Modern Living

Modern Living

Home and real estate topics discussed in detail

Keeping Your Deck or Patio Clean After a Storm

Storm damage is a major problem for people in more ways than one. In addition to downed tree limbs and damaged siding or eaves, many people have decks or patios that are full of debris. While you want to get these areas as clean as possible, it’s important to avoid using cleansers or other items that may damage things further.

Who Should You Call?

A pressure washing company is usually your best solution. The top experts in this field use unique methods that provide a good clean, without causing further damage. Before you choose someone to do a power wash, make sure you find out more about the methods that they use.

Why Should You Avoid Traditional Power Washing?

Although effective, traditional power washing can cause unintended damage. Some traditional methods, if done incorrectly, are capable of causing gauges in deck material and concrete. You want to avoid these situations because the damage can be permanent.

Using a Safe Cleaning Method

One of the keys to safely cleaning a deck or patio is having the process start with a pre-soak material. This step uses a foam that gets embedded dirt out in a gentle way. The pressure wash phase follows next, effectively getting the dirt out. A protective coat helps seal out further dirt and grime.

How These Steps Help After a Storm

When a recent storm has involved flooding, it is likely that the flood waters contain bacteria. Pre-soak foam products for patio use help kill the bacteria, keeping your patio a healthy, safe place for gatherings. Because this method is gentle on plants, you don’t need to worry about damaging plants that are possibly already stressed from the weather. The protective coat will help avoid further damage.

When your patio or deck has some a lot of wear due to recent storms, a good cleanup is just what you need to get things back in order. You’ll enjoy having your favorite outdoor area looking just like new. Knowing that you will also be able to help prevent further damage is another good reason to consider these cleaning options.

Clean Your Home Like a Pro

If you want your home to be deep-down clean and fresh, but you don’t have the budget to hire a professional service, we have some good news for you. You can get your home clean like a pro, and it won’t take long with the right techniques and equipment.

Take a Top-Down Approach

Gravity ensures that everything will fall eventually, so you want to take a methodical approach when you’re cleaning. Dusting should always begin at the highest point, before you vacuum, and work your way down. The same goes for washing windows. Wet the thoroughly with a mild soapy solution, then either use a small window squeegee to go across the top, then use a downward motion across the surface. If you’re using a cloth, use a circular motion from left to right, top to bottom.

Don’t overlook places like ceiling fans and the tops of doors and shelving. Just because you can see it, doesn’t mean the dust isn’t there.

Use Environmentally Responsible Products

Harsh chemicals don’t; necessarily clean better, and they will affect the quality of your indoor environment. Natural cleaners like baking soda and white vinegar are just as effective, and they’re gentle on your surfaces. They also act as a natural disinfectant. Do not use these products on wood or other porous materials, however. For daily dusting, a plain soft cotton cloth is fine, for cleaning an conditioning, use an oil. You can make a great, natural polish by combining equal parts olive oil and lemon juice, and apply it with a soft cloth.

Invest in Quality Supplies and Equipment

As far as vacuums and other cleaning equipment, this is a place to invest more money for quality, if possible. Cheaper equipment that’s low quality may not do as thorough a job, and it has a much shorter useful life. Brooms should be angled, with split bristles at the end. Natural straw or a man-made fiber are more a matter of taste than function. Sponge mops are absorbent, and provide friction than the old string mops; just make sure that you buy the kind with a detachable head the can be washed and sterilized.

Microfiber dust mops are a great addition to your cleaning supply cabinet. They protect surfaces from scratches during cleaning, they’re absorbent and the last a long time; some reports state that a good-quality microfiber will last through 500 washings. That’s a good ROI on your cleaning investment.

Music at Home

My home matters to me a lot. I spend so much time in it that I want everything in it to be absolutely perfect. For example, when I buy an items such as amp knobs I want them to fit perfectly with the rest of my accessories at home. In order to be able to accomplish this, I need to be able to browse the large selection of similar items on the Internet.

How To Get The Very Best Energy Plan For Your Money

If you are the owner of your own home, you should already be aware of just how difficult it is to manage all of the various expenses that come with being in such a position of heavy responsibility. There are all sorts of bills that need to be paid, from homeowner’s insurance to property fees. The last thing you need to do is add on a whole slew of charges for services that you rarely, if ever, make use of. This is why it’s so important to get the best possible deal for your money when it comes to energy services.

Taking The Needs Of Your Spouse And Family Into Full Consideration

When it comes to making sure that you get the best plan for your home or business, there are a number of considerations that must be kept in mind at all times. For example, it’s a good idea to consider just how much time you actually spend in your home. If you are a bachelor without a wife and children to consider, it may be a good idea for you to spend as little money as possible on energy, since you are rarely at home anyhow.

