What You Need To Know About Vacation Rentals Cleaning Before You Go

Vacation Rental 101: Housekeeping

The number one cause of vacation rental guest complaints is cleanliness. When guests pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to stay in your home, they expect it to be immaculate. If it hasn’t been cleaned before their arrival, they’re understandably going to be upset.

WHAT MAKES A VACATION RENTAL CLEANING DIFFERENT

A vacation rental cleaning goes above and beyond what you’d expect from a typical house cleaning. Your housekeeper needs to be ready to provide a higher level of service, and handle tasks like

IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT DOING IT YOURSELF…

The first decision you need to make about cleaning your vacation rental is whether you’re going to do the work yourself or hire a service to handle it for you

Even if doing it yourself seems like an attractive option, ask yourself an honest question: Can I commit to deep-cleaning the entire property more than once a week?

In high season, you might have “quick turns” where a guest checks out at 10 a.m. and the next guest checks in at 4 p.m. In that window, you’ll need to provide a thorough cleaning. If you can’t guarantee you’ll be ready and willing to do that, you need to hire someone who can.

IF YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT HIRING A CLEANING SERVICE

Working with a cleaning service is a great alternative. If you don’t want to handle the cleaning yourself or you don’t live near your rental property, it’s helpful to have a trusted housekeeper who will visit your home on a regular basis to keep things in great shape for guests.

CLEANING APPS FOR VACATION RENTAL BUSINESSES

Despite the increasing number of travelers who are choosing vacation rentals as a more homely alternative to hotels, their expectations don’t differ when it comes to cleanliness.

Some of the most common negative reviews of vacation rentals and other alternative accommodation derive from the guest’s dissatisfaction of cleanliness standards. In other words, as a host, you need to start considering the value of professional cleaning services for your vacation rental because what you might consider sparkling clean in your own house simply won’t cut it with guests.

Short-term renting goes hand in hand with a high guest turnover – and a requirement for deep cleaning after every check-out. But, for many owners, a vacation rental business is a side hustle and not their full-time day job. So, how do you stay on top of all these rental property cleaning tasks to ensure you always meet guest expectations? You hire a vacation rental cleaner!

CLEANING SERVICES FOR VACATION RENTALS

In order to suit different owners’ needs, there is a huge variety of cleaning services that you can request for your vacation rental. These can range from simple, ordinary tasks like making the beds, changing towels and cleaning toilets to more specific and tricky ones like cleaning mirrors and fixtures or removing carpet stains.

TURNOVERBNB

TurnoverBnB allows owners to create automated cleaning schedules and enjoy completely hands-free management. In fact, thanks to its integration with major booking platforms like Airbnb, Booking.com and HomeAway, owners can automatically schedule turnovers based on bookings and available time between one guest checking out and the following checking in. Owners can easily manage and communicate with existing cleaners or use the marketplace feature to find professional vacation rental cleaners in their area. The platform also provides automated payments and record tracking of completed jobs.

How to Manage Housekeepers and Keep a Spotless Vacation Rental

Experienced vacation rental owners across the country can confirm that it doesn’t matter how beautiful, well-located, or trendy your home appears—if you don’t know how to manage housekeepers and keep a spotless rental, then travelers will be less likely to book your home

Your home should be as clean as a hotel

Sheryl Milligan, manager of Handmaid Cleaning in Walla Walla, Washington, says vacation rental guests expect the highest level of cleanliness. Handmaid Cleaning offers turnover services to anywhere between 10 and 20 vacation rentals in the Walla Walla area, and sees that most guests who choose a vacation rental do so for a more “homey” feel—but still expect a home to be as clean as a hotel.

“At our company, we can’t stress enough the importance of perfect service every time on vacation rentals,” she said. “If we fail to provide 5-star service, it reflects poorly on us and on the property owner.”

The guests, for example, might leave that owner a bad review for something they trusted the cleaning company to do. “To avoid any issues, we always send our most senior technicians to do the cleaning,” she said. “We have a list of cleaning tasks as well as any specific set up requests—like leaving a bottle of wine out or leaving certain lights on—they must check off before leaving, and we send our quality control person or property manager to double check everything before the guests check in.”

How to find your housekeeper

Like many vacation rental owners, Lee tried to use the internet to find her housekeeper. “Not being local to the area where my vacation rental is located, I began my search for a cleaning company with a Google search,” she said.

Choosing Cleaning Products for Vacation Rentals

A housekeeper’s world is a dangerous world! There are all sorts of nasty microbes that need to be eradicated from the property as it is cleaned. Having the most effective cleaning products is imperative to the effectiveness and speed of the cleaning professional. When choosing cleaning products

NO RINSING REQUIRED

The products should only need to be wiped off the surface. A product that needs to be rinsed off before the surface is dried takes extra housekeeper time.

DWELL TIME

The product should be doing all the “heavy lifting” so to speak. As the product is sitting on the surface, it should be breaking down the soap scum, hard water deposits, and oils. There should be very little elbow grease required from the cleaning professional.

DEADLY TO MICROBES

Not all cleaning products kill all microbes or kill them quickly. Some products can take up to 10 minutes to kill Staph, which is unacceptable! When evaluating a product, ask for a list of microbes the product kills and how long it takes to kill them. The product should kill the microbes in a short dwell time, if not instantly.

SUSTAINABLE

The product must be sustainable. Many natural cleaners are not effective at killing microbes and breaking down soap scum and body oils.

TOP TIPS TO CLEAN YOUR VACATION HOUSE RENTAL FAST

We all know that cleanliness is vital to the success of any Short Term Rental. But, after a while, you can start to feel like a cleaning slave, especially if you have a lot of one-nighter bookings. You wake up, clean, welcome guest, sleep, repeat.

The best way to combat the infinite cleaning loop is to find ways to speed up the process. Now, we’re not talking about doing a subpar cleaning job. We don’t want you to get any bad reviews, or worse, have your super host status revoked. Instead, it’s time to make a plan, get efficient and follow these tips to shave minutes off of your cleaning time. You know, so you can go out there and enjoy all that money you’re making on your rental.

Create a checklist of what needs to be cleaned in between each guest booking. In the beginning, you may want to write this list down until you get more familiar with your specific routine. We don’t want you stressing because you forgot an important step or waste time thinking about what needs to be cleaned next. After awhile, you will find that by doing certain chores in a specific order will shorten your cleaning time. So, experiment and look for ways that are more effective for getting your specific rental in tip top shape.

Cycle through your deep cleaning chores. Some parts of your rental only need to be deep cleaned every once in a while. For example, you may only need to wipe down your baseboards or ceiling fan every couple of weeks. The next time you clean, add only one of these chores to your cleaning list and cycle through the rest doing one of these chores every time you clean.

Set a time limit to clean your rental and then try to slowly decrease that time with every cleaning. When you give yourself a time limit, and commit to sticking to it, that small added pressure will keep you focused and moving efficiently. It will also show you what issues are slowing you down and can be improved. But don’t take this too far. Keep your expectations realistic. We’d all like to be able to clean our rentals in under 2 minutes but, for most of us, that is just not possible. If it normally takes you three hours to clean your rental, next time give yourself 2 hours and forty-five minutes to get it done.

How To Find The Right Divorce Lawyer For You

Ways To Keep Divorce Lawyers From Ruining Your Life Home

Actually legal advisors are individuals, and like individuals, there are some terrible ones out there and a couple of great ones. At the point when you employ a dreadful legal counselor (one who makes strife instead of settling it, one who exacerbates your separation, as opposed to better) everyone included endures. You endure, your mate endures and your youngsters endure. All things considered, not every person endures. The dreadful legal counselor doesn’t endure, so it’s critical to do everything conceivable to abstain from enlisting that attorney, since that is the main sure approach to keep separate from legal counselors from demolishing your life. Here’s the ticket:

Don’t hire the wrong lawyer.

The lawyer you hire makes a tremendous difference. Use

common sense in the selection process. Be observant, ask questions, and don’t hire someone

if you don’t feel good about your interaction with him or her. Here are some things to think

about in an initial meeting with a lawyer: 1) does the lawyer have a direct dial phone

number? You can assume that if you have to go through a secretary or paralegal to reach

your lawyer, you will have a harder time reaching him or her; 2) watch out for a messy office;

if the lawyer is disorganized you can assume your case will be disorganized. If you see other

clients’ documents sitting out in public view, you can know that your documents will soon be

sitting out in public the same way; 3) make sure the lawyer has a written client agreement that

ensures that you understand your fees, rights and obligations; 4) don’t hire the dabbler –

someone that does a traffic ticket case in the morning, a real estate closing in the afternoon

and squeezes your case in somewhere in the middle; divorce is complicated enough that you

should hire someone who does it all day long, every day; and, 5) don’t hire a lawyer taking

on more cases than s/he can handle; ask the lawyer what his or her average caseload is.

