How To Find A Certified Electrician

Electrics: The Basics

Designing and installing a new electrical system in your home is one of the more complicated elements of the overall building project. Most renovators, faced either with historic electrics untouched since the era of Bakelite’s dominance (if not before) or, perhaps worse, ‘improved’ and amended over years of previous owners’ marginal projects (closed off faceplates and switches that don’t work being classic signs) will also be keen to bring things up to date.

For those of us who didn’t listen much in physics classes, the world of electrics can be quite scary and for most, the services of an electrician are essential. However, it is critical to approach the specification of a new electrical system with a few key bits of knowledge, such as:

How an electrical system works, the rules regarding electrical work, and what you would like it to do.

Information on systems that go beyond the basics.

Typical cost expectations.

Electrics is one of the more dangerous elements of a home construction project. Each year, on average, 10 people die and 750 people are seriously injured as a result of electrical work — so approach any attempts at DIY seriously

The Basics

Electrical systems start with, and from, the meter, which belongs to the electricity board. From there it goes to your consumer unit (also known as a distribution board or fuse board) which has a main switch, and to the lifesaver RCD (Residual Current Device), and then it feeds all the circuits in your house via a miniature circuit breaker — MCB (fuse).

RCDs really are lifesavers: they trip out on leakage, not overload, meaning they cut off the flow of electricity automatically when they sense a ‘leakage’ – or imbalance – of electric current from a circuit. Whatever’s going into the circuit, carried on the live and neutral wires, must remain balanced as it flows through and returns — or the RCD will trip.

 

A guide to the electrical safety certificate

Nobody likes a dodgy landlord: someone happy to charge their tenants rent, but cutting corners when it comes to maintaining their property, leaving it below standard and in disrepair – because, after all, they don’t have to live there.

government has introduced a number of measures in recent years to reduce this kind of behaviour – for example, landlords can no longer look after the deposit themselves, in case they pocket the lot should a dispute arise. Also, landlords need health and safety checks to ensure all the basics meet certain standards; in terms of electrics, that means acquiring an electrical safety certificate.

The Electrical Safety Council is the governing body that writes the necessary guidelines. It also publishes helpful literature, such as The Landlord’s Guide to Electrical Safety. By applying the guidelines and earning a certificate, this is proof for tenants that all the electrics within a property are of a good standard and safe to use upon moving in.

The certificate is a requirement by law and, if asked by the authorities, a landlord must be able to produce the paperwork within seven days. Regular checking of the electrics is recommended, but only a legal requirement in certain properties.

Sockets and appliances

An assessment for a landlord’s electrical safety certificate makes the distinction between fixed installations – wiring, switches, sockets, light fittings – and appliances, including TVs, refrigerators and toasters. Any appliances provided by the landlord must be included in these checks, to ensure they work and that there’s no risk of injury. They must also carry at least a CE marking: the manufacturer’s claim it meets EU standards.

 

Electrician

How to become an electrician

You can get into this job through:

a college course

an apprenticeship

applying directly

College

You can take a Level 2 and 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation, which may help you to find a trainee position with a company.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

Direct Application

You may be able to move into electrical installation work if you’ve got experience and relevant qualifications from a related industry, for example building services or electrical engineering.

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools

knowledge of building and construction

maths knowledge for understanding technical plans

to be thorough and pay attention to detail

problem-solving skills

the ability to use your initiative

the ability to work well with your hands and use equipment safely

customer service skills for working with colleagues and clients

to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Day-to-day tasks

Your work will depend on what type of electrician you are, for example:

installation electrician – install power systems, lighting, fire protection, security and data networks in buildings

maintenance electrician – check electrical systems to make sure they’re working correctly and safely

electrotechnical panel builder – make and install control panels that operate electrical systems in buildings, like heating or alarms

machine repair and rewind electrician – fix and maintain electrical motors and transformers found in industrial equipment

highway systems electrician – install and maintain street lighting and traffic management systems

 

How to Become an Electrician: Career Guide

It doesn’t matter what your situation may be, or what occupation you may have, you need the power to perform your day-to-day functions. Because electricity is such a vital utility to have for all of us, this puts electricians in high demand; so much of the world depends on them daily.

Electrician – Job Description

The term Electrician is referring to the occupation of an individual in which they perform work on electrical equipment around our homes and neighborhood. This can entail installing new electrical boxes or replacing parts in your current one, upgrading or maintaining these boxes or other vital pieces of electrical equipment.

Because of the nature of the work that is being performed, electricians should know the ins and outs of power, lighting, and electrical control systems. Every job that an electrician performs will require looking at the specific blueprints from the city for that particular property, understanding where everything is located and what needs to be done, and then to physically perform the necessary actions on the electrical box and other electrical equipment.

Some electricians are more skilled in specific areas, and as such will specialize in those. For instance, one electrician may be skilled in highway electrical systems while another may be more suited to perform work on residential properties.

it is also important to learn all that you can to diversify your skillset; this will make it easier for you to go from job to job without fear of not knowing how to perform a specific action or work on a specific piece of electrical equipment.

Duties

Plan electrical systems for new buildings and future developments

Fully read and understand blueprints, diagrams, and technical documents to perform the job correctly

Set up and install electrical systems such as wiring and lighting; making sure that these are up to code for new and old buildings

Form and connect electrical circuits

Complete both the installation as well as the future maintenance of electrical panels and products. This can include the act of inspecting said products; such as circuit breakers and transformers

Maintain the desired functions of electrical products; this includes, but is not limited to repairing, replacing, and upgrading outdated and malfunctioning equipment.

 

Installation and maintenance electrician

Install, maintain and repair electrical systems in industrial, commercial and domestic environments

An installation and maintenance electrician installs, maintains and repairs electrical equipment and systems, from switchboards to renewable energy technologies, in industrial, commercial and domestic environments. As an apprentice, you may also contribute to the design of electrical systems. You’ll be able to set out jobs from drawings and specifications to the requisition of the necessary installation materials.

During this apprenticeship, you’ll specialise in one of two occupations: installation, as in working on the installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of low voltage (less than 1000v) electrical and electronic devices and appliances; or maintenance, where you’ll maintain electrical and electronic installations. In this role, your duties will include the supervision of the equipment, its maintenance and necessary repairs.

Home Inspection 101 For The Home Buyer

TIPS FOR SELLERS BEFORE A HOME INSPECTION

Selling your beautiful home comes with a host of chores, tasks and steps that all go towards getting it ready to move. Most of the things you do are geared towards making your home appealing to a buyer, but what about after you’ve got that offer?

Once you’ve got an interested buyer, they will want to have a home inspector take a look at your property. What should you do to sure that the process goes smoothly? In this guide, we’ll discuss eight of our top tips for sellers before home inspections. A home inspection isn’t something many potential buyers skip. Here are some tips to make the process smoother.

THINK ABOUT CURB APPEAL

We’re sure your Realtor told you how important curb appeal is. Making that first impression is huge when a buyer arrives. But a different kind of curb appeal can make your home’s inspection a breeze.

Make sure there is 4-6 inches of clearance between the siding and any landscaping materials.

Cut back any vegetation to ensure about a foot of clearance between it and the house.

Visually inspect the siding and trim, if you see any damage, go ahead and have it repaired beforehand.

Repair missing caulking and trim and fix any exposed nail heads.

Check the operation of any exterior doors, locks and deadbolts. If you see a gap, have it filled properly.

Remove any stored items that are kept against the side of the house.

CHECK YOUR ROOF & GUTTERS

receives its fair share of rain and wind, so making sure that your roof and gutters are in good working order is a huge priority for buyers. Make sure to:

Clean the roof of any debris with a blower or  pressure washer.

Repair any damage and replace any missing elements correctly. Temporary fixes like mastic or caulk will be noted as a defect.

Clean the gutters thoroughly

Ensure the downspouts and other drains are free of obstruction and are flowing properly. Also, make sure the run off isn’t pooling next to the house.

 

Home Inspection Tips for First Time House Buyers

First time buyers who put a contract on a house are doing something very exciting. It is your first home, and you are about to take part in the American dream! But as soon as you submit the contract, you should order a home inspection. A home inspection is essential to ensure that the home is in good condition, and that you are not going to have some unpleasant surprises down the road that cost you a lot of money. But not every home inspection is the same. To ensure that you get a good home inspection that tells you everything you need to know about your new home

Research the Home Inspector

Home inspections are great but they are only as good as the inspector doing the work. Too many home buyers and sellers just take whatever the name is of an inspector that they find or is recommended. If you are going to pay several hundred dollars for a home inspection, you want the inspection to be done right.

Some important questions to ask the inspector are:

How many years have you been inspecting homes?

How many home inspections have you done in the last five years?

What type of certifications and training do you have?

What did you do for a living before you were a home inspector? It is good if the inspector was involved in contracting or the building trades.

