Planning To Decorate Your Hardwood Flooring

How To Tell If Your Hardwood Floor Will Withstand A Refinish

A solid rule of thumb is that a typical solid hardwood floor can be refinished four or five times before it needs to be replaced, so if you know your floor’s history, you may not need to measure its remaining thickness.

Engineered hardwood floors can be a bit more tricky, as cheaper options will have minimal veneer that can’t even stand up to one round of refinishing, but if you have a receipt, box or model number, you may be able to look up how thick the floors were, to begin with. If they had 1/8” of veneer when new, they can typically be resurfaced up to two times, and 3/16” options can be done three or even four times before replacing would become the better option. When refinishing an engineered wood floor, it is not recommended to machine- or hand-scrape the finish, due to their thinner wear layers.

How Thick Are Your Floorboards?

If you don’t know your floor’s history, the easiest way to find how much material you have left is to look for a floor grate or vent that you can remove to expose the floorboards. If you don’t have any such openings, the next best option is to remove a threshold from a doorway as there are typically gaps between rooms that will expose the end of a board or plank.

Finally, if you still can’t tell, you can remove a piece of baseboard trim from the wall in the room that’s meant to be refinished. The baseboards aren’t typically removed during refinishing, so there will be a bit of a raised area underneath if the floor had been resurfaced previously. This method is a bit risky though; the baseboards may have been replaced when the floor was previously refinished for aesthetic reasons, and you still won’t know the current thickness of the floor.

Should You Recoat Or Refinish Your Floors?

Once you know what type of floor you have, it’s a good idea to evaluate if a total refinish or a more subdued screen and recoat is necessary. A recoat simply involves roughing up your floor with a gentle sanding screen. and applying a new protective covering. This is a lot easier and much more inexpensive than refinishing but only fixes problems in the surface-level protective covering. On the other hand, a refinish will take care of moderate marring and discoloration but will require a lot more time, money and effort.

The best way to know if your floor should be recoated or refinished is to run a simple test. Find two areas on your floor and tape off a square of about 6 by 6 inches The first should be an area that represents the heaviest flaws you have in your floor to see if they’re repairable with a recoat. The second should be in an area that’s regularly exposed to cleaning products, such as window cleaner overspray, oil-based cleaners, or other heavy detergents.

It’s important to test an area that’s exposed to household cleaners as over time the floor will get imbued with those materials and a polyurethane finish coat won’t adhere to the floor properly. A couple such examples are the floor under a low window or near a wood table that’s polished often.

Test for Recoating Your Hardwood Floor

Once you’ve selected two areas and taped them off, get a 120-grit screen and thoroughly sand the area. Then clean it off with a brush or vacuum and damp cloth, and apply polyurethane (see later in this article for a comparison of oil- and water-based polyurethane options). Let it dry, and try gently scraping it with a coin or other metal object. Don’t use anything sharp or pointed or press terribly hard, as you’ll scratch through even a solid coating. If you’re satisfied with the finish and it doesn’t flake off when you gently scrape, go ahead with a recoat. If not, it’s time to start refinishing.


How To: Polish Wood Floors

Give wood floors like-new luster with the proper polish and technique.

Think about the beating your wood floors endure on a daily basis: high heels, pet nails, children’s toys, and shifting furniture, to name a few! Tough as wood floors may be, their finish is still susceptible to scratches and scuffs. Refinishing—the process of sanding floors down entirely to apply a new surface finish—is costly and really only necessary every few decades. But polishing with a product specifically formulated for your floors is an easy, inexpensive way to regain shine, even out imperfections, and extend the life of your handsome hardwood. All it takes is a flat-head mop with a microfiber cleaning pad and commercial wood floor polish, which comes in low- or high-gloss sheens to achieve your desired look.

Whether or not you should polish your floors, however, depends on their finish. Those with a protective surface—a waterproof barrier such as urethane, for example—will benefit from polish, but floors with penetrating finishes like tung oil or unsealed wood require wax instead of polish. Using the wrong product can cause a host of problems, from making floors too slick to dulling the finish, and impair proper refinishing down the road. So it’s important to determine which kind of floor you have (our Step 1 in this guide on how to polish wood floors) before you dive in and cause damage.

STEP 1: Test the finish on your wood floors.

If you’re unsure what type of finish is on your floor, scrape off a tiny bit from an inconspicuous area with a sharp knife blade.

  • If the finish is smudged but no clear material is scraped up, your floor probably has a penetrating finish. Stop here, and do not polish these wood floors; these should only be waxed.
  • If you see a clear material, your flooring likely has a surface finish. It’s safe to polish these wood floors. Still, be sure to test out the polish in a small hidden or inconspicuous location on the wood before tackling the entire floor.

STEP 2: Clear and clean your wood floors of dust and dirt.

Empty the room, removing as much furniture as possible, then clean the floor thoroughly to remove dust and dirt. Sweep or vacuum, then mop with a commercial wood floor cleaner or solution of a quarter-cup of dish soap and a gallon of warm water to lift any lingering grime. Give the floors a final pass with a clean, water-dampened mop to remove any cleaner residue. Dry completely with a soft, clean towel.

STEP 3: Polish wood floors to a shine.

Begin in a back corner of the room, plotting a path that will have you end up near an exit, pour a small S-shaped amount of wood floor polish onto the floor. Using a flat-surface mop, work the solution back and forth in the direction of the wood grain, smoothing out any air bubbles. Work in small areas (about three to five feet wide in either direction) to best control the amount of polish you’ve applied. While you must make sure to completely coat the floor, thin layers will dry more rapidly than thick ones, and you can always apply another coat if needed.

Note: Polish can stain drywall and baseboards, so avoid splashing on these areas.

STEP 4: Hold off restoring the room for at least a day.

Wait at least one hour before allowing light traffic through the room and a full day before moving your belongings back in and resuming normal use. To avoid scratching, take care not to drag or slide furniture; pick up each piece up and place them where they belong.

STEP 5: Follow a few precautions to keep wood floors looking great, and you can put off your next polishing job!

Now that your floors look like new, maintain them by placing rugs at entry doors to prevent dirt from being tracked inside. If your kitchen has wood flooring, also place a rug at the sink to catch stray drops of water.

Stick to a regular cleaning routine, vacuuming weekly and giving the floors a deep clean monthly. Skip any homemade cleaning solutions that include diluted vinegar or ammonia on wood floors—all they’ll do is dull a surface-finished floor. Instead, for a better all-natural approach, check out our homemade wood floor cleaner, which features castile soap.

These measures will go a way to make preserve your wood floor’s shine. You may still want to repeat the polishing process a few times annually, as needed, but don’t exceed four applications per year.


How to Revitalize Floors

You can revitalize your hardwood floors in just a day. Here’s how:

  1. First, give your floor a good cleaning. Move your furniture out-of-the-way if possible, and remove rugs. Clean the floor with a cleaner designed for use on hardwood floors. You want to make sure the floors are free of any dirt, grime and residue as this will help the revitalizer get into all the pores and light scratches. Let the floor dry completely before moving on to step two.
  2. Next, apply the revitalizer according to the package instructions. Revitalizers are milky white, but don’t worry—it will dry clear. Note that revitalizers work best on hardwood floors that are sealed with polyurethane (which most will be). If you’re unsure, test on a small spot first.
  3. Use your mop to spread the revitalizer on the floor. Make sure it’s spread evenly to cover every corner. Don’t leave any puddles.
  4. Once the revitalizer is spread evenly, let it dry fully before you move furniture back in place or allow foot traffic on the floors. Most revitalizers dry within about 45 minutes. You should wait 24 hours before putting rugs back down.

When the revitalizer is dry, your hardwood floors will be shiny, smooth and look like new. The finish should last a couple of years with average wear and tear.


Reasons Wood Floors Look Dull

Now that you’ve figured out what type of finish is on your hardwood floors, there are seven common issues that can cause them to look dull.

  • You’re just redistributing the dirt: Using a dirty mop or forgetting to sweep, dust mop, or vacuum the floor before cleaning will simply redistribute the dirt. Imagine all that grit, dust, and dirt getting trapped in the cleaning solution and simply staying on the surface of the floor.
  • Cleaner is doing more harm than good: Many acrylic-based liquid waxes that promise to make your wood floors glow can actually make the floors look worse. When they are applied on top of polyurethane finishes or paste wax, the finish can look patchy or turn milky. You can use mineral spirits and elbow grease one small area at a time to remove the milky look of acrylic waxes. To completely restore the shine, you’ll have to strip and reseal the floors. Harsh chemicals such as chlorine bleach, ammonia, undiluted vinegar, or pine oil can damage floor finishes. Read labels and choose a commercial product that is formulated for sealed wood floors and follow manufacturer and expert guidelines on how to keep wood floors shiny.
  • Using too much product: Even if you are doing everything correctly, using too much cleaning product or water will leave floors looking worse. More is not always better.
  • Leaving the job half done: After damp mopping or waxing a hardwood floor, the job should be finished with a good buffing to prevent streaking. Simply use a dry microfiber mop to buff the finish and ensure a shiny floor.
  • Scratches are out of control: If you have pets with Edward Scissorhands toenails, forget to put clean doormats inside and outside entrance areas, or frequently wear stilettos in the house, you’re going to have scratches. Scratches and scuffs equal dull floors. Practice a little prevention.
  • Waxy buildup: If the floors were not sealed with a polyurethane finish and rely on a carnauba paste wax to create the shine, the wax can buildup and look dull. The shine will absolutely be gone if you have applied paste wax on top of a polyurethane sealant. Even if you use wax appropriately only once or twice a year, eventually it will buildup and turn dull in low traffic areas. Paste wax can be stripped off using mineral spirits or another commercial wax stripper.
  • Floor needs refinishing: No finish on hardwood floors lasts forever if the floor has foot traffic. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished and resealed numerous times. Even engineered hardwood, which has a thinner veneer as the top layer, can be refinished and resealed a couple of times before needing to be replaced.


