Tips To Minimize Your Risk As A Buyer By Finding The Right Home Inspection

Preparing Your Home For An Inspection

The perfect home simply doesn’t exist. Why? Well, in a brand new home, the contractor often is not aware of shortcuts taken by his subcontractors, and government building and code inspectors do not have the time or the budget to inspect everything in every home, so most government inspectors simply do a spot-check of homes in new subdivisions. A home that has been lived in usually has damage that occurred from simply living in it, or additions or remodeling that weren’t permitted. That’s why buyers need a professional home inspection.

The purpose of a home inspection is to document the overall condition of the property at the time of the inspection and to ensure that its major systems and components (water heater, heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are installed properly and working properly. The home inspection is not a warranty since the home inspector is only there for a couple of hours and never saw the home or its systems being built, so he has no idea about any quality control processes. While some items identified during the course of a home inspection might seem like minor items individually, collectively they could add up to major headaches involving both time and money. If sellers know what to look for, they can resolve many minor items before the buyer’s home inspection.


Make sure all the dirt and landscaping material is away from the siding of the house.  There should be 4-6 inches of clearance beneath the siding of the house.

Plant growth should be cut back away from the house at least 10-12 inches.

Any stored items should be moved as far away from the structure; stored firewood in particular should be moved as far away from the house as is reasonable.

Check the siding and trim for any damages and repair as needed.

Repair any missing caulking around doors, windows and over nail heads.

Make sure all exterior doors and door knobs/deadbolts are operating properly.  You may wish to repair any damaged weather stripping.


Clean all moss and debris off the roof.  Use a pressure washer only if absolutely necessary.  A broom or blower is preferred.

Repair any damaged or missing roofing.  Avoid using mastic or caulking as a repair as it is considered a temporary repair only and may be called out by the inspector.

Clean out gutters and repair any damages to the gutters such as rust through or sagging.

Make sure all downspouts are properly diverted away from the house, either with elbows and splash blocks or drain lies.


Check the garage door opener and adjust it as needed so it properly reverses against pressure.

Make sure the garage door itself is operating properly and repair as needed.

If the home is newer with solid core, self-closing door to the interior, make sure the door closes and seals properly by itself, with the weather stripping intact.


Check for leaks under the sinks and around the faucets, repairing as needed.

Look for possible floor damage around toilets and adjacent to tubs and showers.  If found, damages may need further evaluation by a contractor.

Make sure that all grout and caulking is in good repair.  This includes tub and shower surrounds along the floor in front of tubs and showers.

Check to be sure all fixtures, fans and appliances are working properly.


Check interior doors and windows to make sure they are operating properly.  This is particularly important for bedroom windows.

Make sure smoke detectors are in place and functional.

Remove any stored items from the attic space.  Check to be sure all fan ducts are properly connected and venting outside the attic space.  Repair if not.


Make sure all light switches are functional and any burned out lights are replaced.


Check your water heater for any leaking or damage.  If present, repair or replacement may be needed.

If missing, install proper rated earthquake strapping to water heater.

Make sure the water heater pilot light is on.

Repair any plumbing leaks found in the crawl space.


Inspect your furnace filter and change, or clean, if dirty.

Regarding air conditioning, make sure all debris is cleaned away from the exterior compressor.

Regarding a gas-fired appliance, which utilizes a pilot light, such as a gas log fireplace or older furnace, make sure the pilot light is on.  The pilot light may have been turned off for the summer or if the house has been vacant.


Remove any wood, concrete, form wood and cardboard debris.

Remove or replace any damaged, fallen floor insulation.

Make sure crawl space is fully covered with plastic.  Only use 6 mil black plastic, if adding more.

Reconnect any disconnected heat ducts.

Repair any damaged foundation vent screens and make sure all foundation vents are clear.  Use only 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth for repair.  Don’t use any louvered type vents.


Negotiation Tips for Buying a Home After a Home Inspection

Chances are that you have stumbled across this article because you are looking for negotiation tips for buying a home and you are in the process of doing so. Buying a home can be an incredibly exciting yet scary time and negotiating with the seller can seem nerve-wracking and feel intimidating. However, this guide is meant to help demystify the process of negotiating with the seller when you are looking to buy a home after you receive the report from a home inspector.

Home inspectors are charged with describing the home’s present physical condition and indicating in their report which components, parts, and systems might require major repairs or need to be replaced altogether. No matter what an inspector discovers during a home inspection, a home cannot technically pass or fail an inspection.

We would be remiss if we did not explain how a home inspection differs from a city or municipal inspection since these inspections are meant to help determine whether or not a home is in compliance with local housing and building codes. Additionally, a home inspection is distinct from an appraisal, because an appraisal is meant to determine a home’s fair market value

Common Issues Uncovered With Home Inspections

The following are issues that frequently show up during home inspections so do not be surprised if you see them listed in the report you receive from your home inspector.

Issues With The Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) System

Common HVAC problems might be related to maintenance, outdated or incorrectly sized systems. Your general home inspector should be able to give you an idea about the age of the existing HVAC system. But if you are looking to learn more about the HVAC system, the condition it’s in, whether or not it has any issues, how much it might cost to replace, and how much longer it might last, you would need to hire an HVAC specialist to inspect your HVAC system and do a separate HVAC inspection.


A Seller’s Guide to the Home Inspection Process

For sellers (and first-time sellers in particular) home inspections can be frightening. What will the inspector find? What impact will a potential defect have on the sale price? Will the seller back out? Am I being treated fairly? These are questions everyone asks, so you shouldn’t be alarmed.

You can’t choose things you can control, but there are certain facets of the process you can influence. In the guide below, we’ll explain what the home inspection process entails, how you can prepare your home for the inspection, and what to do if you get negative results.

An Overview of the Process

The challenge of the home inspection process is that so much rides on the outcome. The seller is almost always biased; he or she believes the residence is in better condition than it probably is. However, no buyer wants to purchase a house that has certain defects and issues. “There’s a huge psychological dynamic that happens in this whole process,”

“The buyers are making a big purchase and they’re obviously going through a whole host of emotions, and then you’ve got the inspector there, and it’s their job to deliver up to the buyer’s expectations. There could be problems the seller isn’t even aware of that could impact someone’s decision to buy the house.”

To give an idea of what the process looks like, here’s how home inspections tend to roll out:

  • The buyer places an offer and the seller accepts.
  • The buyer’s offer is likely to be contingent on the home passing a certified inspection.
  • In most cases, the buyer’s lender will order the home inspection.
  • The home inspector will set up a time with the seller that works for his or her schedule.
  • The actual inspection lasts between three and four hours, and the inspector will examine both the interior and the exterior of the home.
  • The inspector isn’t looking for perfection. Normal wear and tear is expected for any home that’s a few years old. What the inspector is looking for are serious issues that may affect the safety, functionality, or overall appearance of the home.


Home Inspection Checklist: Your Guide to Getting the Most from an Inspection

Your home inspection is a great opportunity to understand the condition of the property you’re buying. You’ll have a professional home inspector as your guide, but it’s helpful to have an idea what to look out for. Both you and your real estate agent should attend the inspection so that you can follow along and learn about your new home

We’ve put together a handy home inspection checklist to give you an idea of what to expect. Roof: Let’s start from the top, literally. The inspector will look at the condition of the roof. If he notes that it may need to be replaced soon, you may want to negotiate with the seller to take this into account. Foundation: At the opposite end of the house, the inspector will look for cracks in the walls both inside and out that could indicate problems with the foundation. Electrical System: Do the switches work? Is the wiring up to code? Fans, light fixtures, circuit breakers and outlets will also be eyed. Plumbing: Visibly damaged pipes or leaking pipes are a red flag. The inspector will also check to make sure the hot water works and the toilets, sinks, and showers are functioning. Lawn: Drainage is a key issue here. Driveways and sidewalks are also on the list. Heating and Cooling Systems: These will be checked for functionality and safety. Appliances: If these come included, the inspector will note their age and condition. Exterior: How does the paint or siding look? Are the gutters firmly attached? Do exterior lights work? Basement and Attic: These will be checked for any signs of leaks or dampness. Insulation and ventilation will also be checked

Once you’ve finished the tour, the inspector will send you a detailed inspection report. If it does uncover significant problems, you can always go back to the seller to ask to negotiate repairs. Almost any home will have some small issues, so focus only on the most significant ones that could be costly. Major foundation issues or a roof that need replacing are high on that list. And remember, your inspector can’t catch every single thing that could be going on with your house.

He won’t, for example, peel up carpeting or look behind walls. Things like toxic mold also aren’t on his list. But you can often catch many of the most important issues with your house by hiring a good inspector and paying close attention to both his tour and follow-up report, using this home inspection checklist as your guide.

Disclaimer: The above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax, savings, financial, or legal advice. Please consult your tax advisor. All calculations and information shown here are for illustrative purposes only. All third parties listed above are for demonstration purposes only and are not affiliated


Must-Know Home Inspection Tips for Buyers

If you’re buying a home, it’s always best to get the home inspected before you close the deal. While the inspection will probably reveal more than a few defects, it doesn’t mean its an immediate deal-breaker. Here’s how inspections work and next steps on how to move forward after you have one.