Attend the Inspection

You may not have to attend the home inspection, but you should. Just reading the inspection report is not usually enough to give you the complete picture. If you do not actually see the inspection going on, you may not have as good an understanding of potential home problems. Some home inspectors will actually turn down inspections because the potential buyer or seller is not there or does not want to be there. A good inspection can take several hours, so you should put aside plenty of time for this essential job. The results of the inspection can tell you whether you should really buy the home or should consider another, so showing up is important.

Read the Inspection Report

If you pay $400 for a home inspection, it is not going to do you much good if you do not read the report! You should spend at least 30 minutes going over the report, ideally with the inspector available for any questions or clarifications. It will help if the inspector uses very clear and concise language in the report. A good inspection report will state in simple language anything that is wrong with the home, and what is needed to fix it.

 

A home inspection checklist for buyers

Having an offer accepted on your dream house may seem like cause for celebration, but you’re not done just yet. You’ll need to get that home and its property inspected before you can pop the bubbly, and there are plenty of problems that could be hiding. This isn’t about peeling paint, which will be both obvious and pretty easy to fix, but about big ticket items that can affect the livability of the property.

Oil tank

If you’re buying a house that is heated using oil and intend keep it that way, this might not be a big deal. However, if the house is heated with gas, the home might once have been heated by oil and you should find out if there is an oil tank on the property.

HVAC system

“A standard home inspector will confirm that a home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) is functional at the time of inspection, but will make no guarantee that it will keep working once you purchase the home,”

Roof

Roof problems are responsible for 39 percent of homeowners insurance claims, according to Trulia. “Find out how old the roof is and if there are any issues,”

Structural integrity of the chimney

“Chimneys can be a very costly enterprise,” says. Your inspector should look for signs of damage to the chimney lining on the inside, faults in the masonry around the chimney, and corrosion

 

Home Seller’s Guide to Home Inspections

Home sales are almost always contingent upon passing a home inspection. Though inspections typically occur after a buyer’s offer is accepted, there are several advantages to having your property inspected before you even put it on the market.

Get a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

No home is without faults, even those that are freshly built, so it’s important for you as the seller to understand that your home will likely have a few problem areas.

For example most commonly, home inspectors cite issues like chipping paint, threadbare carpets and extremely hot attics, all of which often go unnoticed by the sellers who’ve lived there for some time.

With the exception (perhaps) of the overheated attic, these minor cosmetic flaws can be fixed easily and at a relatively low price. Major issues, however, arise when an inspector discovers cracks in a home’s foundation, faulty plumbing, problems with heating and ventilation and bad electrical wiring.

Prior to your pre-market inspection, check your property for any indications of damage such as staining under kitchen and bathroom sinks, buckled or sloping floors and charred or discolored wall outlets.

 

What You Should Expect from a Home Inspection

If you’re buying a new home, then sooner or later you’ll need to have a home inspection done. While not usually required, obtaining a home inspection is common practice in real estate and is almost entirely done for the benefit of the purchaser, even if they’re paying for it out of their own pocket.

A home inspector is a qualified person who will take a detailed look at your home and alert you to any safety hazards, hidden damage, and the expected life span of various mechanical appliances throughout the home. A house inspection may give you some negotiating power to reduce the price or request repairs of any identified issues before continuing with the sale.

What to expect during a home inspection

A house inspection is a routine process during which a home inspector takes a look at the house. Once you are under contract on a home, you’re ready to hire a home inspector. Based on what the home inspector finds, you can decide to back out of the contract without a penalty, or you can proceed with negotiations.

Meeting your home inspector at the property.

It’s always a good idea to meet your home inspector at the subject property. This way you can get to know them and ask them any questions. After the inspection, the home inspector can talk you through any issues that he/she uncovered while going through the house.

Your home inspector should inspect every nook and cranny.

A good home inspector will check out every part of your house. They’ll go in the attic. They’ll go into the basement. They’ll check every door and window, and even the roof. The home inspector will also run your water to check for potential plumbing issues. A home inspection will typically last two to three hours or more — depending on the size of the home.

The Secret Of Successfully Acquiring An Accountant Practice With Little Out Of Pocket Expense

How Is Being Accountable Important to an Employer?

In the business world, accountability and ethics go hand in hand. In fact, accountability is often included as a core aspect of a company’s code of ethics. As an employee, accountability means the willingness to answer for your actions. By taking responsibility, you send a powerful message to your employer about your character.

Shows Responsibility

When you display accountability, you show your boss that you are a mature and responsible individual on whom he can depend. This makes him feel secure. He does not want an employee who refuses to own her conduct. For example, your boss may assign you to an important project, and it takes you longer than you expected to finish it. He checks on your progress, and you explain that you are still working on it. A more accountable action would be not to wait for him to inquire about your progress. Instead, go to him before the project runs late. Explain the delay and give him an estimate of when the work will be complete.

Saves Time and Money

When an employee fails to take accountability, time is wasted as those involved try to locate the problem. This time is better spent working instead of playing detective. If you are assigned to a team of four, and three team members work to move the project forward while the remaining member slacks off, the project may not be completed on time. If the irresponsible employee refuses to take accountability, more time is lost as your manager investigates to identify the problem. The employee’s refusal to be accountable results in wasted time, and ultimately, money.

Promotes Trust and Integrity

Trust and integrity are integral to forging strong business relationships. Your accountability shows that you have integrity and that you can be trusted. If your boss does not trust you, this may manifest itself in various ways, such as micromanaging or anxiety because he fears you will slip up. If you are accountable, his doubts about your ability to do the work are removed and he no longer feels the need to supervise you as closely.

Displays Effective Leadership

In the workplace, employees and managers are held accountable for their behaviors. A manager who takes accountability and leads by example is an effective leader that employees will follow.

Strengthens Ethical Decision Making

Customers stay loyal when they trust your communications and are confident that you have their best interests at heart. This is a major win for your employer because it enhances the company’s revenue and reputation. When all levels of the organization are educated on the company’s stance on ethics and accountability, all employees are aware of the values and principles that must be followed. When faced with decision making, they know that making the ethical choice is expected of them.

 

Why Do We Need Accountability?

There are numerous benefits when accountability is being implemented, four of the most crucial benefits are:

Accelerate Performance

Accountability evokes a sense of concern about your workflow. This also makes you more attentive to the smaller details of your assignment/s, whatever they may be. Due to extended attention you put into a task, your end result is perfect – something you feel confident in. Your confidence in your plan, or strategy, can easily be the deciding factor to overcome any obstacle. Solve every problem and complete your job with the best outcome.

Sets up for Milestones

Accountability helps you understand your ability. It helps you track how close you are to reaching your goals, and allows you to keep track of the steps you must take before becoming stronger in a field while setting milestones for the future.

Accountability enables you to define what success feels like and set milestones to measure your progress along the way. You gradually step up to perfection.

Makes You Consistent

When you start doing something, many distractions steal your focus from achieving your initial goal. Many people fall for these temptations, ultimately losing sight of their goals and going astray from their primary objectives. Accountability will hold your hand, and prevent you from giving in to these temptations.

Keeps You Happy

When you are on the road to success, every milestone brings you happiness along with a sense of accomplishment. You feel as though a weight has been lifted from your back. You feel stronger and valorous. This makes your future experiences even richer and more pleasant.

 

How to Improve Accountability?

First of all, as a leader, it’s your job to understand what makes each of your employees motivated enough to complete a job with efficiency. Every employee has a distinct drive. They are motivated in different ways. One way may work for one employee while being completely useless for another.

It’s your job to find out what maximises the motivation for each of your employees, then use this information to position them for success. Some effective ways to improve accountability include:

Setting Expectations

Setting your expectations is crucial to measure performance and to also hold your employees accountable. When you set an expectation, they work towards reaching and overcoming it. People are always motivated by a challenge. Therefore, it’s a psychological way to set up a challenge which creates a window for motivation to jump in and also overcome a set target.

Provide Performance Feedback

It’s very important to provide your employee with actionable and regular feedback – both positive and negative. Positive feedback creates a sense of accomplishment in the employee and further improves their ability so they work harder to achieve their goals.

The constant contact they have with their superiors will strengthen their sense of being valued within the workplace. Factors like timeliness, attendance, day-off requests and efficiency at work should be used in the flow of performance feedback.

Establish a culture of trust

By establishing freedom at work, you can improve workplace efficiency and also accountability. This applies majorly on the present generation of work force. A survey concluded that the present generation of millennials feels more motivated to work when they are empowered to control and set up their own schedules of work. Also, allowing your employees authority over their work schedule is the first and initial step in having them take ownership of their work.

 

Accountability results in stronger adherence to compliance.

Accountability is crucial when it comes to employees being compliant with both established and new company guidelines, laws, regulations, and standards. People who understand the consequences of failing to adhere to specific guidelines are more likely to follow them, and entire teams that feel the weight of those standards will work together to meet them.

