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How to Prepare Your Home for Termite Fumigation

If you have ever experienced a termite infestation in your home or know somebody who has, you know how upsetting and stressful it can be. Not only do termites cause expensive damage, they are also expensive to get rid of. In fact, termites cost homeowners more than 5 billion dollars in treatment and repairs each year. There are two types of termites: subterranean and drywood. Drywood termites cause the most damage in the US and can only be eliminated by tent fumigation.

Why Choose Fumigation?
In some very mild cases, spot treatment can eliminate all drywood termites in a home. But in most cases, by the time termites have been detected, the infestation is full-blown. Tent fumigation is the only way to kill 100% of the termites in a home.
Yearly inspection by a pest control expert can prevent mass infestation.

About Fumigation
For over 50 years, Vikane gas fumigant (made by Dow AgroSciences) has proved to effectively eliminate drywood termites. This is the gas of choice for all termite fumigators in the US. Vikane gas is quick-acting and does not leave any residue. However, it is still a dangerous toxic gas and can cause death. Proper fumigation preparation will ensure that you and your family stay safe and that your belongings are protected. The fumigation process will take a few days, so you will need to make arrangements to stay elsewhere during the process.

Fumigation Preparation
Follow the instructions given to you by your fumigation company. Speak to your neighbors and inform them of your termite problem and your plans to fumigate as it could work to your advantage. Often, more than one home in an area will have a termite infestation. Some pest control companies will give a special discount to neighbors who fumigate at the same time.

Tip: Preparing your home for termite fumigation is time-consuming. Do not leave it to the last minute. Preparation involves lots of packing and sorting. Plan to start at least a few days before the fumigation date.

1. Call the Gas Company - In most cases, your fumigation company will call your local gas company to notify it of the turn-off time for the gas. Clarify with your fumigator whether you need to make the call or not.

2. Notify Your Neighbors - If you haven't done so already, notify your neighbors that you will be fumigating. Sometimes the fumigators need access to part of the neighbors property. This is common in areas where homes are built close together. When neighbors' consent is needed, they will have to issue official permission and a release.

Exterior Preparation

1. Clear the Perimeter - Clearing the perimeter of your property is a must so that the fumigators can secure the fumigation tent. Clear all items to at least 5' away from the structure.

2. Unlock Gates and Doors - On fumigation day, unlock any gates and sheds. Fumigators are legally required to check all rooms to ensure that nobody is there before sealing the tents.

3. Water the Ground - Water will act as a barrier to the fumigant and will prevent contamination and damage to your plants. Water all plants and grass. If possible, trim plants back to one foot away from your home's structure.

4. Remove Vehicles - All vehicles must be removed from attached and unattached garages.

Interior Preparation
Your fumigation company will provide you with special double bags called Nylofume bags. These will protect your food and medications. Unopened metal cans do not need to be bagged. All dry food products must be sealed in the bags, including:
* Food in plastic bags such as pretzels, macaroni, etc.
* All medications
* Soaps and shampoos
* Cosmetics

There is some dispute about whether cosmetics need to be placed in the bags. Some fumigators say there is no need while others have a more conservative outlook. There is a common saying among termite fumigators: "When in doubt, take it out." In other words, better safe than sorry.

1. Double check that all food and medications are properly sealed in Nylofume bags. Follow the specific instructions provided with the bags for how to properly seal in them.

2. Remove valuables. All of the drawers in your home will be opened during fumigation. Remove your valuables or store them in a safe.

3. Discard the ice from your ice maker and turn it off.

4. Remove plastic mattress covers, as they can trap the gas.

5. On fumigation day, remove plants and pets from your house, including fish.

Drywood Termite Facts:

* Appearance - Light brown, 6 legs, long, narrow, oval, 3/8" to 1 inch long
* Commonly infest homes in warm coastal regions. California, Florida, Texas and Hawaii have the highest rate of drywood termites in the US.
* Drywood termites create colonies and live in areas you cannot access or see. Common areas where termites live include the roof and eaves, and deep inside walls, attics and crawlspaces. They can form colonies of up to 2,500 members.
* Can survive without any source of moisture or contact with the soil
* Drywood termites generally live, feed and nest in healthy wood with a low moisture content.
* Can infest wood-framed or concrete homes. Termites can pass through small cracks in concrete, as small as 1/32″.