In almost every situation, it is advised that anyone buying a home first request a whole home inspection prior to closing. It’s important to understand what is — and isn’t — included in a home inspection and your options for moving forward if — or more likely, when — defects are found.

How Home Inspections Work

When you decide to have the home you’re buying inspected, you get to choose which company you use. If you don’t have a reliable one in mind, your real estate agent likely has a company they use frequently and would recommend. As the buyer, you pay for the inspection and are able to (and encouraged to) attend the inspection in person.

The standard inspection evaluates the condition of the homes heating and air systems, interior plumbing and electrical, roof, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, and structure. Plus, you may want to (or be required to) get additional inspections for things like pests, or radon. The report provided to you after the inspection should include detailed descriptions and photos of any defects.

Fixes You Can Make Yourself

It is rare that a home inspector finds absolutely nothing wrong with the house. In fact, if this is the case, you may question the thoroughness of the inspector. Finding some problems doesn’t automatically mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you may need to be address the defects down the road.

How To Choose The Right Tax Preparation

What to do when your tax preparer screws up

Tax return mistakes are often accidental, like when a client tells the preparer a wrong amount, or the preparer calculates incorrectly. Other times, mistakes are downright deceitful (think: inflating deductions to get a client a bigger refund or omitting information to maximize the federal earned income credit).

Though enrolled agents, CPAs and tax attorneys are governed by standards of professional responsibility and IRS ethics, more than half of the 79 million returns filed by paid tax preparers are not bound by those rules.

Taxpayers can take a few steps to protect themselves from lengthy IRS and state agency battles and pricey penalties, if they’ve been bamboozled by a preparer

Don’t sign the return without carefully reviewing it

At the end of your tax return, there is a statement that under penalty of perjury, the taxpayer believes the information to be true and accurate.

This can hurt you when it comes time to defend your return if there is a serious mistake. If you don′t understand something or think it may be incorrect, ask the preparer to explain or correct it before signing.

Use a licensed professional

Anyone can legally prepare a tax return for compensation as long as they have a Preparer Tax Identification Number from the IRS, which costs $50 and takes 15 minutes to obtain.

Earlier this year, the Senate Finance Committee passed legislation designed to help curb identity theft and tax refund fraud, but an amendment containing recommendations for protecting the public from incompetent and fraudulent tax preparers, including requiring unlicensed PTIN holders to inform taxpayers about the differences between preparers, was shot down

Pay a flat fee

Avoid tax preparers who offer to take a percentage of your tax refund, rather than a flat fee, Ambrose said. They are incentivized to boost deductions where they may not be accurate or legal, and are eventually caught by the IRS.



Avoiding the Bad Apples

To avoid having these sorts of problems with a tax preparer, research candidates before selecting one. If possible, get referrals from people you know who can vouch for their abilities and ethics. In addition, the IRS offers a directory where you can look up professionals with specific credentials, such as attorneys and certified public accountants.

And keep in mind that just because you’re hiring someone else to do most of the numbers-crunching and box-checking, it doesn’t mean you should take a totally hands-off approach to your tax return. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility—and you’re the one on the hook for any taxes and penalties that arise from an inaccurate return.3 Make sure you review everything carefully, from the figures to the particular forms, before signing your name on that dotted line.



Can I Sue A Tax Preparer?

Suing a tax preparer is often the last resort since the taxpayer would have to incur significant legal fees. However, if the amount in question is substantial, taking the matter to the court may provide relief from undue taxes and fees. Moreover, if the tax preparer is not registered by the IRS or state-licensed, the only recourse is legal action

You can file a standard professional malpractice complaint with the state court in your jurisdiction.

To avoid dealing with these problems, it is best to research the candidates and find one that suits your needs. For example, if you’re dealing with complex financial situations, you may need regular consultations. IRS has a website where you can find professionals with valid credentials who are up to the task.


Choose return preparers wisely

It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare a tax return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don’t understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren’t entitled to claim. Scam preparers often do this to increase their fee.

Here are a few tips to consider to help avoid fraudsters:

Look for a preparer who is available year-round. In the event questions come up about a tax return, taxpayers may need to contact the preparer after the filing season is over.

Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers are required to register with the IRS, have a PTIN and include it on tax returns.

Inquire whether the tax return preparer has a professional credential (enrolled agent, certified public accountant or attorney), belongs to a professional organization or attends continuing education classes. Because tax law can be complex, competent tax preparers remain up-to-date on tax topics.

Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client’s refund or boast bigger refunds than their competition. Don’t give tax documents, Social Security numbers or other information to a preparer if merely inquiring about their services and fees. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous preparers have used this information to improperly file returns without the taxpayer’s permission.

Make sure the preparer offers IRS e-file and ask to e-file the tax return. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically. Since electronic filing began in the 1980s, the IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed individual tax returns. It’s the safest and most accurate way to file.


Letters to Preparers

Another tier in our outreach and educational efforts is sending letters to specific preparers. We look at the number of returns with a high likelihood of refundable credit and HOH filing status errors completed by the same preparer. And, we send letters to preparers who have a high number of these returns. We send letters based on the previous filing season before the next filing season starts and we send letters during the filing season for the current year.

The letters:

  • State we believe the preparer completed inaccurate claims,
  • Highlight the consequences of preparing inaccurate claims,
  • Outline preparer due diligence responsibilities,
  • Provide tips on preparing accurate returns and point to online refundable credit and hoh filing status tools, information and other resources, and
  • Inform preparer that we are monitoring their future returns.

Useful Eye Care Tips For Women Of Any Age

Most Common Eye Problems – Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is basically a diabetes complication, which affects eyes by causing damage to the blood vessels spread throughout the light sensitive tissues of the retina (the back of the eye).

Anyone having type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop this eye condition, especially those who have diabetes for a long time with fluctuating blood sugar levels. Usually, both eyes get affected by diabetic retinopathy.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

There might not be any noticeable symptoms through the early stages of this eye condition. When it progresses to later stages, following symptoms might appear eventually:

  • Dark spots or strings floating through your vision (floaters)
  • Impaired color recognition
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Vision loss

Treatment Options

There is no reliable way to cure retinopathy once it has progressed to advanced stages. However, photocoagulation (laser treatment for retinopathy) comes really handy in preventing vision loss if chosen before retina being severely damaged.

Another treatment option for diabetic retinopathy in its earlier stages is vitrectomy, a process through which vitreous gel is surgically removed while retina has not been severely damaged.


Dry Eyes Syndrome

One of the functions of tears is to keep your eyes lubricated, and when they fail to provide adequate lubrication for the eyes, you are being affected by dry eye syndrome. From your body being unable to produce enough tears to production of low quality tears, there can be a host of reasons behind inadequate lubrication for your eyes.

You can experience stinging or burning sensation when you have dry eyes, which can be experienced under certain situations, such as in an air-conditioned room, while traveling on an airplane or looking at a computer screen for a long time without any breaks.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eyes Syndrome

  • A burning, scratchy or stinging sensation in eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus production in or around the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Issues in wearing contact lenses

Treatment Options

Different treatment options can be used for dry eyes syndrome depending upon the reason behind the eye problem. Some most commonly used treatment options include:

  • OTC (Over-the-counter) topical medications: These can be used when your dry eyes syndrome is mild in nature. Artificial tears, gels and ointments can be some of the commonly used OTC medications to treat mild dry eyes.
  • Prescription Medications: FDA approves only ‘Lifitegrast’ and ‘Cyclosporine’ as prescription dry eye medications. To deal with eye inflammation, ‘Corticosteroid’ eye drops may also be prescribed as short-term treatment.
  • Devices: There are also some FDA-approve devices that serve to temporarily relieve you from dry eyes by stimulation of nerves and glands responsible for tear production.
  • Surgical Options: Your eye care professional may resort to insertion of silicone-based punctal plugs to partially or completely plug tear ducts through the inner corners of your eyes to ensure tears aren’t draining from the eye.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle based enhancements also prove helpful in dealing with dry eyes syndrome. Taking periodic breaks or cutting your screen exposure can be really helpful. Avoiding warmer temperatures also helps in doing so.


What Is Photodynamic Therapy For Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Photodynamic therapy is a treatment for the eyes. It uses a laser and a special medicine that works when exposed to a certain type of light. It is done to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a condition that can lead to loss of vision.

The retina is the layer of cells in the back of your eye that converts light into electrical signals. Your retina then sends these signals to your brain. AMD affects your macula. The macula is the sensitive, central part of your retina. This area is responsible for your detailed, central vision. AMD damages your macula. The macula may become thinner as a result. Blood vessels may start growing beneath your retina. This can cause fluid to leak beneath your macula. This excess fluid can lead to vision loss.

Just before the procedure, an eye doctor injects a medicine into a vein in your arm. This medicine is sensitive to light. It collects in the abnormal blood vessels under your macula. You are then given an anesthetic eye drop. Using a special contact lens, the eye doctor then shines a laser into your eye. The light from the laser activates the medicine. The medicine then creates blood clots in your abnormal blood vessels. This seals off the vessels. This can help prevent more vision loss.

