How To Stucco Repairs Siding On Your Home

Signs of a Stucco Leak You Can’t Ignore

If you have a stucco home, a stucco leak is your ARCH-NEMESIS! To avoid a costly stucco water intrusion disaster, you need to be on the lookout for the telltale warning signs of stucco problems. While it is a gorgeous and truly original home siding material, inferior stucco and improper installation can leave it susceptible to water intrusion. Knowing how to identify stucco problems is a crucial skill if you live in (or want to buy) a stucco home.

The Signs of Stucco Water Intrusion

When you’re hunting for these warning signs, you’re looking for the obvious clues of water leaking through the stucco walls of your home. These are essentially the same methods our stucco repair team employs.

Cracks in Stucco — Look for either large and obvious cracks or small hairline ones. Stucco cracks don’t always mean damage, but it is a common sign of stucco moisture problems.

Missing chips and chunks of stucco — Surface damage to your stucco siding is a sign of water damage underneath. If you find that your stucco tears or breaks off, it’s worth bringing out an expert to investigate further.

Window caulk gapping or cracking — The windows and the caulking around them are common places of stucco water intrusion. You need to look to your windows for signs of damage. If you do see damage here, you may need to have your windows replaced as well.

Stucco Services

A skilled stucco contractor should always be used when considering a new look to the exterior of your home. There are different types of stucco found on homes, synthetic (EIFS) and traditional hard coat (Portland Cement Plaster). Because of this, the process of stuccoing a home will be different with varying costs.

Most of homeowners are under the impression that stuccoing or re-dashing a home is simple. In fact, many people think it simply means adding a new layer over the top of an existing layer. The reality is that it isn’t very simple at all. Stucco work is difficult and cumbersome and not really a do-it-yourself type of project. Each stucco project is different. It may include sandblasting, lathing, repair, or patchwork before the act of applying a new layer of stucco actually begins. Sometimes, only a fog coat is needed to even out the color of existing or new stucco or refresh the look of stucco. To be certain, make sure to contact Stucco Boy to help you determine what type of stucco you have and what approach should be taken.

CUSTOM STUCCO FINISHES & TEXTURES

Before beginning a re-stucco project, it is important for your contractor to know what type of stucco your home currently has. It will adversely affect the cost associated with repairs.

If you are unsure whether your home’s exterior is made of tradition or synthetic stucco, here are a few tips. The best way to tell is to look through holes or vents where layering behind the walls can be seen. Foam core means it is synthetic stucco. If you see metal lath wire over asphalt-coated waterproofing paper, it is hard coat stucco, otherwise known as Portland cement stucco or traditional stucco.

TRADITIONAL STUCCO

The preferred choice for homeowners looking to re-stucco their home. professionals have made significant improvements to their way of working and installation procedures have been mandated to include a drainage plane and a weather resistant barrier between the sheathing and insulation board.

Repairing Exterior Stucco

Stucco is an excellent building material for high-humidity areas. In the past, many constructors used exterior cladding materials that were not stable enough. However, in the last few decades, stucco has served as one of the main building materials for most homes and other coastal areas.  It is important to know that stucco can show signs of damage, especially after a few years of exposure to the elements.  To prevent or mitigate damage, professional stucco contractors use proven effective methods for installation.

Climate Causes Stucco Damage

humid subtropical climate can be harsh on a buildings exterior, especially a material like stucco if it hasn’t been installed correctly.  From base walls to drywall and interior finishes, contractors want to make sure that humidity and excessive moisture won’t damage the building walls.  That is why solid cement solutions like stucco are popular.

Stucco is one part of the cement application on standard walls. When stucco is properly applied it can help insure that no moisture will damage the interior walls.  The subtropical climate is also well-known for vapor gases in the air. When sea salt combines with chloride contamination from seawater, we get an air structure that causes damage to many buildings. These air gases play a key role in the failure of building materials. As a result, we can see cracks start to form in exterior stucco surfaces.

Types Of Exterior Stucco Damage And Their Cause

There are two different types of exterior stucco damage. One of them is static damage that can occurs shortly after the stucco has been applied.  It usually happens before dynamic cracks which are more severe and pose a larger repair problem for your building.

How Stucco Helps Your Building Remain Stable

Stucco is a building material with great potential to last. When stucco was introduced in the United States market in the 1820s, it was a natural replacement for standard cement. After many modifications, stucco found a place in construction across America and its use has remained very popular as an exterior cladding material for many different types of buildings.  After the 1900s, most types of stucco were a mixture of Portland cement and some lime. Nowadays, stucco represents one of the most essential building materials for both interior and exterior walls.

Patch Stucco

Stucco is a popular exterior façade in the United States because of its energy efficient abilities, flexibility and striking visual charm. From time to time, however, surprising problems may transpire. Structural underpinning shifts can yield stucco cracks in abundant locations. Moisture breaches may cause bubbling plaster and flaking paint.

Spontaneous contact from objects and people may produce unsightly indentations, scratches and holes. To lessen the prospect of the damage diffusing to other portions of the wall, it is vital that repair is immediately carried out

Stucco repair is a convoluted assignment that should only be concluded by specialists

demonstrate aptitude and expertise in stucco renovation conditions. technicians are equipped to handle stucco damage of all types and are pleased with incomparable status for delivering exceptional restoration work in an affordable and timely way

Plaster vs Stucco: What’s the Difference?

A lot of folks confuse plaster and stucco in old houses. While they are similar in a lot of ways, they are different enough that understanding when and where to use them, especially in renovations, is imperative.

Their differences are not readily apparent to the naked eye. Plaster and stucco can both be applied much the same way, with the same textures and thicknesses, but the main ingredients in each are what make them different animals.

Today’s post might be a little more “building geek” than “hands on preservation”, but I think that understanding how and why your old house is the way it is makes you not only a wiser human, but a better homeowner. So, let’s get our geek on!

Plaster vs Stucco

Like I just mentioned, the ingredients are what make the difference in these two similar building materials. Both are made with an aggregate of some kind, usually sand of various sizes and textures. Both need water in order to mix everything together and activate the curing process.

Plaster

Depending on what kind of plaster you have, you will have one of two different binders, lime or gypsum

Cleaning And Maintaining Hardwood Flooring

Questions To Ask About Hardwood Flooring

Being an informed consumer can be one of the most beneficial things for you, especially when it comes to making large purchases. Researching and asking questions will provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right flooring choice for you and your lifestyle. When it comes to floors there are so many options out there: colours, finishes, materials, width, source, stains, etc. It can be overwhelming with the amount of choice out there and you may not even know where to start if you have not been able to ask the right questions to help narrow down your options.

With that in mind, here are 10 questions you need to be asking about flooring before you make a major purchase.

#1 Which Type Of Flooring Is Right For Me?

Why you should ask this question: the kind of environment you plan to install these floors in will dictate the kind of flooring you purchase. Rooms prone to dampness or humidity should not have solid hardwood floors installed, and should have engineered or another wood alternative purchased.

#2 Which Wood Species Should I Choose?

Why you should ask this question: the species you select will determine how your floor, and home, looks when all is said and done. Do you want the space to feel open and fresh, or cozy and traditional? Determining the end look and feel you want and then working backwards will help you to select the right species of flooring.

#3 Should I Get Factory Finished, Or Site Finished?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#4 My Room Is 10’ X 10’, How Much Material Do I Really Need?

Why you should ask this question: it is pretty easy to measure and then calculate square footage of your room but when it comes to installing flooring you will need to account for waste. The floors are not cut to your custom corners or fireplace jut outs and so on. As a general rule you will need to order about 10% more than your square footage so that it can be cut and sized properly when it is being installed. This will also account for any boards that may be not exactly perfect, so you will still have enough even if one board is not quite straight.

#5 What Kind Of Finish Is Right For Me?

Why you should ask this question: this question is purely based on preference and lifestyle. If you decide to go with site finished floors, you can actually have any finish that you want, but if you go with factory finished you are limited to what is already made. As a general rule, the more matte you finish is the less it will show scratches, nicks and dirt.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before a Hardwood Flooring Installation

Whether this is your first time working with a contractor or you’ve already completed several home improvement projects with professional assistance, knowing what to ask is critical. Before hiring an experienced professional to install new hardwood floors, ask your contractor the following eight questions.

What Type of Hardwood Flooring Is Best for My Home?

If you’ve already decided to install hardwood flooring in your home, you might have a good idea about the type of hardwood flooring you want. An experienced contractor can offer expert advice about the type of flooring that will work best with your home’s style. For instance, you might not have considered one of the hardest options, like hickory, or one of the more sustainable options, like bamboo. A contractor can also recommend the right kind of hardwood for your home’s natural environment. If you live in an area with high humidity levels, for instance, your contractor can help you decide on a type of hardwood that won’t warp due to moisture.

