Energy Saving Home Improvement Tips

In this week’s post I want to step a little away from the landscaping and talk about some home improvement tips that I have embarked on in the last few years. All these projects were started with the main intention being to save energy and become a more environmentally friendly household. Some of these will cost quite a bit of money, but there are many that can be quite inexpensive and will prove a huge benefit. On this page I want to give you some ideas and resources that you will be able to use to make your own home more energy efficient.

Attic Insulation

Ensuring that your attic is properly insulated is one of the best ways to increase your energy efficiency. In the colder climates of the northern states such insulation upgrades have been popular for a long time. But what people in the hotter climates don’t realize is that attic insulation will also benefit energy efficiency as there is less thermal exchange of cold air in the house and hot air outside.

One of the simplest ways to do this as a DIY job is to use blow in insulation and pump it directly into the attic. The pumping machinery can be rented at many hardware stores that will also be able to provide you with the insulation material. In most cases you will be using a fiberglass material which provides a great thermal barrier and the job only needs to be done once.

Solar Panels

If you live in a state which is blessed with lots of sunshine and dry weather then solar panels will make a huge amount of sense. Some of the installation costs can be offset against tax so don’t be put off by advertised prices. When it comes to solar panels there are two main types that you can have installed.

The first one is a solar water heating panel, and its objective is to absorb solar rays and pass the resulting heat onto water that circulates the system. Such panels are a great way to provide your household with pretty much all the hot water you could need. But for very sunny areas electricity producing solar panels will probably be the best option. The reason is that you get to use solar produced energy wherever it is needed. And in the summer months it can great help with the cooling of your home as well.

One thing to keep in mind though is that solar panels can still be quite an expensive project and are probably not a DIY job for most households.

Upgrade Heating and Cooling Systems

Many people install central heating systems and air-conditioning units and then just go and forget about them. The first important task for you to consider is to get the equipment regularly serviced, just like you would have your car serviced. This first of all will ensure that it operates efficiently, but will also ensure safety and longevity. When I moved house about 10 years ago we go the boiler serviced and everything seemed fine. Only after a couple of years I decided to find out more about our boiler and it turned out that it was over 20 years old, which kind of explained the amount of oil it was using.

The same was the case with aircon which was so old that the service guy couldn’t get adequate parts. I bit the bullet and had them replaced and the energy usage plummeted. So, if you have older boilers or aircon units then it may be sensible to check out how efficient they really are and get an estimate how much energy you may be saving. You may be surprised how quickly an upgrade will pay for itself, not to mention the benefit it will have on the environment and climate.

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Make Your Pool Environmentally Friendly

With rising energy posts people have become more aware of how much their pools are costing them. Everything from regular cleaning and servicing to the operation of pumps and filters costs money, and eco-friendly solutions can greatly help reduce those costs. In this post I want to show some solutions you can consider when planning a new pool or making changes to your existing one.

PhotoShare / Pixabay

PhotoShare / Pixabay

First of all the majority of pools are chlorine based where you would regularly check the chemical balance of the water and then add more chlorine as needed. This is hugely important to provide for safe and healthy water and to avoid the spread of disease and infections. But there are some alternatives that may suit you.

Consider a salt water pool instead of chlorine. Most of you will have been for a swim in the Ocean and noticed that you do not encounter a green swamp of algae. This is due to the salinity of the ocean. For backyard pools there are two options. One is to create pool water using a machine that controls salinity. It is just like swimming in the ocean. The other option is to use a machine that naturally chlorinates the water using salt in a chlorine generator cell. Both solutions will provide a clean and safe environment for people to swim in and you can contact Orange County Pool Service for some information on setting up such a system.

Cover your pool when it is not in use or have vegetation provide shade from the sun. This will reduce the amount of water that vaporizes and reduce the amount of water you need to refill the pool. Water shortages are becoming ever more common and predictions are that this will only get worse in the coming decades. With some pretty simple planning you can reduce this problem quite considerably.