Why might I need photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration?

Photodynamic therapy is one type of treatment for AMD. AMD is a common cause of significant loss of eyesight in older adults. Rarely, it can lead to total blindness. Because it affects your macula, you may still have your side (peripheral) vision if you have AMD. It may cause a sudden or gradual loss of your central vision.

AMD comes in two main subtypes: dry type and wet type. Abnormal blood vessel growth is present in only the wet type. Photodynamic therapy is recommended only as a possible therapy for the wet type of the disease.

Photodynamic therapy can’t restore vision that you have already lost. But it may slow down the damage to your central vision.

Photodynamic therapy is an option only for certain people with wet type AMD. It may be advised if your vision loss comes on slowly over time, instead of suddenly. The treatment is used less often now that there are new drugs to decrease abnormal blood vessel growth. But your healthcare provider may advise the therapy in addition to these new drugs.


Inflammation of the eye

When the eyes are inflamed, they become red, swollen and can water. Frequently, the eyelids stick together.

Impaired vision can encourage the development of dry eyes.

Inflammation of the eye often results from an infection by viruses or bacteria. But inflammation of the eye can also be nonspecific. Different clinical pictures are distinguished depending on which parts of the eye are affected. It is advisable to visit your eye doctor because inflammation of the eye can also progress to a severe form.

Symptoms of eye inflammation

When an eye is inflamed, it entails an inflammatory process around the eye. It can affect different parts of the eye. The term “inflammation of the eye” serves as an umbrella term for the various inflammatory diseases. Different symptoms and complaints are prevalent depending on the clinical picture. In rare cases, there can be a serious disease present which is a threat to the eyesight.

Most commonly, inflammation affects the conjunctiva, followed by the cornea and the eyelid.

Many symptoms of eye inflammation overlap with those of dry eyes. These include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling

On top of that other, more specific symptoms can occur:

  • Pain
  • Eyelids sticking together
  • Clouding of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Secretion of pus

A purulent discharge is a sign of bacterial infection. Some people affected suffer from severe pain and a significant reduction in vision.

Causes of eye inflammation

Eye inflammation can be traced back to numerous different causes. Infections due to bacteria, viruses or fungi are the main causes. The eyes are one of the ports of entry for pathogens in the human body. They put up a fight against the “invaders” on a daily basis, but when there is inflammation, the germs have outsmarted the immune defence system.

Dry eyes are particularly susceptible to eye inflammation. The eye’s immune system has only a limited effect when the tear film is impaired. In such conditions, pathogens can gain access more easily and cause inflammation. Dry eyes can be cared for with lubricating eye drops which can also help to reinforce the protective barrier against germs.

Further reasons for eye inflammation are allergic reactions such as hay fever, autoimmune diseases and environmental irritants such as draughts, dust particles or sunshine. Mechanical irritants, like when an eyelash grows into the eye, can also result in inflammation of the eye.


Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis, also known to many as pinkeye is a condition that inflames the tissues lining the back of your eyelids and covering your sclera (conjunctiva). As a result of this, your eyes can turn itchy, red, blurry, teary and discharging, sometimes also giving you a feeling that something is in your eyes. It is also one of the most commonly prevailing eye problems.

Though it is highly contagious (readily affecting children), but rarely serious, quite unlikely to damage your vision, more so when identified and treated early.

Types of Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is categorized into three main types:

  1. Allergic Conjunctivitis
  • Allergic Conjunctivitis: Mostly affects people already suffering from seasonal allergies, when they contact with something that triggers an allergic reaction within their eyes.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis: Caused due to long term presence of a foreign body in an eye, affecting people wearing hard or rigid contact lenses or the soft ones not being replaced frequently.
  1. Infectious Conjunctivitis
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: This is the type of eye infection caused mostly by streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria that’s transferred to your eyes via your own respiratory system or skin.
  • Viral Conjunctivitis: Contagious viruses thriving in common cold are mostly responsible for spread of this type of conjunctivitis, thus affecting people by exposure to the sneezing or coughing of someone suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection.
  • Ophthalmia Neonatorum: One of the most severe forms of bacterial conjunctivitis specifically affecting newborn babies, also capable of causing permanent eye damage if not treated immediately.
  • Chemical Conjunctivitis

This spreads as a result of exposure to noxious chemicals, chlorine in swimming pools or even air pollution.

Signs and Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

  • Redness appearing in the eyelid or through the white of the eye
  • Swelling in the conjunctiva
  • Excessive tearing
  • Thick yellowish discharge, mostly covering whole eyelashes, especially after sleep
  • Itching and burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Extra sensitivity to light

Treatment Options

Appropriate treatment options for conjunctivitis vary depending upon the cause of this eye condition.

  • Allergic Conjunctivitis: It must start with avoiding exposure to the irritant(s). Artificial tears and cool compresses suffice in case of mild intensity of the disease. Antihistamines or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed in case of severe allergic conjunctivitis. And for people with persistent allergic conjunctivitis, topical steroid eye drops may be the appropriate option.
  • Bacterial Conjunctivitis: Antibiotic eye drops or ointments work well for this type of conjunctivitis, mostly requiring 3 to 4 days of treatment for reasonable recovery. However, it’s highly recommended that patients complete the entire course of antibiotics to totally avoid recurrence.
  • Viral Conjunctivitis: Viral conjunctivitis cannot be treated with drops, ointments or some antibiotics until the virus runs its course like common cold. This may take up to about 2-3 weeks.
  • Chemical Conjunctivitis: The standard treatment for chemical conjunctivitis includes thorough flushing of the eyes using saline water. In some cases, people might need to go for topical steroids.

Pet Snake Care

How to Get Rid of a Rattlesnake

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of a Rattlesnake from your yard using the products and methods suggested by our experienced pest control specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and you will eliminate the threat of Rattlesnake activity around your yard.

Snakes of any kind finding themselves on your property is alarming but encountering a Rattlesnake can be downright frightening. Rattlesnakes are a dangerous snake species and quite an unfriendly intruder to run into. If one happens to come close to you to strike, not only can the Rattlesnake bite be painful, it can also be life-threatening.

there has been an increase in Rattlesnakes moving in toward buildings and structures due to seasonal conditions being conducive to Rattlesnake being on the move to forage for meals. Normally, if a Rattlesnake is discovered on your property, it is advised to contact animal control to handle the situation. However, there are things that you can do to protect your home against a Rattlesnake intrusion

Before you can carry out a treatment approach, you need to be sure you are dealing with a Rattlesnake and not some other animal. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods, which may end up being a waste of your time and money

Below, we will cover what Rattlesnakes look like so you can properly identify them:

Rattlesnakes are reptiles that are found throughout North and South America and are a distinctive species of snake.

They have large thick bodies ranging from one to eight feet long and unique features like their scaled skin which comes in various colors and patterns. These scales look like a series of diamonds or hexagons overlapping one another. Most of the time, Rattlesnakes are colored with subtle earth tones which help to camouflage the snake.

Rattlesnakes have a triangular head, a forked tongue and fangs which can inject poisonous venom.

The most unique trait of the Rattlesnake is how it got its name which is the rattle at the end of their tail. Rattlesnake uses this rattle, which consists of interlocked segments or rings of keratin, to warn enemies.


How Do I Get Rid of Snakes

There are many types of snakes, some are poisonous and dangerous while others are quite harmless. Most people do not want to see snakes in or around their home and they want to know more about how to prevent or deter snakes from entering their yard and being near their home

How Can I  Prevent Snakes In My Home? How Do I Protect My Home From Snakes?

Seal up cracks in your home and add weather stripping to fill in gaps around doors and windows

How Can I Prevent Snakes In My Yard?

Keep your grass cut short with regular mowing and remove any bushes or shrubs that are close to your home

If you store wood in a pile this can be a really good hiding place for snakes. Be careful when you remove wood from a pile because if there is a poisonous or aggressive snake it can be startled and strike.

Keep your wood pile several inches above the ground if possible.

Keep compost in a sealed container so as to not attract rodents which in turn will attract snakes

What Are Some Home Remedies For Snake Problems?

Install a “perch pole” where predatory birds can sit and grab a snake if they see one in your yard;

Patch holes in your house foundation if you have any;

Get rid of pests such as mice that can be an attractant to snakes as a food source;

Add mesh hardware cloth around your home to prevent snakes from getting close to your home.

Add hog fuel or other rough landscaping materials to your garden.

Snakes don’t like to move through this type of material as it can hurt them.

Plant marigolds around your home, they tend to deter snakes.

How Can I Get Rid Of Snakes?

Get rid of snakes. has many effective snake repellents and deterrents. Take a look at our selection of products which can help to deal with your snake issues once and for all


Guide to a Snake Free House

this would not be a crisis. But, then again, we are not often considered normal. Getting a snake out of a house and keeping a snake from enetering a house are two very different situations.  We’ll first discuss keeping the snakes out. Snakes enter houses in a variety of ways but there are three entry points that we often encounter on snake removal calls. The first is laundry rooms, the second is under kitchen sinks and the other most common entry point is right through your front door.