What Is Your Anticipated Installation Timeline?

Whether you need new hardwood flooring installed quickly or your timing is relatively flexible, a professional contractor is able to explain the installation process, the timeline, and related expectations. For instance, be sure you understand who’s responsible for moving furniture and other belongings out of the installation area. Also ask whether the contractor will remove the old flooring and other construction materials, as well as if there’s any additional costs involved for this work.

How Will You Handle Unexpected Issues or Installation Problems?

Your contractor might have a relatively straightforward plan for your hardwood flooring installation, but it’s important to remember that issues can arise at any time during the process. If your subfloor has some damage, for instance, it might need significant repairs or even replacement before installing the hardwood flooring. Ask whether your contractor can handle these issues and how they might affect the total cost and timeline.

How Long Does It Take to Install Hardwood Floors?

On average, 1000 sq ft will take around 2-3 days assuming there is no demolition job to undertake and the subfloor is in good condition. If we believe it will take longer for any reason, of there is extra preparation to be done beforehand, we can discuss this with you and give you a better estimate as to how long it will take.

Does Hardwood Flooring Increase a Home’s Value?

Yes, it does, all the data collected on this topic indicates that hardwood floors can increase the value of your home by up to 2.5%. Not only this, but many realtors report that houses with hardwood floors also sell faster.

Are Hardwood Floors Worth It?

Quite simply, yes! It is understandable if you feel cautious about installing hardwood floors, after all, they can end up more expensive than other flooring materials, but hardwood floors have a whole host of benefits that we have detailed below for you to consider.

Easy to Maintain

Unlike carpets that need to be cleaned often and accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, and other debris, hardwood floors can be well maintained just from a sweep, a mop, and a dry once a week. The kind of stain that needs to be professionally cleaned out of a carpet just needs a quick wipe on the hardwood to leave it looking as good as new again.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Floor

1. Where is the room located, and how will it be used?

Two girls having a pillow fight on a carpet.

Ground-level and basement spaces are more susceptible to moisture than those upstairs, so consider the impact on your flooring choice. Also, if the room will serve as an entry area for your home or a play area for pets and kids, look for flooring that can handle wear. If the floor needs to support a wheelchair, walker or cane, make sure the flooring material will allow easy, unobstructed movement.

2. What is your climate?

A girl reading on a tile floor in a kitchen.

Wood can warp and buckle, and carpet can mold in humid environments. Tile makes a great alternative, is easy to clean and maintain, and comes in a variety of textures, colors and sizes to suit your personal style.

3. Will you have to redecorate?

Color is a major consideration when buying a new floor because it impacts the entire room. Lighter flooring can make rooms feel larger but show stains and reveal wear. Darker flooring can make rooms feel cozy but show dust and pet hair. Neutral tones accommodate colorful décor, making it easy to change down the road.

4. Will your new and existing flooring coordinate?

Consider how the new flooring will complement your overall interior style and decorating scheme. Blending materials and creating interesting transition spaces with patterns or materials may solve your design dilemmas.

5. What level of floor care is required?

Are you willing to make the new flooring’s maintenance schedule a part of your life? Ask what is involved in cleaning and upkeep, and factor things, like refinishing and steaming into your decision.

Are Wood floors good for homes with pets?

Wood floors are relatively easy to clean and maintain and can live in harmony with pets. However, they are vulnerable to scratches — hence choosing a harder species of wood makes it possible to enjoy your gorgeous floor without stressing about your pets.

A rustic or distressed finish is particularly a good option since it easily hides signs of everyday wear and tear. Alternatively, you may want to select wood flooring with a lighter colour and lower gloss level to help hide additional marks that may occur.

A Quick Guide Hydro Jetting Service

Hydro Jetting

Getting Rid of Clogs for Good!

Your drain and sewer lines are an unsung hero of your plumbing setup. It is something that, thankfully, we mostly can just avoid and never have to think about. But in the event that your drain or sewer line becomes clogged or slow or, even worse, begins to overflow, it is something that you will notice pretty quickly and for all of the wrong reasons.

Fast and Effective Clog Removal

When your drain or sewer lines are clogged or moving slowly, our technicians will come out and assess the issue. If it is determined that it is in fact clogged, we will perform a service called hydro jetting. Hydro jetting uses a blast of water at high pressures that are sent into the drain or sewer lines. This is usually enough to clear up any sort of build-up or blockages and the PSI can be extremely high – in the neighborhood of 35,000 psi.

feed a nozzle into the drain or pipe and once it encounters a clog, the high-pressure jets hit the clogs to tear away and dissolve the material. This cleans the pipes out and allows them to work optimally once again. If you believe that your drain or sewer lines are clogged or at least moving slower than normal

Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is reserved for clogs that cannot be efficiently cleared by the traditional way of drain snaking. A hydro-jetting machine pushes large amounts of air and water at very high pressures, through your piping system to clear the clog out and leave them working as good as new again.

This service is excellent because it is able to break through even the most stubborn clogs, like tree roots and clogs that have hardened inside of your pipes. We see a lot of commercial companies that need to use this service because of high usage in bathrooms and sink clogs. The great thing about choosing to do a hydro-jetting is that it is done quickly and it works right away. Once the clog is cleared out, you can go back to your daily life and the clog that was causing all the trouble will not build back up like it can if you don’t get the whole thing out, for example, like when you use a drain snake or chemicals.

Clogs can happen for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is because of tree roots. Tree roots can grow and end up finding their way into your pipes or sewer lines. These can be extremely stubborn and cause a lot of damage and backup issues throughout your entire plumbing system if you don’t catch them in time. Another common reason for hydro jetting is food getting stuck in your drains. Be careful what you are throwing down your drains because it can get caught in them and build up over time.

Maintenance is very important when it comes to your plumbing system. There are a few different occasions that we would recommend having a hydro-jetting done. One of those times is when you are moving into a new building that has been previously occupied or a new home, you should consider writing that into your final offer or getting it done yourself when you move in. You never know what kind of problems you can have in previously lived in places, so a quick hydro jetting will reset the pipes and get them cleared out, so they will act as good as new. We also recommend that you have this done as a preventative measure.

Clog Removal Experts

When you have a clog, it can seem a little overwhelming to try to figure out what to do. You need to know that you can count on an expert to be able to help you when you need it most

Hydrojetting Services

Clogs are universally one of the most common problems people deal with in their plumbing. Whether they’re caused by your little ones trying to flush toys down the toilet or a scale buildup in your pipes, a blockage can quickly limit your flow of water and leave you with a frustrating mess. Although plenty of savvy homeowners try their best to fix the problem on their own, more severe clogs require tougher methods.

How Are Hydro Jetting Services Performed?

When your store-bought cleaners can’t quite cut it, and you’re tired of using your plunger, you may need a heavy-duty drain cleaning, and hydrojetting is that service. Hydrojetting is a highly pressurized jet of water, something like a pressure cleaner, the pumps water through your pipes.

As it runs, it removes any and all blockages including scale, waste, and even tree roots. Unlike store bought cleaners that may cause more damage than good, hydrojetting is safe for your plumbing and will provide you with better results as well.

What Causes Blocked Pipes?

Excess toilet paper is probably one of the more common causes for a clog in your plumbing, but there are a few more serious reasons that require the help of a hydro jetter.

They include:

SCALE: If your home uses well water, or unfiltered water, hard water scale may be a common concern for you. Scale is a mineral deposit that’s left on your pipes as water flows through them. Over time that buildup hardens and grows, eventually leaving you with a complete blockage.

TREE ROOTS: Your landscaping may be beautiful, but it could also be damaging your plumbing. Trees and plants with deep root systems are always looking for a source of water, and one of the best places to find it is in your plumbing. When roots grow into minor cracks or holes, they can damage your pipes or block them at the very least.

COOKING GREASE: There’s a reason people tell you not to throw cooking grease down the drain. As it cools, it hardens, and eventually becomes sticky, attracting other debris to it. Over time that hardened grease will stop the flow of water from your sink and kitchen.

LARGE CLOGS: Although simple clogs like toilet paper and hair can be removed with some DIY approaches, if left unchecked, those small clogs can turn into massive clogs. The moment these blockages set into your plumbing you’ll lose your window for DIY fixes, and find yourself in need of hydrojetting.

WHY HYDRO JETTING WILL PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR PIPES

If you do not take care of your pipes properly, clogs can occur. When your pipes are clogged, the flow of water can be blocked from going down the drain. The good news is that our hydro jetting drain cleaning services can help clear your pipes.