Solar powered pumps are a fantastic solution for most people in California. The systems are set up in a way so that the pumps and filters do most of their work when there is abundant solar power, i.e. during the day. Then at night time they go into an eco-mode that only uses very little energy. The great thing is that you can have solar panel installed on the roof of your home and potentially get a tax rebate on the costs. This makes it a lot cheaper and once it is installed you will effectively get free energy.

For some of the best priced environmentally friendly pool solutions I have worked with the guys over at OraangeCountyPoolService.net. They are extremely reliable and in my option have the best and most high tech systems in place to make your life easier.

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How Landscaping Can Help You Get Top Dollar For Your Home

This article was written by Zach Riggs, a leading realtor for Keller Williams Realty In Springfield, MO. You can find more info about Zach at his site entitled Trusted Realtors of Missouri, LLC.

There are many things that landscaping can do for your home. It can increase its overall value, boost the its curb appeal, and can even help you get more for your home if you’re looking to sell your home for top dollar. Recent market trends indicate that landscaping can help sell a home for 10% more compared to what it would have gotten without proper landscaping. There are some pretty solid strategies that you can try with your landscaping that will help you in this regard. These strategies are also cost effective.

Do Your Research

Is landscaping your home a task you are willing to take on yourself, rather than hiring out professional help? If so, you’ll want to do your research about the best ways to maximize your space with the smallest cost. Visit home improvement stores, ask a gardening friend, or stop by a nursery or gardening business for some advice. These people know what they are talking about!

Add Some Mulch

One of the best ways to spruce up a front yard landscape on the cheap is to add in some mulch in some specific areas. Mulch works great because it brings in great color and there are many different color options you can go with. It’s also one of the more cost effective things you can do to make the curb appeal of a house stand out. You can use mulch in flower beds, around trees, and along walkways to name a few.

Trim Those Trees and Bushes

If you have trees and bushes in your front yard, you’ll definitely want to keep up with trimming them occasionally, especially if you are looking to sell your house for top dollar. Bushes are fairly easy to trim up, but just want to be sure not to trim them up too much. Trees can be a little more difficult to trim correctly and may require you to call in an expert. This may cost you some money but I could almost guarantee that it’ll be a wise investment, as it will help you get more for your house than you would otherwise.

Kill Those Weeds

You don’t have to have a championship golf course type of lawn to sell your home for the most money, but a yard with decent grass will go a long way. This means getting rid of any weeds. This works for two reasons, the first being that a yard with no weeds just looks better, and the second being able to show potential home buyers that if the yard that is well taken care of, then so is the inside of the home. You can get some good weed killer spray for under $20 and it’s something that will help your house and yard look much better.

Add Some Flowers

One of the best ways to make a yard really stand out is to plant some flowers with some vibrant colors. Flowers tend to look really good along the front of a house below windows and around bushes. This is another easy and cheap thing that you can do to help increase your home’s curb appeal. Just don’t over do it.

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Dealing with Yellow Jackets in an Eco Friendly Way

Believe it or not, yellow jackets have a purpose. Nonetheless, they can pose a threat to you and your family. Here are some ways to get them gone without putting your family in harm’s way with unnatural chemicals:

Soap and Water

Wait until dusk before attempting the eradication of yellow jackets (reference: pestkilled.com/how-to-get-rid-of-yellow-jackets/). This is when most of them are apt to be in the nest. If the nest is above ground, mix a generous amount of soap in water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Twist the nozzle onto it’s highest setting. Standing as far away from the nest as possible, coat the nest with the solution. This will weigh down their wings and bring about eventually suffocation.

For a nest in the ground, identify the entry points. Cover all but one. Pour the solution directly into entrance to the nest and stand back. You may see yellow jackets flying around the entrance for a period of time. You should notice a significant decrease in activity by the next day. Repeat the process the next evening and cover the last entry point with a rock. This will cause the colony to suffocate.