Your Laundry Room – Clothes driers have large exhaust hoses that attach to the rear of the appliance and lead through the wall to the outside where the hot air is expelled. Over time, these exhaust hoses can become worn and develop cracks. As a mouse approaches your house from the outside and finds the exhaust vent it can easily make entry into the hose

The mouse then walks through the crack in the hose and onto the floor of your laundry room. If there is no crack, the mouse can quickly and easly chew a hole. As we discussed in “Guide To A Snake Free Yard”, snakes follow scent trails of food sources and most snakes love mice. Check your drier exhaust hose to make sure it’s intact. Also, examine the exhaust vent on the exterior of the house. Insure that the vent is secure and has a cover that does not allow pests to gain access.

Your Kitchen Sink – If your house is on a concrete slab then this may not apply to you. If you have a crawl space then pay attention! When your house was constructed, holes were put in the floor or the wall underneath your kitchen and bathroom sink. Once the holes are made, the plumbing pipes are inserted. If the hole is not properly sealed around the pipe then guess what can get inside! If the pipes were properly sealed when the house was built, make sure it is still in good shape and hasn’t been chewed away by a rodent attempting to gain entry.

Your Front Door – Snakes are excellent at picking locks and crawling right in through the key hole. (I wonder how many people will actually believe this:) Actually, snakes can easily crawl under doors. The good news is, you can easily prevent it! During daylight hours while standing inside your house, shut your entry door and look to see if daylight is visible underneath. If you can see daylight peeking in then so can a snake. Simply replace the weather stripping underneath the door. Any local hardware store can help you correct any of the above problems.


How To Remove Snakes From Your Property

While most snakes do not pose a threat to humans, there are venomous species that can do serious harm if they bite you. Whether venomous or not though, your first thought when you spot a snake in your yard is likely “how do I get rid of it?” Snake control is a serious matter that should be approached with the utmost caution.


Snakes tend to be wary creatures and try to avoid exposure, though they do sometimes warm their cold-blooded bodies on rocks and other surfaces that heat up on sunny days. You are most likely to come across a snake in uncultivated areas of your yard and around shelters, such as piles of firewood, rocks, or brush. Most will move away as quickly as possible when they see you – even the venomous types prefer to escape rather than attack. Still, the safest choice is for you to get away from any snake rather than confront it.

Remove Attractants

The primary reason snakes make their home in your yard is because they’ve found easy access to prey. Because rodents are a prime food source for many snakes, often the presence of snakes correlates with the presence of mice and rats. By keeping your home rodent-free, you have a better chance of keeping snakes out. Use traps and repellents to eliminate rodents before they entice snakes to come to dinner. Also, be sure to clean up birdseed, pet food, and other food attractants.

Eliminate Outdoor Shelter

Snakes need undisturbed places to hide. Snakes generally like cool, damp, dark areas where they can find food. They are often attracted to stacked firewood, old lumber piles, junk piles, flower beds with heavy mulch, gardens, unkempt basements, shrubbery growing against foundations, attics, stream banks, and unmowed lawns. Mow areas where grass and weeds grow tall and clean up piles of debris around your yard. Snakes also make use of burrows dug by other animals, so fill any you find with soil or stones.

Make Your Home Inaccessible

Snakes will even enter your home if they can find a way in, and nobody wants that! Keep these slithering creatures out by blocking off all possible entryways. Keep in mind that snakes can slip through gaps and cracks 1/4″ wide. Repair any holes in your foundation, siding, or roof that could allow them to enter. Install screens with small mesh on your chimney and any other openings that cannot be completely sealed off. Also be sure to eliminate gaps under doors that lead into your house.



Snakes are misunderstood animals that serve as an important component of many types of ecosystems. All snakes are reptiles. Reptiles are ectothermic, which means they obtain body heat from their surroundings (also called cold-blooded). They bask in the sun to warm and seek shade to cool. They tend to be more active during the day in spring and fall, and more active early morning and evening during the heat of summer.

Snake physical characteristics:

Lack limbs

Covered in scales

Have no moveable eyelids

Elongated body with specialized scales on the belly (scutes)

No external ear openings, but can hear some sounds through vibrations of bones in the jaw

Snake behavioral characteristics:

Snakes flick their tongue in order to “taste” the air and ground. Particles picked up by the tongue are processed through an organ in the roof of their mouth called the Jacobson’s organ.

Air temperature is the main factor in snake activity. They control their body temperature by basking in the sun.

Snakes hibernate from late fall through early spring.


Snakes mate in the spring after they emerge from hibernation or in late-summer before returning to hibernation. Snakes can produce offspring in three ways:

Oviparous – egg laying. Young receive nutrients only from a yolk sac.

Viviparous – females gives birth to live young. Young receive nutrients solely, or in part, from the mother.

Ovoviviparous – females give birth to live young. Embryos receive nutrients only from a yolk sac.

In both viviparous and ovoviviparous species, the eggs lack a true shell. Instead, the young develop within a sac-like membrane inside the mother. Young of oviparous species have a leathery, flexible shell. Females will lay eggs in leaf litter, rotten logs and mulch piles, or underground.

Take Stock And Set Professional Engine Rebuilding

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Vehicle Engine?

When you purchase a previously owned vehicle, you have to take a number of different factors into account. Things like the accident history, prior parts replacement, the age of the car, mileage and the overall condition of the car are all elements that you will likely want to know more about before you make a final decision to buy a vehicle. One important consideration is the condition of the engine and how many miles are on the car. While engine longevity can range widely depending on the make, model, age and condition of the vehicle, there are certain factors and guidelines that you can keep in mind when trying to determine the lifespan of a vehicle’s engine.

Factors that contribute to engine longevity

There are a multitude of things that impact the longevity of the engine. In some cases, the area where you live might cause your engine to wear down more rapidly. If you live up a steep hill, for example, or if you have to pass over rough terrain on a regular basis, your engine will undergo more stress and will likely not last as long as it would if you were usually driving on flat, smooth roads.

The type of car that you have is also an important consideration. Generally speaking, heavy duty trucks won’t last as long as smaller cars do. Additionally, the amount of effort that you put into maintaining your car will greatly influence what you can expect to get out of it. If you perform all of your routine maintenance on time, take your car in to be serviced regularly and make any necessary engine repair


Top 5 Symptoms of Your Car Needing an Oil Change or Tune-up

There are so many different signs and symptoms that will show up and indicate your car needs an oil change and possibly a tune-up (see below for what a tune-up actually means).

When you take your vehicle in for an oil change, the service person will perform an oil and oil filter change as well as inspect your vehicle for leaks and other noticeable issues and then give you additional recommendations on what they think needs to be done.

However, you shouldn’t always depend on them to do this accurately because they might not always catch every issue. This is why you need to pay attention to the signs which indicate that you also need a tune-up of some sorts.

Below are the top 5 signs of your car needing an oil change and/or a tune-up.

#1 – Dark or Dirty Oil

If you’ve never seen clean, new motor oil before, it kind of has a bright amber color to it. But when oil becomes old and dirty from the build-up of residue particles in the engine, then it turns into a much darker, almost black color.

You should make it a habit checking the condition of your oil on a regular basis. Simply remove your oil dipstick and look at the color of the oil on it. Or wipe the end of the dipstick on a paper towel to get a more accurate result. If the oil is dark brown or black, then you need to change your oil.

#2 – Ticking or Tapping Noises

Engine oil gets old and worn after a while. That is why car manufacturers recommend you change your oil every 5,000 miles or so. If you have old oil in your vehicle, then it is likely getting dirtier and thicker.

This will make it harder for the oil to lubricate your engine’s components effectively. As a result, your engine will begin making various metal on metal noises because they are not getting lubricated properly. Get an oil change right away as serious engine damage can result if you ignore the issue.

#3 – Burnt Oil Smell

If the interior cabin of your vehicle is starting to smell like burnt oil, then you know you have some problem with your oil. It usually means there is an oil leak somewhere and causing the oil to drip on hot engine parts.

It also means your engine is likely low on oil and causing your engine to overheat. Take care of the oil leak right away and put in fresh oil.

#4 – Exhaust Smoke

If you live in a cold environment then you are used to seeing vapor emitting from the tailpipe of your vehicle. However, if you actually start seeing blue or gray smoke come out of your exhaust, then you probably have an oil leak.

This goes along with a burnt oil smell and the smoke is the result of not enough oil being in your engine to lubricate its parts, due to the leak. So, get that oil leak fixed and the oil replaced.

#5 – Car Stalling

If you’re driving and your vehicle begins to stall, then you could have a small problem or a bigger issue. A small problem would be if you have a clogged fuel filter or bad spark plugs. Something like this can be replaced with a simple tune-up. A larger problem would be something like a bad fuel pump or clogged catalytic converter which need replacing.


Signs your battery is about to die

Your car battery is responsible for powering your car’s computer, ignition system, lights, radio and more, so it’s important to monitor its condition to avoid getting caught out. A recent study showed that more than 1 in 10 car batteries need replacing.* Problems can happen almost without warning, however, there are a few key signs to look out for when checking if a car battery is dead.

