Money Merge Accountant

How can you be accountable for your actions?

Let’s have a conversation about accountability. What does it really mean to be accountable? Accountability is defined as an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. Have you ever taken a step back to really take a look at your life? Are you happy where you are now? Is your dating life where you want it to be? Are you on the career path that’s fulfilling your needs?  When I talk about being accountable, I’m referring to your ability to reflect on your actions and understand your role within those actions. You are exactly where you are today, due to the actions that you’ve taken.

These are a few quick tips to become more accountable that we can all take action on.

Don’t Make Excuses

When something goes wrong, accountable people don’t place the blame on others. There is no throwing people under the bus or dragging others down too. It’s a waste of time and energy to blame others, for factors that were most likely caused by your own misstep. Listen, stop making excuses and own up to your mistakes. Acknowledge where you went wrong and do what needs to be done in order for it not to happen again.

Stop Playing The Victim

I’m sure we’ve all done this once before. People who often play the victim are unable to manage their own anger. These people tend to project past traumas on their current situation. In order to stop playing the victim, you need to regain your power from your past trauma and deal with the process of healing. That process is far from easy. It will break you down and bring up emotions and events that may have been suppressed for years, but just know that the process is necessary for your growth.

“Yes this horrible event happened to me, but It no longer has power over me.”

Your Life Is Yours

It’s as simple as knowing that you are in control of your own life. You can’t expect different results by doing the same thing. This applies to relationships and even your career. You’re unhappy in your current role? Okay, well have you taken the necessary steps to obtain a role that better suits you? Listen, every action that you’ve taken up until today is the reason why you’re in your current situation. You can either have your own pity party or take responsibility for your actions and curate the life that you want. We are literally the authors of our own novel. How about writing a life that’s fulfilling your wants and needs?

 

Stop in your tracks and ask yourself, “How am I contributing to this problem?”

Instead of thinking that your current challenges are all about what someone else is doing or factors outside your control, accept that you’re 50% of this situation. What are you doing, thinking and saying that is sustaining this problem? How can you shift your behavior (and do something VERY different from what you normally do) to intervene in this chronic pattern of conflict? It’s been said that if you’re unhappy about a situation, you have only two choices: Change the situation, or change your feelings and thoughts about the situation. It’s time to change what is happening by recognizing your role in it.

Look at where you feel most hurt in life and get help to heal that

Take a long look this week at the deepest hurt you harbor inside. The hurt may be from your early childhood or from a traumatic event in your life that left you crushed that you have never healed from. Recognize how this hurt is playing out over and over again, and understand that you are what your childhood taught you to be unless you’ve healed and unlearned it. And remember, “wounded people wound people” so make sure that you are as healed and healthy as you can be.

 

The Consequences of Not Accepting Responsibility

Mother and son (12-13) working together in living room, boy holding instruction manual

Over time, failing to accept responsibility has severe consequences. First and foremost, it has a devastating effect on your own mind and heart. When you know you have failed to take responsibility for something that you should, it’ll begin to bother you, to eat at you, little by little. Pretty soon, you’ll feel very small inside.

That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s the truth. As we discussed in the post titled How to Respect Yourself and Others, taking responsibility for your own actions makes life work better. Remember, self-respect is the worth or value you place on your own life. Therefore, one of the consequences of continuingly failing to accept personal responsibility is that you eventually guarantee that you’ll view your life as having little to no real value.

 

Being Accountable When Things Are Not Going Well

It’s helpful to deal with what is. It does not matter what should have happened – it matters what is. Focusing on seeing things as they are, especially when things are not going your way, saves you the trouble of figuring out who to blame or what to worry over next.

To help being more accountable when facing challenges, ask better questions which are focused driven:

  • “How do I want to respond to what is happening right now?”
  • “Do I have a story about what I committed to that is standing in my way of moving forward in my commitment? What is this story or excuse costing me?”
  • “Is my mindset or psychology about this situation preventing me from moving forward?
  • “What beliefs am I holding onto now, that are holding me back? What must I believe now to take action?”
  • “Is my strategy or are my actions preventing me from getting the results I want? What new strategy do I need to take action on now to move forward?”

 

Responsibility

Responsibility is not something you do—it’s a way of thinking and being. When you’re truly responsible, you believe that success or failure is up to you, even if you work within a team or are blind-sided by unforeseen circumstances. You own your commitment to a result before the fact, before you even take action.

  • Getting started:

Be responsible “either way.” It’s easy to claim responsibility when things go well, but it’s hard when they don’t. A truly responsible person, however, accepts responsibility either way. So next time you take on a project, be 100% responsible for the outcome. Not a little. Not somewhat. Not pretty much. Own it 100%—good or bad—with no wiggle room.

  • Recognize your power. You already have the ability to be 100% responsible; everybody does. Yet most of us don’t realize—or at least don’t admit—that we alone have the power to manage our lives and careers. Sure, you can give that power away, but that is a conscious choice; it doesn’t happen without your permission.
  • Deal with what is. Think about it: when was the last time you were able to change the past? It doesn’t matter what should have happened—it matters what is. That saves you the trouble of figuring out who’s to blame or worrying about how things “coulda woulda shoulda” been if only something had gone differently. It didn’t—and that makes your choice a cinch: “How do I want to react to the situation that is?”

Self-empowerment

There is only one kind of empowerment, and that is self-empowerment. Unlike granting authority, empowerment comes from within. By empowering yourself, you take the actions—and the risks—to achieve a result and get what you want. Rather than waiting for someone to declare you empowered or give you that one lucky break, you step outside your comfort zone, make things happen, and answer for the outcomes.

Getting started:

  • Manage expectations. The most direct route to self-empowerment is to be clear about expectations—not only what you expect, but also what’s expected of you. To do that, you need to ask questions, make agreements, and clarify everything in writing. Otherwise, you risk suffering the source of all upset: missed expectations.
  • Take back your time. “No” is an empowering word. So every time you utter, “I can’t say no,” ask yourself if you can’t—or if you’re unwilling to. Take back your time in other ways, too: get rid of your to-do list (track projects and deadlines on a calendar instead); resist over-scheduling (you can’t cram 12 hours of work into eight hours, so stop trying); and estimate times realistically (let’s face it, most tasks take longer than we think they will).
  • Sing your own praises. It’s an all-too-common workplace mantra: “One day they’ll notice how much I do around here and give me the recognition I deserve.” NOT! Take stock of your personal talents and triumphs and let the higher-ups know who you are and how you contribute.

Personal accountability

Unlike responsibility (the “before”) and self-empowerment (the “during”), personal accountability is the “after”. It’s a willingness to answer for the outcomes of your choices, actions, and behaviors. When you’re personally accountable, you stop assigning blame, “should-ing” on people, and making excuses. Instead, you take the fall when your choices cause problems.

Getting started:

  • Tell the truth. Everybody messes up sometimes. Lying about it or trying to cover it up always makes it worse—no exceptions. (Just ask former President Bill Clinton, who paid a steep price—impeachment—for lying to a grand jury.) Save yourself some time: Don’t tell untruths. Nobody believes them anyway—not even you.
  • Police yourself. Are you accountable for your actions even if nobody holds you accountable—or nobody catches you? You bet you are. So be your own “accountability cop” and police yourself. On the long and winding road of life, choose accountability at every turn.
  • Look to yourself—first. When trouble arises, look first to yourself. Ask four specific questions: “What is the problem?” “What am I doing—or not doing—to contribute to the problem?” “What will I do differently to help solve the problem?” and “How will I be accountable for the result?”

What Are The Advantages Of Vinyl Flooring

Is vinyl plank flooring toxic?

Building a new home or renovating the home you currently reside in will leave you with many decisions, some of which will be critical to both the air quality in this environment and the health of those that are exposed to this tainted air on a daily basis. Building materials are among one of the most hazardous items to an indoor environment – as they are packed full of potentially toxic materials that will overtime release dangerous chemicals into the air of this enclosed area. From new paint, new furniture, wall additions inside the home, and even the removal and replacing of new flooring can all be potential sources of the entrance of hazardous chemicals into the indoor air of your home.

Selecting a non-toxic flooring

Flooring is an item inside your home that can be filled with a mix of different chemicals that can release into the air and pollute the air quality indoors. Indoor air pollution and air quality have become a major concern in recent years as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has conducted extensive research to show that many indoor environments can actually be more polluted and more toxic than that of outdoor environments.

When it comes to the installation of new flooring into a home this building material will release potentially toxic chemicals into the environment that are known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These VOCs can become airborne into the air and significantly taint the indoor air quality – and thus it is important to do your research to select a non-toxic flooring inside your home that will not pollute and taint your indoor air quality.

Disadvantages of vinyl flooring

Is vinyl flooring toxic? When it comes to selecting the ideal flooring for your home, many consumers are opting for vinyl flooring that is durable, versatile, and cost effective that will save you some major money. However, this type of flooring although it seems like the perfect flooring to select in your home, it actually is packed full of toxic chemicals that can pollute your indoor air and possibly effect the health of those exposed to this environment. A recent study that was conducted found that vinyl flooring contains toxic chemicals that include phthalates, lead, flame retardants, and VOCs like formaldehyde that will off gas into the air after the installation process in a home and taint the indoor air quality to hazardous levels.

