Green Living Tips for Reformed Polluters

What To Know About Having An Asbestos Inspection Of Your Older Home

Posted by on 9:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What To Know About Having An Asbestos Inspection Of Your Older Home

If you live in an older home, you may be concerned that it has asbestos in it somewhere. Asbestos is rarely used today, but at one time it was used in floor tiles, siding, roofing, and insulation. While asbestos-containing materials are labeled today, older materials were not labeled, so they are not easy to identify. In fact, you can’t tell by looking if a material contains asbestos. The only way you’ll know is if you have it inspected by a professional. Here are a few things to know about having an asbestos inspection. Determine If An Inspection Is Necessary As long as the material with asbestos in it is in good shape and you don’t intend to disturb it, you probably won’t have anything to worry about. Asbestos is only dangerous if you cut or sand it because that is what releases the fibers into the air where you can breathe them into your lungs. If you intend to rip up old flooring or remodel your home, you should probably assume the material has asbestos and not disturb it until it has been tested. However, if you just want to cover a floor you suspect has asbestos with new flooring, and you won’t damage the old floor, you may not need an asbestos inspection. However, if the flooring is damaged or if an old ceiling, siding, or pipe insulation is flaking or crumbling, then you should get an inspection to determine if the material poses a danger. Once asbestos-containing material is damaged, fibers can be released when you brush against it, walk on it, or even when air from your furnace or AC blows over it. How An Inspection Is Done You’ll want to let a qualified professional, like those at Hutzel & Associates, Inc, take samples from your home for testing. While you could cut out the pieces yourself, you’ll be exposing yourself to unnecessary risk if you do. Plus, a professional knows where to look for asbestos-containing material, so none will be overlooked. The contractor uses safety precautions too, so your home isn’t contaminated during the process. This usually involves shutting down the HVAC airflow in your home and lining the area with plastic sheets. To keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne, the contractor will probably spray the area to be tested with water before cutting on it. A tiny sample of the material is cut out and placed in a sealed container so it can be sent to a lab. The cut area is then sealed with tape or adhesive to keep loose fibers from escaping. Once you get the results back from your asbestos inspection, you’ll be able to determine how to proceed with your renovations. It is usually much easier and less expensive to just cover the asbestos if possible, but if necessary, it can be removed. However, asbestos removal isn’t a DIY project. Just like you need a professional to test for asbestos, you also need a professional to remove old asbestos to keep from spreading the fibers throughout your...

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Why You Need Compliance Training

Posted by on 9:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why You Need Compliance Training

If you run a business, then you could likely benefit from compliance training. Regardless of what industry your business is in, compliance training from a company like Environmental Hazmat Services Inc can create a better, safer workplace and can protect your business in the long run. So what is compliance training? This refers to the education of employees regarding how they should perform their jobs with respect to laws and regulations. An effective compliance training program will help your employees understand how to follow government laws that apply to them and how to abide by company policy. In the end, this should increase workplace safety (by increasing awareness of safety laws), enhance productivity (by following company protocol), and reduce liability for the company (if the employees have been properly informed, and do something wrong anyway, the company is not to blame). How does compliance training increase safety? In many cases, the reasoning behind safety regulations can be a little hard to understand at first glance. By carefully explaining why certain safety regulations exist and how they directly improve safety and reduce accidents, compliance training courses can give your employees a better idea of why they have to abide by certain regulations that may seem excessive or silly. If your employees understand why these laws exist to protect them, then they are more likely to follow such rules. In turn, this will decrease the number of accidents at your workplace, which will benefit both the employees (because who wants to get hurt?) and you (less injuries means less lawsuits and less workers’ comp). How does compliance training enhance productivity? If your employees understand why they have to do certain tasks and how their role fits into the big picture, then they might be more motivated to work. No one wants to toil away for some nebulous concept of progress, so it’s important to give your employees a clear picture of what they are doing. Explaining company vision and policies through compliance training can go a long way towards creating that sense of unity and togetherness within your company. How does compliance training reduce liability? If employees have received proper compliance training and violate company policies, then any lawsuit afterwards will likely fail. Compliance training creates a situation where the employees have been properly educated and you thus cannot be held responsible for their failure to adhere to the training, Additionally, compliance training increases efficiency and reduces mistakes in the products and services that you provide. This ultimately translates to fewer unhappy customers, fewer complaints, fewer refunds, and fewer potential...