If you don’t do anything about it, the clog will continue to build up. Because the water does not drain properly, your pipes may rust, corrode, or eventually break. This will cost you more time and money if you do not take care of your pipes now using hydro jetting drain cleaning.

HOW HYDRO JETTING PLUMBING WORKS?

Dealing with clogged pipes is a huge headache. Hydro jetting plumbing is a technique that professional plumbers use to clear pipes. First, we inspect the pipes using a camera to assess the issue. This also prevents us from accidentally causing further damage. If cracked or broken pipes are the problem, using hydro jet plumbing will only worsen the situation. Once we determine that the clog is caused by something this method can fix, such as a tree root, we feed a high-pressure nozzle into your drain. The pressure of the water will blow the clog right out. This method of plumbing is ideal for clogs caused by sand, silt, or mineral buildup.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

If you ignore your clogged drain today because of the cost, your entire water system can fall to pieces. In the long run, the cost will be higher if you don’t upgrade your plumbing today.

Hydro Jetting Services

hydro jetting services to UNCLOG all those IMPOSSIBLE drains!! When regular snaking or low pressurized jetting doesn’t do the trick, we bring in the BIG GUNS. Both carefully crafted and designed cabling equipment complete with specialty nozzles, along with 4,000 PSI worth of high pressure jetting capabilities! When you’ve got drains that may have been infiltrated by hair, soap scum, soils, tree roots, grease, fats, or even ice build-up, we have the HIGH PRESSURE ADVANTAGE of clearing it out!

For your hydro jetting needs, we stand by the quality of our equipment, professionalism and overall level of expertise!

Trying to decide if this service could benefit you? We offer both residential and commercial jetting! If you’re a commercial location and you’re not sure, here are a few you’d find most commonly in need of what we do! Restaurants, food service, grocery stores, industrial parks, hotels, office buildings, food processing plants, government offices or buildings, manufacturing, and strip mall type properties where drains are often shared.

Residential Drain Cleaning with Hydro Jetting

Did you know? If snaking is just not getting the job done, we offer jetting services even for residential properties so long as your pipes can handle all that pressure!

Commercial Drain Cleaning with Hydro Jetting

Is this for you? Are you one of the following, restaurants, food service, grocery stores, industrial parks, hotels, office buildings, food processing plants, government offices or buildings, manufacturing, and strip mall type properties where drains are often shared. If so, COMMERCIAL DRAIN CLEANING IS for you

Hydro Jetting for Preventative Maintenance

Do you want a solution to regular build up and slow-downs? What we offer is a way to really stay on top of things by scheduling what we call Preventative Maintenance, or routine, tender-loving care for those hard-working pipes! If you fall into any of the following categories, you may want to check this out!

Simple Steps To Kill Bed Bugs Without Calling A Professional

How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

Bed bugs suck…. that’s a fact. And if you have ever had to deal with them, then you know they can literally make your life a living hell. They bite you, they make you itch and worst of all…they can be an absolute pain to get rid of. For this reason, you want to be sure you follow the correct steps to get rid of bed bugs to save yourself time and money. I am one for doing things the good old organic way when I can, so this article is going to focus on how to remote these biting pests without chemicals.

Identify all infested areas

If you’ve got bedbugs, you want to find them early before they start to reproduce. It’s much easier—and cheaper—to treat a small infestation than a big one. Yet smaller infestations can be harder to detect.

Search for bedbugs yourself, or hire a professional to do an inspection. Some inspectors use specially trained dogs to hunt down bedbugs by scent.

Bedbugs’ small, narrow bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny spots—like the seams of a mattress or couch, and the folds of curtains.

Also look for them in places like these:

  • near the tags of the mattress and box spring
  • in cracks in the bed frame and headboard
  • in baseboards
  • between couch cushions
  • in furniture joints
  • inside electrical outlets
  • under loose wallpaper
  • underneath paintings and posters on the walls
  • in the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet
  • Use a flashlight and magnifying glass to go over all of these areas.

Signs You Have Bed Bugs

Look for these signs that may indicate you have a bed bug infestation:

  • There may be blood stains/spots on the bed sheets
  • Carefully inspect your mattresses, bed frames, floors and walls for any signs of the bed bugs them selfs. Be sure to check cracks and crevices carefully
  • Inspect your mattresses, bed frames, floors and walls for signs of bed bug feces – these will be rusty brown spots or smudges
  • There may be a musty odor from the bugs themselves

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

First of all, let’s take a look at what bed bugs look like. The main physical characteristics of bed bugs are:

  • Resemble a tick
  • Around 1/5 of an inch long
  • A rusty brown color
  • No wings

How to prevent bed bugs naturally with home remedies?

  • Baking soda
  • Baby powder
  • Lavender oil

Find out more whether these DIY natural remedies below will effectively help you to get rid of bed bugs in your home.

Baking Soda

When talking home remedies for bed bugs, baking soda is one of the most versatile home remedies in your pantry and often a popular option. But can baking soda kill bed bugs? Baking soda is absorbing the surface fluids on the waxy layer of a bed bug’s shell and cause them to dehydrate. Additionally, the small granules of baking soda can cut into a bed bugs shell and cause internal bleeding.

Method

The method around this popular DIY bed bug treatment is to sprinkle baking soda around the areas which bed bugs typically inhabit such as the mattress and the area around your bed. After a few days, you’re supposed to vacuum it up and repeat the process.

Baby Powder

Who would have thoughts that baby powder is also a popular home remedy for bed bugs? Baby powder, or any powder containing talc is toxic to bugs of most kinds. But, how effective is it?

Method

There are two methods for using talcum powder to get rid of bed bugs. They are:

  • Sprinkle baby powder around the bed bug hotspots such as around your bed frames and/or underneath your bedroom furniture.
  • Create a trap by putting some baby powder in a bowl and placing them underneath your bed. Bed bugs will be able to get into the bowl but the baby powder will make it too slippery for them to get out.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil have has many uses that you never imagined at home. Long time known to support the body’s own healing system; a few drop of lavender oil are good for relaxation and stress-relief. On other hand, lavender oil turns out can also be used as natural remedies to kill bed bugs at home that worth to try. It is because lavender oil produces toxic smell that bed bugs really hates. Does lavender oil effectively repel bed bugs?

Method

You have to mix 10-15 drops of lavender oil with 50 ml water in a spray bottle. Spray it directly into the areas where the bed bug infestation can be seen.

Stripping the bed

The first step is to remove the bedding and isolate the bed.

To do this:

1. Strip the bed linen directly into a double plastic bag, to reduce the chance of spreading the bugs.

2. Wash bedding in hot water for at least 30 minutes and then dry at a high temperature for 30 minutes. Seal and discard the inner plastic bag when you put the linen in the washer.

3. Vacuum to remove any remaining bed bugs and eggs as far as possible. This may not remove deeply harbored bed bugs.

4. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum cleaner outside, into a sealable plastic bag.

5. Ensure the bed frame is free of bugs by spraying it with a pesticide.

WAYS TO HELP FIGHT THE BITE

Essential Oils

Most skin-applied pest repellents must be registered by the EPA before they can be marketed, but that hasn’t stopped people from concocting their own remedies. Essential oils have gotten a lot of press for pest prevention in the last few years and have been especially touted as effective treatment around pets and kids. Even though consumers may deem essential oils safer to use as a pest repellent for skin than other options, it doesn’t make it true, and it certainly doesn’t mean they’re more efficient.

Diatomaceous Earth

In terms of the most widely talked about bed bug repellents, homemade options often include diatomaceous earth. Because of its abrasive properties, it works by absorbing water-protecting fats and oils from the outer layer of a bed bug’s exoskeleton. The hope is that once sprinkled on a mattress or applied to cracks and crevices, bed bugs will come in contact with the powder and ultimately dry out and die from dehydration. It can be easily evaded, though, and bed bugs are notorious for spotting and avoiding such traps.

Peppermint Leaves and Oil

When people search for information about how to get rid of bed bugs naturally, peppermint likely comes up as one of the options. Supposedly, its scent keeps bed bugs away, and people are thus encouraged to utilize it throughout their homes. One specific method indicates that the leaves should be crushed and spread throughout infested areas to distribute the oil, and the process should be repeated until all signs of bed begs are eliminated. Not only does it seem to be a time-consuming process but also a messy one likely to yield minimal results.

Black Walnut Tea

It is said that black walnut tea offers bed bug repellent properties. Consumers are told that placing used tea bags throughout their homes and attempting to cover bedding and any open cracks can help eliminate both bed bug eggs and adults. However, there is no data to support this claim and you’re more likely to waste time than get rid of parasites.

