Monthly Archives: January 2018

Top Ways to Protect Your Home From Wind Damage

Destroyed HomeHomes in areas that are prone to strong winds or tornadoes are vulnerable to damages. Residents must be prepared for such situations and know the best course of action.

In case your home sustains damage after a tornado hits your area, you must file a wind damage claim to recover from the financial loss. United States Adjusters agrees that following this guide would also help reduce the severity of the damage should strong winds strike your house.

Install shutters

Some of the weakest parts of the homes include anything where glass is located. This can mean windows, glass doors, and even sliding doors. With strong winds, the danger is with heavy objects that are lifted and thrown about — which can then break any glass materials in your home. One of the best solutions is to install sturdy shutters on these glass elements. This reinforces the glass and protects them from any damage.

Check those shingles

Another vulnerable part of your home is the roof shingles. Even if you have heavy types of shingles, there’s a chance they can blow away. In fact, heavier shingles can damage or harm other properties and even people — complicating your wind damage claim should you ever need it in the future. Hire a contractor to check and reinforce your shingles to avoid worse problems.

Trim trees

You also need to be aware of your surroundings. If you have any huge trees in the area, specifically ones with large branches, you must trim these down constantly. This lowers the risk of any branches being torn off to damage your home. You also need to brace the roots to keep the tree secure. Secure the fences or any other items that can potentially fly off when winds pick up.

Your family’s safety is of utmost importance. Follow these three tips and you can be sure that your home is ready for any damages that can arise.

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, and Other Tech Trends That are Set to Transform Agriculture

Agriculture MachineryAgriculture, as with other industries, is set to change with the rapid and increasing adoption of various forms of technology like artificial intelligence automation. Technology allows farms, ranches, and other agricultural businesses to complete more work faster.

Farmers need to assess their current operations and come up with a growth strategy that includes the adoption of technology. Through experts like Farm Operating Loan, you can implement changes like updating machinery or investing in new technology to make operations more efficient, while reducing the costs of doing business in the long run.

Some of these technology trends have the power to change agriculture and benefit farmers, like the following:

Internet of Things and Big Data

Innovations in data collection and computing have made it possible to collect more data from various sources and use it to enhance functions. Data collection devices and Internet-capable tools and equipment make up a part of the so-called Internet of Things, which allow connected devices to work seamlessly together.

Some examples of leveraging the Internet of Things and big data are sensors placed among crops to measure heat units and sunlight levels, a water filtration device with an IP address that can send a notification to its manufacturer about a filter replacement (without any need for human involvement), and a tractor connected to a web-based online mapping system.

Artificial intelligence

The collection and analysis of big data pave the way for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems in agriculture. AI systems are designed to process information and make critical decisions based on the data analysis. AI has proven to be effective in the medical field, where it is used to suggest treatment protocols.

In the agriculture industry, AI is seen to benefit farmers soon by establishing crop health treatments, scheduling operations, managing pests, and optimizing animal health.

Autonomous vehicles

Vehicles that don’t require a human driver at the wheel can transform how farmers grow crops. Major auto companies are now running tests of their autonomous cars, so other vehicles may soon follow. In the farm setting, self-driving tractors can be developed to free up time for other chores or to allow farmers to have more quality time with family and friends.

There can also be unmanned aerial vehicles or drones that can monitor crops and assess crop health faster than a human can, and collect and analyze data for sending to farmers in real-time. Right now, drone-powered solutions are being developed for soil and field analysis, crop spraying, planting, irrigation, and aerial satellite imagery, so it’s only a matter of time before we see a wider adoption of this technology among farmers.

4 Ways to Make Meetings Effective

A business meetingNo matter how much you love the company that you are working for, you cannot deny that there are times when meetings can be very dull. The fact that people think these meetings are boring can affect how much and how excellent the output of the meetings will be. This is why it is vital that the meetings being held have a clear outcome for it to be effective. The following are ways to improve the effectiveness of meetings for your company:

Do the meetings in a well-equipped meeting room

Location is a crucial factor in the success of a meeting. The meeting place must be conducive to the needs of the group. This may come in the form of the meeting room in your company. The meeting room must have the needed facilities. If your current meeting room does not have this, it would be in your best interest to buy boardroom furniture.

