Ways To Choose Inexpensive Hardwood Flooring

How to Choose the Right Hardwood Flooring for You – 5 Tips

In addition to bringing warmth and beauty into a room, hardwood floors are also a great way to increase the value of your home. To choose the right material you’ll need to consider a few things ahead of time, such as how the room is typically used along with your family’s lifestyle. Also think about your priorities and whether you prefer ease of maintenance over aesthetics.

Taking a few moments to contemplate these considerations and prioritizing what’s really important to you will help you narrow down your focus to a short list of good candidates.

Floors take up a lot of visible space and it’s only natural to want them to look great. Just don’t forget the practical aspects when making your choice. The right blend of fashion and prudence should result in the right product for your home.

Don’t be afraid to think a bit “unconventionally” either — in other words, it’s easy to default to a wood floor for example, because wood is a great surface and has been around for centuries. But there are advantages to other materials like laminate too. Take your time, think about how you live and match a floor that’ll meet your criteria for performance and visual appeal.

  1. Construction

Hardwood floors can be installed on any level of your home and are available in multiple constructions to allow for installation flexibility over different subfloors and to mitigate moisture.

It’s important to take moisture into consideration when you’re installing hardwood floors since changes in moisture can create issues such as warping and gapping. To mitigate the effects of moisture, keep moisture levels within manufacturer recommendations and choose the right construction of hardwood flooring and installation materials. For an added layer of protection against moisture damage, install a moisture barrier.

There are three primary subfloors over which you can install:

  • Basement or concrete below ground level
  • Concrete at ground level
  • Plywood subfloor at or above ground level

There are four constructions of hardwood floors to address each primary type of subfloor.

  • 3/4-inch Solid
  • 5/16-inch Solid
  • Engineered
  • Locking

Discuss with your flooring provider the proper contruction for your application.

  1. Style Considerations


Finding the right type of wood is just a matter of personal taste and budget. There are domestic types like oak, maple, and cherry as well as exotic types like bamboo, brazilian cherry, and cork. Each type has a distinct grain pattern. For example, oak has a very distinguished grain whereas maple is very subtle. Exotics are very popular because of their distinct grain patterns and color.


Most domestic types of wood come in a variety of colors. Most exotics, on the other hand, are not stained because their natural color is distinctive. Many exotic types are photosensitive and need exposure to sunlight to achieve their desired rich color.


Widths can easily change the look of a floor since the wider the plank, the fewer the seams that can be seen in the floor. Wider widths also showcase the natural beauty of the wood, especially hickory and tigerwood.


There are many types of texture, including smooth, hand-scraped, distressed, and wirebrushed.

Additional Tip – You can buy prefinished hardwood floors that are already stained and finished with a coating that is stronger than most site-applied finishes.

  1. Hardness

Different types have different hardness ratings. The higher the number the harder the wood. Hardwood floors are a natural product and are susceptible to dents (not covered under manufacturer warranties unless specifically stated). If you expect your floors will take a lot of abuse, consider a type at least as hard as red oak.

  1. Defects

Make sure you know the defect rate of the wood you’re buying. If the rate is over 50%, you’ll need to buy almost twice as much than a wood that’s rated 95% defect-free. Wood with high defect rates can also create issues with installation.

  1. Grade

The wood’s appearance determines its grade. All grades can be equally defect free, but each grade offers a distinct look. Clear and select grades are the cleanest looks with minimal knots and color variations. Millwood and cabin grades will allow all the characteristics of the species to show, such as knots, streaks, and color variations.


High Quality Solid & Engineered Hardwood Flooring



Engineered flooring is constructed by joining layers of high-density fiberboard sandwiched between a solid wood top layer and a hardwood backing, giving it a uniform thickness and the advantage over hardwood when it comes to overall toughness.

Moisture Resistance

Because of its unique construction, engineered wood floors create a solid structure that does not respond to fluctuations in temperature or humidity, making them ideal for basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.


Many people prefer the aged look of a hardwood floor, though over time the surface becomes dull, scratched, and water stained. Solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished multiple times, while engineered flooring may only need it once or twice in its lifetime.

Environmentally Friendly

Solid hardwood floors are milled out of a thick piece of lumber, putting a burden on our natural resources. Due to its layered construction, engineered flooring takes only ¼ the timber required to make the same number of floorboards.


If you’re on a budget, when it comes to installation, labor, and materials costs, again, engineered wood flooring will keep more money in your wallet.

Clean up

Use an angled broom or a microfiber mop head to collect pet hair and dust. Clean solid hardwood floors with hardwood-specific products. Use a mop occasionally for a deep clean, but avoid excessive moisture to ensure your solid hardwood doesn’t warp.


When To Choose Engineered Hardwood Floors

Wood floors add a touch of character to any home. Solid or engineered wood floors bring value and warmth into the interior of your home, and once installed, they can be very difficult to tell apart. In fact, even trained eyes have trouble distinguishing between a solid or engineered hardwood floor. Just because they look the same doesn’t mean they act the same, but most homeowners are confused when it comes to what to install in their own home. Luckily, it’s not so complicated. Engineered hardwood planks behave a bit differently than solid hardwood planks. They are also easier to install and generally less expensive than their solid counterpart.

Originally, engineered hardwood was developed to use in homes that were built on concrete slabs, but the technology has exponentially increased over the past 20 years to allow engineered planks to be used just about everywhere indoors.

Increased Stability of Engineered Hardwood

While not waterproof by any means, engineered hardwood was designed to withstand higher levels of moisture than solid wood planks. This makes them a great choice for homeowners who need wood floors over concrete, which has higher levels of moisture than most floors, or in a dry basement. Engineered hardwood also stands up better to heat than solid hardwood does. In extreme heat conditions, like being next to a furnace, solid hardwood can warp and buckle, but engineered hardwood will better keep its shape.

Increased heat and moisture resistance is due to the design of engineered hardwood. The substrate or under layer of the floor is made up of layered plywood , about 1-2 centimeters thick, stacked up in a criss-cross pattern to give the plank greater stability. On top of the layers lies a thin layer or veneer of the desired wood (oak, maple, walnut, etc…). If thick enough, this veneer can be refinished multiple times. While thicker veneers come with heftier price tags, they are worth the investment for homeowners looking for a lifelong flooring solution.

Importance Of Layer Thickness

When shopping for engineered hardwood, the layer thickness is just as important as how the top veneer looks. The different thicknesses exist so that engineered hardwood can be used without awkward transitions between rooms and flooring types, the most common being between kitchen or bathroom tiled floors and wooden flooring.

While developed for use over concrete slabs, thicker planks of engineered hardwood can be nailed down over a wood subfloor in the same way you would install a solid hardwood floor. Thinner layers are best when glued down, in the same way you would install laminate or vinyl wood floor. It’s a fairly straightforward DIY project for the motivated person with a lot of time.

The thinnest of all engineered hardwood layers incorporate an advanced tongue-and-groove system that allows for easiest installation. These floors are usually called floating floors and can be installed directly over a cork or foam underlayment, or even over an older and worn floor (as long as it’s flat).


Layers of Engineered Wood Flooring

The moisture resistance of engineered hardwood comes from the layered design. This flooring will be more or less resistant to moisture depending on the composition of those layers.

Wear/Veneer Layer:

Here’s where you find the veneer of genuine wood that gives your flooring its beautiful, unique look. The wood veneer can be almost any wood species you want.

The manufacturer will determine in their instructions if this layer is thick enough to refinish or not. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before sanding or refinishing engineered wood.

Core Layer:

This is the powerhouse of the plank. The artificial core increases the durability of your flooring compared to solid wood. Plywood and MDF cores offer some moisture resistance, especially if mixed with wax and other water-repellent materials. The layers of the plywood are oriented to create a lattice structure, which provides durability and stability.

Backing Layer:

This is the foundation of your floor. Before now, the backing layer was typically made of plywood, but new luxury engineered hardwood offers a premium pre-attached underlayment.

A pre-attached underlayment saves you some time and money on installation. Who doesn’t love that? Made of cork or foam, this underlayment will soften sounds and smooth out less-than-perfect subflooring. Please note: for any engineered hardwood product, you need to purchase a moisture barrier to install over the subfloor. This barrier will protect your flooring from any moisture that might seep up from below.


What Are the Advantages of Engineered Hardwood?

  • More affordable than solid wood: You get the high-quality visuals of real wood without that big price tag, and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Score!
  • Every plank is unique: Since this is a real wood veneer, you’ll never find a repeating pattern or an unconvincing texture.
  • Moisture resistance: Thanks to the materials in the core of your flooring, your engineered wood could be moisture resistant.
  • Install it anywhere: High moisture resistance means you can install it in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and even basements! No grade level of your home is off-limits.

What Are the Disadvantages of Engineered Hardwood?

  • Not solid hardwood: This is important to some people. No matter how great it looks, it’s not solid hardwood.
  • Difficult to DIY: While some engineered hardwood offers a simple click-lock design, other styles might need to be nailed or glued down. That will take some more time and effort.
  • Might not be able to refinish: Depending on what the manufacturer says, it might not be possible to refinish your engineered hardwood. While this cuts back on maintenance, you have less flexibility when it comes to redesigning.

Ways To Get Better Wedding Photographs Without Spending More

Things To Look For In A Wedding Photographer

Finding vendors for your wedding can be a daunting task.  Your wedding vendors need to meet your individual needs, and you may require more or fewer depending on how extravagant your event.  Each one is providing you with an essential service that is helping to create the perfect manifestation of your dream wedding.  Once you’ve figured out exactly the kinds of goods and services you require, there is now a seemingly never ending list of vendors to choose from.  How do you decide?!