Handling more than 15 or 20 cases at one time causes most lawyers to become overwhelmed

and ineffective. Thinking about these issues when you meet with a lawyer for the first time

will help you make the right choice.

Don’t let a judge decide for you.

The minute you (or your spouse) go to court and ask a

judge to decide your divorce for you, you give up nearly all of the control you have over the

process. If you want to keep your money instead of giving it to a lawyer, and if you want to

maintain control over your life, DO NOT LITIGATE. Go to court only as a last resort, only if

all else fails. Try negotiation, try mediation, try collaborative divorce, try settlement

conferences but do not litigate. You may win at trial, but at what cost? Will you be able to

dance with your former spouse at your child’s wedding? Probably not. Litigation is

destructive, expensive and gut wrenching. Litigate only if you have no other option.

Litigation is, unfortunately, necessary in some cases. There will always be people that just

can not agree no matter how hard you try. Reserve litigation for the most desperate situations.

Don’t hire a good mediator without getting legitimate suggestions first.

Often, people think that hiring a vermittler is actually a substitute for selecting a lawyer around attempting to resolve their divorce process. The crucial mistake these people are making is this: mediators are not able to give legal guidance. what does an attorney is only in order to help people agree; typically the drawback is that they may help anyone consent to something that a person would certainly not have decided to if you got sought legal advice very first. Timing is everything in this article: using some sort of mediator can certainly be effective inside solving a divorce, you ought to never, actually hire a mediator without having first receiving legal assistance from a lawyer whose sole function is to represent your very best interests. In fact, just about any good vermittler will insist that you go together with get legal advice in advance of any kind of agreement is attained, anyways. If you pick to mediate your challenge, get the legal suggestions in advance of you begin mediation. That is more useful plus safer.

Have a tendency signal a blank check.

Putting your signature on an agreement with a good legal representative that calls intended for hourly records is similar to signing a blank look at. Be careful. Let’s experience information – hourly payments motivates what? Billing! Get a legal representative who may tell you what your current event will cost. Typically the only way to be certain of your respective attorney price is to get a good commitment on a predetermined payment. Short of some sort of fixed fee you will need frequent updates on the prices that you have sustained (if the idea were our own funds we would want day-to-day, real-time, improvements over the particular internet) and we wants the authority to acknowledge or reject any activity that might result in our own paying more income. legal advice family law doesn’t make sense to provide someone the economic incentive to make your lifestyle unhappy by dragging things out there. Doctors don’t expenses usually tend to – they fee you a fixed fee with regard to your office visit or if your surgery. Legal professionals want that you feel that they aren’t predict your fee. In case they won’t tell a person how much it prices then don’t buy this.

Do a money saving advantage investigation.

In separate, it is anything but difficult to become involved with the feeling and settle on the entirety of your choices from that vantage point. This can be a mix-up however; investing some energy breaking down your case from an intelligent, money saving advantage viewpoint can deliver profits. Watch out for the ball and remain concentrated on getting the separation completed so you can proceed onward with your life. It isn’t remarkable for separating from individuals to do things like burn through $500 to get a $100 microwave. Try not to do it. In the event that you can’t see a reasonable association between your activities and accomplishing a last goals of your case, at that point don’t make that move.

Do know your needs.

As often as possible individuals experiencing a separation find that their needs change all through the procedure. The things that they thought were most significant when they started the procedure are not really very similar things that are generally significant at the end. It is significant that you audit your needs normally, with your legal advisor or all alone, so you are constantly aware of things that issue to you most. Remaining over your very own needs enables you to keep your legal advisor educated and better utilize the separation procedure to acquire the outcomes that your consideration most energetically about.

Do stay adaptable.

One of the most widely recognized missteps individuals make when they start a separation is to conclude that they totally, emphatically should have A, B, and C, and nothing else will be adequate. Staying adaptable in the separation procedure enables you to basically and unbiasedly examine the entirety of the issues as they emerge. This is particularly valid for individuals who have checked on their needs all through the procedure (see # 7 above). Comprehending what you need, and being adaptable in your way to deal with getting it, can regularly mean the contrast among progress and dissatisfaction.

Be flexible

There probably have been some pre-conceived plans and ideas plotted in your mind before finally deciding to push through with divorce. At this point, it is important that you know how to become flexible, especially when things do not go your way. In divorce proceedings, several things may change which can affect your case. This is the reason why it is highly recommended that parties remain flexible so it will be easy for them to make the necessary adjustments.

Make up your mind

This is the most important thing you need to remember to keep a divorce lawyer from ruining your life. Once you file the petition for divorce, you must be 100% sure that it is what you want. Do not wait for the judge to ask you whether or not the decision to have a divorce is final. You don’t want to get caught acting on emotion and eventually make decisions you may regret.

How To Lay Laminate Flooring

Laminate Installation Tips

Step By Step Instructions:

Preparation

48 hours before installation place the flooring in the room to be installed and horizontally score the unopened packages. Once packages are open, planks should be installed immediately. Check all planks to be installed. Claims for defective planks that have been installed cannot be considered.

Installation

Planks can be installed over concrete, vinyl, linoleum, wood, ceramic tile, marble or stone. Existing carpet should be removed.

  1. Clean the sub floor and make sure that it is level and dry. The sub floor cannot vary more than 3/16″ in 8′; moisture content of the wood sub floor should be no more than 10%, with a maximum of 5 lbs. vapor emissions for concrete sub floors.
  2. Concrete sub floors must be covered with 6 mil polyethylene film. New concrete must be cured for at least 6 weeks before installation. Existing concrete with flooring already installed such as vinyl or ceramic must be covered with 6 mil polyethylene film. Overlap seams by 8″. Seams do not have to be taped.
  3. Do not use polyethylene film over wood sub floors.
  4. Remove all existing trims and wall base as necessary.
  5. To ensure that your first and last row of planks is of equal width, measure the width of the room and divide the width of the room by the width of the plank. If the width of the last row of planks will be less than 21/2″ cut the first row of planks to make it narrower to achieve an approximate equal width in the first and last rows.
  6. If possible, install planks with the long direction parallel to the incoming sunlight source or to the longest wall of the room.
  7. Leave a minimum 1/8″ expansion area around walls and obstacles in the floor.
  8. Begin installation at the left-hand corner. Place the first plank with the tongue side towards the wall, being sure to allow 1/8″ for expansion. We recommend cutting off the tongue on this first row to avoid any problem with the expansion gap. Insert the second plank into the first at an angle pressing the short ends together; then press it down. Repeat the same procedure down the row. Measure and cut the last plank of the row (decorative side up if using a hand saw, decorative side down if using and electric saw). Set the remaining piece aside.
  9. To start the second row, use the piece left over from the last plank of the first row. If it is too short, cut a new plank in half and use one half to start the second row. Insert the first plank of the second row at an angle into the first row; press in and down at the same time until the plank locks in place. Repeat this step with the next piece, keeping the short joints of these two pieces as close to each other as possible without actually engaging them. Using a tapping block, tap the second piece into the first. Continue installation in this manner. From the second row onward use a pull bar to engage the short edge of the last plank.

My Laminate Flooring Won’t Lock

A Few Possible Problems

Some common reasons why laminate pieces won’t snap into each other include:

  • A warped or flawed piece of laminate
  • A heaved or uneven subfloor
  • A piece of debris trapped under the flooring or underlayment, or in the flooring’s grooves
  • A protruding nail or screw head

To troubleshoot, start by holding the plank up at eye level to see if it is warped. If not, examine it for manufacturing flaws or debris in the grooves. If there’s debris you can brush it out, or if there’s a defect you can trim the plank to remove the affected section.

If the problem isn’t with the plank itself, problem, look at the floor underneath your work area. If nails or screw heads prove to be the culprit, lift the underlay and drive them all so they’re flush or countersunk. If there’s debris beneath the underlayment, pick it up manually or sweep it up before replacing the underlayment.

Tongue or Groove? Which to Install First

Which side is the tongue, which the groove, and which goes first during installation?The tongue is the side that you will want to place against the wall as you start your laminate-flooring installation. If you mix the two up and start with the groove side, you will have difficulty completing the installation because you will essentially be installing the flooring backwards.In the line drawing above, note the orientation for the tongue and the groove. As this illustration indicates, the tongue for any Swiss Krono click system protrudes outward, while the groove part forms a cavity for the tongue of the next plank to fit into. Both are cut to micron precision so that they create a snug, interlocking installation.You will want to start in the left side of the wall you pick with the tongue on the long side of a plank facing the wall. The tongue against the wall should be removed. You can use a sharp utility knife for the 7-mm or 8-mm product, but 10-mm or 12-mm product will require a saw.It is important to work from left to right to avoid damaging the tongues on the short side of the boards.Before getting started with your installation project, and after you have acclimated your laminate flooring planks, it’s a good idea to get all of your planks oriented in the same direction with the tongue side of each plank parallel to the wall you will be installing against.