Termite Prevention:
Drywood termite infestations can be prevented by occasionally checking for termite activity around your home. Small piles of sawdust-looking material and termite wings could be a sign that termites are in your home but have not yet multiplied and infested the whole place. Additionally, making sure firewood and scrap wood is stored at least 20 feet from the home will prevent termites from being enticed to your home. Seal cracks and crevices throughout your home, as this will prevent termites from gaining access to wood through small holes.


Career Choices for Kitchen and Bathroom Designers

Working within the KBB Industry The Kitchen, bedroom and bathroom market, often shortened to KBB, is one of the most diverse industries in which to work and one which is rarely truly appreciated or understood by recruiters. That is why it is prudent to seek out an agency that both understands this diverse niche and is quick to realise your personal goals and ambitions, in summary expert in KBB recruitment.

There are many different levels at which to work within this sector, albeit as an experienced Kitchen Designer or Showroom Manager. The skill sets are quite varied and the paths that can be taken alter depending on the ambitions of the individual. As an experienced kitchen designer you could be using the latest CAD software to design and inspire your customers, providing them with a 3D visualisation of their final room layout.

Planit or 20-20 are commonly used but there are a variety of packages on the market and familiarity on one will usually lead to a quick understanding of another. Some kitchen designers prefer drawing their designs on graph paper and with the right artistic interpretation this can be equally eye catching. The career path that many designers take is guided by a number of factors. The market itself is divided into three key segments, Retail, Trade and Bespoke. At the retail end of the market, a good designer will turn out many winning designs in a week, often being rewarded with a basic salary and good commission on every successful sale, this may be through national DIY sheds or local Independents.

The emphasis within the retail market is to be able to both design and sell the given product, quite often you will be multi tasking, almost project managing the initial design through to order and organisation of the final installation. The retail position is both fast paced and the financial rewards can be great for those with good organisational skills, drive and tenacity. At the other end of the spectrum is the bespoke market.

Typically not as fast paced as the retail market the emphasis here is on high end quality delivered with exceptional precision and a service level that would be expected from someone paying in excess of 50,000 pounds. Good design and fashion trends play key parts, but as with retail, an understanding of customer expectations and the ability to deliver the "dream" are vital. The other side of the business is trade, here again the role is quite diverse as you could be dealing with an individual sole builder all the way through to a large developer, price will always be an issue but so will the tight timeframes that you will be expected to deliver within.

As with the bespoke market, the remuneration is quite often weighted towards basic salary with a lower level of commission. However high earning levels can be accomplished through good management of what will become a critical client portfolio. Although many people choose to stay as designers, often transferring into differing parts of the industry, there are other options available. If management features highly on your wish list then a move into showroom management is an obvious choice.

Those with a strong ability to sell will look to transfer to the supplier side, often servicing the showrooms where they once worked. Other options include Area or Regional Management, managing a number of sites within a geographical location.

Finally for the brave and industrious, there is always the option of taking your talents and skill into the self employed market, working in either a freelance capacity or setting up your very own showroom. If you are looking to move within this market, a good agency should be able to help you. You will however need to find a company that specialises within this field and understands all levels of the KBB industry. They should be able to understand your key drivers and aims and be able to assist in facilitating the right move, whatever your long term plans.

Be careful of companies that profess to be expert, it is always worth asking just how much your chosen agency knows about the market and what proportion of their overall recruitment KBB actually is. You should see your agent as your eyes and ears in the market place and as with all business contacts, establishing a strong rapport with your consultant is vital so work only with someone you feel comfortable with and who truly understands your requirements.

Good luck in your career search in what is an exciting, dynamic and constantly evolving industry.


How Do You Identify a Window's Manufacturer?

Crash! You hear the sound, instantly knowing what it is. Someone has broken one of your windows. Since you did not install them yourself, you suddenly face a horrible decision. Do you replace just the broken window, risking the danger that the windows may not match, or do you replace all of your home's windows at once, a process that is likely not within your home improvement budget? The good news is that you do not have to choose between these two options. If you can identify the window's manufacturer, you may be able to get an identical replacement, allowing you to replace the broken window without disrupting the overall look of your home, or your carefully balanced budget.

Additionally, many windows have a warranty, and you may not know of this warranty if you did not install the windows on the home. The warranty may also pay for replacement parts, such as broken seals or latches, not just broken glass. Some manufacturers even provide lifetime warranties on their windows, so identifying the manufacturer is essential before you pay out of pocket for a replacement. However, it is not always as easy as you might wish!

