Mold Inspection For Your Winter Home

Helpful Tips

Fire Protection and General Safety:

Don’t store flammable materials in the furnace room or next to your furnace and hot water tank.

Ensure that adequate ventilation is provided to rooms containing gas/oil fired furnaces/boilers and gas/oil fired hot water tanks.

Any door leading from an attached garage into the dwelling must be exterior/fire rated door, equipped with a self-closing device.

Always having a fire extinguisher readily available.

Plan two evacuation routes. Keep fire evacuation routes clear of clutter.

Keep your cooking area well organized and free of clutter.

Handrails must be installed alongside all staircases containing more than three steps.

Eliminate any trip hazards or flooring defects. Keep your hallways and corridors clear.

Refraining from overloading electrical circuits.

Avoid permanent use of electrical extension cord.

Clear access must be maintained in front of the electrical panel, the furnace/boiler access and the main water shut–off valve.

Install at least one Smoke Alarm and CO Detector on each floor level.

Test and maintain Smoke and CO Detectors on monthly basis.

Emergency and family contact telephone numbers can be displayed permanently at or near the kitchen telephone.

MOLD REMEDIATION

Here is your direct link to everything you want to know about finding and treating mold in your home, and other related information that you’ll find really useful and interesting. Our topics will span mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold testing, as well as offer you helpful tips direct from our mold remediation specialists.

People know more about what to do with moldy food (throw it away!) than they do about how to treat mold in their home. As our experts go to mold remediation jobs, they often meet people who don’t know a lot about indoor mold or believe things that are simply not true. Because many don’t understand the mold problem correctly, they may have delayed treating the mold, or tried cleaning it up themselves without understanding how mold acts and grows.

MOLD WILL ONLY GROW IN THE BASEMENT.

Mold appears and reproduces in areas where there is moisture. Increased levels of indoor moisture, water leaks, or water damage (flooding) can all help the mold to grow and spread. While it is true that basements are more prone to mold growth, it’s not the only place in your home where mold can grow! Any area in your home can be an ideal place for mold to grow given the right conditions, whether it is the basement or not.

THERE ARE CERTAIN DANGEROUS MOLD STRAINS, AND THESE ARE THE ONLY TYPES OF MOLD YOU SHOULD WORRY ABOUT.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you eliminate any apparent mold, no matter what type of mold it is. Any mold can be a severe health problem to sensitive members in your family, such as children and infants.

IF YOU CAN SEE THE MOLD, YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF IT YOURSELF.

If the mold is only on hard, non-porous surfaces, or if the mold is in a small area, you have a good chance of success trying to remove it yourself. Otherwise, the mold that you can visually see is not the whole story, not by a long shot. Even if you try to remove it by yourself, you might not find all the places where the mold is growing, especially in porous materials like drywall and insulation. In fact, cleaning mold yourself can send more spores into the air, making the problem bigger, not smaller. To prevent the mold from spreading to other areas, you need a mold specialist to help you eliminate the mold from your home safely and properly.

Useful Tips for Prevention and Removal

In the restoration industry, one of the biggest threats to health and safety for home owners and businesses alike is mold.

Without proper clean up and containment, mold can lead to compromised health conditions and respiratory illnesses.

But there are effective ways to get rid of mold and leave your property uncontaminated and clean

This past week, Hurricane Florence barreled its way through the Carolinas, bringing with it substantial amounts of rain, high winds, and subsequent flooding. Though the actual hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend, the impact and damage have continued.

Most significantly, the entire coastal area has been hit with widespread and catastrophic flooding from a combination of record rainfalls and massive storm surges.

Tips on How to Remedy Symptoms of Mold

Does your home or office have the symptoms of mold?

Have a musty odor during hot and humid weather?

Make breathing uncomfortable?

Watery eyes and scratchy throat?

On most days in Texas the weather here is hot, humid and hazy. So, what does this mean for you and your family’s health?

An increase of mold related allergies.

Asthma related symptoms become uncomfortable

Indoor pet and dust mites only ad on to summer health risks

Weather related mold damage has caused many health related symptoms and making it unbearable to breathe in some cases. However, those homes who have not been completely destroyed, your home or business is still under a mold threat.

There are 3 C’s to remember when it comes to controlling mold in your home or office.

Cleanliness

( Try to keep your home in order. Especially the bathroom and any areas of your home or office that may be affected.)

Circulation

( Mold loves stagnant air flow! Try to keep a consistent air flow throughout your home or office for best results.)

Control

( Mold needs water to grow. Humidity in your home or office is also helps mold to grow.)

Mold Inspection & Removal

Mold is more than a smelly nuisance. For home and business owners, it can discolor and damage their property and cause serious health concerns. Indoor mold contamination has been identified as a major contributor to allergies and respiratory problems, property destruction, and poor indoor air quality. Mold can grow in as little as 24-48 hours any time excessive moisture is present indoors, whether the moisture is the result of a flood, a slow leak, broken pipe, or just high humidity. When your home or business experiences mold growth and mold damage, you can trust the highly skilled technicians at ServiceMaster By Mason to identify and remove mold, thoroughly clean and sanitize the property, and prevent it from spreading to unaffected areas.

We ensure all types of mold and mildew is thoroughly removed with the use of commercial grade anti-microbial agents and the most effective tools and technology for all types of mold removal, including black mold cleanup. ServiceMaster By Mason Owner, Ryan Mason, holds certifications from the Professional Mold Inspection Institute to perform air quality testing for microbial growth (mold) concerns in homes & businesses. We can assist property owners, real estate professionals, healthcare offices, assisted living facilities & more with sampling for air quality. Our testing will help identify the presence of mold spores and mold growth, types of mold, total air count/spores count to determine if normal or abnormal and more. We will carefully collect air, swab, tape or bulk item samples and send overnight express to a Certified Laboratory, getting you quick and accurate results. If you’re concerned about air quality and mold in your property, call us for detailed inspection and air quality testing, and professional mold cleanup and removal.

We know how to identify and eliminate the source of what caused mold, and implement the proper process in order to eliminate harmful mold. We can provide any needed property demolition, clean and remove the mold contamination, while restoring your property and peace of mind.

Special expertise is necessary for effective mold, mildew, and black mold cleanup and removal. Bleach or other retail cleaning products will simply stir up and spread the mold spores, contaminating other areas of your home or business. And visible mold growth in your home, office or housing complex is a likely indication of a greater problem lurking nearby. Mold in attics and mold in basements can use your hot air/cooling system to quickly spread to other areas in your property.

Water damage, a leaky pipe, or broken sprinkler head can often cause moisture to gather within the walls or ceilings of your property. In these circumstances, a full-scale mold infestation can quickly develop, and an immediate response is needed to limit the damage and health concerns, clean and eliminate mold or mildew.

Easy House Cleaning Checklist

How to Choose the Ideal Housekeeper

In our day and age, time is precious.  We live much longer but it seems the older we get, the quicker time speeds up.  Work, family, travel, everything we do tends to end up in a bit of a rush.  So to get control of time, its important to think carefully about lifestyle and choices that are made.  Wise decisions can result in giving you time back to do the things you love to do.  Spending time with your family, travelling the world or just putting your feet up!  You’ve decided to hire a housekeeper – but how do you pick an ideal housekeeper?  You want to match exactly what your family or property needs.

Read our guide on how to choose the ideal housekeeper.

Families hire housekeepers for any number of reasons.  Some hire part time and some hire full time.  Some housekeepers are live in and some live out. It can be a common misconception that the role of the housekeeper is a ‘lesser’ job in some way, but it most certainly is not!

Decide the hours

There are two types of principals, ones who have never had to do any housework in their lives and ones who have had to, but now choose not to. Try to be realistic about the demands of the job and what you need your ideal housekeeper to do.