How can I fix open joints in my laminate flooring?

Humidity can make your laminate floor boards shrink or expand a bit. This fluctuation in humidity levels can cause them to click loose and move, resulting in openings between the boards. Fortunately, you don’t have to remove the entire floor to close these open joints. Using the following step-by-step guide, you can easily fix the problem.

Before you get started, you’ll need a few tools: a hammer, a chisel, a crowbar and a tapping block. Optional: wood glue.

  • Take a close look at the open joint and try to determine in which direction the board moved. This is the side where you’ll remove the skirting board.
  • Use the chisel and hammer to remove the skirting board on the side the laminate board moved towards.
  • Once you’ve removed the baseboard, you’ll see which board came undone. Using the hammer and tapping block, knock the board back in place to close the open juncture. You can use some wood glue in the crack between both boards to make sure it won’t come apart again.
  • Glue your skirting board back together and your laminate floor is perfect again.

The Best Way to Cut Laminate Flooring – Step by Step

This quick guide covers all the laminate flooring cuts you’ll need to make. If it seems quite easy, be sure that it is with a little practice. You may make a false cut or two, but those pieces can be salvaged for later when a shorter piece is required.

Cutting laminate to length:

  • Measure the length required using your tape measure
  • Mark the board for the cut
  • Use your square and pen or pencil to create a straight line across the face of the board
  • Use your cutting tool to make the cut on the waste-side of the line, and use a damp cloth to remove any remaining ink

Cutting laminate to width:

Cutting to width is required for the last board to install before an obstacle such as a wall, cabinetry or fireplace. Keep in mind that laminate flooring requires an expansion space of about 1/4″ to keep the flooring from buckling when it swells slightly with warmth and humidity. The gap will be covered by the baseboard.

  • Lay a full piece of laminate on top of the second-to-last piece, snug it against the wall, and measure the amount of overlap
  • Cut a guide out of laminate scrap that is as wide as the overlap plus 1/4″ to mark how much of the laminate must be removed
  • With the piece still against the wall, place the guide you’ve made on top of it, also against the wall
  • Run the guide down the length of the board, holding your pen at the base of the outside of it to mark the last piece for cutting
  • Cut the piece on the waste side of the line, and use a damp cloth to remove any remaining ink

Cutting laminate around pipes and other obstacles:

  • For pipes, measure the length and width to the center of the pipe
  • Make a mark on the laminate piece where the center of the piece would be
  • Use a hole saw about 1/2″ in diameter larger than the pipe diameter to create an opening for the pipe
  • Cut the laminate piece in half across its width through the center of the hole
  • Fit the pieces around the pipe, and use glue suitable for laminate to attach the pieces together
  • For cutting around odd-shaped obstacles, use the profile gauge to replicate the profile of the obstacle
  • Lay the profile gauge onto the piece of laminate, and trace the profile onto it with your pen
  • Use the jigsaw to cut out the profile, cutting on the waste side of the line

The Things You Need To Know About Undermount Kitchen Sink

Information About Kitchen Sinks

What Are Kitchen Sinks Made Of?

When the time comes to replace or install a new kitchen sink, many things must be considered: style, size, color, durability, and of course, price. The goal for most people is to manage that fine line between looks and cost.

The stuff the sink is made of is extremely important. If you don’t understand the different materials, you might finger through a hundred sites, only to end up unknowingly choosing the wrong sink for your needs and taste.

Even though high-end sinks are beautiful and stunning to look at, they come with beautifully stunning price tags as well! So let’s take a look at what we can find to fit your needs, style and most importantly your kitchen project budget.

You will find an overview for each type of material used to manufacture sinks. Each will tell you what problems the sink material may bring as well as the good reasons for choosing each sink type. And a very in-depth look at everyone’s favorite sink material, stainless steel!

TYPES OF KITCHEN SINKS

Whether you’re looking to add the finishing touches on your kitchen remodel or have picked up a newfound love for cooking and need a more capable workspace, there are many reasons to update your sink.

We have compiled a list of types of kitchen sinks ranging between style and material. Each type contains tips on best uses, pros and cons and counter fitting points. Once you’ve narrowed down to the sink that will best fit your needs, check out our extensive selection of kitchen sinks to find one that suits your kitchen.

FARMHOUSE SINK

A farmhouse style sink, also known as an apron sink, extends over the edge of your counter. This type of sink is most commonly used in a traditional or rustic farmhouse style kitchen and can be designed with a single bowl or double bowl. These sinks are gaining popularity with the resurgence of rustic and farmhouse interior design. They typically come as fireclay or cast iron and are incredibly durable and easy to clean because of their nonporous material. Farmhouse sinks have a deep basin perfect for big families, lots of dishes and cleanup. They can be pricey and are more difficult to install because you have to cut out a large portion of your counter.

UNDERMOUNT SINK

An undermount sink is installed directly under the counter, creating a seamless look from countertop to sink. This type of sink is versatile and works with most kitchen layouts. Not only do these sinks look sleek, but they also make for easy clean up because debris can be pushed straight into the sink without catching on a lip or rim. It’s worth considering the weight of the sink that you choose since it is typically installed with glue which attaches to the underside of the counter and the sink. Most fireclay or cast iron sinks will not work with this installation method because of their heaviness.

STAINLESS STEEL SINK

Stainless steel sinks are light and easy to install, making them a functional and popular option. Stainless steel sinks are categorized by sheeting thickness, or gauge. A thicker gauge means the sink will typically be heavier and cheaper, while a thinner gauge will mean the sink is lighter and often more expensive. Stainless steel sinks tend to be noisier than other sink materials and they can dent, but they offer great heat and stain resistance.

BAR SINK

Bar sinks are installed in a home wet bar and are generally smaller and more shallow than your average kitchen sink, making them a secondary option. They are typically a single bowl design used for prep work, drink-making and convenient cleanup. If you have a large family or group of friends, a bar sink is great for entertaining in your home bar, patio or terrace.

CORNER SINK

Corner sinks are double-basin sinks installed on a corner of your counter. The two basins are set apart from each other, in a catty-corner manner. This is a relatively unique design that can be useful if you are looking to maximize your counter space. Corner sinks can be expensive and difficult to install. Since most counters are seamed at the corner, custom cuts in the counter will add to the total cost of installing this type of sink.

Porcelain vs Black Kitchen Sinks

Pros of Porcelain Sinks

It costs less to install a porcelain kitchen sink than a black sink. Porcelain material is widely available and has long been used for sink installations. The price range for porcelain sinks accommodates many people. This makes it an affordable option when it comes to kitchen sinks. Porcelain is generally a light-colored material. The light shades make it a good choice for those who prefer lots of light in the kitchen. The light shades of the kitchen sink enhance the natural lighting aspect in the kitchen. Dirt shows easily on porcelain so it’ll never be too hard to know when you need to clean your sink. This will help you achieve a clean looking kitchen all the time.

Pros of Black Kitchen Sinks

Black is a sleek and trendy choice for the modern kitchen sink. If your kitchen appliances and countertops are black, a black sink blends perfectly with the décor. Black will give your kitchen a uniquely attractive appearance. Black sinks will also retain their appearance far longer than porcelain sinks. Black sinks are low maintenance. Dirt doesn’t show easily which makes it easier to have your kitchen looking good. Stains don’t form on black sinks and they’re also easier to clean. Porcelain kitchen sinks require a lot more maintenance. Black kitchen sinks rate highly for heavy-duty use. Black sinks are a good choice for those with young children in the house.

Single Bowl  vs  Double Bowl Sink

Saving Counter Space

If you use every inch of available counter space in your kitchen for storage, food prep, and decor, then double bowl sinks are useful with the second bowl. Using a double bowl sink with two large bowls gives you the option of placing a drying rack in the sink rather than on the counter. So, you can wash dishes in one bowl and dry them in the other without needing counter space.

Some single bowl sinks have a built-in 1 drying rack on one side, but this reduces the washing space. The size of the sink is always dictated by the sink base cabinet, so when you have limited counter space, a double bowl sink may provide the storage and drying area needed. Using a single bowl sink in a small kitchen also maximizes counter space, providing more prep room and counter storage than with a larger sink.

Installation

As far as the installation of the sink is concerned, there is little difference between a single and double bowl. Both sinks are held in place with epoxy 2 and sink clips. A large C-clamp will hold the sink to the counter while the epoxy 2 dries. The difference in the installation is when it is time to connect the plumbing.

Because a single bowl sink has only one drain, the installation is faster, easier, and cheaper. Placement of the faucet is also easier because there is only one bowl requiring water.