Look for Stickers

Newer windows, particularly those with warranties, will have stickers on them. These stickers have model and manufacturer's numbers that you can use to identify the manufacturer. If you can locate this sticker, contact a builder or building supply store in your area to see if they can help you identify the manufacturer using the information. The sticker is usually located at the top frame of the window. This is required on modern windows, but if the window is older it may not be there. Also, it may have been damaged over time. Windows that are covered under warranties typically have identification stickers that are easy to find.

Look for Numbers and Initials

If there is not a window sticker available, look all over the window for any numbers or initials. Some windows have an aluminum spacer between the panes, and there may be a number or some initials engraved on this. Sometimes this can help you track down the manufacturer.

Talk to the Builder

If your home is a relatively new construction, contact the builder who worked on the development. There may be records as to what company they contracted with to install the windows. Of course, this only works if the windows have not been replaced since the first installation occurred, but it is worth a try.

Contact a Local Window Installer

If you cannot find a sticker and the builder is not helpful or is no longer available, consider contacting a local window installer. You can describe the window's features and any numbers you could find on the window, and they may be able to identify it. If not, they may be willing to come to your home, for a small fee, and look at the window to see if they can identify it. After all, they may end up with your business to replace the window if they help you out.

What to Do if You Cannot Identify the Manufacturer

If you cannot identify the manufacture, consider repairing the damage to the window without completely replacing it. You can replace a broken latch or window pane, or have a professional do it for you, and this may be more affordable than replacing the entire window. On the other hand, if the windows are generic in appearance, you may be able to replace the whole window without destroying the overall look of your property. Again, talk to a window installer or a building contractor to determine what your options are as you work through this process.


Learning The Tips And Tricks Of Vinyl Tile Flooring

Besides being a way to floor without a lot of expense, vinyl tile flooring is easy to install. There are so many benefits to using this type of floor cover for your home. Keeping on reading, and find out their uniqueness, and usefulness.

Many options exist with the different types of covering for a floor in vinyl tile. There is the higher priced line and most of these need a thick glue, and grouting to be done. Others need just an adhesive to be used, while the peel off the paper and stick it to the floor is the easiest. The type that is chosen is all up to you.

Areas of your house that have a lot of people going through, needs to be thought of before purchasing it. If high traffic area, the luxury type of covering might be the best. Also, if there is a lot of moisture, be sure to keep it cleaned up, it might be best to use the same kind. A serious amount of water can loosen tiles, and high traffic can move them. With the more expensive type it will hold better.

Great for the homeowner is that warranties can be purchased with these tile types. The choices are lifetime warranties, or limited. All tiles can be bought with a chemical covering that will make them last a long time. Compared to other types of floor applications this can be the most budget minded course to take.

The favored type of tile to use is the peel and stick kind. They are fast to apply, and stick well to most clean surfaces. To prepare a room for their use, all you do is measure out the room, and then clean the floor for other dirt, or residues. All new types of tile, these types are easy to maintain too. A sweep and a recommended cleaner will do the job nicely.

When you are ready to remove the flooring, either to replace it because if finally wears out, or change a room decor, all that is needed is to remove it by popping up the tile. It is best to start in a corner with a blunt flat tool and start removing the vinyl tile. They are so much more easy to remove than several years ago because then the tile was laid with a strong adhesive.

Lack of design choices are not a problem either. You can find many imitation styles to put down on the floor. Red brick style is one choice, of which there are many other too. It can be a raised style, such as an embossed type, or it can be completely smooth to the touch. Depending on the texture that you want is optional, but most individuals like the flat or smooth surfaces because they believe it is easier to keep clean.

Hard to remove linoleum is a thing of the past. Tiles of today are a cinch to use on the floor, and are just as easy to get up from the floor too. The cost of all of the tile type applications are not too expensive, and the varied choice of design is wonderful. The peel type is one of the best type because they have all of these choices, and others prefer them too. It is so easy to make a floor look inviting to stand on, and use.


Even Garage Cabinets come in a Variety of Finishes!

I have been shopping around for some garage cabinets to help me organize my shop, and I was really impressed with the large variety of cabinets available and especially the variety of materials and finishes. I had just thought metal or pressed board, but that does not do garage cabinets justice! Though plain metal cabinets that look like you high school locker are available, there are a lot of metal options with better finishes.

Of coarse, you can get just metal garage cabinets, usually made of cold rolled steel. But the neat thing is the variety of colors that are available, you don't have to go with institutional gray unless that what you really want. Many metal cabinets are two-tone, such as red doors on black cabinets, or silver on black, or sandstone on charcoal. If you spend a lot of time in your garage, this is a great way to customize it, especially if you ad the cool checkered garage flooring that is also available.