Petroleum Jelly

There are purportedly many ways to use petroleum jelly as a bed bug repellent. A popular method is to smear it across a bed frame and headboard and down the bed legs. The thought is that pests will get stuck when crawling up the bed in search of a host, but what if bed bugs are already hiding in the mattress? Not many things will stand between beg bugs and a blood meal, and petroleum jelly isn’t one of them.

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

HOW TO BECOME A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

It’s almost 6 years since I took my first tentative steps into the world of wedding photography. When I began my business back in May 2013 I had absolutely zero intentions of photographing weddings. The plan was to concentrate on newborns, family shoots and the occasional event. The pressure of shooting weddings was something I would happily leave to other people. So imagine my surprise, just a few months later, when If found myself knocking on the door of my very first wedding clients Yvonne and Lee. I’d been recommended to them by a mutual friend. They were planning their wedding at very short notice, had a tiny budget and were happy to trust me to capture their day.

Although I didn’t realise at the time, I was woefully unprepared to be a wedding photographer. I had an amateur level camera, a kit lens and a cheap 50mm, one flash gun and absolutely no idea how to use it and literally no idea what a wedding day entailed for a wedding photographer. Let me emphasise this again – I was very, very lucky that everything went to plan, that it didn’t rain, that my couple we’re lovely and easy going. After that very first wedding I was hooked. I knew weddings were where I wanted to be and from that moment on I concentrated all my efforts into building my wedding photography business. Happily, 6 years down the line, I can look back on the almost 200 weddings I have now photographed and I know I made the right choice saying yes to that first opportunity.

It has not always been plain sailing. There’s been many bumps in the road and building a successful wedding photography business involves much more than just being able to take lovely pictures. I’ve got lots of posts about running a business and successful marketing. But this blog post concentrates on the ins and outs of first getting into wedding photography. I hope you find it useful!

So how do you become a wedding photographer?

Almost on a weekly basis I get emails from aspiring wedding photographers asking how to break into the industry. Facebook groups are filled with the same question. Like running any business there’s so many different ways of going about it. I’m a strong believer that there is enough work to go around so I’d never discourage anyone from trying to build a business in this industry. Sadly though, I also see couples who have had their wedding days ruined by inexperienced and underprepared photographers. (Can I repeat how LUCKY I was that my first few weddings went to plan!) I think you can have the best of both worlds – building a business you love without risking ruining someone’s big day. Here are some of my tips to breaking into the wedding industry

By far the most sensible route into wedding photography is to start off by shadowing and assisting a more experienced wedding photographer. No matter how talented you are as a photographer, a real life wedding day is something else! It’s so important to know how a wedding day runs, what bits are important to capture, how to keep things running to time, how to handle guests, how to work alongside the rest of the wedding suppliers,  when to take the bride and groom off for pictures and so on. As you grow more and more experienced you’ll develop your own style and way of doing things, but to begin with knowing the basics is key.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BEGINNERS

Weddings are a once in a lifetime (hopefully!) occasion, and a day that the bride and groom will cherish forever. Wedding photos play a large part of this, but this can also put a huge amount of pressure on the photographer – missing a shot simply isn’t an option.

While wedding photography is possibly the most stressful challenge a photographer can face, it can also be one of the most rewarding. If you’re lucky, it might even lead to a lucrative and enjoyable career.

If you’ve been asked to photograph someone’s big day, or if you’re interested in gaining some experience with an eye to making it your profession, follow these tips to make sure everything goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

ARE YOU SURE?

Wedding photography can be very stressful and lots of hard work. The first thing to decide is whether you actually want the responsibility. If you’ve been asked to photograph a friend’s wedding, remember that you can always say no.

BE PREPARED

Weddings are very busy and hectic, so preparing for your shoot in advance is essential. Start by getting an itinerary of the day so you know exactly where you have to be and when. Visit the venues (church, reception hall etc) before the big day so you know how to get there and how to get around.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY TOP TIPS

GROUP PHOTOS MADE EASY

Even if you want natural wedding photography that is more documentary in style, there is still a place in the day for a small number of group photos (by small number I am talking under 10 individual setups). I am, in the main, a lover of a more natural, candid style of photography. I enjoy capturing the day as it happens in order to create beautiful storytelling images that go further than just recording who was present. I love to photograph the natural moments and the in-between bits; the happy tears from your mum as she watches her daughter say ‘I do’, your new husband burying his face in his hands as his best man tells a few stories from years past, the proud smile on your granddads face as he watches you walk down the aisle. These are the photos I love to capture and the moments that make an image into something very special. However, I also totally appreciate that this is the one day where all your family, friends and loved ones are there at the same time.

It’s the one time you might have four generations of family together, the one time all your best friends from school will be in one place. Getting a group photo of all these people can also add to the memories of the day in a different way. Group photos can be particularly important to your parents and older relatives. These are the photos that often get the most print orders and I know they will be adorning the mantlepieces of proud aunties and grandparents countrywide.

There is definitely a right and easy way of doing group photos and a wrong and more complicated way of doing them! With over 300 weddings under my belt, I can safely say that I know the right way to approach these photos. If you want easy, stress-free group photos that don’t take forever and allow you to actually enjoy the time during your reception here are my top tips to keep things running smoothly

Keep the number of shots down

I recommend no more than 10 individual combinations. Do you really need all 20 of the groups you initially considered? Are you really going to print all of them? Do you really want to spend the whole of your reception taking group photos? Prioritise which shots you really want within the formal photo time e.g. immediate family, bridal party, parents. Don’t forget, your photographer is generally there for most of the day so there will be time during the day to grab them for more spontaneous photos of other groups and people. The formal photo time should be kept for the closest and most important groups.

Allow enough time for each group shot

Not allowing enough time for the groups is the most common mistake made when working out the wedding reception timings. For groups of 6 people or less you should allow 3 minutes to round up, arrange and take the photo. For larger groups allow for 5 minutes. A photo of everyone at the wedding can easily take 10-15 minutes to sort out. It is also a good idea to allow another 5 minutes for any unexpected things, such as family members going awol! It happens…a lot!

HOW NOT TO BOOK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

OK, why would a photographer write such a backward article? This post is for couples that want to have awesome wedding photos that honestly reflect how beautiful their wedding day was. I want to help you think through some of the common mistakes that couples make when booking their wedding photographer so that you can avoid them!!

They’re running an enticing sale

Tempting I know, you’re on a budget and everyone loves to save money (as much as Peppa Pig loves jumping in muddy puddles- or my one-year-old boy for that fact). But wedding photography is not an area you should cut back on.

Your wedding photos will be the only enduring keepsake you and your family will have to remember your wedding by. After your wedding day is over,  your cake will have vanished, your flowers will have wilted and your family and friends will have returned home. How disappointed would you feel if your wedding photos failed to capture the energy and excitement of the biggest day of your life?

It would be helpful to ask yourself:

Do they invest in the best equipment (will back-up equipment ready to go)?

Will they assist you in your wedding planning to help you maximize the photography coverage and make the day stress-free for you and your guests?

Will they have the time to invest in working through your ideas with you to bring out your best?

Do they offer an engagement shoot to make you feel camera comfortable prior to your wedding day?

Will they make time to plan for every weather situation?

Do they include a pre-wedding consultation, or will they just turn up on the day after receiving your wedding schedule?

The venue recommended them

Venue recommendations are a great place to start in the search for your wedding photographer. They will have worked with so many photographers that their endorsement is important. However, you may find that their preferred suppliers work in a style that you don’t see your day being captured in.

Wedding Photography: The Complete Guide

Have you ever wanted to learn how to photograph a wedding like a pro? Or learn the best wedding photography tips & tricks from a professional photographer to capture those precious moments and memories for newlyweds?

Then, you need to check out this iPhotography™ guide. It’s packed with wedding photography tips and ideas on how to take stunning photos on the big day and avoid the common mistakes that every new photographer makes.

Wedding photography is one of the most popular ways of turning your hobby into a career. It’s an ideal place to make money from your photography and a fantastic opportunity to get noticed in the local community. But all too often amateurs and semi-pros overlook the essentials when either preparing their photography equipment, planning their poses or composing their shots, resulting in poor wedding photographs

Now we understand that everyone has a different approach to photography, and weddings are no different. Whether you prefer formal wedding poses or the reportage side then this guide will help you.  We’ll look at the best techniques, ideal wedding photography lighting, along with hidden tricks and little-known tips that professional photographers use when directing the Bride, Groom and even the whole wedding party!