Build a Non-Toxic Wasp Trap

This is like a minnow trap, only instead of catching minnows, you will be catching potentially painful insects which can sting multiple times when agitated, so it’s important to do it right. Cut the top off a two liter bottle and coat the sides of the bottle with jelly or syrup. Fill it with soap and water and leave it in an affected area early in the morning. Yellow jackets with fly in for the sugar and get stuck, which causes eventual suffocation. WARNING!: Yellow jackets can use the bodies of other trapped yellow jackets as a means to escape. Replace the trap often to prevent this.

Eradication of an Underground Nest

With yellow jackets nest underground they always have more than one entry point. From a distance, watch the affected areas carefully to identify as many entry points as you can. Often, there are more than two. CAUTION: Do not attempt to drown yellow jackets by inserting a garden hose into one of the entry points and flushing them out. This could provoke an attack from the entire colony. Rather, once you have identified all of the entry points, cover each with a clear plastic bowl. This will trick the yellow jackets into believing that there is an escape, as the presence of light suggests an opening.

Yellow Jacket Prevention

Yellow jackets have been proven to believe what they see, and they are competitive with one another. They will not build a nest where one already resides. Take a large brown paper bag and crumble it up. Open the bag and suspend it from entry points in your home. Create a surrogate nest for each entry point. Yellow jackets will stay away.

To keep yellow jackets away from a gathering, put plates of cucumber at six or eight foot increments (one on each side of the table). Cucumber sends off an off-putting aroma that tells yellow jackets to stay away!

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Being Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient for the Benefit of Future Generations

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad or trend. It has become a mindset, especially for architects and developers. In recent years there has been an emphasis on being eco-friendly, low carbon footprint, and the use of renewable energy for the home and for buildings. For most home builders, this trend is no longer reversible, whether climate change is true or not. The trend is based mainly on common sense construction methods, which would result in long-term benefits to the home owner or building management.

A lot of the things being implemented nowadays are a step forward in an evolutionary process. Simple things like the orientation of the home, materials used, the location of glass windows, and others. On top of these, there are the other considerations, including using the natural environment to the fullest, like having trees strategically placed to provide shade and insulation, or the use of soil to insulate against the heat.

Added use of new technology helps a lot in creating an even smaller carbon footprint. These include solar water heaters, solar panels, photosensitive or photochromic laminated glass, as well as next generation on-building wind turbines, can lower heating and air conditioning costs and increase the energy generation for the building space.

Appliances can also be used to help lower electric bills. The latest generation of appliances make use of both passive and active energy saving methods and devices. Even simple appliances can all help lower electricity consumption like washing machines and dish washers, which use less water and detergent, as well as energy efficient refrigerators, freezers, ovens, as well as the best rice cookers. Check out this site to see you better options.

Home gadgets reviews usually have a detailed specification for the appliance which not only include features and benefits, and comparisons, but also an in-depth study of the power consumption, and cost of ownership. These are the things, which a buyer would want to know. These also happen to be the same things a builder would want to know. Builders, contractors, developers, architects and engineers are deeply invested in the total energy cost of a house or building. In addition to thinking in terms of what the future owners would want to have in their home, these people make it their business to ensure that they construct a house or structure which is future proof.

Ultimately, the aim is still the so-called smart home. However, developers and planners are not too intent to push design to incorporate the features of something like a future home. Rather, they make sure that the home is affordable, with current technology, but with provisions for future improvements. Energy efficiency, for instance is not a static goal. What is energy efficient now, might not be enough in the near future.

Provisions for a future home, today, would include pipes for future cabling; walls which would allow better WiFi reception; multi-access to electrical outlets where part of the power comes from home generated electricity; charging facilities for hybrid or electric cars; as well as space for a home network or file server which would also monitor the home power consumption and security.

In many ways, being eco-friendly really means that you might be living today, but you make sure that your habits and creature comforts would benefit a lot of people in the future.

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Constructing a CrossFit Box at Home

Over the past eight weeks I have been helping a close friend construct a brand-new garage on the side of his house. This is no ordinary garage designed to store household items and vehicles. This garage is going to be a workout building for a small group of dedicated CrossFit fanatics.