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Three Common Sod Application Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

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Sod is a great way to apply a new lawn quickly, but if you want that lawn to root and thrive for the long haul, you need to be proactive about caring for it. In most situations, sod is a successful investment, but poor decisions about sod type and care can be devastating. Here’s a look at a couple of the common reasons why new sod applications fail and what you can do to avoid them. Choosing the Wrong Sod Before you choose a type of sod, talk with the supplier about the conditions of your yard. The amount of direct sunlight and shade that your yard receives are significant factors in getting the right type of sod for your needs. After all, a shade-loving grass isn’t going to thrive in an area where the property is getting direct sunlight all day long. The condition of your soil is another key consideration when you’re selecting a sod type. Your supplier will tell you if your soil needs any special additives to help your sod root and grow. Some sod types will need soil that drains well, while other sod may need a soil that has a bit more clay to help retain water at the roots. Preparing the Soil Incorrectly If the soil your sod is rooting in isn’t prepared correctly, it’s not going to thrive. Before you invest in sod, have the soil in your yard tested so that you know exactly what’s in it. Soil labs can break down all of the components of the soil so that you know if you need to amend it for your sod to grow. You’ll have to add a starter fertilizer to the soil, too. Plan to have your yard tilled and leveled, then work in the fertilizer and any other soil amendments you’ll need. Remember that new sod has a very short root bed, so the soil needs to be ready in order for those roots to be able to grow. Applying the Sod Improperly In order for the shallow roots of sod to work their way into the soil, those roots need to make full contact with the soil beneath them. If the sod isn’t directly contacting that soil, the roots may not be able to reach it. Once the sod is applied to your yard, apply gentle pressure to the surface of the sod so that it’s securely in place. Buying sod is a great option for producing a consistent, full lawn. With the tips here, you’ll be able to have that lawn and avoid many of the common mistakes that many new sod owners make. Contact a service like B & B Hoffman Sod Farms to place your order or to ask any other questions you might...

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Mouse Patrol | How to remove mice from your house

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If you have a mouse in your house, you need to get rid of it before you have a house full of mice. The last thing you want to do is use poison. Poison is dangerous to have around your home if you have kids or pets. Plus, if the mouse eats it and dies in a hidden place, you’ll have to put up with a terrible smell for several days. If you have several mice die at the same time, the smell will be overwhelming. That’s why it’s much better to trap the mice and remove them from your home, dead or alive. Here’s how you do it: Snapping Mouse Traps Snap traps have been used for many years, and are fairly effective at catching mice. Bait the trap with something appealing, such as peanut butter, and wait for a mouse to get caught. The big drawback to using a snap trap is when the mouse isn’t killed right away. The trap may catch a tail or leg and not kill the mouse. It’s not only cruel to the mouse, it means you have to pick up the trap with a wiggling mouse in it. If the trap does kill the mouse, you have to pry open the trap and release the dead mouse. While snap traps might work, they probably aren’t for you if you’re squeamish or an animal lover. More humane options exist. Electric Tunnel Traps Electric traps are small tunnels with an electrified plate inside. The mouse has to walk over the plate to get to food. When the mouse steps on the plate, it is instantly electrified and quickly killed. To remove the body, all you need to do is turn the trap on its end and let the mouse slide out into the trash. To be successful with an electric trap or a snap trap, you have to place it along a wall in the direction a mouse would travel. By being parallel with the wall, the mouse is more likely to step on the trap than if the trap is perpendicular to the wall. Catch And Release Traps If you don’t want mice in your house, but you don’t want to kill them either, then the best solution is to use live traps. Once the mice are trapped inside, you can release them out in a field or in the woods. If you let the mice out too close to your home, they may come back. Therefore, when you’re trying to get rid of mice, you want to block all entry holes so they stop getting inside your house. Professional Rodent Control If you can’t stand the thought of setting a trap or even looking at a mouse, then call in an exterminator that offers rodent control. The exterminator will decide on the appropriate places to set the traps. The company might offer other services too, such as checking and emptying the traps, sealing access holes, and cleaning up nests and droppings. Mice are destructive creatures that chew your wiring, papers, and wood in your home. They also carry diseases and make your home smell musky from their urine, droppings, and body odor. You don’t want to wait to tackle a mouse problem. If you see one mouse, there are probably more...