  1. Difficulty starting the car

Your car requires a huge surge of energy to start the engine. With a failing battery, you’ll notice that the engine cranks more slowly than usual, and the car takes longer to start. You’ll often only get one or two warning signs of this nature before the battery completely dies, so don’t ignore it. If, when turning the key, you hear a clicking sound, there is not enough power to crank the engine at all. If this is the case you’ll need to jump start your battery and get a new battery fitted as soon as possible.

  1. Low/loss of power to electrics

Your car’s battery not only starts your engine – it also powers the various electronics inside your vehicle such as electric windows, lights, heaters and seats. A loss of electrical power is typically more noticeable in colder months, when these systems are running more than normal.

  1. Dashboard warning symbol

An illuminated battery symbol could be down to a loose starter terminal, a failing alternator or even damaged cabling. If the light stays on while driving, there’s likely a problem with your alternator belt (responsible for charging your battery while on the move). This shouldn’t be overlooked – a faulty charging system could leave you stranded.


Signs to tell if your spark plugs need to be replaced


Remove and compare your old spark plugs to a new one. If the tip and/or electrode show excessive wear they should be replaced. Also, look for fuel and oil contamination. If contamination is found, the spark plugs should be replaced. However, additional inspection is needed to determine the cause of the contamination whether it is caused by oil, fuel, or coolant. Failing components within the engine itself can cause oil or coolant contamination. Fuel contamination can be caused by failing components within the fuel, ignition and/or emission systems.

Pro Tip: The following are symptoms that may occur with worn spark plugs. Keep in mind, there may be other issues causing the problem. Be sure and do a complete inspection before replacing any parts.


If you are experiencing what seems to be longer cranking times, especially on a cold morning, you’ll want to look at your spark plugs and related ignition and fuel system components. Over time, spark plugs develop residue from unburnt gases and oils, which reduces your car’s performance and makes cold-starting more difficult. Tough cold starting is not only bad for your engine, but can also drain the battery and increase starter wear and tear.


If your vehicle’s engine is running rough or noisy when idling, you may have a spark plug issue. Heavy rumbling when waiting at a stoplight or in a drive-thru may indicate your car is overdue for maintenance. Inspect the spark plugs and replace accordingly. Replacing the spark plugs, and potentially also the ignition coils and wires, may solve this.


Misfires are hard to miss, as the engine will shake so badly that you’ll feel the vibration throughout the car. Misfiring results in poor performance, reduced fuel economy, increased emissions, and rough idling. Replacing spark plugs may help with this issue but inspect them first.


Low gas mileage is a subtler sign of worn spark plugs. Deteriorated spark plugs can account for as much as a 30-percent loss in fuel economy, which you’ll definitely feel at the pump and your wallet. If you’ve checked and determined the fuel mileage has dropped, check your spark plugs and related items for signs of wear.


How long will a car battery last?

Car batteries are designed to last between 3 and 5 years. All of our batteries come with a 3, 4 or 5 year guarantee, so in the unlikely case your battery fails, we’ll replace it for free.

How much does a new battery cost?

The cost of a new, fully fitted car battery depends on the type of car you drive. For example, a car that is start/ stop enabled will need a specific type of battery. Our prices start from just £49 (including fitting) and our technicians will always provide you with a quote upfront

Difficult Home Remodeling Contractors Creates Problems For Homeowner

(Unofficial) Side Effects of Going Through a Remodel

Everyone knows the symptoms of a common cold — sore throat, runny nose, watery eyes. But did you know that remodels also have symptoms and side effects? After decades of working in and living around the remodeling industry, I’ve observed that there are a few side effects that almost everyone in the process of a remodel falls victim to.

The good news is that I’ve dedicated the last few years of my life to studying these effects and have come up with some treatments to ensure you retain your sanity and health during your renovation.

Scope Creep

This is a sneaky affliction that affects a homeowner’s budget and schedule. A common example of Scope Creep occurs when a homeowner sets out to remodel just one room in the house — let’s say it’s the kitchen.

A kitchen renovation is a simple enough project, and should be done quickly and easily. But then homeowners think to themselves, “But if we’re painting the kitchen, won’t the living room look dingy if it still has the old paint job? And with all this new cabinetry in the kitchen, the built-ins in the dining room will look outdated and out of place. Shouldn’t we replace them too?”

Recommendation: If you have a little wiggle room in your budget and schedule, you might choose to embrace the creep. But if you’re dedicated to sticking to your planned time and dollar investment, avoiding Scope Creep is a must. A great way to avoid the creep is the classic method of weighing pros and cons. If you decide that painting your living room is worth the extra investment, maybe a little creep isn’t so bad. But if the cons of purchasing new cabinetry for the dining room outweigh the benefits, be firm with yourself and say no to temptation.


Things to Consider When Renovating a Condo

Renovating a stand-alone house and renovating a condo unit can produce similar-looking results, but the processes can be very different. Each renovation of a condominium space comes with its own limitations, possibilities and strategies, all of which you should consider before beginning a project — even before purchasing a space. To make sure you aren’t hit with any unpleasant surprises, here are some things to consider before diving into your condo design project.

Know the rules. The first thing to understand before planning a condo renovation is the relevant policies of your condo board. Your board may or may not have policies that affect cosmetic decisions or material selections, but most likely it will have policies about what days and times renovations can take place, when materials may be brought into the building, which elevator can be used and so on.

Not checking on these logistical details in advance can cause massive headaches later when trying to schedule deliveries or tradespeople. Your board may require a permit or approval to begin any form of work.

Policies such as these are in place to keep your neighbors happy, so overall they are a positive thing. However, they can slow down a renovation process, so you should give yourself a long timeline. Discuss a projected timeline with a knowledgeable board member and your designer or contractor, and then add at least two months to the timeline so your expectations stay realistic.

Know who you’re renovating for. Once you know what your board will and will not allow, you have to figure out who you’re designing for. By this I mean whether you are renovating the space to add to resale or rental value, or to add to your personal enjoyment of your home. In some cases it is possible to achieve both. But realistically, a renovation usually will lean more toward one or the other, with different approaches for both, so it’s important to decide which should take priority and be honest with yourself about that choice.


Data Watch: Renovation Industry Sectors Report Uptick in Business

A good portion of the renovation and design industry is feeling optimistic about its business prospects, according to the latest Renovation Barometer, released this week. The quarterly index tracks optimism among architects, designers, general contractors and remodelers, design-build firms, building and renovation specialty firms, and landscape and outdoor specialty firms.

Four out of six industry sectors reported optimism for the first quarter of 2017 in line with one year ago. Notably, the confidence of architects rose, after having dwindled the past several quarters. But confidence among building specialty and outdoor specialty firms dipped slightly for the time of year, perhaps due to stormy winter weather conditions. Labor shortages also are continuing to hold back some firms, particularly in the Midwest. Read on to get the latest pulse of the renovation market.

Labor shortages continue. Three out of 4 general contractors, remodelers and design-build firms reported moderate to severe labor shortages across a broad range of skilled trades. Finish carpenters are in shortest supply. General laborers are also difficult to hire.

Down about 635,000 employees. Between January 2007 and January 2011, a period of crisis for the housing market, U.S. residential building and remodeling firms and specialty trade firms (such as plumbers and carpenters) together lost about 1.35 million employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These two sectors have gained back about 710,000 employees as of March 2017. But there are still 635,000 fewer workers than at the 2007 peak: 420,000 fewer workers in the specialty trades and 215,000 in residential building.

Architect optimism bounces back. After a few quarters of declining optimism, the Barometer reading for architects’ sentiment about the state of their industry ticked up 12 points during the first quarter of 2017, to 66, compared with 54 during the last three months of 2016. (A reading over 50 indicates that more firms are reporting that business activity is higher than reporting it is lower, compared to the prior quarter.)


How to Write a Design Brief for Your New Home or Remodel

Before you can even begin to design your own home (or design anything for that matter), you need to establish a clear brief for the project. This is more than just a wish list — it covers all aspects of the project: size, appearance, location, orientation, sensory qualities, cost, construction methods and much more. Let’s take a look at writing a brief in detail.

Your written brief will form the foundation of your entire house design. It is a description of your design objectives, which you will refer back to constantly and, as such, requires careful consideration.

The step-by-step process outlined below is the method I use to create briefs for every project I do. Whether you are designing a new house or extending an existing one, the approach is the same. Work through the steps, and by the end you will have not only a comprehensive and detailed brief but also a greater understanding of what it is you need rather than simply what you want.

Don’t worry about getting it right the first time; there will be plenty of opportunities to refine it later. What matters is that you get everything out of your head and down on paper so that the project can start to move forward.

Compile a list of “likes” and then analyze them. The first step in designing your own home is to establish the sort of house you want to create and why. You should begin by collecting images of all the things you like and that speak to you about the type of home you want to create. I find to be the best tool for this because you can easily share your list and collaborate with other family members


Sentences Your Contractor May Not Want to Hear

There are parts of every job, no matter what field you’re in, that are just less fun than others. Building professionals pride themselves on doing anything and everything to make clients happy. But that doesn’t always mean the builder is jumping up and down with excitement at every stage of a project.