How to Properly Clean Hardwood Floors

Follow these cleaning tips to keep newly installed or refreshed hardwoods shiny.

Wipe Up Spills

To prevent watermarks, immediately wipe up any wet spills as they happen.

Remove Dirt Daily

Sweep, vacuum or dust mop daily to remove dirt that can cause scratches and wear down the finish of the floor. Don’t forget to look under area rugs that can trap grit which will scratch floors.

Damp Mop When the Seasons Change

Unless you have neglected the floors for weeks and have mud and sticky messes everywhere, there is no need to damp mop more than four times per year.

With a lightly dampened microfiber mop, clean in the direction of the wood grain. Never use a sopping-wet mop because too much water can cause even sealed floors to buckle. If you feel you must use a commercial cleaner, choose one with a spray applicator. Just a heavy mist of about one-half teaspoon of cleaner per two square feet of flooring is adequate for cleaning.

Buff Dry

Follow up with a completely dry microfiber mop to prevent streaking.

Qualities Of A Good Wedding Photographer

Things you should know before booking a wedding photographer

The biggest day of your life is going to be very special. You can see the perfect day unfolding in your mind when suddenly the reality of organising the event lands. We can not all afford the luxury of a wedding planner so we are left to arrange the day ourselves, sometimes with the assistance of a difficult mother-in-law.

Finding the perfect photographer is high up on most people’s list so here are 5 things you should know before choosing your photographer.

  1. Decide how important your wedding photography is to you.

This may seem obvious but it is something many people do not consider. Some people are not interested in having good photographs of their day and will be happy with a few snaps from their guests iPhones. Take notice of other wedding photos, especially of friends and family, and you quickly start to get an idea of what you want for your own special day. In the end most people want great photos.

  1. You get what you pay for with wedding photographers.

Sorry. You may not want to hear this but it is true. Hiring a student or friend with a ‘good camera’ will rarely result in a happy couple on the day the images are delivered. When people present me with their crappy wedding photos and ask me what I think, it is very difficult to find any words when you can already see the desperation and disappointment on their faces.

  1. What should I expect to pay then?

With a wedding photographer you get what you pay for. A professional wedding photographer will not be charging under £1000, a good one will be charging closer to £2000. Photographers will often have different packages to suit your needs. All photographers should provide a set of digital images as standard. Prints, frames and albums can often be an additional, but worthwhile, cost. Good photography is not completed until it is printed. Expect the cost of a package to vary with which portion of the day you want them to shoot.

This may initially seem like a lot but a photographers job is not over when your day finishes. The post-processing, editing and arranging of your photos takes a significant amount of time. Usually another two days labour. When you break this down and bear in mind the seasonal nature of weddings, the life of a wedding photographer is not a lavish one.

Many photographers also now offer video services. Employing a photographer who can shoot both stills and video can reduce the cost of hiring a separate videographer. Be sure to ask if you are seeking a video of your day in addition to the stills.

  1. Find the style that you love.

Photography is an art. This means photographers have different styles. Do you want a modern, documentary style of wedding photography, or more traditionally staged photographs? Some photographers will demand a significant portion of time from your day whilst other will let the day flow and capture the magical moments. Do your research and find the one that is right for you.

  1. Let your expectations be known.

This is hugely important. Let your photographer know what your expectations are so you can both discuss how to best capture the day. Your photographer is not a mind reader so let them know what you want. A good photographer will use their experience and ask you questions to find all this out. If there is something specific or unique you want them to capture be sure to let them know. Ensure they have a contract that both you and the photographer sign. This will protect the agreement that you put in place.


Research, research, research!

Of course, to ensure your planning and the wedding day itself is stress-free, should thoroughly researching all of your suppliers and that includes your photographer. Read any articles, questionnaires or the about me section on their website to find out how they work, look for feedback on their website or social media channels and take a closer look at their wedding galleries online. Ask to see full wedding galleries, not just a few images from each wedding that they consider to be the best. This will help you get a clear picture of how they photograph a wedding day and what you can expect from them. You can also get a picture for what their focus is. Have they captured all of the little details, are the group shots posed or do they photograph in a reportage style? Asking to see a few weddings also shows consistency in their quality and style, allowing you to imagine what your photographs will look like.

Arrange a meeting

Posing in a wedding dress and feeling relaxed on one of the biggest days of your lives isn’t always that easy. However, choosing a photographer you feel comfortable with can help you to feel much more relaxed throughout your special day. Before booking your photographer ask to meet them in person. They may shoot amazing photographs but you might not feel comfortable around them or gel with them. If you can’t meet them in person then perhaps speak on the phone or Skype, this will help you get to know the photographer a little better and see if you like their personality, which is more important than you might think, you will be around them for most of the day.The right photographer will be able to keep you calm and find all the parts of your wedding that are uniquely you.


Things you should tell your wedding photographer

On your special day your photographer will be following you around, they will be there for every important moment, they will see you getting ready, they will see you walk down the aisle, they will see the emotion on your face and the tear in your mothers eye. From start to the end your photographer will be there, so here are are important and useful tips to help them while letting you relax and enjoy the day.


Your photographer may well ask you for some of this information, so here are things they may want to know, and also things that maybe useful for them to know.


What time will you be getting ready and where, what about the groomsmen? Do you want photos of them too? A schedule of the day and location allows the photographer to plan their day, ensuring they are at the right location at the right time, ensuring the photographer is at the church ready to capture you getting you of the car. You photographer needs to be a step ahead, so they are in the right place at the right time to capture that perfect photo.


If there is limited parking, or parking restrictions in place then let your photographer know, and if possible reserve them a space so they don’t have to worry and can also spend more time photographing then trying to park up.


If you want some family photos, or group photos then let your photographer know, decide the important photos you want and ensure there is enough time to have these taken. The more people and the more photos you want, the longer it takes, so ensure there is plenty of time. You can help your photographer by having the groomsmen help get the right people over for the photos that are needed. Letting your photographer know allows them to find a good location and backdrop for these photos beforehand, saving time and making it easier on the day.


Face sheets can be useful for people you want in the family photos, especially if there is a lot of people in attendance. It makes it easier for the photographer to recognise people who should be in the photo and makes it easier when it comes to organising the photo and people in it.

If you have guests or family members that have a strong aversion to flash lighting then let your photographer know, also if you have guests that you want in some of your photos that have a disability then make your photographer aware so that the location of the photo is considered, or a bench or seat is there for them.

If there are any awkward family circumstances then ensure your photographer is aware so that when it comes to photos and positioning people, it is not made awkward or difficult.


Depending on where you are getting married there maybe specific photos you want taken in specific locations, such as a quiet bench with a beautiful backdrop, or a little bridge over a brook, let your photographer know so they can ensure they take a look before hand and allow time for these photos.


Suprises are great for guests and your other half, however it is always better to let your photographer in on the secret. Whatever it is be it fireworks at the end of the night, or a special dance let your photographer know, so they can be ready to capture it from the best angle, if they know what is coming they can plan for it ensuring they get the best photos possible of the surprise and reaction on your guests faces.


Book An Engagement Shoot

Practise makes perfect! Get comfortable in front of the camera and practise posing with an engagement portrait session. You’ll also be able to get a sneak peak at the type of photos you can expect from your big day and how your photographer will direct you (if at all). You might like to hold the session at your wedding venue so that you can identify all the best spots ahead of the wedding and so that your photographer can get familiar with the venue. Or, if you have the time, you could opt for a different location but at the same time of year that you will be marrying so that you know what the lighting might be like.

Preparation and planning

Ask the photographer how they plan for each wedding and what their approach is. Whether you have a long list of must-have family portraits or you’re feeling inspired by some fun images you’ve seen in a magazine, deciding what you want from your photographs is key. You might prefer natural, documentary style photography or perhaps you have some more dramatic shots in mind? Whatever it is you’re looking for, discuss any needs and requirements with your photographer ahead of the wedding.Be mindful that while it’s great to have a plan, sometimes things may not always go the way you hoped.There might be a torrential downpour during your summer nuptials or the timings of your day could run off schedule, embrace the changes and be flexible.


You need to be different

Why is someone going to hire you if your photos are identical to other wedding photographers out there? So, you have to make yourself stand out, which comes in the form of unique photography.

Practice makes perfect; try taking snaps at home and developing a style of wedding photography that’s different to what’s already out there. This gives you a unique selling point, which makes your service more attractive.

Try to experiment with wedding and engagement poses as it can differentiate you from the rest, a good wedding photographer knows everything about creative poses.

It will take up a lot of your time

Wedding photography falls into three phases; pre-production, production, and post-production. All of this will take up literally months of your time – and that’s not an exaggeration.

Pre-production begins way in advance of the wedding when you’re booked in for this service. You may have to deal with lots of questions and directions from the bride/groom, which can continue right up to the big day.

As far as production goes, it’s already been touched upon in the second point! Then, you have post-production which is full of editing and distributing your images. Be prepared to commit a lot of your time to wedding photography – it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Understanding The Methods To Reach A Car Accident Lawyer

Essential Information To Know Before Hiring A Car Accident Attorney

Every year, thousands of car accidents occur in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018.  About 4.6 million people suffered severe injuries in a car accident in the same year. There is no question that fatal accidents and major injuries are devastating to victims and their families.

If you are involved in a car accident that was due to the negligence or carelessness of the other driver, it is imperative that you hire an experienced Car Accident Attorney. A proficient auto accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida can help you pursue the financial recovery you need to move on with your life after the accident. The lawyer will also ensure that you are treated fairly during the claim process. Here are some of the commonly asked questions about car accident attorneys.

When is the Best Time to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

After you are involved in an automobile accident, the most important factor is your safety. If you or other passengers in the accident were hurt and require medical attention immediately, call for an ambulance or get them to a doctor right away. It is also advisable that you call the police to report the accident.

