gateway to every electric circuit and appliance in a building. But those appliances themselves, and the way we use power and interact with the grid, are changing. “We don’t just turn stuff on and off anymore,” Today, meters, load controllers, surge-protection devices, power-transfer switches, and demand management systems are found in every building to manage energy use. These systems are added on top of circuit breakers.

Intelligent, connected circuit breakers could replace those systems. They would be a one-stop shop to monitor energy use, control heating and lighting, charge electric cars at off-peak times, and switch between solar panels and the grid. “The breaker can perform the functions that a dozen different pieces of equipment do today,”


Common Circuit Breaker Problems

Sometimes the reason for circuit breaker problems is miswiring of the electrical system. Miswiring or electrical wiring mistakes may cause an electrical device to not turn off properly and continue running even after the switch is shut off. Another consequence of miswiring can be electric shock. Typically the shock is not fatal but wiring inaccuracy can cause harm to individuals operating electrical appliances in the home. A problem of this magnitude will require rewiring the circuit or circuits that are affected and testing the entire electrical system to make sure it works properly. Miswiring can also cause appliances, switches and other electrical devices to not operate properly or to not work at all.

Circuit Breaker: Electrical Load

“Load” in electrical terms refers to the amount of electricity one circuit is designed to handle safely. Standard household circuit breakers can handle 15 to 20 amp circuits in each individual breaker this is equal to the amount needed to run most light fixtures and small appliances. Larger appliances such as stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, electric clothes dryers, etc. will require a higher-rated circuit breaker, probably one that has at least a 20 to 30 amp circuit rating.

The circuit breaker size is determined by the load of the actual electrical circuit. Each electrical circuit in the system will have an amp rating and the circuit breaker size corresponds to the amp rating of the electrical circuit. A certified electrician is trained to handle these types of specifics when it comes to circuit breaker installation and electrical wiring. Homeowners should not attempt to wire their own homes or install and wire new circuit breakers. When dealing with circuit breakers or any kind of electrical system it is imperative that you use common sense and don’t try to attempt anything you are not trained to do. Troubleshooting circuit breakers in your home should be done carefully in any situation.

How to Reset a Tripped Circuit Breaker

An overloaded circuit breaker will switch off in order to protect your home’s electrical system. A tripped circuit breaker can be easily reset by following a few simple steps.

Locate the breaker box which will likely be in your utility room near the water heater, furnace and air conditioner. Some are located in the garage.

Look inside the breaker box for a circuit breaker switch that has flipped off or is somewhere in the middle between on and off. Some breakers have a red window that shows when the breaker has tripped.

Push the switch to a full “off” position and then turn it completely on. You should hear a “click” of the switch when it is on and the power should be restored to the tripped circuit.

Once you have restored power to the specific circuit then you should be able to operate electrical devices without circuit breaker problems.

Tripped Circuit Breaker: Circuit Overload

The most common reason for a tripped circuit breaker is circuit overload. Typically this means that too many things are being operated or plugged into one electrical circuit outlet. If too many devices are powered in one location, the single circuit will be overloaded and will relieve the load by “tripping,”or switching off. Circuit breakers trip to protect circuits from becoming overloaded. The circuit breaker mechanism is designed to protect the electrical system in your home.

Benefits Of Outsourced Accountant Services

Explain The Purpose Of Financial Accounting

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Financial accounting is a specialized branch of accounting that keeps track of a company’s financial transactions. Using standardized guidelines, the transactions are recorded, summarized, and presented in a financial report or financial statement such as an income statement or a balance sheet.

Companies issue financial statements on a routine schedule. The statements are considered external because they are given to people outside of the company, with the primary recipients being owners/stockholders, as well as certain lenders. If a corporation’s stock is publicly traded, however, its financial statements (and other financial reportings) tend to be widely circulated, and information will likely reach secondary recipients such as competitors, customers, employees, labor organizations, and investment analysts.

It’s important to point out that the purpose of financial accounting is not to report the value of a company. Rather, its purpose is to provide enough information for others to assess the value of a company for themselves.

Because external financial statements are used by a variety of people in a variety of ways, financial accounting has common rules known as accounting standards and as generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In the U.S., the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is the organization that develops the accounting standards and principles. Corporations whose stock is publicly traded must also comply with the reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an agency of the U.S. government.


What Is the Purpose of Financial Accounting?

As one of the most stable markets in the current economy, the demand in financial accounting remains very strong. In fact, it is practically impossible to find a field that parallels the job security levels that are often witnessed in this market. And rightly so. After all, accounting as a profession ensures that a couple of different areas are properly administered including auditing, attestation engagements, and taxes. Well, since there will pretty much always be the need to pay taxes and verify companies’ financial statements, it comes as no surprise that the financial accounting profession continues to soar.

Providing the Necessary and Truthful Information to Investors

The reason why a lot of the major laws such as the Securities Act of 1933 are in existence is based on a reactive approach. In translation, the government reacted to major incidents in history and tried to prevent them from ever repeating again through legislative action. Well, when the Great Depression in the 1930s took place, the lack of proper financial reporting was deemed to be among the main reasons for the downturn in the economy. Due to that, every public corporation that is trading its stocks on one of the stock exchanges must comply with strict rules governing financial accountancy.

Therefore, according to Accounting Coach, financial accounting is responsible for the proper representation of the financial statements. In other words, it ensures that the amounts presented by entities are actually correct. Just consider, for example, if there was absolutely no financial reporting in the market. Odds are, every business would just state whatever they want without ever backing any of their claims up. Consequently, investing would be non-existent and most of the markets would collapse due to the corporate inability to raise funds.