Send the detailed agenda ahead of time

If the participants in the meeting know the agenda of the meeting ahead of time, they will be able to prepare well for it. This is so they can do their homework and participate accordingly.

Ensure equal participation

Equal participation of those attending the meeting helps diversify the opinions and ideas that are being put forward. This means you will have a better chance of succeeding in whatever you are working on.

Be clear and concise when making a point

Eliminate the rambling and long speeches during meetings. Keep things short so that the meeting will finish efficiently.

The fact that employees consider meetings to be a waste of time is something that should give corporate administrations pause. They have the power to ensure that these meetings are done efficiently so that the time of employees away from their desks will not be a waste.

Man checking the water heater

Ways of Minimizing Water Heater Energy Costs

Man checking the water heaterAmong all the electrical gadgets in a typical home, the water heater is among the leading energy-consuming equipment. And while you plan to cut down your utility bills this new year, you need to come up with ways to make your water heater energy-compliant.

You also need to minimize the need for emergency water heater repair services in Utah. Below are ways you can reduce your water heater energy expenses:

Turn Down the Thermostat

The majority of water heaters have a preset at 140 degrees; hence, the risk of scalding is very high. You can reduce it to 120 degrees. If you have been using your water at 140 degrees, 120 degrees may seem quite low, but the water is hot enough to meet your needs and still avoid mineral build up in your tank.

Insulate Your Hot Water Tank

If your tank is an old model, and it has an unheated space, you can wrap an insulating blanket to minimize the heating costs. If your tank is a newer model, confirm that the tank’s R-value is at least 24; else, you will need to insulate your tank.

Do not dare to wrap a new water heater that already has a layer of insulation.

Drain the Sediment at the Bottom of the Tank

Water heaters experience build-up at the bottom of the tank, which most experts refer to as sediment. This sediment reduces the efficiency of the hot water tank. Draining it will save you energy. But, how can you so that safely?

First, turn off the power supply to the unit and the water supply, then connect a hosepipe at the base of the tank and lift the tank’s pressure-relief valve.

Now that you know how to minimize your water heater’s energy expenses go ahead and carry out the three measures to your water tank. You will not only save money on your heating bill but also eliminate the need for unnecessary emergency water heater repair.

A Few Reminders to Improve Your Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene productsSome people may think that personal hygiene is all about looking or smelling good. Though these points are true, prioritizing your personal hygiene is also crucial for your overall health.

Poor hygiene can lead to dental problems and diseases such as influenza and the common cold because of the bacteria present. So if you want to live a healthy life, keep in mind these personal hygiene reminders:

Pamper yourself

Spending time at the waxing salon means treating yourself to something that’ll improve your skin, ultimately putting you in a good mood. Hisandherswaxing.com notes that this will go a long way as this form of pampering helps you feel clean, fresh and relaxed.

Bathe daily

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there's always the tendency to avoid the shower especially if it’s too cold. But don't let this affect you and remember that bathing daily not only soothes your skin but also keeps you relaxed, which is advantageous to your mental and emotional state. Moreover, taking a good bath improves your sleeping habits, which can positively contribute to your overall health.

Exercise every day

If you think exercise is not part of personal hygiene, think again. Exercising is one of the best things you can do to yourself because it keeps you strong physically and mentally. Sweating daily can also improve your immune system, keeping you safe from viral infections.

Eat good food

Want to have a clean gut? Eat a balanced diet. You may be clean on the outside, but if your stomach is taking in a lot of oil and alcohol, your body will suffer.

Hygiene is not just about your outer self; it's also about taking care of what's inside to maintain excellent health.