Over 14 billion pounds of vinyl flooring is manufactured in the United States each year and installed into homes and other indoor spaces. This can lead to a lot of environments that are plagued with toxic chemicals in the air that are produced through off gassing that can take place for a long period of time after the installation is completed. Vinyl flooring will also produce other hazardous chemicals into the air from the adhesives that are used to install the flooring. These adhesives will contain lead and other VOCs that once it becomes acclimated to room temperature will turn into a gas and consequently off gas into the air.

is vinyl flooring toxic

Vinyl flooring toxic fumes

Vinyl tile flooring is constructed of new or recycled polyvinyl chloride or PVC that is known to be one of the most environmentally hazardous consumer materials that are produced for flooring. The PVC will create a large number of toxic chemicals like dioxins and phthalates that are released into the air and can produce toxic fumes into the environment. The chemical fume that is produced from this type of flooring is a result of off-gassing that releases the chemical into the air and affects indoor air quality, and as it releases this chemical it will create a pungent odor that will permeate throughout the entire indoor space.

 

The End of Vinyl’s Life Cycle

Waste: The durability of vinyl is a liability when it comes to disposing of this material. It is not biodegradable, and when it is sent to a waste facility it generally just sits there, taking up space for years. In some cases vinyl materials can be used as liners for garbage dumps, allowing them to contain waste materials that might otherwise spill out beyond their defined perimeters.

Recyclability: It is nearly impossible to recycle most vinyl materials. That is because the recycling process requires you to have a consistent level of various substances throughout the material makeup of the vinyl. Unfortunately, different types of vinyl have different chemical compositions, often making them incompatible. This is compounded by the adhesives which are usually stuck to the vinyl when old floors are lifted from underlayment layers.

In some cases, manufacturers are getting around this issue by using lower quality recycled vinyl materials as filler underneath the surface layer. These layers don’t get exposed to foot traffic or spills and therefore do not require the chemical consistency that top layers need.

 

Flooring Toxins Contaminate Indoors

The plasticizers that are found in vinyl floors are not just bound to the planks themselves. That is the risk that most studies have attempted to unravel.

Phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to vinyl, they can leach, migrate or evaporate into indoor air and concentrate in household dust. This is why they pose a more serious risk to children, pets, the elderly and even pregnant women.

General contamination easily occurs through dermal exposure, inhalation, and ingestion. Kids that like crawling and picking things up the toxic vinyl plank flooring are therefore the most exposed to the risk of the toxic phthalates.

 

Why is vinyl flooring hazardous?

A recent study found that most vinyl flooring, made from reprocessed plastic, contained toxic phthalates, lead, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, and other toxic chemicals. These chemicals can contribute to indoor air pollution by drifting out of the flooring and into the air and dust inside homes.

 

What to look for when purchasing flooring

  • Instead of carpet, chose hard-surfaced flooring and rugs that can be removed and cleaned outside.
  • Look for non-toxic and eco-friendly options. Ask questions of manufacturers and installers regarding materials used, safety and environmental claims.
  • Decline any stain-resistance treatments.
  • Look for products made without vinyl such as hardwood, linoleum and ceramic tile.

Flat Roof Repair

How Should I Protect my Roof While I am Waiting for Repairs?

You may have once come across a damaged shingle or a hole in your roof, and called for professional help immediately; just when you were waiting for the expert to arrive and fix your roof, rain starts to pour outside! Panic starts to grip you, and you start to wonder what to do now? After all, how can you stop the rainfall from getting into your house? Is there a way to stop a roof leak? Of course, there is. In fact, there are many ways to put a halt to your leaking roof temporarily. Read on to find out all about them..

Ways to Stop a Roof Leak Temporarily

  1. Tarp Covering

First and foremost, head to your attic – the most common source of the leak – and cover the hole using a tarp. Make sure that the tarp is long enough to cover the ridge of the roof. If you are experiencing high rainfall, you will need to place a tarp over the hole twice or even multiple times. To do this, secure the tarp over the tarp that has already been there and secured over the hole. If in case, there is no tarp, you can use strong and durable duct tape.

  1. Use Plastic Roofing Cement

If you don’t already have plastic roofing cement, then you will have to purchase it for emergency use, for instance for a roof leak. It is arguably the best temporary roof leak fix that you can go for during heavy rainfall or snowfall. Plastic roofing effectively helps seal tiny holes and cracks in roofing and prevent the water from entering your house. For a proper application, make sure that you have a roofing trowel, caulk gun, and putty knife.

  1. Use Roofing Tape

Easily available at any hardware store or home improvement shop, roofing tape is typically applied to the inner part of the roof decking to limit the water flow inside your house. To fix the leak temporarily, ensure that you are equipped with a ladder to properly stand on while applying roofing repair tape on the hole. This makes the temporary roof leak fix long-lasting than any other method – tarp tape or duct tape.

 

Temporary Fixes For A Leaking Roof

If you notice wet spots on your ceiling, find a shingle in your yard or hear the dreaded dripping of water in your home, you probably have a roof leak. Roof leaks typically lead to many other problems in your home, and it can be challenging to know what to do when your roof starts leaking. Luckily, there are multiple temporary solutions. Take matters into your own hands until professionals arrive and learn the most common types and causes of roof leaks, why you need to stop the leaks and how to temporarily repair a leaking roof.

Types of Roof Leaks

There isn’t one singular cause when it comes to a leaking roof, which can make pinpointing the leak all the more challenging. Before you can fix your roof leak, consider the following most common types of roof leaks and how they can affect your roof.

  1. Clogged Gutters

Debris can build up in your gutters if they haven’t been cleaned out. Clogged gutters keep water from draining normally, causing a leak. Try to keep your gutters clean and keep trees trimmed near your roof, or contact a professional to clean your gutters.

  1. Vent Boots

Vent boots work to keep water out of the area where the roof vent pipes join the roof. They are usually made from plastic, metal or rubber and could be a combination of the materials. If you suspect a leak, look for cracks on plastic vent boots and any broken seams on metal vent boots. Be sure to check out the rubber boot around the pipe as well, as it could be rotting or torn and letting water in. If you have a leaking vent boot, you’ll likely need to replace it. Just take off the old vent boot with a knife and install a new one.

  1. Flashing

Flashing is metal strips around the edges or joints of your roof that are prone to leaking. Flashing works to protect your roof from water and is probably around your chimney, too. If these metal strips rust or crack, they could let water in and cause leaks. Until a professional can fix it, you could use caulking and roof cement temporarily.

  1. Skylights

Skylights could result in leaks if they aren’t fitted or put in properly. Your skylight could also be leaking due to cracked flashing or damaged surrounding shingles. You might be able to use roofing cement and caulking as a temporary fix for a leaking skylight but will still need a professional to repair or replace it and install new surrounding flashing or shingles.

  1. Chimney

The mortar between the bricks on your chimney can weaken and crumble, letting water in. Chimneys also have four different types of flashing, and even if one has issues, it could result in a leak. A tiny crack above the flashing is enough for water to get through, so it’s essential to keep an eye out. If you think your chimney is leaking, look at the joints where the chimney joins the roof or the mud caps. You can typically fix a chimney leak temporarily with patches.

Some other popular roof leak locations and causes include:

  • Old or missing shingles
  • Holes in the roof
  • Nails that are in the wrong spot
  • Excess moisture
  • Shallow roof slope
  • Complex roofs

 

A Trick for Finding Difficult Leaks

If a leak is difficult to find, enlist a helper and go up on the roof with a garden hose. Start low, soaking the area just above where the leak appears in the house. Isolate areas when you run the hose. For example, soak the downhill side of a chimney first, then each side, then the top on both sides. Have your helper stay inside the house waiting for the drip to appear. Let the hose run for several minutes in one area before moving it up the roof a little farther. Tell your helper to yell when a drip becomes visible. You’ll be in the neighborhood of the leak. This process can take well over an hour, so be patient and don’t move the hose too soon. Buy your helper dinner. If running water doesn’t reveal the exact location of the leak, don’t be timid. Start removing shingles in the suspect area. With them removed, there’ll be evidence of the leak and you’ll be able to track it down right to the source. You’ll see discolored felt paper or water-stained or even rotted wood directly below and around a leaky roof.

 

Fixing Minor Shingle Damage

If you’re only facing a smaller and more isolated problem, it may be something you can repair yourself. For any shingles that are loosening or hanging, you can reattach them yourself if you can access them safely. You can stick them down with some roofer’s cement and nail them down firmly. Put more cement over the top of the nail and cover it completely. Also, check around the seams in your roof and apply some more cement to any areas that are split, cracked, or appear to be weathered.

Got any shingles that are starting to curl? You can heat them up slowly and re-adhering them to the roof, also using the roofer’s cement. Just the same as before, nail the shingles down where they began to detach and cement over again.