The purpose of financial statements

The general purpose of the financial statements is to provide information about the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows of an organization. This information is used by the readers of financial statements to make decisions regarding the allocation of resources. At a more refined level, there is a different purpose associated with each of the financial statements. The income statement informs the reader about the ability of a business to generate a profit. In addition, it reveals the volume of sales, and the nature of the various types of expenses, depending upon how expense information is aggregated. When reviewed over multiple time periods, the income statement can also be used to analyze trends in the results of company operations.

The purpose of the balance sheet is to inform the reader about the current status of the business as of the date listed on the balance sheet. This information is used to estimate the liquidity, funding, and debt position of an entity, and is the basis for a number of liquidity ratios. Finally, the purpose of the statement of cash flows is to show the nature of cash receipts and cash disbursements, by a variety of categories. This information is of considerable use, since cash flows do not always match the sales and expenses shown in the income statement.

As a group, the entire set of financial statements can also be assigned several additional purposes, which are:

  • Credit decisions. Lenders use the entire set of information in the financials to determine whether they should extend credit to a business, or restrict the amount of credit already extended.
  • Investment decisions. Investors use the information to decide whether to invest, and the price per share at which they want to invest. An acquirer uses the information to develop a price at which to offer to buy a business.
  • Taxation decisions. Government entities may tax a business based on its assets or income, and can derive this information from the financials.
  • Union bargaining decisions. A union can base its bargaining positions on the perceived ability of a business to pay; this information can be gleaned from the financial statements.


Financial Reporting Standards

In the United States, financial reporting standards are set forth by the FASB and required under GAAP for publicly traded companies. The FASB is contracted out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to control the approved methods and applications of financial accounting. Following these reporting standards makes it easier for individuals to understand the financial statements of various companies, as they are presented in the same manner and therefore easier to follow.

Financial accounting is normally performed by those individuals who have studied the methods, concepts, history, and laws related to its practice. In the U.S., these individuals are referred to as certified public accountants (CPA). The SEC requires that public companies annually report their financial statements and that this reporting is done by an impartial third party, which is where CPAs come in to play. This ensures that the financial statements have been properly created under all required policies.


Provides Comparability

The final purpose that should be mentioned ties to comparability between different markets. If an entity in the service sector is being compared with someone in the product-based market, the only thing that will tie them together is the financial statements. Expectedly, those statements will have to be made utilizing the said methods of accounting.

Ultimately, there are many other important roles that proper reporting portrays when it comes to transparency, consistency, accountability, and legality. Nonetheless, simply understanding that financial accounting is the reason why businesses can continue to serve customers in a responsible manner is a great starting point!


Cancer Causing Drugs In Tap Water Testing

Water Testing

Water Quality Tests

There are many tests that can be performed on your well water to determine its water quality. This is a list of the most commonly performed tests and their recommended testing frequencies.

Because bacteria and nitrate are the most common contaminants of well water, they should be tested most frequently. The minerals test is recommended for the purposes of developing a baseline understanding of your water and as a way to indicate water quality changes.


If the lab report shows the presence of total coliform bacteria look for the cause, eliminate it if possible, and continue to test the water at an increased frequency. You may consider installing a treatment system such as distillation, chemical disinfection or ultraviolet radiation. Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.


If >45 mg/I N03 or >1Omg/I N03-N, install a treatment device or find an alternative water supply. Increase the testing frequency. Filtration using reverse osmosis will remove some of the nitrate. Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.


Most water testing companies offer a group minerals test for all listed minerals. Be sure to compare the results with previous results. The levels listed below are set by the State CCR Standards for Drinking Water. If mineral levels are greater than or equal to these levels, you should install a treatment system or determine an alternative supply of water. An appropriate treatment system is dependent on the minerals to be removed.Consult a water treatment professional for more advice.



Regular water tests are recommended for all household water systems. Owners of private wells should test their drinking water based on the following recommendations:

Drilled wells: 1 sample every 12 months

Dug wells: 1 sample every 3 months

Springs: 1 sample every 3 months

Payment will be collected when the sample bottles are returned. If your water sample shows bacteriological contamination (unsatisfactory for coliform bacteria, fecal coliform, or E.coli), follow the CDC’s recommendations for disinfection of your well.


The Snohomish Health District established primary drinking water requirements to help determine if your water supply is safe to drink. After your water samples are tested, you will receive an advisory in the mail if your well water has a detectable concentration of certain minerals and bacteria that may pose a risk to you and the community.


Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent the level of risk a contaminant poses to your health and the environment. Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels (SMCLs) are standards for contaminants that may make your water have an unpleasant taste, odor, or appearance.


To ensure that your water is safe to drink, it should meet the following minimum requirements:

Aluminum (proposed SMCL: 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L))

Arsenic (MCL: 0.010 mg/L) (required test)

Asbestos (proposed MCL: 7 million fibers/liter over 10 microns long)

Bacteria, coliform (required test) (MCL: 0 present utilizing the presence/absence methods)

Barium (MCL: 2.0 mg/L) (required test)

Cadmium (MCL: 05 mg/L) (required test)

Chloride (SMCL: 250 mg/L)

Chromium (MCL: 0.10 mg/L) (required test)

Copper (SMCL: 1.3 mg/L)

Fluoride (MCL: 4 mg/L, SMCL: 2 mg/L) (required test)

Hardness (No standard established)

Iron (SMCL: 0.30 mg/L)

Lead (Environmental Protection Agency action level: 0.015 mg/L) (required test)

Manganese (SMCL: 0.05 mg/L)

Mercury (MCL: 02 mg/L) (required test)

Nitrate (MCL: 10 mg/L) (required test)

Selenium (MCL: 0.05 mg/L) (required test)

Silver (MCL: 0.05 mg/L) (required test)

Sodium (no standard established) (required test)

Sulfate (SMCL: 250 mg/L)

Zinc (SMCL: 5 mg/L)



What are Microplastics?