When members of an organization are held responsible for their actions, it creates a healthier, happier, and safer working environment where everyone can focus on work instead of dealing with colleagues’ inappropriate actions or behavior. This also can reduce the number of potential lawsuits or fines your company could be faced with.

 

Balancing Accountability and Autonomy

Earlier I mentioned the need to monitor employee productivity, but the idea is important enough to expand upon it. Just how do you track someone’s productivity? Do you monitor their every action, making sure they’re always on-task and getting results?

I wouldn’t advise it. Being on top of your employees like that is a recipe for disaster, and is likely to cause even more distrust in the workplace. No one wants to be micromanaged. Plus, the second you have to leave on business they’re back to their old habits. So it really doesn’t fix anything.

The key to accountability is to passively track work without being overbearing. Have employees create to-do lists (whether they write them down or you implement a software solution) for the things they’re directly responsible for. Then leave them alone. Autonomy can be a productivity booster in the right situation, and accountability means nothing without it.

When you’re micromanaging that’s not accountability. Part of accountability is responsibility. Let them make mistakes. If they’re slacking, give them feedback on it. If their lack of work is a consistent problem, that’s when you address it.

Accountability matters because not having it means no one can be held responsible. Creating accountability, then, is about creating a culture where people value responsibility, and where people understand that accountability involves a certain degree of autonomy. Accountability is important, but when implementing it into your workplace, make sure you’re giving employees as much as you’re asking from them.

What Is Necessary In Veterinarian Services

Reasons Why You Should Choose A Holistic Veterinarian

They practice holistic medicine. Holistic medicine is a way of treating a patient by using natural methods such as acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine and diet, to treat the whole patient. Holistic veterinarians not only look at symptoms like a regular veterinarian would, but also look at diet, the environment, stress, genetics and past history. With this all this information they can treat the whole problem, not just fix the complaint.

The treatments they use are more natural. The types of treatments used are safe and natural substances such as herbs, vitamins, homeopathics and even foods. They are safer for the animal, the animals respond well to them, and they have little to no side effects.

They are very knowledgeable. Not only has your holistic veterinarian gone through the traditional medical training that a regular veterinarian goes through, they have also gone through additional training and certification in things such as acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal medicine.

They practice complementary medicine. Most holistic veterinarians provide treatments and therapies that are a complement to what your regular veterinarian is doing. They can also use traditional diagnostic tests such as lab work and x-rays to help formulate a diagnosis. Occasionally holistic vets will recommend surgery or drugs in combination with the natural therapies, if they think that will be the best form of treatment for your pet.

Your pet is going to live longer and feel better! While holistic medicine can treat many different conditions, its main focus is in preventive medicine and keeping the body healthy and in balance. All this will make for a happier, healthier, less stressed pet!

 

How to find a holistic veterinarian that utilizes a natural approach

Choosing a vet is hard, especially if you want to find holistic veterinarian that utilizes a natural or integrative approach.

Although it can take more work and time than it does to find a conventional vet, if you do your homework and think through what you are truly looking for before you start your vet search, you can find a clinic and practitioner that will provide your pet with care you feel confident about for the pet’s entire lifetime – and that’s huge.

So what is the best approach to finding a holistic veterinarian that really clicks with you and your pet? Follow the steps below.

Think through the following factors and decide what you prefer/need in each category.

Cost

You need to think through cost in the short term and long term.

On the one hand, going to a holistic veterinarian can save you money in the long run because you are treating the whole dog and looking at the root cause of any issues, not just treating the symptoms.

You may pay more in the short term for appointment fees and supplements, but your dog may avoid larger more expensive problems down the road like surgery or prescription medications.

On the flip side, you may simply not be able to afford certain vets: I’ve been to vets that had prohibitive appointment fees, and when they investigated an issue, wanted to run every test in the book to find out what was going on.

At that point in my life, I just couldn’t afford what they recommended. In that case, I opted to go to a vet that was conventional, but was open to trying more natural things, I just had to do the research and talk to him about it.

He also respected my choices to vaccinate certain dogs less frequently because of health challenges they were facing – that was a huge factor for me.

It’s hard, but you have to find a balance. In general, you get what you pay for, but not always – sometimes you get more, sometimes you get less.

Expertise

Think about what type of holistic medicine you want to have access to, and investigate if the vet office you are considering offers it.

Different holistic vets specialize in different modalities, so know what each office you are considering offers. Examples of different specialties include:

  • Homeopathy
  • Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (acupuncture, herbs, and foods)
  • Herbal Medicines
  • Flower Essences
  • Osteopathy
  • Chiropractic
  • Nutrition/Nutritional Support
  • Reiki
  • Tellington Touch

 

Philosophy

You want to have an idea of what your philosophy is and what you are looking for in your vet’s philosophy.

Holistic vets range from integrative (using both conventional and holistic treatments) to having a narrow specialty (for example only homeopathic or only Chinese medicine), to really off the beaten path of what we’re used to.

For example, at one point in my life I tried a natural practitioner who said she could tell what my dog was trying to say to me and wanted me to say reaffirming things to my dog to help him heal.

This was so, and I mean SO, beyond my comfort zone it wasn’t even on the same PAGE as the rest of my comfort zone.

This type of approach made me extremely uncomfortable – so not a good match for me – but a good learning experience on doing your homework before making appointments.

 

Choosing the Right Holistic Veterinarian

When I was searching for a holistic veterinarian, I started with referrals.  I asked friends and people on Facebook who they liked in the area.  There was one veterinarian who received loads of high praise, and I fell in love with him when I took Rodrigo to see him.  However, the distance was too much, and it didn’t work out in the long run.

So I was on the hunt again, and I learned three things:

  • Some holistic vets aren’t familiar with or condone raw feeding as a diet option.
  • Some holistic vets still promote regular, unnecessary vaccinations.
  • Some holistic vets are expensive when compared to traditional vets.

 

So what is holistic veterinary medicine and what can it do?

Holistic is derived from the word whole, and refers to the treatment of the whole organism, rather than the treatment of individual body parts, or the removal of symptoms. Conventional or Western medicine tends to concentrate more on the removal of symptoms. Holistic veterinary medicine encompasses many modalities, including conventional medicine where it is required or appropriate. Modalities such as acupuncture, homeopathy, herbalism or nutrition are better referred to as complementary rather than alternative, as they can complement more traditional methods not just be last resort alternatives. It is required that the practitioner treating animals with whatever holistic method be first and foremost a licensed veterinarian. This is because veterinarians are rigorously trained in the diagnosis of disease and the practice of veterinary medicine and can determine the best approach for an individual patient. For example a broken leg often requires surgical intervention, although homeopathic remedies can subsequently be used to increase healing, and decrease pain and inflammation. This is an example of true complementary medicine, where the best of all worlds is available. Holistic veterinary medicine includes many modalities and the following is a brief overview of the most commonly used .

NUTRITION

The key to good health and a healthy body is directly related to what is put into that body, and this applies to both animals and people. Good nutrition is the basis of a healthy pet. It is essential to feed as healthy a diet as you can. Many commercial pet foods include by-products and also chemicals that are known to have serious side effects. By-products include chicken heads and legs, tumors, diseased organs, and many other things that are not considered good for human consumption. If you wouldn’t eat it why should your pet? Chemicals to avoid include BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin, as well as any artificial coloring or flavoring. Ideally a natural home prepared diet is a lot healthier, providing that an appropriate vitamin and mineral supplement is added. With cats it is essential to add the essential amino acid taurine to their diet, as lack of this can lead to blindness. Foods that are good to feed include natural whole grains, such as brown rice, organic vegetables, and meats such as chicken, beef or rabbit. There are many good books that suggest detailed diets and some suggestions are given below. If it is not possible to prepare a diet then a good quality commercial pet food should be considered. Look for a food that is preserved naturally and keep away from artificial additives or by-products. Read the labels, and don’t just look at the bag, as this can sometimes be misleading. Many good natural pet foods are available, but even so it is good to add some natural foods in with the pet food, such as some left over vegetables or meat. Try and give as natural a food as possible and your pet will start to look and feel more healthy, vibrant and energetic.

ACUPUNCTURE

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of treatment that most people have heard something about. It is based upon the concept that the body has meridians, or energy lines, running along it, and when the body is out of balance the energy lines are blocked or deficient in some way. The use of needles at appropriate acupuncture points will rebalance or redirect this energy and balance the body. The acupuncture points have been mapped over thousands of years by the Chinese and now have even been identified with modern scientific techniques. Some of the effects of acupuncture include pain relief, a strong sense of well-being, decreased inflammation and increased blood flow to the area being treated. By appropriate use of acupuncture, conditions such as hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc collapse, arthritis and nerve damage can be treated successfully. Additional benefits can include longevity and this refers to an increase in both the quality and quantity of life. Many old dogs treated with acupuncture live longer than average and enjoy less arthritis and increased energy and it is a joy to watch them respond. Acupuncture certainly offers a viable alternative to the use of pain killers and steroids, as well as surgery and has few, if any side effects when used appropriately.