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A Dumpster Rental Can Speed Up Your Renovation

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If you plan to renovate your house, one way to make the process a little smoother is to rent a dumpster. The following are two reasons why dumpsters can save you headaches: Tear Down All home renovation projects involving tearing something down. If you are remodeling your bathroom, that may involve removing the flooring as well as your shower and bathtub. If you are remodeling your kitchen, that could involve pulling out your old cabinets, knocking down walls and removing old countertops. No matter what room of your house you are remodeling, you are going to have lots of old building materials to deal with.  All of that old material has to go somewhere. You could put it in the back of your pickup truck, if you have one, and make multiple trips to the dump to dispose of it. However, that requires a considerable amount of time away from your project.  The best way to get rid of old appliances, flooring, and so on is to rent a dumpster. For a fee, your garbage company can deliver a dumpster to your driveway for you to use for a specific period of time. Once the dumpster is in place, all you have to do is fill it up with old materials from your home, then call your garbage company and let them know you need it emptied out. Building & Cleanup If this is your first home renovation project, you may be surprised by how much garbage a project like this can create. Every cabinet, tile, and fixture you purchase will come with more wrapping than it needs, and it will easily generate more trash than you can fit into your garbage can each week. Having a dumpster outside will make the building process be smoother. It will allow you to keep your workplace clean, and When it’s time to finish your project, you’ll hardly have any cleanup work to do.  Once your project is over, you can call up your garbage company and have them remove the dumpster you rented. Although you’ll have to pay a little to rent the dumpster, but it will save you hours of making runs to your local landfill to get rid of all the trash and debris that your remodel generates. You can spend that time focusing on your remodel instead of stressing about what you are going to do with all that trash. To rent a dumpster for your project, consider contacting Tri-State...

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Protect Your Investment And Guarantee Reliable Shipping – Tips For Maintaining Lead Shipping Containers

Posted by on 10:59 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Your Investment And Guarantee Reliable Shipping – Tips For Maintaining Lead Shipping Containers

For many companies, the necessity of shipping products and keeping those products fully shielded and protected makes purchasing lead shipping containers a valuable investment. Unfortunately, some firms stop at that decision, and don’t realize that owning their own shipping containers involves much more responsibility. If you want to make sure your company doesn’t make that mistake, consistent maintenance is a smart step to take. Below, you’ll find a guide to some suggestions for maintaining your lead shipping containers. Following these steps will make sure that your investment maintains its value, and will also help guarantee that your products are shipped as safely and securely as possible. Level Storage Shipping containers may not be in constant use, and when they’re being stored, it’s important that they’re on a stable surface. Containers that are placed on unstable or uneven ground may be at risk of settling, making them difficult to lift when the time comes to use them. The settling may also affect the structural strength and integrity of the welded seams of your container. It may be necessary to pour a level concrete pad in order to guarantee that your containers are stored on a level surface. Pouring such a pad and securing it with fencing will make sure that your containers don’t suffer structural damage and are protected from potential vandalism. Hinge Maintenance The weakest point of your container will always be the hinges of the doors, as they’re one of very few moving parts and contain the least amount of material for stability. Many people purchase lead containers for the shielding they provide, so making sure your hinges stay fully coated is an important step in guaranteeing that protection. You should also regularly oil your door hinges to make sure that the doors to your container function smoothly. This will prevent delays in loading and unloading, and will also help guarantee that structural damage doesn’t cause hinges to fail. Lock Maintenance The worst nightmare of a company is to find shipping containers which have arrived empty due to theft or accidents during transit. Your container’s locking rods are your last line of defense in securing your products, making them extremely important in guaranteeing your shipments. The locking rods should be regularly lubricated in order to guarantee that they fully engage, and you should also inspect them for potential rust damage that could threaten the structural integrity of the...