The definition of microplastics is small plastic particles less than 5 mm, with many microplastics being smaller than 1 mm. They may be small pieces of manufactured plastic (microbeads) used as additives to health and beauty products or plastic pellets that are used as raw material in the industry are unintentionally spread into the environment during transport and production; alternatively they may derive from larger plastic debris that degrades into smaller and smaller pieces.

Testing for Microplastics

method is based on the NOAA method detailed in NOS-OR&R-48 which is applicable to materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride and polystyrene defined as microplastics sized between 5 mm to 0.3 mm. The method is applicable to water, beach and bed samples and employs a mixture of filtration methods, chemical oxidation processes and finally inspection under a microscope to confirm the presence of microplastics which are then weighed the quantity determined gravimetrically.



Water Testing

Most of the testing done in the Water Microbiology Laboratory is for regulated public water supplies. The laboratory is certified by the EPA which is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Water Microbiology Laboratory must use the standards specified in the Act. The Safe Drinking Water Act also outlines the standards for the bacterial quality of public drinking water. The Water Microbiology Laboratory at ADH tests for total coliform bacteria and E. coli, which are the indicator organisms for bacterial contamination specified in the Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, the ADH offers laboratory certification in microbiology for public water utility laboratories that meet state and Environmental Protection Agency criteria for laboratory certification

Private/Well Water Testing

The laboratory also tests private drinking water samples. However, since private water sources are not regulated, there are no standards for the bacterial quality of these samples. Private citizens can only submit samples from their wells, springs, cisterns, etc. to be tested for total coliforms and E. coli, which are indicators of bacterial contamination in drinking water. Samples will not be tested for minerals, parasites, or chemicals. For these tests consult a private laboratory. If you have a public health concern (such as an illness), consult your county environmental specialist or the ADH division of engineering for assistance.

Water samples must be collected in an official ADH sample container. The sample bottle will have a white tablet or powder inside the sample bottle. This tablet is a chemical called sodium thiosulfate, which is necessary for the testing process. The tablet should not be removed from the sample bottle. In addition, the bottle should not be rinsed or wiped out.  Once the sample is collected it must be received in time to analyze it within 30 hours of collection.

This is the entrance off Palm Street labeled the “Sample Receiving Dock.” The tests done at the Public Health Laboratory help determine the safety of drinking water for human consumption. The lab does not evaluate water ponds or other bodies of water to determine if the water is safe for fish or livestock to drink or for any other purpose.

The most common reason that individuals get their private drinking water sources tested is mortgage companies often require “safe” drinking water results before closing on a home mortgage. Most mortgage companies require that testing be done in an EPA-certified laboratory.


Ensuring compliance with potable water testing regulations on ships: a complete guide

Ship owners, managers, shipyards and crew manning agencies must all understand how the regulations titled, ‘Food and Catering: Provision of Food and Fresh Water’  affect them and develop and implement measures to ensure ongoing compliance with the requirements relates specifically to freshwater loading and supply arrangements, disinfection, storage, distribution systems and maintenance. The minimum requirements needed to ensure the supply of drinking and fresh water are outlined, as well as measures to prevent any risk of contamination.

It’s possible to prevent waterborne disease outbreaks and toxic poisoning due to contaminated potable water. The contributing factors to outbreaks and illness emphasise the need for hygienic handling of water along the supply chain from source to consumption.

Developing a Fresh Water Safety Plan

The most effective means of ensuring the safety of a fresh water supply is through the use of a risk assessment and management approach that covers the whole process from loading to delivery at the tap and includes a planned maintenance system. All of the information gathered should be used to develop a Fresh Water Safety Plan (FWSP), particularly for ships with a complex system, which could be incorporated into the ship’s planned maintenance system.

A should be based on; system assessment and hazard analysis (including an assessment of source water loaded on to the ship); a management plan and control measures (the selection and operation of appropriate treatment processes); a monitoring and corrective action system in accordance with the FWSP (the prevention of contamination/re-contamination during storage and distribution.)

Potable water testing as part of a Fresh Water Safety Plan

Regular potable water testing is vital as part of an effective monitoring system in. Potable water test kits are designed to ensure the maintenance of high quality water throughout the potable water network on ships. Kits are now available that are incredibly safe, easy-to-use and cost-effective. Accurate tests give a colour change in the presence of harmful indicator bacteria which might be present in the event of contamination to the water onboard.

Tips On Choosing The Best House Cleaning Service

How to Clean a Bathroom: Tips Your Parents Should Have Taught You

Learning how to clean a bathroom is no one’s idea of fun, but let’s get real: You simply have no choice in the matter. So unless you enjoy horrifying friends and family every time they dare to visit, it’s essential that you don those rubber gloves and learn how to clean a bathroom right.

To help, here’s a hit list of the areas you should tackle from top to bottom, including some surprising spots you’ve probably never cleaned but really should (ventilation fan, anyone?). For each area, we’ve also included some pro tips on how to clean thoroughly without an excess of muck or elbow grease so you can emerge unscathed.

How to clean a bathroom ceiling

Little-known fact: Microscopic particles of soap hitching a ride on shower mist can leave behind a film on the bathroom ceiling, which causes mildew and grime to build up. To get it off, apply a layer of all-purpose cleaner to the ceiling with a cloth. Then turn on the shower, crank the hot water, and let the steam and the cleaner mix for about 20 minutes. Then wipe it off.

How to clean a ventilation fan

Ventilation fans inhale dust and other airborne particles, which will eventually linger on the blades. Remove the vent cover, soak it in warm water and dish soap, and then rinse clean. While that’s drying, use a stiff, clean paintbrush to wipe away dirt on the motor, and suck up any debris with a vacuum. When you’re finished, replace the cover.

How to clean a bathtub

Ah the tub. One of the biggest tasks in cleaning a bathroom. Before you start scrubbing, step back and take a good look at the tub. In most cases, half of the bathtub is pretty grimy and dirty below the water line, but above the water line it’s relatively clean.”


