Tips On A Thorough Electrical Home Inspections And Home Testing


At various stages during construction, inspections must be performed by County staff to ensure the work has been done according to approved plans and building code requirements.

Schedule Inspections

Cancel or Reschedule Inspections

Obtain Inspection Results

Automated System for Plan Review Status and Comments

Inspections must be scheduled by 3 p.m. on the work day prior to the desired date of the inspection. When requesting information or scheduling inspections from the automated phone system, the system will ‘speak’ back to you and provide important information: the permit number, the site address, and the type of inspection.  Please listen to this information carefully for verification.

Residential One- and Two-Family (IRC) Inspections for construction of new dwelling units, additions, alterations, and basement finishing using the IRC code are in the Combination Inspection Program. The inspection codes for combination concealment (198) and combination final (199) are under the Building heading.

To Schedule an Inspection

On the Automated Phone System press three to schedule an inspection. When prompted, enter your 6 digit IVR Pin Number, and follow the instructions to enter the inspection code from the listing below. When requested, enter your telephone number.

To Cancel or Reschedule an Inspection

You may use the automated system to cancel inspections until midnight on the workday prior to the scheduled inspection day. On the Automated Phone System, press four to cancel or five to reschedule the inspection and follow the instructions. 


Why do you need an inspection?

Inspections are part of the approval process and are included in the permit price. Your permit is not complete until your work has passed all required inspections.

Inspectors verify that your completed work meets safety or approval standards and they can assist if you encounter problems with your project. Having permits approved and completed allows future buyers to verify that your work was inspected by The City

Remember, any work completed on your home is ultimately the owner’s responsibility. If you’re working with a contractor, setting your expectations at the beginning of the project in a written contract is a good way to protect your investment.

Please note that City inspections are different from third-party home inspections. We ensure the minimum safety standards of construction and installation are met. For information regarding third-party home inspections

Please ensure all applicable requirements are met prior to the inspection. Please note that the inspection process is dynamic and an inspection outcome depends on the construction method and site conditions at time of inspection. The information provided below is a general list of inspection requirements and is not an exhaustive list.

Inspection Services

In response to national, state, and city declarations of emergency, we are temporarily adjusting how we provide inspection services. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this time. For questions or concerns related to building inspection requests,

Building inspectors will not be performing the following in person inspections:

Any structure where a person is under self or medically ordered quarantine.

All occupied one- or two-family homes and townhouses:

All occupied commercial properties for:

Water heater change outs

HVAC change outs

Minor interior alterations, renovations additions, where the inspector will have to travel through or be in the occupied portion of building.

Boiler replacements

Remote Video Inspections may be possible for:

Basements, additions, remodels and tenant finishes of occupied building

Water heater change outs

HVAC change outs

Basement finish outs

Minor interior alterations, renovations additions, where the inspector will have to travel through or be in the occupied portion of the home.

Boiler replacements

Building inspection will continue to provide inspections for:

All commercial and residential construction projects that are not listed above, this includes but is not limited to:

All new construction

Tenant improvements or tenant finish outs

Interior alterations, renovations and additions where the inspector will not have to travel through or be in the occupied portion of the building.

Inspections necessary to maintain effective operations will be provided for all critical facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, Fire, Police, EOC, etc.

Inspections necessary to restore utility interruptions will be provided for essential utilities, such as electrical, gas, water and sewer services.

Inspections will be provided to address structural concerns resulting from incidents such as explosions, fires, vehicles hitting buildings, etc.

Exterior weatherization of building envelopes, such as roofs, veneer, cladding, windows, doors, etc.

Electrical Permits

The purpose of the electrical permit issuance and electrical inspections is to protect the health and safety of people and property from the danger of electrically caused shocks, fires and explosions; to establish a procedure for determining where and by whom electrical installations are to be made; and to ensure that the electrical installations and electrical products made and sold

The Building Codes Bureau provides an Electrical Information Pamphlet to assist in understanding the state electrical requirements. An electrical permit is required for any installation in any new construction, remodeling or repair, except as provided by Section

For information on permit requirements for alternative energy resources such as generators, solar panels, wind energy sources, etc. to power electrical installations or wired structures click here. State electrical permits are required on all electrical work performed

NOTE: Certified local governments may enforce the electrical code within their jurisdictional area. All other areas fall under the State’s jurisdiction. Contact the Building Codes Bureau or local government to determine which jurisdiction you are in.

A homeowner may wire his/her own home, garage and premises using a State homeowner’s electrical permit. Inspections are conducted by State Electrical Inspectors and permits are obtained from the bureau.

Intro To Residential Rough Inspection General

This Electrical Inspection Checklist: Residential Rough Inspection General is engineered to provide an compliant process to guide you in your safety inspections.

As a result of its frequent use, the residential home constitutes one of the more dangerous electrical locations. The sheer number of residential houses mean that fires or other problems resulting from poor wiring practices and other electrical faults pose a serious danger to the public.

The purpose of the residential rough inspection general is to begin to identify the key areas which require checking, and to make sure all electrical systems adhere to appropriate standards.

This process is editable and you can add or remove steps as you please. Each inspection-specific task contains the relevant section reference which applies to the action. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the standards before beginning any inspection.

As you work through the checklist, you will encounter form fields where you can enter information and notes in relation to each task. The checklist will save each entry and the data can be accessed from the overview tab on the left-hand column of your template overview

Some Home Inspection Tips For Buyers


You’ve been searching for the perfect home for weeks (or even months) and finally you found it.  The price was right, the home is in the school district that you wanted, and you can definitely picture your family living there for years to come.

The home inspection is one of the most important aspects to a real estate contract and should never be overlooked.  I’ve said it a thousand times and will probably say it a thousand more….Whether you’re buying a pre-existing home or new construction, ALWAYS get your own home inspection!

Negotiating Tip: Never talk about the plans or renovations that you have for the home to the listing agent or the seller.  This could effect negotiations with the initial price and repairs.


First of all, you will rarely find a home that is absolutely perfect and in need of no repairs.  I’ve come across 1 in 13 years, which means that the chances are good that when you go under contract on your next home, you will probably have to negotiate repairs with the seller.


Negotiating Tip: Your offer should be based on what you have seen outside of the home inspection.  The best policy is to address the issues of repairs after your inspection has been completed.  Because the inspection is a contingency, you are not bound to the contract if you and the seller can’t come to an agreement on repairs.

What a Home Inspector Will Look For

When you’re buying a home, it’s a good idea to have a professional home inspector look over the property. This home inspection checklist may help you and your inspector discover potential issues before you buy the house.

What to Look For: Exterior

When examining the exterior of a home, here are a few things to take a look at.


Make sure the chimney is straight and whole, with no missing bricks or mortar. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), you should also ask your home inspector to check the tightness of the flashing, which isthe sheet metal that prevents leaking at the point where the roof and chimney meet.


You’ll want the inspector to take a close look at the roof, but while you’re at the property, Bob Villa recommends examining the roof from a distance to see if the roofline is straight or if it dips in the middle.


Gutters should be clean, rust-free and attached securely to the house. Watch out for bending or sagging in the middle. Be sure to check that gutters are connected to a downspout that allows water to flow away from the house, says ASHI. Most importantly, they need to drain water into a downspout and away from the structure, according to ASHI.

House Surfaces

According to Zillow, you’ll want to note if the exterior of the home, including siding and paint, is in good shape or may repairs soon. Zillow also recommends checking for any loose boards or exposed wiring.

Windows and Doors

Look for decay or rot around the frames, advises Bob Villa. Make sure there’s no broken glass, that screens are not damaged and that windows and joints are sealed, caulked and insulated properly, says ASHI.


Make sure the home looks square from all sides with no leaning or sagging. ASHI recommends making sure there are no significant cracks and that insects cannot reach wood. And Zillow further recommends ensuring there are no trees or roots near the foundation.


Ask your inspector to look for any standing water, as this can be a common red flag for drainage issues or a septic tank issue. Look for tree branches that touch the house or loom above the roof. ASHI also recommends looking for large cracks in the driveway and walkways that may need repairs.

What to Look For: Interior

As you and the inspector move to the inside of the house, it’s a good idea to look at the following components.


Zillow recommends looking for signs of leaks, like decay or water stains. ASHI says  you should also check for signs of pests (nests, droppings, etc.).

Bedrooms, Living Room and Dining Room

According to ASHI, all floors, walls and ceilings should be stain-free and level. Test windows and doors to make sure they open and close easily and fit in frames squarely. Paint or other wall coverings should be in good shape. All electrical outlets should be covered and working properly. Check all the light switches to make sure they work.


ASHI recommends testing the water pressure in showers, sinks and toilets. It’s also a good idea to check to see if fixtures and tile are attached securely and that you don’t see signs of leaking or water damage. Your home inspector can help you ensure that everything’s installed correctly and working properly.

Reasons Why Buyers Should Be Present During Their Home Inspections

Buyers are understandably ecstatic when a seller accepts their offer, and they’re eager to move forward with the purchase. But before getting to the closing table, your buyers will have a home inspection and a home appraisal.

A home inspection isn’t required, but recommended. If a buyer agrees to an inspection, they can choose a certified home inspector to conduct a thorough examination of the property and check for any problems or hidden defects with the electrical, plumbing, appliances, HVAC system, roof, foundation, etc.