Double bowl sinks have two drains, which need to connect to one another before entering the final waste trap. One side of the sink may have a garbage disposal, while the other does not, which increases the difficulty. In addition, having a double bowl sink raises the question of where the faucet will be placed. If both sides of the sink will be used for washing, the faucet needs to be located so that it can fill both sides.

The Great Kitchen Sink Debate: Single or Double?

The kitchen is among the busiest rooms in any home, and especially so during the holidays. Are you thinking of how your kitchen can be redone to better accommodate next year’s holiday preparations? If the kitchen sink is one of your concerns, then you’re reading the right post!

Is a Double-Bowl Sink Worth the Space?

If you have an older home, it probably came with a double-bowl kitchen sink. This trend made its rounds at a time when dishwashers were not yet standard in the average American home. The primary purpose of double-bowl sinks was to make dishwashing easier: one bowl for soapy water, the other bowl with clean water for rinsing.

Nowadays, the double-bowl sink is rarely used for dishwashing. However, this type of kitchen sink does more than make dishwashing easier. Some of the benefits of a double-bowl sink are:

  • It’s ideal for washing large pans and other items that you don’t want to run through the dishwasher.
  • It helps keep things organized. For instance, you can put dirty dishes in one bowl while you use the other for food preparation.
  • It makes garbage disposal easier too. You can use the garbage disposal on one side even if the other bowl is full of water or dirty dishes.

Is a Single-Bowl Sink Enough for Your Needs?

Today, single-bowl sinks are dominating the home kitchen designs arena. Single-bowl sinks have one deep basin without any divider. They offer a number of benefits, including:

  • They provide more space for washing bigger kitchen items.
  • They do not take as much counter space as double-bowl sinks.
  • They are ideal for smaller kitchens.

Let DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Help You Choose

Choosing between a single- or double-bowl sink will largely depend on your needs. Do you need more counter space? A single-bowl sink could prove to be a good choice. Do you like the ability to separate dirty dishes while rinsing produce? A double-bowl sink can serve you wel

Water Testing Kits And Indoor Air Test Kits

Types of Water Testing Methods

There are a wide range of water quality tests used to help determine how safe, or even drinkable, water is to be used in a household setting or otherwise that water test labs perform. These different types of tests help determine if specific materials of contaminants have infected a body of water, and help inform how it needs to be further treated. Here are just a few types of water testing methods.

Bacteria Tests

There are a range of potential bacterial contaminants that can plague water. One of the most common and most looked for is E. coli bacteria, which comes from fecal matter exposure and can result in serious health issues when consumed. Bacteria testing is essential in determining how safe water is to drink or expose to your skin.

Mineral Tests

The list of mineral testing available could be a thesis paper, for how many there are. A few common and important mineral tests include chlorine and chloride, nitrate and nitrite, lead, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, and sodium. This wide range of mineral testing is essential and relevant in determining water quality, as different regions or areas of terrain may have more of a buildup of certain types of minerals, which informs what kind of mineral treatments the water actually needs in order to be purified.

pH Testing

What is pH? If middle school science class feels like an age and a day behind you, here’s a quick reminder. pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. The more of these hydrogen ions there are in a solution, the more acidic that water is. Acidity effects taste of water, but it can also affect how health water is to consume. Drinking water that’s not neutral enough in acidity can make people sick!

Other Types of Testing

There are some basic water tests that don’t have anything to do with chemical testing: conductivity, odor, sediment, and turbidity. Not relevant in all situations, these tests create a measure of the more physical traits of a water sample. Is it clear, or clouded with sand and silt? Does it smell swampy, or fresh? How well does it convey electricity—and what does that say about the mineral content?

chemical test of drinking water

pH Testing Procedure

1. Rinse each test tube with the water sample. Gloves should be worn to avoid skin contact with the water.

2. Fill the tube to the 5mL line with sample water.

3. While holding a dropper bottle vertically, add 10 drops of Wide Range Indicator Solution.

4. Cap and invert several times to mix.

5. Insert the tube into the Wide Range pH Comparator. Hold the comparator up to a light source. Match the sample color to a color standard.

6. Record the pH value.

7. Wash your hands

Test formats

Typical low-tech, portable, field test methods for chemical water quality monitoring fall into three categories:

  • Test strips – These are small, single-use strips that change color to indicate the concentration of a specific chemical. Depending on the particular test, the user “activates” the paper or plastic strip by dipping it into the water sample and swishing it around, or by holding the strip in a stream of water. After waiting for a short time, the user compares the test strip color with a color chart to read the concentration of the chemical. These kits are extremely simple, but they are less accurate than other methods, especially if users don’t follow the instructions.
  • Color disk kits – Color disk test kits are available for a wide range of chemical tests.  In a typical set-up, the user adds a powder packet or a few drops of a liquid reagent to a water sample in a reusable plastic tube.  The user then places the sample tube in a small plastic viewing box.  This viewing box contains a plastic disk with a color gradient printed on it.  The user rotates the color disk to find the part that best matches the color of the sample, and then reads the concentration of the chemical from the disk.  Color disk kits typically have multiple steps and often include prescribed wait times, so they’re a little more complicated and costly, but generally more accurate.
  • Hand-held digital instruments – Lightweight and portable digital meters, colorimeters, and photometers are available for water testing.  They provide the most accurate results of these three testing methods, but they are also more expensive and delicate than the previous options.  These instruments require batteries and calibration.

Ecosystem health indicators

Aquatic ecosystem health indicators can be broadly divided into four categories:

Physico-chemical indicators

Physico-chemical indicators are the traditional ‘water quality’ indicators that most people are familiar with. They include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus). They also include measures of toxicants such as insecticides, herbicides and metals. Physico-chemical indicators provide information on what is impacting on the system. For example, is it an organic waste that affects dissolved oxygen, or is it some type of toxicant? Although physico-chemical indicators can identify the cause of the problem, they only provide limited information on the extent that pollutants are actually impacting on fauna and flora. To assess this, we need to assess the biological indicators.

Biological indicators

Biological indicators are direct measures of the health of the fauna and flora in the waterway. Commonly used biological indicators in freshwater include various measures of macroinvertebrate or fish diversity, benthic algal growth and benthic oxygen demand. For estuaries, biological indicators are less developed. The only commonly used biological indicator in estuaries is chlorophyll-a, which is a measure of phytoplankton population density. In coastal embayments, indicators such as seagrass condition or condition of fringing coral reefs are sometimes used.

In many aquatic ecosystems, the key influences on aquatic ecosystem health can be factors other than water quality, including habitat degradation and changes to natural flow patterns. Therefore, it is important to include indicators of these factors in monitoring programs.

Habitat indicators

Habitat indicators include both fringing (riparian) habitat and instream habitats. Indicators of riparian habitat include the width, continuity, extent of shading and species composition. Indicators of instream habitat include measures of the extent of scouring and bank erosion and the presence of woody debris (fallen trees, etc) that provide important habitat for many species.

Flow indicators

In freshwater, changes to flow are often the main cause of aquatic ecosystem health degradation; the Murray-Darling system is an example of this. Assessing the changes is therefore important. Changes to natural flow caused by humans are varied and include changes to peak flows, base flows, no flow periods and seasonality of flows. To assess these different changes, a number of indicators are required. Unfortunately, nearly all of these indicators rely on the existence of good flow data for both current and pre-disturbance conditions. This type of data is often not available. In this situation, less precise indicators of flow change can be sourced from assessments of the amount of flow captured in storages or abstracted for agricultural or urban use. 

Sample collection bottles and materials

Before collecting samples, make sure you have all the proper bottles, field equipment and preservatives, such as ice. There is nothing worse than being unprepared in the field, so plan ahead as much as possible. It’s best to obtain sampling bottles from the lab running the analysis, as some bottle sizes and preservatives used can differ slightly.

The methods that will be flowed will determine the type of bottles used. For example, samples for metals’ analyses are usually collected in plastic bottles, while analyses for volatile organics and pesticides are collected in glass containers. Bottles used to collect samples for bacteria should be sterilized. The size of the container is important to ensure you have enough sample to run the analysis needed. Container size may also be affected by regulation, as larger samples may be needed to obtain lower detection levels.

Certain analysis like volatile organics and radon require vials that are to be filled leaving no head space, which keeps these analytes dissolved in the water, preventing them from escaping into the air. Additionally, some analyses require samples to be collected in amber colored bottles. These darker bottles are for analytes that break-down in sunlight, which helps keep these contaminants from breaking down while in transit to the laboratory for analysis.

The Difference Between Engine Rebuilding And Overhauling An Automobile Engine

How to Tell If It’s Time for an Engine Rebuild

Most people have heard of an engine rebuild but not as many really know what a rebuilt engine really is or what is done when an engine is rebuilt. Engines are rebuilt for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will take a look at why engines are rebuilt, what is done to rebuild an engine, and some signs that your car might benefit from a rebuild.