If you live in a 5 story townhouse, with only stairs (most of our clients have elevators in their homes!) and you have 3 children, 2 dogs and 7 bedrooms, chances are that your house will need a full time housekeeper.  We would expect them to work from 8:30/9am to 5:30/6pm each day, with possible Saturday work.  Don’t expect miracles.

Live in vs Live out

Space is precious (perhaps second to time!) but most of our clients tend to have space for staff.  If you have the space, then seriously consider live in.

What to Know Before You Hire a Housekeeper

Finally hiring a housekeeper can bring such a sense of relief, but only if you’ve done your homework. It’s important to find someone who is trustworthy, particularly if they will be cleaning your home while you’re at work or running errands, and will take their time to do the job properly. Ask around for referrals and consider the ins and outs of using a sole proprietor or hiring a larger cleaning company before you commit to a housekeeper.

Independent Workers vs. Cleaning Companies

A number of housekeepers work as sole proprietors of their own business, but you might be more comfortable with a larger cleaning company that hires their own employees. There are pros and cons to both: A benefit to hiring a cleaning company is that they are responsible for screening the employees to ensure that a background check comes up clean. On the other hand, if you want the same person cleaning your house every week, you should choose a sole proprietor—turnover tends to be higher with cleaning companies, and they might send someone different each time.

Find a Referral

The best place to start looking for a great housekeeper is to ask your family and friends if they have a company or person that they use and love. One of the great things about using a cleaning service is that they have multiple people who might work out well for your needs. A lot of services will allow you to try out different housekeepers until you find one that is perfect for your needs.

Interview Candidates

Take some time to come up with real questions, and make sure that you’re thorough with the interview. Ask questions about what they enjoy about their work. Why did they choose housekeeping as a line of work? Check references, work history, and criminal history. A lot of services will do these things in advance, but be thorough and check out the results.

Decide on a flat fee or an hourly fee

When considering hiring a housekeeper, one of the things that you might have to decide is if you’re going to pay by the hour or pay a flat fee, though the housekeeper or company might have their own non-negotiable policies.

Awesome Tips Will Help You Choose The Best Maids Service

Cleaning your home is never an easy task, especially when you have a busy schedule to work with. When it comes to the best housekeeping Houston solutions available, there’s bound to be many choices. However you don’t want to just hire anyone for the job. Finding the best Houston maids in your area to come and clean your house is vital. But just how can you find the Houston maids that are best suited for your home? This guide can help, with a handful of tips that can point you in the right direction.

Have a busy schedule and just can’t find the time to clean your home? Companies in your area are ready to help. Because you don’t want to trust you house to just anyone, these tips can help you find the best maids available

Reputation – In this day and age, there’s no reason to risk leaving your home to just anyone. Research the maids you are looking to retain and make sure that they’ve got a good mix of positive reviews. With a good clientele and lots of good reviews, you can be sure that their service is top notch. The last thing you want to do is come home to a bigger mess, or find that you picked the wrong house cleaning service

Variety of Service – Maybe you’ve got guests coming over for an important social event, or there’s such a big mess you just can’t handle it. Perhaps you are heading out of town and need someone to come in and clean up. Or you are throwing a huge get together, and time is of the essence.

Trustworthiness – Let’s face it, you need a cleaner that you can rely on and trust. Not only to show up when you need them, but to keep the house clean and without any accidents. Meeting and discussing your home cleaning service needs is often the best way to find the right fit for. You want to be able to leave your home in the right hands, and not have to worry about things missing or broken when you return.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HOUSE CLEANING OR MAID COMPANY

Before we started this house cleaning business, we were occasional clients of various maids services.  Our experience was frequently inconvenient, cumbersome, and hit-or-miss.  It took forever to figure out what the price would be, the cleaners were late, and the results were uninspiring.

Now, after having serviced hundreds of clients in Las Vegas, we have a much better idea as to what ingredients go into a great house cleaning experience.  The first time is always a bit traumatic for the client: inviting strangers into your home, trusting them with your possessions, paying them a lot of money, with very specific and frequently unexpressed expectations.  So, how does one choose the best  house cleaning or maid company?

Basics first.  Does the house cleaning company have all proper licenses and insurance? there are licensing requirements by both city and state.  We were surprised that some companies don’t have one, another, or both! Why is proper licensing important? The house cleaning businesses – as all others – are regulated. The licensing fees are costly.  But if the maid company is serious about obeying the laws and playing by the rules, it will pay those fees.  Whether someone has paid those fees or not is easy to check online: just google business registration for the city and for the state.

Insurance is even more critical for the house cleaning business.  Your house cleaning company should have both general liability (think you slipped on the mopped floor and broke your hip, or maid accidentally dropped antique heirloom or dinged your expensive floors) and worker’s compensation (think maid fell in your home while working).  Depending on your state’s law, the maid maybe considered your employee, especially if her true employer didn’t have the worker’s compensation coverage.  Even if neither of you intended it that way, you pay cash, and she used her own equipment. I would highly recommend asking your house cleaning company to provide a copy of the policies before any work.

Is the work guaranteed. Their products are high quality but if something goes wrong and I’m not happy, I know I can get my money back.  One time I’ve returned a tray of sushi which tasted suspicious. Accepted it without batting an eyelid.  And it gets thousands of dollars each year from me, my family, and our business shopping there.  Your house cleaning company should offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  It’s a tough promise to carry out.  Maids work hard, but every client’s expectation is subjective and sometimes the results fall short.  It’s an honorable (albeit expensive) thing to do – return your client’s money.  Some cleaning companies – especially the ones that charge extremely low prices – are not in the position to stand by their work. In that respect, you can decide: whether to pay $100 for the service you’re unhappy about or $200 for your guaranteed happiness? 

How to Pick a Unique & Catchy Cleaning Business Name

One of the first things you need to do when starting a cleaning business is picking your business name. When it comes to picking your cleaning company name, you want it to be unique, catchy, and memorable. It’s also important to pick a name that can be branded well and gives the appearance of a professional cleaning service.

I have compiled a list of example cleaning business names below that may or may not be available for website domain name registration. Please note that some of these names may already be registered as domains and/or businesses in your local city/town. Please do your due diligence before registering a business name.

You want to pick a name that is 2-4 words long and includes maids, maid, clean, cleaning or some other name that describes your business and does not have your personal name in it.

The reason you don’t want your personal name in your business name is that more than likely someone else has already registered a business and website with your name in it. Plus, it could come across as unprofessional and not unique.

How to Pick a Cleaning Company Name Exercise

To pick a name for your business I would recommend using the cleaning terms clean, cleaning, maid, or maids in the name. This helps with brand recognition and search engine optimization.

How To Grip The Bat Properly

Bat Removal & Bat Control

How do bats get inside?

Bats can enter a structure through holes as small as a nickel. Most commonly bats get into roof or attic spaces through vents, but they will also fly in through chimneys or windows if given the opportunity. If you live in a bat-heavy area, screening windows and doors is advised if you like to leave them open.

Do bats pose health risks?

Yes, exposure to bats or their guano (droppings) can pose many health risks, including but not limited to Histoplasmosis and Rabies. Bats can also bring ectoparasites, fleas or mites, indoors. Although not aggressive in nature, some bats will bite if they feel threatened

Can a bat infestation cause property damage?

Bat guano can accumulate over time leading to significant, costly damage. Their guano and urine can also stain interior and exterior walls. Insulation damage is common for bat infestations in attic spaces. Due to the health risks, damaged property often needs to be stripped or replaced to avoid potential disease transmission.

WHERE DO BATS ROOST?

Bats are creatures that are actually quite good for the environment. However, no one will deny that they can also become pests. This is especially true when they decide to make your house their home

How do Bats Choose a Roost?