How to Clean a Kitchen: Tips Your Parents Should Have Taught You

Learning how to clean a kitchen might not seem like rocket science, but it’s definitely a lost art—something previous generations of homemakers obsessed over. We’re not saying you should remain tethered to a mop and bucket, but given the heavy foot traffic this area gets—not to mention all the food passing through—learning the right way to keep dirt, grime, and germs at bay is truly an essential part of owning a home.

So if you want to do this much-loved area justice, heed this list of tips on how to clean a kitchen right, broken down by areas that need some special attention. Adhering to these guidelines ensures your kitchen will look its best so you can impress your guests and maybe (just maybe) make your parents proud. It’s never too late.

How to clean kitchen cabinets

You want to begin by cleaning the cabinets. Why? Because no matter what room it is you’re cleaning, “you always go from top to bottom,” “If you don’t, you’re going to undo some of your work by brushing dirt onto the lower surfaces.”

To clean wood cabinets, Sardone recommends using a microfiber cloth dipped in Oil Soap. For all other finishes, use a mild, nontoxic all-purpose cleaner. Pay special attention to door handles, which tend to accumulate the most germs.

How to clean a microwave

The microwave is one of the most neglected kitchen appliances, which is why you might silently cringe when you open it to see the spatter of past dinners inside. The good news is that the magic box is usually quite easy to clean.


A Simple Guide to Detailed House Cleaning

When cleaning a home, there are so many chores that need to be handled, so if you don’t feel up to the task and you don’t have enough time to squeeze the cleaning into your schedule, rely on the professional cleaners

What’s more, to ensure you keep your home in peak condition even between their visits, you should take a look at these efficient clutter-clearing strategies and discover some of the fastest ways to clean your house for guests. With the proper organization and the right help, you can turn your messy house into a healthy living environment in no time.

Declutter first

Before you start cleaning, you should tidy up the entire place first and remove any items and clutter lying around. Once you’re done decluttering, it will be much easier for you to reach all the areas you want to clean and tackle them hassle-free.

Invest in quality supplies and tools

Professional cleaners use top-quality cleaning products that are effective at eliminating all types of stains but are, at the same time, safe for people, pets, and the environment. On top of that, you should also keep in mind to always check a product’s label to confirm if it is supposed to be used on a particular surface to avoid damaging it.

In what order should I clean my house?

Knowing in what order to clean your house is a prerequisite to doing it right. In general, you should always work from the top down, covering the following zones:

Top zone: Basically, it includes anything above your head, from cleaning air vents to dusting ceiling fans, washing light fixtures, cleaning high windows, and similar.

Middle zone: It includes tasks like dusting shelves, washing windows, cleaning mirrors, polishing furniture, scrubbing the toilet, shower, and sink, cleaning appliances, and kitchen countertops, etc.

Floor zone: In the end, all that’s left is to have the floor and baseboards properly cleaned. Take the time to sweep and mop the floors, vacuum carpets, and wash any area rugs, paying particular attention to the high-traffic spots that get dirty the quickest.


The Complete Guide to Tipping Your House Cleaner

Your housekeeper works hard to do all of the dirty chores that you lack the time, energy or desire to do yourself. In the process, you appreciate the benefits of a pristine home combined with more free time and less stress. The rate that you pay this important person in your life is based on numerous factors, such as your location, the size of your home or apartment and the type of work that you need completed. As is the case with many other service providers who you work with, cleaners appreciate being recognized for their hard work through tipping. In some cases, they may even be counting on tips from satisfied customers.

While there is a general consensus regarding how much to tip waitstaff at restaurants, food delivery workers and even stylists and beauticians, the guidelines for tipping your home cleaning professional are less well-known and are even gray in some areas.

Exactly How Much Should You Be Tipping Your House Cleaner

Before you can decide how much to tip your house cleaner, you need to determine how competitive your regular rate is. Some cleaning services have rates that are significantly higher or lower for comparable services in the same area. Then, you should consider how much of this money is actually going to your house cleaner rather than to the company or management. In some cases, house cleaners make close to minimum wage, and it may be difficult for someone to live off of such a low rate in some areas. On the other hand, if the maid is self-employed and can set his or her own rates, then tipping may not be necessary or even expected.

Factors to Consider When Tipping Housekeepers

Before offering a tip, inquire with the main office or management team about their tipping policy. Some companies acknowledge that they pay their maids a relatively low rate, and they expect their customers to tip their cleaners regularly as part of their compensation. With this pay structure, housekeepers are encouraged to do their best work regularly so that they can earn tips. On the other hand, other cleaning franchises have established higher rates and have adopted a no-tipping policy as a result. They pay their cleaners consistently competitive wages with the expectation that they will do quality work at all times. With this pay structure, the pressure and confusion that customers have surrounding tipping may be alleviated.

House Cleaner Tipping Etiquette: When to Tip and How Much?

The confusion about tipping a housekeeper continues when you consider when to offer the tip and how much to offer. Generally, you should examine this from two different scenarios. There are tipping etiquette for many services including when you’re at the restaurants, at the bar, and your hair dresser. These are one-time or special green cleaning services as well as recurring services. If you hire a maid for one-time service, such as for move-out service before you vacate an apartment, providing $10 to $20 after the work is done is common. However, the exact amount may be determined by the rate that you paid and the effort that the cleaner made to complete excellent work.


House Cleaning Pricing Guide

Did you know that the average house cleaning in the United States is around $160, with an average of around $90 for a home less than 1,000 square feet and $250 or more for a house 3,000 square feet? This is according to Home Advisor. While the national average is generally between $115 and $227, keep in mind that prices may vary according to the locations and the size of the home.

It is very important that the customer and the cleaning service know what to expect from each other. In this blog, we will help you in understanding many standard house cleaning service packages, as well as add-on services, available for an additional fee. Services will also vary from one cleaner to another, but this should give you a general idea of what services to expect.