Reasons for a Rebuild

There are two main reasons people choose to rebuild an engine: wear to engine bearings, and poorly seating piston rings. The moving parts of the engine (such and the crankshaft, rods and pistons) are mounted on bearings that allow them to move freely. These bearings are lubricated by engine oil. Bearings are built to last many thousands of miles, but they do experience wear after time. This wear is accelerated exponentially when a vehicle is poorly maintained and is run on low oil levels or the oil change schedule isn’t properly followed.

What’s Done during an Engine Rebuild

When an engine is rebuilt, a few basic things are done to restore it to good working condition. First, the “short block” or lower half of the engine is removed and sent to an automotive machine shop. At the shop it is disassembled and cleaned so that the condition of the block can be properly assessed. Depending on the condition of the internal parts of the engine, the piston rings, bearings and sometimes the pistons themselves are replaced. The internal surfaces of the cylinders are also reconditioned to ensure that the new piston rings can form a proper seal with the cylinder walls. Finally, the engine is reassembled and installed back in the vehicle. Often the cylinder head is also reconditioned at the same time.

Signs You May Need a Rebuild

There are some frequently seen signs that a rebuild may be necessary for your engine. The most common sign is oil consumption and excessive white smoke in the exhaust, especially when the engine is cold. This is normally a sign of worn piston rings. More extreme signs could be metal shavings in the engine oil (a common sign of dangerously worn bearings) and “knocking” or “chattering” from the engine bearings.

How to Evaluate Engine Rebuild Kits

Engine rebuild kits are a subject of some controversy in the automotive repair field. They are packaged and sold both by manufacturers, such as Sealed Power, and by individual parts wholesalers. The purpose of the kits is twofold. First, is to enable the buyer to obtain all needed parts at a reduced price. Second, is to force the buyer to obtain all needed parts from the same source. This means that all of the profit will go to the seller of the kit.

A Beginner’s Guide to Engine Rebuilding

At a certain time in your life, especially if you are a car guy or gal, you may find the need to rebuild an engine, and there are many reasons why you might discover this. You may want your engine to perform like, or better than, the day it rolled out from the factory or maybe you are just curious about what actually happens inside of an engine. Whatever your reasons are for tearing apart your engine you still might wonder how you should go about disassembling your engine. If you have never torn apart an engine before, or taken apart hundreds of engines, this is the guide for you. In this instructable, I will be covering my first ever engine rebuild and the steps I took to make my engine good as new. I hope that you find this instructable helpful and I hope that your engine rebuild goes well. Now let’s get started tearing apart that engine.

Research and Planning

Before you go tearing apart an engine it is very important to research and plan out the engine rebuild. There are many questions you should ask yourself before rebuilding an engine. What kind of engine do I want to rebuild? What kind of performance do I need out of the engine? How much do I have to spend on this project? How much time do I have to rebuild the engine? For my rebuild, I chose a classic American V8 engine and I just need it to perform as a stock engine. I would like to have the rebuild completed in less than six months.

Engine & Accessory Removal/Labeling System

Alright, time to get to the disassembly of the engine. If your engine is already in a car you will need to use an engine hoist to remove it from the engine bay. Then it can be placed on an engine stand. I will not cover that here because it is different for every car. I purchased my engine outside of a car locally on Craig’s List. I used a come-along puller and the trusses of my garage to hoist my engine onto an engine stand.

After securing my engine onto my engine stand I took off all of the accessories (alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, and power steering pump), pulleys, and the accessory brackets. I will include pictures of my accessories being removed but refer to your Haynes manual or other resources for information on how to remove your accessories.

Top End Removal (Valve Covers, Carburetor, Intake, Distributor, & Valley Pan)

It’s time to really start the disassembly of your engine. For this section of disassembly we will remove the valve covers, carburetor, intake distributor, and valley pan, so let’s get to it. Start off by removing the two or more bolts holding on your carburetor to your intake manifold. The engine I purchased did not include a carburetor, so I skipped this step. Next, I will remove the valve covers by removing the four bolts on each valve cover. I will label and bag those bolts and remove the valve covers.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN ENGINE REBUILD KIT

An engine rebuild is a large and expensive job, and choosing the right kit can seem a daunting task. There are a lot of kits for sale, and they may all seem similar but vary greatly in price. Knowing the difference between the various engine rebuild kits will help you shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the right parts for the job at hand

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN IN-FRAME, OUT-OF-FRAME, AND RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

A lot of customers that call in and want to rebuild their engine simply say they need a rebuild kit. Usually, we guess that they want a standard inframe rebuild kit, as that is the most common kit sold. However, there are several levels of rebuild kits to use, based on the state of the parts in the engine and the engine’s OEM. Another important thing to note that can confuse a lot of people, is that ”overhaul kit” is often used synonymously with “rebuild kit,” but it can also specifically mean “out-of-frame kit.” To avoid confusion with the term “overhaul,” we use “rebuild” instead. Also, please keep in mind that this article contains only the general components for these engine kits. For content lists specific to the kit you need, be sure to check the product’s page on our website, or call in to ask one of our parts techs.

RE-RING ENGINE REBUILD KITS

The re-ring kit is the smallest rebuild kit. It is one of the least time consuming ways to rebuild your engine, but it assumes that your pistons are reusable. Evaluate the condition of your other engine components before choosing to order a re-ring kit.

RE-RING KIT CONTENTS

Re-ring kits generally contain cylinder liners (if used in the application), piston rings, connecting rod bearings, main bearings, thrust washers (if used in the application), a cylinder head gasket set, and an oil pan gasket set. The big thing to pay attention to is that re-ring rebuild kits do not include pistons. Sometimes, you may see kits labeled as “pistonless” or “without pistons”—those are re-ring kits. The term re-ring comes from the fact that, even though the pistons in an engine are being reused, the rings should be replaced while you’re pulling them from the cylinder. Therefore, you need to re-ring the old piston. You can see a couple examples of re-ring kits here and here to compare how exact contents differ between engines.

CHOOSING A RE-RING KIT

A re-ring kit is for people that need to refresh their engine with a rebuild, but still have pistons that are in good condition. All of the more wearable components get replaced, such as rings, bearings, and gaskets. If the pistons are still good, they do not necessarily need to be replaced. This can save a lot of money, in both parts and labor. Labor expense is saved because this type of rebuild can be done while keeping the engine in the chassis.

Engine Rebuilding or Replacement – Which Is Right for Your Car?

When engine troubles get serious, your car is down for the count. You have only two options – you can choose to have your engine rebuilt, or you can replace it completely. Which is right for your needs? Both options offer you the ability to get back on the road, but they’re not the same. Let’s take a closer look.

Rebuilding – Rebuilding an engine is exactly what it sounds like. In this instance, your old engine is pulled out of the car, and the damaged parts are replaced. Any components that are still in operating condition are not usually replaced, but are reused once more.

Replacement – Engine replacement can involve replacing your engine with one of two different options. You can choose a used engine, or a crate engine.

Used engines are exactly what you think they are. They’re taken from donor vehicles (often wrecked, but with little to no front-end damage). They’re in operational condition, but that’s usually all you know for sure.

A crate engine is basically a remanufactured engine. This is different from a rebuilt engine in that the engine is torn down completely. All components are replaced, and the housing is machined back into OEM tolerance. It’s as close to a “new” engine as you can get on the market. Even engines marked as new are really remanufactured/crate engines.

Your warranty will play a role in what type of engine you choose. Some extended warranty companies will only cover used engines or engine rebuilding, while others will cover engine replacement with a crate engine.

The most important thing is to ensure that you’re working with a reputable Weston, Florida mechanic shop that offers engine rebuilding and replacement. Not all mechanic shops offer this service, so choose your provider with care.

Tips To Successfully Buying A Used Engine

If you’re in the market for a used or rebuilt engine, it’s fair to assume that it’s because you’ve either pushed your engine to its limits and damaged it beyond repair, or want to perform an engine swap for performance gains or another reason. Regardless of your situation, buying a used engine can be a great solution, but it is also important to not get caught with a lemon, because nobody has time (or the spare money) for that. We’ve consulted with an expert in the field and come up with 12 killer tips to ensure your engine-buying process is a success.

There isn’t a universal set of rules that govern how to inspect a used engine prior to purchase, as every mechanic or shop has their own theories and methods. Our friends at Ichiban JDM—importers of Japanese engines and transmissions— have shared some pointers that will come in handy to protect yourself from purchasing a problematic used engine. Private Sellers vs. Certified Engine SuppliersWe wondered whether there is a difference between buying an engine from a private seller on the internet or Craigslist versus purchasing one from an established supplier.“Professional engine suppliers like Ichiban JDM purchase engines first-hand so we know exactly where they come from. Our parent company, based in Nagoya, Japan, logs a vehicle’s mileage, then conducts full diagnostics on the engine prior to pulling it out. Once the engine touches down at our LA headquarters, we test the engine once more to make sure it’s ready to sell,” says Chris Ankor, general manager of Ichiban JDM

“Most professional engine shops stand behind the engines they sell with a 30-day startup warranty, as opposed to buying from a private party who insists you meet at some gas station because he or she doesn’t want you to know where they live,” says Ankor.“Nine out of ten times, these guys are selling engines pulled from some wrecking yard, or cobbled together using random pieces, with full intentions of trying to flip them for an easy profit without actually knowing their true running condition.”