Missing shingles altogether? Just one or two? If you want to do a more-than-temporary roof repair, you can measure your shingles and pick some up at your local supplier. When you’re up on the roof, apply cement along the edge of the shingle, slip it up under the shingle above the spot you’re patching, and attach firmly. Once again, nail into place, and put more cement over the nails. It’s entirely possible that, if you do it right, your temporary roof repair will be near as effective as a professional fix.

 

Can I Get A Temporary Roof Repair In An Emergency Situation?

If your roof is already leaking and there’s a storm coming in a few hours, you can call a roofing contractor to perform emergency work.

Emergency work is work performed after hours (5pm) and on weekends.

This will be more expensive (1.5x more costly) than a non-emergency situation, but sometimes this is your only option to prevent more damage in the future.

In the example repair earlier in this post, the $640 repair would cost approximately $960.

In the case of an emergency, a roofing contractor will come out and make a repair that day. If the roofing contractor doesn’t have the same material as what your current roof is, say EPDM, they will use a similar material to get you watertight ASAP (like spray polyurethane foam).


Things To Do Today To Avoid A Clogged Toilet Tomorrow

The Most Effective Method To Keep A Clogged Toilet From Becoming A Disaster

Scarcely any things are as at the same time startling and awkward as an obstructed can. In addition to the fact that it renders the bathroom pointless, yet it must be taken care of promptly or things can escape hand in all respects rapidly. Without fixing the issue quickly, you can chance water harm from flood, human waste tainting, foul smells, or even shame. This issue is no snickering issue and should be taken care of at the earliest opportunity. Here is the manner by which to shield a stopped up a can from turning into a debacle.

  1. Shield the water from flooding

Here and there when a loo gets stopped up, you don’t have any acquaintance with it until the water in the bowl keeps on rising and rise and rise. This can be an exceptionally alarming minute, as nobody needs to have water spilling out of the bowl. On the off chance that this is an issue, or on the off chance that you sense the water won’t quit rising-make a point to kill the central pipe which normally close-by on the divider. This will stop the progression of water into the tank which keeps the water level from ascending in the bowl.

  1. Have a go at utilizing a plunger

Get some elastic gloves and perhaps a cover and tenderly sink a knob plunger down into the base of the bowl. The best plungers have an expansion spine and a decreased focus. In a perfect world, you will have a plunger that is measured splendidly for your particular latrine. With the best possible apparatus, you will almost certainly get more noteworthy suction legitimately into the funneling to oust the obstruct. A full non depleting obstruct will totally hinder the channels and will make the water rise. It might be important to stop the water (as referenced above) or hold up a couple of minutes before starting to dive. When you begin, utilize moderate and delicate pushes to limit sprinkle. Have towels convenient for speedy cleanup. Dive forward and backward around 10-30 times relying upon the stop up and check whether the water starts to deplete without anyone else.

  1. Twofold check the tank

On the off chance that you expected to stop the primary water supply toward the start to shield the water from flooding, it might be important to play Judas on for the bowl to legitimately deplete and refill. Be that as it may, even without the water on, you should see the water level improve because of diving. In many occurrences, it will totally deplete or incompletely channel directly before your eyes. After the obstruct has been taken care of, betray and guarantee the floater or bobber is changed in accordance with the correct dimension. This decides how much water the tank should be full and may help with future flushings.

 

The Easiest Way to Unclog a Toilet

Occasionally, disaster strikes and there isn’t a plunger in the bathroom. Don’t despair. Here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, even if you only have the typical resources a bathroom holds.

  • Quickly take off the lid of the tank, and close the flapper. The flapper is the rubber piece that is lifted up when you push on the handle to flush. You’ll need to stick your arm in the tank to push the flapper down. Don’t worry, though. Tank water is very clean.
  • Add some hot water to the clogged toilet. This can often break apart what’s doing the clogging (unless a cute child threw something like a toy in the toilet earlier that day). You’ll need something to transport the hot water from the sink or tub into the toilet. A toothbrush holder or anything like a cup or bowl will do the trick. If things get dire, you could resort to dumping out the contents of the trash bin and using it as a water carrier. Leave the water to sit for a couple of minutes. Everything might naturally flush down at this point.
  • You tried the step above, but nothing – or not enough – has happened. Now try adding a few drops of soap to the toilet. Dishwasher soap would be the first choice, followed by hand soap, and shampoo can be your last resort. Again, wait a few minutes for the soap to do its magic. Then, try flushing again.

 

How To Use a Plunger

First, plunge the toilet with the rubber flange pulled out to get a better seal. Push in and out vigorously, keeping enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. Have towels handy to wipe up any water that splashes out.

Plunging Tips

A toilet plunger fits over and seals the toilet drain. Wear rubber gloves — things can get messy— and follow these plunging tips:

  • Make your first plunge a gentle one. Initially the bell is full of air. A hard thrust will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom and you!
  • Once you force out the air, plunge vigorously in and out, maintaining the seal. You’ll be forcing water both directions in the drain, which will effectively loosen most clogs. Stick with it, plunging 15 to 20 times if necessary.
  • Be patient. Try alternating between steady strokes and occasional monster heaves.
  • Keep enough water in the bowl so the toilet plunger stays covered. Trying to force air through the toilet trap won’t generate much pressure.

Most of the time, plunging is all it takes to clear the clog. But for tougher clogs, try using a toilet snake.

 

What Not to Do When Your Toilet is Clogged

Don’t: Panic!

We get it – if that toilet is about to overflow with…yeah, we’ll leave it at that; you don’t want to be anywhere nearby. But, there are a few quick things you can do immediately to prevent a mess if you can manage to keep a clear head.

Do instead: remove the lid from the toilet’s tank and carefully set it aside. At the bottom of the tank is a rubber piece called the “flapper valve” which regulates the flow of water into the toilet bowl. Reach down and press that valve closed to prevent any more water from flowing into the toilet bowl and avoid the potential disaster an overflow will cause.

You may also need to stop the tank from filling up by lifting the float that operates the tank fill valve.

The water level in the toilet bowl should begin to drain slowly with no new water flowing in. Wait about a minute, and if the water level has gone down enough, you should be in the clear to let go of the float and the flapper without worrying about the toilet overflowing.

If the water in the toilet bowl doesn’t drop after about a minute, you’ll need to shut off the water at the toilet supply valve. This valve is a metal handle located behind the toilet. Turn clockwise (right) to close.

Don’t: Use Other Drains Nearby

Until you’ve verified that the problem is with just that toilet, avoid using other drains in the bathroom. If you notice those drains slowing or backing up, the blockage may be somewhere in the line, or may even indicate a failure in your septic system.

Do instead: Use a plunger to unblock the drain. It may be all that’s needed. After a few moments, check to see if the toilet drain clears. If a plunger isn’t working, your next step is likely a snake.

Once you’re confident that the clog is removed from the immediate vicinity, carefully test your other drains one at a time to make sure they are all functioning correctly.

Don’t: Use a Harsh Chemical like Drano to Unclog Your Toilet

Drano, and other similar chemical pipe cleaners, use caustic, oxidizing chemicals to dissolve drain clogs. The reaction that occurs when the chemicals hit the clog creates heat.

Since the dissolving process takes time (sometimes a few hours), the reaction sits in there producing more and more heat which can cause extensive damage to the pipes and even to the toilet itself by cracking the porcelain.

Do instead: Use Dawn dish soap. Pour ¼ cup of Dawn soap into the toilet bowl and allow a couple of hours for it to work on the clog before attempting to use a plunger again. The dish soap will work to break down the clog naturally without harmful chemical fumes or reactions.

Follow the dish soap with hot water, pouring it slowly into the toilet bowl. The water should finish what the dish soap started, breaking up the clog completely and rinsing it down the drain.

 

How to Unclog a Toilet With a Snake or an Auger

If you have a snake or an auger, you can also use these tools instead of a plunger. The benefit of an auger or a snake is that they directly remove the clog and can get far deeper into the toilet. All you have to do is stick it in the toilet and gently move it until you feel the clog break up.

You can even use this technique as a DIY tool. In many cases, a straightened wire hanger can work well to handle clogs. Just be careful using it because you can scratch the coating on your toilet bowl if you use too much force.


Pros And Cons Of Hiring An Electrician Off Of The Internet

Must-Have Electrician Tools for On-the-Job Safety and Efficiency

In the world of electrical work, a job isn’t done right unless it’s done safely and efficiently. And while arming yourself with knowledge and caution goes a long way toward helping you work safe and smart, neither of these things give you actual physical protection from live circuitry, or help you to efficiently handle materials and make the right connections. That’s where electrician tools come into play

Having the right tools for the job can help you work faster, more comfortably and with fewer mistakes, as well as warn you of the presence of hot circuits, insulate your body against electric shock, and protect your face and eyes from potentially dangerous sparks and saw fly-offs. Just think of them as small investments in protecting the biggest investments of all: your life and career.

Wire Stripper

Instead of gambling with cabling knives and linesmans’ pliers that can potentially nick into wires, strip wires correctly, the first time around, with a gauged wire stripper. This tool has graduated holes along the length of its jaws, which you match to the particular size wire you’ll be stripping. Because of their carefully-sized stripping notches, wire strippers are able to remove insulation without damaging the conductor beneath, so your job will have a far better chance of meeting code without you wasting time and money to repeatedly trim down and re-strip the electrical wire until you get it right.