The Indisputable Constants

When it comes to wedding photography, there are a few constants that are non-negotiable when finding your ideal photographer.  First, you have to consider how important wedding photography is to you.  Some people place it near the top of their list, considering the documentation and preservation of their day top priority.  For others, as long as they get to be married, they are good with sharing guests photos.  Determining how important wedding photography is to you will determine how much of your budget you’ll be using for your photos.  Which brings me to budget: the single most defining factor for most people.  It’s true that there is a photographer for every budget, and having a ballpark from which you can start your hunt is essential.


This is a big one because it isn’t just the technical ability of the photographer to take your photos.  What helps shape the way a photo looks is the the artistry involved in post processing and editing the images.  A good photographer doesn’t just point and shoot.  Understanding the camera settings and how to compensate for your desired effect while still properly exposing the image is a skill.  Which is just a lot of jargon that means there are a lot of factors to consider before the shutter even gets pressed  Posing is a big deal as well.  Do you like posed or candid photography?  Lifestyle or editorial?  Choosing the style of photography will help dictate the storytelling of your day.

The skill set behind the camera, plus the posing and framing, are factors that dictate the way the image looks.  But the end result you see when your gallery is delivered is pulled together in post processing.  Professionally edited images are a signature for the photographer.   Everyone’s editing style is different.  From sultry and moody, to light and airy, you’ll be drawn to a particular style that will set the tone for your wedding photos.


It might seem trivial, but I’m not kidding!!  Getting your photo taken is awkward for most people, and when you have a stranger photographing you for HOURS, asking you to kiss in front of them, it can get pretty uncomfy.  When I was looking for wedding vendors, I went to a wedding show where I dropped into many photographer’s booths to chat and gather contact info.  I knew right away when I met with our future wedding photographer, because within the first minute she had me laughing.  I knew I could never do sultry and steamy poses with my hubby with a straight face, so we were looking for someone fun, friendly, and funny to bring out our joy and happiness in our wedding photos.  Picking someone you vibe with to ease the tension on your wedding day is so important.  Your discomfort will show up in photos if your photographer makes you feel awkward, or is rude, terse, too shy, too outgoing, tells too many dad jokes… too whatever you find off putting.

Take advantage of in person meetings, Skype, and phone calls to get to know your photographer!  And if you get the chance, having engagement photos done with them will help you both to get to know each other so you are your most relaxed self come your wedding day!


Last but not least, how do you know you trust someone you’ve never met?  Look for testimonials or reviews on Facebook or Google.  Comb their website to see if there are testimonials.  Join local Facebook groups and ask for recommendations or comment on other people’s posts inquiring about their experience.  Personally, I establish immediate transparency by posting my prices upfront on my website.  Couples tend to be appreciative of this so they know right away if my services are in their budget.  Posting your prices upfront however is not an industry standard.  You should always inquire about a photographer’s price sheet.  Sometimes there are hidden charges in the fine print that may go undisclosed after you initial inquiry, and that could raise some red flags.  You always want to ask questions, go over package details, and review contracts carefully.  Take time to speak with your photographer about your needs, your concerns, and your questions.  Photographers should want you to have the best wedding day experience possible, so if anyone is cagey with you or avoids answering your questions, it may be time to look into other photographers.

Here are key wedding shot list considerations to cover with the couple:

  • Do either or both people want photos of them getting ready? If so, when does that process begin?
  • Will photos of the wedding party and family be taken before or after the ceremony? What members of the family should be present for these photos and when do they need to show up? Will members of the wedding party’s dates be in these photos?
  • If the first look between the couple takes place before the ceremony, it needs to happen before any other photos. Make sure to leave enough time for this important emotional moment.
  • Get a basic rundown of the ceremony so you can be ready to capture special moments during this packed 30- to 60-minute part of the day.
  • What’s the schedule for the reception? Are events like a first dance, father-of-the-bride dance and cake cutting happening? Get the timing on these so you’re not changing camera batteries when the bouquet’s being thrown.
  • When are you going to eat? It’s important to find holes in the schedule that allow you time for food, water and trips to the toilet.


Wedding Photography Investment – Notes On Budgeting

Budgeting is key when planning a wedding. But what happens if you find your perfect photographer but discover they’re quite a lot over the fee that you’ve set aside for photography?

You don’t have to choose the best wedding photographer but good photography isn’t cheap. The photographs are the one thing from your day that you’ll take with you to look back on for years to come. They’re an investment in memories and should be well worth the extra money that in the future you’ll be thankful you spent.

If you like a more expensive photographer, revisit your budget.  You’ll likely have a lot of time between booking them and your wedding day to save a bit extra.

When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer Ask Yourself:

  • Do I like the photographic style?
  • Can I see myself in similar styled photos?
  • Would I feel comfortable with this photographer being around throughout our wedding day?


What To Ask Your Wedding Photographer

So, you are getting married, congratulations!  What to Ask Your Wedding Photographer – our ever-so handy, but slightly long article

All of a sudden you need to become an expert in all things weddings; and you will.  I promise, it’s not as daunting as it seems.  Our little guide will tell you all you what to ask your wedding photographer before you book them.

You’ll be meeting suppliers, trying cake… trying on dresses, arguing about colour schemes/flowers/favours and wondering if you really do need the two dressed up Lamas attending your day. Seriously, this is a thing now, or if you have the budget for a Magician (you do, and you won’t regret it – forget the Lamas).

But the chances are you’ve never had to speak to a professional wedding photographer before.  I’ve often said, wedding photographers can be the weirdest of all your wedding suppliers.

And, because they tend to be with you from the start of your wedding day to at least the first dance (although I stay on until your last dance.  That way I get to photograph all that terrible ‘ties around your head, air guitarists’ drunken, yager bombed fuelled dancing), getting the right wedding photographer is crucial.  And it’s not just about the pictures.

So, what’s next?

You need a wedding photographer with experience, who knows what the running order of a day will be, and who has the confidence to persuade people that they really ought to be in a photograph, rather than getting another glass of champagne.

So, here are my top ten things you should know, do and ask your potential wedding photographer – before you book them.

  • Meet your wedding photographer. Actually, meet at least four!

You may have found your photographer online, via recommendation or attended a wedding fair.  That’s great, but before you decide to book, go and meet them and have an initial consultation.

I always insist we meet, away from a wedding fair, usually in my studio.  So we have a proper chance to chat and to see if we are the right fit for each other.  We’ll also look through albums and examples of my work.  And during my initial meetings, I always encourage my clients to go and meet other photographers.  It’s not that I don’t want to work with you, it’s just that I would be doing you a disservice if I insisted that I am the ONLY photographer you should look at.

Be wary of photographers who insist you sign up there and then.  Trust your gut feeling on this one.

  • Tell your photographer what you want, what you really, really want!

This is your day and your wedding.  And although your photographer can advise, they should also take into account what you want.  Whether that be the style of photography, the coverage or the way you’d like the images presented.

During our meeting (tip no: 1), I’ll get an idea of the style of wedding you’ll be having and how I would ideally approach it.  However, I welcome you to show me Pinterest boards, and I love it when a couple have a clear idea of the images they like and want.

Photographers shouldn’t be put off by demanding brides or grooms, and how ever lovely you both are, this is your wedding so please unleash your inner BrideZilla or Groomonster!   We only get to photograph YOUR wedding once, so it has to be perfect!

  • Look through complete client galleries.

This will bore you both senseless as they feature other peoples’ wedding.  But this is a crucial step to deciding if your wedding photographer has not only photographed a full wedding (some photographers set up a business having just attended portfolio building courses), but if they’ve photographed at your venue.  Tiny hint / plug – visit my venue portfolio page and look through some of thee most stunning venues in and around Cambridgeshire.

If your photographer isn’t able to let you look through some complete galleries, then perhaps look for another photographer.

Don’t get me wrong, if they are just starting out and they can demonstrate to you they have the confidence to shoot your special day the way YOU want it photographed, then ok… But they must be honest about the lack of complete galleries.  That way, it’s up to you to decide.


Get a contract

Get a contract, signed by both parties from ALL your wedding suppliers, but especially your wedding photographer.

Contracts are tedious, I get that, but they are in place to not only protect both parties, but they also list all that you will receive and ensure your expectations are met.

If your ‘professional’ photographer doesn’t do or have a contract, then that would set some alarm bells ringing.  Also, if you take out wedding insurance (which you should as it’s so inexpensive), and your photographer didn’t have a contract in place (or insurance), then your wedding insurance could become void if you claim against your photographer.

Walk away from the ‘Diva Photog’… Choose someone you’d be happy to have at your wedding day.

Remember when I said that wedding photographers can be the weirdest of all your suppliers.  Sadly, I meant it.There’s only room for one diva on your wedding day.  And that’s YOU, and possibly the person you are marrying.

We do an important job, but we do that important job for you, not for our portfolios or our egos.  And we should tailor our approach to your requirements.

We are not shooting for Vogue, we are shooting something more important, your wedding.  And that Diva Photographer has to spend the day with you both as well as your friends and family.  You don’t want an over excited diva at your wedding!

Tips Regarding Home Electrical Safety Inspection When Building A Haunted House



expert electricians offer a free Home Electrical Safety Inspection when we come to your home to complete a job. This includes a thorough check of your switchboard, wiring, smoke detectors, lighting, power outlets and more.


electricians will leave you with lasting peace of mind knowing that your home is safe. After the inspection, we’ll provide you with a written report that includes any recommendations we have to keep you and your family safe.