In addition to these steps, be sure to contact your attorney. If there were severe injuries, property damages or fatalities, the sooner you contact your car accident attorney, the better. Generally, you call your auto accident lawyer immediately after the accident, preferably with 7 to 14 business days of the accident. During this time, do not accept offers from the insurance company without the knowledge of your attorney.


Initial Consultations Are Usually Free

Many people aren’t willing to call a lawyer because they believe it will cost too much. However, a good lawyer will be willing to discuss the basic facts of your case and tell you whether they believe you even have a case, for free. Costs can be negotiated and discussed afterwards.

Experience Matters

Most good lawyers limit their practice to one or two kinds of law. If you are hiring a lawyer to represent you in a brain injury or bodily injury case, you should make sure that they have experience in that specific field.

Past Success Counts

Understanding how a lawyer typically handles cases similar to yours can be very helpful in determining if they are the right lawyers for you. Before making a final decision about a lawyer, do some research into past cases they have handled. If you find it hard to find a lot of information about past cases, ask them during the consultation about the results of the previous cases they have handled.

Lawsuits Aren’t Always Necessary

While up to 96% of cases get settled before a trial ever occurs, some cases do not even need a lawsuit to be settled. A lawyer can sometimes get the important information to the insurance company for the defendant and settle the case without needing to file in court.

Know Your Fees

Any lawyer must be paid for their time and services to you. If you hire a lawyer, you need to make sure you understand what is referred to as a contingency fee, which occurs only after you’ve been paid. This kind of a fee allows you to hire a great lawyer without having to pay that lawyer upfront, but amounts differ and you should be aware of cost at all times.


Four Reasons to Call a Lawyer

Accident lawyers have seen it all before and know how to handle different types of accident cases. Attorneys can be a major asset to your case as they have extensive knowledge of the law which can be invaluable in navigating the often confusing world of trial preparation. Specifically, a lawyer can:

  • Investigate the case and make sure that there aren’t other factors that the defendant or the insurance company are going to raise to try to deny your claim.
  • Negotiate directly with insurance companies on your behalf, so that you don’t have to handle the stress of such negotiations on top of your physical and emotional pain.
  • Advise you of what a fair and equitable settlement would be for your accident injuries, so you don’t have to guess whether the insurance offer is a fair one.
  • Advocate for your full and fair recovery.


Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents can cause traumatic injuries, which may cause great financial, physical, and psychological pain. Individuals who get injured in a car accident that was caused by the gross disregard of road safety rules by another are entitled to compensation by filing a car accident injury claim.

Filing a car accident lawsuit isn’t as straight forward as most people think. In fact, when you need to hire a car accident lawyer. It isn’t always easy to distinguish a good lawyer from a bad one, but you can narrow down the list by asking the following questions.

  1. Have you successfully handled cases like mine before, and if so what kind of settlements have you been able to get for your clients?
  2. What percentage of your practice is dedicated to car accident personal injury cases?
  3. Can you provide references for the cases you have won? This is the one question a good lawyer cannot directly answer because of privacy concerns, but the lawyer can provide you with general information about the cases they have handled.
  4. How much trial experience does your firm have, and of those trial cases what is your success rate?
  5. How would you feel about taking a case like mine to trial?
  6. If your firm took my accident case, which attorneys would be handling it? Why would another attorney handle it instead of you?


How Severe are Your Injuries?

  • The severity of the injury will, to a large extent, determine the need to hire a car accident lawyer. The injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be either minor or severe and the serious injuries often result in extensive medical care. Examples of serious injuries include:
  • Whiplash injury
  • Sensory loss
  • Organ damage
  • Spinal injury
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of limbs
  • Brain or head injury

Even if the symptoms of an injury don’t present right away, you should discuss your case with an experienced car accident lawyer. Regardless of the severity, an injury can result in serious physical or financial loss. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney, like Richard Rohde, ensures that you will receive the maximum compensation due to you for your damages.

Has the Statute of Limitations Passed?

Another important question that you should ask yourself is about the statute of limitation. Every state in the US has a statute of limitation that specifies the time within which a car accident case can be filed. In California a personal injury claim for a motor vehicle accident must be filed within 2 years, and If you were involved in an auto accident with a governmental entity, state, local or federal, the statute of limitations is six months. Failure to file within this time frame forever bars your case from being brought to court.

The clock starts ticking the moment the accident happens. However, in exceptional cases, it can be extended when a person knows about the extent of the injury weeks or months after the accident. It’s essential that you hire a California car accident lawyer before the statute of limitation expires.

Call Your Local Commercial Electrical Upgrades To Help You Take Your Business To The Next Level

Home Electrical Upgrades For Safety, Functionality and Beauty

Hidden Outlets

Hidden electrical outlets hit all three criteria you may be used to make decisions about electrical upgrades. Our favorite places to install hidden outlets include entertainment centers, closets, under kitchen cabinets, on bathroom vanities, and in vanity drawers.

They eliminate clutter and hide cords, improving aesthetics, and eliminating the unsightly appearance of electrical cords. Are you struggling to hide the cords from your TV, game console, and other entertainment area appliances? Are they running around every baseboard in the living room? Image if they were all plugged into the entertainment center, behind closed walls or hidden inside drawers. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Recessed Outlets

Recessed outlets are a great functional upgrade. Not only do they look great, but they eliminate problems like “floating furniture” syndrome. If you’ve got a sofa or other furniture pulled out from the wall so you can get plugs into your outlets, a recessed outlet solves your problem. If you want your flat panel television to mount flush against the wall, but don’t want to hardwire it, a recessed outlet is a simple and inexpensive solution. Try them outside. Outdoor recessed electrical outlets fade away into the background.

USB Outlets

We’ll be surprised if in a few years most people haven’t upgraded many home and business outlets to include USB. Plugging your USB into an adapter and plugging the adapter into a wall outlet is just inefficient. Plus, those bulky adaptors take up way too much room on wall outlets and power strips. USB outlets are functional and help eliminate unsightly, bulky adaptors.

Some of our favorite places to install USB outlets are in the bedroom next to the nightstand, in the office, in the kitchen, and in the family room. In older homes, you may have to increase the depth of your junction box to accommodate USB outlets. Be sure to check amperage to make sure you can charge multiple devices at the same time. Give us a call, we can help make sure your USB upgrade delivers the results you expect.


Require Certain Electrical Upgrades

You may not know that the electrical wiring in a home can become a dangerous safety hazard as it ages. Everything deteriorates over time, but some things present with greater hazards over the course of an extended deterioration process. Homes that are greater than 30 years old, require a number of electrical upgrades to ensure the safety of both the home and its occupants.


If your home is greater than 30 years old, we highly suggest you hire our professional electricians to perform a thorough inspection to determine if your home electrical system is in need of repairs, or perhaps even a full replacement.  can help you to identify common electrical issues that need to be repaired, or components that may need to be replaced altogether. Whatever the case may be, rest assured our team of certified professionals are equipped to handle all your repairs and electrical upgrades. With that said, we’ve provided below some of the common electrical issues that may need to be addressed.


Electrical Wiring – One of the most important and more obvious components of your a electrical system, apt to require an upgrade, is your electrical wiring. Depending on the type of wiring you have in your home, an upgrade will prevent fires from occurring, or other hazardous issues that can harm you and your family. No matter the type of wiring in your home, our team of professionals are on hand to replace it with new, state of the art, safe wiring to ensure the safety of your home and family.

Electrical Panel – Your home’s electrical panel is responsible for regulating and maintaining the electrical current running from the outside power source into your home. When there is no regulation, power surges can easily occur and can ultimately cause a fire in the walls.   Although most electrical panels are quite reliable and sturdy and have an extended lifespan, it is critical that you have your electrical panel inspected from time to time to ensure that the electrical flow is being handled and administered properly.

Electrical Wall Receptacles – Most of us are aware that the wall receptacles in our homes can lead to fires, especially if they become damaged, old, or worn out. For starters, you should ensure that the wall receptacles in your kitchen and bathrooms are, if not already, upgraded to GFCI outlets. These GFCI units have a specialized design that serves to cut off any electrical supply, right at the source, if ever there is a threat of shock resulting from the presence of water. Our highly skilled electricians will perform a full inspection to determine if any of the outlets in your home are damaged and burned requiring replacement.

Ceiling Fans – Older ceiling fans use a great deal of power and waste an awful lot of energy. Today’s ceiling fans are incredibly energy efficient and should take the place of any older style ceiling fans in your home. Our electrical pros can advise whether or not you need new ceiling fans in your home and, if needed, can take care of the installation process for you as well.

I think we would all agree that when it comes to your home electrical system, it is much wiser to be safe rather than sorry. If you own a home that is greater than 30 years old, then why not take the time to contact our expert team to perform a much-needed inspection? We will ensure that your system is safe, and we’ll advise you on any electrical components that are in need of repair or replacement. And of course, we’ll perform all of your electrical upgrades for you. Don’t put your home and family in danger.


Smart Electrical Upgrades to Consider During a Commercial Building Remodel

When it comes to commercial properties alone, building remodels are expected to generate $35 billion in revenue this year. That’s quite the windfall for those smart enough to get involved in this particular industry. Now as rewarding as this investment opportunity may prove to be, it’s only profitable if the done right. And in order for it to be done right, you have to make sure the electrical work is up to par. Keep reading and find out five smart electrical upgrades you will want to make sure are in your next building remodel.


As society continues to move forward in the future and become even more reliant on technology, the need for a sufficient number of electrical outlets in a building becomes crucial. Most businesses that will look to work out of any property you develop will want plenty of outlets for their computers, servers, printers, copiers, phones, and more.


Again, if you’re remodeling an older building, this is pretty much a must on your upgrade list. Dedicated circuits help ensure that when there are power surges in the building, not every area in the building will experience possible electrical damage.