If you need garage cabinets that are going to get a lot of use (or abuse?) and need to stand up to some serious work, then heavy duty steel cabinets are a great option. Fully welded seams for durability, full length piano hinges and higher weight capacities make steel garage cabinets perfect for a busy shop. A powder coated finish is also great for a lot of use because it helps hide the dirt and doesn't show fingerprints that are left behind.

You can also get cabinets made of medium density fiberboard (MDF) with nice laminate finishes. If you go with UltiMATE garage cabinets,they boast a unique polyurethane coated cabinet front which offers added durability and a smooth automotive finish. Their cabinets also have a rounded profile on all doors and cabinets for a nice clean look. These are great for your home garage. Though, remember, that MDF does tend to be heavy.

If you really like the nice shiny look and don't have little kids (or you like to wipe down cabinets regularly) then stainless steel garage cabinets may be for you. Stainless steel definitely has a classy look, and it is not unusual to see these garage cabinets used in other rooms in the house. Being steel, they are strong and durable, normally the sides and backs are steel and the doors are stainless steel.

If you are concerned about rust or rot, then aluminum cabinets may be best for you. They also come in a variety of colors (from basic black or red, to green, yellow and blue) for total customization. The surface of aluminum garage cabinets usually have a satin finish (aluminum oxide) which will last for years while being maintenance free, easy to clean, and also resists discoloration and fingerprints.

Now, if you are a true automobile and motorcycle enthusiast, then I would say that you have to go with the diamond plate garage cabinets. These are heavy duty with a flashy look that is easy to keep clean.

Regardless of the look you want in your garage, you can tell that with the variety of garage cabinets available, most anything is possible. Most finishes, though from different manufacturers, are modular so that you can pick and choose what pieces you need most and what will fit. You can get tall or short cabinets of varying widths, work benches and specialty cabinets to suit all your garage storage needs. So, good luck and have fun getting you garage organized!


What are the Benefits of a Properly Insulated Attic?

There are quite a few different choices available to you when it comes to methods of insulation - in fact the process can become a little confusing if you don-t have any knowledge of what the suggested levels of insulating for your area are, or if you don't have access to the advice of a qualified professional. Make no mistake about it though, a properly insulated attic has many benefits that make it a very worthwhile investment, some of which you may not even be aware of.

Increase in Comfort

Having a properly insulated attic, after having become accustomed to living in an environment where there was either to little insulation to accommodate the area's climate, or no insulation at all, will dramatically improve the level of comfort you experience in your home from season to season.

It's almost a matter of common knowledge that the proper insulation will help keep your home warmer in the winter months, but what you may not know is that proper attic insulation can also help to keep your home cooler during the heat waves of the summer.

Insulation essentially creates a barricade effect that won't allow the drastic differences in air temperature outside of your home invade the inside - so the warmth given off by your heating system and the cool air distributed by your air conditioner can do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible, regardless of the air temperature outside of your home.

Saving Money

In conjunction with the increase in comfort that you-ll enjoy, a properly insulated attic will also help to save you a good deal of money on your energy bills.

By creating a seal with insulation and preventing the outside elements from intruding into your home, both your heating and your cooling systems will have to work a lot less to produce the same results.

Using less of the resources that are necessary to heat and cool your home, whether your systems are powered by electricity, by natural gas, or by home heating oil - the more money you will be able to save.

Increasing the Value of your Home

Having a properly insulated attic, even if you currently have no little or no insulation probably won't be a very large expense at all, but it will certainly add to the value of your home. Having the proof of the energy efficiency of your house by holding onto low energy bills to show to potential buyers is a great way to add value to your home. Potential buyers in the current housing market are looking for every possible advantage that one home may have over another - and low utility bills are certainly a big advantage.

Having a properly insulated attic may not be an absolute necessity, you-ll probably be able to live in your home with sub-par or even no insulation in the attic, but the benefits that will come along with proper attic insulation are well worth the cost and effort to make the improvement.

This is a home improvement that the average person can purchase the supplies for, and with the small investment of the material and some hours of mild manual labor can successfully perform themselves, or with a little larger initial investment, a home owner can have a professional service come in and do an even more effective job of insulating in a fraction of the time.

Regardless of the route you take to get there, going from an attic that is poorly insulated to an attic that is properly insulated will ensure many benefits for a number of years to come.


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