Livingston Reporting - page 277

Windows with Blinds between the Glass: Weighing Replacement Window Options

Buying replacement windows is hard now days. There aren’t only so many brands to choose from but options that exist within the windows themselves are overwhelming. The newest feature in replacement windows is blinds that are built in. They also bombard us with choices between different styles of shades that can be placed within the glass. In just a few years the choices have gone from single to double pane to about a hundred different combination of windows and blinds.

Windows with the blinds built directly in them aren’t only for people who can afford extra luxuries anymore. They are now reasonably priced. When you price out windows without the built in blinds along with what window treatments it comes out almost dead even. As with any window and window treatment there are certain advantages and disadvantages. It is always the best option to take into consideration your wants and needs to determine if the product is correct for you.

Advantages of replacement windows with the blinds built in:

Windows with blinds encased between the glass are better for people with severe dust allergies because the dust isn’t landing on the blinds and allowed to build up. Instead the dust that would be collecting on the mini blinds is falling to the floor and able to be swept up.

• The cords are also built in between the glass so there is no chance that your pets and children can get caught up in them and strangled.

• The blinds are encased so they don’t endure the same build up of dirt and dust that typical mini blinds do.

• They are easier to keep clean because the dirt and dust does not get trapped leaving a thick grime to remove.

• A house with little kids and pets tend to bend typical plastic mini blinds. This is not possible with replacement windows that have blinds encased within them.

• Windows that have the blinds built in tend to have a sleeker, classy look to them. They defiantly add value and curb appeal to your home.

Disadvantages of replacement windows with the blinds built in:

• They are more expensive than typical replacement windows. This being said compare the cost of new windows and window treatments to the cost of windows with blinds built inside of them.

• Most companies only offer their own selection of blinds to use. You might not be able to match your décor which for some people is a make or break deal. Make sure to check out the company’s options if this is something that is important to you.

• Another disadvantage is that when you do change the blinds out you will need help. You need to actually take out the inside pain of glass and switch the blinds out so be prepared to have an extra set of hands on hand when attempting this.

Make sure you weigh out all the advantages and disadvantages of whatever replacement windows you are choosing between. Be sure to check out the different companies that make windows with blinds inside them. Do a cost analysis on the replacement window and window treatments to do a fair price analysis against the windows with shades built in. Also consider all of the pros and cons of each design you are considering so that in the end your final decision has put all options into proper perspective.

Windows with Blinds: Childproofing your home

Childproofing your home is such an important step in becoming a new parent. Many people don’t realize what needs to get done before their infant starts getting around. Most new parents are more worried about their child being abducted than worrying about the hazards that come from within their home. What they don’t realize is that there is a greater chance of getting injured at home than being harmed by a stranger.

Statistics show that millions of children each year are rushed to the emergency room with involved in an accident that could have been prevented if their home environment was childproofed correctly. Five thousand children die each year because of an accident that takes place within the home environment. The most complete childproofing jobs are done by hiring a professional. If you choose to childproof your own home on your own avoid mistakes by going room to room. The best way to save a child is to become one. Look at the hazards from their eye level.

In General:

• Do you have windows with blinds? Are the blind cords left loose? Make sure with all blinds that you use hardware to tie the cords where children can not pull on them causing the blind to fall on top of them. Worse yet if cords are left loose they are more apt to cause strangulation. Make sure that beds and chairs are kept far away from blinds. If a child goes to peer out and gets their head caught in the blinds this could cause strangulation.

• Outlet covers should be installed on all outlets. Don’t assume because an outlet is covered by a piece of furniture that it isn’t important. If you move the furniture and forget about the outlet you could end up having a child electrocute themselves.

• Any cord that is left loose is a potential safety hazard. Make sure you zip tie any loose cords and secure them. This will prevent kids from chewing on them or playing with them.

• Make sure smoke detectors are in working order and installed throughout the home. As soon as your child is able to understand start teaching them about fire safety and how to react in an emergency. They could potentially save your life one day. It is never too early to start and each year is a good chance to reinforce the concept when you change the smoke detectors batteries.

• Something most people forget about is door knobs. They sell covers now that don’t allow anyone to open the door without being able to maneuver the cover. This is especially helpful in preventing falls down stairs and escape artists. Children love the outside and will attempt to find their way out with or without you. Door knob covers make this feat harder.

