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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.


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