As a customer, you should receive a comparable list of tasks, either in brochure, or contract form, or sometimes the cleaning company would send the details to your email. With this, it allows you to set your expectations and evaluate whether tasks are being performed satisfactorily. Take note, you can easily add or delete services that you are think are not necessary. You have the freedom to do this! Feel free to let your cleaning service provider know about it. Just a tip, always review the add-on services, and add or delete services as you see fit.

Now, this is the most important part of all. How is the cleaning price determined? The pricing of the cleaning services offered is based on the standard amount of time it takes to complete various tasks, multiplied by the prevailing wage for maids and house cleaners in a specific area. As house owners, you have to understand the pricing so that you will not wonder about the service cost provided to you

–          Time allotted for cleaning. As a customer, you have to know how long it will take to complete each task. It is a good idea to actually ask your cleaning service provider how long each task will take. Do not be afraid to ask questions! As a consumer, it is your right to know, because you have to make sure every penny is going to be worth it.

–          Size and quantity. Price quotes given by cleaning service companies are based on the quantity of each task to be performed – for example, one kitchen, three bedrooms, two additional rooms. Take note, an additional room may be a laundry room, exercise room, office or a playroom. If it requires extra attention, like cleaning several pieces of gym equipment or mirrored walls in a home gym, you may choose to count is as a room and a half.

–          Total minutes. This multiplies the minutes per task by the number of tasks and auto-calculates total minutes for you. The number of minutes are then converted into hours. The total hours will tell the cleaning service company, how many cleaners are needed for the service.

–          Amount per room. Pricing differs from one place to another. Pricing depends on the area you are located in. The number of bedrooms you have in your house will play a role in determining cleaning costs. If your cleaning company bases their rates on number of rooms, rather than square footage, your room count matters. Even if your place is only 800 square feet, your cleaning costs will vary depending on whether it’s a studio apartment or a two-bedroom house. Number of bedrooms can often indicate how many people live in the home and how relatively clean or dirty it might be. Usually customers want bedding changed and beds made up, which requires extra time and effort the more bedrooms there are, thus driving up your cost. If you have spare bedrooms that are not being used on a regular basis, you can negotiate with your house cleaners to vacuum and dust the rooms on a less frequent basis, thereby saving you money.

–          Number of bathroom. A typical standard bathroom cleaning service will include sweeping, mopping, scrubbing the sink and polishing the faucet, wiping the counters, cleaning the mirror(s), scrubbing the shower or tub and polishing the faucet fixtures, and disinfecting the toilet and toilet bowl. This is why having more bathrooms in your home will usually increase the overall cleaning cost. Some cleaning companies charge more for additional bathrooms than they do for additional bedrooms.

–          Price per square foot. Most house cleaning companies charge by the hour or by number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but some charge by the square foot. The more square footage to be cleaned, the higher your overall costs will be. A company may charge different rates per square foot depending on the type of cleaning service they are providing.

Things You Can Learn About A Family Dentist Office Simply By Walking In

Essential Questions to Ask your Dentist

People are always taking their health for granted. In horrible condition, like when experiencing toothaches or any other dental problem get the best of our productivity, we usually turn to our local dentist for help. Being so engrossed by pain, with attention to the process and not on the series of question we need to ask the dentist.

You should be able to save thousands of money when next you visit the dentist by asking the following questions:

Can provide me a specific prognosis on how I got this condition?

Most dentists charge an enormous amount of money for their services; consequently, we also need to ask a lot of questions to get our money worth. If your condition is from any traumatic injury or sudden unusual pain while you were on a dietary routine, tell the dentists about it all, so the dentist can comfortably examine what is happening to your mouth. Dentists aren’t mind-readers – so discuss it with them. There also are instances in which patients will stay away on the question if he/she had oral sex before the ache or lump in the mouth. There is this stuff called “doctor-patient confidentiality” regulation to disbar any dentist who leaks out “any” details of your communication – particularly if it is sensitive information. So be free to discuss with your dentist something which could have initiated the onset of your condition.

What areas do you specialize?

The banner outside the office or on the website may not give a clear description of the dentist area of specialization. If you are skeptical about it, or just ensuring that your dentist is professional in what he claims, ask him some questions about his records and how he earned his recognition as a ‘leading’ dentist. Many a time, dentists also fail in their promises and provide their patients poor services. In case you feel that your teeth is not getting better or if the procedure – and by regard, any process (maybe it is a simple root canal or teeth extraction) – just exacerbated previous condition of your teeth, return to the dentist and ask for an explanation on why your teeth did not get better. If he declines or reacts badly in any way, and does not give even a partial refund if he knows what he did is wrong, you could take up a file against him in any nearby dentist organization. Make sure to test your dentist’s affiliations before filing the report. Sending a report to his affiliate organization directly can also expedite the process of ruling him in the team of leading dentists. Visit the dental affiliation website for more details on this matter. There had been many instances of ‘bad’ dentists, which mean you’re not alone in your plight.


How can I improve my dental health?

During your exam, your dentist will look for and explain areas of future concern as well as any current issues. Pay attention to this information and use it as an opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

Ask your dentist for a summary of your overall dental health, how you can better manage your daily care, and any other areas you can improve.

A few specific dental care questions you can ask include:

  • Am I brushing and flossing correctly?
  • Can you demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique?
  • Are the dental tools I’m using the best choice for my teeth?
  • How do my gums look?
  • Are there any teeth we need to keep a closer eye on?

In addition to these questions, make sure to mention any problems you’re experiencing, even if they seem minor. If you have pain, sensitivity, or abnormalities, bring them up! Remember, catching issues early on is the key to successful treatment and the best way to ensure lifelong dental health.


Are there any open slots for new patients?

A dental practice may look wonderful and their existing patients might adore them for it, but it pays to look beyond those features. Some dental practices are treating many patients with limited staff capacity.