This is an important stage in the buying process. Without an inspection, buyers could potentially purchase a home that needs significant repairs. But even if your buyers agree to a home inspection, they may feel it’s unnecessary to be present during the inspection. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

They can ensure they’re getting their money’s worth

A home inspection is a non-invasive, yet thorough examination of a property. The process—which takes longer than a home appraisal—varies depending on the size of the property. Typically, these inspections take anywhere from two to four hours.

Your buyers may have secular and personal obligations, but it’s important for them to be present during the home inspection so they can ensure they’re getting their money’s worth. Buyers pay for these inspections out of their own funds, which can cost between $300 and $500. Therefore, an inspector shouldn’t rush through the process or only spend an hour inspecting a home that requires three hours to complete. By being present, buyers can shadow the inspector and check for thoroughness.

Inspectors can explain issues in-person

One benefit of being present during a home inspection is the opportunity to hear explanations directly from the inspector’s mouth. After the inspection, the inspector writes a detailed report about his findings. But sometimes, these reports can make issues seem more significant than they actually are. However, if a buyer is present and talks to the inspector, the inspector can ease some of his concerns.

Covered Home Buying Guide – Navigating a Home Inspection

Now that you’ve found your dream home, it’s time to get a home inspection done! A detailed home inspection will provide you with not only a list of problems or potential problems the home may have, but also a comprehensive assessment of the home’s systems that can help you with future upkeep or with setting budgets for future replacements. Of course, it always feels good to understand what you’re buying as well — especially when it will be your family home.

Research the Home Inspector or Home Inspection Company

It’s important that you’re comfortable with your chosen home inspector. The home inspection is your primary protection against buying a lemon and can be an ally who can help you understand all those gizmos and doodads that make a house work.

●      Choose someone who wants you present for the inspection. If an inspector doesn’t want you present for the inspection, that is a red flag, and you should place inquiries with other home inspectors.

●      Ask for a sample report. This will give you an idea of the type of detail you can expect.

●      Check review sites. Websites like Yelp, Google Maps, and Angie’s list can be good places to get a feel for the experiences others have had with a home inspector.

●      Better yet, get a recommendation. If you know someone who recently used a home inspector, ask who they used and if they were pleased. Asking for advice from your friends and neighbors on NextDoor can also be a great source for these and other recommendations.

●      Verify experience, certifications, licenses, and insurance. Much of what you’ll want to know will be on the home inspector’s website. If not, don’t be afraid to ask. You’re the customer, and these are questions they should be used to answering on a regular basis.

●      Understand costs before you commit. Is there an extra fee for inspecting wells, septic systems, detached buildings, or foundation issues? Even if these items are “extras’ you may still choose that inspection company if you feel they are the best choice — but it’s always good to know about any extra fees before the inspection.

Prices for a home inspection typically range between $200 to $500 and average just over $300. If your inspection is quoted significantly higher (or lower), ask why.

Attend the Home Inspection

Home inspections tend to be thorough, but are often glossed over by busy homebuyers. Being present for the home inspection gives context to the details on the report. Your inspector may even discuss some aspects of the home’s condition while you’re at the inspection, helping you to understand important report details.


A home inspector is an invaluable asset for protecting yourself and your investment. For buyers new to the area and those trying to facilitate a purchase from thousands of miles away, the idea of a home inspection can be daunting. Still, regardless of the hassle, it’s 100 percent worth it.

Start by Choosing Carefully

When you’re looking for an accurate assessment of the condition of the home you’re interested in, taking the time to research and choose a reputable home inspector is key. It isn’t that there are a lot of shady inspectors, but it is common to find that many of them have associations and connections to real estate agencies. What you really want is an unbiased opinion.

Know What They’re Looking For

A reputable home inspector is going to leave no stone unturned in assessing the condition of the property. Still, it’s a good idea to sit down with them and get a clear picture of all their checkpoints and bring up specific areas of concern that you might have. Along with noticing the obvious, a key role of professional home inspectors is to identify problems that could turn into bigger issues later down the road.

The Bottom Line

With all the amazing houses for sale here, there’s no reason to settle for anything that’s subpar. A professional will provide you with an inspections report that lets you feel comfortable and confident about your island home

Tax Preparation Services May Now Become Necessary

What Should Be On Your Tax Preparation Checklist?

Why should I use a tax prep checklist?

Even if you’re having a professional tax preparer complete your tax return, a tax prep checklist can definitely come in handy. Using a checklist will help ensure you have all the information and documents needed to file.

You’ll need to gather forms and documents that fall into the following categories:

  • Personal information
  • General income
  • State & local taxes or sales tax
  • Homeowner/Renter information
  • Medical expense & health insurance
  • Education expenses
  • Childcare expenses
  • Retirement expenses
  • Charitable donations
  • Alimony paid
  • Federally declared disaster
  • Tax preparation

Aside from helping you organize your documents and forms, tax prep checklists will also help get you in the right frame of mind to start filing. Kick procrastination to the curb by using your own tax prep checklist.

How should I use this checklist?

Move down the list slowly, finding documents you need and storing them safely in a folder meant for your 2019 tax documents.

Keep in mind that you may not need every form and document listed on the checklist. In fact, if you’re using the standard deduction, it may not be worth tracking down every single document on the checklist. Even if you itemize your tax deductions, you may not need every item on this list depending on your income and the expense amounts. Feel free to mark off any of these unnecessary items for you so you can focus on the forms you do need.

Once you have all the documents you need from this checklist, you’ll be ready to file. If you don’t have all the documents you need to file before Tax Day 2020 (which is now July 15), you can always file a tax extension.

What Information Do I Need Before Filing Taxes?

To file income tax returns, you’ll need a few key pieces of information including:


This section provides information about who’s filing the taxes, who’s covered in tax returns and how to deposit the refunds.

  • Your name
  • Dates of birth for you, your spouse and dependent children
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information, if depositing refund directly into the account

Income information

This wage and earning statements provide information about the income that you and your spouse may have received from all your employers along with income from other sources. These can include:

  • W-2 forms for you and your spouse. These forms are ideally issued before the last day of January by employers
  • 1099-MISC forms for independent contractor work
  • 1099-C forms for debt cancellations
  • 1099-R Form 8606 for payments/distributions from IRAs or retirement plans
  • 1099-G for unemployment income or state and local tax refunds
  • 1099-INT, -DIV, -B for interest and investment income
  • 1099-S forms for income for sale of property
  • Alimony received
  • Business income
  • Income from rental property
  • Miscellaneous income

Income adjustments

The adjustments to income, also known as line deductions, help you lower your tax burden by reducing your total income.

  • Student loan interest (summarized in Form 1098-E)
  • IRA contributions
  • Energy credits
  • Records of educator expenses
  • Records of alimony paid
  • Retirement plan contributions
  • Health savings account (HSA) contributions
  • Premium payments for health insurance, if you’re self-employed

Tax deductions and credits

To help lower your tax burden, the government offers a number of deductions and credits.

  • Mortgage interest summary (Form 1098)
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Child care expenses, including the name, address and Tax ID of your child care provider
  • Adoption costs
  • Tuition expenses for dependent children (Form 1098-T)
  • Charitable contributions, including cash and non-cash donations
  • Theft losses and casualty
  • Record of business use of home such as the square footage calculation, utility expenses, the date you started using the space for a home office

Record of tax payments

The taxes you pay throughout the year can impact the amount you owe.

  • Real estate taxes paid
  • Personal property taxes
  • Estimated tax payments in the year, if self-employed
  • Taxes withheld from retirement plan distributions (Form 1099-R)

Additionally, while filing the returns, keep a copy of the last three year’s federal and state tax returns on hand to assist with the tax filing process. Businesses should keep copies of articles of incorporation to clarify how the business is structured.

How Can I Prepare for Taxes?

  • To assemble your financial information and prepare for taxes, attach a copy of the tax preparation checklist in a file folder. Remove items on  the list that don’t apply to your tax situation and add additional ones that do
  • As you retrieve and receive the documents for tax preparation, place it in the folder and check that item off your checklist
  • If you’re self-employed, print a report of your transactions for the tax year. If you’re using an accounting software, this is an easy process as you can clearly see a detailed report of your income and expenses
  • Review your year-end bank statements to make sure your financial activity is accurate and accounted for
  • As you review the report, highlight information you will need to prepare your tax return or make notes to remind yourself of something later
  • If you have any questions about the necessary information required to submit a return, it’s a good idea to consult a tax professional.

All You Need To Know About Eyes And Eye Care In Kids

Causes of blindness

An overview of the most common causes of blindness worldwide.

At least 75 percent of blindness is preventable. For many years now, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has been working to reduce avoidable blindness. In most cases, treatment or prevention could be easy if sufficient resource were in place: by the timely administration of medication, by small routine operations, by prevention and education measures. However, many people still do not have access to treatment, medication or doctors.


is the world’s most common cause of blindness, affecting 65 million people worldwide. This clouding of the lens may occur due to age, injury or be congenital. Cataracts can be treated by replacing the cloudy lens with an artificial one in a 15-minute operation.


is the third most common cause of blindness. Glaucoma can be treated with medication and an operation, but is not curable.