Did you know that you could have hundreds or even thousands of feet of electrical wire in a 2,000 square foot house? This means that there are many areas where potential defects could occur.  The Electrical Safety Foundation recommends that you hire a licensed residential electrician for your home electrical safety inspection. There are certain times when an inspection should be done. When you purchase a new home, a professional should inspect the electrical installation and all its components.

If your home is not new, it should be inspected before you buy. You should also have an inspection if your house is over 40 years old. When your house is undergoing renovations, an inspection is called for. Many experts suggest having an inspection when you install an appliance such as a refrigerator or a dryer.  The electrical inspector can tell if the wiring is up to date and in good working order. Electrical standards are outlined in the National Electrical Code (NEC). The NEC is a portion of the National Fire Codes that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes, so it may also be known as the NFPA 70.

The NEC has standards for commercial and industrial facilities as well as for residential structures. All 50 states have adopted the NEC that electrical professionals follow. This code contains the most recent regulations for wiring, grounding, overcurrent protection, and equipment installation.

The electrical inspector will check all of the receptacles or outlets in your home. These receptacles must have no physical defects or cracks and they should be properly grounded.

Areas that are subject to moisture ought to have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI). These potentially wet or damp areas include kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, garages, and outdoor outlets. A GFCI is a wonderful way to be sure that the circuit shuts off quickly if moisture causes it to short circuit.


Inspect Your Home. Protect Your Loved Ones

Electrical Safety Inspection

When it comes to the well-being of your loved ones, few annual maintenance tasks are as essential as a house-wide electrical inspection. After all, when you use your appliances, lights, and electronics 24 hours a day, even a small wiring problem can pose a significant fire risk.

Your home safety inspection will be done according to National Electrical Code (NEC) standards and include a detailed report on any potential safety hazards. If you do need work completed, our licensed electricians can often take care of it the very same day.

What’s Included in Your Electrical Inspection

Since 1945, our family-owned business has been dedicated to making PA families feel comfortable, safe, and happy in their own homes. We take an old-fashioned approach to service and never cut corners-allowing you to feel confident in our trusted expertise throughout your home safety inspection.

During your electrical inspection, we’ll analyze electrical panels, check grounding, examine switches, test GFCIs and AFCIs, and ensure that all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order. Beyond these industry-recommended safety checks, we’ll further ensure your satisfaction with our:

Convenient Scheduling

Upfront Quotes and No-Surprise Price Guarantee

Trained and Certified Electricians

Full Code Compliance

Proper Licensing and Insurance

Wide Range of Service Plans

Low-Payment, Long-Term Financing Options

home safety inspection is complete, we’ll provide professional recommendations for any areas of improvement. Should any improvements be needed, we can complete the repairs ourselves-and back them with a 1-year warranty for additional peace of mind



Fully Accredited Master Electricians and abide by and use a stringent and comprehensive Active Safety System, in every aspect of our electrical work. Much the same as a building inspection which covers all structural issues within your home, Electrical Safety Inspections cover every aspect of electrical within your intended property purchase or existing residence.

Find out what you’re buying into…..

Faulty or crumbling wiring

Poor quality or old damaged power points and switches

Burnt out transformers in the roof space

No earthing, and most critical in a home

Most critically…No safety switches

These are just some of the day to day electrical hazards we regularly encounter in homes across. This can not only be costly to repair but life threatening to you and your family if left unattended.

Some of the details our Electrical Inspections cover the following…

Inspection of all wiring throughout the property including roof and floor space

Inspection of Switchboard and if current Safety Switches are present/Compliance with AS3000 Standards

Inspection of all power points and switches for damage

Inspection of all lighting in roof space and beam/insulation clearance


Inspection of smoke detectors

A full report and rectification budget emailed in lieu of inspection


Electrical Safety Inspections

Improving the Safety & Performance of Your Home

If you are purchasing a piece of property, having an electrical safety inspection performed is essential. Otherwise, how will you feel safe in your new home? The purpose of this inspection is to ensure the safety of your electrical system and find problems, such as faulty or old wiring. Once the inspection is complete, you’ll be given a full report regarding your existing electrical components and whether there are any major issues that need to be fixed

Do You Need Electrical Code Corrections?

Our team is known for our dedication to providing quality work to residential clients throughout and the surrounding areas. This includes helping homeowners correct electrical code violations. You may have violations in your home that you aren’t even aware of but are posing a threat to you and your family.

A few examples of electrical code violations we can correct include:

Outdated wiring

Poor electrical connections

Damaged wiring

Overloaded circuits

Mixed-era technology

Incorrect outlet usage

Faulty breaker panel

Thorough Examination of Your Electrical System

specialized in examining and assessing electrical systems thoroughly. With decades of experience, our licensed and insured Lake Mary electricians are trained to conduct comprehensive residential inspections. Once the many steps of the inspection have been completed, you can rely on us to provide you with our recommendations on how your system should be upgraded or fixed, if necessary. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your system meets your existing demands, as well as operating safely.

The Importance Of A Car Accident Lawyer

I Just Got Into a Car Accident. What Do I Do?

Being in a car crash can be stressful, but everyone should have an accident procedure in the case that they are involved in one. Use the following list as a basis for your own car accident checklist, and remember to contact a car accident lawyer for more information on the proper steps to take following a crash.

  • Ensure Safety: If anyone is injured, immediately call the police for help and tell them you need medical assistance. If anyone involved seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, tell that to the police when you call. Always call the police whether or not there are injuries, as many insurance companies will not cover an accident unless there is a police report. Once everyone is safe, you can begin gathering other necessary information.
  • Ask Questions: Your insurance company will need the contact information of everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and any witnesses. Be sure to try and gather their full names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as driver’s license information.
  • Try to find out if anyone is injured or says he or she is injured; or if anyone says “I am fine”.
  • Make as many notes as you can about the accident itself. What was the weather and lighting like at the time of the accident? Were any of the involved vehicles damaged? Was any of the damage obviously present prior to the accident, such as non-functioning tail lights or brake lights? Were any of the vehicles company-owned?
  • Get information about the other vehicles involved, such as license plate numbers, make, and model.
  • Be sure to find out the insurance status of all vehicles and persons involved. If any drivers were not the registered owners, get the registered owner’s name, address, and phone number(s).
  • Did anyone take blame for the accident?
  • Get the names and badge numbers of any police officers who respond to the scene.
  • Document the Accident and Protect Evidence: If you can get a camera, it is wise to take as many photos as possible of the accident scene, the vehicles, people involved, and anything else that might have bearing on how and why the accident occurred. Pictures taken as soon as possible will be the most valuable. If you do not have a camera, ask a passenger or bystander to take the photos for you. Don’t forget to take pictures of the damage done to all vehicles and license plates, or evidence such as street signs, lights, skid marks, etc. Once you are in touch with an attorney after your accident, be sure to tell your attorney about any other evidence you think might be important, such as faulty street lights or signage, malfunctioning equipment (seat belts, turn signals, etc.), weather conditions, etc.
  • Consider Insurance: Contact your own insurance company as quickly as possible. If you feel, for any reason, that your company may not be willing to cover the accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney beforehand. However, do not delay in contacting your insurance carrier. Most insurance companies have policy requirements as to how quickly after an accident you must contact them, and failure to do so might mean your claim will be rejected. On the other hand, you should not make any statements or answer any questions from the other driver’s insurance company until you have consulted an attorney. Be polite, but decline to discuss any aspects of the accident until you have obtained legal advice.


What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You

A car accident attorney in Virginia can help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a car accident that resulted in injuries, damage, or fatalities. We will:

  • Interview you regarding your case
  • Gather evidence to support your claim such as medical records, police accident reports, etc.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Respond to requests from insurance companies
  • Keep you informed about the status of your case
  • Advise you regarding court hearings related to your accident
  • Ensure that you identify and include all your expenses, both current and future
  • Represent you in court if we need to file a lawsuit to pursue adequate compensation for your claim


Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

If you get hurt in a car accident, trying to handle your claim on your own can do more harm than good. Some of the significant benefits a skilled car accident attorney can add to your case include:

  • They can determine what your case is worth. It can be difficult to determine the value of your case without a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can conduct an investigation and resolve what your case is worth and which damages you may be able to obtain compensation for. By knowing the value of your case, you can prevent the liable party’s insurer from paying you less than you deserve.
  • You can avoid speaking to insurance companies. You should understand that the other party’s insurance company does not have your best interest in mind. In fact, their goal is to attempt to convince you to accept a low-ball settlement. A lawyer can deal with insurance companies and negotiate the fair and full compensation you may be entitled to so you can focus on recovering.
  • You will not pay anything until you recover compensation. Most car accident lawyers, including the ones at Kisling, Nestico & Redick work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t owe any fees upfront. Our firm only receives payment if we can help you achieve a favorable outcome for your case.


What It Takes To Win A Case

Let’s talk about some of the things that a lawyer will do for you after a car accident. For starters, a lawyer will provide knowledge of the law and procedural rules. Utilizing this combination of expertise and experience is will ensure that you are in position to win your case.

Maybe one of the most important things a lawyer can do is handle communications with these aggressive insurance companies. When you are going up against a big insurance company with vast resources, you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to deal with them. These insurance companies have been known to do whatever it takes to avoid a payout. Your lawyer is there to level the playing field so that you come away with the compensation that fits your situation.