Without a wedding photography checklist, you will inevitably miss something out of your shoot.  This could be fatal to the start of promising wedding photography career. A Bride and Groom won’t be pleased to know you forgot to take pictures of them cutting the cake or the Mother of the Bride’s decadent hat!

Put these questions on your checklist

Do they want lots of posed formal wedding photographs?

Or do they prefer a natural and candid approach?

What parts of the day do they want you to cover? Bridal preparation, Ceremony, Meal, Speeches, Cake cutting, Party/Disco etc.,

What’s the starting time for these parts? (expect there to be delays – you’ll find no wedding runs on time!)

Are there any special activities or surprises planned that guests don’t know about?

How many guests will be present?

Is there anyone who they don’t want photographed? (Sounds silly, but you’ll be surprised how often an unwanted Aunty or vaguely known Cousin is put to the back of the shots)

Do they want a big group shot of everyone together?

What time will the wedding finish?

Achieving A Natural Look With Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

THE EVERYTHING-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOW BATHROOM RENOVATION CHECKLIST

Renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming. You have to decide how much you can spend, select the right products, and determine if you’re going to change the layout. And that’s often before you call a contractor. To ensure that your bathroom renovation runs smoothly, here’s a checklist to keep your project on track. Remember: A successful renovation is all about smart timing.

One Month Out:

-Prep for contractor’s arrival. Clear out medicine cabinets and bathroom closets, and set up a temporary grooming space where you can get ready out of sight of contractors.

-Shop for accessories. With most of the hard planning over, have fun shopping for towel bars, towel hooks, a toilet paper holder, and the perfect soap dish. If you have a new color scheme, pick out your new shower curtain or towels.

-Select a paint color. Once the tile is up and the flooring is down, you’ll be able to get a sense of what color to paint the walls. It’s difficult to pick anything before that.

-Check in with your contractor often. Every day, when the contractor arrives, ask what will be done that day and mention any project hiccups and concerns you might have. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure he knows where to store materials and how to get into the house if you’re not there. Keep pets and children away from the work site.

Final Days:

  • Be flexible. If a project runs a few days over, try not to get frustrated. If that’s the biggest problem you’ve had, you got off easy.
  • Inspect the contractor’s work. Chances are you’ll do this every day, but if anything seems amiss, try to address it before the job is completed.
  • Celebrate. Throw down your new bath mats, unpack your toiletries, and sip a glass of Champagne.

Tub and shower

The first design decision for your new bath is whether you will have a separate tub and shower, a combination tub/shower, or just a walk-in shower. Roughing in the plumbing locations is one of the first construction milestones after the demo of a bathroom. Selecting and ordering plumbing fixtures is a critical first step in keeping your construction schedule on track.

Shower niche

When thinking of your shower space, keep in mind storage for toiletries and if you want a built-in niche. Niches are constructed during the framing stage. Once the drywall goes up, it’s costly to add one.

Flooring

Flooring is a key component in your materials palette and should be considered early on, when you are looking at cabinetry and tile. It’s important to understand the flooring thickness and its relationship to the cabinetry and transitions to flooring in other rooms.

Tile is the most common flooring choice for bathrooms because it holds up so well to moisture. In recent years, we’ve seen a growing trend for faux wood tile on bathroom floors and walls.

Drain

Planning for the shower drain is sometimes an overlooked detail in bathroom planning. This is an important selection to add to your plumbing list and order early.

Sharing with your sweetie is simpler when you’ve made space for these features.

  • Toilet room: Gives this area privacy; best if it’s got a door.
  • Separate shower stall: Lets bathers and shower-takers clean up simultaneously.
  • Dual workstations: Place double sinks 36 inches apart or more, measured drain to drain, so that you’ll have elbow room. Give each sink enough outlets and lighting, as well as mirror, countertop, and storage space.
  • Wide pathways: Traffic lanes 36 to 42 inches wide allow two people to pass each other without having to squeeze by.

Lighting and Electrical Considerations

Actual light fixtures don’t get installed until the very end, but the electrician will need to know how many junction boxes to install, where to install them, how many switches and dimmers (if any). Consider having enough overhead general ambient lighting as well as task lighting in the vanity area. I recommend using LED fixtures or bulbs with a color temperature of 2700k-3000k. You’ll want “soft white” lighting that gives a warmer yellowy color rather than a glaring “daylight” color temperature that gives off a blue light and makes you look sickly.

Think outside the box with lighting in the vanity area. Instead of 1 sconce above you mirror what about a lighted mirror medicine cabinet? Consider sconces that are more at your eye/face level on either side of the mirror, or funky pendant lights.

If you want an electric heated towel bar make sure you know where it’s going and have the model specifications to the electrician can wire properly for it!

What materials are needed for bathroom remodel?

Select your vanity.

Do not delay on selecting your vanity, some are custom made or are not in stock and can take several weeks to receive.  You do not want your finished bathroom to be delayed while you wait for your vanity to arrive from the manufacturer.  Most contractors will not begin work on your project until all the materials have arrived so this is a priority.  If you hired a bathroom remodeling contractor, have him help you with the process of selecting your bathroom vanity.

Select your bathtub and shower glass doors (if applicable).

Bathtubs, like vanities, can have a long delay in shipment depending on where they are coming from and if they are in stock.  There are a variety of different sizes and options for bathtubs including type of material, depth, length, with or without jets, and handles.  Becoming popular are the walk in tubs meant for aging in place.

Select your faucets and trim to be installed.

Selecting your faucets and trim is an essential part of your shopping.  There are “rough” parts to the shower fixtures which will be installed behind the drywall and under the tile floor.  Without those parts, you will be delayed in the middle of your project.  Be aware that the type of shower head options may affect your installation cost and be sure to match your tub and shower trim to your sink faucets; many times they are paired in a “family” of products such as Kohler’s “Memoirs Collection” .

Select the tile for your shower and backsplash.

Tile is just as important as your vanities because its such a large piece of the bathroom.  You will be selecting tile for your shower and backsplash so you will want to consider how well they coordinate with one another.  We tend to guide our clients against “matchy – matchy” with the different products to avoid a “washed” look.  For example, we might suggest not using white tile with white cabinets.

Select your toilet.

When it comes to toilets, the choice may seem simple, however, toilets are getting more and more sophisticated!   There are toilet options that are designed to be green and save water depending on which flush option you choose.   Additionally, there are a variety of style and color options. Manufacturers such as Kohler have families of sink, tub, and toilets which have the same style, making your product selection choices a little easier when you want them to match.

 Select your lighting.

Don’t forget to consider your lighting options…there are so many to choose from.  Not only do you have to decide between canned lights, pendant lights, or light bars – you also need to decide what you want out of your light switches.  For example, do you want to have a dimmer, is it important to have a built in night-light?  Those types of questions will lead you to the light that will fit your family’s lifestyle.

 Last, but not least, select your flooring

Flooring is your last and final piece to your master piece. Ditch the linoleum and select flooring that works with your design.  If you love wood but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a wood floor, there are now porcelain wood tiles that can give you the look of wood flooring.  Travertine flooring along with ceramic tile are also popular choices.

Your bathroom has the potential to look amazing.  The world of design and remodeling have endless capabilities to turn the idea of your space to a wonderful masterpiece. Start getting inspired by looking at local design build contractor’s website or better yet look to see if they have a Houzz profile.   Anything is possible no matter the size of the space.

Switchgear Electrical Maintenance

Why Scheduled Electrical Maintenance is so important

Do you believe in preventive electrical maintenance and testing or do you just count on repairing things as they go wrong? Make do and mend as our parents said. After all, the reliability and integrity of your electrical distribution system should be paramount and so is protecting your equipment and staff. Scheduled Maintenance Inspection and testing and servicing of equipment should be done on a regular basis, at least once every three years, but rather more often for critical components.

lectrical maintenance includes fault diagnosis, regular routine servicing, and repairing electrical components. The three main types of electrical maintenance are:

Preventive maintenance, where all equipment is regularly and properly serviced before any faults occur, where all equipment is kept in good working condition and continuously assessed. The maintenance is carried out when indicators signal that the equipment is deteriorating.

Periodic maintenance, which is the basic maintenance of all equipment by its user or operator and consists of data collection, visual inspection, cleaning, lubrication, and tightening of screws. Minimal training is required, although variables such as temperature, vibration, power consumption, etc., need to be identified.

Corrective maintenance, where the tradesman puts right any defect or fault found in the equipment as it is found.