Bats may choose different types of roosts based on certain factors. Sometimes it can depend on what time of year it is. Other times, it depends solely on what the bat needs at that moment.

The different types of roosts that bats choose include:

• Maternity Roosts – In the early summer months, bats will look for a maternity roost to have their babies. Warm and dry spaces indoors are very good for this purpose.

• Hibernation Roosts – Bats are creatures that hibernate during the winter months. Underground caves are usually quite suitable for hibernation. They give them a place where they won’t be disturbed.

• Tree Roosts – Trees are actually very attractive roosts for bats. They offer protection from the elements. They also offer an assortment of bugs for bats to feed on.

• Building Roosts – Bats will frequently be found in attic spaces of homes, churches and other buildings. They actually offer the perfect form of protection for them.

• Underground Roosts – Caves, cellars and mines might be perfect for bats all year long. They are great for hibernation, but also offer safe spaces for feeding and mating.

Why are Bats Such a Menace?

Bats are animals that most people prefer to avoid and their presence in your home is definitely not welcome. That’s because they can cause structural damage and spread diseases.

UNDERSTANDING ISSUES WITH BATS

Bats are nocturnal mammals that feed primarily on plants (i.e., nectar, fruit), insects and spiders, so they can be considered beneficial for reducing some insect populations. There are currently approximately 1,300 bat species recognized. Some species feed on small birds, frogs and/or fish.

Notorious vampire bats, consisting of three species total, feed only on blood to survive. These species blood feed on a variety of animals, including reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals (including humans). The common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) is distributed through. Scientists have discovered that vampire bat saliva contains effective anticoagulants that are used to prevent clotting during blood feeding.

Bats can range in size from approximately 2 grams (e.g., bumblebee bat) to 2.5 pounds (flying foxes). Most bat species are active at night and use echolocation to locate/capture food. However, there is one bat species (Samoan flying fox [Pteropus samoensis]) that is active primarily during the daytime

BATS AND DISEASE

Bats should be excluded from homes due to the possibility of pathogens being transmitted to humans (either through bite or from aerosolized pathogens in droppings). The rabies virus has been associated with animals such as raccoons (highest incidence), followed by bats, skunks, foxes, cats, cattle and dogs (Monroe et al. 2016). When a human is bitten by a rabid animal, that person may become infected with the rabies virus

The rabies virus affects the central nervous system of victims and organs (e.g., skin, heart). After an incubation period of a few weeks to a few months (typically), the rabies virus infects the salivary glands of potential vectors and can be transmitted to victims via saliva at the bite site. There are post-bite rabies vaccines available for humans, and these therapies increase the chances of survival of a rabies virus infection. Although there is a low incidence of bats transmitting the rabies virus to humans (one to two cases/year), rabies has been detected in all continental.

Choosing the Ideal Bat Removal Service

Just like other rodents, if bats invade you’re your home; you will realize that they will do so as a colony. Bats are nocturnal animals and love occupying the ceilings in people’s houses. One of the most challenging tasks to undertake is the bat removal

The bats are categorized as the pest because they typically live in people’s homes where they cause destruction. However, people have limited information on the bats and how their existence affects the environment and the human beings

Classification

One of the most common misconceptions about the bats is that they are bids. People refer to the bats as birds because they can fly as most birds do. Well, on the contrary, bats are flying mammals which operate at night and live in large colonies.

Harmful

Just like the other types of mammals, the bats have self-defense, mechanism. We had earlier indicated that the bats typically avoid physical contact with the human beings. When the bats are handled, just like the rats, they could bite you out of feat

Damage

One of the complaints that many homeowners typically have about the bats is the guano which refers to the bat droppings. Guano usually creates an unpleasant smell and piles up after a very short time bearing in mind that the bats live as a colony.

BATS

Think mice with wings and you are on the right track. These bats are great at catching bugs on the wing but can’t gnaw through your walls to get inside. Instead they usually use existing holes in the house to get in

Exclusion: We want to exclude the pest from getting into the house. If there are multiple holes we will close all of them except one. Then, we install a “one-way door or funnel”. This device allows the animal to get out but not back in again. After waiting a few days the device is removed and the final hole closed. It should be noted that this method leaves the animal(s) alive and in familiar territory so it has the best chance of finding another home.

Trapping: We can leave a trap or traps set for the animal(s) and once we have caught it (them) we can close up the access hole

Blown Out Truck Tires Cause Catastrophic Accidents

The choice of winter tires

Like every responsible driver, you’re probably wondering how to figure out which winter tires to choose. Here’s a tip: ignore your friends and family. Your brother-in-law may brag that he found some amazing winter tires, but that doesn’t mean his tires are right for your vehicle. We can’t say it enough—it’s absolutely vital to consider your vehicle type and driving habits when choosing your tires

Know your tire size

First and foremost, make sure you know the size of your tires—it’s one of the first questions you’ll be asked in store. Your winter tires and your summer tires must be the same size

Know the types of roads you drive on

This is crucial when choosing winter tires. Do you drive mainly on city roads, side roads, or highways? If you drive a lot, make sure you invest in high-quality tires. This is especially important if you drive a compact car, which is more likely to skid in poor conditions.

Look at the tires

It might seem obvious, but take the time to go to the store. You can visually compare the quality of the different tires available, especially the grooves, flexibility, and lateral stiffness

Ask the right questions

A good sales rep will know the right questions to ask to help you pick your winter tires. Beyond the routine use of your vehicle, they’ll ask about your annual mileage, where you live, and, most importantly, your budget.

What are the Best Truck Tires for Towing?

When you hit you the road for a weekend of adventure and making memories with the fam, the last thing you want to worry about is your tires. You are a conscientious driver that already knows your tire choice matters. If you’re towing a camper, boat, or any other type of hobby trailer the tires on your truck matter even more. So, what are the best truck tires for towing?

A truck is already a more heavy-duty vehicle designed to take on extra challenges. There are already so many choices. From the Toyota Tacoma to the Ford F-350, trucks come in all different sizes with varying tow capacities

Making your decision

When determining which truck tires are best for towing, it’s important to consider all the variables that are unique to your specific adventure. Are you hauling horses? Are you towing a loaded down camper? Are you in a light truck or a dually? Does your rig have a bumper hitch or a gooseneck setup? All of these factors come into play

Where are you towing?

Tire options are difficult to narrow down. One way to determine which tires are the best for your truck and trailer is to select tires designed for the terrain and climate. Tires that excel in the cold and snow don’t perform as well in a hot climate. Likewise, a tire that is engineered for summer driving won’t be your best bet for towing in winter

hat truck tires are the best for towing?

The Michelin Defender LTX M/S all-season radial tire is a great place to start. There is also the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac all-season radial tire, which is great for towing a load with off-road potential.

CHOOSING RIGHT COMMERCIAL TIRE FOR YOUR SEMI TRUCK

Nowadays choosing a commercial tire for your semi-truck got very complicated with a variety of name brands there is. Often, the cheapest tire is not the most cost-effective. In this article we wanted to help the end user, does not matter if it is an owner of a semi-truck or large fleet, choose the right tire that fits your needs and budget. That is why we prepared a number of things to consider when purchasing new commercial tires.

First of all, pay attention or shoot a picture of the tires that you currently have, (check the tires for the uneven wear). Very often the way your tires look at the end of its life speaks for itself. Just by looking at it you can tell if there is anything wrong with your truck suspension or parts and fix the problem before you invest in a new set of tires which usually ranging anywhere from 1900- 5000$.

Taking into consideration all of this tire specs you have to understand that commercial tires have Tiers classifications, and the higher Tire Tier is – the higher tire specs would be, better life, durability and warranty the higher cost you pay.