River blindness (onchocerciasis)

is a parasitic disease which causes inflammation and bleeding that leads ultimately to blindness and other disabling effects. River blindness is on the retreat worldwide thanks to the widespread distribution of the drug Mectizan.


is the most widespread infectious cause of blindness, responsible for the visual impairment or blindness of about 2 million people. Repeated infections with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis cause the inside of the eyelid to scar, turn inward and painfully scratch the cornea, eventually leading to irreversible blindness. In its earlier stages, trachoma is treated with antibiotics and is preventable through improved hygiene and sanitation. In the final stage of the illness, referred to as Trachomatous Trichiasis, surgery on the eyelid is the only way to prevent the loss of sight.

Uncorrected refractive errors (URE)

About 124 million people are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error. In most cases, vision can be restored with spectacles. In Uganda, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD together with the Brien Holden Vision Institute has successfully initiated a National Programme giving poor people access to high quality, tailor-made spectacles.

Childhood blindness

Around 1 million children are blind and about 19 million visually impaired due to causes like uncorrected refractive errors, Vitamin A deficiency, cataract or injury.


Globally, 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.

This 1 billion people includes those with moderate or severe distance vision impairment or blindness due to unaddressed refractive error (123.7 million), cataract (65.2 million), glaucoma (6.9 million), corneal opacities (4.2 million), diabetic retinopathy (3 million), and trachoma (2 million), as well as near vision impairment caused by unaddressed presbyopia (826 million) (1).

In terms of regional differences, the prevalence of distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions (1). With regards to near vision, rates of unaddressed near vision impairment are estimated to be greater than 80% in western, eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa, while comparative rates in high-income regions of North America, Australasia, Western Europe, and of Asia-Pacific are reported to be lower than 10% (2).

Population growth and ageing are expected to increase the risk that more people acquire vision impairment. 

Strategies to address vision impairment

Effective interventions are available for health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation to address the entire range of needs associated with eye conditions and vision impairment across the life course. Some are among the most feasible and cost-effective to implement. For example, uncorrected refractive error can be corrected with glasses while cataract surgery can restore vision. Vision rehabilitation is also effective in improving functioning for people with an irreversible vision impairment.

What is sudden blindness?

Sudden Blindness is a condition when you suddenly find it difficult to see. People think that sudden vision loss is the same as complete blindness. However, they are not the same. You might experience blurry vision. You might feel like you are suffering from a sudden loss of peripheral vision. Else, you might even feel like a sudden loss of your central vision. All of these three problems fall under Sudden Blindness. The duration of Sudden Blindness can vary. It may last for only a few seconds or many hours. There is a chance that Sudden Blindness may be permanent if treatment is not received at the appropriate time.


Blindness can be prevented if you get your eyes checked regularly. Periodic eye examinations will ensure you are treated early in case you have any eye problems or in case of any sudden occurrences. This can prevent you from losing your vision. When you are diagnosed with a certain type of eye disease, then following your ophthalmologist’s instructions about what care needs to be taken are of high importance. This can help treat your problem. At any point, if you feel like you are suffering from blindness or any type of vision loss then you should make an appointment with your ophthalmologist at the earliest to ensure speedy treatment.

You must get your children’s eyes checked when they are 6 months old and then when they are 3 years old. When they turn 6 years old, you should get their eyes checked once a year to ensure their eyes remain healthy and they have no trace of blindness. However, if you feel like they have symptoms of eye disease or any eye problem, then it is best to get their eyes checked by an ophthalmologist at the earliest. Waiting for the eye problem to go away on its own is never the solution and it can lead to permanent vision loss for children. This is why contacting an ophthalmologist is mandatory.

Some forms of blindness occur due to improper diet or diet lacking nutritional value. In such cases, blindness can be prevented by ensuring you are taking a proper diet. Proper eye protection can reduce the chances of you being blind. When an eye problem is detected early, blindness can be prevented as long as you take the necessary precautions suggested by your ophthalmologist. For instance, when glaucoma is detected early, on-time & appropriate measures can be undertaken to prevent blindness. Your ophthalmologist is the one who can best tell you which form of treatment is most suitable for you according to your case.

You should focus on eating foods that are low on sugar levels if you have diabetes. Managing your diabetes and controlling your blood sugar levels will help prevent blindness that can be caused due to diabetes. Proper exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your overall health and your eyes too. You should focus on healthy habits and avoiding anything that raises your risk of becoming blind in the future. While some things might be out of your control, you should focus on things that you can control. You should ensure that if you are obese, you work towards getting healthier as a healthier weight decreases the risk of any type of blindness.

It is important to remember that some forms of blindness occur as people continue to live longer than their predecessors. While no prevention measures are available for such causes of blindness, research is continually being carried out.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Blindness?

Symptoms of poor visual acuity may range from trouble focusing to glare to difficulty perceiving light.

Markedly constricted visual fields are seen in conditions such as advanced glaucoma and pigmentary retinopathies. In these cases, despite a small central area of relatively clear vision, the surrounding severe peripheral vision loss results in tunnel vision that can be disabling.

People born with sight who later lose vision can still form images in their mind. However, in people who lose sight due to damage to the portions of the brain that process visual input, there can be a loss of ability to form images in the mind. This is the case with trauma or strokes affecting the occipital cortex of the brain.

Most blindness is unassociated with physical pain. However, angle-closure glaucoma and various infectious and inflammatory eye disease can cause both pain and severe visual loss.

In most cases of blindness, there are no outward signs evident to others. In some cases, however, a rhythmic back and forth motion of the eyes (nystagmus) occurs in some forms of congenital blindness (blindness from birth). When one eye has poor sight relative to the other, it may wander and be misaligned relative to the eye with good sight. This misalignment is called strabismus. The most common cause of visual loss in one eye in children is amblyopia associated with strabismus or an uncorrected high refractive error. Eyes with inflammation may appear reddened. Corneal scars and swelling can appear as a grayish patch. Eyes with a dense cataract may have a visible white color in their pupil. Blind eyes with long-standing severe inflammation can also shrink in size (phthisis).

Knowing about silent eye diseases

  • Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts have no early symptoms and usually don’t cause pain. As a result, they can develop without any indication that something is wrong. The only way to find these diseases early is with regular eye exams conducted by a skilled ophthalmologist. Although most of them are degenerative diseases without a cure, early detection can lead to treatments that can slow their progression.
  • Age-related macular degeneration: Nearly 11 million people in the United States suffer with Age-Related Macular Degeneration, approximately the same number of people who have been diagnosed with all types of invasive cancer. This disease causes loss of center vision that is required to see things that are straight ahead. There are no symptoms in the early stage of the disease. However, in the intermediate and late stages of the disease there is vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetics may begin to experience vision impairment due to this disease. It is a result of diabetes and is caused when blood vessels in the retina change. Taking care of diabetes and controlling blood sugar can help to avoid this disease.
  • Glaucoma: This disease gradually reduces your peripheral vision. It has no early symptoms and therefore is called the “Silent Thief of Sight”. Glaucoma is one of the most common chronic eye diseases for seniors and is the leading cause of blindness for those over the age of 64. Half the people with glaucoma do not know they have it.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts cause cloudy vision as the lens of the eye begins to harden. Cataract surgery removes the old lens and inserts an artificial lends to restore vision

Deep Cleaning Wet Or Dry

The ultimate guide to deep cleaning your bathroom

simple tips to a super clean bathroom

1. Open the windows

Before you pick up a sponge, open all the windows to let the fresh air circulate.

2. Clear everything

That’s right, everything – from towels, bath mats, shower curtains and liners, to freestanding furnishings, shower caddies and anything on the countertops and shelving. Now you only have clear surfaces to work with.

3. Put on a wash

Toss your shower curtains and liners into the washing machine using regular detergent and a warm and gentle setting, along with your towel and bath mat, which act like scrubbers and prevent the plastic from crinkling. Add ½ cup of chlorine bleach and ¼ cup of detergent to help clear dirt, soap scum and mildew stains.

4. Allow things to soak

Start the deep clean process by pouring a cup of bicarb soda down the toilet bowl. Got rings around the tub? Try placing paper towels soaked with white vinegar on any stains and any hard water or mineral deposits around faucets and drains. Leave for at least 15 minutes before going in for the scrub. A piece of dental floss can help you get into those hard-to-reach crevices.

5. Get scrubbing

Stains, be gone! How you clean your bathtub depends on what it’s made from. For porcelain, you can get away with abrasive powders such as Ajax and scouring pads and pumice stones. If enamel, try bleach-free commercial cleaners. And if acrylic, use white vinegar, soft sponges and other gentle solutions.

6. Don’t forget the shower head

Your shower head can harbour infectious bacteria known as mycobacterium avium, a nasty bug linked to lung disease. To clean, pour a generous amount of white vinegar into a plastic bag and secure over your shower head using a rubber band. Leave it to soak overnight and then remove the bag and rinse in the morning.

7. Don’t forget your toilet brush

Take your toilet brush, place over the toilet bowl and pour bleach over the bristles. Allow it to stand for a few minutes before rinsing it with a cup of cold water. And don’t forget to rinse the canister out with hot, soapy water, too – pouring the dirty water down the toilet and not the sink.

8. Remove the exhaust fan cover

One of the most neglected areas of the bathroom are exhaust fans, despite them being a hot spot for airborne particles. Flip the switch and remove the cover, then soak in warm water and detergent. Wipe the blades and get into the crannies with a stiff paintbrush. Leave to completely dry before reattaching it. And another tip! Always run the fan during and for 30 minutes after your shower to reduce mould and mildew.