Keeping Your Yard free from Weed: 4 Ways to Do It

Garden maintenanceTo many, having a weed-free lawn might seem difficult to achieve, but it’s possible. All you need is to learn how. To help you do that, here are some things you could do to keep your yard look its best and healthy.

Apply Herbicides

For tough and hard-to-control weeds, an effective solution to get rid of them is to apply herbicide to your soil. This could make your garden inhabitable and could totally kill them. In Salt Lake City, many homeowners hire for professional lawn weed control service to handle these types of troubles. You could also do that to ensure that weeds will not make it into your garden.

Mulch Over Them

Mulching provides valuable benefits to your lawn. It keeps your yard healthy, as it insulates the soil to provide the proper temperature to grow your grass and plants. The mulch has also the ability to block off weeds from thriving as well as avoid root competition. Do the mulching at least once or twice a year. The ideal time to do is late or mid-spring.

Trim Your Grass

Maintain the right height of grass in your garden. Be careful when trimming your lawn since cutting them too short could hurt and damage them. If you let them grow tall, this could invite the weed. Ideally, the height must be between 2 1/2 to 4 inches depending on the type of grass you’re growing.

Don’t Feed the Weeds

Water your plants and grass diligently with the exception of weeds. Depriving them the water is said to be the most effective way to reduce weed seeds from germination. In turn, this could stop from growing and pestering your beautiful garden. If ever you’re using a sprinkler, be sure you’ve properly set your system to avoid weeds from flourishing.

Keep these weed control tips in mind to enjoy a healthy and attractive lawn. Never give them a chance to grow by following these steps.

air duct cleaning

2 Types of Ducts Suitable for Your Home

air duct cleaningThe efficiency of your HVAC system depends on many components. The ductwork is the heartbeat of this connection as it heats or cools of the furnace, boiler, heat pumps or air conditioner using powerful fans.

There are various types of both commercial and residential HVAC ducts. Each of these ducts suits a specific system. As such, when designing, updating, or considering air duct cleaning in Minnesota (MN), you should identify the type of duct that you have, or you would want to have.

With that said, here are two types of ducts you could use for your home.

Flexible ducts

If you are seeking an affordable and easy-to-install option, then flexible ducts are ideal. Manufacturers make them from a spring wire made of steel and coated with a thick long-lasting plastic. The coil in the spring allows for tight squeezing of the duct, making it the best option in cases you cannot use rigid ducts.

Due to their flexibility, the ducts should be professionally installed to prevent cases of sagging, twisting and kinking, which will affect their performance.

Rigid ducts

Experts consider this category more reliable for long-term use. They are available in various types such as sheet metal, fiberglass, and fiberboard.

The properties of the three types of rigid air ducts are different, and your choice should depend on the nature of the building, whether commercial or residential, the frequency of maintenance, and the overall cost.

Also, note that these options are too stiff posing an installation challenge especially in areas that require flexibility. That means you should always have them professionally installed.

According to research, approximately 40 pounds of dust accumulate in your home yearly. The cooling and heating systems in home recirculate this contaminated air in your home. That means you should have your air ducts cleaned as often as required to eliminate contaminants, increase the airflow and minimize your energy bill.

beautiful garden

Make Your Garden Designs Come True

beautiful gardenAre you thinking of putting a garden or redesigning your current garden at home? If you need some help with designing and creating your dream garden in Kent, you need to know the following things to make sure that your dream garden becomes a reality. For this you could also hire a company that offers professional services for your garden needs.

What To Know

When designing a garden, there are some things you need to consider such as knowing its features. You must check the quality of soil, the shrubs, the trees, sunny and shaded areas, the elevation, and its perimeters.

You must also know the purpose of putting a garden. Is it because you want to grow your vegetables or because you want a pleasant scenery at home? Study your design first and consult with an expert to help you with your questions before putting up your garden.