After you finally make a decision as far as tire brand and specs that fit your needs try to search online for some additional info and other user feedback also check with your local trusted tire dealer for possible experience as mistakes could be costly and harmful for your budget.

Find truck and bus tyres

Everything you need as a fleet manager, everything you expect from Goodyear Dunlop. The first and only complete support service specifically created for fleet needs.

Save money with Goodyear Dunlop Retreading Solutions. Get the efficiency you need with application specific tread designs that offer like-new performance at a lower cost.

Tyre performance is now rated in a similar manner to energy ratings found on household appliances. The EU Tyre Label will help you to make an informed choice when choosing your tyres.

More information is available in our truck tyre technical data book and brochures

Choosing the right truck tire for the right application

Tires are increasingly being made to fit specific applications, and fleet managers should take notice when spec’ing new tires––there’s a lot to take in

This is good news for fleets with specialized applications or those who want to squeeze more efficiency out of their truck tires, but it does mean that you will have to do more research before choosing a truck tire to make sure the application matches the tire.

“But it gets much more granular,” he goes on, going through a list of questions the fleet needs to ask itself: “What percentage of the time is the tire going off road and what type of off-road conditions is it facing? Is it on a vehicle hauling grain out of a farm and dealing with sticky mud? Or is it dealing with sharp rocks on an aggregates site, or nasty metal objects on a construction site? Will the tire be operating almost exclusively on the open highway, or also spending time in the city with tight turns and damaging curbs?

“Tire manufacturers such as Triangle Tire are putting increased efforts into designing tires for regional and local haul fleets. 17.5-, 19.5-, 9R22.5-, and 10R22.5-in. size tires (in both rib and traction tread designs) for smaller delivery vehicles are being developed to offer more miles, better fuel economy and repeated retreadability,”

Rolling resistance and fuel efficiency

One such example of an application-specific tire innovation is low rolling resistance (LRR) tires, which have become a popular source of improved fuel economy in many long-haul fleets.

Benefits To A Business In Using An Online Bookkeeping Service

How to choose a bookkeeper you can trust

Tradies are always pushed for time when running their own business. Hiring a bookkeeper to keep your accounts in line is a good idea so you have one less problem to worry about. Here are some tips to help you choose a bookkeeper you can trust.

Know what you need

The first thing you need to do is to assess your business needs so you know what sort of bookkeeper you need. As a tradie you have unique needs. Consider how many transactions you make and the services you require to keep your business on track.

Hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service

When you hire a bookkeeper that offers a full service, it can save you money. A business that offers a full service does everything from bookkeeping and invoicing to preparing and lodging BAS statements. They should use good software and give you good advice about the best accounting methods for your business and what expenses you can claim as a tradie.

Do they have industry experience?

The single most important thing is to hire a bookkeeper with experience working with tradies. This way they know how you operate and exactly what expenses you can claim. A bookkeeper with industry experience will easily understand your business and what it takes to do a good job. A good bookkeeper can give you good advice on how to improve your business operations to help it grow and become more successful.

Avoid hiring the cheapest bookkeeper

Cheap is not always the best. As a tradie you would already know this. Sure, you are working within a budget but you get what you pay for. If you think hiring an experienced bookkeeper that understands your industry is expensive, hiring a bad bookkeeper will cost you more. Can you afford that?

The beginner’s guide to bookkeeping

While the days of dusty ledgers and paper receipts are becoming a thing of the past, bookkeeping is here to stay. From better budgeting and tax preparation, to planning and peace of mind, good bookkeeping equals good business. But it’s so much more than writing down numbers in a ledger or a software program and tracking money in and out.

Bookkeeping 101

The short answer is that a bookkeeper tracks and records all of a business’ day-to-day financial transactions. That includes handling customer receipts, invoices, payments to suppliers, client billing, payroll, tracking and maintaining budgets, recording depreciation and reporting issues as they arise.

What’s the difference between accountants and bookkeepers?

At this point you may be asking yourself “isn’t that what accountants do?” Well, no. Bookkeepers are primarily concerned with the daily transactions of a business and handle more of the financial administration, while accountants take a more “big picture” approach to your financials, offering insights and information based on what bookkeepers do. Moreover, accountants often help business owners with tax strategy and planning, completing tax returns and financial forecasting. 

Do I need to hire a bookkeeper?

That depends. Because bookkeepers and accountants work in tandem to provide you with a clear picture of your business, having both on staff is important as your operations grow. Initially, many small businesses opt to do it themselves or hire a bookkeeper part-time. 

Get a good bookkeeping program

Explore the types of bookkeeping options available to you, which range from handwritten ledgers to Excel spreadsheets to automated systems, and choose the right solution for the way you work. If you can hire a part-time bookkeeper, talk to them about what they’ve used for similar clients and allow them to help you select the best option for your business.

How to Choose an Accounting Degree Program

Many people consider accounting the language of business. This age-old field remains a vital part of the modern commercial world. Companies across the nation need individuals who can understand numbers and make sense of their bottom line. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accounting jobs can expect steady growth across the next decade. The BLS projects that employment of accountants will grow at a rate of about 6% from 2018-2028, the average rate of growth for all occupations in the U.S. Accounting plays an integral role in the economy, and the profession continues to evolve.

Below, we cover everything you need to know to select the right accounting or finance degree for today’s business world. We explore the different accounting degrees available to accounting majors and examine the many factors to consider when selecting a degree program. We also explore what to look for in an accounting degree curriculum and the various specializations students can pursue. Additionally, we highlight the many accounting degree career paths open to new graduates, as well as the salaries that accountants typically earn in the modern economy. This guide concludes with answers to frequently asked questions about becoming an accountant.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER AN ACCOUNTING DEGREE

Earning a degree in accounting prepares you to enter a growing field that features robust demand. Every organization — whether it is a government, nonprofit, or for-profit entity — needs to know the state of its finances, which makes financial jobs on pace to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Information and data drive today’s economy, and accountants hold the key to an organization’s financial information. Accountants often find themselves moving beyond bookkeeping and into boardrooms to help make decisions that propel companies forward. Some accountants also direct and develop accounting information systems, while others use their expertise to uncover fraud as forensic accountants. In short, an accounting degree opens an array of career possibilities.

HOW TO KNOW WHICH PROGRAM IS RIGHT FOR YOU

Finding the right accounting program requires that you first consider your personal and professional goals. Like other college majors, accounting programs encompass a broad range of topics, and each university boasts its own features and areas of expertise.

Bookkeeper or Accountant?

There is often confusion about the difference between bookkeepers and accountants, but any business requires both bookkeeping and accounting. Bookkeeping is the foundation of accounting and while there is often an overlap between what bookkeepers and accountants do, it’s not a matter of one versus the other. Both have specialised experience and knowledge for the tasks they perform

What is the difference between Bookkeepers and Accountants?

Generally speaking, bookkeepers are across the business accounts on a more regular basis than accountants, as their job is to manage the day-to-day financial applications of the business. At the end of the financial year, they hand over a tidy set of accounts to the accountant.

Having a bookkeeper involved makes the job of an accountant a whole lot easier, as they take what the bookkeeper has done, make year-end adjustments for things like depreciation, FBT, home office expenses etc., and prepare tax returns and financial reports

Anything income tax or business structure related is usually the domain of an accountant. One of their responsibilities is to make sure you are meeting your tax obligations. They ensure that the business’s accounts accurately reflect the position of the business, and that you are claiming everything you are legally entitled to. They may also analyse the business’s financial reports, discuss with you its financial health and viability, and advise on how to improve business performance.

Many business owners love the business they are really good at and love what they do.  But, the bookkeeping side of their business often becomes a dreaded chore and is usually not the best use of their valuable time. In contrast, bookkeepers love keeping your books tidy and will do everything they can to lighten your load.  Plus, bookkeepers are much more efficient in processing data because that is their profession.