Here’s a quick list of some of the legwork we your lawyer will complete for you:

  • Deal with insurance companies. We mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth repeating. There is a lot of back-and-forth with insurance companies after a car accident. This is a difficult task when these insurance companies are trying to avoid paying a settlement. Let your lawyer handle this.
  • Obtain evidence. This includes talking to witnesses, gathering and analyzing police reports, gathering medical records and evaluating lost wages (if necessary). These pieces of evidence are so vital to the success of your claim. Your lawyer will ensure to leave no stone unturned during this part of the process.
  • Prepare a settlement demand letter. This is a very important document that lays out all of the facts in a way that will lead to injury settlement negotiations.

File the proper paperwork to go to court. Even though going to court is rare, it’s nice to know that you will be in good hands with your lawyer if need be. Your lawyer will deal with the defense attorneys and build your case based on the facts that were gathered.


You generally need help understanding your situation

In any of the above scenarios, there are a wide range of considerations and options. Navigating the specifics of insurance adjustments and claims can be confusing. Should you choose to dispute an insurance company’s decision, it means you are going up against a monolithic entity with a deep understanding of how to use the law to their advantage. If you’ve been injured, you may struggle to decide on legally reasonable compensation for lost wages, or for the pain you may have endured as you attempt to recover. If you want to make sure you understand all the angles and are equipped with full knowledge of your situation, a seasoned attorney can help.

Are You 100% Sure Your Household Water Would Pass A Drinking Water Testing

Laboratories and Testing

To provide laboratory services to support the programs within the Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho’s seven public health districts, other state agencies, and citizens. These services can be organized into four functional domains.


Electronic test requests and results:

-Request access to electronic test requests and results

-Access electronic test requests: LabOnline

-Access online test results: Web Portal

Communicable disease agents in clinical specimens: Clinical test request forms

Contaminants or adulterants in water, food, and soil: Environmental test request forms

Biological and chemical threat test request forms


Clinical and environmental laboratories

X-ray and mammography units

Air quality monitoring stations


Consultation and workforce development

Continuing educations seminars and telelectures

Scientific presentations at local, regional, and national meetings


Development and evaluation of new analytical methods

Maintenance of the Idaho Sentinel Laboratory Network

Publication of applied public health research


Sample Collection and Testing for Sprouts and Spent Irrigation Water

It is to be used by stakeholders, sprout producers, private laboratories and government personnel when doing an analysis for the detection of Salmonella species (spp.) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 in sprouts or spent irrigation water.

Testing of Spent Irrigation Water

Procedures are provided for testing spent irrigation water and sprouts. Health recommends that processors should regularly test, as a minimum, spent irrigation water. Spent irrigation water that has flowed over and through sprouts is a good indicator of the types of microorganisms in the sprouts themselves. Microorganisms found in spent irrigation water is expected to be fairly uniform. Thus, sampling procedures for the spent irrigation water are relatively simple. Furthermore, water can be used directly in the test procedures described here. The only potential disadvantage of testing spent irrigation water is that the level of microorganisms recovered in spent irrigation water is about one log (10 times) less than the level in sprouts. If pathogens are present in sprouts at very low levels, it is possible that they may not be detected in the spent irrigation water, but could be recovered in sprouts if sprouts were tested.

However, testing the sprouts themselves has several significant disadvantages. First, a number of sprout samples must be taken from different locations in the drum or trays to ensure that the sample collected is representative of the batch. Furthermore, additional preparation (e.g., selecting representative sample units for analyses, blending or stomaching, and allowing sprout particles to settle out) is required when testing sprouts. Finally, the need to wait for analytical results on the sprouts will delay the delivery of the final product to the market. Each additional step in any procedure (sampling or testing) could introduce contamination.

Sample collection

Sample collection should be done on site by personnel that have been trained to collect representative samples aseptically. Aseptic sampling procedures are described below.

Testing Facility

Health recommends that all microbial testing for pathogens be conducted in an external, certified, independent laboratory that should meet several key criteria. First, the laboratory should be physically separated from the food production facility to prevent cross-contamination from test materials. This is especially important since the materials used in the enrichment step required before testing and the positive controls can contain pathogens and, if not properly handled, may contaminate sprouts.

Second, the laboratory should be staffed by personnel with training and experience in analytical microbiology techniques to ensure that tests are performed correctly and that all appropriate safety precautions, including appropriate waste disposal, are followed. Third, the laboratory should have appropriate resources and be able to demonstrate that they follow a quality management system. If the microbial analysis is done by the sprout producer, the laboratory facilities, personnel, and management system should also meet all these criteria to ensure that testing is reliable and does not create food safety hazards.


Reef Aquarium Chemistry

Every healthy ecosystem requires a balanced environment. Weekly water tests are invaluable to making sure your aquarium’s levels are in check. Understanding water chemistry and maintaining optimum levels of key nutrients, minerals and other indicators will protect marine life and allow the organisms in your care to thrive and radiate. Below are the key parameters to monitor in saltwater reef aquaria.


Target Value: 0

Ammonia is a toxic nitrogenous compound released when anything organic breaks down. A large amount of decomposition (e.g. from a carcass or uneaten food) can cause ammonia to spike. Specialized bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite.


Ammonia levels above 0.25 ppm can suffocate fish, coral and invertebrates in a matter of hours. It is typically present in new tanks and should be cycled out completely before animals are slowly introduced. Ways to decrease:

Dilution via water change

Ammonia neutralizers such as Seachem Prime

Biological filtration (add heterotrophic bacteria like Prodibio to speed up biofilter development)

Aquatic plants absorb and benefit from ammonia


No issues arise from too little ammonia, except when cycling a new tank. Ammonia is necessary at first to fuel the development of bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite. Ways to increase:

Add a carbon source (e.g. food, animal waste, or other organic matter) and allow to decompose


Target Value: 0

Nitrite is a toxic nitrogenous compound produced by bacteria as part of the nitrogen cycle. Specialized bacteria convert nitrite to nitrate.


Nitrite will reduce the amount of oxygen in fish’s blood, and levels above 1 ppm can be lethal in a matter of hours. It is typically present in new tanks and should be cycled out completely before animals are introduced incrementally. Ways to decrease:

Dilution via water change

Nitrite neutralizers such as Seachem Prime

Biological filtration (add heterotrophic bacteria like Prodibio to speed up biofilter development)

Add aquarium salt to reduce nitrite toxicity


Integrity Testing For Roofing And Waterproofing Membranes

Integrity testing is the ‘holy grail’ of building envelope work. To have an assurance that the portions of a building that are expected to get wet due to weather are in a condition to prevent water transmission to the interior is the goal of every contractor, as well as every owner. As a result an entire industry, that of testing laboratories, has been created. Finding test methods to give that assurance has evolved over the decades, with each new advancement in testing providing either more accurate results, results in less time, or both. This document will provide information about the historical as well as state of the art testing methods available.

Historically there have been five widely used testing methods for testing of horizontal membranes: spray testing, flood testing, capacitance (impedance) testing, nuclear metering, and infrared (IR) thermal imaging. Within the last two decades, two new methods of testing have revolutionized the leak detection and integrity testing industry. These methods utilize electricity and a simple electric circuit to detect and identify problem conditions in roofing and waterproofing systems

These are generically referred to as ‘Low Voltage Electrical Conductance Testing’ and ‘High Voltage Spark Testing’. To explain or address all the principles and subtleties of how each testing method should be done to provide accurate results would require more time and space than allowed. This document will focus on highlighting the testing methodologies, scientific principles, and their advantages and limitations. Special attention will be given to limitations

This is due in large part to the fact that it has come to the attention of the author that the abilities of the high and low voltage techniques are frequently overstated resulting in un-met expectations on the part of owners and contractors which lead to skepticism and possibly a bad reputation of an emerging technology.

As with most investigative tools, the test method selected is only as good as the experience of the person used to perform the test. Knowledge of all the test method options is only the first step. Knowing the benefits and more importantly the limitations of each system will assist a knowledgeable individual to quickly and cost effectively locate and repair all breaches within the membrane


What is a Water Meter?

A water meter is a device that measures the volume of water delivered to a property. Some water meters measure water in gallons while others measure in cubic feet.

Most residential water meters are located near the curb or sidewalk at the front of the property in a concrete “box.” The water meter box will have a metal or plastic lid and may be marked, “Water Meter.”

Use a long screwdriver to remove the lid. However, be cautious as insects, reptiles or other small animals occasionally take residence inside the boxes. Some water meters will have a small, hinged cover while others may not. Lift the cover and use a damp rag to wipe the face clean.

Understanding the Water Meter

Look at your water meter to determine if you have an analog (dial) or a digital display. Instructions for reading both types of water meters are included in this section.

The large sweep hand on the dial measures water use in gallons or cubic feet. One gallon or one cubic foot of water passes through the water meter as the sweep hand moves from one number to the next (e.g., 0 to 1). A complete rotation equals 10 gallons or 10 cubic feet depending on the unit measured. Most analog dials have a low-flow indicator that turns as water moves through the water meter. This typically looks like a small triangle (shown), star or gear.

Important Facts To Know About Personal Tax Planning

The Importance of Tax Planning

Many people use the term “tax planning,” but it is often misunderstood. It is the art of learning how to manage your affairs in ways that postpone or avoid taxes. Skilled tax planning means more money to save and invest, and it can make the tax season more of a financial boost instead of a financial burden. As explained well by Wealth Plan: “tax planning means either deferring or avoiding taxes by taking full advantage of the beneficial tax-law provisions, increasing tax deductions and tax credits, and by making good use of all applicable breaks that are available under the Internal Revenue Code.”