HOMEOPATHY

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that was developed in Germany by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteenth century. It is based on the Greek words meaning similar suffering and the concept that a substance that causes a symptom in a healthy patient will treat that same symptom in a sick patient. A single homeopathic remedy is chosen to treat the whole animal, including their mental, emotional and physical symptoms. This is in contrast to conventional or allopathic medicine where symptoms are suppressed or removed by the use of drugs such as antibiotics or pain killers. Of course there are certain life threatening situations where antibiotics are essential, but homeopathy actually stimulates the body to heal itself, and strengthens the immune system, and consequently leaves the body in a better state of health than before it became sick. It can treat many conditions effectively, and it is said that there are no incurable disease, just incurable patients. What this means is that many diseases can be treated, which conventional medicine cannot cure, but some patients are so sick and suppressed that they will never be truly cured, though they may be helped and given some comfort. People and animals that are treated all their life with homeopathy are overall healthier and live longer, because their immune system is continually being strengthened and challenged rather than suppressed and weakened.

Scorpion Control Should Be Left To Professionals

Pest Library

Area sees its fair share of pest problems, and knowing which pests you’re dealing with when you find one in your home or business is helpful for several reasons. Our pest library provides helpful information about our areas most common pests, including what they look like, if they are a cause for concern, and how to get rid of them.

Scorpions

Scorpions thrive in dry, desert-like conditions making a place where home and business owners often run into them. Some of the more common species in our area include the desert bark scorpion, giant desert hair scorpion, brown scorpion, and wind scorpion (sun spider).

No matter the species, avoiding contact with scorpions is important. They are a type of stinging pest and will use the stinger found at the end of the tail to defend themselves. The venom a scorpion possesses is strong enough to cause an allergic response in people. If ever stung by a scorpion, seek medical attention immediately.

While scorpions do prefer desert conditions, they also require moisture. During the heat of the day, these critters hide either in an underground burrow or under things like woodpiles, rocks, landscaping ties, or under trash cans. At night they emerge to hunt for crickets, spiders, cockroaches, and other small prey. Moisture and cooler living conditions often draw scorpions to a home.

If the weather is very hot and dry, they will move inside through cracks in the foundation or exterior walls, holes screens, or gaps around windows and doors. Once inside, they move to the damp, cool areas of a home like bathrooms (sinks and tubs), kitchens, and basements. Scorpions tend to travel in groups, so if you spot one in or around your home, know that more are lurking nearby.

 

Scorpion Stings & Treatment

Most of the scorpions that enter homes are not poisonous; but if you are unsure it’s usually better to assume that they are poisonous. Of the estimated 1,400 species of scorpions, only about 20 to 25 can inflict potentially fatal stings. Scorpion stings are most serious in young children, older adults, and pets.

scorpion stings are mostly harmless and the majority of healthy adults don’t need treatment for scorpion stings. Their stings are painful – similar to bees or wasps. A person who has been stung may feel a painful, tingling, burning or numbing sensation at the sting site.

The sting usually causes discomfort that ranges from moderate to severe depending upon the individual scorpion and the person’s reaction to the venom. An ice pack applied to the affected area will relieve some pain and the symptoms should decrease over time. A person who is stung by a scorpion should be watched closely for adverse allergic reactions.

only one species (the bark scorpion), found mainly in the desert Southwest, has venom potent enough to cause severe symptoms. Scorpion stings can pose a medical threat especially to the young, elderly, and pets. Get immediate medical care for any child stung by a scorpion.

If you are experiencing any of the following serious symptoms go to the Emergency Room immediately:

Breathing difficulties;

Difficulty swallowing or talking;

Dizziness;

Drooling/Salivation;

Extreme or persistent pain;

Hyperactivity;

Muscle twitching or thrashing;

Numbness that spreads to entire extremity;

Paralysis of area or extremity;

Unusually high or low blood pressure;

Vomiting;

Weakness;

 

BE IN THE KNOW! HERE ARE A FEW IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT SCORPIONS

chances are that sooner or later a scorpion is going to cross your path-or living room floor. Either way, you are going to be anything but excited and may feel disgusted or even scared. And while your initial reaction may be to go ahead and take care of the scorpion problem by burning down the house, you should take a step back and evaluate what other options of scorpion control are available to you. Plus, how much do you really know about scorpions?

Scorpion Species in Mesa and Beyond

The bad news is that there are several scorpion species that call Mesa their home, however, the good news is that most of them aren’t dangerous and/or poisonous.

The striped-tail scorpion is, according to the Desert Museum, the most common scorpion. It can be found virtually anywhere from the desert to the mountains, sea level and beyond. It gets its name from the distinct dark ridges on the underside of its tail. It measures about 2 inches in length and likes to hide under rocks during the day like most Mesa scorpions do.

One of the less common scorpions in the Mesa area is the giant desert hairy scorpion. While it is an active and aggressive scorpion, its venom is not very potent and thus it is not really big on our scorpion watch list.

The Bark Scorpion is one of the most common scorpions in Mesa and surrounding areas. Unfortunately, it is only the most dangerous one and the only species that is willing to climb walls and trees, making it a frequent visitor in your home. And because they like to be upside down, people often get stung from a scorpion that is on the bottom of something.

 

Scorpions to Snakes: Here’s What Not to Do if Stung or Bitten

When spring and summer arrive, soon you might start to hear about snakes sunbathing on trails and scorpions skittering about. These crazy critters can add a little bit of suspense to your day if you encounter them.

Scorpion Stings

Do Not Panic

Most patients can safely observe for and manage symptoms from a scorpion sting at home.

Do not apply ice to the sting site

Instead: Ice may feel good when applied but once removed, the pain will return with worse intensity. Instead, use a cool compress. Use several small towels and soak them in a bowl of ice water. Apply one of the cool compresses to the sting site and rotate it with another freshly cooled towel from the bowl as needed.

Do not try to trap or retrieve the scorpion for identification

Instead: This puts you at risk for another sting. You can instead kill the scorpion and dispose of it if it’s inside your home. “The identification won’t alter what symptoms to look for or what treatment options you have,”

“While bark scorpions are a smaller relative to other species of scorpions, “baby scorpions” are not more harmful or deadly. The age of the scorpion doesn’t determine the extent to which symptoms will occur, just the species.”

 

Why Are There Scorpions In My House? Here’s Why – And How to Get Rid of Them

Just the name alone is enough to invite a shudder to run through your entire body – scorpions. The exact creature that is guaranteed to be in a creepy movie or thriller, either as an obstacle for the main characters to pass on the way to find an exit or as a tool to pressure someone into a confession of some sort.

These creatures have been around for millions of years thanks to their skills of survival which allows them to adapt to various weather changes, conditions, and climate changes. But what is it that attracts scorpions to your home and once they have taken up unfortunate residence; how can you get rid of them? Let’s find out

What is a Scorpion?

Scorpions are members of the aforementioned Arachnid family and are closely related to the insect population. With almost 2,000 different species, it is a fortunate thing that only approximately 30 or 40 species of scorpions are poisonous to humans. While most scorpions still have venom running through their stinger at the end of their tail; the venom isn’t enough to fatally harm an adult. They typically dine on insects but have proven to be greater than average when it comes to adapting; as they can slow their metabolism in times of a food shortage. When a scorpion slows its metabolism, it can survive on one insect per year but still possess the speed and strength needed to take down prey.

Scorpions have shown during field studies an incredible set of survival skills, with a tool to counter any problem they encounter, from frozen conditions to a lack of oxygen and food. The only true weakness per say that they have, would have to be the need of soil for survival. As a burrowing creature, they must have loose soil to hide, sleep, mate, etc. Scorpions are described as a hard-shelled arthropods with eight legs and a tail. Some of the species can even glow in the dark due to ultraviolet light entering and then reflecting off the shell. The tail is a curved shape that is broken up in individual segments and ends in a barb or stinger point.

An Abundance of Moisture in the Home

If moisture levels are high in your home due to natural circumstances, such as you live in an area that is prone to flash-flooding or flooding due to the seasonal changes, you might see scorpions throughout the residence looking for water. One of the top reasons a scorpion will enter a home is to primarily search for water and then food.

Shopping For Auto Parts Engine Rebuilding

Signs That Your Engine Needs an Oil Change or Maintenance

What Is Engine Oil?

Engine oil is a thick fluid that provides lubrication and cooling for your car’s engine. All auto engines need oil, but the type and weight (thickness) of that oil varies from engine to engine. It also varies by when your engine was manufactured. Newer engines have stricter requirements for fuel economy and oil consumption, and that means narrower clearances within the engine. Most modern engines use thinner oil than they would have 10, 20, or 30 years ago.

There are two primary types of engine oil – mineral oil and synthetic oil. Mineral oil is a petroleum product, derived from crude oil, just like gasoline. Synthetic oil is developed in a laboratory, instead. There are also blends that mix the two oil types together.