Preventive Maintenance tasks are completed when the machines are shut down and Predictive Maintenance activities are carried out while the machines are running normally

Avoid long-term issues and save costs — a relationship with Tradesmen on Time is affordable and will allow a schedule tailored to your electrical maintenance requirements to be put in place using our state of the art cloud based booking software.

Tradesmen on Time’s three core values are Do it Right – Do it On Time – Add Value

And whenever you need expert professional electrical contractors, contact Tradesmen on Time — whether it is for scheduled maintenance or a dramatic unexpected last minute problem, installing an air conditioner or a circuit breaker, a switchboard replacement, new data and AV points or an NBN installation.

Tradesmen on Time specialise in air conditioning, data cabling, lighting, ceiling fans, power points, switchboard upgrades, electrical inspections, electrical safety audits, evaporative cooling, NBN problems, safety switch problems and pre-purchase inspections

BEST ELECTRICAL SAFETY TIPS FOR HOME OWNERS

Best Electrical Safety Tips

Most homes rely on electricity to power appliances, provide lighting and warmth. It is so convenient that we rarely think ‘safety’ around electricity until the danger is obvious.

Regularly check all your outlets

Overloaded outlets are the main cause of electrical fires in homes. Never exceed the maximum power consumption permitted to avoid dangerous faults.

Have a professional repair your electrical appliances

Unless you have taken a professional course on electrical appliances repair, do not try fixing your own devices. Many homeowners have been seriously injured trying to repair appliances while they were still plugged in.

Never touch electrical appliances with wet hands

It is tempting to touch a hairdryer or shaver with wet hands but you should never fall for it. Make sure your hands are perfectly dry before using any electrical appliances to avoid serious injuries

Wear shoes while using power tools

It is important to wear proper attire when handling outside power tools like the lawn mower. You might think it’s cool to mow the yard without shoes on until the blades catch your toes

Fall Outdoor Electrical Maintenance Tips

You may never want to deal with a freezing outdoor light or a hot tub that doesn’t heat up when the winter arrives. Repairing these issues can be extra difficult when the sub-zero temperature sets in. So before the chill wind blows, make sure that all your outdoor electrical fixtures are checked and fixed.

Protect Your Outdoor Lights

Most homeowners and business owners often ignore their outdoor lights thinking that they’re fine as long as they produce light. However, exterior lights such as pole lights, signage lights, and building lights are prone to damage due to their location

Check Your Outdoor Space Heater

Your outdoor space heater draws a huge amount of electricity, and other old electrical circuits in it may not be rated for this kind of use. If you use a portable space heater, you have to make sure that its electrical outlet and circuits are sized properly, and rated for the load. Don’t use the unit on plug strips, two-prong adapters, or extension cords. Talk to your local electrician in Arlington, TX, for expert recommendations

Repair Your Landscape Lights

Your landscape lights did a great job of improving your home’s outdoor aesthetics last summer. Don’t you think it’s time to pay them back for a job well done? Give them a dose of TLC!

Check Your Outdoor Hot Tubs and Spas

Just like your outdoor lights, your outdoor hot tubs and spas can also freeze up when their electrical parts fail, especially when the temperature gets extremely low. Checking and repairing their electrical circuits as early as fall can avoid equipment failure and guarantee a better water heating process throughout the winter.

BEST PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE TIPS

Are you looking to learn something new about performing preventive maintenance in your building? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This week, we interviewed six different building management experts and asked for their best advice regarding preventive maintenance best practices in their respective fields.

“How does preventive maintenance promote electrical safety in the home and workplace?”

Deerwester: “Each year, too many lives are disrupted by electrical fires and too many families mourn the loss of loved ones who have been fatally injured by electricity on the job. Thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents each year. The best way to protect your family, your home or your workplace against electrical risks is to be prepared and prevent an accident before it can happen.”

“What tips can your organization share regarding preventive maintenance best practices?”

Deerwester: “Electricity is a necessary part of our lives that we tend to take for granted, but using it safely is vitally important. ESFI’s website has a variety of helpful information regarding maintenance best practices. Here are tips that I can share regarding electrical maintenance, HVAC maintenance and preventive fire safety.”

Electrical Maintenance Tips:

Learn about your building’s electrical system so that you can safely navigate and maintain it.

All electrical systems should have an electrical inspection if the building is older than 40 years or has had a major addition, renovation or large appliance added.

Only use licensed, insured and bonded contractors that will stand behind their work.

Only purchase items that have been tested or marked by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to avoid counterfeit electrical goods.

HVAC Maintenance Tips:

If your furnace is more than 15 years old, or if your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it is likely time for a replacement.

Make sure fuel-burning heating equipment is vented to the outside without obstruction.

Replace the HVAC filter at least every 90 days.

Keep intake and output vents clean and clear of debris and dust.

Have your heating and air conditioning systems inspected by a qualified service professional at least once a year to make sure they are running at optimal efficiency and to diagnose any potential problems.

The Importance of Electrical Maintenance and Safety

Electricity can do amazing things; whether it’s charging your cell phone or powering entire cities, it is something that has changed our world and technology as we know it. One of my first experiences with the power of electricity came when I was around five years old. My brothers thought it would be funny to have me grab the electric fence that kept our pigs in the pasture and laugh as I struggled to let go as the fence was zapping me. Needless to say, that experience quickly led me to respect the dangerous side of electricity – and taught me a new trick that I played on a few of my younger cousins growing up too.

Although electricity is a very necessary and useful part of our daily lives, its safety precautions should not be taken for granted. Not only is it vitally important to know how dangerous electricity can be, but special attention about how poor maintenance on electrical systems can lead to electrical failure in equipment, or worse, catastrophic fires should also be noted. Although it may seem insignificant, basic electrical maintenance can go a long way in preventing electrical fires or electrical surges which can damage property. Below are a few basic tips you can do at your home or business to help ensure your electrical systems are performing as they should.

There are many more ways to stop electrical issues before they start, especially for businesses with larger electrical systems, including a standard electrical preventive maintenance program (EPM). A standard EPM program should consist of a scheduled inspection of electrical systems to include testing and maintenance of critical electrical components and their support systems. It is also imperative to remember that whether you’re dealing with electrical components within your business or at home, if you are not familiar or comfortable with electrical systems, have a qualified electrician assist you in any inspections, maintenance, or electrical repair needs.

As I conclude the writing of this article, the words of Elton John’s song come to mind, “And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird, like electricity, electricity, sparks inside of me, and I’m free.” Unlike the words in Elton’s song, if your feeling sparks of electricity, you most definitely will not be free. Don’t let poor electrical safety get the best of you.

The Practicality Of A Commercial Led Electrical Lighting

Tips for Choosing the Best Office Lighting

Tips on choosing the best office lighting in Brea can help you pick the perfect lighting for your office. Lighting does more than illuminate a space; it improves visual clarity, enhances focus and affects mood. Office lighting usually serves one purpose: It makes everything bright so the staff can see and work more effectively and comfortably. However, these lights often cause more problems than they are worth, such as producing glares and flickers. Fortunately, you can improve your office with optimal lighting for maximum work performance.

Pick the right bulbs

Light bulbs range in intensity and color based on the Kelvin scale. Most offices use fluorescent lighting with 6500K bulbs, which resemble the lighting intensity of regular daylight. Make sure every light in the office has the same color temperature for balanced lighting throughout the workspace. In addition, try introducing ambient light to the space. Open a window, or place a lamp on the desk with a low-intensity halogen bulb to render your workspace with more clarity.

Supplement overhead lights with task lighting

Reports from Consumer Health state that overhead fluorescent lighting can cause everything from hyperactivity to sleep problems. Switch to task lighting with low-glare bulbs, and position the lighting away from your computer screen and toward your work surface. Gooseneck lamps are ideal for situations when you need to cast more or less light on an area.

Use indirect lighting

Direct lighting combined with a bright computer screen leads to eyestrain, headaches and low productivity. If possible, turn off the overhead direct lighting and substitute it with indirect lighting from lamps. Space the light fixtures evenly around the office for uniform coverage

Choose neutral colors for the office

Whether you light your space with overhead lights, task lighting or wall sconces, optimize the lighting consistency with a neutral room color. Avoid using dark or bright colors for floors and walls. Instead, use neutral tones with low-range reflectance.

What is an ‘L E D Light’?

The L E D stands for Light Emitting Diode. A light-emitting diode is a small semiconductor device. It emits photons of light when electric current flows through it. LEDs are the light source inside the lamps you can buy from our online lighting store.