Insulated Screwdrivers

One insulated screwdriver is good, but a whole set is even better – it’ll take you through everything from wall plate installation and removal to mounting outlet boxes and light fixtures. Insulated screwdrivers give you an extra measure of protection should your screwdriver slip and accidentally make contact with an energized circuit or component. Dielectric handles and blade coating give insulated screwdrivers the power to buffer your body against direct contact with up to 1000V – you might still feel a “bite,” but at least you won’t be electrocuted.

Voltage Sniffer

Even if you’ve already shut things off at the breaker box, it’s always a good idea to double check that a circuit isn’t live before beginning work on it. Receptacle testers can be helpful, but if a receptacle or the wires leading to it are damaged, this type of tester can sometimes give you a false negative, even if there’s still electricity present. That’s why we recommend carrying a non-contact voltage sniffer as well. Even though voltage sniffers don’t need to make physical contact with wires or outlet prongs, they still have the ability to detect the presence of live power – and best of all, they’re cheap and take up practically no room in your work bag.

 

Everything you need to know about a Career in the Automotive Electrical Trade

Do you love working with cars and other vehicles? Can you trace a car’s electrical work in your head? Do you love seeing how they work and fixing them for your own enjoyment? If so, then you might able to turn your hobby into a rewarding career in the automotive electrical trade industry.

A rapidly growing and high-demand field, the automotive electrical trade keeps cars, trucks, tractors and other automotive vehicles running smoothly. Without these highly skilled workers, our cars would be breaking down and those whose jobs require heavy equipment would have a hard time completing their work.

Where to find work

Most automotive electricians go to work for a mechanic’s shop or a dealership. Mechanic shops employ automotive electricians to work on the various cars that come into the shop. This requires a strong knowledge of a lot of different makes and models.

Dealerships need highly trained automotive electricians who know their products extremely well. Customers often bring in their cars to have them serviced, and they expect high quality work. These electricians need to have solid knowledge on the makes and models of the dealership. If the electrician is working for a used car dealership, then he or she needs to be able to fix up older cars and make them sellable once more.

If you have further training with heavy equipment, you also might find work with a construction or mining company. Large construction companies need to keep their equipment running smoothly, and they’ll employ automotive technicians to service their heavy vehicles. Mines usually use heavy equipment to drill, and having a drill break down can cease production for days. They need full time automotive electricians on hand to keep those machines up and running.

 

Innovative Electrician Tricks

Get any two or three electricians or other service industry personnel together and pretty soon they will begin swapping stories. With highly skilled service jobs, each individual tradesman has developed a personal style and thought up a few neat tricks to handle common trade challenges and it’s always worthwhile to share and hear a few things your buddies have come up with. One of the great features of the internet is that it gives us an opportunity to bring these patio and workshop conversations to the entire community, creating a richer shared knowledge of ‘trade secrets’ that no longer have to be a secret

Preventing for Insulation Itch

While it would be great if all electrical work happened on the habitable side of the walls, electricians more than almost any other tradesmen end up right up close with the sawdust and insulation. Besides wanting to wear a face mask and eye protection, that stuff is incredibly itchy and can cause major skin irritation. even wearing long sleeves, it still gets up around your collar and onto your face and hands. The solution to this is a bottle of baby powder or a small box of cornstarch. Coat your exposed skin a little way under collars and sleeve ends. Make sure to get your face and ears while keeping it out of your eyes. This protective layer will keep the insulation from settling directly on your skin, preventing irritation and itching.

Carry a Strong Magnet

The entire house wiring premise requires you to work behind the walls and ceilings. You are constantly tracing old wires, running new wires, working from small holes in the drywall and trying to line everything up perfectly from both sides. There are dozens of tricks for drawing lines and punching small holes to mark your way, but there’s one very useful trick that doesn’t require any permanent changes at all.

Look for Studs

Stud finders are notoriously hard on batteries, which means they are always running out at inopportune moments and needing to be recharged. Rather than letting this slow down your project, simply carry a strong magnet in your kit. Tie a lightweight piece of string to your magnet and dangle it along the wall you’re inspecting. when the magnet responds, there’s something ferrous behind the wall. This also works in circumstances where the surface, coating, or material of the wall is challenging even for a fully charged stud finder.

As a Fishing Guide

The next time you’re fishing down the backside of a wall, there’s no need to worry about it going astray. You may already be using the heavy nut trick to keep the string pulled directly downward. You can double the effectiveness of this method by using a magnet in your box opening to guide the line down.

 

ELECTRICIANS – SKILLS AND ABILITIES

COMMUNICATE

Understand spoken information.

Listen to others and ask questions.

Speak clearly so listeners can understand.

Understand written information.

Read and understand work-related materials.

REASON AND PROBLEM SOLVE

Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.

Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.

Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.

Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.

Judge the costs and benefits of a possible action.

Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

Develop rules that group items in various ways.

Recognize the nature of a problem.

Understand new information or materials by studying and working with them.

Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.

Identify what must be changed to reach goals.

Recognize when important changes happen or are likely to happen in a system.

Think of new ideas about a topic.

USE MATH AND SCIENCE

Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.

Use math skills to solve problems.

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.

MANAGE ONESELF, PEOPLE, TIME, AND THINGS

Check how well one is learning or doing something.

Manage the time of self and others.

WORK WITH PEOPLE

Teach others how to do something.

Use several methods to learn or teach new things.

Change behavior in relation to others’ actions

 

Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Electrician

If you’re not an expert about things like electrical panels, wires, outlets, and all the other electrical jargon, you should not attempt to make electrical repairs. While there are some home repairs that you can attempt yourself, such as fixing a leaky faucet, electrical repairs are not included in that list. You should hire a professional electrician for all electrical repairs.

Many homeowners are tempted to try handling electrical repairs on their own to save money. For all home repairs, going the DIY route risks turning what would have been a small problem into a very costly one. The same is true for electrical repairs. Except that in addition to risking costly damage, you risk your own safety by tampering with your home electrical system.

Safety

First and foremost, the main reason why you should hire a professional electrician is for your own safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of your house. Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous if you do not approach it with the right expertise, safety training, and equipment.

Cost

Most homeowners who try to DIY an electrical repair end up calling a professional electrician after their repair fails to do the trick. And oftentimes, they’ve only made the problem more complicated to fix than it would have been if they’d called an electrician in the first place.

Troubleshooting

We can’t tell you how often we get calls reporting one problem with a home electrical system only to get out to the job site and discover that the issue is just one symptom of a much larger problem.


Well Water Testing Reveals The Truth

Bacteria, Viruses, and Parasites in Drinking Water

Bacteria are everywhere in our environment, including Minnesota’s surface waters and groundwater. Some of these bacteria can be harmful to human health. Drinking water with disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or parasites (collectively called pathogens) can make you sick. It is not practical to test drinking water for every type of pathogen, but it is simple to test drinking water for coliform bacteria. The presence of coliform bacteria can indicate there may be harmful pathogens in the water.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires public water systems to regularly test water for total coliform bacteria and E. coli. Safe drinking water does not have E. coli or other pathogens in it.

If you have a private well

Here are some recommendations on how to prevent and address coliform bacteria contamination:

Prevent Contamination

  • Protect Your Well by constructing it in a safe spot.
  • Regularly inspect your well for damage. Contact a Licensed Well Contractor if you find any damage.
  • Test your well water every year for coliform bacteria. You are responsible for keeping your well water safe and testing it as needed. All well testing should be done through an accredited laboratory. Contact a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) accredited laboratory to get a sample container and instructions on how to submit a sample. You can also contact your county to see if they have any programs to make testing your water easier.
  • Disinfect your well with a chlorine solution if floodwaters come within 50 feet of your well; your water changes in taste, appearance, or odor; or your well is opened for servicing. Follow these steps for Well Disinfection or hire a Licensed Well Contractor.
  • Conduct routine maintenance of potential sources of contamination, such as household septic systems.

Address Contamination

If coliform bacteria are detected in your water, follow these steps:

  • Stop using the water for drinking and preparing food, unless you boil it at a full rolling boil for a full minute before using it. You can also use bottled water or water from a known safe alternative source.
  • Disinfect your well with a chlorine solution, using the same Well Disinfection steps as above.
  • Test your well water again after disinfection to confirm there are no coliform bacteria.
  • You can use the water again, without boiling, once the well has been disinfected and the water no longer tests positive for coliform bacteria.

If you are on a public water system

Your public water system is regularly tested for coliform bacteria. The system will issue a public notice within 24 hours if it detects E. coli. The public notice will tell you what you should do to stay safe.

You can find the coliform bacteria test results for the system serving where you live by reading the system’s Water Quality Report (also known as a Consumer Confidence Report [CCR]). You can call your public water system to get a paper copy of your CCR, or you may be able to find it online at Find Your Local CCR. You can find the coliform bacteria test results for the systems serving places other than where you live by contacting the water system.