9. Sweep the floors

Dry sweep the bathroom floors to clear dirt, dust, hair and other bits and pieces you’d rather not swish around as you clean. Make sure you clean from top to bottom so any debris that falls will be wiped away.

10. Wet wash the floors

Use a wet cloth, if your bathroom is small, or a mop if big. Work from the far corner toward the door. Leave to dry before you enter again to place everything back.

11. Steam clean the walls and ceilings

Spray walls and ceilings with all-purpose cleaner, then blast hot water in the shower and close the door, allowing the steam to build. Leave to steam clean for 20 minutes before wiping down all the surfaces with a clean, dry microfibre cloth. And don’t forget to wipe the towel bar with an all-purpose cleaner – it tends to harbour a lot of bacteria.

12. Get a shiny, fog-free mirror

To clean your mirror (and any glass surface, for that matter), use coffee filters soaked in window cleaner or white vinegar. They’re cheap – and won’t leave any streaks or lint. To keep it fog free, rub a dry bar of soap onto the surface and buff it with a clean microfibre cloth until you can no longer see any marks.

Your Lazy Day Guide To Cleaning

Life is busy, and sometimes we just don’t have the energy, time or desire to give our homes the attention they deserve. That’s why lazy day cleaning tips can really provide a lifeline. By cleaning a little every day, or just doing the bare minimum, life’s messes tend not to be so messy when the times does come for a real, deep clean. Try these handy hacks to keep your home tidy all week long.

Do one chore first thing in the morning.

Make your bed, gather all your dirty laundry or clear the table; choose one chore that’s going take two minutes or less. You’ll not only cross one chore off your list, but you’ll set a great tone for the day.


Decide which rooms you need to focus on first – usually the kitchen, main bathroom or living room – and forget about the ones no one will see. Your task will seem way more attainable and if you finish up the mains quickly, you can always tackle those low-priority rooms.

Clean for a set amount of time.

Tell yourself you’re going to clean for 15, 30, 45 minutes and stick to it. Put down the phone, turn off the T.V. and throw your energy into your task list. This is a great motivator for those that aren’t sure when they’re “done” or for those that lose focus.

Start the day with an empty dishwasher.

Run your dishwasher after dinner and unload it before you go to bed. Dirty dishes immediately go into the dishwasher throughout the day, instead of the sink or stacked on the counter.

ultimate guide to deep cleaning your bathroom

There’s nothing quite like a sparkling, pristine bathroom, after all, it is where you get clean. But how exactly do you give it a professional clean? Running a squeegee down the sides of the shower does a great deal of good, but every now and then a proper deep clean is in order

Wipe the windows – reaching every corner

A steam cleaner works wonders on the rubber sills and tracks of your windows. A couple of blasts with the steam, followed by a wipe down with a paper towel, will work wonders. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, try applying a paste made from bicarb soda and white vinegar, leaving it an hour, and then scrubbing it using a toothbrush.

Toss out any unnecessary products

Worried to see what lurks under your sink? Time to give it a good clean out! Consolidate products, toss out what you don’t need and put items back on a shelf liner.

Keep it up

Daily once-overs – wiping down the condensation from your shower and mopping the floors, for example, will take the pain out of your next clean, trust us!

Post Lockdown Cleaning and Disinfecting

In light of the government’s revised guidelines for a phased approach to reopen closed businesses, following the Coronavirus lockdown procedures, we have created a range of documents to help and guide our customers and product users.

The government’s task forces are looking at sectors including pubs and restaurants, recreation and leisure, places of worship and schools. The existing measures in place will be constantly under review and will be monitored so the spread of the virus is controlled.

If a business, or school, is to reopen, there are considerations relating to social distancing, more frequent disinfection of hand-touch surfaces and, of course, hand hygiene. Employers may need to update their risk assessment relating to any products used in the control of Coronavirus

Research has shown Coronavirus is able to survive in the environment on surfaces, e.g. wood, plastic, glass and cardboard, from between 24 hours and 9 days (dependent on conditions e.g. temperature and humidity).  If a building has been closed for the duration of the lockdown period, it is unlikely any virus would be present on surfaces. However, for staff, customer and pupil confidence it may be advisable to follow existing hygiene programmes for cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces.

Below you will find links to our Coronavirus guides and related wallcharts. Please follow the instructions and recommendations in these documents, paying particular attention to dilution rates/contact times and any safety advice.

Cleaning and disinfection

General guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting

The following general guidance applies to cleaning areas soiled with faeces or vomit during an outbreak. The environmental surfaces need to be cleaned free of vomit or faeces using a neutral detergent and warm water prior to disinfecting with bleach solution.

Clean soiled areas

Isolate the area where a vomiting or diarrhoea incident has occurred.

Wear disposable gloves and a mask.

Absorb and remove as much of the vomit/faeces as possible with disposable paper towels or disposable cloths.

Discard the disposable paper towel or cloth into a leak proof plastic bag.

Clean soiled areas with detergent and warm water using a disposable cloth and discard immediately into a leak proof plastic bag.

Discard used gloves and apply clean gloves before disinfecting the soiled areas.

Disinfect soiled areas

Use freshly-made bleach solution and follow manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate dilution and use (see below for dilution instructions).

Wipe the area with bleach solution with disposable paper towels or a disposable cloth.

Dispose of gloves and mask in a leak proof plastic bag.

Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water and then pat dry using a disposable paper or single cloth towel. If water is unavailable, decontaminate hands using an alcohol-based rub or gel.

Preparation of disinfection solution

Household bleach comes in a variety of strengths of the active ingredient—hypochlorous acid—and you can find this information on the product label.


When a disinfectant is required for cleaning, the manufacturer’s recommendations for use (usually written on container) and occupational health and safety instructions (in workplace handbook on OH&S for hospitals) should be followed.

Gloves should be worn when handling and preparing bleach solutions.

Protective eye wear needs to be worn in case of splashing.

Bleach solution should be made up daily.

Bleach should be used mainly on hard, non-porous surfaces.

Bleach can damage textiles and are corrosive to metals.

What To Do If You Find A Lone Bat In The House

How To: Get Rid of Bats

Do you have bats in your attic? Wanna get rid of them? Then keep reading and I’ll show you how to get rid of bats and how it is easier then you may think.

Just in case you’re wondering this is not a post on bat wrestling. You don’t have to don a batman outfit and physically remove the bats yourself. The process of bat exclusion, as it is called, is DIY friendly and not harmful to the bats in question which is extremely important because bats are a protected animal in most states.

While they may be protected and they provide a huge benefit by eating upwards of 3,000 insects a night, most of us don’t want them in our houses. Even though the stereotype of bats being rabies ridden rodents looking to suck your blood is a largely a farce (only about 1% of bats are rabies carriers), their feces “guano” contains Histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus associated with Histoplasmosis which is a lung infection similar to pneumonia in humans. The bats may not be a problem but their droppings certainly are, so removing them from your house and cleaning the mess is important.

Bats prefer to nest in the same spot every night and while they may migrate depending on the season and the region, they likely will return if you don’t take steps to prevent it in the future. Let’s get into the process and how to get rid of bats yourself at your house.

How To Get Rid of Bats

Bats like dark and cozy areas to sleep during the day and nest. While they don’t build a nest per se they do search out a protected area where they can sleep and give birth. Old houses make a great home for them because there are usually plenty of gaps for them to sneak in. They need only find a hole about 3/8″  to 1″ wide to squeeze through. Once they’re in, the rafters make a great place for them to hang from and get some rest.

Bats in Houses

Bat encounters in the home usually happen at the most inopportune times. One minute you’re watching the news, and the next minute, without any warning, a bat zooms through the living room. Soon the dog, cat and family are in an uproar either trying to swat or to run away from the intruder.  While this does not happen very often, if it happens to you, you’ll want to keep reading to find out more about what it means and what you should do.

Summer Visitor–The occasional lone bat that enters a house during warmer months in Maryland is usually a young bat that simply made a mistake. Their instinct leads them to investigate new areas, including the inside of houses, usually with fatal results.

If you are certain that no contact has occurred between the bat and other people or pets inside the house, then you can follow one or several of these suggestions:

Trap the bat in a room and open a window. The bat will find the opening and exit on its own.

Call a bat removal expert (wildlife control cooperator) .


Put on thick gloves and wait until the bat lands on a wall to rest. Place a bowl over the bat and slide a piece of cardboard under the bowl. Take the bowl outside and release the bat.

Inspect the outside of your house for signs bats are roosting elsewhere in your house.

Winter Visitor –The occasional lone bat that is found inside the house during colder winter months is likely to be a Big Brown Bat. Big Brown Bats are the only species that can over winter in homes. The warmth of the house and/or outside temperatures can rouse these bats from hibernation, sending them in search of water and insect food.

Colonies in the House

Discovering a colony of bats living in your house can be disturbing and unsettling. The following answers to Frequently Asked Questions will help you understand the problem and guide you towards diagnosing your own situation and deciding the best course of action. These guidelines will help you effectively remedy the problem and guard against future problems.

Excluding Bats – Helpful Tips

Behavior and Biology

Most of the time bats root in natural shelters like drainage pipes, hollow trees, and caves, but can roost and breed within occupied buildings during warm weather. During the first warm days of spring, most bats leave their overwintering/hibernating sites and enter structures. Most of these bats are females preparing to birth in June and July.