My good friend Martin has been attending CrossFit training for the past two years, but the Box (gym), has recently relocated to the other side of the city, giving Martin a very long journey every time he wants to workout.

I suggested that a more practical solution would be to build a garage on the side of his house and install a range of workout equipment, saving time and money.

To get an idea of what is required to build a CrossFit Box I attended one of the sessions two months ago and quickly realized a CrossFit Box is very minimalistic. I have attended a number of regular gyms in the past and I imagined the design was going to be the same; however the Box is really just a concrete room with a range of workout equipment, so building a similar room should be fairly simple.

When designing a building it’s important to understand the function, and in this case, keep in mind the number of people that will be using the Box at any given time. This design is going to be created for a group of six people, so we intend to have three to six pieces of each equipment. This will ensure everyone can workout at the same time and avoid waiting for equipment to become available.

The garage is a standard design with a concrete floor, four bay windows, a push button door and a roof that matches the house’s roof. Inside the new garage is where it becomes more interesting, with a range of grounded workout equipment designed just for CrossFit.

The priority equipment list includes:

A power rack — This is attached to the left-hand side wall and we also drilled it into the floor. In total there are six power racks, as these units can be used for a number of different workouts including weightlifting, bench training and pull ups, to name a few.

Squat boxes — Again we opted for six in total, as some of the WODs require a fair amount of Box use by everyone in attendance.

Glute Ham Developer — This is an optional addition to anybody’s gym, but we only purchased three, mainly to save money.

Additional equipment list includes:

Medicine balls — We purchased six in total, as they are also used frequently in WODs.

Kettlebells — A range of kettlebells were required in a number of different weight classes, and we built a storage station for safety.

Once all the equipment was installed we added padding to the bare floor space and the only other addition was a chalkboard attached to the back wall. We also hired an electrician to install a tablet for tracking the progress of each athlete.

The project took a total of 12 weeks including planning, applications and a few construction material delays, but it was worth the effort once finished.

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Tips to Travel in an Eco-Friendly Way

Travel broadens the mind, but unfortunately far too many narrow-minded travelers don’t consider the consequences of their traveling. Conventional tourism often has negative effects on the local economies, cultures, and environments that are visited. How many times have you been to a touristy beach and seen it strewn with litter?

Even worse are the people who actively seek out ‘new’ and ‘undiscovered’ places, but make no effort to try and conserve and maintain these places in their original condition. They reap the joys of visiting a pristine, untouched area, and then quickly work to degrade that area. For example, I was once at a relatively secluded waterfall in a South American country. I was with a local guide who was also leading a couple of other tourists. One of the other tourists literally said something along the lines of ‘God, I’ve never seen a place so untouched by people’ – after which he promptly just casually put his water bottle on the floor and left it there.

While I’m not comparing my readers to that particularly unconscientiously tourist, there are many conventional/common tourist habits that aren’t conducive to conservation, both in the environmental and cultural sense. Here are some basic tips to help you make sure you’re travelling in an ethical and sustainable way.

While air travel is sometimes unavoidable, you should always seek to minimize it. It’s by far the most damaging way to get around. Trains are a much better option, particularly if you’re travelling from city to city (rather than internationally). While driving is better than flying, it’s also not ideal. I’ll list out the environmental-friendliness of each transportation method here: Walking & Cycling > Trains & Buses > Boats (this can have a negative effect on marine life) > Driving a Motorcycle > Driving a Car > Air Travel.
It’s not just the method of transportation that can damage the environment. Many common tourist activities are also pretty bad for the planet when you consider just how many tourists participate each year. Have you ever ridden an All-Terrain Vehicle? These use gas, which comes from carbon, which contributes to global warming. You can also disturb and damage the ‘terrain’ you’re in. Same thing for boat trips, jet skis, and all sorts of other things. Basically, if you’re riding around on a vehicle that’s powered by gasoline, it’s not going to be good for the environment.