Ways to Make Bookkeeping Easier

When first starting a business, you’re asked to quickly absorb information on new topics and handle many tasks that you have probably never done before. And, unless you have previous experience with business financials, dealing with the economic side of a business will likely be new to you. With this in mind, we’ve put together tips to make the process simpler for you!

Keep Business and Personal Separate

Maintaining your businesses bookkeeping will be challenging enough without mingling your personal income and expenses. You need to keep your business receipts and invoices for five years, and sorting through a big pile trying to remember if that expense four months ago was personal or business is a waste of your valuable time. Establishing separate files, budgeting systems and bank accounts for your business expenses and income makes tracking and reporting much easier.

Choose the Right Bookkeeping Method for You

If your business is small enough, an Excel spreadsheet might meet your accounting needs for a while. But when your business begins to grow, you’ll need a more powerful solution. Accounting software can be a huge help by organizing your invoices, cataloguing receipts and generating the reports you need to make solid financial decisions with the click of a mouse.

And Keep up With It!

Bookkeeping is like any chore: the longer you procrastinate, the longer it takes to catch up. Unfortunately, ignoring that pile of statements and invoices won’t make them go away! Eventually, you’ll be forced to waste a day that you could be spending with friends or family entering numbers and sending late invoice reminders. Bookkeeping doesn’t have to be a daily chore, but don’t wait until the end of each quarter to pull all that data together.

Pick the Right Time

If you’re most productive and creative first thing in the morning, don’t use that time on your bookkeeping tasks. Determine a time of day or week when you can focus, but don’t need optimal brain function to work. That’s when you should catch up on your bookkeeping. Set this as an appointment in your schedule, and keep to it! If you’re finding this difficult, and that you are behind no matter what, it may be time to add a professional bookkeeper to your support team!

The Importance Of Commercial Roofing

REGULAR ROOF MAINTENANCE EXTENDS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A ROOF

Even though most people believe that they can assess a roof and identify potential problems themselves – this is best done by professionals. Certified roofing companies are also able to identify any problems that you may miss and can additionally make repair recommendations which will save your roof in the long run.

In addition, most of the commercial roof repair jobs come with at least a one-year warranty guarantee which gives businesses added peace of mind and comfort knowing that the job will be done right the first time.

If we transform these facts to numbers, we will see that an exterior and interior inspection of a roof can increase the life expectancy of it by at least 50 years. For starters, interior and exterior inspection includes looking for damage or other irregularities such as:

  • Displaced, missing or loose tiles or shingles
  • Curling at the edges or corners of the roof
  • Damaged caulking and roofing cement
  • Warmed flashing or flashing with holes
  • Discolored streaks
  • Standing water on the roof (the weight of which can make the roof sag and collapse in the future)
  • Obstructions in the attic vents
  • Water stains, moisture etc.

As you can see, all of these scenarios may lead to a damaged roof. More importantly, they are all linked to the safety and well-being of your employees, which is why they need to be carefully considered.

What Is A Roof Maintenance Plan?

A maintenance plan for a commercial flat roof is facilitated by a commercial roofing contractor to perform regular inspections, cleaning, and maintenance to prevent more severe damage from occurring.

Enrolling in a maintenance plan, or contract is an easy way for building owners and managers to ensure their commercial roof remains under warranty and in excellent condition while staying within their budget.

A typical roof warranty requires at least one roof inspection to be performed a year by an authorized contractor. This requirement is beneficial for the property owner and the company that issues the warranty. During the yearly inspection, the inspector will check for not only current problems but areas that could turn into problems in the future. This allows repairs to be made before they grow larger and become costly.

A good maintenance plan will go a step further; they will clean your gutters, mend your flashings and perform minor repairs for the cost of the program. Having a service team visit your roof regularly not only gives you peace of mind, but it expands your roof’s lifespan and keeps you within your warranty guidelines.

In addition to scheduled maintenance, it’s more important to have your roof maintenance team to your facility before and after severe weather (such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, hail or winter storms) to make sure any damage from the weather is minimized. Keep in mind that you want a contractor that has an emergency line in the event of water entering your building or any other drastic roof damage.

The Benefits of a Well-Maintained Commercial Roof

Preventive roof maintenance is about finding and repairing small roof problems, and stopping them before they cause damage. A well-maintained commercial roof has a longer life span, and can save you a significant amount of money on costly roof replacement. You won’t have to worry about a chronic roof leak causing premature roof failure, damaging inventory, or creating hazardous “slip-and-fall” conditions.  After all, you wouldn’t expect your company vehicles to run well if nobody ever changed the oil, changed the filters, or cleaned their trucks, would you?

When you don’t have to worry about major roof repairs, you start saving time and money. The cost of regularly inspecting and repairing your roof is much less than a full roof replacement. If you want to get the most value out of your initial roof investment, focus on preventing roof problems before they happen. Contact us for an initial consultation, so you can discuss and compare the details of a full roof replacement cost and our scheduled maintenance services.

The Importance Of A Roofing Maintenance Contract

Most business owners think of roofing costs as a one-time expense. After the initial cost of installing a new roof, many owners assume there’s no use in investing any more money until they need a new one. However, a roofing maintenance contract actually saves you money in the long run by proactively minimizing the cost of roof replacement or repairs. If you’re interested in how a roofing maintenance contractor can actually reduce your business’ roofing costs, keep reading.

The Benefits of a Maintenance Contract

Do you know which commercial roof repairs are covered under your warranty? If not, you’ll probably be surprised by how little is generally covered by warranties. By providing a more holistic solution, a roofing maintenance contract protects you from internal leakage that wouldn’t typically be covered by roofing warranties. Additionally, these repairs are generally covered under the terms of the maintenance contract, so you won’t be slapped by any surprise costs to keep your roof in great shape. With a maintenance contract, it’s much easier to understand what will and what won’t be covered in the event of roof issues.

Hiring a commercial roofing contractor provides these additional benefits:

  • We identify significant issues before more critical damage can occur.
  • Regular roof maintenance and inspection can increase your roof’s lifespan by up to 50%.
  • Having a roofing maintenance contract can increase the value of your property.
  • Roofing maintenance contracts can be customized for your unique needs.
  • We provide you with quotes regarding any major repairs needed.
  • Contracts can lower roofing costs on both a short and long-term basis.

Identifying roof issues early allows us to remedy issues more cost-effectively than waiting for long-term damage to occur before repairing. Plus, larger roofing issues can ultimately damage other aspects of your building’s infrastructure, forcing you to spend money on additional repairs.

When managing a commercial space, keeping on top of roof maintenance is extremely important.

  • Protecting Employees and Customers – Commercial buildings need to be constantly maintained in order to provide a safe environment for every employee and customer who enters the building. Keeping on top of roofing maintenance can help you prevent injuries and unsafe conditions at your facility.
  • Protecting Inventory – If you roofing in Scituate, MA fails, your inventory could be damaged or even destroyed. This can cause a huge loss in profits for your business, and can even put the wholes business under depending on the extent of the damage.
  • Keeping Your Doors Open – In order to profit from your business operations, you need to keep your doors open. If you don’t get regular preventative maintenance on your roof, you run the risk of having to close your doors for repairs or even a roof replacement.

How To Prevent Clogged Toilet

Ways to Unclog a Toilet – And Only One Requires a Plunger!

Uh, oh. It’s happened to all of us, but it’s always embarrassing nonetheless. Learn the tricks of how to unclog a toilet and you’ll learn how to do this with minimal mess. You may even get away with it without anyone knowing the clog happened in the first place, which is the goal, right?

1. Create a Volcano in Your Toilet

Remember that model of a volcano you made back in third grade? You combined baking soda and white vinegar, and a foaming substance bubbled out of the top of your fake volcano. Baking soda and vinegar is a marvelous cleaning agent, and when dumped into a clogged toilet, often will break up the clog without you having to do a thing.