Inspect possible exit and entry points that the bats are using and any structural defects that the bats are using for entry. Common entry areas include louvers, rooflines (between the roof sheathing and the fascia boards). Openings of 3/8 inch or larger are sufficient for bat entry. Droppings on the ground, smudge marks, odor, noise can also give you a clue to their entry/exit points.

Inspect twice, at first dusk when the bats are first emerging and the second one during the daytime to find roosting areas. Unless it is unseasonably cold or rainy, bats will emerge each evening.

Inspect the roofline right before dusk. It may be necessary to position two or more people at different angles of the structure to view multiple rooflines at a time when the bats are emerging. This will reveal entry and exit points.

Bats and Rabies: Only a small percentage of bats carry rabies, but proper clothes (coveralls, hard hat and heavy leather gloves) should be worn during any bat control procedures.

We are having a problem with bats flying around our living room window and in the alcove at the front door. Our pest control company has no answers for us except for a spray that will discolor the paint on our house. At present we are using the sticky strips used for catching mice. We tacked two of them in the alcove area. After a month, we caught nine. Do you have a suggestion for us on how to discourage these flying pests from using our front porch? They leave their droppings everywhere.

We seem to have a colony of bats (at least 60-75). They have made their home in the exterior wall of our garage. How do we get rid of them? Will they stay forever or will they go away?

You need to fashion a one-way door, so the bats can come out but not come back inside. Another thing you can do is to seal the entry points at night while the bats are out. I would advise you to do this in the spring. They are nesting with the young in the fall. Many babies and females may be inside at night. Also if you provide bat houses for them in the area, they will stay around to kill all your other flying insects

Bats: advice for homeowners

Roosting habits vary by bat species. Pipistrelle bats are often found in crevices whilst other species, like brown long-eared bats, tend to need large open loft spaces. These seasonal visitors can form maternity colonies in properties from May, normally then leaving in early September. Very rarely, a bat roost will cause an issue, for example if it’s particularly large.

Bats in Houses helpline

Where necessary we may arrange for one of our experienced bat workers to visit your house if it will provide further help. There is no charge for this, and we offer the service whether you own or rent your home, as long as you live in it full time. Whilst our bat workers are able to collect information that will help to resolve the problems caused by bats, they cannot carry out any works to your building or exclude/take-away the bats.

Bats are highly specialised animals and the only true flying mammals. Long-lived and intelligent, they have complex social lives. Bats occur across, including on many of our islands – though in Shetland only as vagrants. North of the central belt, there are generally fewer bat species the further north and west you travel.

Bats have a highly advanced echolocation system that allows them to catch tiny insects and avoid obstacles, even in complete darkness. As they fly, bats produce a stream of high-pitched squeaks. By listening to the echoes, they can produce a ‘sound map’ of their surroundings.

Bat roosts – and other signs of bats

Bats are woodland animals, but many species have come to use roosting sites in buildings as the availability of natural roosting sites in trees has fallen. They have well-established traditions and tend to return to the same sites year after year.

How To Get Rid Of Bat Wings

Simple Steps to achieve well-defined upper arms

Excess weight is a quite common issue that plagues millions of people. Inner thigh fat, chubby belly, sagging buttocks – all these ‘trouble spots’ stop people from feeling confident in their own skin. Bat wings belong to this list as well. People who have flabby upper arms feel self-conscious because of the littlest things like waving. They are forced to wrap themselves up in layers of clothes and stick to long-sleeved tops even when it’s scorching hot outside. All of it takes a major toll on a person’s self-image and mental health, that is why it is so important to either accept yourself the way you are or eliminate this issue as soon as possible. Keep reading to find out how to get rid of bat wings once and for all

How to get rid of bat wings?

Bat wings are a quite common issue that has mainly two causes. It is widespread among people with excess pounds and among those who have lost a lot of weight. Many dieters find it quite challenging to get rid of bat wings. The main problem is that it is impossible to spot reduce your body fat. This case is not an exception. If you want to say goodbye to your bat wings, you should stick to expert-approved tried-and-true methods like the combination of a healthy diet, caloric deficit and regular workouts

Your diet should be well-balanced and should provide you with all the necessary nutrients. On average, an adult individual needs 2000-2500 calories a day. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds are packed with essential nutrients. Olive oil, canola oil, nuts and seeds – these foods are rich sources of healthy fats that are vital for the normal functioning of your body.

Healthy diet should be combined with different types of workouts for major muscle groups. If your aim is to lose weight, it is recommended to have 35 minutes of moderate to high intensity workout per week

How to get rid of bat wings: exercises

There are slews of effective exercises that can help you get rid of bat wings. Some of them are listed below. You should perform 2-3 sets, 10-15 reps. Make 30-60-second pauses between the sets.

Off Road Truck Tires Driving Techniques And Safety

Fleet Truck Tire Maintenance Tips You Cannot Afford To Ignore

Let’s face it. Fleet truck drivers, on the whole, are not terribly concerned with the proper maintenance of truck tires that are taking them from Point A to Point B. Especially now, with mandatory electronic logs that are keeping them accountable when on duty, they’re less likely than ever to lose driving time to perform an “unpaid” task on their own, like ensuring their tires are functioning safely and optimally at all times.

For example, drivers are often re-inflating tires that have run 20% or more in an under-inflated condition. And this is a problem, even with those drivers that do check inflation pressure regularly, because they may not be aware of the potential dangers of personal injuries or blowouts on the road when a tire in low-pressure condition is simply topped up and considered to be road-worthy again.

Commercial/Vocational truck safety is a constant concern with fleet owners, and being vigilant about tire safety is a primary concern that both drivers and their supervisors should be making a priority. Below, we have listed 6 tips that will keep tire performance high, extend tire life, and keep vehicles and drivers safe on the road:


Gators are pieces of tire left on the road when a retread tire shreds. The textured lengths of broken-off rubber, with ridges and scales, look like the back of alligators, and hence their name. Road Gators are most often encountered on interstates where the speed limit is 70 mph-75 mph.

The reason Road Gators pose a danger to truck drivers is this: they can potentially rip steering components, damage oil pans or even smash through the windshield. Being watchful of them, especially during low-light conditions, is necessary when you’re driving cargo-laden or any other kind of vocational trucks for long hours at a stretch.


Treads are the part of the tire that maintains traction with the road, and any signs of wear and tear should be addressed as soon as possible. The Penny Test (inserting a penny into a groove on the tread, head pointing down, and knowing the tread is too worn when the top of Lincoln’s head become visible) is a good way to check on this.

Thick-bodied, quality tires can be retreaded to give them a new lease of life, and the process — called “recapping” – is a smart way to make expensive tires work longer for you.


Tires don’t wear out equally because vehicles aren’t perfectly balanced quadrilaterally. Rotation is the solution, because when you shuffle tires around, they are more likely to sustain a similar amount of wear and tear and finally need replacement at the same time.

The standard schedule for rotation is usually between 5,000 miles and 8,000 miles, but the manufacturer’s manual will give you the precise, recommended date. Maintaining a system where tires are rotated as per brand instructions for every truck in your fleet will pay off in the long run, because tires are a big financial investment.


Don’t mix tires on your fleet trucks. In other words, avoid pairing a normal tread depth with a deeper one, or a radial with a bias-ply tire.


Tires can age pre-maturely if they are not stored in a cool, dry place that is sheltered from direct sunlight, and this can significantly reduce their working life. Washing tires regularly is another way to hold off pre-mature aging.


Before a rig goes out, or after it comes in, it is important to inspect the tires for damages sustained from potholes, uneven road surfaces, glass shards, rocks and all kinds of other debris that litter the roadways. Drivers are not always aware that their tires have been compromised, especially during low-light hours, and they run the risk of a blow-out, costing the fleet company time and money, when a simple inspection at the end of a trip can easily locate and rectify these problems.

Tires for lifted trucks

Lifted trucks have the best off-road results when you pair them with the right tires. Higher trucks with bigger tires allow you to ride harder, faster and better over mud, rocks, sand or snow. When you lift a truck, you also need to buy tires that support your vehicle’s new height and size.

When shopping for tires that support your chosen lift kit option, it’s best to evaluate what you want out of your vehicle — for both style and performance! Determining the type of tire needed to accommodate your driving lifestyle will inform the clearance room required for your wheels which ultimately decides the height of the lift installed on your truck or SUV.

A stronger, wider, larger tire is always your best option, no matter if you choose to install a leveling kit, body lift kit or a suspension lift kit. Most lift kit manufacturers provide suggested tire sizes for each of their kits. It is also very helpful to visit internet forum pages to gauge the experience and advice of other vehicle owners who have lifted their truck or SUV. Depending on your vehicle’s make/model and size of the lift, you can fit anywhere from 33-inch tires, 35-inch tires or even 37-inch tires.

How Lifting Your Truck Changes Tire Wear Patterns

When you lift a truck, you generally add bigger tires, which are heavier and wear down more quickly when driven on asphalt. Most tires for lifted trucks are for off-roading, which means they have aggressive treads that wear down quickly on hard surfaces. Ideally, having two sets of tires—one for off-roading and one for everyday driving—would be the best option, but that involves buying and storing two full sets of wheels. It’s also in super inconvenient if you don’t have your own tools to switch between sets when you need to. A more wallet-friendly option to cut down on tire wear is to switch out your steel or alloy rims for a set of forged one-piece wheels. They are lighter and stronger, but are still pretty expensive, so they aren’t for everyone.