 

Bacteriological tests

The recognition that microbial infections can be waterborne has led to the development of methods for routine examination to ensure that water intended for human consumption is free from excremental pollution. Although it is now possible to detect the presence of many pathogens in water, the methods of isolation and enumeration are often complex and time-consuming. It is therefore impractical to monitor drinking water for every possible microbial pathogen that might occur with contamination. A more logical approach is the detection of organisms normally present in the faeces of man and other warm-blooded animals as indicators of excremental pollution, as well as of the efficacy of water treatment and disinfection. The presence of such organisms indicates the presence of faecal material and thus of intestinal pathogens. (The intestinal tract of man contains countless rod-shaped bacteria known as coliform organisms and each person discharges from 100 to 400 billion coliform organisms per day in addition to other kinds of bacteria). Conversely, the absence of faecal commensal organisms indicates that pathogens are probably also absent. Search for such indicators of faecal pollution thus provides a means of quality control. The use of normal intestinal organisms as indicators of faecal pollution rather than the pathogens themselves is a universally accepted principle for monitoring and assessing the microbial safety of water supplies. Ideally, the finding of such indicator bacteria should denote the possible presence of all relevant pathogens.

Indicator organisms should be abundant in excrement but absent, or present only in small numbers, in other sources; they should be easily isolated, identified and enumerated and should be unable to grow in water. They should also survive longer than pathogens in water and be more resistant to disinfectants, such as chlorine. In practice, these criteria cannot all be met by any one organism, although many of them are fulfilled by coliform organisms, especially Escherichia coli as the essential indicator of pollution by faecal material of human or animal origin.

 

Exposure to Chemicals in Water

Everyone has a role in protecting the water supply. Before you throw away unused medicines, birth control pills, paint, motor oil, pesticides, cleaners, and other chemical-based products, talk to your local health or hazardous waste departments about how to safely dispose of these products. You also can visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more tips.

Steps you can take

In general, filtered tap (municipal) water is as safe as or safer than bottled water from the store, because bottled water is less regulated.

You may want to consider the following tips to ensure your water is the safest it can be:

  • If you get your water from a private or small community well, you may want to have your tap water tested. Well water can become contaminated with bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and other toxins. City water supplies and municipal wells that serve large numbers of people are regularly tested for contamination. Private and small community wells are not tested, unless you arrange to have it done. If you don’t get a water bill, you most likely have a private or small community well. To find a state-certified water testing lab, contact your local state health or environmental department.
  • Install a filter on the taps in your house or store drinking water in a pitcher with a filter. Check the box label to make sure you’re buying a filter that removes E. coli and Cryptosporidium bacteria, as well as pharmaceuticals. Both Brita and Proctor & Gamble (maker of PUR filters) say their filter pitchers remove both E. coli and Cryptosporidium, as well as more than 96% of pharmaceutical contaminants. These companies also claim that their plastic pitchers are made without bisphenol A. Change the filter at the recommended times. The National Sanitation Foundation website has information on how to choose water filters for your home.
  • Reverse osmosis systems and ion exchange pour-through filters can remove contaminants that tap filters can’t. Certain contaminants, such as hexavalent chromium, a metal used in metal processing, steel and pulp mills, and the tanning industry, aren’t removed by standard tap filters. Hexavalent chromium in drinking water has been linked to certain stomach cancers. In December 2010, the Environmental Working Group released a report that found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 of 35 U.S. cities tested. Hexavalent chromium can be removed from drinking water by using reverse osmosis systems and ion exchange pour-through filters. Still, these systems are much more expensive than installing a tap filter. If you suspect the water in your area is contaminated with hexavalent chromium or other heavy metals, you may want to consider taking a tap water sample to a lab for specific heavy metal testing before you invest in a reverse osmosis or ion exchange pour-through filter system.
  • Boil your water if you think it might be contaminated with bacteria. Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute before using it. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms, but doesn’t remove pharmaceutical residues.

 

Ways to Know Whether or Not You Should Have Your Water Tested for Contaminants

Many ways to access water are available today. You may prefer to stock your home with water bottles, use a filtered pitcher or drink from the water dispenser in your fridge. However, problems can start to arise depending on where that water comes from. People get water from one of two places⁠ — public water systems or wells. Either way, sometimes things can go wrong, and you might need to test your water.

Your Water Tastes Bad

People like to say water is water — but you’ll taste a big difference between different water qualities. It’s why people prefer certain brands of bottled water over others. Whatever water you use at home should always be pleasantly neutral. You should never have to wonder if you’re tasting something in your tap water when sipping on a drink poured from your tap. The same goes for shower water or the water you use to brush your teeth. Immediately follow any bad taste by a water quality test, just to ensure you aren’t drinking contaminants.

Your Water Fixtures Are Stained

You may never think about the quality of your sinks and tubs until you notice a pink mould on them that grows slowly over time. You should be able to easily wipe away this mould with cleaning solution — and if you can’t, your utilities may be stained. Stains can appear brown, yellow, red or black. Those colours indicate high concentrations of harmful minerals that shouldn’t be in your water. Test your water if you see any stains on the water fixtures in your house. A professional can easily treat your water, and the stains will disappear.

Your Stomach Is Upset

Just as your stomach can get upset when you eat something unhealthy, the same thing can happen if you drink bad water. Drinking water can irritate your stomach in a few ways. First, you might experience an upset stomach after local and natural chemicals infiltrate your water source. Arsenic is a naturally occurring toxin found in water that a professional can filter out if they identify the substance through testing. Infections like gastroenteritis also follow the minerals that contaminate water. You may experience stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting as symptoms of this virus. These symptoms are also associated with salmonella and E. coli. If you’re having symptoms like these and don’t think you’ve consumed any bad food, test your water right away.

 

Your Soap Doesn’t Lather

Groundwater filtered through soil is called hard water. It’s less likely to react well with soaps and create a lather, although hard water that passes a filtration test will make minimal suds. If your dish or hand soap won’t lather or produces only minimal suds, your water has become hard and needs to be tested for contaminants like hardness, iron, pH, nitrates and chlorine.

Your Water Smells Foul

Water shouldn’t have a taste or smell — so it’s a bad sign if you’re wincing when you bring a cup of water to your lips. Hydrogen sulphide is a common cause of foul-smelling water. Many people note a rotten-egg-like smell when they sniff this contaminated water or turn the tap on.

Trust your nose and test your water if it smells bad when you use your sinks or showers.

Your Plumbing’s Corroded

A bad taste and smell in your water could also be a sign your plumbing has started to corrode. Pay attention to whether your water becomes discoloured early in the morning. If so, it may have settled in the pipes overnight and absorbed the metals from the corroded pipe. Replacing corroded plumbing will be a project, but it’s worth testing for so that you can start as soon as possible.


Read Dentist Reviews Online If You Want

Brushing Tips to Impress Your Dentist

DENTIST APPOINTMENTS can be scary. Sitting in that chair with a bright light shining above you while the dentist scrapes between your teeth is enough to keep anyone away. And as your gums begin to bleed, you silently plea that your next appointment will be better – and it will be, if you follow these tips that will help keep your entire mouth clean and impress your dentist.

Set a timer. Haphazardly brushing your teeth in the morning before you run out the door to catch your bus might get rid of your morning breath, but it’s not likely to have a meaningful effect on your overall health, says Eugene Antenucci, a clinical associate with the New York University College of Dentistry and spokesman for Academy of General Dentistry. “To effectively reach all areas and rid your mouth of cavity-causing bacteria, it is recommended to brush for at least two minutes, twice a day,” he says. ​”Use a timer, or play a song that lasts two minutes.”

Brush softer. Most people try to scrub their teeth clean with their toothbrush, but doing that does little more than ruin your enamel, Antenucci says. Instead, hold your brush softly at a 45-degree angle, and brush in a circular motion. “Brushing too hard in a sawing, back-and-forth motion can cause the gums to recede and possibly even damage tooth structure,” he says. Buying a softer toothbrush can help save your enamel as well. “It’s a myth that harder bristles do a better job,” Antenucci says. “Harder bristles can damage gum and tooth structures.”

Change your toothbrush often. An old, frayed toothbrush isn’t going to do a great job getting your mouth clean, Antenucci says, so be sure to replace your brush whenever you see the bristles start to wear. “Not only are old toothbrushes ineffective, but they may harbor harmful bacteria that can cause infections such as gingivitis and gum disease,” he says. “Toothbrushes should be changed every three to four months or after you’ve been sick.”

Go high-tech. Electric toothbrushes are a better choice for some people than manual brushes, says Linda Niessen​, dean of the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, because they closely resemble the tools dentists use in their office. “They also do a better job of cleaning in hard to reach places,” she says. Niessen also recommends a free app called Brush DJ that will play music in two-minute increments to help you time your brushing. “Once the music is up, you know you’re done.”

 

HELPFUL THINGS TO MAKE CHOOSING A TOOTHPASTE EASY

You’ve squeezed the last of the life out of your tube of toothpaste. The dreaded time has come. You have to face the convenience store’s wall of toothpaste!