With that, they may try to reduce their operating hours by closing on Fridays or working through lunch to close early. Their existing patients may have also blocked most of the early morning and afternoon schedules a few weeks ago leaving no room for you to fill in.

The following questions can help save your time and effort in looking for a dentist:

  • Do they have open slots for new patients within the next two weeks?
  • Does the practice keep having blocked-off time slots to accommodate new patients?
  • How many hygienists can work simultaneously?

Does the dental practice file my insurance?

Many dental practices will not disclose financial policies unless you ask for them. It’s one of the important questions to ask when looking for a dentist because it’s a factor in the overall convenience provided by a dental practice. To secure a smooth transaction, ask if:

  • Do they file the insurance claim for you?
  • Is there a treatment coordinator that verifies your insurance and gives you a correct estimate of what you will be responsible for?


Time to Place a Call to a New Dentist

So far you have spoken to friends and co-workers, done online research and narrowed your search down. I believe the next step is to set an appointment to go in see the dental office, meet some of the people who work there and the dentist. There are several things you should pay attention to.

What to look for when scheduling an appointment with a new dentist:

  • How were you treated on the phone? Was the person welcoming and helpful?
  • How did the office look when you came in? Did it appear neat, clean and up-to-date? This is very important as the cleanliness may very well translate to the cleanliness you will find in the operatory. Also, an office that is not updated may tell you that the dentist is not interested in staying updated on the latest services, procedures or techniques.
  • Were you warmly greeted by the staff? Were they so on top of it that they may actually know your name when you walk in? Do they appear to care?

Initial Meeting when Selecting a Dentist

You should now be able to meet your dentist and again, make some mental notes.

  • Were you warmly greeted by the doctor?
  • Were you left waiting or were you seen on time? Everything doesn’t always run on time but hopefully you were seen within 10 minutes of your appointed time.
  • Did the dentist try to get to know you a little or did the talk go straight to your teeth? Social skills or bedside manner is important. Not taking the time to get to know a little something about you speaks about whether your dentist will look at you as person or a mouth with teeth.
  • Did the dentist seem rushed? Dental offices are run with different philosophies. If the dentist focuses on the personal relationships along with the clinical exam you should not get the sense that the dentist is rushed. They should be able to focus on you as a person. Not only that you should sense that they WANT to focus on you as a person and genuinely want to get to know you past your teeth.If you have dental insurance, they should help transact the claim for you and not require you to pay everything up and have it for reimbursement. Also, some dental procedures have a specific percentage that you will have to pay, so it’s best to have a dental staff to explain your insurance coverage and other financing options.


Common questions you should think about asking your dentist during your next appointment.

  1. Why do I have tooth pain?

If you ever experience tooth pain, even if it’s minor and seemingly random, it’s important to ask about it rather than assume it will simply go away. Tooth pain can be a simple sensitivity issue or a symptom of a severe cavity you’re not aware of. Your dentist can also help you figure out where the pain is coming from. For example, you might believe pain is coming from a tooth when it’s really coming from your gums.

  1. What are my options for whitening my teeth?

Having a healthy smile is important, but many patients also want whiter teeth. There is a lot of misinformation out there about teeth whitening and plenty of horror stories about permanently damaged enamel or chronic sensitivity. Rather than trying to figure this out on your own, just ask the dentist instead. He / She will be happy to guide you toward safe and effective options that won’t harm your teeth.

  1. How can cosmetic dentistry help me?

Cosmetic dentistry is a huge industry, but many adults still feel self-conscious about asking about treatment options for something once considered a luxury or even vain. If there are aspects of your smile that make you feel less confident, such as a small chip or a crooked tooth, your dentist would love to know, so they can assist in finding a solution.

  1. What causes tooth decay?

Patients with cavities might be confused as to why they’re experiencing tooth decay when they don’t eat a lot of sugar. In fact, you could seemingly be doing everything right yet still have chronic tooth decay issues found during your six-month checkups. Asking the dentist about the causes of tooth decay can help you better understand why you’re having this issue, as well as how you can get it under control.

  1. How can I stop grinding my teeth?

Sometimes dentists can immediately tell if a patient is grinding their teeth due to unusual wear and tear, but this isn’t always the case. If you’ve discovered that you’re grinding your teeth while sleeping or even during the day, bring this up to the dentist, as well as your general physician. Your dentist will be able to take a proactive approach to address the teeth grinding issue and protect your smile before damage occurs by offering a mouth guard or suggesting certain therapeutic exercises.

  1. Should I worry about bleeding gums?

You might notice that your gums bleed after you brush and/or floss. Although it isn’t uncommon, it still needs to be addressed. If this happens during your normal routine, you really should bring it up on your next dental appointment. Bleeding gums, even if it’s very minor, can be an early symptom of gingivitis or even periodontitis. Your dentist will be able to help you figure out if there is an underlying issue or if your current brushing and flossing routine is to blame.

  1. How can I help my tooth sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity is another common problem that has seemingly been normalized, even though it should always be brought up to the dentist. If you experience sensitivity, you should not only inform the dentist but also inquire as to how you might be able to get it under control. He / She will be able to suggest certain products, such as a new toothpaste for sensitive teeth, that can help you feel much more comfortable.

Good Etiquette For Vacation Rentals Cleaning

Vacation Rentals in a Pandemic: COVID-19

Cleaning of Short-Term Rentals

In light of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), there has been a focus on when short-term rentals are allowed again (and for those that are currently exempt from the ban), what cleaning standards will need to be in place. will continue to provide CDC and the Department of Public Health guidelines and advisories for cleaning standards as it relates to short-term rentals.

Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces including your workplace, school, home, and business will require you to:

Develop your plan

Implement your plan

Maintain and revise your plan

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning. Every American has been called upon to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing and prevention hygiene, such as frequently washing your hands and wearing masks. Everyone also has a role in making sure our communities are as safe as possible to reopen and remain open.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products. EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19.