• Curtains should also be looked at. Make sure you do not have any long tassels that could get caught around a child’s neck.

• When using safety gates make sure that they are properly installed. If you are using a gate at the top of a stairway make sure it is the type that screws into a stud to prevent it from coming loose. Children will lean on these gates so make sure yours isn’t going anywhere so that your child doesn’t fall down the stairs.

• Water is another source people often forget. Not only do you have to worry about drowning but also water temperature. Make sure your water heater is kept within the recommended temperature range to prevent burns.

This is a very generic list. It should make you stop and realize that many common household items can be potentially deadly to your child. Something as simple as windows with blinds can lead to the death of a child. Childproofing is not a one day job. Be sure to always be on the lookout for hidden danger within your home.

Carpet Cleaning: Tips to Help Keep Your Carpet Clean

Floor coverings are the ambience producers in homes today. Whether you have wood, tile or carpet floor coverings it is crucial to keep them clean. Carpet cleaning is by far the trickiest of the three floor coverings to clean. It is imperative that a professional be contracted for carpet cleaning. If done incorrectly you could end up with mold, browning or even delaminating carpet. If any of these happen to your carpet you will end up spending a tremendous amount of money to replace the carpet. This article will provide homeowners basic tips on keeping their carpet clean in between cleanings.

Tips in keeping your homes carpet in tip top shape:

• No Shoes Allowed: To keep your carpets in the best shape possible don’t allow people to wear their shoes in your home. Make it completely obvious that guests should leave their shoes at the door. Provide an area for people to sit to remove shoes and a storage place for shoes.

• Use Mats: Use door mats at all entrances and exits of your home. Feet bring in much of the dirt and dust that penetrate homes. It is important to make sure the mats get vacuumed as much as the carpet. They will be catching a good portion of the allergens that will be entering your home.

• Wash Feet: If children have been playing outside with bare feet or flip flops offer them a wash cloth to scrub the bottoms of their feet. Feet that have been in flip flops all day will naturally collect dirt. To ensure you keep your carpets as clean as possible you will need to keep your feet clean.

• Employ Runners: In high traffic areas covering them with a carpet runner will protect them from the everyday wear and tear they naturally receive. Another suggestion is to use 5×7 area rug in areas that are used a lot. This can be especially useful in living rooms where children might be having snacks and drinks while watching a movie. Spills will be less traumatic on an easy to clean area rug instead of cleaning the entire carpet.

• Vacuum: It is imperative to maintain the original look and feel of the carpet. Vacuuming can do this for your home. If you vacuum frequently it will suck up dirt and containments before they can get lodged deep in the carpet. Vacuuming also keeps the carpet from lying down. This is extra important in plush and frieze style carpets.

• Spot Clean: When something does spill or your child colors with green marker on your carpet attack the spot immediately. Do not saturate the carpet with cleaning supplies or water. Simply take a damp white cloth and blot the area. Do not rub this will just allow the stain to soak further into the carpet and padding. Doing this over and over will eventually lift the stain. If cleaning up urine make sure to also blot with white vinegar to detract from future accidents.

Following these tips will length the time between carpet cleanings. If you live alone and there isn’t much traffic on your carpet you might be able to stretch out the cleaning times. The same is true the opposite way. If you have many guests and your traffic flow is high in your home you will want to clean your carpets more frequently. The average time professional carpet cleaners suggest between carpet cleanings is 18 months. Be the judge in your home although don’t wait until the dirt is obvious by then some stains might be permanent.

Tile Cleaning: Keeping Restrooms Clean Equals Keeping Customers

Walking into a restaurant bathroom and seeing complete and utter chaos does not make your meal look too appetizing does it. If a restaurant can’t keep the bathroom tile clean how clean can they possible keep the kitchen that is cooking the patron’s meals? The same thing goes with retail establishments that leave paper towel hanging over the trashes and toilet paper rolls in disarray. These businesses expect consumers to pay top dollar for clothing and home goods. Businesses need to take into account the way their bathrooms look and make sure they represent the overall atmosphere they want to present to their customers. Keeping a bathroom clean from cleaning the tile to scrubbing the toilets is not that difficult and should be something all business owners account for in their budget. It is imperative to present a clean, organized and sanitized public restroom to provide a consumer with a sense of goodwill. Here are some general tips to keeping public restroom facilities up to consumer par.