Consider alternatives to these carbon producing activities. For example, rather than riding an ATV through the jungle, go on a hike instead. Not only is it more ethical, it’s also healthier. Rather than riding around on a jet-ski, consider swimming or snorkeling. Here’s a list of ideas and tips to help you travel in a more sustainable way.

• Horseback riding – this can be a ton of fun, and you can learn a new skill along the way. Humans have been riding horses for thousands of years, so it’s not unnatural or inhumane to do so. Here is an . You can even find specific places where this activity is available.
• Try rockhounding – this is a less well known activity that can fun and informative. Rocks and stones are also one of the few things you can safely take out of the environment without damaging it (as long as you’re not taking away huge quantities of rocks). Who knows, you might even find something valuable – if you manage to find an unusual looking stone, you can look it up on this chart
• Hiking/Camping is a fantastic alternative to staying at a hotel/lodge if you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Hotels, hostels, and inns that are located in places far from civilization are very taxing on the environment – they have to ferry supplies back and forth, have to lay wires for electricity, and have to build and do things in otherwise pristine areas. All these things are damaging. The less demand there is for this kind of lodging, the less of these kinds of place there will be. By camping rather than staying in jungle/mountain resort, you’re voting with your dollar. Here’s a pretty good resource that talks about this problem (amongst other things)
• Don’t feed the animals. Don’t interact with the animals. Don’t do anything to the animals. Anytime you do, you’re creating risk for both the local wildlife and people. Animals that are fed by tourist will start expecting to be fed when they see humans, and can get aggressive when they’re not. In general, when it comes to travelling responsibly in ‘natural environments’. You want to observe rather than interact. One great way to observe without disturbing the natural flora/fauna is to use binoculars. They can help you to really see the surrounding areas up close without being near enough to disturb them, and I consider them a pretty essential item in my travel pack. In fact, here’s a pretty comprehensive guide for buying binoculars. Watch the birds. Don’t feed the birds. Observe the monkeys. Don’t throw things at them. Don’t interact with the local wildlife unless it’s trying to eat you.

Hopefully this post has informed you a little bit and you’re inspired to try and travel in a more eco-friendly way going forward.

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Battling Mold Naturally: 5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Kill Mold

Ever since I’ve switched to the eco-friendly lifestyle and decided to give back to the environment, it has become a personal goal to find solutions to common problems that are both economically feasible and benign to Gaia. A household problem I’ve frequently come across, particularly when visiting the homes of friends who share a love for everything organic, is mold. It thrives on organic matter such as wood and cotton, and requires humidity for just a couple of days to start growing; mold can become more than a small nuisance if allowed to spread, causing serious health problems to those exposed to it. Many of my friends have found natural solutions to fighting mold, that don’t require the use of harmful chemicals such as borax and bleach. In fact, you will be surprised at how readily available some of these natural anti-mold materials are:

  • Vinegar: You can mix it with water to bring down its sharp smell, but if it you can tolerate it, it is best to use it unmixed. Pour it in a spray can and spray it on the mold affected area to kill the growth. Let it do its job for some hours after which you can scrub the neutralized mold using a brush. The strong smell of vinegar can also be reduced by pouring in it, a few essential oil drops. In any case, the smell won’t last for more than half a day and by the time you’re done with your household errands, it will be gone. According to research white vinegar can kill 82% of the mold spores, besides bacteria and viruses. Moreover, when sprayed on organic surfaces and dried, it will prevent mold from growing.
  • Solution of tea tree oil: This is one of the more expensive natural mold removers but it can work its magic with just two teaspoons of the stuff mixed with 2 cups of water! Spray this mixture onto the mold spores, do not rinse the area. This mold remover, too, has a strong smell which can take a few days to go away.
  • Water and citrus seed extract: This mold remover is odourless. Mix twenty drops of the extract with two cups of water and spray the mixture on the mold affected area but don’t rinse.
  • Baking soda: Combined either with a water/vinegar mixture or with pure water, this is an effective natural mold removal. Spray the mixture on the mold affected surface and let it sit for a while. Next, scrub the surface and wipe it with a slightly wet piece of cloth. It also acts as a disinfectant, and because of its mild nature, does not leave scent behind.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: 3% hydrogen peroxide sprayed from a bottle on the mold affected area and left for around ten minutes can kill the mold growing on it. Afterwards, scrub away the mold spore residue using a damp piece of cloth. It can also be combined with vinegar to yield a more effective mold combatant. Remember to store the solution in a dark cupboard since light can reduce its effectiveness.