This is what you want to do: combine two cups hot water with two cups white vinegar. Pour one cup of baking soda into the clogged toilet, and then chase it with the hot water/vinegar mixture. Leave the volcano mix to do its job, checking in about 30 minutes. In most cases the clog will have come apart, and a simple flush with send it all down the drain. Plus your toilet bowl will be cleaner!

2. Use the Degreasing Power of Dish Detergent to Break Up the Clog

If you hate the smell of vinegar or don’t have enough room in the toilet bowl to do the volcano trick, try this inexpensive and very effective plumbing trick. Pour a half cup of dish detergent (degreasing dish detergent like Dawn works best) into the clogged toilet. Follow this with three to four cups of boiling water. The boiling water and degreasers will break up the clog, sending it right through.

Hint: This is a great way to discreetly unclog a toilet if you ever get stuck with a clogged toilet when you are on a date or at a friend’s house. Look around the bathroom for liquid soap – shampoo or hand soap will do the job almost as well as dish detergent – and dump a liberal amount of liquid soap or shampoo into the toilet bowl. Then follow with hot water from the tap. With any luck, you’ll be able to flush away before anyone suspects anything is awry. Plus the soap helps a little to disguise the smell, which is a plus.

3. Use a Little Petroleum Jelly on the Plunger

Keep a plunger in your home — a durable rubber plunger with a flange works the best. What many people don’t realize is the seal is the key to a plunger working. Just put a little petroleum jelly (Vaseline works well) around the rim of the plunger, press the plunger around the drain so the seal is tight, and add water if the top of the plunger is not submerged (otherwise you won’t get an effective plunge). Plunge until you break up the clog. Add hot water as needed to keep the plunger submerged.

As s side note, for the sake of comfort to guests who use your bathroom, always keep a plunger in every guest bathroom. There are plungers that come with modest and sanitary holders, intended for this very reason. Visitors to your home will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

4. Head to the Hardware Store for a Snake

If the volcano, dish soap, and plunger have all failed, you’ll want to bring out the big guns: the snake.  Talk to someone at the hardware store to ensure you don’t get an industrial grade snake that can do serious damage to your pipes; you want something pretty tame because the cost of plumbing repairs is not low when it comes to damaged pipes.

Feed the flexible end of the snake into the problem area and then twist the snake handle to break up the clog. Don’t force anything; if you hit a blockage that seems immovable, be cautious and try backing out the snake and trying to feed it in again. Be careful not to further impact the problem area, making the clog worse.

Don’t let a Clog Turn into Catastrophe: Camera Inspect your Pipes

It’s hard keeping tabs on everything that runs in your home, especially your plumbing. With how often sinks and toilets are used, something can easily go wrong. Whether that’s a clogged drain, backed up toilet, or a leaking pipe, the upkeep can get overwhelming. Sometimes the problem can’t be seen on the surface or revealed with a plunger. Some plumbing problems run deeper than your drain lines. If you’re consistently struggling with plumbing problems, then it’s time for a camera inspection.

When It’s Time for a Camera Inspection

A camera inspection helps to identify problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean it’s always obvious to tell when you’re due for one. Luckily, there are a few warning signs to look for. Clogs, breakages, and other problems that happen deep within your sewer line can end up with particular results. If your plumbing is due for a camera inspection, here’s what to look out for.

  • Drains that are backing up or draining slowly. A slow drain or a drain that doesn’t function, are both signs that there is something wrong with your sewer line. If you can’t unclog a drain with a plunger or other common household methods, then a camera inspection will help detect the blockage that clogs your plumbing.
  • Leaking under the foundation. Finding a leak underneath your home’s foundation can typically be a sign of a damaged sewer line. Finding the source of the leak, however, can be difficult without digging up the line. A camera inspection might find the source of the problem without accessing the sewer line.
  • Inconsistent water pressure. If there is a leak in your plumbing or sewer line, that can cause a drop in your home’s water pressure. A pipe that leaks inside your home is easy to spot, but a leak in your sewer line is much trickier to spot without a camera inspection. A leaking sewer line left untreated can eventually result in some severe and costly damage and is best inspected and treated by a plumber immediately.
  • You just purchased a new home. If you’re interested in purchasing a new home or have recently bought a new home, it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your sewer and plumbing lines. A camera inspection is especially crucial if you’re buying an older home that could be more likely to have sewer problems, such as old pipes or tree root incursion.

What are the signs that you have a main sewer line clog?

1. Fixtures are clogged

Usually the most obvious sign of a main sewer line clog is when multiple drains are backed up at the same time. The first drain to experience problems will probably be the toilet, but other main-level fixtures like showers or tubs can also be involved, as well. If you suspect a sewer line clog, check the toilet first, following with the other drains in your bathroom.

2. Check the toilets

Toilets have the most direct path from the main drain and they also have the biggest drain pipes out of all of the fixtures, so this is why you can usually spot the problem here first. The toilet will do things like not flush properly, or make strange noises when water is running elsewhere in a sink, tub, or washing machine. This is a sure sign of a main drain problem.

3. Run sink water

Trapped air in the plumbing system can be a sign of sewer line issues. While running the sink water, you may hear the toilet making strange noises or notice the toilet’s water level rising.

4. Turn on the washing machine

A more unexpected sign of a main drain clog will come to light once you run your washing machine. If the water draining from your washing machine causes your toilet to overflow or backs up and starts to come out of shower or tub drains, it’s more than likely a sign the drain is clogged. Turn off the water supply to your home and call our plumbers for service.

How to unclog a sink drain:

Sure, a plunger is great for a clogged toilet, but what about a clogged garbage disposal or drain? James stands by a few genius DIY methods to unclog your drain in no time:

  • A bent wire hanger: Straighten out a regular wire coat hanger as much as possible, then bend one end to create a hook. Push it through the drain and start fishing. Hair and all other buildup should come out. Finally, run hot water to really clear things up.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Create a mixture of 1/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup vinegar. After it starts to fizz, pour the mixture down the drain right away to help break down all the gunk. Let things sit for about an hour (or overnight is even better!) then flush it out with hot water.
  • Boiling water: Boil a bunch of water in a tea kettle then slowly pour it down the drain in two or three stages, letting the hot water work its magic for several seconds between each pour. Of course, make sure your sink is empty first.

What is a Toilet Trap or Trap Way?

Look at the back of your toilet bowl and you will see a curving design in the outline. This is the pathway that the water waste flows when the toilet is flushed. In a working toilet, everything goes through the trap way and empties out into the drainage line.

If the toilet fills with water instead of rushing through the trap there is huge probability something is stuck in the pathway. There will be instances when the clog is in the drain. In these instances, you’ll have water backing up into the tubs and sinks throughout the house.

Removing a clog as soon as possible is necessary for various reasons. One, you don’t want to be inconvenienced by not having use of your toilet. Two, it is unsanitary to leave waste stilling in the bowl. 

It is always a good idea to have a plunger, toilet auger, and plumbing snake in the garage. Before you begin to work on the clog try to determine the source of the clog. There is also the option to call a plumber but before it gets to that try these DIY hacks.

What To Look For When Selecting Your Wedding Photographer

Steps to Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Selecting a wedding photographer is an essential part of the planning process, as integral as choosing a venue or finding the perfect dress. But unlike your flowers or catering, the photographs from your wedding live on long after the day. It can be difficult to find a photographer who matches your aesthetic and taste—not to mention someone you trust to really capture the most important moments. Will they take the right shots? Will we work well together? If you’re feeling overwhelmed

Ask around.