1) Repetition: This is the key in keeping order in a restroom. Business owners need to have staff members scheduled at least every hour to check things like paper towels, toilet paper, soap and general cleanliness. They should address any issue that makes the area look unkempt.

2) Natural Products: Using overly scented products leaves an unpleasant odor to restrooms. Products that contain a neutral smell will be more pleasing to the majority of consumers and will not interfere with smells that exist already in your business. This is especially true in a restaurant setting.
• Borax: Leave in a toilet bowel overnight and stains and germs can easily be wiped away.
• Car Wax: Helps remove deposits of soap grime in tubs sinks.
• Vinegar and Water: Used together are the best tile cleaners ever. If you want tile cleaning to be quick and effective mix a gallon of water with a cup of vinegar. Mop the solution on the floor and you will have sanitized tile that sparkles.
• Hydrogen Peroxide and Water: Together this combination eliminates mold growth.

3) Use an Exhaust Fan: Exhaust fans circulate air and keep the bathroom area free of moisture build up. This is important to keep allergens, such as mold, from forming.

4) Empty Trashes: It is important to make sure bathroom trashes are emptied twice a day. Make sure employees know that if the trash is full before the two hours is up they are responsible for empting it.

5) Windex Mirrors: Mirrors are the number one thing that draws women into the restroom. Make sure that consumers can actually see themselves in yours. Mirrors should be cleaned at every other restroom check. Every two hours should be sufficient unless a lot of traffic has come through.

As you can see there isn’t much to keeping a restroom neat and tidy for your customers. Really all of these steps can be done in a matter of minutes each day. Clean tiles, toilets and mirrors can really help to retain customers and keep goodwill for your company. Something this simple can either bring a customer back or make them run for the hills. Make sure your company is doing what it needs to do to hold on to valuable customers.

Window Cleaning: It is Easier to Hire a Professional

Cleaning windows is the most exhausting job ever. You clean them and the next thing you know the sun is shining through your windows showing each and every streak you have created. When I clean windows it basically means I move the dirt, grime, bugs and such around. I think I have done a good job. When I stand back to look at my clean windows I realize it is always better to call in the professionals. I have come to a conclusion that I wouldn’t operate on a person because I am not a surgeon. I am not a window cleaner so I should not wash windows.

There is a technique that window washers use that I just can’t master. I have tried Windex with paper towel, Windex with newspaper and a squeegee with soap and water. None of which have produced streak free windows. How is it that professionals are able to get windows so clean and streak free? Speaking with professional window cleaners I have found they follow some specific tips in cleaning windows making their clients windows crystal clear.

Follow these tips to try to recreate a professional window cleaning job. Or you can do what I do and call the professionals. I know now that I won’t ever waste my time trying to clean windows myself ever again. Leave what you cannot do well to the professional. That is my new motto.

Tips from Professional Window Cleaners:

• Invest in quality materials. Measure your windows and use equipment specific for the size of your window. Smaller windows require a small squeegee and a large squeegee is needed for larger windows. It is also important to spend the extra money to get quality products. Quality materials will save time and aggravation during the window cleaning process.

• Don’t wash windows in the direct sunlight. The sunlight will cause it to dry before you’re able to remove the cleaning solution causing those dreaded streaks.

• If you use paper towel or newspaper to wipe up left over drip page and your squeegees make sure to keep the materials dry. If the paper towel becomes damp get a new one.

• If you work the squeegee on an angle instead of straight up and down or side to side you will be less likely to have streaks on your windows.

• Do the inside windows first. Dirt collects on the outside of windows which will leave your cleaning materials dirty. This is why professionals always start on the inside.

If you follow all of these steps and still end up with windows that leave you wanting better call the professional. Not only will hiring a professional save you time but also the stress and hassle of doing this difficult job yourself. Professionals also take the time to clean the screens. Clean windows with dirty screens leave much to be desired. If you can’t see out of the window because of dirty screens what is the benefit of having clean windows? Professionals also do a thorough job of cleaning the inside of the sill and track which alleviates the probability of windows sticking from the gunk that tends to build up over time.