At one time or another we’ve all witnessed or heard about some buyer who visually inspects an engine, then pulls an impulse buy because it looks clean, but doesn’t bother to test it because they lack the proper tools. Those are the same guys that end up getting hosed with an engine that’s only good enough to be used as a coffee table.

Ankor says, “We all like to think that people are honest but that’s not always the case. When you’re buying an engine from a stranger you’ve never met before, you’re taking a risk. You don’t know if the engine is good, if it’s going to be smoking, or even healthy enough to fire up. That’s a chance that many are willing to take, but honestly, why take the gamble? The most important thing is to protect yourself and go through the process of testing an engine before making a purchase.”

Income Tax Preparation

Tips to Find the Best Tax Preparer Near You

Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number

The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.

Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation

A PTIN is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant, licensed attorney, enrolled agent or who has completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams and ongoing education.

Look for friends in high places

Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements and various certification programs.

Reconsider those who don’t e-file

The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’ e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.

Tips to Find a Good Tax Preparer

Check the Tax Preparer’s Credentials

Anyone with a preparer tax identification number can handle and file your taxes, but it’s best to find someone who also can handle audits, a CPA and tax manager at Only a certified public accountant or an enrolled agent—another type of tax professional—can represent you before in those situations, she notes.

Look for a Well-Established Pro

Ideally, it’s a good idea to find a preparer who has had at least seven to 10 years of experience, The reason: The more time a preparer has been working on tax returns, the more likely he is to have dealt with a tax situation similar to yours.

Find a Preparer With Clients Like You

Ideally, you want a preparer with clients who are similar to you. That way, you’re more likely to get the best service for your particular needs.

Ask for a Price Quote

Often, a tax preparer will say that he can’t tell you what he’ll charge until he determines which forms you’ll need. But you can try to pin down an answer by presenting the forms you completed last year or by asking for a list of fees for various types of tax help.

How to Find the Best Tax Preparer for You

Types of Tax Return Pros

You can have anyone—your uncle, your neighbor, or your best friend—prepare your tax return. But if you’re paying for this service, the person must be registered with the IRS and have a current preparer tax identification number (PTIN), which is an IRS number issued annually to eligible preparers.

  • Attorneys: These professionals are licensed by states or state bar associations to practice law and are subject to continuing education requirements and a code of ethics.
  • CPAs: Certified public accountants are professionals who have passed the Uniform CPA Examination and been licensed by state boards of accountancy; they also have continuing education requirements.
  • Enrolled agents: These are individuals who have passed a three-part Special Enrollment Examination demonstrating competency in federal taxation and been licensed by the IRS. They, too, have continuing education requirements.
  • Annual filing season program participants: These individuals are not attorneys, CPAs, or enrolled agents but have completed an IRS program and obtained continuing education.
  • Any other preparer with a PTIN: These are individuals who believe they have sufficient knowledge to prepare returns and have paid the fee to obtain a PTIN. They are not subject to any oversight by a state, a professional board, or the IRS.

How to Choose a Tax Preparer

  • Payment. Try to get a clear understanding of the cost early in the process. You can minimize your costs by making sure your tax prep documents are well-organized and your accounting system is up-to-date.
  • Communication. Ask what is the best way to get in touch with the person in case you have a question or concern. Whether it’s text, email or phone, how soon can you expect to hear back?
  • Personal touch. Sometimes, you may be dealing with multiple people from the tax preparer’s office. It’s important to meet and talk with the person or people who will actually be handling your account.
  • Follow-up. Find out if your tax preparer will suggest ways for you to save on taxes next year or if he or she will contact you later if there are any new tax changes that could affect your business.
  • E-file. Make sure your preparer offers the IRS e-file option. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically.

Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

Verify the Preparer’s Credentials

There are a lot of people out there claiming to be a “tax professional.” However, just because someone hangs out a shingle and advertises tax prep services, it doesn’t mean they actually have the skill, education, and expertise to handle your return.

Check the Preparer’s Professional Record

You have to be able to trust your tax preparer. Afterall, he or she will know all about your finances and even have your Social Security number. And even if a preparer is credentialed, that doesn’t guarantee that he or she has a good professional reputation.

Ask About Fees

As with any other service or product you buy, make sure you have a good idea of the costs ahead of time. Prices for tax return preparation can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the complexity of your return, where you live, and the preparer’s experience. That’s why it’s important to get a quote before settling on a preparer.

Watch for Problems After Selecting a Preparer

Your due diligence doesn’t end after you pick a preparer. Watch out for warnings signs that something isn’t quite right. If one of these red flags pop up, you should seriously consider switching to another preparer right away.

Advantages And Applications Of Epoxy Flooring In An Industrial Set Up

How to Choose the Best Epoxy Floor Coating

A true epoxy is always a two-part product that is used by mixing a resin and hardener/activator. Epoxies do not “dry” in the same way that paints dry—through simple evaporation of water or oil-based solvent. Instead, they cure and harden through a chemical reaction between the two components.

Two-Part Epoxy Floor Coating With 100 Percent Solids

Two-part epoxy floor coatings are described as “100 percent solids” because they do not contain any traditional solvents. Two-part epoxy coatings offer the very best surface for concrete, a thick, hard, and attractive finish. These epoxy kits are often used with decorative chips that are sprinkled over the surface while it is hardening to provide a texture and attractive finish. The surface will be fully hard fairly quickly, within about 24 hours of application.

True 100-percent-solids epoxy is also the most expensive option, and it is a bit more demanding to install when compared to other types of coatings. These products emit intense fumes when applied, requiring thorough ventilation. But installing 100 percent epoxy floor coating can be done by DIYers. You can buy a kit for a one-car garage for $250 to $300, which includes application tools. EpoxyMaster, which is available from Costco or online retailers, maybe the easiest product to find.

Two-Part Water-Based Epoxy Floor Coating

Quikrete, and Rust-Oleum (EpoxyShield) offer popular DIY two-part epoxy floor coatings that are readily available at many home improvement, paint, and hardware stores. These are hybrid products that have the components of genuine epoxy (resin plus hardener/activator), but they also include water as a solvent. You can identify these products because they consist of two parts that are mixed together, but are cleaned up (when wet) with soap and water. They may also be advertised as “low VOC” or “low odor,” a striking difference to true epoxies, where thorough ventilation is critical.

One-Part Floor Coating

A true epoxy floor coating is always a two-part product containing resins plus hardener/activator. Just before application, the resin is mixed with the hardener. A floor coating product that is called “epoxy” but which is sold premixed in a single container is not true epoxy, but rather should be viewed as a form of paint. While the formulation may offer better performance on a floor than standard paint, these are not true epoxy products.

How Do I Know Which Type of Epoxy Flooring Is Best For My Floor?

This is a question many customers ask us along with why is your epoxy better and what does it cost. The following information will answer those questions and help you make the right purchase for your particular floor application. There are different types of flooring you can use in addition to an epoxy coating such as Interlocking Tiles or Rubber Garage Floor Mats. There’s a good discussion here Epoxy vs Tile vs Mats about the pros and cons of each of these different products you can use.

But if you’ve set your heart on a super high gloss epoxy floor coating then stay on this page and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. From being one of the largest epoxy installers in the Tri State area we’ve learned over the years exactly what works and what doesn’t. There’s so many choices today it can be down right confusing and frustrating not to mention easy to make a mistake. The problem is that a lot of the products you’ll see don’t live up to their marketing in real life. They’ll state they are heavy duty, commercial or industrial grade floor coatings and will last a lifetime when they’re no such thing nor capable of any such thing. Know the facts before you buy! If you think you can get a floor that looks like the beautiful red floor above by just going down to your local store or ordering some epoxy online without knowing what you’re buying, you couldn’t be more wrong!

Picking the right epoxy floor coating is a four step process with certain questions you have to answer:

The cost of applying a high quality multi layer epoxy floor coating system as compared to off the shelf water based or hybrid one coat type epoxies can be relatively much more expensive.

So do you need a quality epoxy coating or is a cheap epoxy paint good enough for your floor?

What type of look and finish do you want. Solid color, clear finish or colored flake finish?

What level of durability do you want and or need. Is your floor an industrial application or residential application or somewhere in between? And how do you know an epoxy is really industrial or commercial grade? Many epoxies call themselves industrial or commercial grade until they’re on your floor and you wear right through them. At that point the damage is done, this page will hopefully help you avoid being in that situation.