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards

Ensure adequate ventilation

Use no more than the amount recommended on the label

Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)

Avoid mixing chemical products

Label diluted cleaning solutions

Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets


The Ultimate Covid-19 Cleaning Resource

It is still hard for me to believe that just a few short months ago, I was set to have the most profitable summer on record at my Kauai vacation rental.

It’s a familiar story for almost everyone in the short-term rental industry, all across the globe: the perfect storm of covid-19 swept in, erasing our plans and leaving us only to hope that we can salvage our businesses and trust our local governments to begin to lift restrictions on responsible travel at the right time.

Hospitality will look different once we are free to move about the cabin again. Here’s the good news: as entrepreneurs, we are strong and resilient—masters of the pivot and seekers of silver linings. We were problem-solvers before it was cool.

The New World of Hospitality Best Practices

I know one of the top things on your mind right now is defeating “the invisible enemy” on your home turf. Questions arise, like: How do I disinfect my vacation rental? What products should I use? Should I wait 24 hours between guests? 72 hours? Or do I go back to my usual check-in/checkout procedure? How do I keep my housekeepers safe in the process?

My sources include the CDC, the EPA, the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) and the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP). Each of these smart groups have generated tons of sane, balanced research and recommendations for keeping people safe and healthy in the hospitality industry.


How to get your home ready for short-term guests.

When your rent out your home or apartment to short-term guests, you can’t simply hand your guests the keys and expect everything to take care of itself. You need to carefully prepare your home in advance for paying short-term guests, many of whom will be expecting cleanliness and comfort standards on a par with those found in a hotel (or at least a motel). The better job you do getting your home ready the easier your guests’ stay—and your life as a host— will be.

COVID-19 Restrictions on Short-term Rentals

As the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping through the U.S. in March 2020, short-term rental hosts experienced widespread cancellations as travelers heeded stay-at-home orders (or fell sick). At the same time, some hosts saw a different trend: Bookings from people who were trying to escape hard-hit areas, or who wanted to ride-out the isolation in a more comfortable environment.

Some local authorities were not pleased at the influx of travelers from out of town. These COVID-motivated guests could very well be bringing the virus with them.

Hotels, motels, B & Bs, and all rentals for fewer than 30 days were ordered to cease operating unless renting to:

the County’s homeless population,

County residents displaced from their homes due to the presence of a person who must isolate

Essential heath care workers and other essential workers, and

County residents who must vacate their homes due to habitability issues.

Clean Your Home

Obviously, your home should be clean and in good order upon your guests’ arrival. In particular, the bathrooms and kitchen should be spic and span. The beds should be made up with clean linens. Many hosts hire housecleaning services to do a thorough cleaning before guests arrive. Many others do it themselves and save the expense. When you clean yourself you have the advantage of ensuring it’s done right.


Vacation Rental Cleaning Checklist

As a vacation rental homeowner, you know that managing the clean of your property is no small task. In these uncertain times, prioritizing cleanliness is not just a best practice … it’s essential.

For guests, arriving at a dirty home can ruin a vacation before it even begins. It can also cause anxiety at a time when vacation rental cleanliness is connected to feelings of health and safety. For hosts, this experience greatly affects your property reviews.

In order to manage guest expectations and bring in more revenue, it’s important to establish a detailed vacation rental cleaning routine, so that every guest feels inclined to leave a positive review and becomes a return visitor.

Whether you are cleaning the home yourself or managing housekeepers who do the cleaning for you, our vacation rental cleaning checklist and guide will help reinforce your cleaning standards, make sure your property lives up to guest expectations, prevent overlooked areas from being forgotten, and disinfect your property according to updated CDC guidelines.

Household cleaners and disinfectants:

Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use a household disinfectant.

Follow the instructions on the label to ensure the safe and effective use of the product.

Many products recommend that you keep the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed.

Use precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.


How to Maintain a Perfectly Clean and Disinfected Vacation Rental Property

Now more than ever, having a clean and disinfected vacation rental property is of utmost importance. Guests will be placing a higher emphasis on staying at properties that they know have high cleaning standards.

That is why we want to give you some recommendations on how to keep a spick and span vacation rental property that makes the guest feel safe.

Clean High Touch Surfaces First

Start by cleaning high touch surfaces such as table tops, door knobs, bathroom faucets, light, fridge, switches etc. with water and soap to take off the dirt.

Then clean use a disinfectant solution, here are some recommendations from the CDC (Center for Control and Prevention Disease):

Follow the instructions on the label of the disinfectant so that it is effective.

A lot of the products recommend that the surface should stay a couple of minutes with the disinfectant.

Make sure that the disinfectant has not expired.

Products that you can use to disinfect are:

Bleach diluted only in water:  it should not be mixed with any other disinfectant or product. So that it works properly you need to leave it in the surface for at least 1 minute.

The bleach solution should be: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

A Measure For Mosquitoes Control

Community Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. It takes about 7 days for mosquito eggs to hatch. By getting rid of standing water once a week, or by making water move and flow, mosquito breeding is interrupted and they do not live to spread diseases

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding:

Get rid of places where water collects (standing water) such as old car tires, flower pots, oil drums, ditches, uncovered water storage containers, and any standing water inside the house.

Manage land in ways that prevent water from collecting so the water will instead soak into the ground.

Make sure watersheds are protected so that water will keep flowing.

Other methods used in community mosquito control programs include:

Breeding fish that eat mosquitoes. The Central American mosquito fish, South American guppies, African tilapia, carp, and other fish can be used to control mosquitoes. These fish have different common names in different places, but are often called “mosquito fish.”

Make sure water flows and fields drain by restoring natural waterways, making drainage channels to let water move, and filling in unused irrigation trenches and ponds. Drain rice paddies once a week for 2 or 3 days to kill young mosquitoes without harming rice production.