Cleaning windows is one job I like to leave to the professionals. The extra expense saves both time and stress that would be caused from cleaning the windows on my own. I know the old saying practice makes perfect and I do believe that in most circumstances this is true. I have tried and tried again and have yet to master the technique of window cleaning. I have decided to leave this up to the professionals. Good luck on your window cleaning journey. If window washing frustration finds its way into your life do what I do and call the pros.

Family Dentists: Making the Trip to the Dentist

Not everyone loves going to the dentist. I know some of you may find this strange but really there are people you dread sitting in that chair and having their teeth cleaned. Often the dreaded dentist asks you a billion questions about your bleeding gums and flossing habits. Who wants to lie to them, not me? The dentist doesn’t have to be a dreadful place. In fact, many offices now specialize in techniques that allow patients to fully relax. Patients can watch TV, listen to music, or enjoy incense all in the name of getting people back into the dentist. Starting good habits when a person is young is key. If you grow up knowing it is a necessary step in your health you will be more apt to continue on the road to a healthy lifestyle. What ever your excuse now is the time to get in. Dentists can tell so much about your health from the state of your mouth. It is as important as a yearly physical. Below are some tips for healthy teeth. Follow these and going to the dentist will soon become less of a chore and instead be something you look forward to.

The first suggestion I have is fairly easy. Go to the store and purchase that kid friendly mouthwash. It has the ability to stain the areas on your teeth that have plaque build up. This is a great tool to begin with. You will want to brush and floss your teeth and again rinse with the mouthwash. You should see big improvement. Everyday it is important to try and keep up a routine where you brush and floss at least once a day, two times is even more favorable and recommended by most family dentists.

Another tip is to purchase a timer. Dentists recommend brushing for a full 2 minutes. This can seem like an eternity so it is best to have a way to measure the time so that you don’t skip out on valuable minutes each day. Four minutes a day is really only such a small fraction of your day and it could save you hours in the dentist’s office later.

Don’t brush too hard. That only leads to gum bleeding. Over brushing causes serious gum issues so just be consistent. A moderate brushing twice a day will sufficient. Otherwise you will end up with gums that recede and become sensitive to brush.

If you know the dentist is a place of stress for you bring a friend. Sometimes having someone to talk with and keep you calm really helps ease the anxiety. Another option is to bring a fidget so that you can keep your mind occupies with something other then what is going on in your mouth.

Drink bottled water with a fluoride treatment in it and avoid eating too much sugar. Use products to brush your teeth that contain fluoride and other products to strength your teeth and build healthy gums. Remember to also see the dentist every six months and replace your tooth brush every three. All of this will ease any dental problems you may be concerned with and get you on the road to a healthy smile.

A dentist visit should be an experience that you leave feeling good about. Your family dentist will do everything they can to make the experience one that is more enjoyable so that your teeth stay health and you keep making repeat visits. Mention to them your issues and give the dentist the opportunity to fix the anxiety you are feeling. In the long run you will save time and money by keeping up on the health of your mouth.

Finding Good Computer Help

What do you do when your computer stops running and you need computer help? It is the equivalent of taking your car to the repair shop. When you aren’t educated on the issue needing repair you basically trust your belongings to a total stranger. They could tell you anything, for any price and you would have to decide to trust this person’s judgment or not. How do you begin to find reliable, trustworthy computer help in your area? Waiting until you absolutely need the help is the worst idea. It is better to arm yourself with this knowledge early because by the time you need it’s too late. You need your computer fixed tomorrow because you have a huge presentation due at work. It is saved on your laptop and it is too late to figure out who can help you. You need to be prepared with that information ahead of time.

My first bit of advice is to research and locate a computer store before you need computer help. It is easier to take your time when you don’t actually need the computer fixed. In a last minute bind you often settle for someone who is below par because you just don’t have another choice. I know you don’t think computer problems will ever happen to you because you have anti-virus protection, you use surge protectors and you update programs but trust me when I say if you have a computer at some point you will need computer help. Technology is not fool proof and it goes with out saying that at some point it will fail and you will be in a bind searching for a reputable repair shop.