What condition is your concrete floor in? Is it new, is it old, is it pitted, is it oil stained, does it have a moisture issue? Your floor may need special attention to avoid a failure down the road.

These are some of the questions we will answer in the discussion below. Not addressing these questions prior to your purchase is a more likely than not going to lead to disappointing results.

The first thing you need to determine is what kind of finish you want/need and what your budget is. Whether your coating an industrial floor or just your garage floor or something in between. If your budget won’t allow you to use an epoxy coating system that is equal to or greater than the traffic loads you will run on the floor, then our best advice is don’t epoxy paint your floor. You’re better off going to your local home improvement store and purchasing a sealer and simply sealing the slab to protect against corrosion and to make it easier to clean.

The cost of a multi layered high strength epoxy floor coating you do yourself will average about

$1.00 – $1.75 per square foot depending on size and type of floor and the type of epoxy system used. Compared to an average price of $4.00 – $8.00 per sf to have a company come in and do it for you. By the way all costs for epoxy flooring should be based on a per square foot basis. Anybody quoting you prices based on any other parameter is just selling you marketing hype.

HOW TO CHOOSE AN EPOXY FLOORING CONTRACTOR GUIDE

Finding the Best Epoxy Flooring Contractor

Our Epoxy Flooring Contractor Guide is essential when you’re looking to hire the best contractor for your epoxy floor coating project. An important investment as such requires up-front research. The growing trend of decorative floor coatings has given rise to the number of flooring contractors that perform this intricate service. However, many new companies do not have the education and experience that comes from longevity in the business. After 30 years in the concrete flooring industry, Creative Maintenance Solutions has a consistent, proven record of success. We want to pass our knowledge on to you to help you make an informed selection. Let us walk you through our “How to Choose Right Epoxy Flooring Contractor Guide.”

What Makes a Reputable Contractor?

Before we delve into our checklist, we want you to understand the characteristics of a reputable epoxy flooring contractor. Trustworthy concrete flooring professionals walk you through the entire process. They explain the difference in materials, including the chemical makeup and reaction, quality, and cost of each option. They describe the detailed application process from surface preparation to curing time. Efficient epoxy experts educate you about after-care and long-term concrete flooring maintenance.

Are you licensed and insured?

Whether you are considering a sole-proprietor or an entire firm, your contractor must have insurance. A general liability policy protects you and them, covering property damage, accidents, disasters, and bodily injury. Inquire about additional coverage such as installation and equipment policies. Request proof of insurance. Once you have this, if you still have questions or concerns, reach out to the insurance company or agent. Solicit information regarding claim limits, policy expiration, and how to file a claim.

How much professional experience do you have?

The internet and reality do-it-yourself shows make flooring projects look less complicated than they are. When you’re investing in new flooring, it is best to hire a qualified professional. Epoxy floor coatings involve a complex combination of chemicals, environmental factors, and problems that occur. It is an exact science. The more knowledge acquired by flooring installers, the smoother your project will go. Time spent on a project, troubleshooting, and quality of service by a competent contractor surpasses that of inexperienced workers.

What do your references and reviews say?

Online reviews and ratings give consumers a unique view of businesses. We have access to complaints, concerns, and compliments that were once only heard by the establishment. Keep in mind that not all reviews are positive. Also, not all reviews are complimentary. Weigh the positive and negative and watch to see how the company reacted

Tips for Choosing the Right Epoxy Floor for Your Project

Deciding to install an epoxy floor in your home or business is a big investment. You want to be sure you choose the right finish and color, helping to give you a great-looking space that’s also easy to maintain.

Think of Your Needs

If you’re putting a new epoxy flooring finish in your sleek office building, for example, choosing a big, bold color with a shiny metallic finish might not give off the impression you’re going for.

Choose Your Finish

At Armor Tough Coatings, we offer two types of epoxy floor finishes: Metallic and standard, or matte.

Choosing a Color

Color can make or break the look of your finished epoxy floor. If you choose the wrong color for your room, like choosing the wrong carpeting, it could impact the look and feel of the space. However, the right epoxy floor in the right color can elevate a space to give it a sleek, modern feel.

Epoxy floors are available in a variety of colors and many installers can custom-mix colors to give you exactly the look you want. When choosing the color of your floor, first decide whether you want something bright and bold or a more neutral color.

How do you choose the best epoxy floor coating?

The cost of applying a high quality multi layer epoxy floor coating system as compared to off the shelf water based or hybrid one coat type epoxies can be relatively much more do you need a quality epoxy coating or is a cheap epoxy paint good enough for your floor?

What type of look and finish do you want. Solid color, clear finish or colored flake finish?

What level of durability do you want and or need. Is your floor an industrial application or residential application or somewhere in between? And how do you know an epoxy is really industrial or commercial grade? Many epoxies call themselves industrial or commercial grade until they’re on your floor and you wear right through them. At that point the damage is done, this page will hopefully help you avoid being in that situation.

What condition is your concrete floor in? Is it new, is it old, is it pitted, is it oil stained, does it have a moisture issue? Your floor may need special attention to avoid a failure down the road.

Proper Maintenance Of Your Garbage Disposal

Tips for Choosing a Garbage Disposal

There’s no doubt that it’s very useful to have a garbage disposal in your kitchen. However, you need to be sure that you choose the right garbage disposal for your own specific requirements. When you look for a garbage disposal, you will find that there are many models available. Finding the right garbage disposal is quite easy once you know a little bit about them.

Regulations

The first thing to determine is whether local regulations allow you to actually have a garbage disposal. If you’re simply replacing an old model, this is unimportant. However, if you’re putting in a brand new unit where you haven’t had a garbage disposal before, remember to check beforehand. Not all areas allow for the installation of garbage disposals because of the increased strain they place on sewer lines.

Plumbing

Will your plumbing handle a garbage disposal? Not all existing plumbing will so take the time to check first. It’s also important to check your fixtures to discover what types of garbage disposal will be compatible with your current plumbing and sewer system.

Motor Size

Many small garbage disposals come with a motor that’s just 1/3 horsepower. While that may be fine if you’re a single person in an apartment, you need something more powerful for a family home where the garbage disposal will be used more. You should ideally look for a unit that has a 1/2 horsepower motor. With a big house and plenty of people, you might even want a 1 horsepower motor on your garbage disposal.

Stainless Steel

Look for a garbage disposal with stainless steel blades. These are harder and sharper and will not only last longer, but will grind up the food more finely so you won’t have to deal with clogs in the pipes. Cheaper units will use far less stainless steel in their construction and are likely to wear out sooner. Bear this in mind as you check out units.

Best Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are a convenient way to get rid of food waste in the kitchen. But whether you’re seeking your first-ever disposal unit or looking to replace an old one, you’re going to want the best of the best. That’s where we can help.

Why Should You Buy a Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are just plain handy when it comes to handling, well, garbage. This includes food scraps, smelly leftovers you forgot in the back of the fridge, or even flowers kept a little past their prime. Sure, a good kitchen trash can serves a similar function just effective, but people are crazy about their disposals for other reasons.

Are Garbage Disposals Good for the Environment?

The environmental impact of garbage disposals has long been the subject of debate. Over the years, researchers have struggled to provide a definitive answer as to whether a grinder or a landfill is the more eco-friendly option. However, recent research has brought forth evidence in favor of garbage disposals.

How to Choose the Best Garbage Disposal

What makes an in-sink garbage disposal system good or bad? There are a few basic aspects that consumers should consider prior to purchase.

How Noisy Are Garbage Disposals?

If you’re sensitive to noise, you should know that all garbage disposals produce it but some are louder offenders than others. When choosing a garbage disposal, you’ll want to carefully consider the noise levels that work best for you.

Tips for Picking the Right Garbage Disposal

Disposers can last as long as 10 to 15 years, and it can be overwhelming to shop for a replacement with so many changes over time. Most homeowners are familiar with the two basic disposer types – continuous feed vs. batch feed. (Continuous feed grinds while food is continuously fed into the disposer, and batch feed grinds food in batches.) But there are several technological differences that affect functionality, performance and durability.

Motor Type 

There are two types of motors: induction motors and permanent magnet motors. Most disposers use an induction motor, which is similar to motors used in large household appliances – such as washers, dryers and furnaces. These motors produce less noise and offer a long, reliable motor life. A permanent magnet motor is a lightweight, variable-speed motor that is similar to motors found in smaller appliances, such as power tools, blenders and hair dryers. While permanent magnet motors generally run at a higher RPM, they will run fastest with smaller grind loads.

Horsepower

Disposer motors can range from 1/3 horsepower to more than one horsepower. Higher-horsepower disposers are typically capable of grinding heavier loads easier, which prolongs motor life. Consider higher-horsepower models for larger families or frequent cooking.