You know what we’re talking about. You go to the store looking for a tube of toothpaste, but there are so many options available that you don’t know what to get.

The experience usually goes something like this: you either A) grab the first toothpaste brand you see and recognize, B) end up buying multiple types of toothpaste, or C) stand there reading the promised benefits of each toothpaste and realize that you’ve been staring at toothpaste for 10 minutes! Eventually, you grab one of many that sounded good and just hope for the best.

FLUORIDE

When choosing a type of toothpaste, the most important thing to look for is fluoride. This naturally-occurring mineral helps protect the teeth from cavities. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and can reverse the early stages of tooth decay. It also helps with tooth sensitivity.

TARTAR CONTROL

Plaque, a layer of bacteria on the teeth, can harden into tartar if not removed with proper dental hygiene. Some toothpastes are designed to help prevent the buildup of tartar on your pearly whites. Effective tartar-fighting ingredients to look for are pyrophosphates and zinc citrate.

 

Standard of Care in Dentistry

You’ve done your research. You’ve mastered your techniques. You’ve tucked away every nugget of advice you’ve received from trusted mentors and respected colleagues. You think you’ve learned everything you needed to know in dental school, or you’ve learned it in the subsequent years spent hard at work in practice. But are you forgetting something? What about the Hippocratic Oath, the Golden Rule—or even Mom or Dad’s advice? Are they practical words of wisdom, or lofty, practically useless ideals? One says to do no harm. Another says do unto others as you would have done to you. Yet another says to use your best judgment.

You most likely chose dentistry as your profession out of a deep desire to help people—to help ease their pain, to help cure their disease, to help improve their well-being and quality of life—all of which is admirable. All of which could also find the most educated, talented, and well-intentioned clinician in a ton of trouble if something goes wrong. And if that happens, there are several defenses that just may not work on the witness stand, when you find yourself trying to explain your course of action to a judge and jury. Not only do the declarations “I did it the way I learned it in school,” “I did my best,” or “I did it the way all of my colleagues are doing it,” sound like excuses for failing a high school shop class, there’s a good chance that they just won’t work in a lawsuit alleging dental malpractice.

To truly properly care for your patients, all dentists are ethically and even legally bound to follow some combination of all of the moral compasses just described. But how? A “standard of care” in dentistry seems to be nebulous at best. Dentists don’t have to sign a Hippocratic Oath, the Golden Rule is purely freedom of choice, and, unfortunately, the advice given by friends and loved ones just may not be enough to hold up in a court of law one day.

Is There a Standard of Care

“standard of care” actually exists in the definition of “negligence,” which has four distinct elements; all must be met if it is to be used as grounds for a malpractice suit

that a duty of care was owed by the dentist to the patient;

that the dentist violated the applicable standard of care;

that the plaintiff suffered a compensable injury;

that such injury was caused in fact and proximately caused by the substandard conduct.

 

Dental care for babies

Baby teeth development

Baby teeth develop while babies are still in the womb. Newborns have a full set of 20 baby teeth hidden in their gums. For most babies, teeth begin to appear between 6 and 10 months. In some children, teeth appear as early as three months. In others, they don’t arrive until around 12 months. Children get teeth at different times. A very small number of children are born with 1-2 teeth.

Baby teeth can arrive in any order, although the central bottom teeth are often first. All 20 baby teeth will usually arrive by the time your child is three years old. The 32 adult teeth replace the baby teeth between the ages of 6 and 20 years.

Teething

As each baby tooth gets to the surface of the gum, the gum opens up to show the tooth. Babies sometimes rub their gums together when new teeth are starting to come through the gum. This isn’t usually a problem.

Many people think that ‘teething’ babies also:

cry a lot or seem extra cranky

don’t feed as well as usual

suck on objects like toys, dummies and bibs

have more dirty nappies more often

pull the ear on the same side as the tooth coming through.

These signs might be caused by teething – or they might just be a normal part of development or a result of minor infections and illnesses. If your baby isn’t well, it’s always best to take your baby to your GP, especially if baby has a fever or diarrhoea, or you’re worried about any other symptoms.

 

A Painless Guide to Social Media Marketing for Dentists

By 2021 the dental industry is projected to be worth around $36.8 billion. That’s a lot of teeth for the tooth fairy. But if your practice wants a piece of the profit, it’s incredibly important to start a social media marketing plan for dentists and your specific industry.

For decades, dentists relied almost exclusively on reputation and word of mouth marketing to help them build their practice. But it’s 2018 and more likely than not, your audience is on social. Whether it’s blogging, video marketing, paid social ads or even podcasts, you have to learn the specifics of social media marketing for dentists.

Just like any other industry, there are ways to better attract, retain and ultimately market to your patients. And for the sake of this article, we’re looking at the dentists needing the extra push for social marketing efforts.

Why Does Social Media Marketing Matter For Dentists?

Social media marketing for dentists is still in the early roots of adoption, but more dental practices are seeing the power of being active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For an industry that leaves 15% of the population quivering with dread, what better way to earn a loyal patient than to consistently show them there’s nothing to fear?

Dentists are in a bit of different position than many other industries. Clothing stores, software companies, restaurants and other industries have to convince people that what they’re selling is worth their money—even if it’s something they don’t need. Dentists on the other hand don’t need to convince people they need to get their teeth and gums checked. Everyone knows they need to visit the dentist.


Carpet And Window Cleaning

Window Cleaning Tips

Avoid Direct Sunlight – cleaning windows on a bright sunny day might seem like a good idea because you can see the dirt more easily, but cleaning windows in direct sunlight leads to other hazards; water will dry quickly, resulting in watermarks and windows that are messier than when you started.

Keep Your Tools Clean – dirty tools won’t do you any good. A dirt-free bucket, clean squeegee and fresh water will ensure the dirt washes off how it should.

Minimal Detergent – use a small amount of detergent to prevent smearing and keep costs down.

Avoid Sponges – sponges collect dirt and spread it around. Particles caught in the sponge could scratch and damage the glass leaving it looking awful. A lambswool mitt or similar applicator will keep dirt away from the glass and result in a cleaner, shinier window.

Sideways Squeegee – if you’re using a squeegee, turning it sideways can make all the difference – forcing water to flow down the window rather than across both sides of your tool. Keeping the squeegee clean also prevents leaving blade marks and traces of dirt on the clean glass.

Plenty of Water – washing windows involves using plenty of fresh water. Wash that dirt away.

Mind the Edges – be sure to wipe the edges of the windows where watermarks and spots are more likely to form.

Microfiber Magnificence – if you’re looking for an excellent finish, then glass microfiber cloths are your best option. With tiny, gentle fibres, they lift dirt away as you clean and polish and lead to a better shine than you’d get from any other cloth or wipe.

Speed or Quality? – you need to think about whether you’ll be cleaning a lot of windows and need to do it quickly or opt for quality instead. Most professional window cleaners’ use an 18″ squeegee, but for residential properties that might be a bit unnecessary.

Mind the Inside! – It goes without saying that you need to do both sides of the glass for a truly sparkling clean, but it’s important to be careful not to spill water inside the house/establishment.

 

Window Cleaning

When was the last time you had your windows professionally cleaned? Regular maintenance cleaning can prevent mold, mildew, and possible oxidation from sprinklers and screens that could cause permanent stains.

Don’t forget your skylights! While inside your home or office, a great deal of care is exercised when we perform our services. We use drop cloths and shoe covers to keep your floors and personal belongings clean.

Protect your investment by keeping your windows clean on a regular basis. Ask us about signing on to a frequency program to save money. Clean windows will clearly brighten up your day!

What is a water fed pole? Poles that go up to 60 feet can reach and clean high windows while our technicians remain safe on the ground. There are no squeegees involved because the water that goes through the pole is filtered and will dry spot-free on your glass.

 

Having Beautiful, Sparkling, Clean Windows Really Is Possible

Thanks for clicking. Here, you will learn about:

What to look for when choosing the right company

How do we price your window cleaning

How can you help prepare for our arrival

Glass restoration and do you need it

Your home is your castle. And when your castle has dirty windows, the king or queen can get a little testy. But unlike castles, yours isn’t a fairy tale. It takes work to keep it clean and shiny.

Regular window cleaning to keep your windows clean is more than just keeping up appearances. It feels good knowing that the windows of your house sparkle and give your home the added curb appeal of beautiful and regular maintenance because friends, family, and visitors do notice

Here are some things to look for, and to ask for when choosing a window cleaning company:

Will they open each window and clean your sills and tracks? Most window washers never open the windows.

Do they actually scrub your screens instead of just wiping them off? It makes no sense to have clean glass and dirty screens.

Do they look professional and are they in company uniforms? If they’re not willing to invest in looking professional, then they’re in this for the short term.

Ask for plenty of references along with phone numbers. A reputable window washing company should be glad to provide them to you.

Are they insured and bonded, and do they carry workers’ compensation? Things happen. You need to be fully protected in case of unforeseen situations.

How do we price your windows:

Window Cleaning services are competitively priced and our estimates are calculated by the pane for our window washing service. We routinely check the marketplace to be sure our prices are lower or at most, right in line with reputable insured competing companies

 

Frequently Asked Window Cleaning Questions

We’ve compiled a list of questions a lot of homeowners and business owners have asked about getting their windows washed on this page for you.