It’s extremely important to have safe and up to code wiring in your commercial building. Faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of electrical fires today. So if your building has frayed and/or exposed wiring, you will want to upgrade that ASAP.


In most commercial buildings, heating and air-conditioning will use a majority of the power. So upgrading thermostats and timers associated with the HVAC units will not only help upgrade the technology in your building but usually newer thermostats and timers wind up saving you money.



Maybe it seems like it only happens in the HGTV before and after shows, but we’ve seen countless times where homeowners go way over budget because they didn’t consider a need for electrical updates when planning their home remodel.

Home upgrades should be a fun and exciting way to improve your home value and leave you with a space you love. So don’t fret and consider implementing some of the following electrical upgrades for your next home renovation.

Adding charging stations as an all in one place space to charge your gadgets have become increasingly popular. Make sure your home and new home additions have adequate outlets to power your hobbies and household needs. Just think how annoying it would be to finish a big office remodel and realize you don’t have enough outlets to keep you going.

Furthermore, some older homes were built with outlets without a ground wire. Upgrading those older two-prong outlets when remodeling your home can prevent safety hazards.

Adding GFCIs

Your home idle load is often more than you think, with most homes running more than 40 energy users at a time. During a remodel, you may be adding more onto your current house or revamping something outdated. Either way, having so many items idle at the same time can cost energy, but also create safety hazards.


Electrical Upgrades

Electrical upgrades are needed for a variety of reasons and often necessary to maintain safety in your home. Contact Current Electrical Contractors for all your electrical upgrade needs.

When Do You Need an Electrical Upgrade?

If you are putting an addition on an older house the additional space will need lighting, general use outlets and power for heat and air conditioning.

If you have an older home you may have fuses and knob and tube wiring which a new owner might want to upgrade.

Some older homes have a Service Entrance cable feeding the service on the outside of the house and those cables can become frayed and dangerous.

House Additions

In the case of the addition there is a load calculation that needs to be done based on the square footage of the home, all the fixed in place appliances and the larger of the heating or cooling loads. A common upgrade on a house is from 200 to 400 amps. Years ago, there were very few homes with 400 amp services. The norm on the north shore was 100 amps. As homes got more complex with more electrical loads and air conditioning 200 amps became the norm. These days most larger homes get a 400 amp or larger service.

Factors to Consider Before Planning

Where will the new meter be installed?

Where will the two panels be installed?

Can you reuse the existing 200 amp panel if it is in good enough shape?

Will the electrician near Wilmette install feeder wires underground or overhead?

How can we keep power to the existing electrical service temporarily while we do the work on the new service?

Working With Electrical Providers to Install

Once the bureaucratic hurdles have been taken care of the hard work begins. If we are going to go from overhead to underground we will need to contact a Directional Boring contractor to install an underground conduit Then our electrician near Wilmette will install the meter in the new location with two 200 amp breakers built into the meter cabinet. The best situation is a back to back installation where the two 40 circuit load centers (panels) are installed directly on the other side of the wall from the meter. A common thing to do is install two new load centers and run conduits to the old electrical panel and turn it into a junction box where all the old wires will be refed from new circuit breakers.

Industrial Water Testing

Water Testing Kits

The first level is the industrial level which is usually done by the water utility or the water supplier. This testing is either done by very sophisticated and expensive devices or through a long, involved process in which the water is tested for different types of contaminants.

Lead, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals are tested with a mass spectrometer. A mass spectrometer is a massive device that can cost millions of dollars and they are mostly found in big water laboratories. This water testing gives accurate results and each test costs a few dollars per test.

coli, salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria are tested by plating samples of water and waiting to see if there are colonies of bacteria growing in the sampled water. This test is performed routinely, even on a daily basis in almost any city or neighborhood and it takes usually 24 hours to know if there is something in the water.

Even though industrial water testing today is accurate, it suffers from some inherent problems that lead us to question the effectiveness of it:

The tests in almost 100% of the cases are done by the most biased entity – the water supplier and they have a very strong interest in telling the customers that their water is safe to drink. Not surprisingly,The Guardian found that about one third of American cities fake their water testing results.

The testsare relevant to the water at the point of origin but arenot relevant to the water that you are actually getting at your house. The water coming out of your faucet passed through miles of pipes and containers and you don’t know where that water has been between thesource (where it is tested) and your house.

Water changesover the course of the day so the water coming out of your tap is not the same water that wastested.

It takes at least 24 hours to detect pathogenic bacteria in your water and 36 hours on average and meanwhile you have been drinking contaminated water.

In many cases, the regulators allow the utility to supply bad water.

For all these reasons, people understand that if they don’t test the water in their house, they won’t know the quality of the water they are actually drinking – and that’s how water testing kits, the second level, came to be.

Water testing kitsare also used in situations where no one is otherwise testing the water, for example in cases where the user is in a rural place on vacation and wants to test the water. In a slightly different example, the user could be a well owner that relies on just one unregulated water source and he wants well water testing.


Order a Water Sampling Kit

This kit is used to collect a water sample for coliform bacteria and nitrate testing which provides a general indication of the sanitary quality of your drinking water.

Carefully collect your water samples and send them back to the Hygienic Lab. Results are usually mailed within a week of sample collection. Funding for this testing may be available through your county health department and the Grants-to-Counties program. You may be able to get your well water tested at no cost.


Pool Water Testing

Regularly testing your water is an essential part of maintaining your pool’s welfare. Getting an accurate reading of your water chemistry helps you understand exactly how much of what product your pool needs. Testing your pool water prevents the possibility of under-treating or over-treating the water, which keeps your pool properly balanced and saves you money!

Home Pool Water Testing

offers several options you can use at home, including test kits and test strips. Testing at home is easy, but there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Which type of test will work best for you?

Liquid Test Kits


Most accurate type of water test. Liquid DPD reagents are the best for testing chlorine levels in your pool

Testing available for more diverse aspects of water chemistry

This method is used by pool professionals and health departments


Most expensive water test

Testing process can take longer and be more complicated than test strips

Reagent bottles must be held vertically to ensure uniform drop size, and drops must be counted as they’re slowly added

More prone to user-error

Test Strips


Fastest water test

Simple to use and read

Least expensive to purchase

Most popular option for pool owners wanting a quick, daily pool chemistry analysis


Fewer options for testing capabilities

Not as accurate or precise as a liquid test kit

Some results take just a few seconds to develop, and some take longer; for tests with multiple results on the same strip, it’s important to understand the timing so you don’t get inaccurate results

Hands must be completely dry when removing the strip from the container



Policy and Guidance

NAVFAC Potable Water Quality Management Guidance – NAVFAC Potable Water Quality Management Guidance Document

MARINE CORPS INSTALLATIONS COMMAND POLICY LETTER 6-19: – Sampling and Testing For Lead in Drinking Water in Priority Areas

MCO P5090.2 – V16 – Environmental Compliance and Protection, Drinking Water Systems and Water Conservation, 11 Jun 2018

COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPACINST 6000.2E – Standard Submarine Medical Procedures Manual for Submarine Medical Departments

OPNAVINST 5090.1E – Environmental Readiness Program, 3 Sep 2019

OPNAV-M 5090.1 – Environmental Readiness Program Manual, 3 Sep 2019

Chapter 7: Sampling and Laboratory Testing

Chapter 21: Safe Drinking Water Act Compliance Ashore

Chapter 34: Overseas Environmental Compliance Ashore

CNICINST 5090.1A Navy Overseas Drinking Water Program Ashore

CNIC M-5090.1 Navy Overseas Drinking Water Program Ashore Manual

CNIC M-5090.2 Certificate to Operate Criteria and Requirements for US Navy Overseas Drinking Water Systems

CNIC M-5090.3 Operator in Responsible Charge and Assistant Operator in Responsible Charge Training and Certification Program for US Navy Overseas Drinking Water Systems

BUMEDINST 6240.10C – Department of the Navy Medical Drinking Water Program

NAVMED P-5010-5 – Water Quality For Shore Installations

NAVMED P-5010-6 – Water Supply Afloat

NAVMED P-5010-10 – Sanitary Control and Surveillance of Field Water Supplies

Lead in Drinking Water in Priority Areas


OPNAVINST 5090 – Update to Policy on Sampling and Testing for Lead in Drinking Water in Priority Areas

CNIC Guidance for Lead Testing in Priority Areas INC Encl1 and Appendicies


CNIC Shore Drinking Water Quality Reports

FINAL FY17 Shore Drinking Water Quality Report

FINAL FY18 Shore Drinking Water Quality Report

Navy Policy on Drinking Water Exceedances



With Spring around the corner, it’s about that time to open your pools for a fresh new swim season. We’ve partnered with on this article to keep you up-to-date on how to test your pool’s water properly. Let’s dive into the details!

Having a pool is a lot of fun, and it’s crucial to keep it clean. Most people know how to test for pH balance and chlorine levels, which is essential, but end up ignoring phosphates and potential contaminants, such as iron and calcium.

These substances can not only lead to unpleasant looking water that makes your pool uninviting but also cause severe damage to your pool. Fortunately, testing your pool water is easy if you know how to do it correctly.

Why Pool Water Testing Is So Important (And How to Do It)

Pool water testing is essential. Without it, there’s no way to know what’s in your water. While trace contaminants may not seem like a big deal now, over time they can develop into a really big problem. To avoid potential issues, it’s important to test your water regularly.

The first thing you’ll need is a water sample. To be sure to get an accurate reading, follow these simple steps:

Make sure to use a clean cup.

With the opening facing down, dunk the cup elbow deep as close to the center of the pool as possible.

Fill the cup by turning it right-side up.

How Certified Public Tax Planning Become Forensic Accountants

What Is Income Tax Planning?