Although you can use these techniques as your first line of defence, sometimes, the mold problem can get out of hand – consult Mold Remediation Experts in such an eventuality.

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Home Landscaping Tips

There are many reasons why you should landscape your around your home. For one, landscaping increases the overall appearance of your property. This in turn gives you something you smile and be proud about when you come home. It also increases the value of your home and makes it more attractive to potential buyers if you plan to sell it. However, even with the benefits of landscaping, many home owners are afraid to do it because of cost. So below, I’ll provide you with some tips to help you save money and enjoy your landscaping.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan: Put the idea you want on paper. Sketch it out and know exactly what you want before you start the process of buying, and putting parts down in place. Also, when you figure out exactly what you want, consider consulting with a landscaping expert. They can save you in the event that you don’t have the necessary know-how or tradesman experience. So, don’t build a deck, if you don’t know how to build a deck. Because you might just end up with a deck that’s unusable.
  2. Don’t forget comfort: A lot of people I know spend a lot of money on landscaping but they can’t really enjoy it. They can only enjoy behind the windows of their home. So get some outdoor upholstery and if trying to keep it clean is a major concern for you, I’d recommend bookmarking the website for Upholstery Cleaning Hub for tips on how to clean outdoor furniture and for their reviews on the
    best outdoor furniture cleaners.
  3. Consider Consultation: You don’t necessarily have to hire someone to help you with the entire design, however, paying a consultant $50-$150 for their advice and expertise can help you save a lot of money. They can let you know if what you’ve planned is possible, or might give you complications.
  4. Divide project into phases: Don’t buy everything you need instantly. Divide your project into phases and take on the project one piece at a time. This way, you won’t end up overwhelmed, and it’ll be much easier to keep track of and manage your money.
  5. Cheaper isn’t always better: Don’t be so bent on finding the best bargain in town for your landscaping project. For example, you can probably buy a pond at a department store for cheap. However, it might be beneficial to pay the extra buck in buying it from a specialty store. This is because they will be able to give you a lot of valuable insight and advice which you probably cannot get from a department store. A lot of specialty stores also provide you with money back guarantees to save you in an unfortunate event.
  6. Plan the timing of your purchases: The prices for various landscaping material changes with the seasons. For example, lumber will cost less in the winter months because of lower demands, so it’s a good idea to plan to buy your lumber in the winter months.
  7. Check catalogs and shop online: Shopping online and in specialty catalogs will save you big time in the long run. It allows you to price compare and get a good idea for the typical market pricing for various products.
  8. Be neighborly: Don’t be afraid of being friends with your neighbors because they might have tools that can help you save money. Also, you might have a neighbor who has a lot of landscaping experience. For example, a lot of my neighbors come to me for help quite frequently for landscaping advice.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on the road to saving tons of money on your home landscaping project.

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Water Damage Restoration Career

Almost 100% of the people who I speak to (who are considering a career in the construction/building industry) aim for one of the following career options: Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical or Landscaping. These trades are great options, however they make up less than a quarter of the available career options in the building industry.

If you’re considering a career change within the building industry, here is a job which is often an unknown option, even though it’s one of the most lucrative contracting positions available: water damage restoration.

As long as water disasters continue to occur, water damage restoration specialists will be needed to help restore water-damaged buildings.

It’s a rewarding and respectful career that you can be proud of (and that also involves lots of variety). You will always be thanked for your hard work as you help to restore the homes, businesses and possessions that others need and value.