Component Materials

Three types of material are most commonly used with grind chambers and grind components: plastic, stainless steel and galvanized steel. Most disposers are constructed with thermoplastic polymer grind chambers, which help to resist rust and corrosion. However, stainless steel adds superior corrosion resistance that helps prolong disposer life. Galvanized steel is a durable material, but it can rust or corrode over time.

Noise Levels

Many homeowners are accustomed to loud disposers, but products with advanced sound technology can reduce noise levels by 30 to 60 percent. Look for disposers that have sound insulation and include noise-reduction features like noise-reducing sink baffles; anti-vibration sink mounts; and anti-vibration tail pipes.

Garbage Disposal Buying Guide

A garbage disposal (also called a disposer) is a great asset to any commercial kitchen – these machines help you cut labor costs by removing even tough waste fast, and they also help you save on waste collection bills. Choosing the best garbage disposal for your business can seem like a daunting task at first

Pros and Cons of Owning a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals offer a number of benefits for commercial applications, but it’s very important to educate yourself before you buy and understand what these machines do and what they don’t do.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

Decreased costs for solid waste removal and garbage bags.

Your drain is less likely to clog, which means fewer costly plumbing bills.

Less waste sitting around means fewer bad odors, which also makes your facility less attractive to pests like rodents and insects.

Convenience – it’s much easier to get rid of food scraps in a disposal than to scrape them into the trash can.

Less waste in the trash can means fewer trips to the dumpster for your staff.

Disadvantages of a Garbage Disposal

Increased costs for maintenance and water / electric use.

Pro installation is recommended for optimal safety and warranty compliance.

If sound travels easily from your sink to the dining area a disposal could disrupt the ambiance.

Some areas may restrict use – check with your municipality for applicable regulations.

Some items cannot be put in a disposal, so correct training for staff is important

How Will a Garbage Disposal Affect My Utility Bills?

Water – In general you can expect smaller units (2 hp and less) to utilize around 5 gpm, and larger units (3 hp and over) to utilize around 8 gpm. Exact usage figures will vary, so check the literature for your specific model number.

Best Garbage Disposals

If you are looking for the best overall, I recommend the Waste King L-8000 because it features a powerful 1 HP motor and an easy plug-in installation.

Disposals help to conveniently reduce the quantity of food scraps and leftovers sent to landfills and are an essential piece of equipment in any kitchen.

Operation

There are variations between how different models operate but the way in which they process scraps is essentially the same. Items to be discarded are fed through the rubber drain cover called the splashguard, which prevents food from jumping back out.

Jams

Jams can happen for a variety of reasons such as putting in too much food at once or accidentally dropping a knife in the opening. To reduce the risk of damage, most units feature an overload protector switch that is tripped in the event of a serious jam. The obstruction then needs to be removed or cleared then switch on the unit can be turned back on. 

Waste King L-8000 1 HP Garbage Disposal

The Waste King L-8000 1 HP Garbage Disposal offers easy plug-in installation so there is no need for electrical wiring or a separate power cord.

A Commercial Electrical Remodel Serves All Types Of Businesses

How to Choose a Good Commercial Electrician

Choosing a good electrician can be a time-consuming task, especially if you don’t know you’re looking for in the first place! Electricians who work in the commercial field develop a different set of skills over the years and, although they still retain all their basic knowledge and training, general household electrical work can sometimes take time for them to adapt to.

Remember that commercial electricians work on building sites, house and land development sites and in high-rise construction. The tasks which confront them are often alien to those that arise in a general household situation and you have to understand their skill set in order to choose a good one.

Many electricians who work in the commercial field are continually challenged to come up with inventive solutions to specific situations as they arise on-site. Whereas general household wiring is a relatively straightforward process in most circumstances, situations arise in commercial applications that are sometimes out of the ordinary and which require an inventive approach that a good commercial electrician can provide.

A good commercial electrician will be unflappable and able to adapt to issues as they arise. Commercial electricians work in an environment that involves constant change, especially when architects or designers change their minds at the last moment requiring electrical fittings to be situated in new areas that were not originally planned for.

Customers have expectations that must be met, and even when those demands appear to be unreasonable, a good commercial electrician will maintain composure and be able to provide a solution in a timely manner and instil a sense of confidence in the customer.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Electrician

Commercial electricians deal with specialized circuits designed to sustain warehouses or heavy duty air conditioning systems. Naturally, the commercial setting will have more complex electrical wiring that handles greater current. This calls for specific skills that go beyond the abilities of someone who does only residential electrical work.

The first step to choosing the right electrician is knowing what kind of service you require. Commercial electricians offer various services including generator installations, renovations and upgrades, inspections and testing, and high voltage wiring.

License and Insurance

The best commercial electricians always come licensed and insured. Electrical work is risky and should be performed by an insured individual authorized to perform the task professionally. In case of an accident, an insured electrical contractor will not put the burden of taking care of the extra expenses on you because his or her insurance will take care of the damages

Look for someone you can count on

When an electrical fault or failure occurs in a commercial building, millions of dollars could be lost. It is, therefore, important to select a commercial electrical worker you can depend on. Your electrician should be able to provide 24/7 assistance. The services offered should be excellent, and the electrician should provide references from previous clients.

Get the cost estimates

Ask the contractor to give you quote. Some commercial electricians charge hourly especially for complicated tasks that are difficult to predict the exact time that the job will need to be completed. With clear project details and scope, the expert can give you a price quotation that you can go through and see if it is within your budget.

Commercial Electrical Remodeling

Building Rewiring: If you frequently experience electrical problems in your commercial building, you could have faulty electrical wiring. In order to put an end to these problems for good, you might want to talk to the team at Delta Electric about rewiring your building. We can take a look at your system and find out if rewiring is necessary to put your problems to rest and allow you to focus on your business

Electrical Updates: We can help you decide where new outlets will go and install them correctly to adapt to your electrical wiring. Electrical updates can ensure your electrical components are fully functional and won’t slow down your day-to-day operations.

Experienced Commercial Electricians

It’s important to have an emergency electrical contractor you can call 24/7, especially if you own or run a business. A power outage or complication with your electrical system can delay or halt your operations if it’s not resolved right away.

How to Choose a Contractor for Your Business

If your business is eyeing new construction, renovating existing space or updating infrastructure to improve energy efficiency, security or networking, you’re faced with the task of sifting through a lengthy list of commercial electrical contractors to find the one that’s right for your project. You’ll need to do your homework to find the provider who can deliver the best in safety, service and results.

Define Your Project

Start by identifying the scope of your project. Is it new construction or renovation? Will you need a contractor with experience in all aspects of the general contracting process, from initial design and scheduling to final inspection and ongoing maintenance? Do you need an assessment of existing systems to identify specific areas for improved energy efficiency and performance? Will your project involve specialized services such as fire alarm, voice and data or security systems? Does it include outdoor space, such as landscape lighting, parking lot lighting or perimeter security?

Establishing a clearly stated set of required services will allow you to more accurately determine which commercial electrical contractors can successfully complete your project on time and within budget.

Consider Experience and Expertise

Once you know what services you’ll need, look for commercial electrical contractors who can demonstrate experience and capability in delivering them. Find out how long they have been in business. An established company is likely to have a record and reputation based on projects that it has completed over the years. Look for a contractor with a professional portfolio that includes the types of work that you need done.

Verify Licenses, Insurance and Certifications

One of the most important ways to protect your business from potential liability during construction or renovation is to confirm that a contractor is licensed and insured in the project location. Secure a copy of the contractor’s license and insurance indemnification. Ensure that any subcontractors are also licensed and insured. If a contractor claims specialized certification, research the requirements for attaining it and the meaning of the certification within the industry. Make sure that the proposal specifies that all work will comply with the National Electrical Code and National Electrical Installation Standards as well as any additional specific requirements of state or local jurisdictions.

ELECTRICAL REMODELING FOR COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

Have you been planning on carrying out electrical remodeling in your home or office but you can’t find a suitable contractor? It is very important that you choose a licensed and professional specialist who will consider all your needs and complete the job exactly as you planned. Prolectric Electrical Services is ready to relieve you from stress and overwhelming challenges. We do both new electrical installation and remodeling.

Our highly-trained technicians will ensure you have a safe electrical system which is up to code and adequate for modern needs. When we carry out your electrical remodeling, we’ll upgrade the wiring and breaker boxes. We can also add new lighting fixtures, power outlets or ceiling fans.

Bathrooms – As you know, water and electricity make for a potentially deadly combination. We take great care in placing Ground Control Fault Interrupters so you and your family are protected from shock.

Basements – Basement conversions or additions present unique challenges where wiring, circuitry, and panels are concerned but we have years of experience in this area.

Room additions – We can wire a circuit breaker for your second-story addition or simply add some new switches and outlets to your new bedroom.