“Word of mouth is one of the most tried-and-true methods of finding a photographer you’ll love,” Ashley explains. Going by the old theory, “birds of a feather flock together,” friends often share a common style and similar budgets. If you loved a friend’s wedding, don’t be too shy to ask them about their experience.

Instagram, Instagram, Instagram.

This may be one of the only instances in which social media stalking is highly encouraged. Allow yourself to get lost in an endless scroll. “Start by scanning the feeds of your favorite wedding blogs or magazines,” Ashley recommends. Or trail through a beautiful venue’s geotag. In the process of clicking from profile to profile of accounts that share your taste and vision, you may end up settling on the perfect person that you wouldn’t have otherwise found. “Alternatively, use the ‘Explore’ feature on Instagram and search by popular wedding hashtags, including #weddinginspiration, #weddingphotography, and #weddingdetails,” says Ashley.

Settle on a style.

“Try and form a clear idea of whether you are more drawn to the organic aesthetic achieved with film or the crisp, classic style that digital photography offers,” Ashley explains. Taking the time to browse a photographer’s portfolio can be invaluable to finding the right fit. Are you looking for candid, documentary style or more posed and traditional portraits? “If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, focus on a photographer who specializes in it,” she advises.

Know your setting.

“With so much talent to choose from, it can be easy to hire a photographer simply on the beauty of their work, rather than taking into account what your wedding will actually look like,” Ashley emphasizes. “If you’re marrying in an intimate indoor space in the city, look for inspiration along that vein, rather than being distracted by open, airy outdoor wedding photos,” she adds.

Ultimate Guide to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Although, you can get away with capturing many events on smartphones, for your grand wedding, you obviously want a professional photographer. Wedding is truly a milestone life event and you need to be sure the day is captured successfully

Choosing a photographer is one of the most crucial decisions to make when planning your grand wedding day. There are plenty of things to consider, as extensive options of wedding photographers in Australia can be overwhelming for you

Settle for what you want

Since the ‘firing squad’ style that your grandparents and parents have undergone, bridal photography has come a long way. Starting from the traditional approach where the happy couple along with the in-laws are usually seen posing stiffly by the church door, there’s now documentary, fine-art and many more on the list. Journalistic or storytelling wedding photography has gained much preference in the last decade or so, and there are many pros specialized in this candid and relaxed manner.

Plan your budget

Work out how much you can spend initially as professional photographers cater to every market end. Again, be cautious about false budgeting here. In a local newspaper, you can probably find someone who will shoot your special moments for a few hundred bucks, but you are taking a risk. They might not be experienced with shooting a wedding before, they might not be creative photographers in particular and you end up wondering why they are providing their services at such a low price to begin with. On the other hand, booking a top society photography service can easily blow your financial plan for the entire wedding as well as the honeymoon!

Narrow down your list

If you want to pick a wedding photographer blind, primary considerations are clearly how long they have been in the business and how many wedding events they have shot. While you can avail the services from not so skilled photographers at a cheaper price, you may be welcoming more of a hazard. It is a good sign if the photographer is a member of a professional establishment, but seek someone with a distinction award.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Do you NEED a photographer?

I won’t lie and say that every couple needs a photographer at their wedding.  Wedding photography is a luxury!  Having a dedicated photographer allows friends and family to relax, put their phones down, and know that these moments are being artfully recorded

Having a cultivated gallery put together by someone who was there just to observe and create art through cultivated photographs, is a beautiful thing!  Being able to relive your entire day through the art of photography might not matter to you at all, and in that case, save your money and BUY A BIGGER CAKE!

Do you NEED a professional?

Not everyone who needs their wedding day documented needs to hire a professional either! Many factors such as image quality, reliability, knowing your photographer knows when and where to be taking photos without you babysitting them, insurance, back up equipment, back up photographers (you know in case, they break a leg the night before), artistic ability, editing ability, image storage, and technical photography skills (they might be able to nail photos in a controlled lighting environment, but what about when the sun goes down? or when you have to move inside due to rain?) all of these factors come into play when making this decision.

The work

THE most important factor for hiring a photographer to shoot your wedding is their STYLE!  If you don’t like their work, why on earth would you hire them!  Be choosy in this department

When you’re looking over their gallery, pay special attention to which images are from styled shoots and which are from actual weddings.  It’s much easier to make models look AMAZING  with stellar locations and unlimited time, than it is to make actual couples look PERFECT in a rushed 10 minutes behind the venue in a back alley somewhere. A good professional can do both, and make magic with a little sliver of good light and a few minutes with a couple in love.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer

Your wedding is a momentous occasion that you’re going to want to remember forever. That’s why capturing the day through photography is such an important task.

You don’t want to just get anyone to do it for you. Instead, you need a photographer who has the skills and experience to capture the best moments of the day.

Photography Style

Are you partial with artistic photography with magnificent backgrounds? Perhaps you prefer natural movements over planned poses? What about lifestyle photography to show more emotion?

Availability on Your Wedding Date

To choose the right wedding photographer, the next step is to find the photographers who still have bookings available on your wedding date.

The Photographer’s Profile

Your next consideration should be the photographer’s profile. Look at each photographers website and Facebook account.

Outstanding Portfolio

You must do your own review if you want to choose the right wedding photographer. Look at each vendor’s gallery of past projects. Don’t settle for those posted on the website because they are usually a hand picked selection of their best work. Instead, ask for full-galleries of two or three weddings they’ve serviced.

How to choose a Wedding Photographer?

“How to choose a wedding photographer” is an essential question that many couples need to ask themselves at some point. You can get lost with many amazing wedding photos being posted every day on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and co.

There are many great and exceptional wedding photographers out there, and most of them will do the job. However, there might only be a handful of photographers that can pull it off at your wedding. Check out our “Photographers Near Me” list for example!

Moody or airy?

The style should be your #1 thing to be aware of when looking for a photographer specifically. If you do not like the style, then there is no real reason to even think about contacting the photographer. Do you prefer your images to look moody? Maybe you prefer them to look airy? Just be aware of what you want so you can exclude thousands of photographers right away.

A perfect match

No matter how good the photos are, if you do not click together, then there is no way you should work together. Being a wedding photographer is a pretty intimate thing.

You will spend the majority of your day with the photographer; this is why you need to be on the same wavelength. The better your connection is, the more trust you can build, the better the images will get in the end.

Documenting An Electrical Installation

Why You Shouldn’t DIY Electrical Work

There are few aspects of home improvement that can be as fraught with danger as that of “Do-It-Yourself” electrical repairs. And while it may be a tempting prospect to forgo calling an electrician with the idea of saving a few bucks, then end results can be catastrophic. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t DIY with electrical work.

Electrical Shock

It is no secret that one of the foremost concerns when working around electricity is the danger of being shocked. Electrical shock can be deadly at nearly any voltage level, and this is especially true when working with higher voltages.

In most residential homes the average voltage for lighting and power outlets is around 110 volts. That’s certainly enough to give you a nice jolt, but the voltage levels for certain appliances, such as ovens and dryers, can reach 240 volts – a deadly amount of current. It is for this reason that residential electricians go through years of training to learn how to safely work around electricity. Sure, you can always turn off the power at the breaker box, but all too often DIYers either neglect this step or switch off the incorrect breaker and this leads to a dangerous situation.

Fire Hazards

As with electrical shock, the danger of causing a fire due to faulty wiring is a real concern for DIYers. With so many different electrical components to work with, it can be confusing trying to solve wiring issues. All it takes is the placement of a single wire in the wrong spot and the chances of an electrical fire significantly increase. And unlike electrical shock, where the results will be immediate, electrical fire hazards can remain dormant for months. This can lead electrical DIYers into a false sense of security after completing a project, and then weeks later the wiring shorts out causing a fire. This is why you should always hire an experienced electrician when there are problems with the electrical system.