Truck tire replacement frequency

Every truck is different. This means that, unlike passenger cars, there’s no solid guide that lists the recommended tire replacement intervals for all semi trucks or work trucks. In Florida, a driver can usually expect to get up to 100,000 miles from a semi truck tire set. Without a standardized guide, though, the most important thing you can do is stay up to date with truck and tire maintenance.


Here are a few ways you can keep your truck’s tires in good condition for longer:

  • Check for Proper Inflation: After you’ve given the tires time to cool, check the tire pressure. To check for the correct PSI, weigh the truck fully loaded. Make sure you weigh the front, rear, and trailer axles separately. You can find the right PSI by comparing the axle weights to those listed in the tire manufacturer’s book. Pay special attention to the load supported by the front axle. If the scale weight exceeds the maximum load-carrying capacity, you’ll need to upgrade to higher capacity tires.
  • Keep Tabs on Tire Wear: Tire wear is caused by friction. To make sure your truck’s tires are wearing evenly, you’ll need to keep up with tire alignments and pay close attention to inflation and load-carrying capacities. Putting tire service off will have consequences — the severity of which depends on the length of time tire maintenance is ignored.
  • Inspect Your Tires Regularly: Your truck components, especially the tires, require routine inspections. Mainly, you’ll want to check for signs of wear and tear and proper inflation. If your truck’s tires are 20% below their recommended PSI, they’re technically flat tires and should be replaced immediately. You’ll also want to double-check the condition of the valve caps, tire

How to choose the right truck tires

Here are two points to keep in mind while you’re shopping for tires:

  • Load Capacity: If you drive a larger truck, such as an HV Series or MV Series, your tires will be under a serious amount of strain. For this reason, it’s important to choose tires that can handle high load capacities and demanding conditions. This is crucial to job performance, as well as safety. Before you buy a tire, check its load index. This information is written out as a numerical code that states the load capacity of that tire at the speed indicated by its speed symbol.
  • Off-Road Driving: Different types of driving require different types of tires. For example, commercial tires designed for travel through Miami don’t have tread strong enough to traverse rough surfaces like rock or gravel on a daily basis. Even if your job only takes you off paved roads occasionally, opt for tires that are 80% on-road and 20% off-road.

LT Tires for Heavy Loads, Towing and Off-Road Durability

LT tires are going to be more expensive than p-metric tires. This is because LT tires have extra material in the sidewall and under the tread that protects the tire from damage. The cords in a LT tire are a larger gauge than P-metric tires so the tire can carry heavier loads.  Very often LT tires will have an extra steel belt, a deeper tread and thicker rubber in the sidewall for more protection vs a p-metric tire. LT tires are usually 8-ply (Load Range D) or 10-ply (Load Range E). Passenger Tires usually have a 4-ply or 6-ply equivalent sidewall.  The performance trade-off of this added weight is a harsher ride, less fuel efficiency, and less responsive handling.

Tread-wear or tire mileage is typically about the same for LT and P-metric tires, except if used often on gravel roads. If used on gravel roads, you should consider an LT tire instead of p-metric because the tread rubber in LT tires is usually especially formulated to resist chipping from stones. On paved highways,  p-metric tires typically have better wet and dry traction on pavement.

If you drive your truck heavily loaded or pull heavy trailer loads frequently, you should consider replacing your p-metric tire with an LT tire. Tradespeople that have their truck or van loaded with tools, supplies and equipment often find that the stiffer LT tires provides less sway, and therefore more confidence inspiring handling as well. Others may find that the ride is slightly harsher and not as comfortable. This is one of the trade-offs you can expect when you replace a p-metric tire with a LT tire.

Practical Home Renovation That Significantly Increase Your Home Value

How to update older homes with modern home renovations?

One of the biggest changes you can make to your home during a renovation is to add an extra room. Home additions require the help of professional designers and contractors. You can’t just add a new room to your existing house without first doing a lot of researching and planning. Keep in mind that the existing electrical and plumbing systems must be considered. You will also be expected to check with zoning laws to make sure that requirements are met with your design.

Here are some of the things to consider when it comes to home additions:

First things first, decide which direction you want to go: out or up. Building out may require foundation work and related expenses. Building up may require some demolition costs. Also, what kind of room do you want to add? An extra bedroom? Extra storage? More attic space? An additional bathroom? Consider your needs carefully.

Once you’ve outlined a plan, talk to an architect from a company such as The Pros, and have the plans drawn up. This is also the time for you to gather any legal documents you may be need. Obtain an accurate plot plan that that shows property lines and the proximity of the proposed addition to the existing buildings.

Select the ideal materials for the project. The ideal material will be whatever matches the existing structure. If you have a wood home, have your renovator determine the exact species of wood. However, matching roofing materials may be more difficult to find. If the existing structure is showing too many signs of age anyway, you could consider having a lot of it redone.

Understand common home addition problems, such as putting stress on the foundation and floor framing problems for upper-level additions. For the first problem, it may be necessary to remove old footings and build a proper foundation. The second problem may be fixed by “sistering” additional joists onto the existing joists to provide extra support to the system prior to the subfloor being put down.

If you have an older home, have it inspected for hazardous materials or substances that may require special handling. Examples include lead paint that was used in the early ‘70s or dangerous fibers used in construction products from the 40s through 60s. It’s best to have a professional get rid of these materials before you begin the extension.

Building a home addition may require a more extensive heating and cooling system. Options include extending the existing system, upgrading the entire system, or installing a stand-alone system that is designed to service the new room(s).

Plan your budget. There is a misconception that this type of renovation project comes with many hidden costs. However, most of the expenses are in plain sight. You can plan a realistic budget ahead of time. Some of the expenses will include contract fees, materials, finance charges/loan interest, increased premiums, higher property taxes, landscape repair, architectural fees, etc. It’s still a good idea however to have some extra money just in case there are any building problems.

Tips for Preparing for a Home Remodelling Project

If you know what to expect with a home remodelling project, you’ll know how to prepare properly. It’s ideal to hire licensed renovators to handle the complex work. A remodelling project will likely disrupt your everyday life on some level. Proper preparation will minimize the disturbance and make the whole project easier on both you and your renovators. Even if you are feeling stressed just know that after the project is completed, the benefits will outweigh the inconveniences.

Here are some tips for preparing for home remodelling:

Do research and familiarize yourself with the tasks that are involved in the project. Even if you are hiring somebody else to do the tasks, you should still watch how-to videos. Take note of what kind of tools and supplies will be used. Read safety tips as well. When preparing for any project that requires any type of clean-up, keep a damp towel and paper towels readily available.

If you are planning remodelling a bedroom, you might need to prepare another place to sleep. For highly complex projects, consult with renovators to find out if your house will be livable, or if you and your family should find another place to stay until the project is completed.

For projects involving solvents, paints, or products that are known to produce harmful fumes, make sure the workspace has proper ventilation. Also, thoroughly clean the workplace beforehand. Take care of dusting and vacuuming so that dust and dirt won’t be stirred during the task. Running an air filtering system can be helpful as well.

Prepare a safe place for pets and children. Keep them as far away from the workplace as possible, and make sure they can’t wander into the area.

When it comes to kitchen remodelling, you might want to create a temporary kitchen somewhere else in the home with a mini-refrigerator, ideally near a water source. Keep the dishes in another sink or use disposable dishes and utensils. Find a place to keep the essentials, such as napkins, condiments, cloths, garbage bags, dishwater soaps, etc.

It’s essential that you and the renovation team maintain an open line of communication. Everybody should be on the same page at all times in order for the project to be a success. Know what they expect of you and vice versa.

There is always the possibility of unexpected expenses. Even if you have everything planned out perfectly, there still might be some cash concerns. Increasing costs cause anxiety. You can reduce the stress involved by having extra money on hand. Have 10% – 20% more than the estimated budget.

Establish traffic areas. There will be a lot of foot traffic both out and in your home. Workers will be walking around with tools and materials. Work with the renovation team to come up with a traffic plan and protect the flooring along that area with plastic covering. Also, keep any area(s) the workers may need access to, such as the basement and bathroom, cleared of clutter.

Home renovation guides

Whether you’re gearing up for a DIY home renovation project or calling in the pros, here you’ll find a range of expertly written guides that list out the money must dos and don’ts when renovating or looking for a renovation loan, including how to add value without overcapitalising on your property.

The best way to fund your home renovation

Relaxing on your lounge sipping a glass of red you start thinking it’s about time we tear out that 1950’s kitchen and renovate, building a modern, more usable kitchen. Or maybe you start daydreaming about how a fresh coat of paint will brighten your living area. Regardless of how big or small your home renovation project may be you still need to find the funds to make it happen

As we all know, nothing’s for free! Good news though, there are plenty of options to finance your home renovation. The best way, will depend on your individual circumstances and financial situation. So sit back and continue to enjoy that wine while you learn about the top ways to fund your home renovation.

Use a Stash of Cash

If you’ve been disciplined with your savings over the years then you may be lucky enough to have a stash of cash piled up to pay for your renovations. Cash is always your best option, as you avoid paying interest and amassing more debt. However renovations aren’t cheap, with a complete bathroom makeover costing up to $20,000 it’s going to take years and years to save up enough dosh to turn your dream into reality. So realistically, if you have cash, it will likely cover smaller projects like a new paint job or fitting a flyscreen door.