Generally, mineral oil is cheaper, but does not last as long. Synthetic oil is more expensive, but reduces demand for natural resources, and lasts a great deal longer (several thousand

miles in most cases).

Why Is It Important?

Engine oil is important for several reasons:

  • The most important reason for engine oil is lubrication. It keeps all the moving parts protected, and prevents them from rubbing against one another. Without oil, metal-on-metal wear would destroy your engine in a very short time. Engine oil creates an atoms-thin layer between moving parts, preventing full contact and prolonging engine life.
  • The second reason for engine oil to be used in your car is cooling. Most of the cooling needed is supplied by the coolant system (radiator, thermostat, water pump, etc.). However, engine oil does provide some supplemental cooling for areas of the engine where coolant cannot reach.
  • Engine oil is also responsible for helping to clean the engine, removing debris like metal finings and other potentially damaging deposits.

 

Warning signs that you should bring your vehicle into an auto shop to refresh the oil.

  1. Excess Vehicle Exhaust

Modern vehicles generally do not release visible exhaust from their tailpipes, so if you see what looks like smoke trailing behind your vehicle, the change can indicate a serious issue. Commonly, excess exhaust indicates that the motor oil has become too old to function properly.

Exhaust changes can also point to engine problems like cracked gaskets, so be sure to have this symptom checked out as soon as possible.

  1. Falling Oil Level

Topping off your oil occasionally can help extend the period of time between oil changes. However, if your oil level seems to fall quickly and constantly, your oil system has likely developed a problem.

In this situation, you may need additional repairs on top of an oil change.

  1. Increased Engine Noise

Motor oil lubricates your engine so that all the parts work together smoothly. When the oil becomes thin, old, or poorly textured, you might hear the issue every time you drive.

When driving with bad oil quality, your engine may make a knocking sound while the vehicle is in motion. Oil issues can also cause other noises, like ticking, which we’ll discuss in the last section.

  1. Irregular Oil Texture

All oil becomes darker as it runs through engines, sometimes almost immediately, so color isn’t always a reliable indicator that you need an oil change. However, over time, oil can pick up small particles of grime that make the liquid gritty.

When you check your oil levels, check the consistency as well. If your oil seems to have a lot of grit in it, you may need to replace it.

  1. Low Oil Level

While you can top off between oil changes, you should pay attention to the level you find the reservoir at. If it’s been too long since your last oil change, the oil levels may read well below the minimum.

If you notice this low of an oil level, have your car serviced right away. Driving with extremely low oil levels can cause permanent engine damage and increase your risk of stalling or breaking down, especially in warm weather.

 

More Mileage Than Usual

If you recently returned from a long road trip or a long-distance business trip, you may need to take your car in for an oil change right away. Any time you put significantly more miles on your car than you usually would, you should anticipate needing an oil change sooner than usual as well.

Persistent Check Engine Light

The “check engine” light on your dash can come on for a number of mechanical reasons. If your car doesn’t have an oil change light or if your oil situation is extreme, this is the light you’ll see. A mechanic can read the signal of the light and help you determine if you need an oil change to resolve the issue.

Shaking While Idling

The high level of friction present in your engine when the oil needs to be changes can affect your ride quality. Specifically, when your car is idling, you may feel abnormal vibrations or shaking motions. Avoid idling as much as possible until you can have your oil changed.

 

How to know when to replace motor mounts

The primary purposes of an engine mount are to secure an engine into machinery and to absorb any shocks and vibrations when the machinery is operating. The anti-vibration properties of engine mounts are essential for preventing damage to the engine and for improving operator comfort (where applicable). But what happens when engine mounts need replacing? And how do you know when they need to be replaced? We answer both of these questions in this post.

What Happens if I Don’t Change my Motor Mounts?

No matter the quality of engine mounts, they begin to wear down after usage and eventually require replacement. Not replacing an engine mount that is past its prime can inflict damage to the engine, cause discomfort for operators and potentially be a safety risk if the engine isn’t secured.

How long do motor mounts last?

Usually, engine mounts should last between at least 5-7 years depending on the application, but we recommend getting them checked over regularly when the vehicle is being serviced, or when any other work is being carried out.

When to replace engine mounts

Being aware of these different signs of a worn engine mount will help you to identify when they need replacing:

  1. Increased Vibrations

If you start your engine and notice that it is making more of a noise than usual, and can feel more vibrations than usual, this is a key sign of a worn engine mount that may need replacing. If an engine mount is damaged, its anti-vibration properties weaken. An increase in vibrations leads to the engine making more of a sound than usual – something that can be extremely damaging to an engine if it continues for a long time.

  1. Rocky Start

Upon starting a machine, you may notice an excessive lurch that doesn’t feel or sound healthy. This is a common indicator of a worn or damaged engine mount. This lurch often steadies into a constant vibration, but you may then also experience a lurch when turning the ignition off.

  1. A Bumpier Ride

Often, an engine mount that needs replacing can cause a jolt when changing gears on an attached transmission. This jolt or thump can also be noticeable when travelling at faster speeds due to the engine working harder. If your machine doesn’t feel as smooth as usual, this can often be down to a damaged engine mount.

  1. Impact Noises

A worn engine mount can often lead to ‘clunks’ and ‘bangs’ within its surroundings/engine bay. This is as a result of the engine moving around more than normal and making contact with other components, which in turn can cause impact sounds that become quite noticeable.

  1. Visual Wear

With use, the metal part of an engine mount does change in appearance. However, if you can see any significant corrosion, cracks or warps to the part, excessive wear will likely be occurring to the rest of the mount. If you notice any cracks or flaking to the rubber aspect of an engine mount, this can potentially limit its performance depending on the severity of the cracks and the route cause. The effectiveness of engine mounts relies on their form and shape; any changes to this can be damaging to the engine. If you do notice any of these signals, you should look into replacing engine mounts as quickly as possible.

 

Signs Your Car’s Oil Needs Changing

Changing the oil in your car is usually a quick and painless procedure when performed at a modern automotive service center. Lubricating oil in your vehicle is something that is vitally important to its well-being. Good, clean oil improves the performance of your car and extends the life of the engine, so why do many people delay in replacing their oil until there’s a visible problem?

A lot of drivers rely solely on mileage as a gauge of when their oil needs to be replaced, but other factors come into play as well, such as the quality of the oil, the age of the car and how the car is driven. Fresh, clean oil optimizes your vehicle’s performance by lubricating parts and keeping the engine clean and healthy. However, over time, the fluid breaks down and has difficulty performing its duties. Once this begins, your car likely will exhibit at least one of the warning signs below.

  1. Check Engine or Oil Change Light

The most obvious alert that there’s an issue with your oil will come from the car itself. The oil change light in your vehicle will illuminate when there’s not enough oil in the system, so check the dipstick to see what’s happening. In worse cases, the check engine light will illuminate. This is your car warning you that things have gotten so bad that the engine is at risk of damage due to problem parts or lack of lubrication.

  1. Engine Noise and Knocking

Oil provides a protective layer between engine parts, avoiding metal-to-metal brushing and keeping the engine quiet. If your oil isn’t doing its job properly, the engine noise will increase. In severe cases, you may even hear knocking or rumbling sounds that signify your engine is tearing itself apart bit by bit through lack of lubrication.

  1. Dark, Dirty Oil

Clean oil is amber in color and slightly translucent. As it is used, it becomes filled with particles collected from the engine and turns darker. It will not be obvious when this begins to happen, so you must be vigilant and check your engine oil at least once a month. To do this, remove the dipstick and wipe it off before returning it to the oil tank. Now take it out a second time. If you cannot see the dipstick through the oil, it is time for an oil change.

  1. Oil Smell Inside the Car

If you smell oil inside the car, it can often signify an oil leak. If you also smell gas or exhaust fumes, the vehicle may be overheating. Either way, you will want to schedule maintenance immediately.

  1. Exhaust Smoke

Some translucent vapor will always come out of your car’s tailpipe, but if this changes to smoke, it’s time for an engine check-up. You may have faulty engine parts or an oil leak.

Unique Home Remodeling Projects For The Winter Months

Most Renovation and Design Firms Are Bullish

At least two-thirds of firms in the home remodeling and design industry entered 2018 expecting a good year for business, according to new research. However, firms are split on the future of the national economy, and two industry segments — architects and design-build — expect revenue growth to slow to a less rapid but still healthy pace

Most firms across industry groups are optimistic. tracks seven industry groups: architects, interior designers, design-build firms, building and renovation specialists, landscaping and outdoor specialists, decorating specialists, and building firms that include general contractors, remodelers and builders.

The majority of companies across all the groups rated their overall business outlook for 2018 as good (medium green) or very good (darkest green). Companies in the construction and outdoor industry sectors are particularly optimistic. For example, 42 percent of design-build firms rated their overall business outlook as “very good,” and 46 percent rated it as “good.”