There are many commonly asked questions that only a true professional could answer properly.  Within our company, we literally have hundreds of years experience cleaning windows from homes to massive airports to sporting stadiums to high rise buildings and new construction.  I personally have been cleaning windows 27 years.  I know how to get windows streak free, without smears, and what tools and tricks are necessary to get your windows to look perfect!

What do professional window cleaners use?

Professional window cleaners use two very important tools when washing windows. Weather it’s for your home or business, professionals use dish soap in water, and a squeegee to leave a streak free shiny window or mirror.

How do you professionally clean windows?

Professionals clean windows with several vital tools designed for their trade. A squeegee and a window-washing mop are vital to wetting and cleaning the glass. A ladder and a pole are important for reaching higher windows to clean.

Why should I get my windows cleaned?

Getting your windows cleaned helps keep your home or business looking it’s best. Windows that are not cleaned over time will become stained and will not be able to be restored. The sun will bake the dirt, grime, and hard water spots into the glass eventually making it impossible to clean.

How much can you make as a window cleaner?

A window cleaner typically starts out earning just above minimum wage until his skills improve, but over time and if he or she learns all the skills within window cleaning they can earn anywhere from $15 to $30 per hour. High-rise window cleaners will earn more then a novice, and technicians in larger cities earn more because of cost of living is higher than in a smaller town.

 

The Dos and Don’ts of Window Cleaning

With the spring knocking on our doors, it’s time to think about cleaning our windows. Usually, we recommend window cleaning twice a year but to be fair, the best time to clean your windows is in the spring. You don’t want the bright summer sun to show all the imperfections of your windows, right?

Just like with any other type of surface cleaning, knowing how to clean windows correctly can save you a ton of time. Here’s what to (and not to) do!

DOs

Wipe excess water with a soft microfiber cloth.

Wash the window in sections. Soap, rinse and dry one section at a time. If you put soap on all windows at once it will dry up until you get to the last section.

Use a stable ladder and apply ladder pads to avoid scratching the windows if you’re cleaning windows that are too high.

Even if you think you’ve cleaned the window perfectly step back and look from a different angle. You may see some streaks and smudges left.

Wash your windows in the spring. That’s the best time for window cleaning. Don’t wait for the hot summer days. It’s harder to wash windows in a hot day as the water evaporates much faster and you’re left with a lot of streaks on your window.

Dust the blinds and clean the sunscreens before you start cleaning the windows. Otherwise, your windows will become dirty again.

DONT’s

Don’t always use a scraper. A scraper is required only when the windows have persistent marks and stains such as sticker residue.

Don’t use abrasive cleaning detergents. Abrasive cleaning detergents or tools with abrasive surfaces must not be used for window cleaning, as they may scratch the glass. If your window turns out scratched it’s hard and expensive to re-polish the glass and sometimes it requires complete change.

Don’t use a newspaper instead of a microfiber cloth. One of the biggest mistakes when cleaning a window is drying the glass with newspaper. They contain chemicals, which may damage the window and often you can find ink smudges on the glass.

Don’t use a towel. The towel leaves particles behind, which will make your window look dirty.

Don’t use too much soap. The residue will attract dust and pretty soon your windows will look dirty again.

Don’t clean your windows in hot, sunny days. The sun will dry the window very quickly and you’ll end up with marks before you get to rinsing the window. The perfect time for cleaning your windows is early in the morning, or at dawn.

Is special equipment needed for window cleaning?

The trade of window cleaning is about 99% labour and 1% equipment. It is amazing, though, that this 1% you’ve spent on the right window cleaning tools can reduce the amount of time it takes you to clean a window dramatically.


How To Read An Exterior Painting Quote

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE EXTERIOR PAINTING

When people go to paint the exterior of their home, they often forget that it’s quite a large task to take on and that it’s not just something a person can knock off in the course of an evening. Naturally, it helps if you have some good advice on your side when you take it on, whether you hope to do it by yourself or with the help of friends.

Plan Out The Entire Project Well Before You Begin

Though some people might go into an exterior painting project with no plan in hand, this is a bit of a mistake as you cannot possibly realize the extent to which the painting endeavor will require until you sit down and fully plan it out from the time that you will need to paint to the amount and scope of the materials that will be required

Make Sure You Get The Right Kind Of Paint

There are many sorts of paint available for purchase and not all of them are relevant to the painting of the exterior of your home.

Do Not Rely On Paint Color Swatches For Choosing Your Exterior Paint Color

It’s important to get the right color for your house — one that looks right to you. When you do this, you are going to want to go above and beyond just getting a color swatch and thinking that this alone will solve your want for choosing a color — for the color may look entirely different depending on what time of the day it is.

Cover Surfaces While Painting

When you are painting the exterior of your home, it is inevitable that there will be some dripping from your paintbrushes and rollers.

 

Seasons Exterior Painting Services, Things to Consider Before You Paint Your House

Is Your Home Ready To Paint?

Painting the exterior of your home may seem like an easy job. After all, you just need several cans of paint, a paint roller,and a paintbrush to do the job, right? You don’t need a pro to do it for you! Well, that’s what a good number of homeowners think until they take on the job and find out how challenging a home painting job really is.

If you’re still not convinced that this home renovation project is best left for the exterior painting services experts, here are some factors you need to consider before you decide if you are willing to try the DIY approach or let the pros do it for you.

Type and Features of the House

Not all houses require the same amount of work and/or expertise. Some houses are comparatively easier to paint while others can be a little bit more complicated. Generally, exterior painting services professionals recommend leaving older, taller and more ornate homes to the experts since they require specialized tools and the right skills to do it.

Older homes that need to be preserved also require special consideration. Not all paints are compatible with legacy building materials so you may need to do extensive research and spend time doing the prep work to avoid ruining your home. For homes built before 1978, there is a possibility that they may have used lead paint. Are you sure you can deal with it?

Prep Work

There are a number of issues that may require extensive prep work. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do a lot of sanding and scraping if you see signs of wood rot, mildew, and severe peeling. You may also need to do some caulking if you have cracked window panes and loose trim pieces. Do you honestly have the time and the skills to do it?

 

TOP PAINTING TIPS & TRICKS TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT FINISH

With a full house renovation behind us, we’ve definitely had more than our fair share of painting experience. We’ve learned so much over the last 7 years of DIYing. We’ve definitely improved our painting technique over the years so it only seems fair to share some of our best advice with you, too!

USE THE RIGHT TYPE OF PAINT

There are so many different types of paint that it can feel like an impossible task choosing the right one.

There are primers, emulsions, specialist paints for covering mould, damp, rust and all sorts of other things, acrylics, solvent-based, water-based – it’s an almost endless list. Choosing the right type of paint is vital as you’ll only ever achieve a perfect finish if you use the right product for the job.

We love water-based paints even for our woodwork but if you’re painting anything outdoors we would always recommend opting for a solvent-based paint.

Yes, it involves more pfaffing when cleaning your brushes (that’s because any solvent-based paint has to be cleaned with specialist brush cleaner or turpentine substitute) but it’s more durable than anything water-based. And, if you’re anything like us, you probably don’t want to have to spend time repainting again anytime soon.

 

How to Pick an Exterior Paint Colour

That’s right, you SHOULD be second-guessing yourself. Why? Because choosing an exterior paint colour is a WHOLE different ball game compared to interior colours, which is why so many people find themselves picking the wrong one. It can also be CONSIDERABLY more expensive than interior projects, which is why choosing the RIGHT colour is even more important than ever.

EXTERIOR PAINT COLOURS: It could look lighter than you’d expect

Expect your colour to look about half a tone lighter or MORE than it does on that wee little chip. Why? Well, paint tends to look lighter when exposed to natural light, especially on a large surface. Regardless of the direction your home faces, the amount of natural light it gets can make your paint look a little, or a LOT lighter!

The effect of natural light is hard to see on those wee little paint chips and even with larger paint samples (SAMPLIZE), which is why it’s VITAL that you look at your samples on ALL sides of your home and in different types of light

If you have a lot of landscaping that blocks natural light, then the colour won’t look as light as it would if it had DIRECT natural light

If you find a colour that you love and worry that it will be too light – it probably will be. If you’re worried it’s too dark – don’t jump the gun as it could look lighter once it’s on the house

With south-facing homes, the southern side will look at least one tone lighter OR MORE – until the sun starts going down obviously. At the height of the day the colour will look its most washed-out

With north-facing homes, can look a bit lighter, but not as much as a south-facing side or morning eastern/afternoon western exposure

This is important for homes that have a stippled, stucco finish – I’m not talking about general ‘texture’ – I’m talking about the popcorn style of texture that has a lot of nooks and crannies. All of this texture creates shadows which can make the paint colour look slightly darker. If you have a home that has two types of exterior finishes (siding and stippled stucco) you can paint both areas the same colour and the stucco may look slightly darker than the siding.