What Is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is the analysis of a financial situation or plan from a tax perspective. The purpose of tax planning is to ensure tax efficiency. Through tax planning, all elements of the financial plan work together in the most tax-efficient manner possible. Tax planning is an essential part of an individual investor’s financial plan. Reduction of tax liability and maximizing the ability to contribute to retirement plans are crucial for success.

How Tax Planning Works

Tax planning covers several considerations. Considerations include timing of income, size, and timing of purchases, and planning for other expenditures. Also, the selection of investments and types of retirement plans must complement the tax filing status and deductions to create the best possible outcome.

Key takeaways

  • Tax planning is the analysis of finances from a tax perspective, with the purpose of ensuring maximum tax efficiency.
  • Considerations of tax planning include timing of income, size, timing of purchases, and planning for expenditures.
  • Tax planning strategies can include saving for retirement in an IRA or engaging in tax gain-loss harvesting.


Steps Needed for Effective Tax Planning

Ok, tax planning is important. But how can you set up your company in order to take advantage of this planning? Below are five steps needed to create a system of efficient tax analysis.

Bookkeeping – Make sure your startup has a good bookkeeping system in place.  There’s been an explosion in the types of accounting software available, especially for SaaS startups. It used to be that companies would be forced to buy QuickBooks and use it exclusively. While Quickbooks is still the industry standard, it’s not for everyone, and companies can now use is FreshBooks, which is made suited for very small businesses and sole proprietorships, and Xero, for larger businesses.

Getting the right accounting software is important because you’ll conduct all your tax planning analysis from the reports it provides.

Certified Accountant – Establish a relationship with a reputable and certified accountant. In the United States, there’s a job title called a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and the CPA designation is a standard for a reliable accountant. Find an accountant you trust and meet with them to discuss which bookkeeping software is right for you and get advice about how to efficiently structure your taxes for your business. These accountants will also help with the actual filing of your taxes.

Use a Company Card – This is the best way to separate your business and personal spending. When you’re planning for your taxes, you’ll need to identify company income and expenses, and then strategies on ways to lower your tax liability. If you’re personal and company transactions are mixed, you won’t be able to do this.

If you do end up paying a vendor or making a business purchase with your personal credit card, make sure to keep track of it as an out-of-pocket expense. Don’t wait to take note of it, otherwise you’ll forget about it and won’t get to claim the expense.

Set up a Retirement Plan – Retirement plans are tax deductible and can help minimize a company’s tax burden. Also, young entrepreneurs are often cash-starved and aren’t thinking about their future. Setting up a retirement plan has the added benefit of helping business owners plan for retirement all while reducing the amount of business taxes they pay.

Earmark Money for Taxes – Make sure you’re putting money aside in order to pay future taxes. A lot of startups fail to do this and end up using future earnings to pay for past taxes. It’s a vicious cycle, and one that’s hard to stop.


Income Tax Planning

Income taxes are an important component for clients to consider as we work together through the planning process. This resource is provided to help clients understand current federal income tax laws and ways to reduce income tax exposure.


It is important to understand the income tax laws that apply to individuals. The following information regarding individual income tax laws is intended to educate you on your exposure to income tax liability and potential tax-savings opportunities.

Income, Deductions and Credits

Personal Income and Tax is designed to help you understand how income tax applies to individuals, and Personal Deductions and Credits helps you evaluate whether you are using some of the deductions and credits available to reduce income tax liability.

Retirement Planning

Certain retirement savings vehicles are available to enable you to plan for retirement in a tax-efficient manner. Utilizing Retirement Planning to Reduce Income Tax can help you determine if you are saving for retirement in the most tax-efficient manner, and the Required Minimum Distribution tool can help you assess what income must be distributed from certain qualified retirement plans once you reach age 72.

Tax-Free Exchanges

Deferring Tax Upon the Disposition of Real Estate describes how 1035 exchanges can be used to reduce current income tax liability for certain taxpayers.

Charitable Planning

For clients with a charitable objective, Utilizing Charitable Giving to Reduce Income Tax and Conservation Easements provides preliminary information on how to provide for charity in a tax-efficient manner.



An understanding of income tax is a necessary component of ensuring a business is operating efficiently and effectively. Recent changes to the law have drastically impacted how businesses are taxed and created some tax saving opportunities for businesses and business owners. The following is intended to educate you on the income tax liability your business may be exposed to as well as options that may exist to reduce your business’s exposure to income tax liability.

Deductions and Credits

Business Deductions and Credits and Tax Benefits of Research and Development can help you evaluate whether your business is utilizing available deductions. Will Your Pass-Through Benefit from the Reduced Business Tax Rate provides an overview of how the new tax law may impact your taxes, and the Qualified Business Income Estimator helps to calculate whether you might benefit from the new law.

Entity Selection

Taxation of Business Entities provides an overview of how a business’s entity selection can impact taxes. How are C Corporations Taxed? and How are Pass-Through Entities Taxed? provide more detail to help you consider the income tax attributes of your business.

Employment Taxes

An efficient structure can significantly reduce the employment taxes that a business must pay. Using a Common Paymaster to Reduce Taxes provides information on how employment taxes can be reduced for some business owners.


Strategies to Consider

You don’t want to pay more in federal income tax than you have to. With that in mind, here are five things to consider when it comes to keeping more of your income.

  1. Postpone your income to mitigate your current income tax liability

By deferring (postponing) income to a later year, you may be able to mitigate your current income tax liability and invest the money that you’d otherwise use to pay income taxes. And when you eventually report the income, it’s possible that you’ll be in a lower income tax bracket.

Certain retirement plans can help you postpone the payment of taxes on your earned income. With a traditional 401(k) plan, for example, you contribute part of your salary into the plan, paying income tax only when you later withdraw money from the plan (withdrawals before age 59½ may be subject to a 10 percent penalty tax in addition to regular income tax, unless an exception applies). This allows you to postpone tax on part of your salary and take advantage of the tax-deferred growth of any investment earning

There are many other ways to postpone your taxable income. For instance, you can contribute to a traditional IRA, buy permanent life insurance (the cash value part grows tax deferred), or invest in certain savings bonds. You may want to speak with a tax professional about your tax planning options.

  1. Shift income to family members to lower the overall family tax burden

You may also be able to mitigate your federal income taxes by shifting some income to family members who are in a lower tax bracket. For example, if you own stock that produces dividend income, one option might be to gift the stock to your children. After you’ve made the gift, the dividends will represent income to them rather than to you, potentially lowering your family’s overall tax burden. Keep in mind that you can make a tax-free gift of up to $14,000 (the $14,000 limit applies to 2016 and 2017 and could increase in future years) per year per recipient without incurring federal gift tax.

However, look out for the kiddie tax rules. Under these rules, for children under age 18, or children under age 19 (or full-time students under age 24) who don’t earn more than one-half of their financial support, any unearned income over $2,100 (in 2016 and 2017) is taxed at the parent’s marginal tax rate. Also, be sure to check the laws of your state before giving securities to minors.

Other ways of shifting income include hiring a family member for the family business and creating a family limited partnership. Be sure to investigate all of your options carefully before acting.

  1. Deduction planning involves proper timing and control over your income

Part of mitigating federal income tax is about taking advantage of all deductions to which you are entitled, and timing them in the most beneficial manner.

As a starting point, you’ll have to decide whether to itemize your deductions or take the standard deduction. Generally, you’ll choose whichever method lowers your taxes the most. If you itemize, be aware that some deductions (for example, medical and miscellaneous expenses) are allowed only to the extent the deduction exceeds some percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Also, an overall limitation on itemized deductions may apply to individuals with high AGIs. In cases where your deductions are affected by your AGI, you might look at ways to potentially increase your allowable deductions by reducing your AGI. To lower your AGI for the year, you can defer part of your income to next year, buy investments that generate tax-exempt income, and contribute as much as you can to qualified retirement plans.

Because you can sometimes control whether a deductible expense falls into the current tax year or the next, you may have some control over the timing of your deduction. If you’re in a higher federal income tax bracket this year than you expect to be in next year, you’ll want to consider accelerating deductions into the current year. You can accelerate deductions by paying deductible expenses and making charitable contributions this year instead of waiting until next.

Get A Spotless Environment With Professional Residential Cleaning Services

Housecleaners’ Guide to COVID-19


Certifications are now being rolled out for FREE for all AHCA members in good standing! Join today and get the Education you need to grow and provide the best services during this time while having the Credentials to brag about!

CDC Cleaning Recommendations and General COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Clean and Disinfect

Approved Disinfectants for COVID-19

General Public Safety Protocols

Stay up to date with CDC Guidance for Employers and Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Know if Residential & Commercial Cleaning are Deemed Officially “Essential Services” in Your State!

**If your State or County has a “Shelter in Place” but does not address any home service trades – Refer to the CISA at the Top of List**


A Comprehensive Guide To Tipping Your House Cleaner

Hiring a professional maid service can be a great way to keep your home looking its best while saving yourself the time and hassle of cleaning on your own. As with many services, however, one of the most common questions people have is in regards to tipping. Should you tip a house cleaner? If so, how much? While there are no cut-and-dry answers to these questions, there are some general etiquette tips and considerations that can be kept in mind when making the decision of whether or not to tip a house cleaner.

Should You Tip Your House Cleaner?

It’s rare to see a house cleaning service that requires tips, though some may build tipping into their standard rates. If this is the case, this should be clearly outlined to you in your service contract so that you don’t feel the need to tip any additional money. These days, more and more cleaning services have also begun to simply pay their cleaners a higher wage in order to forego the pressure for their clients to tip altogether. Again, this is where knowing the policies of your cleaning company can be informative.

Another thing to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to tip a house cleaner is whether they’re the owner of the cleaning company or not. Generally, company owners do not expect tips because they’re able to more-or-less set their own rates and wages. An employee of a cleaning company, on the other hand, may rely on tips (much like servers at restaurants or stylists at hair salons) to make a living wage.