Start by asking around who your friends use for their computer repairs. Word of mouth is how most companies stay in business. If a friend or acquaintance is willing to refer you to someone they use then chances are that they have had good service from the computer repair shop and so will you. You can look into organizations such as the better business bureau and the chamber of commerce. Places like these deal with local business and would be able to tell you if there are complaints against the computer repair shop you are looking to go to for computer help.

When you do start researching different computer stores look into their policies. You will want to get a feel for there rates for labor, diagnostics, methods of payments and turn around time. It is also beneficial to find out what type of repairs the computer shop specializes in and what type of certifications the staff holds. You will want to find a shop where the technicians have certifications and continued education that supports their computer knowledge.

Find a computer shop that gives you options on your repairs. Find out if they offer only new parts or are there options to repair with slightly used parts? Make sure when dealing with the computer shops staff you feel comfortable to ask questions. Make sure you understand the answers to your questions. The staff should be patient in explaining the nature of your computer problems. They should also be willing to show you the issues with your computer. Hopefully this article will help you seek out computer help that you feel comfortable with and that best fits with your needs.

Why Search Engine Placement Is Important for the Growth of your Business

Website buyers often question if they really need the extra expense of search engine placement. Simply put the answer is yes. In order to get your website viewed ahead of the competition you really need to keep your company marketed in everyway possible. Search engine placement is so important to any company’s online business marketing. This article will explain that in order to maximize your website and online marketing you should be using search engine placement.

Rankings are everything when it comes to getting your website viewed. Recent studies have showed that upwards of ninety percent of all website traffic comes through a search engine. Every time a product or service is needed and you don’t know where to turn what do you do? I know personally I go to the internet and Google it. Websites are so important but getting the people to your website is even more important.

The great thing about search engine placement is that clients are already interested in the product or service you are advertising. You wouldn’t go out searching washing machine repairs if I didn’t them. You want to make sure your repair shop is the first one I lay eyes on if I am searching for one. As a consumer in need of something I am most likely going to call on the first website that land in my search. If your site is not placed within the first ten you should basically consider yourself invisible on the web.

Search engine placement is an easy issue to understand. Resolving it is another thing. Hire a professional will ensure you are hitting the target and your site is getting the traffic it should be. When you hire a website developer they should take search engine placement into consideration as it is as important as the websites design. Getting people to view the site is so important trust the website developer to make it pretty and user friendly while also using search engine placement to get the website viewed.

People nowadays are going straight to the web for any and all information they need. Word of mouth will give you growth in business but it will not sustain your business for the long haul. Consumers need to be able to search for your services and your company by plugging in one or two word phrases online. Ranking with in the top ten sites for your industry will help you maximize travel to your site. The extra expenses will pay for themselves each month by the increase in traffic generated by the extra traffic you will experience. Your businesses growth depends on your search engine rankings. Take this into account as much if not more than the actual design of your website.

Quick Tips to Prevent House Fires

No one wants to ever enlist the help of fire restoration professionals. The only way to do this is to prevent a fire from starting in the first place. The process of fire restoration is long and tedious and will consume your life for months. Follow these quick tips to prevent a fire in your home so that you can avoid that time lost in your life.

First and most important have and test fire alarms in your home. This will prevent a fire from going unnoticed and hopefully prevent major damage if one does occur. Most professionals that deal with fire and fire safety insist on checking alarms at least twice a year. Do a practice a drill with your family to ensure that everyone in your home knows where they should be and what they should do in the event of a fire. Change the batteries twice a year also. It will alleviate the future 1AM wake up call of the alarm chirping for batteries and the search for them that follows.

Do not allow people to smoke in your home and don’t do it yourself. Many fires start from a smoker who has carelessly disposed of ashes and cigarettes improperly. If you do smoke and allow people to smoke in your home use common sense. Never leave a cigarette unattended. Properly dispose of the leftover ashes outside of your home in a container that is kept at a distance from your home.

Fireplaces are another area that is on the list of fire starters. Have a professional out to inspect your chimney and fireplace before the start of the fall season. Debris left in the flu can ignite causing a small fire to smolder and eventually cause a disaster. When removing the ash from the chimney ensure it has cooled. Never put a warm bucket of ashes on your deck thinking it will cool and be fine. My neighbor did this and came home to see smoke billowing out from all of their vents and the deck engulfed in flames. The bucket did nothing but conduct the heat causing the wood deck to catch on fire. Be careful with fireplaces and keep all matches high where children aren’t tempted to start a fire on their own.