Strategies are typically designed and employed to achieve goals–a series of steps undertaken to accomplish an intended end. Of course, strategies within the realm of tax planning are undertaken to achieve financial goals primarily, but they are also employed to achieve business goals. If your tax planning strategies are effective, they should successfully accomplish, or at least address, the following goals:

  1. Lower your amount of taxable income
  2. Reduce the rate at which you are taxed
  3. Empower you to control when taxes get paid
  4. Ensure you get all credits available to you
  5. Put you in charge of the Alternate Minimum Tax

Note the following sample of strategies intended to reduce one’s tax liability, as noted by Cash Cow:

  • Maximize Retirement Contributions: Deferral of taxation is one of the most common and useful tax strategies for individuals who are currently in a high tax bracket, but if you follow this path anticipate being in a lower tax bracket at some point in the future when withdrawals (distributions) are taken.
  • Harvest Investment Losses: You can offset unlimited investment gains, and up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year by selling your investments that have lost value. If your losses exceed your gains and the $3,000 of ordinary income, you can carry them over to be used in future tax years.
  • Consider Charitable Gifts: This strategy is only useful if you can itemize your tax deductions (most often due to mortgage interest deductions), and plan on making donations. Appreciated assets are some of the most tax-efficient charitable donations. Donating these assets will allow you to avoid paying capital gains on the appreciation.
  • Invest In Municipal Bonds: Some high income earners are now subject to the 3.8% Medicare surtax on all investment income. Municipal bonds avoid this additional tax, and typically avoid all Federal and State income taxes. That means the tax equivalent yield (the yield an investor would require from a taxable bond) has increased for those taxpayers, making muni-bonds more attractive.


Types of Tax Planning and Management

Now that you’ve seen what is tax planning, and the difference between tax planning and management, let’s understand the types. There are essentially four methods here’s a summary of each.

Short Range Tax Planning:

This type of tax planning has a limited objective or aim. Investors will often rush to invest toward the end of the financial year. This usually happens when there is a change in the taxpayer’s financial situation. For example, you get a promotion and a raise during a financial year. Your salary structure will obviously not be the same as the previous year. You realise, your taxable income is now higher. So, 3 to 6 months before your taxes are due, you look for investment options. These can be found mostly under section 80C. You’ll be requested to submit income tax proofs, if you have chosen any compliant financial product, to save tax, under this section.

Long Range Tax Planning:

In this method, you’re essentially taking calculated tax saving decisions, at the beginning of a financial year. The aim is to reduce tax liability for the long-term. For example, taking a home loan, or, an education loan. Another way to reduce your tax liability is, by transferring shares, or assets with family. If their taxable income is lower than yours, they can be eligible for tax benefits.

Permissive Tax Planning:

Through this method, you’re optimising each and every section of the Income Tax Act of India—1961. You need to be within the legal framework of compliance. Utilising all the sections legally, doesn’t mean you’re avoiding taxes. It simply means, you’re being smart about reducing your tax liability.

Purposive Tax Planning:

Here, you’re planning you have a specific purpose to save taxes. This method needs a detailed evaluation of investment options, assets, etc. At times, it may even require a complete restructuring of your personal finances, to reduce your tax liability.


How to get started?

Anyone can start planning their taxes in a few simple steps:

  1. Start by taking your total income into account. This is the starting point of the process and requires you to accurately assess your annual and monthly income.
  2. Evaluate the taxable aspects of your income. Housing and rent allowances included in the salary on top of base pay are not taxable. However, profits made from investments could add to taxable income. Therefore, understanding one’s taxable income is a requisite to be able to plan taxes.
  3. Make use of deductions to reduce the total taxable income. This can be done by structuring salary and proper planning of investments. For example, interest from a fixed deposit is taxed at the same rate as income tax, while a debt fund held over e years is taxed at 20%. So if you fall in the 30% tax bracket against the taxable income of 10 lakhs and above, debt funds are a more tax-friendly option.
  4. Invest in tax-saving instruments. There exists a wide range of deductions available to eligible taxpayers in Sections 80C through 80U of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Other options such as deductions and tax credits are listed under the Income Tax Act, 1961. Investment options include Provident Public Fund (PPF), Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS) in mutual funds, National Saving Certificates (NSC) or 5-year bank deposits. Life insurance, health insurance premium and home loan payments can let you avail tax savings.


You Need to Consider the Importance of Tax Planning

If you’re reading this and fall into the crowd that hasn’t been considering their taxes in retirement because you were unaware, you’re now aware! If you aren’t confident about what you need to do next, keep reading. The first thing you need to do if you haven’t looked into the importance of tax planning in retirement is to find a trusted professional to help you. Many of you may already have a financial advisor and a CPA. That’s great! However, are they working together to make sure your accounts get utilized in the most tax-efficient manner? If not, maybe they need to be in contact.

You see, most CPAs don’t have the luxury of working directly with the individual planning someone’s retirement and investment plans. Though allowing the two to work together to build a plan that best manages your account over time considering the tax impact year over year is extremely advantageous.

Many Factors Involved in Tax Planning for Retirement

Tax planning in retirement carries more importance when you consider just how many factors impact your taxes.

  • Social Security – “But wait, that’s tax-free, right?” Not always.
  • Required Minimum Distributions – “We don’t have them in 2020, who cares.” You should be looking much further down the road than just 2020.
  • Charitable Giving like Qualified Charitable Distributions – “Why can’t I just give money straight to a charity? Why complicate it?” You could be saving yourself in taxes, that’s why!
  • Roth Conversions– They aren’t for everyone, but they may be right for you!


Investment Avenues for Tax Saving

Under Section 80 C one can invest in PPF, NSC, Bank FDs, Life Insurance & ELSS are various investment instruments eligible for tax saving. Amongst them ELSS enjoys the shortest lock – in period of 3 Years. Also Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS) allows one to benefit from the long term growth potential of equities and offers the facility to invest the amount systematically: Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP): A Smart Way to Save Taxes too!

  • SIP is a strategy whereby an investor commits to invest a fixed amount at specified intervals.
  • SIP allows one to achieve tax saving in a systematic & hassle free manner: As a fixed amount gets invested automatically each month, the investor does not have to worry about making hasty last-minute lumpsum investments for saving tax.
  • Law of Averaging at work – Rupee Cost Averaging at its best: investing the same amount on a regular basis will lead to one getting more units when price is low and one getting less units in case price is high.
  • Small Ticket Sizes do not impact the wallet too!
  • Focus on consistent & continuous investments – Fixed Money for Fixed Period of time to benefit from market volatility.
  • Imparts Discipline in investing – The most needed quality for a long term investor.
  • Each SIP would attract a 3 year lock-in period.

How To Run Your Own Residential Cleaning Business With Options

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business

Cleaning the home is an arduous chore in most households. Cleaning is a tiring and time-consuming task right from making the bed to cleaning up the carpet, especially for people who are always working. Most people now would happily hand over the cleaning chore to a professional cleaner as the lives of people are becoming increasingly hectic, and they don’t have time to invest in cleaning their spaces.

Lately, due to this increasing demand for professional cleaning services,  there is an influx in the number of cleaning business start-ups launching in the industry. Additionally, the cleaning business is booming these days and has become one of the highly profitable businesses.

When in doubt of what business to start, starting a small cleaning business might be a great option as it doesn’t require any degree, prior experience or any specific prerequisite knowledge. If people, starting their cleaning company, are prepared to put in a lot of time and effort and work themselves, then it is possible to start a house cleaning business with a low initial investment.

Thinking of starting a cleaning business?

There is some crucial information to know in general for a cleaning business such as the resources needed to start the business, the latest technologies that can help a cleaning business to grow faster, the house cleaning prices within the market, marketing strategies to promote the business, etc.

One of the most important things that you need to do is start creating a cleaning business checklist. This checklist is essential to keep track of what are the necessary steps to be taken and track the required aspects to get a successful business plan. For example, registering a business, scheduling appointments for the cleaning requirements, paying taxes, expanding the company, etc.


Service updates during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

National Restrictions (from 5th November)

From the 5th November, will enter a national lockdown across the country, similar to the March lockdown where businesses will be forced to close. The lockdown will begin on 5th November and end on 2nd December. However the government have made it clear that cleaners will still be permitted to work inside peoples’ homes as long as the government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed.

Can cleaners still work in clients’ homes?

The government has not made any changes in regards to work being carried out within homes. Domestic cleaners are still permitted in homes, no matter which Tier your area is in – as long as the government guidelines on social distancing and staying safe are followed.


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

a new continuous cough

a high temperature

a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

What are we doing?

We want to inform you of the actions we are taking as a business to protect our cleaners and our clients as far as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak. You will, of course, know the government have ordered people to stay at home wherever possible but with a few exceptions. On the other hand, we don’t need to point out that a clean house is even more essential during these times.

We are in constant contact with all our cleaners and are asking them and yourselves to take all the precautions you can.

If you or anyone in your household have any symptoms, please let us and your cleaner know as soon as possible.

We have also informed our cleaners to do the same if they or anyone in their household displays any symptoms.

We have always ensured that the same cleaner attends the same clients each clean and that our cleaners only use the clients’ cleaning materials, to prevent cross-contamination.