Cash Tip or Something Else?

Cash is king! However, If you want to show your house cleaner some appreciation but don’t feel comfortable tipping in cash, keep in mind that there are other options as well. Instead of tipping cash, you might consider gifting your house cleaner with a gift card to a local coffee shop or restaurant that you know he or she frequents. You can also consider gifts like a nice bottle of wine or even something handmade to show your appreciation.

Maid Service Tipping Etiquette: When To Tip and How Much

Some other common questions people tend to have about tipping house cleaners is how frequently they should tip and how much. This will really depend on your specific circumstances and the frequency of services provided. If you hire a professional cleaner for a one-time service, for example, you can either forego tipping altogether or offer a one-time tip.

Things can get a little more complicated, however, when you have a recurring cleaning service. Your cleaner probably won’t expect to receive a tip every single week that he or she comes to clean your place. Instead of tipping a small amount at each cleaning, you might consider providing your cleaner with a slightly larger tip once every month or even once every few months


Can I let cleaners into my house? Your COVID-19 questions answered

We’re breaking down what you need to know about the pandemic by answering your questions. You can send us your questions via email, and we’ll answer as many as we can. We’ll publish a selection of answers every weekday on our website, and we’re also putting some of your questions to the experts on the air during The National and on News Network. So far we’ve received more than 40,000 emails from all corners of the country.

Is it safe for cleaners to come into my home?

So while cleaning people may be allowed in your home, there are some precautions that clients and cleaning staff can take to make sure everyone stays safe, including maintaining physical distance.

“Especially if you can be out of the house when [they] come in and you don’t spend time in the same area, it seems reasonable to me to have that happen.”

“It really is a partnership for protection,” he said. People who work in household services are often going into multiple houses in a day — especially in the case of cleaning services. it’s important that all the tools used, like mops and sponges, be disinfected or replaced after each use and between each residence.

“If the weather permits, keep open ventilation,” which can reduce the buildup of contamination, he said. They also say using personal protective equipment (PPE) should be “a last resort” because PPE is only effective if people wear it correctly.


COVID-19: Cleaners are working safely. See our guidelines

On this page, we outline relevant government policy and safety guidelines for the domestic cleaning sector and we answer FAQ. We are operating as normal and have implemented extra measures to provide safe services.

New National Restrictions from 5 November

From Thursday 5th November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December, new Government restrictions apply:

Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes

Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes

Closing certain businesses and venues

Cleaners can continue working in people’s homes

Cleaners are permitted to work in customer homes during the “lockdown” period subject to safety and social distancing rules. Under the new rules, you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes

“for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)”. You can find the latest Government guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes

We have incorporated government safety guidelines into our operations. We have also recommended additional safety and cleaning measures to keep cleaners and customers safe. To help get your home back in order, we have a 1 Hour Free Cleaning offer for new customers. You can book the cleaning service using code TCDIR. We have vetted housekeepers and cleaners


A Comprehensive Guide To Tipping Your House Cleaner

Hiring a cleaning or maid service is great for busy professionals, pet owners, and parents because it can help you maintain a clean house while saving time. Usually, these services are great at their jobs, which raises the question of how much to tip house cleaners and when? Is it really okay to tip them? These are only some of the questions that homeowners think about when hiring a cleaning service. If you’re one of them, stay tuned to find out more.

Yes or No to Tipping?

Modern housekeeping and maid services usually don’t require tips, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Some services include tips in their standard rates, so you should inform yourself about this by reading the contract carefully or by talking with the company owner. If this is the case with your maid service, you don’t have to include additional tips if you don’t want to.

Another thing you want to have in mind when deciding whether to tip your house cleaner or not is the quality of their work. If they’ve done an exceptional job and you’re extremely satisfied with how your house looks, why not surprise them with a few extra bucks? They’ll appreciate it immensely and will be motivated to always do their best.

Decide on the Type of Tips

Housekeeping tips usually come in the form of cash, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Cash is a really great way to show how satisfied you are, but there are other things that can reflect your gratitude. Some people opt for various gift cards — a coffee shop, restaurant, or beauty salon gift cards are a great way to tip your cleaner and still maintain a great relationship.

When to Tip?

If you decided to tip the cleaning service person, you have to know when is the best time to do it. There are a few ways to do this. You can choose to tip your housekeeper on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis — it really is completely up to you.

Pain Management Through Hypnosis

Pain Management Frequently Asked Questions

When you feel discomfort across any body part, you’re feeling pain. This concept is a subjective one because everyone has a different tolerance for pain. A cut on the finger could be a bother for one person, whereas it’s a stinging sensation over many hours for other individuals. Pain is generally divided into two categories, including chronic and acute types.

A chronic pain tends to last over several days, weeks or years. This pain, however, usually remains as a mild to moderate feeling. In contrast, an acute pain is sharp and isolated. It may be extremely painful, but it only lasts a short time. In the end, you are the only person that can really describe your pain effectively to another person.

How Does Cancer Contribute to Pain?

Cancer is a widespread disease that can affect nearly any part of the body. You might know people who seem perfectly healthy, but they’re currently fighting a cancer diagnosis. These individuals may be in mild, moderate or severe pain because cancer affects everyone differently. A tumor might grow large and press against organs, for example. Nerve and blood vessel pain is common because of multiple cancerous tumors growing throughout the body. When a patient has metastasized, cancer can even clog blood vessels. In addition, pain levels are often defined by the cancer’s stage. A terminal patient in stage 4 breast cancer will usually be in more pain than a stage 1 patient.

Your pain doesn’t have to be directly caused by the cancer itself either. Strong treatments, from biopsies to chemotherapy, create painful conditions for your body as it heals afterward. In these cases, your pain relief might be a slow process because the body is trying to fight the cancer and recover from a stressful surgery simultaneously. Pain can also be related to your psychological health. Worries over the disease and other concerns can easily create headaches and body aches.

What Are Patients’ Options to Manage Daily Pain?

Pain can be a debilitating feeling that affects both your mind and body. Finding the root cause of the pain is the smartest way to combat it. Initially, your doctor will evaluate the painful area using basic physical cues. You might require a biopsy where part or all of the tumor is removed. Although you’ll have pain after the surgery, you should feel relief in the area because the accumulation is no longer taking up space in your body.

Doctors use other treatments to reduce pain too, such as radiation therapy. However, there are times when treating the pain symptoms is necessary. You could receive pain medication and alternative relief options. Mental imagery and relaxation techniques are often taught for moderate pain relief.


What Is My Diagnosis?

These questions can help you get answers regarding the nature and cause of your pain:

  • Have you been able to determine the source of my pain?
  • If so, what is it, and what is the formal diagnosis? (Ask your doctor to write it down if it’s hard to remember!)
  • How did you reach this diagnosis?
  • Do you need to confirm the diagnosis with tests?
  • Do I or you need a second opinion?
  • Is there any reason this may have occurred? Is it hereditary, or connected to other health issues?
  • What is the prognosis for this diagnosis?

Because some patients may not have a direct cause for their worst pain, a formal diagnosis is not always possible. Even if you don’t receive a diagnosis, though, there are still steps to take and questions you can ask to find some level of pain relief.

What Are My Treatment Options?

These questions can be tailored, so they’re applicable whether you are able to get a formal diagnosis or not:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • Which treatment plan works best, for whom, and why?
  • How effective are the treatments for reducing my pain?
  • What, if any, medications are recommended?
  • Are there any side effects or risks to the recommended medications or treatments?
  • How long do medications or treatment options take to work?
  • Are there other options if one treatment fails to work or if I have an allergic reaction?
  • Which, if any, of these treatments and medications are covered by my insurance? What are the relative costs, and are there trials or assistance programs I may be eligible for?
  • Do you have a relationship with any of the drug manufacturers that make the medications we just discussed?


Symptoms you shouldn’t ignore

While neck and back pain are common, some symptoms call for prompt attention. If you have back pain that has lasted longer than three months, or any of these other symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Pain caused by a serious injury
  • Pain that travels down one or both legs
  • Pain that worsens when you sneeze or cough, or pain that wakes you up at night
  • Pain in your abdomen or changes in your bowel or bladder habits
  • Fever, weight loss or swelling or weakness


Why does RA hurt?

The inflammation from RA causes painful swelling. Nodules can form at pressure points, such as your elbows. These can occur almost anywhere on your body. These nodules can become tender and painful.

What are my medical options for managing pain?

Your doctor will go over several strategies for managing your pain. These include prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as other medical treatments. All of these medications have their own set of side effects. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits.

Pain relievers

You likely already have nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, in your medicine cabinet. These drugs include common over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). These medications are good for relieving pain and inflammation.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be used to relieve pain, but it will not help with inflammation. It can be used alone or in combination with NSAIDs.

DMARDs and biologics

Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) work by reducing the inflammation that can cause pain. These drugs actually slow the progression of RA and can prevent permanent damage. Biologic drugs specifically target the cells of the immune system and pro-inflammatory molecules involved in inflammation.

Learn more: Rheumatoid arthritis DMARDs list »

Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroids can be injected directly into the joint. They can relieve pain and inflammation for weeks at a time. Trigger point injections involve injecting a numbing medication into your muscle. They may help with RA-related muscle pain.

Alternative treatments

Your doctor may refer you to practitioners who specialize in alternative treatment options. Alternative treatments include massage, acupuncture, or topical electrical nerve stimulation. Ask your doctor about any risks involved in alternative treatments. Also ask about the results you might expect from treatment.


How should I exercise?

You likely know that overdoing any activity can make joints tender and sore. However, it may be a surprise to learn that sitting or lying still for long periods of time can make joints even more stiff and painful. Ask your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you. Also ask them which forms of fitness would be most effective for your RA.