Sign up for a Low Interest Credit Card

Given the many negative connotations with those pieces of plastic you keep in your wallet, you may not believe what you’re about to read! However, we are happy to advise that a low interest credit card is an option to consider to fund any small home renovation. So we’re talking about minor changes around the home and inexpensive DIY projects. These cards generally have interest rates of 14% p.a. or less with most providers offering up to 55 days interest free.

Quick weekend renos to add value to your home

You’ve read the weekend paper, gone for a lovely stroll and had your Sunday coffee, now you’re twiddling your thumbs looking for something to do. Look no more, we’ve got the solution, pick up a hammer or paintbrush and get to work on a quick and easy renovation task that will add value to your home. Given there’s no shortage of ideas when it comes to DIY home renos, find some time over the weekend, don’t lounge around and pick up a tool and get cracking.

Replace the front door and don’t forget the doorknob!

The front door to your home has a huge impact on the curb appeal of your place. It can be the first thing potential owners look at, so you want it in good shape. If it looks old and shabby it can turn people away for good. All you need are some basic tools and you can replace a worn and torn front door on a Saturday afternoon and always remember to update the handle too.

Paint the front door

If you don’t have the tools or feel like you may not have the skills to replace the front door then give it a fresh lick of paint! It is the primary feature that buyers will see when they approach your place. A fresh coat of paint will add value to your home as well as leaving a lasting impression for guests and if your selling, potential buyers. When choosing a colour, go with one that compliments the colour scheme of your place. Don’t select a tone that is way out there, as that can turn people off.

Paint the walls

While you’ve got the paintbrush out you may as well head inside. Painting the interior walls is an easy project to tackle over the weekend and is one of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements you can make to a home. If the walls are showing signs of wear and the colour is dated a lick of paint can improve the feel, cleanliness and look of a home quickly. When selecting paint colours, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable.

Update or add a kitchen splashback

The kitchen is a key selling point in any home so if it’s looking a little tatty, why not add value to it this weekend? A great place to start is by adding or updating the splashback, the most visible feature of a kitchen. You don’t need to go with an over the top, expensive kitchen revamp. Just by updating the splashback with stylish tiles you can brighten and modernise the space.

Tips to renovating without breaking the bank

Visualise your plan

Shut your eyes and visualise your renovation project. Then, if you’re handy with a pencil, sketch it on a piece of paper. It may seem a little silly but this is how the pros operate. Drawing up a mind map is a great way to present your ideas to the renovation professionals. This big picture will also guide you through the renovation process, keep you on track and prevent you from spending unnecessarily. A solid plan also helps deter renovation surprises that can pop up along the way, resulting in additional costs that could break the bank.

Set a realistic budget

Before you start turning your renovation dream into reality you need to have a set dollar number in mind to work with. Better known as ‘your budget’! A lot of people cringe when they hear this word but it’s crucial to set a realistic renovation budget if not you’ll end up breaking the bank!

When setting a budget don’t forget to factor in these three neglected expenses:

Rental property – If you’re undertaking a large scale renovation you may have to move out during the process, and renting a place isn’t cheap.

Eating out – Knocking out a kitchen and redesigning a new, modern, chic one is a common practice but don’t forget eating out adds up.

Storage – With extensive renovations you’ll need to store the contents of your home in a secure place, so don’t forget to factor this into your budget.

Add more $$$ to your budget

To really avoid breaking the bank build a 10% contingency into your budget to cover unexpected costs or overspending. You never know what can arise during the project so be prepared for surprises that will cost you money. For example, mould removal, asbestos removal or you may suddenly find you have to waterproof your house. Unexpected delays can also occur and consequently cost money such as; poor weather, sick tradies or a holdup in materials arriving.

Choose the best option to fund the renos

If you don’t have any cash stashed away to fund the renovations you’ll have to explore other options to finance the project. There is no right or wrong method to funding renovations, it’s about choosing the best method to suit your individual circumstances and financial situation so you don’t break the bank. Take the time to research the options out there and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

The Best Way To Unclog A Clogged Toilet

How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

It’s safe to assume that most homes have a plunger. Unfortunately, however, bad luck has a way of finding the rare times when you’re unprepared. There may come a time, no matter how unlikely, when you find yourself with a bad toilet clog and no plunger. Panic-inducing as this scenario sounds, it’s not insurmountable.

Hot water

When we say hot water, we mean hot–not boiling. Pouring boiling water into the toilet bowl could crack the ceramic, which would make an existing problem much worse. Use a bucket to pour about a dozen cups hot water into the toilet slowly. Let the hot water sit in the toilet bowl for several minutes. The heat from the water should break up the existing clog, allowing it to be properly flushed down the drain.

Copious amounts of dish soap

Another option is to take a bottle of dish soap and squeeze a large portion into the bowl. Let it sit for about thirty minutes. Before the time is up, you should see that water is starting to drain, but don’t freak out if it takes longer. How quickly the soap breaks down the clog depends on how severe the clog is. If you don’t have any dish soap, basic (don’t use a fancy, expensive salon brand) shampoo will work just as well.

Pouring some epsom salt into the bowl

This option could be especially helpful when you’re a guest in someone else’s home, and don’t want to leave the bathroom before you fix the clog. Snoop around the bathroom and look for a bag of epsom salt. Pouring epsom salt into a toilet bowl triggers a fizzy, soapy chemical reaction. This reaction can help break up the clog and clear the drain. If you can’t find epsom salt, a rogue bath bomb dropped in can help, too. Of course, then you’ll have to explain why you threw one of your host’s bath bombs in the toilet.

Using a toilet brush

Sometimes you won’t find a plunger, but you’ll almost always find a toilet cleaning brush. You could always use that to clean out the clog. This method is going to take some elbow grease, and, honestly, it might be gross, so prepare yourself. Hold the handle, push it into the drain hole, and pump back and forth several times. Don’t pump so forcefully that you damage the inside of the toilet. It happens more often than you think! After about thirty seconds, stop pumping. Then, you just have to cross your fingers and hope the water starts to drain.

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself? There are Main Factors

A clogged toilet will typically unclog itself over time. Most things that clog a toilet are water-soluble which means they will eventually dissolve in the toilet water. When the clog is given enough time to break down, the pressure of a flush should be enough to clear the pipes.

This might sound simple, but there’s a few more things you really should know before you let that poor clogged toilet fend for itself. Let’s get to it!

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself?

How To Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger

How to Keep your Toilet from Overflowing When Clogged

Related Questions

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself?

When deciding if letting your toilet unclog itself is a good option, there are two things to consider:

What caused the clog?

How big is the clog?

What Caused the Clog?

Letting the toilet unclog itself is only going to work if the object that caused the clog is an organic, degradable material. Basically, if you flushed something other than human waste or septic safe toilet paper, the toilet will not unclog itself.

How Big is the Clog?

The next thing you need to consider is how big or severe the clog is. If your toilet backs up some but then drains slowly, you have a partial clog. This type of clog is the easiest to clear and the most likely to unclog itself.


When it comes to toilet clogs, the team here at Watters has seen it all. The stories we could tell you about things we’ve pulled out of people’s toilets are priceless — everything from keys to phones to toys. Just the other day we got a call from a panicked customer in Menasha dealing with a clogged toilet, which got us thinking about common causes of clogs and how to deal with them. While it may seem like common sense, we’ve seen many customers who accidentally clog their toilet, and then deal with clogs incorrectly, which inadvertently can lead to ongoing plumbing issues and expensive repairs. Take a few minutes to learn more about some of the common causes of clogged toilets and how you can fix the issues without causing lasting (and pricey) damage! 

Using too much toilet paper

This is probably the most common reason toilets get clogged — and oftentimes the easiest to deal with. If we’re honest, most of us are probably guilty of this one at least sometimes.

If you’re one of the many people who use a lot of toilet paper when you use the bathroom, here are a few tips…

Do a double flush. First, flush the waste, then follow up with a second flush for the toilet paper. This minimizes flushing too much at once.

Consider switching to a thicker and higher-quality toilet paper so you can use less.

Fold the paper rather than creating a ball. This makes it less likely for the toilet paper to get trapped in the drain.

Most of the time, a common toilet plunger should work to take care of these types of clogs.

If you’re trying to cut back on toilet paper to reduce clogs, bidets are another great option.

Putting non-flushable objects down the toilet

You should never flush anything other than toilet paper down your toilet. Period. It may not seem like a big deal as it flushes down, especially if it’s a “paper” product like Kleenex or wipes, but trust us when we say these foreign objects can build up, get trapped, and cause problems over time.

Items you shouldn’t flush down your toilet include:

Feminine products


Baby wipes

Makeup wipes


Paper towels

Cotton balls/Q-tips

Dental floss

Hair from your brush/razor

Food and beverage items

Cooking grease

How to Unclog Your Toilet

We’ve all been there. You go to flush, but instead of water going down, you see it rising up and up and up. . . . You panic: Did I really use that much toilet paper?