 

Exterior Paint Maintenance

There’s nothing quite like the gleaming sparkle of a freshly-completed exterior home paint job, or the pride and satisfaction that accompany it. The only problem being that with 24/7 exposure to the elements, it often doesn’t hold onto its luster for long. It still looks great, but it doesn’t quite have the special something you’d like to hang onto upon completion of a paint job.

The thing to remember is that this isn’t something that’s going to take care of itself and the conditions your home is exposed to will make a massive difference to the whole thing. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to be both proactive and indeed active from time to time, your home can and will look simply stunning for the whole year.

Quality Paints

For example, the quality of the paint used to coat the surface in the first place will make the biggest difference of all to its longevity. Not to mention, the quality of the tools used to apply it and the painting process itself. Unless you have the best hardware, products and talents when it comes to home painting, you might find the best value for money can be found in a pro paint job. Even if it costs more, you’ll be looking at results that last…and last…and last some more

Organize Touch-Ups

If you do decide to go the professional route, remember that it’s always possible to arrange for the team to come back on occasion to carry out minor touch-ups where required. Rather than having them visit you once every five years for a total overhaul, why not have them come out a little more frequently to keep topping things up and polishing things off? It’s definitely an option worth considering and discussing with your chosen painting service.

Wash and Wipe

Unfortunate as it may be, your home just isn’t going to keep itself clean without your help. It’d be great if it did, but it won’t. As such, it’s up to you to occasionally get busy with the exterior cleaning, which can be made exponentially easier if you invest in a basic pressure washer. Coupled with a soft brush attached to a long stick and a ladder to stand on, it becomes child’s play to give your home’s exterior an important wipe and rinse-down from time to time. Doing so will not only help protect and lengthen the life of the paint, but it’ll also work wonders for your home’s exterior aesthetics.


Useful Tips For Packing Services Your Goods Properly

Things To Consider When Looking For Companies That Provide Pick And Pack Services

The pick and pack system is a full-service operation offered by warehousing and distribution providers to companies. Pick and pack is where the distribution company handles all aspects of the fulfilment process after the company delivers the items in their stock to the warehouse. These items are stored for easy access and when they are ordered they are repackaged and delivered to customers.

There is a wide choice of pick and pack distribution companies available. When you are choosing a pick and pack company for your fulfilment needs it is important to consider a few key factors.

  1. Does the Provider Offer a Complete Service?

When you are looking for a pick and pack service you are searching for a service that takes all of the distribution process out of your hands, so it goes without saying that the process needs to be complete. Think about whether you can safely assume that the system will take control from the point of order until the product is delivered. You should look further if the solution doesn’t provide assurances that this is the case.

  1. How Will Stock be Transferred to the Warehouse?

Packaging company systems differ, and you need to know how you are going to move your stock to the warehouse in order to be picked and packed. Will the system suit your requirements? Is the cost good? You need to work out how the costs will be affected by changes in stock volume, too.

  1. What Are the Shipping Options?

Optimising shipping is a fine art and you need to find out how the pick and pack service intends to do it. You want to offer a range of delivery options to customers but you need to know that, behind the scenes, the delivery is taking place economically. Make sure you understand how delivery is decided based on couriers, size of van, etc. Of course, you also need to know about shipping prices. If you want to be able to offer low-cost shipping to your customers you need to know that you are paying a good price for the system in the first place.

  1. How Are Items Packed?

Consider how the packaging of your items will be regarded by your customers. Check what packaging the provider uses and whether it suits your needs. You need to ensure that all items are delivered safely but you should also consider minimising packaging waste.

  1. How Do I Monitor the Service?

Find out how you keep a track of your stock and your deliveries. Look at the systems in place for inventory management and make sure that while the system is automatic on your part you also have insight over the entire process, which will keep the whole thing accountable.

 

WHAT IS A PICK AND PACK WAREHOUSE?

A pick and pack warehouse is an establishment where products can be stored for your business. Those working at the warehouse will then ensure that all of the correct items are picked and packaged, ensuring they are then sent to the right customers. There are a lot of different types of picking and packing and different ways that these warehouses can be set up, including zone packing, batch packing, and wave packing.

 

Pick and Pack Fulfillment Services: Choosing the Right Provider for You

Running a business takes a lot of time, especially when it comes to shipping orders. You want to optimize that area to keep all the customers coming. One good way to do that efficiently is to realize that you need to hire pick and pack fulfillment services to manage your processes. Here’s how a good pick and pack service can help you save time:

Choosing the Right Service Provider

Fulfillment is an arduous process when you’ve got plenty of orders. While doing the work yourself is easy when there are only a few orders, it’s different when there’s a lot. This is when a pick and pack service comes in.

You simply have to give the company your inventory then they do the picking, packing, and shipping of your sold item. You benefit from this because your items will ship quicker. There’s also free time to do other tasks. Aside from that, you can avoid mistakes in the shipping process. This means happy customers. You also get the chance to grow your business more.

Choosing the right company is easy when you’ve done some research. The basic, of course, is to know how they do their pick, pack, and shipping service. Some items need special provisions like foods, so better take note of how they handle such a job. You should also ask if they process returns and if they provide international shipping.

 

Basic things you should look at when you’re thinking of collaborating with a 3PL company.

The provided services

The first thing that you need to be sure of is that your potential partner will actually be able to handle all the things that your store requires. The basics – warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping – are pretty much a given in all cases, but each business is unique, and you may have some special requirements that you’d like to see taken care of. Depending on the products you sell, you’ll need a fulfillment partner that’s ready to be creative and adapt to your needs, or even offer some non-standard solutions.

Working with a fulfillment company has the added bonus that it can also help you effortlessly monitor your stock levels – you’ll always see how much of each product you have left in the warehouse. And your partner will usually let you know when the stock is running low and it’s time to replenish it to ensure smooth order flow.

Pricing

Although it’s extremely important to find a fulfillment partner that provides affordable services, remember that the cheapest option is not always the best. When it comes to pricing, the first thing you should check is what you’d actually be billed for, not the prices themselves. Are there some recurring monthly or annual fees? Are there any per-order or per-transaction fees that come on top of that?

When comparing the pricing of different companies, your own predictions about the future growth of your store will play an important role. This will affect not only the per-order costs, but also your storage costs. So pay attention to your own calculations – the more accurate they are, the more precisely you’ll be able to evaluate the expenses a 3PL company would create.

Location of fulfillment centers

Nowadays we’re used to receiving our orders in record times – it’s not unusual for a product to already be delivered the next day after it was ordered. Naturally, an important element in this process is the proximity of the fulfillment center – the closer it is to your customers, the shorter the distance the goods have to travel. For example, the ecommerce giant Amazon has over 200 facilities around the USA alone to maintain its world-class delivery system.

If you sell worldwide, a major bonus that a fulfillment company can provide for you is a warehouse outside the US. Although shipping companies have designed routes that can get a product from one corner of the world to the other in less than a day, this often comes at a considerable cost. Shipping from somewhere closer will mean huge benefits both in terms of speed and price.

Shipping

A huge advantage of collaborating with a 3PL company is access to better shipping prices than the ones that you can get for yourself. The larger fulfillment companies have negotiated special shipping rates, usually thanks to the large number of orders that they handle. By working with them, your business can also enjoy these rates. So when you’re looking at potential fulfillment partners also pay attention to theirs – their carriers and the range of shipping options they bring to the table.

This can help you considerably when it comes to converting your store’s visitors into buyers – shipping prices are often cited among the top reasons for cart abandonment. In a 2016 Statista research, 63% of digital shoppers named expensive shipping as the reason for not going through with a purchase. The figure fell to 54% in 2017, but it was still the top cause of cart abandonment.

 

Customer support

Of course, no one ever wants to run into problems, but it’s simply the way of the world that they do appear. This is why customer support plays an extremely important role in any ecommerce store. If something happens to your customer’s order, you have to be sure that you’ll be able to get through to the fulfillment company and solve the issue.

Find out how you can get in touch with your fulfillment company – there’s always email, but do they have a phone number you can call in emergencies? Or maybe they have a live chat option for all of us who hate talking on the phone?

And it’s not just a matter of how – it’s also important to find out when they’re accessible. A problem can appear at any time of the day – but will you be able to reach your partner at the right moment? This is especially important if you’re not located in the same time zone. While an hour here or there won’t make much of a difference, it can be a big deal if you’re located on two separate continents.

Don’t forget to test this element while doing your research – check how quickly different fulfillment companies respond to your questions via various channels and how satisfied you are with their answers.

Branding options

It goes without saying that the most important thing in your store is your product. But it’s also crucial to build your brand, and here even a small detail like a special message on the package that the customer receives can go a very long way.

Typically, 3PL companies are white label, and their branding doesn’t appear on the packages that customers receive. This means that your customers won’t know that you weren’t the one to physically pack and ship out the order – but it can look like it came straight from you because fulfillment companies offer different ways to customize packages.

So it’s worth studying the type of branding options that your potential partner offers, like the already mentioned possibility to add a special message or your logo on the package. There are also some companies that will use your custom packaging materials for your orders if you send it to them. But make sure to check if this comes with added costs.