On the other hand, if you do have the needs of a family to consider, it’s important to get a full and accurate picture of just how much energy is being consumed in your home on a daily basis. For example, you can read the energy meters and gauge their progress on a daily basis, in order to chart the times when energy usage costs the most. Or you could do it the easy way, and make use of the Internet in order to compare and contrast the services of various providers until you come upon the energy plan that works best for your specific needs.

How To Go About Getting The Best Energy Services Plan

When it comes time to find a new energy plan, there is a wealth of information available on the Internet that can help you make all of the necessary comparisons in order to arrive at the deal that best suits your budget. The very best energy provider will be the one that is most honest and straightforward regarding the use and cost of their services. Use your freedom of choice to find the one that you will be best served by.

Why Do Basements Leak?

Anything can go wrong with just about any component of a home, including the basement. In fact, leaky basements tend to be a common problem in households across the country.

Pressure Created by Water in the Surrounding Soil

This is by far the most common reason for basement leakage, and comes in two forms:

Hydrostatic Pressure – Water is present in the ground everywhere, even in dry spots like the Southwest. The level at which this ground water is found is referred to as the “water table.” When heavy rain or snowmelt happens, water is absorbed by soil near the surface.

When the surface soil gets saturated, the water that is not absorbed causes the water table to rise, thereby creating hydrostatic pressure against the home’s foundation that can force water into the basement and create leaks. In these situations, many times a polyurethane injection system can rectify the problem.

Lateral Pressure – The soil that surrounds a home’s foundation between the surface and the footings can absorb water. While certain types of soils (like sand) drain rather quickly and don’t absorb that much water, others (like clay soil) don’t drain as well and usually absorb quite a bit of water.

When the soil expands as a result of this absorption, it creates lateral pressure against the foundation wall, and can damage it and create leaks in the basement.

If you notice any leakage in your basement, be sure to visit to book an appointment to have the problem fixed right away.

What Does Deregulation Mean to You?

Texas Senate Bill 7 was approved in 2002, granting independent power supply companies admission to the state’s energy market. The bill established a committee to oversee the project, and guidelines were established to allow the market to open in phases. Today, many areas of the state are deregulated, and that means consumers now have a choice when it comes to the company supplying their energy. They also have a choice when it comes to the type of energy they want to consume. If you live in a deregulated area or your area may open to competition soon, keep reading to see what this new development means for your budget and your lifestyle.

You Get to Keep Your Energy Distributor

The utility company that has produced and distributed electricity in your area for generations isn’t entirely cut out of the deal when you decide to switch to a competing service like Reliant Texas or Stream Energy. While you will start receiving energy produced by the supplier of your choice, your utility company will still maintain and operate the grid that delivers your energy.
This means that you can switch to an electricity supplier with more affordable rates without changing the reliability of your service. In fact, you shouldn’t notice any difference in the consistency and strength of your power once you make the switch.

Competition Empowers Consumers

When energy companies held monopolies over the market, they had no incentive to offer the most affordable rates possible. They weren’t even driven to maintain their equipment, ensure that their plants operated efficiently, and invest in green technology because consumers had no alternative but to accept their services despite their lack of responsibility to the environment and the customer. Deregulation turns all of that around by bringing in competitors willing and able to supply consumers with higher quality and more affordable energy on demand.
This means that you can now enjoy cleaner energy from better production facilities, and you often get a much lower price when switching to a competitor. You now have more power, and you get to vote with your loyalty to one chosen service provider.

No Limitations
You also aren’t limited to electricity now that Texas providers are investing heavily in green energy. Consider solar and wind power as two alternatives growing in popularity and dropping in price year by year.

Why Fiber Optics Internet Makes Sense In Florida

Although there are a lot of different high-speed internet choices available, the climate and conditions unique to Florida mean that using traditional lines to push high speed internet can result in occasional service interruptions and delays.

So whether you are a consumer or a business it makes sense to look into FIOs or fiber optic service because the installations of fiber throughout Florida are meant to be impervious to local weather conditions. And after all, robust and consistent internet service will definitely save you time and money.

In addition, fiber optic Internet through providers like Clearwater Internet service is capable of reaching speeds that most competing services can not come close to. In some cases, there are guaranteed speeds of over 500 Mbps, which gives customers the luxury of running multiple instances of high-definition video and allowing a large family to all use the internet simultaneously at a very high speed.

Here are some additional benefits of choosing fiber optics in Florida:

Last mile security: If your provider offers Wi-Fi to your home or business, there is always a chance that there will be hackers trying to take over that Wi-Fi connection in order to harvest data. The same thing could be said about some DSL connections, which often feature a recognizable, localized IP address as a gateway. In some affluent communities, hackers have learned to recognize which addresses serve which communities and have targeted the areas with the most income with brute force password attacks. With fiber optics, the technology is such that it is very difficult to intercept your data while it is in transit. Moreover, it is almost impossible for would-be hackers to break into the lines upstream from your location to siphon off data.