High expectations for both revenues and profits. The majority of firms in all the industry sectors that tracks reported that they expect growth in both revenue and profits this year.

Among all the industry groups, architects were the most cautious about potential profit changes; this group had the lowest share of firms predicting increases (56 percent). Eleven percent of architecture firms said they expect profit decreases, the highest percentage of all the industry groups.

 

How Renovation and Design Businesses Fared

The numbers are in, and 2017 was another strong year for home renovation and decorating firms in the U.S., a new report from shows. Revenues (total sales) grew for at least three out of five firms across industry sectors, while profits grew for half or more across industry sectors.

Revenue grew for most. The 2018 State of the Industry study surveyed architects, interior designers, design-build firms, and building companies such as general contractors, remodelers and builders, as well as three types of specialty firms: building and renovation specialties, including pros such as carpenters and cabinet installers; landscaping and outdoor specialties, such as landscape architects and pavers; and decorating specialties, such as decorators and providers of window coverings

As this chart shows, four groups — architects, design-build firms, landscaping and outdoor specialty firms, and the building and renovation sector that includes general contractors, remodelers and builders — reported an increase in revenue growth during 2017.

This means that the pace of sales growth increased for these four industry sectors. For instance, the average revenue growth rate for architects was 8.3 percent in 2017, a rise from only 6.7 percent in 2016. Firms that focus on residential construction did particularly well in terms of revenue growth.

“The good news is that the demand for home remodeling far exceeds the prerecession levels in most parts of the country, driven by aging homes, aging population and recovered home equity,”

 

How to Use Texture to Zone Your Open-Plan Home

When you’re designing an open-plan room, it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll separate each zone. By being creative with the surfaces you use to decorate the walls, you can divide your living, dining and kitchen areas more effectively, adding warmth, interest and personality.

Opt for modern paneling. In this open-plan kitchen and dining room, the eating area is zoned with Valchromat, a manufactured material of recycled wood fibers that’s colored throughout. Valchromat is eco-friendly, strong, and comes in rich and vibrant hues, so it’s a great choice for paneling a room.

Add shelving. The texture on the wall of this living space was created simply by installing a wood shelving unit. The grid adds a tactile element to the plain white wall, giving the seating area a cozy feel. Its position is pretty clever too — it overhangs slightly to signify that this area is a separate zone.

Weave in bare brick. A good way to zone an area is to leave a wall exposed. This works particularly well in a living room, as a wall of textured brick or stone gives a snug feel to the space. Brickwork frames this wood-burning stove to add character and warmth to the seating spot and to separate it from the kitchen and dining zones.

Mix things up. The designers of this open-plan house used a number of materials to create an interesting layout of different areas. The sleek white paint in the kitchen contrasts with the cozy expanse of botanical wallpaper in the dining zone. The living area is intimate and calm, with a wall of exposed brick, and to the right is a child’s playroom, separated by a rope screen.

 

How to Divide an Open-Plan Space With a Half Wall

Is your preference for an open plan, but not quite? If you’re in favor of its spacious feel, extra light and views through to the outside but wonder how to subdivide the area, that’s where the half wall, or pony wall, can come in

As the following photos show, a horizontal or vertical mini wall can separate without enclosing to satisfy both a desire for a contemporary layout and a need for cocooning areas, a little privacy and a place to position furniture or hang things.

Draw a line. In this open-plan space, a half wall separates the sitting and dining areas so that the recliners feel anchored in the large space and the dining area feels distinct. The wall also creates a spot to display favorite items.

Warm both sides. The divider is vertical, rather than horizontal, in this home. Again, it creates more intimate areas within an open layout. The bonus is the inset fireplace, which is double-sided and a cozy focal point for this seating area and the one beyond.

Employ a multitasker. In this bedroom and bathroom space, the divider is a headboard that allows bathroom access to one side and leaves the draped ceiling visible. Notice how it’s fitted with a glass panel to let light through.

 

Do You Recognize These Common Side Effects of Remodeling?

Living through construction isn’t easy. Even if you’ve planned every last detail, the reality of having builders and decorators in the house for months on end can drive anyone slightly mad. Here are side effects of going through a renovation project, along with tips on how to come out the other side with your sanity, relationships and bank balance intact.

Expanding Your Project’s Scope

You started off simply updating your kitchen. Then, as the project took form, you decided you’d like to tackle your dining area as well. And your downstairs powder room. And your hall. The problem with improving one part of your home is that it swiftly throws into light how shabby the rest of your place looks in comparison. If you already have a competent team of builders, painters and carpenters across your threshold, it’s tempting to retain them for a few more weeks.

But this gradual increase in your project’s scope means you’ll inevitably require a bigger (possibly much bigger) budget. Falling prey to this common side effect also means your original schedule will need to be completely redrawn. Ultimately, it will leave you with no privacy for months and, in the worst-case scenario, in serious financial dire straits

Take a long, hard look at your bank account. Do you like eating? Being able to turn on your central heating? Unless you’re blessed with bottomless funds, then it’s a good idea to not get too carried away. As we all know, budgets have a habit of spiraling — and as your vision expands, this is going to get worse.

Obsession With Other People’s Houses

Although it’s great to find inspiration in a friend’s gorgeous home, it can also cause stress and panic, especially halfway through a project when you wonder if you have it all wrong and everyone else has it right.

Tile Roof Repair

Is it OK to walk on a tile roof?

Whether a structure has an asphalt shingle, metal, clay or concrete tile roof, walking on the roof for seasonal inspections and cleanings is inevitable. However, when it comes to tile roofs in particular, there is a proper way to walk on the tiles in order to avoid damage.

Often times, roof tile manufacturers do not specifically warrant breakage due to foot traffic, so it is important that caution be exercised when doing so. Not only do you not want to break your roof tiles, but you also do not want to put your safety at risk. It is suggested that you hire a licensed and bonded roofing contractor to do the job.

If you choose to perform the task yourself, it is recommended to step at the bottom three inches of the installed tile when walking along your roof. This section is supported by the lapped tile beneath it and the weight is then transferred to the deck below. Orient your feet in a direction parallel with the ridge and try to distribute your weight evenly, walking as softly as possible. On high barrel tiles, such as Eagle Roofing Products’ Capistrano concrete roof tile profile, you should distribute your weight with the heel and toe on the high points of adjacent tiles. If tiles are broken, you’ll want to have them replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to the underlayment from water intrusion and exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

You will also want to stay away from hips or valleys to avoid breaking cut tiles that could be more difficult to replace. The exception to this would be in situations where the hips and ridges are bedded in mortar or foam, in which case they may be preferred walking paths. Valleys may also be access paths if the tiles are cut away from the center of the valley wide enough to allow foot traffic on the metal valley flashing.

 

Getting on Your Roof Safely

Wait until the tiles are completely dry before getting on your roof. Tiles have a flat, smooth surface so they don’t offer a lot of grip when you step on them. Once tiles get wet, they become even slicker and could cause you to slip and fall. If it rained recently or your roof is wet for any reason, wait 1-2 days so the tiles have time to dry before you stand on them.

Never get on your roof while it’s wet since it increases the likelihood that you’ll fall down.

Wear soft-soled shoes to prevent damage to the tiles. Avoid wearing heavy shoes or boots that have a hard sole since they’re more likely to break tiles and you won’t be able to move around as well. Look for shoes that have soft rubber soles with grips, such as sneakers or light work boots, so you get better traction on the tiles while you’re walking on them.

Don’t wear open-toed shoes like sandals or flip-flops since they don’t offer protection if you accidentally slip or fall down.

Climb a ladder to access your roof safely. Choose a ladder that extends 3 feet (0.91 m) taller than the edge of your roof so you can climb it safely. Place the base of the ladder ¼ of its height away from your home and make sure it’s on level ground so it stays sturdy. As you climb the ladder, maintain 3 points of contact at all times so you’re less likely to lose your balance or fall down.

For example, if you have a 16 ft (4.9 m) ladder, you would place its base 4 feet (1.2 m) feet away from your home.

Ask a helper to hold the ladder in place while you climb it so it’s less likely to fall down.

Warning: Avoid standing on the top 2 rungs of the ladder since you could easily lose your balance and cause it to fall.

Use a safety harness if you have a steep roof. Safety harnesses anchor you to your roof so if you slip, you won’t fall all the way down to the ground. Put your legs through the loops on the safety harness and tighten them around your thighs. Put the top of the harness around your waist and tighten it so it’s secure. Tie a rope around a sturdy object on your roof, such as a chimney, to use as an anchor to break your fall.

  • You can buy a safety harness online or from a home improvement store.
  • You can also make your own harness with ropes.
  • While you don’t need a safety harness for a roof with a gentle slope, you can still wear one if you want to reduce the risk of falling down.
  • If you don’t have a chimney or sturdy object on your roof, slide 2-3 tiles on your roof up so you can access the rafters underneath. Screw a harness anchor onto the rafters and tie the rope to it.