In general, low-impact or no-impact exercises are good choices for strengthening muscles and loosening joints. Water aerobics and swimming are good options. Look up if there are exercises classes in your area. If not, ask your doctor how you can exercise at home. Gentle stretching may also aid in pain relief. As a bonus, you may even lose some weight. Weight loss could make a big difference in the amount of stress on your joints and could help ease your pain.

Bond Move Out Cleaning Challenges

Move-Out Cleaning Guide

Moving out of rental properties can be a stressful situation for both landlords and tenants. The Move-Out Cleaning Guide can help alleviate the stress for all parties involved. Upon move out the rental property should appear to be professionally or broom clean. It should be in the same or better condition when the tenant moved in. This guide clearly outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Tenant(s) upon move out, insuring that the rental unit is in proper condition

Every landlord wishes to refund the security deposit in its entirety. He or she needs the tenant’s full cooperation in leaving the property in clean condition. This Move-Out Cleaning Guide clearly outlines the duties of the Tenant(s) upon move out, insuring the rental unit is in proper condition.

The Move-Out Cleaning Guide also states that any clean up expenses or damages incurred during the rental period, or while moving out of the rental property, will be deducted from the security deposit. This form lists the areas that must be cleaned including, the kitchen, bedrooms, living and dining rooms, major appliances, floors and bathrooms. The Move-out Cleaning Guide is also fully editable, so it can be customized to suit the landlords specific needs. The form allows access to add more details to the areas that need to be cleaned or eliminate unnecessary verbiage.

The Move-Out Cleaning Guide should be given to tenants when signing the lease, and again when the tenant vacates the rental unit. The Move-Out Cleaning Guide goes great with our Move-In/Move-Out Walk Through Checklist. It is a good idea to walk through the rental unit with tenants prior to them handing in their keys. Copies of this guide should be made available to tenants prior to actual move out. Since this form is not state specific, it is a great idea to consult state and local tenant/landlord laws to protect the interest of all parties involved.


Your Easy Move Out Cleaning Checklist

Planning to move out soon? Whether you’re ending a lease or selling a house, it’s important that you leave your former home in tip-top (or at least, acceptable) condition. This means compiling a move out cleaning checklist for yourself or a cleaner.

Renters will likely need to conduct a deep clean in order to get their security deposit back. In fact, many landlords require that tenants return the home to its original condition before moving out. Those selling a home will likely need to give it a good cleaning before handing over the keys to the new owners as well. While a deep clean isn’t necessarily a legal requirement, it’s often customary for sellers to do it anyway when moving out.

What’s on the move out cleaning checklist?

Your move out cleaning checklist will depend on the size of the property and how clean it is already. To help you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive move out cleaning checklist that you can use as a starting point.

Remove any remaining personal property

First and foremost, remove all personal property from the home. This means everything from furniture and closet items to shelving and wall art.

Vacuum floors

Give the home a once-over with the vacuum. Don’t forget to vacuum closets, stairs, nooks and other hard-to-reach areas.

Dust and wipe down surfaces

Using an all-purpose surface cleaner and a roll of paper towels or clean cloth, wipe down kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bookshelves, windowpanes, fireplace mantles and other hard surfaces.

Clean inside cabinets

Don’t forget to clean inside all cabinets. Kitchen cabinets, in particular, tend to accumulate food crumbs and other residue from food and cooking products.

Wipe down appliances

Over time, stainless steel appliances become covered in fingerprints and markings. Make sure to wipe down your fridge with either an all-purpose spray or a vinegar and water mixture. Don’t forget to wipe down and clean out the microwave as well.

Scrub and clean toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs

Once you’ve finished vacuuming and dusting, roll up those sleeves and start on the bathrooms. All toilets, showers, bathtubs and sinks should be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. Any mold, rust or mildew should also be eliminated from the bathrooms before moving out.

Clean out closets

After you’ve cleared out your clothing and accessories, make sure to wipe down closet shelves and hanging rods. You should also vacuum the closet floors and double-check that all personal items have been removed.

Remove nails and wall anchors screwed into the wall

Unless the landlord or buyer has asked that you leave nails, hooks and wall anchors in the walls, it’s best to remove this hardware prior to moving out.

Fill holes and repair drywall

Once you’ve removed any nails, hooks and dry wall anchors, make sure to patch up unsightly holes in the wall. If any drywall needs to be repaired, consider hiring a professional handyman to do the job.

Touch up scratches and markings with paint

Before moving out, head to your local paint store and grab a small sample size of paint that matches your wall. Use this paint to touch up any scratches or markings left on the walls. Be sure to pay special attention to baseboards and other areas with high-gloss paint, as these tend to scratch more easily than walls painted with a matte finish.

Clean and sanitize the fridge and freezer

Empty the fridge and freezer of any remaining contents and start cleaning. All surfaces should be wiped down with an disinfectant spray. Make sure to eliminate any and all remaining food crumbs as well.

Wipe down oven and stovetop

One of the places where food residue tends to hide is the stovetop. If you have a gas range, be sure to remove the top part of the range and clean underneath all burners. Your oven can also be cleaned with a simple water and baking soda mixture. Combine the water and baking soda to make a paste and apply it throughout the oven. Vinegar can be added as well.

Mop floors

Once all surfaces have been wiped down and vacuumed, end your move out cleaning by giving the floors a good mop. A vinegar and warm water solution is a simple and safe floor cleaning mixture. You can also use a Swiffer sweeper with a wet cloth to clean floors.


Moving Out Cleaning Checklist for Renters

When you move out of a rental home or apartment, one of the biggest priorities is getting back your deposit. Landlords usually require a deposit before you move in that will either be subtracted from for any necessary repairs after you leave or will be fully reimbursed to you if everything is in the same shape as when you moved in.

To get back your deposit, it’s important to take good care of the home while you’re living there, but when you move out, it’s just as important to give it a good, deep cleaning, even if you have maintained it well over the course of your stay. We recommend having it professionally cleaned. If that’s not in the budget, though, take a few hours to go about the house or apartment and clean every nook and cranny.

Moving Out Cleaning Checklist

Whole House + Misc. Areas

Clean and vacuum all flooring, including stairs

Wipe down the walls and baseboards

Remove nails and screws; repair the walls

Dust ceiling fans

Clean air vents

Clean the windows and dust the blinds

Get rid of cobwebs

Clean fireplace

Clean the washing machine and dryer inside and out; pull them out to clean underneath and behind them


Clean the cabinets and drawers inside and out

Wipe down the microwave inside and out

Wipe down the entire refrigerator; pull it out to clean underneath and behind it

Wipe down the countertops

Scrub the sink and faucet

Clean the oven and stove; pull it out to clean underneath and behind it


Scrub the shower and bleach the grout

Clean out the bathroom drawers and vanity

Wipe down the countertop

Polish the mirror

Dust and clean the exhaust fan


Move Out Cleaning Checklist


Wash all windows inside and out in all rooms. Clean out window tracks.

Wash window sills and curtain rods.

Wash inside and outside of front and back doors.

Clean out the fireplace if applicable.

Mow lawn and weed flower beds if applicable.

All marks must be washed off the walls. Remove all nails.

Wash all vinyl and tile floors. If the fireplace is gas, make sure you clean off the inside of the glass.

All carpeting is to be vacuumed and professionally shampooed. Save receipts and turn in to the manager; or request that the manager arrange to have this done and the cost will be deducted from your security deposit.

All trash must be removed from the premises.

Clean all blinds and wash or dry clean all drapes and valances.

Clean all light fixtures throughout the unit and replace any burnt out bulbs.

Clean all vents and replace furnace filters.


Clean the inside and out of the dishwasher and range hood.

Scrub kitchen floor, including under the movable appliances.


Wash the inside of the refrigerator with warm water.

Take out vegetable drawers and wash in warm water, dry and replace.

Wash and dry outside of the refrigerator.

Move the refrigerator out from the wall and clean underneath. DO NOT TURN OFF!

Freezer must be defrosted and cleaned.


Remove racks and broiler pan, soak in hot water to clean, dry well.

Clean the inside of the oven, top of stove, under elements, pan drawer, exhaust fan, hood.

Remove the lower drawer and clean under the stove.

Wash and dry outside of the stove.

Cabinets and Drawers:

Wash cupboards inside and out. Remove any shelf paper.

Wipe out drawers with a damp rag.

Clean sink and counter tops.


Move Out Process

Every resident expects a full refund of their deposit. The reality is that this is rarely the case. In our many years of experience, we have found that most tenants underestimate the time needed to professionally clean their apartment and prepare it for move-out. Cleaning is usually the largest deduction from our resident’s deposits. Even when cleaning is performed well, there are still many things that are easily missed. PLEASE REMEMBER, even when units are returned EMPTY and in good condition, it may still take our office 2 to 5 days to turn the unit over due to minor maintenance, carpet cleaning, painting and cleaning that still may be needed in your unit. So you should expect to spend a couple of days in an  empty  unit cleaning it to get it back to its condition as well. In addition, when units aren’t returned to us in their original condition, effectively you are now hiring us to do the work for you and as such you agree to the contractors we use and their prices

Approximately 1 month before move out:

Schedule all moving help well in advance of the move-out date. In order to vacate the unit on time and leave the unit clean, schedule to have all items removed from the unit at least 2 days prior to your lease end date

Approximately 2 days before the move out :

Remove all personal belongings at least 2 days BEFORE your lease expires to allow enough time for cleaning.

Clean your unit. Start this well in advance. Since keys are due by noon, do not wait until the day the lease expires. Review our Cleaning Check List for a cleaning guideline to maximize your deposit refund.

The carpets will be professionally cleaned at move out as per your Lease. Do not do this yourself. However, you must vacuum to remove any / all debris or additional charges may apply.

Do not leave any furniture at the dumpster. You must schedule to dispose of these at a proper location.