When it comes to remodeling and home building, contractors will do just about anything to make you happy. They’ll meet with you on short notice. They’ll come up with creative solutions to your unique requests. They’ll even clean your toilets if you ask (although maybe not for free).

“I reselected my plumbing fixtures.” Most good contractors will harp on how important it is to get all your selections made as soon as possible. Some won’t even start a project until everything is selected. It’s a great practice, and it helps to keep your project going as smoothly as possible.

So if you come to your builder in the middle of the project and say, “Hey, by the way, I chose all new plumbing fixtures for the master bathroom,” they might get a little nervous. Depending on what stage of work they’re in and what you reselected, this could be no big deal. Or it could mean doing a lot of extra work to prepare for the new fixtures. Even worse, there may be a lead time associated with your new selections. This could cause an unplanned stop in work, which nobody (homeowners, subcontractors, builders, neighbors) likes.

“Can we hang this chandelier up there?” (Points to 20-foot-tall ceiling.) Why, yes! Yes, we can. I’ll just be sitting in the corner biting my nails as I watch my electricians stand on massive ladders that I (the person with the fear of heights) would never set foot on, all while they hold and hang a massively heavy and most likely expensive chandelier. But, yeah, we can definitely do that. No problem.

Go With A Pro Commercial Painting

How do you know if a paint job is good?

What’s the difference between a good paint job and a bad one?

As a professional painter in Virginia my job is to first estimate what a particular job might cost. Painting is a different ball game than most other home services.  Everyone thinks they can paint—just watch how fast the color goes up on those done-in-a-day home-makeover shows. Grab a brush, a roller, and a couple gallons of latex, and you’re all set.

The truth is, it is easy to paint poorly.  There’s no substitute for learning the proper steps, taking time to do the job right and improving your technique as you go.  Estimates will vary in ranges drastically.  Reasons will vary, typically the lower quotes come from painting contractors who are not licensed and insured, this is a huge detriment to the homeowners if they are not.  There are also people who do not know how to properly prepare and apply paint, understand sound business practices, nor do they participate in uniformly applying the industry standards to the work they perform.

As a consumer, it is sometimes hard to know if you have had a good paint job or a bad paint job and the unfortunate thing is that it could potentially take a year or longer to realize that you have had a bad paint job.

The first indication of a bad paint job will be the customer service the contractor provides from the time the initial call was made, to the estimate and the first few days on the job. If you are not feeling comfortable, you are probably right.

A good job starts with the initial call. How was your call handled, was there somebody there to receive your call? Was the person that provided the estimate professional? Did they provide all details of the job from the preparation methods, number of coats included, type of paint that will be used and any special requirements in writing? Did they address your concerns?


Things to Look for in a Quality House Paint Job

The definition of quality can be somewhat subjective. Yet, there are definite parameters that define whether you received a quality house paint job or not. You should be familiar with these seven things before you hire a painting contractor.

Paint Quality Tip #1 – Proper Protection from Paint

In most cases, a painting contractor isn’t working with an empty house. If you are painting the exterior of your house, protecting shrubbery and landscape plantings from paint is very important. Not only is paint ugly on your bushes, it can also harm the plants. Landscaping is an important aspect of curb appeal so you don’t want to have to reinvest in it after you’ve had your home painted. If the painting contractor is going to be working inside your home, you want to be assured that your furniture and floors don’t end up with paint all over them. You also don’t want paint on light fixtures and doorknobs. You want paint to be where it belongs and nowhere else.

Paint Quality Tip #2 – Proper Pre-Paint Preparation

A paint job will not last if proper pre-paint preparation techniques are not used. Things like silicone, wax, polish, grease and dirt will prevent the paint from adhering properly. Things might look okay for a short while, but when bad weather arrives, it becomes apparent that pre-paint preparation was sloppy.

Before new paint can be applied, it’s important that all dirt and grime, mold and mildew and chalking or peeling paint be removed. This is important whether the painting is in the interior of the home or on the exterior. Painting contractors may use water blasting as a pre-painting technique on exterior walls. Water blasting is a quick and easy way to clean off dirt and grime. It can remove mold and mildew. It can also remove paint that’s chalking or peeling. But it also has the potential for damaging exterior materials is too high pressure is used.

So how do you know you’re working with a professional? One sign is a professional will ask you to turn off the electricity to all the outlets and fixtures on the outside of the house. A professional will protect each outlet and fixture by wrapping it with plastic and securing the plastic carefully with tape. A professional contractor won’t expect to come back the next day and start painting if you have wood siding. The professional knows that it takes several days for the wood to dry out. In fact a professional will use a moisture meter to make sure that the reading is 15% or less before painting.

Paint Quality Tip #3 – Caulking

You have the right to expect a painting contractor to caulk holes, window frames and other trim areas that typically require caulking. One of the goals of painting your home is to protect it from the environment. Caulking prevents water from seeping in behind trim and causing extensive damage. On the inside of the home, caulking eliminates the home many bugs would like to make behind your trim work or cabinets. Caulking is all part of doing a quality job both inside and out.


Here are the few steps to check for a quality paint job:

  • First of all check the colour of your house paint. See that it is the same shade or tint you have chosen from the shade card (fan deck). See that the colour scheme has been strictly followed.
  • The paint on the walls should not drip. If signs of drips or dried drops re visible than inform the painter to sand it down and retouch it. If it dries then sagging defect may happen.
  • Check that all house paint is applied evenly and is free from runs and sags. See that the painted wall surface is smooth. Run your hand along the walls to check for imperfections.
  • Check if the original colours are covered properly with the new colour coat.
  • Check the edges of the walls and make sure these lines are straight and sharp. Uneven lines are signs of imperfections in workmanship of the painters.
  • Check whether caulking is done. Make sure that there is no leakage behind the trims because that may damage the wall surface.
  • The coverage of paint should be even, especially at the corners of windows and doors.
  • A good-quality paint job gives a clear-cut separation of colours. The lines between ceiling and trims, or the ceiling and walls should be clean, straight and sharp.
  • Check the paint at the corners of the doors, sidewall and also check the window corners.


Signs it’s time to repaint your house exterior

While there are general guidelines on how often to paint your home’s exterior, you may not know exactly when your home was last painted. In this case, you’ll need to watch out for a few things. When your home is giving you these signals, you’ll know it’s finally time to update your exterior paint job.

Telltale signs it’s time to repaint your house exterior

Damaged stucco and wood

While paint does help to keep these surfaces protected from the elements, no surface will last forever. You may see cracks in your stucco or signs of rotting in wood. At this point, you’ll need to assess the damage and repair the surface. Once this is done, it’s important to give the house a fresh coat of paint to ensure the surface is properly protected from the elements.

Bubbling, cracked, or peeling paint

If you spot paint that is peeling, cracked, or bubbling, it’s important to take action right away. Once paint peels away, it leaves parts of your home exposed to the elements. This could cause long-term damage. If the wood is exposed to rain or snow, it could lead to mold, mildew, and even rotting. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to give the whole exterior of the house a fresh paint job.

Cracked caulking

Caulking is usually around your doors and windows and is used to properly seal them. If you notice small cracks in these areas, they can sometimes be repaired by simply filling them in with fresh caulking. If left untreated, this can allow for moisture to seep in, which could cause lots of damage. If you notice larger cracks, you’ll definitely want to replace the caulking and add a fresh coat of paint to give it an added layer of protection.

Moisture stains and mold

Moisture stains and mold are sometimes just surface stains that can be wiped away or removed with pressure washing or a little elbow grease. However, sometimes these stains can be signs of deeper damage. If you can’t remove a stubborn stain, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look at it. Many stains just need to be painted over, however, you might need to replace the material if there is more extensive damage.


Tips and Techniques for a Great Paint Job

A room can be vastly improved with a fresh coat of paint. But if you have a love-hate relationship with painting, you’ll want to read our tips on how to paint efficiently and ensure a beautiful end result. You might even enjoy the project as much as the finished product!

Start out Right

You’ll enjoy the job more if you get everything together at the start. Organize a tool station in the middle of the area you’ll be working in. Gather together your paint, brushes, rollers, hammers, screwdrivers, plastic bags, plastic wrap, rags, paint can opener, and drop cloths.

Plan a Day for Prep

Don’t try to get everything done in one day. Use the day before painting day to gather furniture in the center of the room, patch cracks and holes, put blue painter’s tape around doors and windows, and cover wall and ceiling light fixtures (light bulbs removed, of course!) with large plastic bags.

Clear the Decks

If you can, clear out all the furniture and accessories. Take everything off the walls. If you can’t move everything out, place the furniture and lamps in the middle of the room and cover them with a good drop cloth. Be sure that you tape the cloth around the furniture. Then put the second cover of plastic or old sheet over everything.

Remove All Hardware

It may seem easier to paint around doorknobs or cabinet hinges, but unless you’re a professional experienced painter, you’re bound to get drips around. So carry around some zip-top bags and remove all cabinet knobs and hinges, door knobs, light switch plates and outlet covers, and light fixtures. Place the pieces together in separate bags and clearly mark the contents and location (top left cabinet, bathroom door, etc) you took them from. This is a great time to clean the hardware! Put them back when you’re done painting.