 

Where Should I Step?

Knowing where to place your feet when walking on a tiled roof will help to keep you safe.

The majority of concrete roof tiles will be slightly lifted from the roof’s surface as they sit on top of wooden batten strips. This creates a space beneath the tiles to allow for better ventilation.

When you step on the roof tiles, ensure you’re stepping on the tile peaks rather than the valleys, and step on the part of the tile which is reinforced i.e. the lower part of the tile you can see.

Whenever possible, there are some key precautions that you should take. If you have a harness, you should always wear one, and make sure to have someone with you at all times who can get help should you have an accident.

 

Walking on a Clay Tile Roof Can Cause Significant Damage

Besides the danger of walking on an uneven surface, it’s  easy to cause significant damage to your roof by walking on the tiles. If you weigh more than 100 pounds, the force of your weight alone can cause the tiles to crack and break. Clay, is fantastic for heat distribution and protection from the inclement weather during a  storm in Georgia, but it can be brittle. A little bit of weight distributed incorrectly can mean the different between a dozen tiles that need to be replaced, and a roof that looks great.  Of course, tiles breaking isn’t the only thing that can happen when walking on a clay tile roof. If the tiles weren’t installed properly, your feet could easily dislodge them, causing areas where rain or hail could potentially affect the underside of the roof.

 

Assess the Roof and Take Safety Precautions

If your roof has a steep pitch, you may want to avoid getting up there at all. Since clay and concrete tiles can break easily, you can also lose your footing easily and wind up injuring yourself from a fall. You may just want to save the trouble and call a professional if dealing with a sharper incline.

Wear a basic harness with climbing rope as well if you have it, just in case you do slip, and have an assistant nearby with a phone readily available so you aren’t alone if you do sustain an injury.

Find Your Path

Barrel and S-shaped tiles are costly to replace and can’t sustain weight very well, so it’s important that you have an idea of how to proceed before you ever set foot above.

There are a couple of different things to keep in mind. Roofing tiles usually aren’t backfilled, so there is no support underneath to take your weight. As such, do not step in the middle of a tile or it will definitely break. A better area to place your feet is actually where the bottom of one tile overlaps the top of another. This is a much stronger section that will be able to hold weight more reliably without incident. So, when you begin walking across your roof, make sure you take the most direct route to where you need to go and carefully make sure each step falls in the right spot.

Also, make sure that you keep an eye out for and avoid any tiles that appear to already be damaged. This may seem obvious, but even something as small as a hairline crack could cause the tile to break under your feet regardless of what you do to avoid it.

Distribute Your Weight

Another important thing to remember is that you will need to distribute your weight evenly between both feet. Whether you’re walking or standing as you conduct your work, make sure to stand on separate tiles as well.

Inspecting Used Transmission Repair Truck

What Kind of Equipment Does an Auto Mechanic Use?

The job of an auto mechanic has become increasingly specialized in the 21st century. Until the 1960s, all you needed was a good wrench set, a strong pair of pliers and a couple of sizes of screwdrivers and you could repair most cars. Modern cars are much more evolved, with hundreds of computer chips and solid state electronic parts. It requires specialized equipment to diagnose problems with these sophisticated electronic devices, and auto mechanics today have to learn how to use modern electronic diagnostic equipment as well as all of the traditional tools of the trade.

Hand Tools

Hand tools are still an essential part of an auto mechanic’s tool set. All commercial garages have pneumatic wrenches to make life easier, but hand wrenches or pliers still need to be used in tight spots. A screwdriver set, including flat and Phillips heads, is also a requirement for auto mechanics. Auto mechanics also regularly use grinders, lathes and measuring tools such as micrometers and pressure gauges.

Specialized Auto Part Tools

Mechanical and digital micrometers are commonly used in mechanical engineering applications, and a specialized digital brake micrometer for automobiles has also been developed. Other specialized auto part tools used by mechanics include tire pressure gauges, oil filter wrenches and cutter tools, steering wheel lock plate tools, clutch alignment tools, strut spring compressors and spark plug sockets and gauge tools.

 

Welding Equipment

Welding is required in a range of auto repairs, and flame-torch cutting is also used to remove and repair exhaust systems. Most auto welding involves MIG or flux-cored arc auto body work, or spot or stud welding, where a bolt or weld nut is welded to another metal part. Sometimes auto mechanics have to use a spot weld cutter to remove old spot welds.

Lifts and Hoists

Auto mechanics also use a variety of lifts and hoists to give them access to the area of the vehicle that needs to be repaired. Most large garages have pneumatic lifts that raise cars to the appropriate level. Private mechanics might use hoist systems or jacks, or even just an auto dolly to roll under the chassis.

Electronic Diagnostic Equipment

Modern auto mechanics use a variety of electronic diagnostic equipment to help them determine the exact cause of a problem. Most of these diagnostic devices are hand-held or portable on wheels. Mechanics compare the data produced by the diagnostic equipment to the standards provided by the manufacturer. This enables mechanics to accurately diagnose problems based on the latest information downloaded from manufacturer databases

 

Can Mechanics Keep Up With Car Technology?

Tinkering with your car has always been a good way to void your warranty, but pop the hood on a motor vehicle today and you might not even know where to begin. Whereas auto repair was once viewed as the rough-and-tumble profession of under-educated “grease monkeys,” today’s auto technicians are closer to computer hackers than blue-collar wrench hands.

The challenge of technology is nothing new for modern auto mechanics — there have even been laws passed to keep small-time mechanics in business as the role of technology increases. What then, does this mean for would-be professionals, young people interested in the profession? It’s a different path to the garage floor today.

Wrench? What’s That?

We’re living in the age of the self-driving car, and while it could be a few years until we see fully automated roadways, the technicians who work on those cars are being trained today.

Which skills does it take to make a modern mechanic? How about engine computer unit (ECU) management, metrics analysis, and stoichiometry? Not what you might think of when you take the family car in for an oil change. Don’t be misled: You’ll still need to know how to break loose a rusted lug nut if you plan on making a career as a mechanic, but now you need a number of additional skills.

As compared to the old-world approach of apprenticeship, most modern mechanics start their careers in a program at a school like Universal Technical Institute (UTI). These institutions allow students to pursue employment specific to a manufacturer. For example, a graduate specializing in work on Ford cars is about 60 percent of their way to earning the title of master mechanic at Ford Motor Co.

In Demand

The upside of this new challenge for auto technicians? Increased demand and better incentives for young people. Repairing cars is no longer viewed as a profession for those who may not be college-bound. Instead, it’s a viable profession, and the industry is seeking help. So while the workplace may be evolving, the job isn’t going away.

It’s not just the common car that has become more technical, either. Semi-trucks may not drive themselves just yet, but finding technicians who can keep up with the ever-changing technology can be one of trucking’s biggest challenges. This creates a demand for more specialized jobs for graduates of UTI and other trade-specific institutions.

A Promising Future

The future is no easy road, and with network technology becoming more integrated in modern cars every day, tomorrow’s technicians will need to add skill sets like Bluetooth and the Internet of Things (IoT) to their repertoire.

With manufacturers, dealerships, and smaller repair operations all seeking help, the median wage for auto technicians has increased significantly from around $41K/year, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2009. Specialized technicians who work on commission can even achieve six figures if they work quickly and effectively.

So can mechanics keep up with new car technology? With the right training and education, it seems the answer is yes.

 

Automotive Mechanics

If you have a passion for cars, you may want to consider a career as an automotive mechanic. Keep reading for more information on training programs and employment prospects in this field.

Inside Automotive Mechanic Careers

An automobile consists of many unique components. Automotive mechanics know the workings of all of these parts, including engines, brakes and car accessories. They also help drivers check and change fluids, spot potential problems and fix breakdowns or failures. By keeping a car or light truck in its best possible shape, mechanics can help car owners avoid spending more money on a new vehicle. If you think the automotive mechanic profession may be right for you, Study.com can help you take the next step. Check out the links to education, career and certification information provided below.

Education Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), automotive technology is quickly becoming more advanced, and many employers prefer mechanics who have completed a formal training program in high school or in a postsecondary vocational school. Automotive mechanic certificate programs can teach students how to diagnose and solve problems in many different parts of a vehicle, including fuel, lighting, transmission and ignition systems.

 

Other Skills Required (Other qualifications)

The ability to diagnose the source of a problem quickly and accurately requires good reasoning ability and a thorough knowledge of automobiles. Many technicians consider diagnosing hard-to-find troubles one of their most challenging and satisfying duties. For trainee automotive service technician jobs, employers look for people with strong communication and analytical skills. Technicians need good reading, mathematics, and computer skills to study technical manuals. They must also read to keep up with new technology and learn new service and repair procedures and specifications.

Training in electronics is vital because electrical components, or a series of related components, account for nearly all malfunctions in modern vehicles. Trainees must possess mechanical aptitude and knowledge of how automobiles work. Experience working on motor vehicles in the Armed Forces or as a hobby can be very valuable.