Here’s How Often You Should Clean Everything In Your House

While it can sometimes be hard to gauge how often to tackle certain household chores, keeping your living space tidy just got a whole lot simpler. Housekeeping recently created a handy infographic showing how often you should clean everything in your house.

To keep everything neat, Housekeeping recommends that you perform certain cleaning tasks every day, including sweeping the kitchen floor, wiping down the kitchen counters, and sanitizing the sinks. Then, once a week, you should change your bedding and clean the inside of your microwave. (Note, though, that you shouldn’t actually try to sanitize your sponge—researchers suggest throwing it away and replacing it with a new one instead.)

The timing of other chores is more flexible. You can tackle scrubbing the insides of your fridge and oven every three to six months. As for big projects like deep-cleaning carpets and windows, you only need to do those once a year.

Just because you should clean regularly, though, doesn’t mean you have to spend ages doing it. There are a variety of cleaning hacks that can help you speed up the process, like using a lemon to wipe away hard water stains or putting dusty artificial plants in the dishwasher. There are also plenty of products guaranteed to make cleaning easier, like this steam cleaner designed specifically for your microwave.

Or, just let a smart mop do the cleaning for you. That’s probably healthier, anyway. Check out Housekeeping’s infographic below. The magazine also made a companion chart for laundry


Pre-cleaning Guide

Conduct: We will always be respectful in your home/office. There is no smoking, eating or drinking (other than water) in your home/office, nor do they watch TV or play the radio. They do not answer the phone or door

Supplies: We provide our own cleaning products including cleaning agents and microfiber towels. We pride ourselves in our state of the art, earth friendly cleaning practices. We use color coded microfiber technology ensuring the avoidance of cross contamination. All tools and supplies are disinfected after each home/office is cleaned, to provide an additional layer of preventing cross-contamination.

Picking Up: You do not need to clean for the cleaner! Especially if you asked for an ‘As is Cleaning’. However, if you would like to minimize cost and not pay for us picking up, organizing and cleaning, we suggest the better your space is picked up, the better job we can do for you. If there are papers, dishes, laundry, projects, etc. and you do not want us to pick up, no problem, we will skip these areas until the next visit. Getting things up off the floor by putting them on beds, couches, dining room table is what we suggest it helps to have more clear surfaces to clean for you. If you just can’t get things organized before we come, no problem, just know we will clean what we can get to. Also, please leave bedsheets for changing beds if you require us to.

Pets: We love pets! However due to potential health risks, we do not clean litter boxes, urine or feces unless you let us know ahead of time we will come prepared with the right chemicals and charge accordingly. If you have a pet that is the least bit aggressive, it will need to be absent from the areas we are cleaning.

Valuables: If there is an item or items in your home that are invaluable to you, it is your responsibility to: A.) Let us know what and where the item(s) are, so we will know not to touch them, or B.) Put the item(s) away before your scheduled cleaning service. As mentioned in the paragraph above, we do not open doors (this includes cabinet doors, bookcases, curios, etc.). If your valuable or breakable items are behind a closed door, we will not touch them.


Guidelines for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection of Areas Exposed to Confirmed Case(s) of COVID-19 in Non-Healthcare Premises

General Good Practices

  1. As the virus can survive on surfaces of different materials for at least 2 to 3 days, surfaces potentially contaminated with the COVID-19 virus (e.g. commonly touched surfaces, surfaces which may have been exposed to respiratory droplets such as sneezes or coughs, and floors) should be sanitised.
  2. Thoroughly clean toilets, using different set of cleaning equipment (disposable cloths, mop, etc). Pay attention to the disinfectant of frequently touched area such as sinks, taps, toilet bowls and seat covers.
  3. Seek medical attention if you are feeling unwell.

Cleaning of Premises

  1. Items to Prepare for Cleaning of Premises

Prepare these items before you start to clean the premises:

  1. Personal protective equipment (PPE) (where applicable)
  2. An appropriate disinfectant with indication of effectiveness against coronaviruses, or bleach solution. Disinfectants should be prepared and applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation. Please refer to the “Interim List of Household Products and Active Ingredients for Disinfection of COVID-19 Virus” for a list of disinfectants and active ingredients that are suitable for coronavirus disinfection. Note that different active ingredients require different periods of contact time between the disinfectant and the surfaces to be effective.
  3. Plastic/Trash bags
  4. Water
  5. Disposable cloths or rags
  6. Pail
  7. Mop

Cleaning Instructions

  1. Where possible, seal off areas where the confirmed case has visited, before carrying out cleaning and disinfection of the contaminated environmental surfaces. This is to prevent unsuspecting persons from being exposed to those surfaces. For enclosed spaces, leave the room undisturbed for at least 3 hours after the confirmed case has left the area so as to allow the aerosols to settle. If there is a need to enter the room before it is cleaned or disinfected, put on appropriate PPE (Section B.I.1) before entering.
  2. Before you start cleaning, put on a pair of gloves, N95 mask, eye goggles and a disposable gown. If the confirmed case(s) has been present at the premises only for a short period of time (e.g. if the confirmed case passed by an area in his/her office (not the work desk), or ate at a canteen, etc), please refer to para 2 for a stepped-down PPE protocol.
  3. Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes during clean-up. Gloves should be removed and discarded if they become soiled or damaged, and a new pair worn. Prepare the disinfectant according to manufacturer’s recommendations or bleach solution (For bleach, dilute 1000ppm or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite; bleach solutions with 5.25-6.00% sodium hypochlorite can be diluted with 1 part bleach in 49 parts water). Alcohol can be used for surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable.
  4. Keep windows open for ventilation.
  5. Keep cleaning equipment to a minimum.
  6. Mop floor with prepared disinfectant or bleach solution, starting from one end of the premises to another.
  7. Soak cloths with prepared disinfectant or bleach solution and use them to wipe all frequently touched areas (e.g. lift buttons, hand rails, doorknobs, arm rests, seat backs, tables, air/ light controls, keyboards, switches, etc.) and allow to air dry. A steady wiping motion should be used when cleaning either floors or horizontal surfaces, to prevent the creation of aerosols or splashing. Identify frequently touched areas based premises types and likelihood of use and risk of contamination.
  8. Avoid using a spray pack to apply disinfectant on potentially highly contaminated areas (such as toilet bowl or surrounding surfaces) as it may create splashes which can further spread the virus. Also, alcohol-based disinfectant is flammable, do not spray it into the air.
  9. Clean toilets with a separate set of equipment (disposable cleaning cloths, mops, etc) using disinfectant or bleach solution. Use an appropriate disinfectant and note that different active ingredients require different periods of contact time to be effective.
  10. Clean all accessible surfaces (sinks, taps, soap dispensers, toilet roll dispensers, walls, cubicle doors, cubicle locks, handles, flush buttons, etc).
  11. Urinals and toilet bowls can be disinfected by pouring disinfectant into the urinal/toilet bowl. Allow for an appropriate contact time. Clean urinals and toilets bowls with a brush and use a separate cloth for seat covers. Brush and cloths used for these should not be used for other surfaces.
  12. After disinfection, clean the floor with disinfectant from the exit inwards.
  13. Remove curtains/ fabrics/ quilts for washing, preferably using the hot water cycle. Avoid tossing and throwing the laundry. For hot-water laundry cycles, wash with detergent or disinfectant in water at 70ºC for at least 25 minutes. If low-temperature (i.e. less than 70ºC) laundry cycles are used, choose a chemical that is suitable for low-temperature washing when used at the proper concentration.

11 Arrange for a cleaning contractor to properly disinfect the mattresses, pillows, cushions or carpets that have been used by the person who has been confirmed to have the COVID-19.

12 Repeat cleaning the floor with the prepared disinfectant or bleach solution starting from one end of the premises to another. Avoid going from an area that has not been cleaned to an area that has been cleaned, to avoid dirtying the cleaned area.

  1. Throw away disposable cleaning equipment made of cloths/ absorbent materials (e.g. mop head and wiping cloths) after cleaning each area, to prevent cross contamination. Discard cleaning equipment into doubled-lined biohazard waste bags arrange for proper disposal of this waste as biohazardous waste1.
  2. Disinfect non-porous cleaning equipment used in one room, before using for other rooms. If possible, keep the disinfecting equipment separated from other routine equipment.
  3. Disinfect buckets by soaking in disinfectant or bleach solution.
  4. After cleaning and disinfection is completed, remove disposable gown (if worn) and gloves, wash your hands with soap and water.
  5. All other disposable PPE such as N95 masks and eye goggles, should be removed and discarded after cleaning activities are completed. Hands should be washed with soap and water immediately after each piece of PPE is removed, following completion of cleaning. Eye goggles, if used, should be disinfected after each use, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Throw PPE into doubled-lined biohazard waste bags.
  7. All waste generated from the clean-up (disposable cloths, used PPE etc, in paras 13 and 18) should e segregated from other waste (e.g.. food waste), and disposed of as biohazardous waste as soon as possible.
  8. Air and ventilate the premises. Where possible, avoid using the area the next day.
  9. If the confirmed case(s) has been present at the premises only for a short period of time (e.g. if the confirmed case passed by an area in his/her office (not the work desk), or ate at a canteen, etc), please refer to para 22 for a stepped-down PPE protocol.
  10. The protocol can be stepped-down as follows:
  11. Prepare a change of clothes instead of a disposable gown.
  12. Waste generated from the clean-up in paras 13, 18 and 19 can be disposed of as regular waste.
  13. Instead of wearing a disposable gown, shower or wash up and change clothes immediately after the clean-up.