Plant trees to provide homes for birds, bats, and other natural helpers in mosquito control. Neem trees from Africa and India keep mosquitoes away and the leaves can be used as medicine.

Using insecticides

Where mosquitoes breed only part of the year, they can be quickly destroyed with insecticides. In the past, the pesticide DDT was widely used to kill malaria mosquitoes, and was sprayed outdoors over mosquito breeding sites. But DDT is a poison that does great harm to people and animals, causing cancer and birth defects. DDT can travel great distances in the air and in water, and stays in the environment for many years, becoming more dangerous over time. Because of this, community prevention activities and less toxic insecticides are now recommended in most countries.

One type of insecticide, called pyrethrins, causes less long-term harm to people, animals, and the land. Another advantage of pyrethrins over DDT or malathion (another common but harmful pesticide) is that much less is needed to spray the same amount of space.


How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: The Ultimate Guide

There is a saying that goes: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” Mosquitoes are the bane of our existence. Despite their size, they can be extremely annoying as well as hazardous, acting as carriers of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue.

For this reason, it’s important to know how to get rid of them if they invade your home. So how do you get rid of mosquitoes? You can either use insecticides that are easily found in stores or go for chemical-free home remedies, or try and prevent the arrival of mosquitoes completely.

Source reduction

Many species of mosquitoes need standing water to breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the water because water is required for larval development and the transformation into adult insects.

If there is any standing water in your environment, get rid of it. The best time to look is right after a storm or rain when the water collects in small things that you may not even give a second thought under usual circumstances. If your gutters have filled up with debris and don’t drain properly, make sure to clean them up so that water doesn’t pool to create a welcome breeding environment.

Biological methods

Mosquitoes may have their role to play in the ecosystem, but you can use this to your advantage while getting rid of them. By introducing natural predators into the environment, you can get rid of mosquitoes without having to do much yourself. Most ornamental fish consume mosquito larvae, including koi and minnows. Small animals and insects like lizards, geckos, dragonflies, naiads, frogs, bats, spiders, and crustaceans also eat mosquitoes.



How to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard FAST! These proven, organic and natural remedies work just as well, if not better, than the toxic stuff.

Mosquitoes are among the most serious of insect pests attacking humans and affect the lives of vast numbers of people worldwide. Approximately 3000 different species are found throughout the world of which 150 species occur in the United States. They carry some of the most widespread and devastating human disease agents including West Nile virus, encephalitis and malaria.

At the time of feeding, the female pierces the skin and injects saliva, which is responsible for the irritation that follows. Blood taken from humans or other animals infected with disease-producing organisms in turn infects the mosquito which transmits them to future hosts.

Life Cycle

The mosquito has four distinct stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. A large number of species overwinter as eggs, others as larvae or adults. All have one common requirement – mosquitoes need stagnant or standing water to complete their life cycle. After a blood meal the female develops her eggs. (Adult males do not bite and feed solely on plant nectar.) One blood meal supplies enough nutrients for her to produce several hundred eggs which she will lay in or around water. Depending on the species, eggs are either attached to one another to form a raft or they are laid individually and float on water. Eggs hatch within days releasing larvae, commonly called “wrigglers,” which feed on microorganisms in the water until they pupate 7-10 days later. Adults emerge 1-4 days later and can live for a period of four to eight weeks. There are several overlapping generations throughout the season. In warmer regions breeding occurs year round.

How to Control

Unfortunately, there is no easy solution for managing mosquitoes. Countless natural remedies vary depending on the pest level, water supply, cost and risk of disease. Many products are available, but nothing is absolutely foolproof.


How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: A Guide to Yard Sprays, Repellents & More

You’ve mowed the lawn, prepped the grill, and even upgraded your bamboo skewers. Your backyard is in pristine condition for a cookout—except for one thing: all those pesky, annoying mosquitoes. Luckily, there are actions you can take to prevent these insects from ruining your day

Perhaps the most comprehensive way to get rid of mosquitoes is to hire a professional team to mosquito-proof your yard. These pest-control companies vary in their methods, but they typically include use a mosquito yard spray or a fog that should neutralize the mosquito population (including its larvae) for several weeks. Many use EPA-approved chemicals, and some offer all-natural options, but be sure to study each treatment beforehand.

Maybe you’ve used essential oils as part of your aromatherapy to find a little relaxation, but some are especially potent mosquito repellents as well. In particular, grapefruit, citronella, and lemongrass have been known to fend off bugs when you apply it to your skin.

The old-school method of a bug zapper works too, but these days, many zappers have been upgraded to use an LED light. These tend to produce a UV glow that hits a frequency that’s especially attractive to mosquitoes.

Some swear that a DEET-free bracelet is the best mosquito repellent, and it’s certainly one of the simplest. Just put on these wristbands—often emitting the scent of citronella, peppermint, and geranium—and bugs will keep their distance.


How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally and Reclaim Your Backyard

Unfortunately, the sounds of summer also include the whine of pesky mosquitoes. But there’s plenty you can do to turn down the volume of that buzz so you can enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer. Learning how to get rid of mosquitoes naturally is important beyond ensuring a comfortable backyard cookout.

Mosquito-borne diseases — which kill more than one million people worldwide every year — include malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and, more commonly in the United States, West Nile virus.

Most mosquitoes can fly no more than one to three miles, and some mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito have a flight range of just 100 yards or so.

Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed by emptying the saucers for plants, hauling off old tires, cleaning rain gutters and frequently changing the water in birdbaths. Don’t leave pet bowls filled with water outside when your pets are indoors. Look out for water that gathers in pool covers, buckets and trash cans

Walk around your property with an eye for puddles. Fix the problem, and mosquitoes won’t have a place to lay eggs. Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito fish that eat the larva or treat the water with larvicide mosquito rings sold at home and garden stores.

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