Tips For Designing Your Garden

Start off with the things you want and the things that you need. You can start with a small garden which is easier to maintain and just expand it in the future if you desire to.
Set boundaries for your garden. You could use fences or shrubs to create a distinct boundary. This gives the garden a sense of order. It is also good if you have a focal point like a sculpture, a gazebo or a stunning plant. It would be easier to design if you have a main focal point.
There are a lot of things you can explore with designing your garden. We may think of redesigning every once in a while, especially when plants die, or season changes or just simply because we come up with new ideas and change our preferences. Whatever design you choose to have, it would make you happy because you had a hand in its design.
Designing a garden could get complicated sometimes. It will be a big help if you hire a professional who is equipped with the right skills, experience, and tools to be able to make things easier.
Having a garden at home makes it more colorful and beautiful. Looking at a well-maintained garden can be so relaxing, refreshing and fulfilling if you are the one who takes care of it.
Burglar entering a house

Keeping Your Home Safe and ‘Burglar-Proof’

Burglar entering a houseYou can never be too careful when it comes to the safety and security of your home. Over two million households fall victim to burglar and thieves every year; a significant number to disregard. Every homeowner should make sure his or her house is never vulnerable to unwanted intrusion.

Reinforcing your home with a few safety measures, coupled with exercising some good habits, can give you the peace of mind you deserve, as you greatly reduce the risk of theft or burglary.

Install security doors

Many people don’t like the idea of reinforcing their points of entry for various reasons. But most will say it does not match the design and style of their homes. The good news is you don’t have to give up the aesthetic value of your home for security doors.

There are new ones such as laser cut screens here in Sydney that you can consider because of their style and functionality. Manufacturers make these security doors from sturdy materials that resist even the hardest blows.

Exercise safety habits

Studies show almost a third of burglaries occur when people forget to lock a door or a window. If an unwanted intruder notices you don’t secure a part of your house, you give him or her the opportunity to break in.

Make it a habit to make sure that every opening in your house is locked and secure before you leave or sleep at night. Also, make sure to keep your porch lights on at night to make people think you are at home.

Have extra eyes on your home

People who own dogs have a lower chance of getting their houses robbed, as thieves commonly avoid homes with barking guards. They do not like the idea of these canines alerting the homeowner or neighbours.

Also, adding extra security measures such as security cameras can be a great help too, since it is less likely that anyone will steal from you if they are aware of this. And if ever they do, you will have evidence of the burglary or theft.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Taking on a few good safety habits while improving your security system can greatly enhance safety in your home. You can sleep tight knowing you and your family are safe.

Three Changes to Do in the Workplace this 2018

a busy workplaceThere's no better time to roll out changes in the workplace than as when the new year sets in. This is in line with people starting over a new leaf. If you've noticed some weaknesses in business operation and productivity problems last year, this is the time to address them. 

Here are some changes you should do soon: 

Enforce CLAYGO

You know to call ProKleen for commercial cleaning in your Salt Lake City office, but what about the pieces of trash that each employee contributes to the office throughout the day? It's time to gather everyone and talk to them about the importance of cleaning after themselves. While your cleaning company can clean the windows and wash the carpets, they won't be around to wash the dishes every time someone leaves them in the pantry sink. Letting dirty dishes pile up invites pests into the office.

Offer Flexible Schedules 

You probably have a younger workforce, as the majority of them are millennials. They have different expectations than the generations before them, one of which being that the quality of the job done weighs more than the number of hours spent in the office. Even if you want them to complete a full day's shift, you can allow them to start work at an earlier or later time—whichever schedule will make them more productive.

Update the Workplace Design 

A facelift might be necessary if your office has peeling paint and everyone feels burnt out just by looking at the same four walls. A fresh environment kicks up office productivity. While you're at it, get your employees involved in the redesign, as they will be the ones spending time around the renovated space. Don't replace something they hate with something they will hate even more. 

Every once in a while, you need to improve the office environment for it to be a space conducive to work. Make positive changes a part of your yearly agenda.