Job Description

As a water damage restoration specialist, you’ll be drying out and repairing the homes and businesses that have been flooded for some reason. These places can become flooded due to natural disasters (e.g. flash floods or heavy rain) or because of plumbing problems (e.g. a burst pipe system or an overflowing bath). What’s more, you’ll help restore your clients most important and valued possessions: photos, documents and antique furniture.

Your job functions may include:

  • Plumbing Emergencies
  • Working With Insurance Companies
  • Water Extraction Techniques
  • Inspecting and Determining Water Damage
  • Drying Rooms
  • Cleaning
  • Repairs

A Profitable Career

A water damage restoration specialist is rarely without work for long, even if there aren’t any natural disasters. Plumbing problems often occur in homes and businesses that can cause serious floods, and knowledgeable professionals are needed in these situations.

Overall, the water damage industry is very high paying, and there are low levels of competition in most markets. The CS WaterPros (who are a water damage restoration company from Melbourne, Australia) say that “They are flooded with work”, year round. Many businesses and homeowners have insurance to cover the costs of the damage caused by flooding, so price negotiation is rarely an issue.

Independent or Employed

After you’ve gained the knowledge and experience needed to be a proficient water damage restoration contractor, you can decide to continue under a company or your own business. There are additional things to consider if you ever decide to have your own restoration business:

  • Aside from having the knowledge and ability, you’ll also need the equipment and a reliable team of employees.
  • Whether you choose to remain employed or to branch out on your own, there will be work to do.
  • Having business insurance and bookkeeping are necessary costs as always when starting your own business.

Advanced Techniques

Few people realize that water damage restoration professionals sometimes use technologically advanced equipment such as:

  • Advanced drying techniques such as freezer, vacuum freezer drying and vacuum thermal drying, and;
  • Thermal imaging as a way to better assess the severity of the moisture.

Training

College time usually isn’t mandatory for those who wish to get started as a water damage restoration specialist.

A high school education and a willingness to follow instructions while at work will eventually enable you to become an expert, however, there are plenty of vocational schools available that teach about other, related subjects (which are very helpful when doing water damage restoration work)

Knowledge in plumbing, carpentry and electronics will come in handy and will also make you a more valuable employee: any water damage restoration company would be eager to hire someone with additional skills that they know will be helpful.

So how does that sounds for a career choice? Another great point to consider is that you can always change careers: after working for a few years as a water damage restoration specialist, you’ll have built up a number of other relevant skills which are transferrable into the construction, cleaning and plumbing industries.

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Sewer Pipe Replacement: The Traditional Method vs. Pipe Relining

It’s quite common for landscapers to have to coordinate work schedules with other trades, and the most common being the plumber!

Back in the good old days, you would have to wait days, sometimes weeks for plumbers to work on underground lines such as sewer pipes. Things have changed dramatically since then and these plumbers have become very fast at what they do. One reason for this is a new innovation in the plumbing industry: Pipe relining.

A major blockage or problems with the drains, sewage, or plumbing is certain to be quite frustrating and costly – If repairs aren’t completed immediately, a property owner is likely to experience the serious issue of sewer water leaking or flooding their property grounds. A plumber relying on the more traditional techniques may leave the property in a state of disrepair due to digging extensive holes which are required to reach the damaged piping.Enter pipe relining – a less destructive option which solves this headache. This process completely avoids the need to use the traditional and destructive methods of digging up the old sewer or plumbing line to repair.

Certain plumbers are now specializing in pipe-relining over other forms of plumbing as demand is growing extremely fast for this service. Sydney company Pipe Relining Experts company are one such example; they focus on one thing: pipe relining, and nothing else!

There are several benefits that relate to using the pipe relining method over the more old-fashioned option of pipeline replacement:

Minimal Property Damage

A major advantage of the pipe relining technique is the ability to avoid most of the landscape and property damage that comes from using the traditional method. A traditional sewer pipe repair can be a messy process and has the potential to leave the homeowner with a very expensive bill and a long recovery process. By using the pipe relining technique (which doesn’t require the pipe trenches to be dug) there is much less damage to the grounds, pathways, driveways, and all-round landscape.