Sciatic Pain Management

What do Pain Management Nurses do?

Pain management nurses specialize in caring for patients with chronic or acute pain. In addition to providing pain medication, they may also educate patients on how to manage their pain effectively. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has called for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to be the standard for advanced practice nursing. Therefore, forward-thinking nurses may want to continue their education with a DNP now to ensure that they are fully eligible for pain management nursing jobs in the future.

Nurses Are In High Demand

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing fields in the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioner positions are projected to experience a 31 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average rate for other occupations. Nurses who want to continue their education and take advantage of the demand for nurse practitioners might consider learning about how to become a pain management nurse.


Education Requirements

After earning their MSN, nursing professionals are eligible to seek a DNP.  In most cases, applicants must have a moderate amount of nursing experience and at least a 3.0 grade point average in their previous MSN coursework. Essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews with the admissions team may also be application requirements for a DNP program.

A typical DNP program features advanced nursing courses, such as Cultural Perspectives in Health Care, Epidemiology/Biostatistics, Advanced Research Methods, and Informatics for Health Care. The curriculum also might include practicum courses to allow students to practice their skills in a clinical setting.

Students who pursue a DNP are required to complete a set number of semester hours , and both online and in-person options are available. Online programs are generally designed to be flexible , so practicing nurses can work full-time while learning how to become a pain management nurse. In-person programs focus more on face-to-face interaction with faculty and classmates, but this comes at the cost of the time spent attending mandatory class sessions. Generally, students can complete either program in three to five years.


Many pain management nurses have years of experience before they pursue an MSN. Pain management is a specialty that requires precision and knowledge combined with interpersonal skills. Nurses must be able to relate to patients and assist them in determining the severity and type of pain they are feeling so it can be properly controlled. Patients in pain can be difficult to manage, so it is imperative that pain management nurses have patience. This type of nurse often works with seriously ill patients, so compassion and empathy are helpful attributes.

Duties and Responsibilities

Pain management nurses are responsible for the care of patients with chronic or acute pain. Once they have assessed a patient’s pain, they work closely with doctors and other nurses to create a treatment plan.

Pain management nurses administer medications and provide pain relief through other therapeutic methods. In addition, they teach patients and their families how to alleviate pain and make patients more comfortable. These nurses may work in large hospitals, university medical centers, clinics, rehabilitative care facilities, and nursing homes. They are a necessary part of a patient’s medical team. A pain management nurse may serve as a liaison between the patient and the doctor to determine a medication’s effect and to make changes to improve the patient’s comfort level.


Salary and Benefits

The salary of a pain management nurse may range widely, as it depends on many factors, such as education and experience. The median salary for a registered nurse is $70,000 per year. Pain management nurses with advanced degrees, such as those with an MSN or DNP, may expect to earn more. Salaries generally increase with experience. The median salary for a nurse practitioner is $92,000 per year, according to PayScale , which can make it an attractive profession for those wanting to learn how to become a pain management nurse.

Nurse practitioners can make a difference in the lives of patients who have unmanaged or poorly managed pain. Pain can be a barrier to patients’ productivity, wellness, and mobility, but with interventions from pain management nurses, they can experience real quality-of-life improvements and freedom from their chronic pain issues. Nurses who opt to continue their education and enroll in an MSN or MSN-DNP program are projected to find a favorable job market for the next decade and enter a field where good pain management practice can improve patients’ quality of life.


What Do Pain Management Nurses Do?

Pain management nurses assess patients to determine the severity and causes of their pain. In order to do this, they will often physically examine patients and discuss their symptoms. Pain management nurses will also usually examine their patients’ medical histories and perform diagnostic tests, such as x-rays.

Helping patients ease and manage their pain, however, is a pain management nurse’s biggest task. Today, patients in severe pain have the luxury of taking strong and effective pain-relieving medications. Pain management nurses are typically responsible for administering these medications and teaching patients how to take these medications safely.

Because many narcotic pain medications are habit-forming and can cause additional health problems, pain management nurses also try to help patients by introducing them to alternative pain management techniques. Some of these techniques may include biofeedback, acupuncture, massage, and therapeutic exercises.


Pain Management Nurse Jobs

Where Do Pain Management Nurses Work?

As a pain management nurse, you can find employment in several different healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and physician centers.

Some of the daily responsibilities held by a pain management nurse include:

  • Assessing individual medical and psychosocial patient care needs
  • Working with physician to develop a plan of care
  • Educating patients on treatments and recovery
  • Documenting patient response to treatment

Eliminating Your Ants Problems

How to Get Rid of Ants When You’re in a Hurry

Block Up the Entrances

One of the first things that you should try if ants are marching in is blocking up all of the potential entrances with tape, window stripping, paint, or anything else that will cover it up. Sometimes you can figure this out by just watching where the pests go after they get food from your house

Create a Homemade Trap for Killing Ants

Another potential quick way for getting rid of a small ant infestation is by using a trap with household ingredients. Ants have very simple digestive systems, so there are some things that are no problem for humans but highly toxic to ants. One of these things is sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda.

Clean Up Scent Trails

If you see a line of ants going to and from your kitchen, they are most likely following a scent trail. Chemical trails are how ants alert other ants from their colony about a source of food. When a scout ant finds some source of food within your house, it produces a scent as it moves the food back and forth from its home. The scent remains on the ground, creating a path for other ants to follow.

Try Peppermint

If you’ve tried to block up every possible entrance to your house, tried traps and don’t see any scent trails, another option is to spray peppermint in any areas that you think are a problem. Peppermint is actually a neurotoxin to ants, and it is highly deadly to them. You can buy essence of peppermint at a store quickly, and then you can either use an eyedropper to drop a small amount for spot treatments, or you can dilute it in a water spray bottle in order to spray on ants to kill and deter them from going where you don’t want them to go.

Get a Professional to Help

While do-it-yourself treatments can be helpful in a pinch – the best way to deal with an ant infestation is by working with a professional team who can ensure that your pest problem is completely under control and keep them away.


How to Get Rid of Ants

You know the drill: stop those first few ants from marching into your home or apartment and you might just keep them all out for good. Let the first couple ants go, though, and they’re likely to report back to their friends and show them the way inside. So, how do you get rid of ants before they take over? Just like getting rid of mice, getting rid of ants isn’t fun, but it’s completely doable. Here are a few natural remedies to cure your apartment of ants.

Keep Things Clean

The best way to get ahead of those pesky ants is to keep everything clean and tidy. Consider getting air-tight, sealable storage containers for gains, cereals, and other dry foods. This way, when you aren’t using them, they’re sealed up and out of sight (and reach) from ants. Clean up spills quickly so nothing will attract ants to your floors or countertops. Sticky things like honey, syrup, jam, and sugar-based foods are especially attractive to ants, so make sure you’re cleaning up your mess after every spill or cooking session.

Diatomaceous Earth

This naturally-occurring sedimentary rock is best used outdoors. Place a line of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) on a horizontal surface, like a cement sidewalk or patio flooring. As an ant tries to cross the DE line, the powder will attach to them and kill them (we’ll spare you the details on how it’s done, though). Just rest assured that the DE line will stop the ants in their tracks and inhibit them from marching into your home.

Talcum Powder

In a similar way, talcum, or baby powder, can also be used to get rid of ants. Find the entry points the ants have been using to get into your house, sprinkle a line of talcum powder down to create a firewall, and watch it do its work. Since ants breathe through something called spiracles on the sides of their bodies, the attached baby powder will clog their airways, killing them quickly.

Water and White Vinegar

If you’re a little more patient or don’t mind trying a few times to get rid of the ants, try filling a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Spray the ants as you see them, and try to find the ant hill, too. The combination generally takes a few times to kill the ants, but it works. Just be patient; you might have to do a few rounds of spraying before seeing results


A Guide to House-Invading Ants and Their Control


The ants that we see day to day are adult ants. Immature ants or “brood” are usually a whitish color and somewhat resemble fly maggots. They are found inside the nest where they are tended by adult workers. Adult ants do not grow. Some ant species have may have individuals of different sizes. So, if you see “small” ants, they do not “grow up” into larger-sized ones.

Ants, as do all insects, have three body divisions: head, thorax, and abdomen. The thorax (middle section) is the part where the legs and wings (if present) are attached. An ant’s thorax and abdomen are joined by one or two segments called nodes, which form the petiole or pedicel. This petiole is one of the important features used to identify different ant species. Seeing winged ants inside your home often means that you have an indoor nest and it may cause alarm because winged ants are often mistaken for winged termites.

Here are some features that can be used to distinguish between the two.

Ants have a constricted or “pinched” waist; termites lack this constriction

The forewing of ants is larger than the hindwing; termites have four wings of equal size

Ants have bent or “elbowed” antennae; termites have straight, beadlike antennae

Life History and Habits

Ants are social insects – they live in colonies that contain three castes or groups: workers, queens, and males. Most of the ants you find in a colony are the workers, which are sterile females. They are responsible for gathering food, feeding the brood and queen, and maintaining and defending the nest. Most ant species produce winged males and females during certain times of the year. These winged individuals, called “swarmers”, leave the nest to mate and start new colonies. After mating, the males die and the females (queens) search for suitable locations to start new colonies. The queen sheds her wings and starts laying eggs that will hatch into the legless, grub-like larvae. The queen takes care of these larvae as they develop until finally they become pupae. Within a few weeks, adult worker ants emerge from these pupae and take over the job of tending the young. At this point, the queen’s primary job becomes lay more eggs, although she may help feed and groom the larvae.