LED lights have many advantages over other lighting technologies, including:

Higher energy efficiency (‘lumens per watt’),

Much longer lifetime,

Switch on instantly at full brightness,

Precise control and dimmable options available,

Compact size, cooler operating temperature (reduced fire risk), and more

What to Check When Buying an LED Light

Buying the right LED light can be a little overwhelming at first. But if you follow this short guide, you’ll be on your way to getting the best lighting for your home or business.

Lighting Wattage & Brightness

In the old days, you could buy a ’60 Watt’ bulb from the lighting shop, and that was that. Things aren’t so simple anymore, because LED lights are advancing so quickly. In other words: the wattage of a light bulb or fitting is no longer a direct guide to its brightness. So be sure to look out for the “equivalent wattage” or the actual light output (specified in lumens).

Light Bulb Shape & Base

No one wants to find out the light globe they bought is the wrong one and doesn’t fit. Thankfully, all light bulbs have a code which describes their base and shape. So look out for names on your existing light bulbs. Or, check the spares cupboard, and you’ll be most of the way to buying the correct product. See our related blog post for more information: crack your light bulb codes.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting. CFLs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs— not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.

LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses, which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs now bring more value since they last longer.

The Status of Energy Efficient Lighting

With a burgeoning supply of far more efficient light bulb options, the EU began a phased ban of incandescents in 2009. followed suit banning the manufacture and import of higher wattage incandescent bulbs beginning in 2014.

LED Light Bulbs

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs that are extremely energy-efficient. When first developed, LEDs were limited to single-bulb use in applications such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and, more recently, strings of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.

Manufacturers have expanded the application of LEDs by “clustering” the small bulbs. The first clustered bulbs were used for battery-powered items such as flashlights and headlamps. Today, LED bulbs are made using as many as 180 bulbs per cluster, and encased in diffuser lenses, which spread the light in wider beams. Now available with standard bases that fit common household light fixtures, LEDs are the next generation in home lighting.

Which new-generation light bulb corresponds to my old bulb?

Did you know that the lighting in the average home uses around 16% of the total power consumption? This means the lighting in your home holds considerable cost-cutting potential! Replacing your old lamps with a modern alternative is a good start.

When replacing an incandescent bulb or a halogen lamp, you will now have to choose between a LED or a compact fluorescent light. But what exactly is the difference?

Compare wattage

The comparison chart below shows you exactly which energy-saving light bulb or LED lamp you can replace your old incandescent light bulb or halogen lamp with to get the same amount of light (i.e. the power expressed watts).

Think in terms of lumens and forget about watts!

The light output of LED lamps continues to increase exponentially year by year.  Which is why the comparison chart above merely serves as a guideline. Where a 7-watt LED lamp is currently required to deliver a certain light intensity for instance, in a year from now, this may well have dropped to just 5 watts, and is likely to have dropped even further to just 2 watts in four years’ time.

Colour temperature

Alongside the light intensity (number of lumens), the colour temperature is another deciding factor when choosing the right LED lamp.

How to Choose the Right Light Temperature for your Bulb or Fixture

Light appearance is measured in temperature using the Kelvin scale.   Unlike the weather outdoors lower color temperatures (2700K) indicate ‘warmer’ colors of orange and yellow, and higher color temperatures (6500K) indicate cooler colors like blue and white

Know Your Color Temperatures

Most bulbs will advertise color temperature on the package.  This will tell you how warm or cool the color of the light is.

2700K – 3000K – This is the warm or soft white range, best suited for areas in the home where you want to relax or entertain.

3500K – 4500K – This is more a neutral white light range, giving a balance between warm and soft color light.

Over 5000K – Generally referred to as daylight and best suited for use in offices, workshops, bathrooms or other areas where high detail visibility is important. It can also help energize you in the morning.

Some people will also just have a preference for a certain color temperature or mood.  You may even notice a color temperature will look better on your particular skin tone.  The good news is there are options for everyone.

There are also bulbs and light fixtures that adjust color temperature so you can adjust the light to fit your mood or tasks through out the day for even more variety.

DJs Or Wedding Reception Bands

Types of Copyright Rights

Public Performing Right

The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Law, to publicly perform a copyrighted work. For musical works (performance rights organizations — i.e. PRO) issues licenses on behalf of copyright owners affiliated with their organizations granting others the right to perform the work in, or transmit the work to, the public.

Reproduction Right

The exclusive right of the copyright owner, granted by the Copyright Act, to authorize the reproduction of a musical work as in a record, cassette or CD. For musical works, the issues what are known as “mechanical” licenses on behalf of copyright owners granting others (usually a record company) the right to reproduce and distribute a specific composition at an agreed upon fee per unit manufactured and sold.

Derivative Work Right

The exclusive right of a copyright owner to make other works that utilize major parts or components of his or her work. Think remixes, mashups or videos. For example, when a producer wants to incorporate someone’s copyrighted musical work into a visual work like a movie, the producer needs to obtain a synchronization license to synchronize the musical composition in timed relation with audio-visual images on film or videotape.

Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings

Sound Exchange along with Record Companies license the exclusive rights on behalf of copyright owners in a sound recording (which is separate from the copyright in the underlying musical works that) under Copyright Law to authorize many digital transmissions (e.g., Internet streaming).

There are two types of licenses for digital streaming of a sound recording:

  1. The license to use the music composition embodied in the sound recording. Acquired from the PROs.
  2. The license to digitally broadcast the sound recording of the musical composition. Acquired from Sound Exchange.

Can DJs use Spotify: Is it legal to DJ with Spotify?

The work of a DJ has become more complex over the years, at least in the legal aspects of it. That’s because, unlike in the past when a DJ could get music through tapes and CDs from artists and their affiliates, most music is now released online. Platforms pretty much own most of the music released nowadays. The increased dominancespecifically, then leads to the question.

This is a tough question and there may not be a direct answer to it. That’s because, as per the terms and conditions, you cannot use music from to DJ. The terms and conditions state that, “the company only grants you a limited, revocable license to use their content for non-commercial purposes.” In other words, you can use their content to DJ for your own entertainment, but not for the use at commercial gigs. But here is where it gets interesting. Spotify does allow the use of its music within certain DJ software. These are App, djay 2 and djay pro. This means that you have expanded rights to music entertainment, when using their music on these DJ software programs. These rights emanate from the fact that they have exclusive agreements with these specific companies. With such selective rights to usage, it is difficult to tell, on which side of the law you are on when you DJ using music.

Do DJs Have To Pay For Their Music?

So, do DJs have to pay for their music?

Absolutely. DJs have to purchase the singles, albums, tracks and anything else that they plan to alter and include in their mixes. However, besides this legal purchase, they may or may not need a specific license that allows them to play copyrighted music in front of a large crowd. Several countries impose this law, making DJs pay a fee for this digital license, and others do not, as the location and associations responsible for the even have to pay them instead.

In several countries, the law is very specific about the type of payment DJ need to make to acquire the digital license. This fee qualifies them to play, copy and alter tracks from any copyrighted material, including CDs, vinyl, cassettes, digital recordings, and other media. They can also legally copy these to a digital audio player, hard drive, mp3 player, etc… In these countries, DJs must acquire this permission before starting their professional career that implies using copyrighted music for their mixes.

When it comes to the US, DJ’s don’t have to pay for this permit to play the music. Of course, they still need to keep it legal and purchase all the tracks they plan to use, but there’s no need for the digital license. Venues such as restaurants, halls, or clubs, are the ones who pay for the DJ’s rights to play music. There are the so-called Performing Rights Organizations, in short PROs, that act like a middle man between the music producers, songwriters, artist, and the venue that wants to play their music. In the US, such organizations are… After they pay their fees to the music’s respective owners, the venues are now allowed to play it for the crowd. When a DJ works for such a place, they are also automatically allowed to play these tracks without paying any fee.

BeatStars

BeatStars is one of the biggest and most popular sites for DJ/producers looking for beats because it’s an online marketplace for hip-hop and bass instrumentals. Budding beatsmiths and professionals upload their music here looking to sell or license them to MCs and vocalists looking for instrumentals to rap or sing over.

It’s hot right now because there are a lot of respected producers and beatmakers on the platform selling quality beats for cheap. One story is of the young rapper who bought a beat on it for $30, recorded a vocal at home and put the song out on the internet.

How to get free music on BeatStars

The best part is that while the beats here are cheap, there are also lots of free downloads to be had. The quickest way is to go to the Tracks menu at the top of the screen, and then click on “Free Beats”. This brings up a big list of all the tracks you can grab for free in exchange for an email address or a follow on BeatStars (it has a social feature similar).