Get Yourself Ready

No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get drips (or more) of paint on whatever you’re wearing. So take off all jewelry. Reserve some old, but comfortable, clothes for your painting jobs. Slip-on shoes are easy to take off if you need to leave the room. You won’t have to worry about tracking drops of paint into other rooms. When you paint the ceiling, put a scarf, shower cap, or old baseball hat over your hair and some plastic over your eyeglasses.

You May Have A “Dream” Solution To Your Auto Repair Problem

What can I do about a bad mechanic?

What is a Defective Mechanic Work Lawsuit?

Individuals may bring their automobile to a mechanic for repairs. Repairs are needed for many reasons. Individuals may sue the mechanic for defective mechanic work. Defective mechanic work, also called faulty repair work, occurs when a mechanic negligently makes repairs that result in vehicle damage or injury to people.

What is Defective Mechanic Work?

To repair a vehicle, mechanics may fix, adjust, replace, or remove one or more parts. A mechanic must perform repairs using a reasonable standard of care. This means the mechanic may not act negligently. To make repairs under a reasonable standard of care, a mechanic must use the standard knowledge, skills, professionalism, and “know-how” expected of a mechanic.

To act with skill and professionalism in making repairs, a mechanic must (among other things):

  • Ensure that a vehicle brought in for inspection is repaired so it is safe for driving;
  • Replace, remove, adjust, or upgrade parts, with the skill expected of a mechanic making such repairs;
  • Make only repairs that are necessary; and
  • Make only those repairs that a customer authorized.

What is “Reasonable”?

What is “reasonable” in “reasonable standard of care” depends upon the circumstances. If a person brings a vehicle to a mechanic for repairs covered by a warranty, the mechanic must use the skill and care required to make warranty repairs. If a person brings an electric or hybrid vehicle to a mechanic for repairs, the mechanic must use the knowledge and skill that a mechanic who repairs such vehicles is expected to use.


The Mechanic Damaged My Vehicle – What Can I Do?

Question: I took my car in for service and when it was returned, my transmission was no longer working properly. The mechanic said that he didn’t do anything to it, but the vehicle was working perfectly when I left it at his place of business. I am not sure what type of lawyer I need or what I can do about the situation.

First, the type of lawyer that you may need depends on the type of claim that you would like to file. A lawyer can walk you through each possible cause of action and the legal elements that you must establish. If you were to file a lawsuit, you would be known as the plaintiff and you would have the burden of proving the legal elements of your case.

One type of claim that may be available based on your circumstances is a breach of contract. If the mechanic was contracted to perform the work in a skillful manner and he did not, you may be able to sue on these grounds. If the service was provided as part of a warranty on the vehicle, you may have a breach of warranty case. The legal complication of this issue may be that you may not have a contract for the transmission work. Therefore, the mechanic may not have breached his duty if he performed the other work correctly.

Another possible cause of action is negligence. This legal theory is based on the idea that the mechanic owed you a duty to properly repair your vehicle and that by messing up the transmission, he breached the duty. The other elements that you have to prove are causation and damages. Based on your description, damages should be relatively clear as they will amount to the money that you will have to spend to get the transmission fixed.

The biggest legal complication that you are likely to encounter is to prove causation. Your theory will be that the mechanic caused the damage to the vehicle. Based on your description, it sounds like the mechanic will say that he did not do the damage. He may even say that the damage had to be there before you brought the vehicle in, but you may not have been aware of it. Remember, you have the burden of showing the court that the mechanic actually caused this damage. Therefore, you will likely need more than just your word to prove this series of events. For example, you may need to have another mechanic inspect the vehicle and write down his or her observations and opinion about what caused the transmission problem. If you decide to go to court, you will likely need the mechanic to appear in court to provide testimony as a written document of this nature may be considered hearsay.


Signs of a Bad Mechanic

Even if you buy a reliable car, change its oil regularly, and drive carefully, you can’t avoid visits to a mechanic. These repairmen have more training and tools to tackle automotive problems. Finding a trustworthy mechanic can be a challenge. But bad mechanics will do certain things that raise red flags. If you know the signs of a bad mechanic, you’ll be able to waste less of your time and money.

The mechanic isn’t certified

When asked to show proof of certification, a bad mechanic may become defensive and claim they have enough experience to keep you from pressing the issue.

The mechanic is inexperienced

If you take your car to a mechanic who has no idea what they’re doing, you will be charged extra for more hours of labor. A bad mechanic may claim it will take a few days to replace something simple like a tire rod, while it will only take an experienced mechanic an hour or two. Always check to find out how long a fix will take at another auto shop.

The mechanic won’t let you see the old parts

A bad mechanic will try to charge for work by “fixing” something that wasn’t broken in the first place. If you suspect this, always ask to see the old parts. A truthful mechanic will have no problem showing them to you.

The mechanic won’t admit to mistakes

Replacing parts or filters is a relatively routine task, but mistakes can still happen. It may be due to an issue outside of the mechanic’s control, but a good one will still take responsibility. A bad mechanic will pass the blame off instead of admitting they are at fault.


Discuss your concerns with your mechanic

If you are not happy with repair work:

  • speak with the repairer and give them a chance to explain and/or fix the problem. Do not just take your car to another repairer
  • mention the warranty on parts and repairs
  • consider that a problem may be unrelated to the work that was done
  • contact your insurance company, if the car is insured.


Times You Can Sue a Mechanic

Car repairs can be a scary prospect. First there’s the cost, the time it will take, and then the worry about the repairs being done right. Most mechanics do good and honest work, and care for our cars like they were their own. But other mechanics on the other hand…

So what happens if you get one of the bad guys? When can you sue a mechanic if they don’t take good care of your car?

  1. Bad Repairs

First and foremost, mechanics must do good work. You’re there to get a problem fixed, and if it is not fixed properly that could be dangerous for you and other drivers. Not to mention you shouldn’t be charged for non-existent or ineffective auto repairs. If a mechanic improperly installs a part, disables a safety device, otherwise fails to make adequate repairs to your vehicle, you may have a valid lawsuit.

  1. False Estimates or No Estimates

Most states have consumer protection laws that require auto repair shops to disclose details about repairs before they are done. Under these statutes, mechanics and other service providers must give you a detailed estimate of all work to be done, disclose whether used or rebuilt parts are being installed, and give you a quote for the costs. If your mechanic fails to give you an estimate of the work or fails to honor the estimate, you may want to call a lawyer.

  1. Breach of Warranty

Often we purchase new and used cars with warranties that cover certain service to the vehicle. These warranties generally come with stipulations regarding what repairs are covered, for how long, and may require you to use specific mechanics. If the mechanics don’t honor the warranty, either to repair the car or in covering the cost, you may need to sue.

  1. Fraud

Most of us have our guard up when we take our cars to a mechanic. The amount of stories we’ve heard about auto repair scams, coupled with our general unfamiliarity with the inner workings of our automobiles, means we’re already suspicious. But how do you know if your mechanic is taking you for a ride? Actually discovering fraud may be difficult, but if you discover your mechanic has charged you for service or parts he didn’t provide you may be able to sue for damages.

  1. Invalid Use of a Mechanic’s Lien

There are times when a repair person or company can place a lien on a customer’s property to pay for service or improvements done to the property. This is called a mechanic’s lien, and it is available not just to car mechanics, but to plumbers, painters, carpenters, and construction contractors and subcontractors — anyone who provides a service that improves a customer’s property.

Benefits Of Hiring A Good Immigration Lawyer


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Help employers sponsor foreign-born employees for work visas and green cards and assist them in complying with I-9 requirements as what to do when they receive a Notice of Inspection from the government.

assist individuals in getting E-2 treaty investor visas, H-1B professional visas, J waivers, L intracompany transferee visas, O visas for persons of extraordinary ability, P visas for athletes, artists and entertainers, R visas for religious workers and various other types of temporary working visas.

immigration lawyers help clients get green cards through employment, marriage, relatives, investment and asylum. also assist them in becoming citizens of the United States through naturalization or through their parents.

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Getting immigration advice

Complete the application form yourself

You can choose the visa you need using the Immigration website and complete the application form yourself with the information provided by Immigration

Engage a licensed immigration adviser

You can engage a licensed immigration adviser to assist you with your visa application but they must have a current licence.

Before engaging an adviser, check the register of licensed immigration advisers to make sure the person you are engaging has a valid immigration adviser licence. Check the licence expiry date and type of licence (some advisers may only be able to advise on limited areas).

Should you have any difficulty finding a licensed immigration adviser or complaining about one, you can contact the Immigration Advisers Authority directly. The Authority is responsible for licensing immigration advisers, receiving complaints and taking action against those giving immigration advice without a licence.

Engage someone who is exempt from the license requirements

You can also seek immigration advice from people who are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence.


To get a visa or green card you need the right lawyer. Here are ways to keep the cost down

With the new complexities and restrictions of the U.S. immigration system, it has become more challenging for immigrants to move through the legal immigration process.

Across all sections of immigration laws and regulations, the U.S. government is requiring increasing evidence that immigration benefits applicants meet strict eligibility requirements

So it’s more important than ever to get expert advice from a lawyer who has experience, has seen similar cases and knows what is going to be convincing to the government agency, the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), making the decision.