It’s Cost Effective

Similar to any major repairs completed around the home, you should make sure you get multiple quotes to get a better idea of what is available in the market. Having sewer and plumbing issues repaired can be an expensive process, however by avoiding the traditional method of digging up the garden it’s possible to get the repairs completed at a more affordable rate. Pipe relining is usually the most cost-effective option in any industry – whether it be domestic, commercial or industrial. A trench-less repair has the potential to cost a fraction of the price associated with the traditional method. The chance to save comes from two areas mostly: The actual pipe repair work, and relaying the landscape.

It’s Longer Lasting

A further great benefit of using the pipe relining technique is the ability to extend the life-cycle of the original sewer or pipe work. The pipe relining method will make sure the sewer line is more durable for the foreseeable future. This means the repair work will likely last longer compared to the customary digging and replacing method, 9 times out of 10. Since there is a great return on the initial investment resulting in a  far more durable repair, more and more property owners are now starting to favour the use of the trench-less repair system. The high strength of these repairs many of the relining installations come with 10 year warranties on the completed work – you can’t argue with that!


Pipe relining technology continues to advance, which means these methods will get more effective at repairing damaged sewer lines, and reduce the curing cycles and installation times – not to mention the costs! Next time you are in need of any type of sewer line work, ask your contractor if Pipe relining is a viable option.

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Is It Time To Upgrade To A Green Wardrobe?

Just like purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle and changing your light bulbs to something more energy efficient, buying clothing shouldn’t be overlooked.  There are some easy guidelines to follow and after this article you will be able to spot green clothing from a mile away.  As technology increases, many more companies are making the switch which is refreshing to see.  Let’s look at some of the factors that make eco-friendly clothing help the environment.

Natural Fibers vs. Synthetic Fibers

Checking the tag on the clothing or getting the material list off of the website you are purchasing your clothing from is the first step to understanding the clothing your about to purchase.  There will be two types of fibers that will see predominantly on the market.  The first being natural fibers like organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp.  These take less energy to produce and natural fibers that are organic will not have deadly pesticides used on them.  Some of the newer movements include using plastic bottles and recycled rubber to make shoes while others are using corn husks to make clothing.

The second type of fiber we will talk about is synthetic fibers.  Not all synthetic fibers are good for the environment and most are made from petroleum products.  This of course leads to more pollution during production, releasing chemicals into the air.  Most men’s active wear is made from synthetic materials which should be investigated before buying.  Another key thing to remember is to check if the fabric has been dyed with a chemical or an organic dye like coffee or tea.  Many more companies are using a “low impact die” to keep pollutants down and their customers healthy.

Caring For The Clothing You Already Have

Your clothing is still using energy on a regular basis and you may not even recognize it.  Ask yourself how many times a week you run your washer machine to clean your clothes?  In bigger households it could be ran on a regular basis.  If you are unable to cut down on how many loads of laundry you need to do a week then getting Energy Star appliances are the best solution to reducing your footprint.  If you can, be conscious about wearing your clothing.  If you only had a pair of pants on for a couple of hours while lounging around the house, put the pants back in the closet instead of the hamper.

If you have a back yard and are able to install a clothes line you will be able to save energy and money on your electric bill.  Letting mother nature air dry your clothing is one of the best ways to save the environment and your clothing will last longer.  If you have clothing that no longer fits, a great way to make sure your clothing is still used is to have a yard sale or donate it to someone else in need.  One man’s junk is usually another man’s treasure.

If you have clothing that is too worn out to even give away then a good use is to turn some of your clothing into rags or dust clothes.  Also there are tutorials on the internet on how to convert your old clothing into everything from backpacks to women’s or men’s clothing if you have some time on your hands and some sewing skills.  If you are on a budget and you can’t get green clothing, get quality clothing that will last longer.  The first step to improving our earths condition comes down to you and your decisions.  Doing one small thing at a time can make a huge impact on our environment.

 

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