Toilet clogs are a pain to deal with anytime, but during the pandemic, they can really make you panic—you can’t afford to have a nonworking toilet, and you may be reluctant to have a plumber in your house. The good news: “Most clogs you can clear yourself,” says

Below, plumbers offer their advice on how to clear a toilet clog yourself and when you should call a professional. (As for what not to do, don’t use Drano or boiling water.)

We use simulated waste consisting of 160 solid polyethylene balls, seven sponges studded with No. 10 screws for realistic weight, and nonlubricated latex condoms filled with water. The best in our tests flush it all down in one go; the worst clog with the first flush

If you drop something in your toilet—say, a child’s toy—try extracting it first. Don’t force it down with a flush. Even if it carries down the pipes, it still has to move around 100 to 200 feet to get to the city’s sewer. “For a lot of people, once the object is out of sight, it’s out of mind,” says

How can I fix a clogged toilet without calling a plumber?

We’ve all been there: you’re using the toilets, flush the water, and it’s still there. Flush again, to no avail. It’s utterly clogged.

When at home I can simply call a plumber, but:

It costs money

It might happen outside your home, e.g. friend’s house

Use a toilet plunger. That’s what it was designed for, and if you use it right, won’t splash at all. Most people have one by the toilet, or in a small closet nearby. It’s far more effective than using a brush, and much less messy.

Just a note, I have 1 toilet in particular which a plunger is surprisingly ineffective. 🙁 The odd shape of the outlet doesn’t match up with the plunger well. It really sucks .. 🙁 I’m still trying different plungers to see if a better one fits properly .. however, not all plungers fit all toilets … just an FYI. 😉

Keep in mind when using this technique that after inserting the plunger, there is generally air in it. That air will compress, rendering the plunging stroke ineffective. This means you need to press on the plunger three or four times to get the air out. The first push with minimal air in the plunger typically is the one that clears the toilet

builder friend of mine who services student accommodation passed on this great tip that requires only a readily available and disposable tool – and no gloves:

get a garbage bag. Most homes will have one, often in the bathroom. Check it has no manufactured perforations

push one arm down to the bottom of the bag and hold the rim of the bag with the other

using the hand inside the bin bag, reach under water to the drain hole. You may feel wet at this point – you aren’t.

now pump the palm of your hand over the drain hole as a crude plunger OR simply use your fingers to remove the obstruction

once the blockage is dislodged or pulled out, the bowl should empty.

invert the bag by clenching your hand and pulling towards you while holding the opening in place over the bowl.


What Every Homeowner Should Know About Residential Roofing

How do you maintain a roof?

Every home has a roof. Without one, you will probably be in discomfort, either from rain or the sun. As the roof shields you from adverse weather conditions, you also need to maintain it too, as maintaining it will make it serve you for a long time.

Routine inspection and general maintenance can help in extending the lifespan of your roof. It will also save you the cost of a new roof installation.

The Problems Associated With Roofing

  • There are several problems associated with roofing and here are a few of such:
  • Poor or faulty installation: This is the main reason that causes the breakdown of a roof. If your roof was poorly installed, it is prone to future problems.
  • Leaks and moisture: This is another problem associated with roofs. The roof may begin to leak, emanating from factors like wind, excessive rainfall, and debris. Still, if your roof is properly installed, you will rarely have such issues.
  • Improper maintenance: The worst enemy of a roof is improper maintenance. Roof problems usually start small, and if not taken care of, escalate into more serious problems.
  • Lack of quality materials: Some unprofessional roofing contractors use bad-quality materials in the installation of roofs. This is the beginning of roof problems for homeowners.
  • How then do you avoid these problems? You avoid them by proper maintenance of your roof. How then do you maintain your roof?

Maintaining Your Roof

You can only maintain a roof that was properly installed. One that is not properly installed will eventually get bad. All roofs are prone to wear and tear, but the ones properly installed take a long time to get to that stage.

Here are the ways to maintain your roof:

  • Check out for damaged or missing shingles: This check should be done once in a while. You need to clean them, to keep them free from dirt, fungal and moss. If there’s any damaged or missing shingle, you only need to contact a professional roofing contractor.
  • Trim overhanging branches: You shouldn’t let a tree grow too close to your house. If there’s one already, you just need to ensure that the branches are not over-hanging. Trim often if they are. Leaves from these branches may fall onto your roof, causing the leaves to rot. The tiles of your roofing will also begin to rot.
  • Clear debris constantly: Check out for debris in the gutters and valleys of your roof, as they are prone to be congested by debris. If your gutters are clogged with debris, it leads to drainage issues. Stagnant water on your roof may make them weak, and leaking begins.
  • Check out for rust and corrosion: Rust and corrosion are roofing problems. They may be caused by excessive rainfall on your roof. If your roof starts to rust, also contact a professional roofing contractor.

General inspection and repair

Check the attic or other interior ceiling for stains that can indicate water is seeping into your home. Then examine the roof for missing, lifted or loose shingles and check the rest of the shingles for moss and mold, worn spots denoted by missing granules, cracks, peeling and curling. Additionally, check for missing or loose flashing, nails and metal roof bolts. Replace and repair shingles or flashing and replace or tighten roof hardware as needed.

Peeling, curling and partially lifted shingles found in more than one area of the roof can indicate that the roof is at the end of its usability. If you don’t have experience with roof replacement and you see this level of damage, hire a professional roofer to determine if the roof needs more than do-it-yourself maintenance.

Moss and mold removal

Gently spray a roof moss remover and cleaner on affected areas. Follow the specific cleaner’s instructions to wait for the solution to do its work and then gently brush away the moss and mold with a soft bristled broom and wide handheld brush. Use of a power washer or hard-bristled brush can wear away granules that protect the shingles from harmful UV rays.

Soffits, fascia, gutters and downspouts

Wearing heavy rubber work gloves, carefully remove by hand, or with a small scoop, all debris from the gutters and downspouts. Then, gently scrub away dirt and grime from all areas with a soft bristled cleaning brush.  Clear away remaining debris with a garden hose and then check for missing caulk and paint peeling, soffit and fascia rotting, holes and cracks, loose or missing gutter sections or hardware and gutter-related leaks. Make replacements and repairs and re-caulk and re-paint as needed. Keep in mind that leaning your body on the gutters while cleaning can damage them and potentially cause you to fall off your ladder. Installing gutter screens or covers can reduce yearly cleaning time.

Roof Maintenance Tips To Make Your Roof Last As Long As Possible

Whether your roof is brand-new or years old, here’s what you need to do to keep it in the best possible shape for the longest possible time.

A new roof is an expensive proposition — $18,800 on average for composition shingles, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report, and as much as $36,000 for high-end materials. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you’ll want to protect it.

And even if your roof is years old, maintaining it in good shape will prolong its life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely. Here’s what you need to do to get the most from your roof.

Clean the Gutters

Ruined paint on siding and a wet basement are typical problems caused by clogged gutters, but it might surprise you to learn that the overflow can also go upward. When leaves pile too deeply in gutters, water can wick into roof sheathing and rot it, or even rot roof rafters.

Fixing that kind of damage could run into the thousands of dollars, but you can avoid it by cleaning your gutters each fall and spring. Do it yourself in a few hours if you’re comfortable working on a ladder, or hire a pro for $50-$250, depending on house size.

Remove Leaves

If you have a simple peaked roof surrounded by low landscaping, your roof probably stays clear of leaves on its own. But if the roof is more complicated or if towering trees are nearby, piles of leaves probably collect in roof valleys or near chimneys. If you don’t remove them, they will trap moisture and gradually decompose, allowing moisture to accumulate in your roof — or worse, create fertile ground for weeds to grow.

If you have a low-slope roof and a one-story house, you may be able to pull the leaves down with a soft car-washing brush on a telescoping pole. Or you can use a specialty tool like a roof leaf rake, which costs about $20. A leaf blower gets the job done too, especially on dry leaves, but you or a pro needs to go up on the roof to use it.

If leaves are too wet or too deep, you might need to wash them off with a garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer, which can force water up under the shingles.

Get Rid of Moss

In much of the country, composition roofs often become covered with black algae. Although unsightly, this filmy growth doesn’t hurt the roof. A little chlorine bleach or detergent mixed with water will kill it, but it’s safer for both you and the roof to just leave it alone.

If you live in the Northwest, you’re likely to find moss growing on your roof, particularly on wood or composition shingles. Moss, which looks more three-dimensional than algae, needs to go because it traps water. If you tackle it early enough, you can just sweep it off.

Roof cleaning

Roof cleaning is an effective way of maintaining your roof. It keeps the roof clean and free from debris that can cause a leak. Always keep the roof clean to avoid spending too much on roof repair.

Roof painting

Painting your roof can improve its appearance and protect it from weathering elements. It can also prolong the lifespan of the roof for up to 10 years. Familiarise or research the roofing products that are being used to avoid harmful effects and roof damage.

Roof restoration

Roof restoration involves cleaning, painting, replacement and removal of roofing parts and applying solutions to prolong the lifespan of the roof. Leaky and saggy roof, deterioration of materials and corrosion are common signs of a roof which needs restoration. Be informed about the services being provided by the roofer before agreeing to start the project to avoid miscommunication about prices and policies.

In conclusion

Roof cleaning, roof restoration, and roof painting are a few ways of maintaining your roof. It can prevent you from spending too much on renovation, keep the family safe, and avoid diseases. Work duration will depend on the type of roof damage and work that needs to be done. If you need roof repairs this information will help.