Use of wires and cables that are the incorrect size 

A variety of sizes of electric wire are available (referred to as its ‘gauge’) and the size of the wire determines how and where it should be used. If an incorrect sized wire for the electric current is selected and installed, this may result in overheating or a shorting of the fuse or circuit breaker. It is imperative that only the wire and devices that are rated for the proper amperage are used.

Incorrect fitting of outlets and switches:  If outlets and switches are loosely installed, a hazard is presented when appliances are plugged in. Arcing and overheating may be the outcome of wires coming loose from their terminals.

Faults in electrical box connections:  The purpose of the electrical box is to provide protection from external elements. In light of this, it is dangerous to attempt to make electrical connections outside of the electrical box and similarly, electrical boxes should not be added to or filled beyond their capacity; this can cause overheating or short-circuiting.

Replacement of fuses:  One of the most common causes of fires in the home is that fuses that have blown or tripped are replaced with larger sized fuses or breakers. The reason for the fuse blowing or the breaker tripping is often the result of a fault in the circuit wiring. For this reason, the complete system should be looked at and checked by a professional electrician.

Your Insurance Company Will Not Cover Electrical Damage Costs

If a fire does occur in your home or any other kind of electrical issue, your insurance company may not cover the damage costs if the work is not done to code by a certified electrician.

Therefore, if you are thinking about having a DIY electrical work weekend it is best to call in the professionals. It will end up saving you time, money and even your home in the long run.

Serious Injury or Death Can Occur

Working on fixing up the electrical wires and fuses in your home without knowledge of what you are doing can lead to serious injury or death. You could cut the wrong wire with electricity flowing through it and end up with a serious electrical shock, or put fuses in the wrong spot causing them to spark a fire or overheat leading to serious burns.

You could also forget to ground the electricity elements properly, which could cause you or a love to receive an electrical shock that could be potentially fatal. These reasons alone are enough to keep from making the repairs yourself.

Faulty installation of a three-slot outlets.

Most older homes do not have ground wires at outlet locations. Rookies have been known to switch out the 2 prong outlet for a 3 prong without a ground.  Not only does this violated code, in the event of a short circuit the cover plate will become energized with electricity and cause a deadly shock.

Confusing hot and neutral wires when installing an outlet. 

If the hot wire is connected to the neutral terminal of an outlet you could get a serious shock.  It’s difficult to detect this mistake until someone is dangerously hurt because lights and other electrical devices will still work.

Code violations and building permits

Nearly all communities require you to have a building permit for any significant electrical work. This isn’t just to keep track of the taxable value of your home or office! It’s also to make sure that any work done meets the local building and safety codes. In most cases, the permit must be requested by a licensed, professional electrician or an electrical contractor who employs licensed electricians.

Remember that unlicensed electrical work is against the law so individuals guilty of this can face severe fines of up to $100,000, while companies can be penalized up to $500,000, depending on the state or territory. You can also serve a prison sentence of two years. If your violation causes deaths, you’ll have to deal with larger penalties and a lengthier prison term.

Expensive repairs

Even if you are able to avoid a fire or other safety issue when performing DIY electrical repairs, connecting your wiring improperly can cause it to fail. Having to pay a professional electrician on top of the money and time you already spent to attempt DIY electrical wiring—will cost you more money in the end.

However, in every instance, a certified and professional electrician should be sought to complete all electrical service work. It is simply too dangerous not to use a skilled and qualified electrician. Always make sure you hire a professional electrician. Transworld, Inc. Electrical Contractor requires that all our electricians are licensed and certified; we do not hire electrician helpers.

Move Out Cleaning Recommended When You Are Moving Out

Tips For Offering Move-In, Move Out Cleaning Service

Move-Out Cleaning

If you’re moving out, it’s always a good idea to clean up your house or apartment, either to make it spotless for the new occupants or to ensure you get your security deposit back. It’s also important to clean the house if you are putting the home on the market and need it spotless for pictures and open houses. No matter the reason, your former home should be just as clean as when you moved in, if not more.

The cleaning experts can visit your current house before you move out to give it a General or Top-to-Bottom Deep Cleaning. We will make sure every nook and cranny gets cleaned so that the entire home looks flawless. You’re ready to start the next chapter in your life, and cleaning up your current home is the perfect way to ensure a new beginning.

Why Should I Offer Move-Out Cleaning Services?

Move-out cleaning services are going to help your company grow. Yes, they’re more work than a residential clean. But they’ll bring in new clients, new referrals, and more experience for you. 

Word-of-mouth is important when you own a cleaning company. If you do a great job cleaning someone’s house when they move out, they’re going to refer you to a friend. They’ll also use you again when they move out. If you can work with a realtor, you may be able to offer your move-out services on a regular basis for home-showings. 

These kinds of cleaning services are also a useful source of income. You will get paid more for these services because they’re more detailed and they take more of your time. If you advertise for move-out cleaning services, you’ll be targeting a useful market. 

3 Reasons to Utilize Move-In and Move-Out Cleaning Service

One of the biggest peeves for most people moving from a home or apartment Is the clean-up process. Not only does one have to worry about packing their things nicely, but they also want to leave a home in the best condition possible. That is where residential movers that offer move-out cleaning service options come into the picture. Here are our 3 biggest reasons why you should hire residential movers that believe in cleaning out while you’re moving in.

You Can Ensure Cleanliness of Both Properties

Apartment movers and residential movers that offer move-out cleaning services often offer move-in cleaning services as well. Most property managers require that tenants clean a property once they move out. Everyone has a different definition of the word ‘clean’ so one person’s move-out conditions may differ from another’s. By hiring residential movers to provide their cleaning services as well as moving, you are able to make sure that your move-out location is thoroughly cleaned to every standard that a property manager would look for. Likewise, most of these moving companies also focus on the cleanliness of the move-in location. This would definitely take some pressure off of a move because now the customer would know that the property they are moving to is ready to be lived in.

It Prevents Allergies

By hiring a move-in cleaning service you are essentially hiring to prevent allergy attacks in your new home. A move-in cleaning service is going to be very thorough and will use cleaning products and equipment that are HEPA approved. A cleaning service will be able to clear the majority of dust and allergens from your new home or apartment. A move-in cleaning service also help s you know what types of materials are being used to clean your new home. This helps you know for sure that they are using safe cleaning products that will not leave remnants of chemical contamination in your new home.

You Have More Time For What Matters with Move-Out Cleaning Service

Cleaning your old home and new home can be a task that is as daunting as climbing Mount Everest. By hiring residential and apartment movers that offer cleaning services you are essentially killing two birds with one stone and freeing up your time to enjoy the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life.

Simple tips and techniques for move-in/move-out cleaning services.

  • Begin cleaning by removing all large trash pieces. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. Vacuuming will be quicker and more efficient not having to stop, pick up or move large waste materials.
  • Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand.
  • Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, ceiling vents, heat registers, and along the baseboards.
  • Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.
  • After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral pH floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.
  • Windows and glass entrance doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Window frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.
  • Provide appropriate dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) and safety training when working with chemicals.
  • If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – scrubber pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.

Schedule Apartment Move-Out Cleaning for Success

Move-out cleaning can be sporadic. You may hear nothing from a client for a week, then suddenly get a call when several apartments all need to be cleaned within a couple of days.

Of course, apartment managers are often under pressure to get units move-in ready quickly, since unoccupied apartments represent lost income. Be mindful of this, but also realistic with scheduling. The last thing you want is for your cleaning quality to suffer because your staff is overworked or cutting corners to get jobs done hurriedly within the allotted time.

Rushing your work can harm your reputation with your clients as well as employee morale in the long run. You may have to stand your ground—firmly yet politely—but you’ll gain the respect of all involved if you strive to create reasonable expectations while still getting the job done.