“First and foremost, an individual has to feel comfortable with the lawyer and with the relationship you are going to have with the lawyer, because you are going to trust and rely on this person,” said

“It’s very important for people to understand they are hiring the lawyer, the lawyer works for them, they are the boss, and if they are not happy with the service, they should tell the lawyer, and they are entitled to work with the lawyer,” he added.


Prepare The Following Things When Meeting With Your Immigration Lawyer

If you are new to the United States and looking to either gain a temporary work visa or to become a citizen, then it is important to deal with an experienced immigration lawyer. An attorney will be able to help you navigate the complicated court system and the sometimes confusing court documents that come with them

Narrow down your options

There is a vast array of visa options depending on your desired end result. For example, there are more than 20 different types of visas for temporary nonimmigrant workers, but they can be limited. There are also 480,000 family-based visas available each year, along with only 140,000 visas per year for employment-based immigration. It is important to go into the meeting with your attorneys knowing what outcome you would like to achieve.

Bring any relevant materials

This means writing down any information that could be relevant to your case, including things like why you left your country, if you have a sponsor in the United States, or if you have any witnesses if you have a criminal case on your hands. Make sure to include copies of any immigration paperwork you may have like your birth certificate, any visa applications you have completed, and any documents given to you when you entered the country.

Feel free to bring a translator

If you are worried about your speaking skills, go ahead and bring a trusted speaker with you to the appointment. If you check ahead, your immigration lawyer may speak your native language or have a paralegal who can help translate as well.

Be forthcoming

It is important to share with your lawyer every detail you have about your case, good or bad. American lawyers are bound by attorney-client privilege, and they could lose their right to practice law by disclosing the information you provide. Being completely transparent will also help you in the long run.



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extensive knowledge, speedy response and attentive service took away all my fears of dealing with immigration and visa applications. He is very generous with his time in explaining every step along the way and I have already and will in the future recommend him to anybody who is looking for an immigration lawyer.

Eye Care Tricks That Attract Girls

Can you reverse eye damage?

There are countless conditions and diseases that can target the eyes and affect your ability to see. Once damaged, can your eyes be healed once more? There are many common conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, nearsightedness, farsightedness and more that our patients struggle with. Some conditions that involve eye damage or vision damage can be reversed while others can’t. That’s why it’s so important to see an eye doctor often to monitor the health of your eyes and your vision. We can detect problems before they become severe and make you blind. Find out what some of the common eye conditions are that cause vision loss and if your condition can be reversed.

The Retina And Eye Damage

There are many parts of the eye that contribute to your vision. One of the most important parts is the retina. When you look around at your environment, light enters your eyes through your cornea and lens. The lens focuses rays of light onto your retina, which is the light-sensitive nerve tissue that contains photosensitive cells called rods and cones. These cells convert light into electrical signals that tell your brain (via the optic nerve) what you are seeing. If the retina is damaged, then eye damage and even blindness occur.

Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, And Astigmatism

Nearsightedness is also known as Myopia and is a refractive error in the eyes where objects up close appear clearly, while objects far away are blurry. Farsightedness (also known as presbyopia) is the exact opposite. Objects farther away appear clear while objects up close are blurry. About 40% of Americans are nearsighted, and many Americans have some form of farsightedness.

Astigmatism is another common refractive error of the eyes. It is the optical term for more than one point of focus. Instead of being spherical, the cornea is shaped more like a rugby ball, causing the eyes to try to focus on several different points at once. Luckily, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can all be treated and corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK or refractive surgery.

Macular Degeneration

This is the leading cause of vision loss currently. The retina’s central area (called the “macula”) is what focuses central vision in the eye. Macular degeneration and age-related macular degeneration are conditions where you lose your central vision. Around 2.1 Million Americans over 50 have age-related macular degeneration. Even more people (9.1 million of them) have early macular degeneration. You can get macular degeneration due to genetics or can develop it over time with too much exposure to blue light. If it is the latter, make sure you wear computer glasses when using devices such as laptops, cell phones, tablets, and other electronics that use blue light. LED and fluorescent lighting also give off a lot of blue light, which can damage your retina.


What is the ideal dietary regimen for someone concerned about preserving or improving eye health?

Lists the Top Ten Foods for Sight:

  • Cold water fish (sardines, cod, mackerel, tuna) are an excellent source of DHA, which provides structural support to cell membranes and is recommended for dry eyes, macular degeneration, and sight preservation.
  • Spinach, kale, and green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein protects the macula from sun damage and from blue light.
  • Eggs are rich in cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids, and lutein. Sulfur-containing compounds protect the lens of the eye from cataract formation.
  • Garlic, onions, shallots, and capers are also rich in sulfur, which is necessary for the production of glutathione, an important antioxidant for the lens of the eye.
  • Non-GMO soy, low in fat and rich in protein, contains essential fatty acids, phytoestrogens, vitamin E, and natural anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene. Yellow and orange vegetables, like carrots and squash, are important for daytime vision.
  • Blueberries and grapes contain anthocyanins, which improve night vision. A cup full of blueberries, huckleberry jam, or a 100 mg bilberry supplement should improve dark adaptation within 30 minutes.
  • Wine, known to have a cardio-protective effect, has many important nutrients, which protect the heart, vision, and blood flow.
  • Nuts and berries are nature’s most concentrated food sources. Grains, such as flaxseed, are high in the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol and stabilize cell membranes.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, is a healthy alternative to butter and margarine.


Natural Herbs for Eye Wellness

To succumb to the philosophy that our eyes aren’t prone to outside interferences with either environmental toxic substances or internal maladies causing distress is to approach the natural world with a degree of hesitancy. Here’s the thing though: A natural remedy for vision loss needs to be taken seriously, as our bodies are designed to uphold and adhere to more holistic wellness than ever thought possible.

We came from natural circumstances, and it is with these remedies that we’re able to return and restore what was given to us at birth. It is NOT a fictitious claim to employ natural and organic remedies for vision loss. One important factor to take into account is that the ‘natural’ method isn’t a quick fix. Patience and perseverance are two traits that must be followed towards the path to better vision.

Most western medicine doctors are now incorporating more alternative herbs and solutions into their traditional practices, mainly due to demand. If our holistic wellness ranks higher in society than prescription drugs (and their higher costs and the propensity towards addiction) it’s highly likely that natural remedies will be more popular than eyedrops or eye medicine, or even laser surgery down the road. Big Pharma wants you to spend an exorbitant amount of money that may never alleviate your symptoms of vision loss, thus you’re left with out-of-pocket expenses you hadn’t planned and your vision continues to be compromised.

Here’s a quick list of natural herbal remedies that can ward off the onset of vision loss while helping your overall wellness:

  • Eyebright – more of a folk remedy for the eyes. Hastens recovery from conjunctivitis. Packaged in tea form as well.
  • Gingko Biloba – an antioxidant that protects nerve cells and improves blood flow to the retina. Improves vision for glaucoma patients.
  • Coleus – reduces the production of fluid in the eye, which reduces pressure from potential glaucoma. Contains forskolin.

Following, and in conjunction with the herbal remedies above, it’s wise to take these supplements to also help with your vision and keep your eyes as healthy as possible:

  • Vitamin C – 500 mg
  • Vitamin E – 400 IU
  • Zinc oxide – 80 mg
  • Copper – 2 mg
  • Lutein – 10 mg
  • Zeaxanthin – 2 mg


Reversing Sun Damage

eyes squinting from the sun

Damage to the eye can sometimes be permanent or at least semi-permanent, with some symptoms fading but not completely. If you have any reason to believe your eyes have been overexposed to the sun (which is common with people who are often outdoors, such as farmers), you should wear sunglasses and a hat regularly. This ideally will give your eyes time to heal.

Also, see a specialist and see what your options are. Depending on the severity of your damage and your particular situation, surgery to improve your vision may or may not be an option.

Avoidance Is Key

Rather than risk permanent damage, it is best to learn to avoid overexposure to the sun. Familiarizing yourself with the UV index can help you stay safe.

  • UV 2 or less: Wear sunglasses, and consider sunscreen.
  • UV 3-5: Wear sunglasses, cover up, use sunscreen, and avoid the sun when it is strongest at midday.
  • UV 6-7: Wear a hat and sunglasses, cover up, and use sunscreen. Avoid the sun if possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • UV 8-10: Follow the same guidelines as UV 6-7.
  • UV 11+: Wear a hat and sunglasses, and reapply sunscreen (SPF 15+) every two hours. Try to totally avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if possible.


How Your Uveitis Can Be Treated

It’s important to get the right treatment for your uveitis as soon as you can. If it’s not taken care of, uveitis can lead to serious eye problems, including blindness.

Your treatment plan should include things to control your inflammation. Treatment can also:

  • Ease eye pain
  • Prevent the damage to your eyes from getting worse
  • Help get back eyesight you’ve lost

What your doctor will prescribe depends on what kind of uveitis you have, where it is in your eye, and if you have it in both eyes. If your first course doesn’t work well, your doctor can switch you to something else.