Tips Beginner Wedding Photographer Should Do To Stay Ahead

MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO COMMUNICATE TO YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TO ENSURE YOU LOVE YOUR PHOTOS

Making sure you and your photographer have set your big day up for success is hugely important to getting all those images you’ve envisioned. They way to do this is: communication. Communicating all the details, and what you both expect is super important to how you feel about your wedding images in the end. Expecting something to go one way when it wasn’t communicated to your photographer can lead to upset feelings and trust me no photographer wants to disappoint their clients. I have found there are many important things to communicate with your photographer leading up to your wedding but here are the top things I think are most important to flesh out in oder to get all the photos you are looking for.

Your timeline- more importantly padding your timeline

Being on the same page about when things are starting, or important moments are happening are the most important reason to be very clear on your timeline. However there is something else that’s important to add to that timeline-padding. I don’t think I’ve ever shot a wedding that was 100% on time, I’ve even had weddings where there ended up only being 10 minutes for bride and groom photos instead of the planned 30 minutes because it was running that far behind. Not padding in enough extra time to the timeline can lead to a lot of stress for you, and your photographer and also lead to not getting all the shots you wanted. I suggest adding at least 30-45 minutes more than you think you need to the getting ready part of the timeline. This is usually where things start to fall behind. Tell your hair and makeup team they need to be done at 10:30 even if photos aren’t till 11:00-this way if they go over there’s still some time; and if they do finish on time this will allow you to hang out with your friends and family rather then stress about how late your running. As photographers we can only work with the time we are given, we want to make sure you get the best photos possible so padding that timeline will help everyone in the end!

List of names and relationships for family photos

Having this list during the family photos is very helpful to keeping this part running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Most guests want to be enjoying cocktail hour during this time so getting these photos done as quickly as possible will benefit your guests, and ensure that you get all the time you planned for bridal party and bride and groom shots. Being able to just go down a list and call out names is much easier than trying to wing it the day of. So make sure to write it out like this

Shot list of important pictures unique to your wedding

As wedding photographers we know the important moments to look for and capture at a wedding. Things like the first kiss, cake cutting, first dance are all a given. However if you want to make sure you get a photo of all your sorority ladies and you together then you should share that with your photographer, or is there a certain spot at your venue you absolutely must have photos done? Share that! That way we can add it to the list of shots we need to get to ensure you are thrilled with your photos and not bummed that a certain shot wasn’t captured

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Wedding planning can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. Lots of details should be considered, from the colour of napkins to the music being played and the food that is being served. The photos from your wedding will be your best memories of a very special day in your life, so its important that they’re done right.

Consider the weather for each season

When deciding on what season to get married in, here are some considerations you should take for the weather

Spring

Cons: Can be very rainy and possibly rain all day. Can be damp and cool. Usually the leaves have not come out on the trees until the end of May causing there to be less “open shade”. The lack of leaves can cause the light to be very stark and the backgrounds may have a lot of branches coming out of people’s heads.

Pros:  Pretty blooms of Red bud trees and Magnolia- unique to spring time.

Summer

Cons: July can be extremely humid sometimes!  Not a great month for people who are really sensitive to extreme heat.  It’s especially important to pick a photo location with a lot of shade.

Pros: By far, June- September is usually Ontario’s most pleasant weather.

Winter

Cons: Not every day has a pretty dusting of fresh snow. Usually a bride and groom can get outside for a 20 minute portrait session, but it’s necessary to have a good indoor location to complete all the family photos.

Pros:  You can sometimes get a “Winter Wonderland” day that is magical looking.

Have a backup plan for bad weather and light conditions

Rain, hail, high winds or snowstorms may cause unexpected problems on your wedding day. The bottom line is it’s critical to have a Plan B option for photos to account for difficult weather and light conditions.

 

Things in Mind When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Once you’re engaged, one of the first tasks you’ll want to check off the list is choosing a wedding photographer! As the person responsible for documenting all the memories of your #bestdayever and delivering images you can look back on for years and years, it’s an important decision, no doubt. Not sure where to begin or exactly what to know when choosing a wedding photographer? We’ve got five helpful tips to guide you through the process.

Know what you’re willing to spend.

Quality wedding photography is not something to skimp on. Often, photography (and videography) can end up being one of the largest single expenses of your entire wedding. You can expect an experienced professional wedding photographer to charge anywhere from $2500 all the to way to $10000 and beyond. Packages vary, but remember their prices factor in not only their creative talent and honing of their craft, but their equipment costs, travel time and many, many hours of preparation and editing in addition to the time they’ll spend actually photographing your day.

Decide which style you feel most drawn to.

Photography, like any art form, can vary immensely from artist to artist. It’s up to you and your fiancé to decide which artistic style you like best, and let that heavily influence your decision. Are you drawn to fine art photography? These photos tend to have more muted colors, less contrast, more brightness and cool tones. You’ll tend to see more posed, “still life,” artful shots. Often, fine art photographers use film to help achieve this distinct look. Because film has been around for generations, these photos will definitely stand the test of time, but film is also more expensive to shoot and requires a different skill set than digital photography, so you can expect to pay more for someone who incorporates film into their work.

Do your research.

When it comes to narrowing down your short list of photographers, you’ll want to rely on word of mouth (who have your friends used and loved? what are reviews saying?), Instagram (remember to use location-based hashtags to your advantage) and local photographer listings on resources

Be clear with your goals.

Do you want these photos to be published in a magazine or online publication? Do you NOT want them to be published or shared? It’s important for your photographer to know these things ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to let them know which types of shots are most important to you – not specific poses or copies of photos you’ve found on Pinterest, but do you care more about the details, the candids, the family shots, the portraits of just you two?

 

Things Wedding Photographers Want You to Know

We can say without a doubt that your wedding photos are going to be the BEST reminder of one of the most amazing days of your life. Long after the wedding cake is eaten, your wedding dress is put away in storage, and all your thank you notes are mailed out, your wedding photos are going to be what you look back on to relive all those sweet, fun, and joyous moments from when you said “I Do” to the partner of your dreams.

That’s why wedding photography is often one of the most important parts of a bride’s plans. But finding the right wedding photographers in a sea of talented artists can be overwhelming, and figuring out details like hours, style, and specific shots can be an exhausting addition to an already stressful day. Add on top of that the fact that your wedding photography will most likely be one of your biggest budget items…well, it’s a lot to think about!

You get what you pay for. At the end of the day, wedding photography is like most things—the cost you pay oftentimes reflects the quality you receive. Wedding photography is a lot more than pressing a button on a camera; it’s expensive equipment, hours editing, and multiple shooters. If a photographer’s low price seems too good to be true, it probably is! If you need to save money on your wedding photographer, consider prioritizing your timeline for them to attend fewer hours or putting photography on your wedding registry. Get more wedding budget tips here!

They want to help with your timeline. Many wedding photographers have been to literally hundreds of weddings. They’re experts! Letting them help plan your wedding timeline ensures you’ll have a smooth event with lots of time for photos. They can often provide tips on details like how early you should start getting ready and whether or not to have a first look.

Having an unplugged wedding may be the best decision you ever make. It seems fun to scroll through social media with your new spouse in the morning checking out photos from your wedding, but allowing guests to snap 8 million shots of the ceremony can be a photographer’s worst nightmare! Guests often don’t recognize the fact that a paid photographer is taking photos and can jump in the way of important shots. Consider asking guests to put their mobile devices and cameras away during the ceremony.

 

The best wedding photography tips for capturing the big day

Whether you’ve already shot a wedding (or three, or 33) and are looking to improve your work, or are debating dipping your toes in the water, we’re here to help you take your work to a whole new level with wedding photography tips for newbies and pros, alike.

Understand the business side of things

If you’re looking to do more than a one-time gig as a favor for a friend, one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a photographer is to go into wedding photography without a solid business plan. First and foremost, no matter how close you are to the bride and groom, have a contract ready to sign

Having a signed contract ensures you and the couple are protected in the event something doesn’t go as planned. It doesn’t take much Googling to see numerous examples of photographers and couples clashing in court because of a miscommunication that wasn’t backed up in writing.

Payment is another thing to keep in mind. It’s easy enough if your fee is going to be paid via cash or check, but make sure to have clear guidelines in your contract about when final payment must received and what your cancellation policy is. If you’re going to be paid online or via credit/debit card, make sure you have the appropriate accounts set up through your payment provider. Keep in mind, you’ll also want to set aside some of your income when tax time comes around, as you’ll likely have to pay income tax plus self-employment tax, depending on the state you’re in.

Know every piece of your gear

There’s no such thing as knowing too much about your equipment. It isn’t so much about having the right equipment as it is knowing how to use what you have. The better you understand the features and limitations of your gear, the easier your shoot will be. Know which lenses you’ll need in which situations, how long your battery will last (and how many spares you’ll need), and how many photos you can fit on a memory card.