Some ant species, such as the Argentine ant, do not leave the nest to mate. With these species, new colonies form by “budding” – where one or more queens, along with some workers and young, break away from the main colony and move to a new location. Ant species that reproduce by budding usually do not have permanent nests. If conditions become unfavorable or if the nest is disturbed, the ants will simply move to a new location. This behavior may make it more difficult for you to find and eliminate a nest. Other ants that reproduce by budding include the odorous house ant and the pharaoh ant. In addition, some ant species have colonies that contain a single queen while other ant colonies may contain several queens. These ants may be more difficult to control because eliminating a single queen (or even a few queens) may not eliminate the colony and it may be easier for them to split up and form several colonies near each other.


How to get rid of ants

Ant control can be a nuisance as once one ventures inside your home in search of food, and scores something yummy, he’ll send a message home to call in all the troops.

With a straw or teaspoon, take a few drops of water and drip into each container. You want to create a paste, so slowly add more liquid as needed. Stir together until it’s like the consistency of maple syrup.

Seal the lids tightly, then pierce small holes in the lid and upper side, which are big enough for the ants to crawl into the container. Now that your traps are ready, place these in areas most affected by ant intrusion, such as behind the fridge or at the back of a draw. Leave for a few days to attract the ants but don’t kill them, as you want to track the ant back to his colony. If you don’t see where the ant goes, spray a little vinegar on the next ant seen and watch it reverse back to the colony.

It’s the colony you really want to treat to remove the underlying issue. A chemical-free approach is to run a hose up to the colony and let it saturate the area so the ants get packing and move on.

Ant infestation prevention tips

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the ants, it’s best to create a barrier to prevent an ant infestation from occuring again.


How to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home: The Complete Guide

There are over 10,000 species of ants on Earth, making them one of the most abundant creatures on the planet. Most of them prefer to live in forests and jungles, while others think your home is the best place for them.

While a few of these tiny creatures may not cause much harm, they reproduce rapidly and can make themselves at home quickly when conditions are ideal. Often, modern houses provide every luxury an ant could desire, including abundant food and shelter from the elements. Once they’ve settled in, their nesting habits can cause untold structural damage to your home.

Physical Barriers to Prevent Ants Invading Your Home

According to pest professionals, Pest Control, no structure is safe from pest invasions, so it’s important to take steps against ants regardless of how secure you think your home is. Due to their tiny size and extraordinary climbing capabilities, ants can enter your home through tiny cracks and crevices.

Here’s how to keep them out:

Seal any openings you notice with a silicone-based caulk.

Replace worn weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around your windows and basement foundation.

Trim back trees and shrubbery from your walls and windows.

Stack your firewood at least 20 feet away from your house.

These are some of the tried-and-tested remedies for getting rid of ants:

Spray powdered chalk near entry points

Wash your floors with a solution containing lemon juice

Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice near access points

Spritz a solution of water mixed with pepper around ant entryways

A solution of salt dissolved in water also helps get rid of ants

Wipe window sills and doorways with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar

Peppermint essential oil mixed with water repels most household pests

Keep a small bowl of cinnamon and cloves in your kitchen

Manual Transmission Repair Problems And Repairs

How To Identify If Your Auto Transmission Requires Repair

If you’ve ever driven a manual transmission vehicle, you’ll know that problems tend to be obvious and can be reduced by changing your own driving habits. With an automatic transmission system, it may be harder to detect problems before they become major – and expensive – issues.

We’ve put together some warning signs that could indicate problems, because prevention costs less than the cure.

  • Does your engine rev when you step on the gas?
  • Is there a delay before the car starts moving forward from drive position?
  • Does the gearshift feel less smooth?
  • Do you hear any thudding or clunking sounds when the car shifts gear?
  • Does your car feel as if it has too much power or too little power at odd times?
  • Does the engine make a whining noise or is there a change in its normal pitch?

These signs that your transmission may be slipping need immediate attention. If you experience any of these – with or without a warning light on your dashboard – have it seen to by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

There are many reasons why your transmission could slip or fail, often related to the fluid that is the lifeblood of your transmission system. You don’t have to be an auto expert to run through this checklist:

  • Check your car’s transmission fluid at least once a month.
  • New fluid is pinkish in colour, burnt or dirty fluid is brown or black.
  • Burnt fluid is a red flag – check the smell as well as the colour.
  • Ensure the fluid levels aren’t low by using the transmission dipstick.
  • There should be no leaks. Any leak suggests a gap somewhere.
  • Insufficient fluid leads to overheating.


Does Your Vehicle Need Transmission Repair?

Transmission repair can be expensive, but without a properly working transmission, your vehicle cannot run. Both manual and automatic transmissions ensure that power moves from the vehicle’s engine to the wheels. Your vehicle’s engine works at speeds called RPMs or Revolutions per Minute. The transmission’s job is to transmit power to the wheels while keeping the engine’s RPMs in the optimal range. It does this through a complicated combination of gears and parts that recognize changes in speed and RPMs and move accordingly to optimize the vehicle’s energy.

If the transmission isn’t shifting the gears properly, you’ll notice a bumpy ride because the energy isn’t transmitting smoothly from the engine to the wheels. The vehicle may buck or stall, or you’ll hear grinding noises from underneath the vehicle. If the transmission is really in trouble, you may even see smoke issuing from it. All of these signs are indicators of problems and should be checked by a mechanic immediately.

Fix Minor Transmission Problems Before They Get Worse

As with most repairs, transmission repair costs can be contained if you fix minor problems before they get worse. Some minor transmission problems to be bring to your mechanic’s attention include:

Leaks and stains under the car

Transmission fluid is typically dyed red to make it easier to identify it from other vehicle fluids, and in both rear and front wheel drive vehicles the transmission is located underneath the vehicle and towards the rear. Puddles of red fluid under the rear end of the vehicle indicate a leak somewhere in the system.


If you typically drive with the radio blasting, turn it off occasionally and listen to your vehicle. Many problems begin as unusual noises, but if you’re not sure what your vehicle normally sounds like you may not be able to tell the unusual from the usual. Transmission noises that indicate trouble brewing include whining noises, especially a whining sound under the floorboards while your vehicle moves from gear to gear.


Changes in shifting behavior

Your vehicle should move smoothly between gears whether you have a manual or an automatic transmission. If you feel a jolting sensation or the vehicle bucks during a shift, it’s time to have the transmission checked. A heavy sensation in the vehicle during shifting may also indicate a problem.

Money Saving Transmission Repair

Even if you’re worried about the bill, it’s important to have your vehicle’s transmission checked if you notice these or other changes. Talk to your mechanic. He may have some simple suggestions to extend the life of your vehicle’s transmission. Transmission fluid and filters should be changed around every 25,000 miles or so, but check your vehicle’s maintenance schedule for the exact number as it can vary considerably. Transmissions do have a filter that cleans the fluids inside, and as with your vehicle’s engine, keeping the fluids clean and the filter clear prevents build up and debris from harming the transmission. Routine maintenance alone may prevent or delay costly transmission repairs.


Here are some frequently asked questions about transmissions:

Q: When should I check the transmission fluid?

A: You should check the transmission fluid regularly. Try to check it at least once a month or at the sign of any trouble, for instance if there is any hesitation when you shift gears in an automatic.

Q: How do I check the transmission fluid?

A: It’s not hard to check your transmission fluid if the vehicle is an automatic. This link to the Dummies guide to checking your transmission fluid has step-by-step instructions and illustrations that show you where to locate the dipstick. What you want is clear, pink transmission fluid. If it is low, top it up. If it is dark, smells burnt or has bits in it then you need to get it changed by at a reliable auto repair shop.

Q: Is it really that important to check the transmission fluid?

A: Yes, it can be. Often times the symptoms you’ll experience from low or dirty transmission fluid will be the same as transmission problems. If you check the fluid levels regularly and refill as necessary then you’ll know if there are any symptoms of trouble that it’s not because the fluid levels are low and you need to see a mechanic.


Are there different types of transmission fluid?

A: How do I know what to buy? Yes, there are many different types of transmission fluid, each designed for a certain transmission. Different vehicles require different transmission fluids and the age of the car can also be a factor because newer transmissions take different types of transmission fluids than older vehicles. Don’t guess! Find out which type of transmission fluid is required for your vehicle by checking your owner’s manual.

Q: What is a transmission flush and should I get one?

A: A transmission flush is used by some auto repair shops with the goal of flushing out debris.  Auto Tech does not do any sort of transmission flush.  Flushing an older transmission can cause harmful sediment to get stuck in the solenoids of the transmission. We heavily favor regular maintenance to lengthen the life of your transmission.  We service the transmission by changing fluid and the filter and do not recommend having your transmission flushed.

Q: How do I know I have a fluid leak from the transmission?

A: Transmission fluid is slightly pink in color – it will appear pink or red, or possibly more brownish if the transmission fluid is dirty and needs to be replaced. When you feel transmission fluid it will be slick and oily on your fingers. It smells much like oil unless it is dirty, in which case it will smell burnt. Usually transmission fluid leaks around the front or middle of your vehicle, so if you find puddles of reddish liquid there it is probably transmission fluid. Another clue is if in addition to the leak your transmission is not working well and you notice changes in the way it sounds when you shift gears, or if shifting gears is not working as well. In this case you likely have a leak of transmission fluid that is impacting how your transmission operates.