Make sure these items are replaced or cleaned well before you leave to avoid these simple charges:

➢ Burned out light bulbs – if ceilings are too high to replace, leave new bulbs on the kitchen counter

➢ Non-conforming (not similar) light bulbs (all bulbs must be of similar type and 65 watts or less)

➢ Missing or dead smoke detector batteries – if ceilings are too high to replace, leave new batteries on the kitchen counter – this also goes for light bulbs

➢ Drip pans (make sure they are the proper size)

Complete the UNIT MOVE OUT FORM. We will send you this form as your Lease approaches expiration. Return this form when you return your keys

The Day of Move Out:

By 12 NOON on the day your lease expires, return keys, parking permits, mailbox keys, storage keys, garage door openers, etc. to our office at 2020 Pacific Street. To avoid long lines at our office on move out day, do not wait until 12 noon. Be there earlier in the morning. If you plan to mail the keys, make sure they are SECURE in the envelope and it is mailed well in advance to be received by our office by 12 noon of the expiration date. Keys not received by 12 NOON on your lease expiration day may be charged a $100 late fee in addition to the cost of any delay in rescheduling vendors or delay in the future tenants move-in time. Our turnover times are quick and we often have vendors scheduled to enter the unit that afternoon.

An Apex employee will pull your file and compare all the items you are returning to the original check out sheet. Any discrepancies could result in a charge. For example, we take photo copies of all keys given. If we do not get those same keys back, you will be charged for a lock change to the unit. If you do not have all the keys with you, we cannot guarantee locks will not be changed before we receive them in our office. Often times we have tight turn overs (in some cases 24 hours) so it is important you make sure you have everything with you the first time so we can log everything in properly.

You will be asked for a forwarding address and phone number. We use the forwarding address you give us to mail the deposit refund check. In the case of multiple tenants, deposits will be mailed to the forwarding address of any 1 tenant.

Deposit refunds will be mailed to the rental address in absence of any forwarding address.

If the office is closed, please place all the items listed in step 9 above in an envelope and write your unit address on the sealed envelope. Make sure you leave a forwarding address and phone number with the keys you drop off. Do not place unlabeled, loose keys in our dropbox.

Once keys are received in our office, the move out inspection will be performed with 4 business hours.

How To Get Rid Of Ants With Ant Repellents

Proven Ways to Get Rid of Ants in Your Apartment

You’re cooking up your favorite recipe in your apartment when all of a sudden – ants. You see ants lining up all over your counters and no matter how many you get with the so-called killer spray, they keep coming.

Clean, clean, clean

Before you start any method to get rid of ants, you’ll need a blank slate. This seems obvious, but sometimes, a few unseen food crumbs or small spills can be the culprit. Spend a weekend afternoon deep cleaning your apartment – sweep and mop all corners, take out the trash, clean out the inside of your trash can and clear out all food from counters. Lastly, spray any places where you’ve seen ants before – yes, they leave a scented trail for others to follow – with a one part vinegar with three parts water mixture in a spray bottle.

Lemon juice

Lemons are incredibly useful beyond cooking. They can be used for cleaning as well as deterring ants from setting up shop in your kitchen. Squeeze a few lemons into a spray bottle and find any holes and cracks around your apartment where the ants may be sneaking through, followed by sealing them with caulk. The acid deters them as it messes with their tracking and encourages them to go elsewhere.

Cinnamon oil

Grab a Q-tip dipped in high-concentrated cinnamon oil and draw borders around the apartment’s entry points and common areas where the ants are entering the home. It’s been proven by a 2014 study that it helps repel and even exterminate ants.

Peppermint oil

Grab a bottle of peppermint essential oil and add about 15 to 20 drops (plus a few of lemon oil if you have it) into half a cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle hard to mix everything and spray along the baseboards, any ant trail spots you’ve seen in the past and all entry points. Repeat every few days until the ants are gone. Peppermint also deters other pests like cockroaches – and even mice.


Homemade Pesticides to Get Rid of Ants

An infestation of ants can make spending time in and around your garden a less-than-pleasant experience. These pests can also damage your plants by disturbing their roots and protecting other insect pests like aphids, which feed on the plants. Instead of spraying your plants with potentially toxic insecticides, use natural remedies to rid your garden of them. Most of these natural pesticides contain ingredients you probably already have in your home.

Citrus Oil

Citrus oil, including orange and lemon oil, is toxic to ants and won’t harm your garden plants. Many natural insecticides contain orange oil, but you can make your own using 3/4 cup of orange essential oil, 1 tablespoon of molasses, 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 gallon of water, recommends

Spray the mixture on and around garden plants to get rid of the ants in your garden and in your home. If you don’t have orange oil, simply boil the rinds of five or six oranges in water for 15 minutes until soft. Place the rinds in a food processor along with the liquid used to boil them, to create a slurry that you can pour around your garden plants.


While you can purchase insecticidal soaps to kill ants in your garden, make your own instead, using simple dish soap. Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 pint of warm water and stir. Spray the soapy water directly on plants and around your garden to eliminate ants. Because ants don’t like peppermint oil, you can also use a liquid soap, such as castile soap, containing peppermint oil and mix it with water in the same ratio to rid the garden of ants. If ants persist, you can increase the amount of detergent in your mixture, but too much detergent may harm your plants because it is phytotoxic in large amounts.

Borax Bait

Create homemade ant bait using borax, which is toxic to ants. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of borax with equal parts honey and a sugar substitute, recommends the Sonora Environmental Research Institute. Spoon the mixture into open bottles or jars and place the containers on their sides around your garden plants. The ants will crawl into the containers, carrying the toxic bait back to their queen, and the colony will die. You can also mix 3 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar and 4 teaspoons of borax. Dip bread in the mixture and cover it with peanut butter.


Ant behaviour

These tiny insects live in well-organized societies and have a knack for making life a little less pleasant.

Field or pavement ants

Field or pavement ants are brown or black and small in size. They are constantly looking for food and thrive in sandy areas, generally nesting outdoors near house foundations or in cracks in foundations and asphalt surfaces and between paving stones. You can spot these types of ants by the sand craters they leave behind as they dig their tunnels.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are usually black, with hints of red or brown, and measure from 7 mm to 10 mm (0.3 to 0.4 in) in length. They are the largest ants found. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They dig galleries in wood softened by moisture to build their nests. Their natural habitat is forested areas, but some colonies settle near houses, especially in stacks of firewood, in tree stumps or in the rotting structures of fences, porches or balconies.

Are ants useful or bothersome?

In the forest, ants are a source of food for various birds and animals.

They contribute to the decomposition of trees and stumps and stir up soil by tunnelling.

Carpenter ants may be a sign of a moisture problem in a house and of a weakening of its structure. Observing where the ants gather can help pinpoint the problem

There a number of simple things you can do to deter ants.

  1. Outside

Get rid of any waste wood on your property, and store any firewood away from the house.Cliquer pour ouvrir la boîte d’information supplémentaireCliquer pour ouvrir la boîte d’information supplémentaire

Cut back any tree branches that are touching the house.

Repair any cracks, including gaps around doors and windows.

  1. Inside

Put screens on all doors and windows and repair them as needed.

Keep food in tightly sealed contenants.

Keep the kitchen floor and counters clean.

Empty your kitchen trash bin frequently.

Inspect high-moisture areas of the house, wood structural elements that are exposed to the outside, and areas where wood touches the ground.


Guide to Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can damage any type of building by tunneling through wood pieces. They nest in damp or rotten wood. They don’t actually eat the wood they tunnel through; they live on food, insects, and even candy. However, these insects can cause severe damage to your home’s foundation and are difficult to get under control after they infest an area.

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like

Have you ever taken a walk around the neighborhood and noticed those abnormally large black ants that sometimes have wings? Chances are you’ve just bumped into a carpenter ant. Carpenter ants are one of the easier kinds of ants to spot due to their dark color and large bodies

Their sizes range from ¼ to ½ of an inch, making them one big ant to deal with.

Their color is typically dark, most common is black.

Male and female swarmer carpenter ants will have a set of wings, but the queen and worker ants do not.

These ants have a heart-shaped head, rounded thoraxes, and larger abdomens.

Like all ants, carpenter ants will have six legs and two antennae.

Where Do Carpenter Ants Live?

Carpenter ants love moist wood although, in a pinch, they will seek shelter in dry wood. Places like kitchens and bathrooms make a great home for these pests as leaky faucets from sinks and bathrooms provide them with all the moisture they need. They are also known to make homes near poorly sealed window frames and chimneys, as well as by any roof leaks.

Carpenter Ants vs Termites

Did you know that carpenter ants can cause more damage than termites? Although carpenter ants do not eat the wood, they will chew wood so that they can create tunnels. You can tell the difference between carpenter ants and termites by looking at their wings, color, waist, and antennae.


How to Get Rid of Ants

While there are wide range of do-it-yourself products available in the market to get rid of ants, an effective control requires a professional pest control service to manage the infestation and minimize recurrence.

Getting Rid of Ants in Your Home

Although many homeowners struggle with do-it-yourself ant control remedies, the results are often less than satisfactory. Small problems can develop into large ones and this is when many people seek out the services of a pest control professional.

experienced service technicians have identified the ants species, they will provide you with our most effective solutions to deal with them efficiently. This gives you reassurance that the problem is in good control while ensuring the safety of your family and pets. Once the ants have been dealt with, you can take necessary precautions to keep ants away for good

Getting Rid of Ants in Your Business Premises

Professional ant control service is the most effective way to get rid of ant infestation from your business. Besides treatment using pesticides,

expert will follow the PEST approach to ensure your long-term protection:

Partnership – Cooperation with clients and sharing of roles in pest management is crucial

Education and Exclusion – Talks and education materials to enforce general good housekeeping practices to remove food debris and spillages with recommendations on proofing potential entry points such as wall cracks and crevices

Sanitation – Proper waste disposal process and sanitation to reduce infestation

Treatment – Use of the correct ant control treatment for your individual circumstances