Another way to go about it is to just click on a playlist you like: the BeatStars interface feels like browsing through (smart!) so you have different playlists based on mood and genre. Once you pick a playlist, the beats will show up and you can pick out the ones that are free because they’ve got a download icon beside them. All you need to do is to click it and enter an email or follow the beatmaker on BeatStars to grab the instrumental.

Pros: Hot site now for hip-hop beats and instrumentals, thriving marketplace and community

Cons: Hip-hop and bass music-focused selection may leave those looking for house / techno and EDM out in the cold

How Many Songs Should I Have in My DJ Set Library?

It is often a safe measure to preselect twice as many songs in your library then you plan on playing during your DJ set. You can only play a maximum amount of songs in a DJ set but it is important to have more songs as a backup for when you want to switch energy levels or genres. There are multiple places where DJs get their music from. So if you want to enlarge your DJ set library feel free to take a look at the article.

It is important to think about what you are going to play at your DJ set and to keep in mind what you might play based on what the crowd wants at the time.

So, take the amount of songs you are going to be playing per hour based on the genres you are going to play and multiply them by 2 or 3 times. This way you are prepared for every change that might happen when playing live. Just enter the artist name, genre or custom tag you gave your songs to quickly find them and mix them in.

Carpenter Ants Control

Pharaoh Ants

Appearance

Pharaoh Ants are small, about 1/16-inch long. They colored light yellow to red, with black markings on the abdomen. Pharoah Ants look similar to Thief Ants, but Pharoah Ants have three segments in the antennal club. Since they are so tiny, they can travel and trail to many places.

Diet

Pharoah Ants will feed a wide range of foods; they feed on proteins, sweets and fats. They can feed on both dead and live insects. If choosing baits, consider their complete dietary needs, sweets, proteins and grease based baits. Below is our recommended baits for protein/grease and sugar needs.

Reproduction

Pharaoh Ants grow from egg to adult in about 45 days. The queens live as long as 39 weeks and can lay about 400 eggs. Workers only live up to 10 weeks.

Nests and Trails

Pharaoh Ants, being tiny, can be found in diverse places. Inside, they like to nest in warm areas. Their nests are usually well hidden, and the can forage far away from the nest with trails marked by trail pheromones. Pharoah Ants can be persistent, with large colonies

Outside, Pharaoh ants may nest in shaded areas or under debris. In the northern climates, these ants can not survive year-round outside.Indoors they prefer to nest in recessed areas like wall voids, under some appliances, in wall outlets, and under carpets for protection. If their colonies are disturbed or the colony becomes too large, they may move.

Ant control treatments

Ants are among the most difficult pests to control. With their complicated colony structure, ever changing foraging behaviour and of course large populations, successful ant control is a challenge even for the experts. Here at Ethical Building and Pest services our experience combined with a range of specialist ant products allows us to get on top of even the most persistent ant problem.

What ant control treatments do we provide?

standard pest control treatments will stop ants getting into the house, but if you have a major problem, to get lasting control of ants it is important to kill the queen (or queens) in the nest. Without the Queen laying eggs the nest cannot recover from a treatment. But with nests hard to find and some species having many nests in a colony, control can be difficult. We use a range of ant baits to eliminate nests. Ant baits consist of attractive ant food and a slow acting insecticide. The ants take the bait back to the nest and feed it to their nest mates (including the queen) and the colony is doomed. Baiting can take between a couple of days to 2 weeks to eliminate the nest, but it provides complete control.

Internal ant control treatments

internal ant treatments are designed to get rid of ants that are causing a nuisance inside the house. Many ants commonly nest in the house – ants love wall voids and roof insulation! We spend time to identify the species and locate the nest so we can use the most effective treatment. Typically this will include the use of baits inside and a perimeter spray outside the home.

Outdoor ant control treatments

Ants around the perimeter of the home have the potential to come inside, but more commonly they cause problems in outdoor entertaining areas or through undermining pavers. Control is achieved through a combination of sprays, baits and insecticide “sands”.

Lawn ant control treatments

Biting ants in the lawn can bit a nuisance (and painful!), especially if you have children wanted to play outside. We can use a range of products (mainly baits) to get rid of ants from your lawn allowing children and pets to use the lawn safely.

Ant Exterminators, Control & Removal

The end of winter is a cause to celebrate: the return of warm weather, the anticipation of spring and summer. But when spring and summer arrive, so can hordes of ants. Hundreds or thousands of them can literally appear overnight.

The following ant species is found living:

Carpenter Ants do not eat wood; prefer to nest and excavate water-damaged wood.

Field Ants build large mounds and can be confused with carpenter ants.

Ants emit a rotten coconut smell and infest kitchens and pantries.

Pavement Ants nest under flat stones, sidewalks, and concrete slabs outdoors.

Pharaoh Ants prefer nesting indoors, especially in commercial buildings with artificial heating.

Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in the Midwest. Ants have a wide variety of nesting habits and food preferences. Some ants build nests in soil, producing characteristic mounds, while others nest in homes behind moldings, baseboards, countertops, and similar areas. Unlike most ants, carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests and nest in decaying or moisture-damaged wood.

Many ants enter homes from outdoor nests as they forage for food. To locate a nest, follow the trail of ants. You can encourage foraging by setting out attractive food, like a dab of honey or jam on a stiff piece of paper. Ants take regular routes between their nest and the food source by establishing a chemical (pheromone) trail. You can locate the nest by watching where the ants go; for some ants, such as carpenter ants, this works best at night. If the nest is discovered, it can be treated or removed (in the case of rotted wood).

GET RID OF ANTS WITH A PROFESSIONAL ANT CONTROL SERVICE

Can you get rid of ants? Outdoor nests can be very difficult to eliminate without chemicals. Using water to flood nests is usually not effective. Use of gasoline also is ineffective, dangerous, and causes environmental pollution. Repeated drenching of a nest with an insecticidal soap solution is sometimes effective, forcing an ant colony to relocate. Remember: in order to relocate an ant colony, you must kill or relocate the queen (or queens).

Do It Yourself Pest Control

Our website is dedicated to providing DIYers with the information you need to do your own pest control. We provide information on insect identification, insect control instructions, rodent identification, rodent control measures, professional equipment, and information about professional strength insecticides and herbicides.

Can’t find the answer to your pest control question? We employee expertly trained pest control technicians to advise you.

How can I get rid of ants?

Ants are a social insect that lives in colonies. Ant control treatment plans should include killing the entire colony. Just spraying an ant with a typical ant spray, particularly a repellent spray will only kill a few at best and scatter the colony.

Ants may enter your house foraging for food or seek shelter. Understanding the behavior of ants will help you with the recommended ant control procedures outlined here. Ants enter through the smallest openings, foraging for water or food. They are in search of either sweet based food or protein/grease based foods. Once the ants find a food source, they will leave a pheromone trail for other ants to follow.

Do I have Ants or Termites?

Many people can’t tell the difference between ants and termites.

Can House Ants Harm Me?

One of the most common pests that homeowners have to battle is ants. As you may know, there are several types of ants that create colonies and make their presence known within kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors on your sidewalk, driveway, and yard. While many people can live with ants and accept their presence (as long as they are not near a food source), once they begin invading pantries and crawling on food, ants become a real concern. This begs the question: Can I eat food touched by ants? The five-second rule should not even be considered if ants have touched your food. Sharing a snack with ants can have unexpected consequences no matter how innocent the act can sound.

Why do I have ants?

Most ants create colonies where they can thrive which means they are constantly in search of a food source for survival, which can lead them into your home. A kitchen is a perfect area for ants to infest with the potential for crumbs, dog food left in bowls, penetrable food packaging, and food such as fruit left out on tables and counter tops. No one wants to find pests in their home, but it can happen to virtually any homeowner.

Ants typically live outside, sending scout ants away from the colony to search for food. These explorers are usually the ants that you find in your drain, on the floor, and around food items. Human food is also appealing to ants. Once the scout finds a food source, they signal other ants to follow his trail and continue to take food and bring it back to the colony. The number of ants following this same trail grows as their food source remains available.

Pavement ants are small, black or brown ants that create small hills of dirt or sand in the areas between slabs in the sidewalk or your driveway. These ants are relatively harmless but can make their way into your home if they find an easy entry point. Pavement ants do not cause structural damage, but some clients do not like their presence on their property.

“Sugar ant” is a general name for ants that are attracted to sugary foods. If you see a sugar ant, you can be seeing Pharoah ants, acrobat ants, or odorous house ants, being the most common. Odorous house ants are a little bit less than a ¼ inch in size and dark brown or black. Their most distinct feature is the coconut or pine odor they give off when crushed. Sugar ants go after sweets in your pantry, especially when the packaging is penetrable such as cereal boxes.