Candles are another bid deal in preventing your home from catching fire. You should never leave candles unattended. Not even the ones inside glass containers. Be vigilant in extinguishing all lit flames in your home before you leave the room or go to bed. If you make this habit it is less likely you will ever accidently forget to blow a candle out before you leave you home.

Lint from your dryer vents needs to be regularly checked, cleaned and vacuumed out. It is recommended that the lint be removed after each load is finished and that you vacuum the dryer vent area out once a month to prevent a build up of lint.

When you are having a fire outside of your home it is important to make sure to keep the fire a safe distance from your home. When burning leaves or having a campfire it is important to make sure that the area is semi moist to alleviate the spreading of fire. It is important to keep brush and dry leaves cleared for your home. Dry brush will only help spread a fire if one happened to start. They are a perfect igniter.

Another biggie is that you never should leave the stove top unattended. Not only is it a fire hazard but it is also a safety hazard to children. When food is boiling it is easy for the pot to boil over. If anything in the pot is flammable and it boils over it will ignite a fire in your kitchen.

Keep space heaters away from curtains and at least three feet away from walls and other flammable materials. Make sure to turn off all space heaters when you leave the room or house. It is like a candle but instead of a flame you have a coil. I would recommend that space heaters not be used at all but if you have to use them be careful and use caution.

Last but not least I will leave you with this one final tip in preventing fires from destroying your home and your pocketbook. Use common sense whenever fire, flame and ashes are involved. Keep a fire extinguisher in your home just in case and be cautious at all times. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and fire can destroy it in minutes.

Getting Rid of Mold in the Home: Mold Removal

Mold is one of those words that send shivers down my spine. Mold isn’t a plant or an animal it is a fungi. In the proper environment mold will damage all types of materials. Prevention is the key aspect in getting mold in your home. Mold is hazardous in the home environment and is not easily removed. If it is too late for prevention you will need to take steps in proper removal. Be diligent not only about removing the mold but ensuring you have taken the proper steps for further mold infestations.

Molds are hazardous because they reproduce quickly. Spores get into the air and are hard to remove. When inhaled many mold spores can cause people to have respiratory issues. Other issues that mold causes are skin rashes and immune issues if exposed to for long periods of time. It is so important to remove and prevent mold in your home.

Preventing mold is fairly easy. It can be included in the regular maintenance of your home. Be on high alert for conditions that would lend themselves to the growth of mold. These situations can be as simple as a leaky faucet or as complicated as high humidity and condensation build up. Look for areas where mold is visible such as showers and tile for instance. Those are areas that attract mold. Keep areas clean with cleaner that is specially formulated to kill mold.

To properly clean mold that has made its way into your home the following tips are advised.

1) Eliminate Moisture: Clean and soak up as much of the water as you can. Hire a professional to come in with high powered fans and dehumidifiers.

2) Fix the Problem: Some issues are easier to spot than others. If you see mold growing in your attic it might take some research to find out how the moisture is getting in. You also need to find out why it is not being expelled correctly. However if the toilet leaks it is pretty obvious.

3) Clean Up: Start by wearing protective gear. Gloves, a face mask, long pants and a long shirt should keep you protected from minor mold cleanup. Make sure to use old clothing because you will want to throw it out after you are finished. Bring in the professionals if the area is too large. You may want to use a respirator.

4) Ventilate: Use a fan to circulate area outside. Make sure to open all windows and doors.

5) Cover and Turn Off: Turn off all air conditioners and heat sources. It would be best to close and cover all vents and ducts. Close the doors throughout the house to keep the airborne mold spores contained as much as possible.

6) Removal: All items that are porous should be removed and gotten rid of. Anything without a porous surface can be cleaned and kept.

7) Sanitize: Using a solution of 1 ½ cups of bleach to 1 gallon of boiling water to clean all areas. Let the solution set for about 15 minutes before wiping clean and rinsing.

8) Dry the Area: In order to make sure that the mold does not grow back you must make sure the entire area is thoroughly dried. Also, it is important to keep the area completely dry.

Prevention is the key to avoid having to remove mold in the first place. Maintenance and a watchful eye should avoid you from having to worry about major mold removal.