Multiple services: Because your connection can carry a lot of data at high speeds, it is possible for providers to offer you phone services and television services over the same connection, making it very convenient and cost-effective for you to choose to use fiber optic high-speed Internet as part of a bundle. Most bundles heavily discount one or more services when you sign up.

Multiple devices: When you sign up for fiber optic Internet service, you also typically can use either your tablet or your smartphone to access your high speed connection. In some cases, if you add television service, you can also log into your television account remotely and stream movies and television from anywhere in the world.

Making Use Of Wear Technology Increases Work Place Efficiency And Safety

If you have ever worked in a heavy industrial area, such as a full scale mining operation, you will, no doubt, be aware that a great deal of preparation and planning needs to take place before such an area can go “live”. That is to say, there a thousand different things that can go wrong in such a volatile area, many of them simultaneously. As a result, a great expenditure of time, effort, and money must take place before the operation can even commence, so that it can be done as safely and efficiently as possible.

Using Wear Technology Is An Excellent Way To Increase Efficiency

Making use of modern wear technology is the very best way to increase the overall cost effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of heavy industrial equipment. If your company is engaged in an intensive operation, such as fracking or mining, you will need to make use of the very latest in wear technology. Armed with major performance enhancing features such as steel fabrication, this is the industrial application that is destined to reshape the face of heavy duty industrial equipment usage and maintenance in the 21st century.

Maximize Your Work Place Safety And Minimize Your Insurance Premiums

Adopting wear technology to the needs of your industrial work place is an excellent way to maximize the safety of your environment while simultaneously lowering your insurance premiums. The reason for this very welcome development is a simple one. When a company makes use of an excellent new innovation that not only maximizes the projected life span of a piece of industrial equipment, but also increases the safety of the workers who make use of it, this means that the company will need less assistance from their insurance company in order to compensate its employees for work place injuries and fatalities.

It’s Time To Get On Board With The Future Phase Of Industrial Efficiency

If you are a business owner who prides yourself on your entrepreneurial acumen and profit making expertise, now is the time to get on board with the emerging phase of industrial efficiency. Wear technology is the vehicle which will propel industrial operations to a whole new level of efficiency, safety, and profitability. If you value your company as a vital and relevant member of the business community, now is the time to adopt wear technology.

The End of Summer

I like the end of every summer for one simple reason: there are many sales around including Labor Day Sales 2015. Of course, since the summer is about to end this will mean no more sunny days on the beach or in the spa etc. but I am not worried about it because every season has something interesting to offer to me. For example, fall and winter are a great opportunity to learn new things or to master the existing ones such as playing my guitar. It’s been a while since I last played my guitar and I have to admit that I missed it a bit, maybe even more than a bit. Now, when I can look at some end of summer sales, I might be able to get something really high quality at an affordable price because I know that when you are a performer the quality of your music instruments you play matters a lot.

Must-Have Qualities for an Effective Call Center Staff

Anyone who owns a business knows the importance of maintaining a high-level of customer service. Excellent customer service provided on a consistent basis can earn a business a reputation for being customer-friendly. Not surprisingly, this can result in more sales. One way that a business owner can provide first-rate customer service is by having a team of professionals manning the call center. So, when orders arrive or customers have questions about orders, these matters can be handled with prompt efficiency. Discover some fundamental qualities of an effective call center staff.

A Professional Manner

Staff members in a call center are representatives of a person’s business. This means they must be courteous and polite with callers at all times. When a customer calls with an issue such as a delayed shipment or a return, call center staff members should be happy to help. It’s the responsibility of a call center staff to leave each caller with a positive impression of the business.

Fast, Efficient Service

Every member of a call center staff must be knowledgeable about the company they represent. This enables them to offer helpful answers to questions. In addition, knowledgeable call center staff members know how to resolve any issues that arise regarding an order. Customers appreciate call center staff members who listen carefully and respond with satisfactory solutions. In fact, even if a customer has an issue with a product or a shipment, he or she is more likely to do business with a company again based on an impressive level service. Most customers like to feel that a business has respect for their time as well as their money.


Staff members working in a call center on behalf of a business should be accessible in the evenings and on the weekends. There are many people who work non-traditional hours making it difficult for them to contact a call center during regular business hours. These customers and others find it helpful to be able to get their issues addressed right away instead of having to wait for the next business day. A business owner who wants a call center staff that works on the evenings and weekends may want to try a resource such as call center plus services.

Expressing Gratitude for a Customer’s Business

One of the most important qualities of an effective call center staff member is the ability to express genuine gratitude to customers. Thanking a caller for his or her business should play a part in every call that arrives at the call center. Whether the caller has been doing business with the company for a dozen years or is a first time customer, a representative must let the person know that he or she is appreciated.

Finally, an effective call center staff recognizes that every call should be handled with the same diligent service. Every caller must be treated like a longtime, valued customer.