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4 Tips To Reduce Springtime Allergens In The Office

Posted by on 10:17 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Although you and your employees might be enjoying the warmer spring weather, you might all be suffering from springtime allergies. Although it is certainly to be expected to deal with allergies when there is so much pollen floating around, there are ways that you can cut down on allergens in your office. Follow these tips to help keep everyone feeling their best this time of the year. 1. Keep Sidewalks and Parking Areas Clear of Pollen It’s natural for pollen to accumulate on the sidewalks and parking areas of your place of business. Keep plant debris swept or blown away, and spray down any yellow areas with a water hose to get rid of pollen. This will help prevent employees from bringing it in on their shoes. 2. Move Your Rugs Outdoors Consider moving rugs outdoors, near your entrances. Then, people can wipe their feet off before they enter the building rather than tracking pollen and other allergens in on the floor. If this is not an option, have your rugs cleaned regularly to get rid of any allergens that might be stuck to them. 3. Maintain Your Heating and Air Conditioning System Make sure your heating and air conditioning system is in proper condition, and change your air filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Along with helping to condition the air and filter it of pollen and other allergens, this will also help ensure that your office stays cool and comfortable during the springtime months. 4. Dust and Vacuum More Frequently During the spring, it’s important to dust and vacuum your office more frequently. No matter how hard they might try not to, employees will still bring pollen and allergens in on their clothes and hair. If you are looking to make this task easier, hire a janitorial cleaning service, like Springs Cleaning, to come out and dust and vacuum your office a couple of times a week. This can help take some of the pressure off of you and your employees, will help get rid of allergens and will help your office look its best, both during the spring and all year long, if you opt to continue using these services. As you can see, there are a few steps that you can take to help keep springtime allergens out of the office. This can help you and your employees feel a lot healthier while you’re enjoying the otherwise pleasant, warmer...

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It Ain’t Easy Being Green – Or Is It?

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If you’re someone who wants to start going green, you may already be doing that if you’re recycling at home. Recycling your cans, bottles and other items you have around the home is a great way to help the environment. But if you feel that recycling is not enough, there are a few other things you can do right now in order to start living a greener, and more sustainable, lifestyle.  Ditch the Plastic Grocery Bags Go cold turkey on this one, but one of the easiest ways to “go green” is to stop using the disposable plastic bags at your local grocery store.Start bringing your own reusable plastic bags or cloth bags. Just about every grocery store and many other retail establishments have these types of bags on-hand to purchase. If you want to save some money, use bags and satchels you already have around the home. Keep these bags in your car so you’re less likely to forget them as you head out to grocery shop. Buy Local (Or Grown Your Own) Home agriculture is very popular, and it is a great way to not only go green, but stay healthy as well. Supplementing your groceries with home grown fruits and vegetables means there are no chemicals polluting the air or getting inside your family’s bodies. It also means fresh food that is inexpensive and has more flavor. If you don’t have a garden, you can do the next best thing and buy local. This is a great way to stimulate your local economy and support the farmers in your area.  Compost It Composting is as sustainable as it gets. Recycling glass and plastic is a great way to start reducing your household’s garbage output, but placing plant clippings, paper towels, yard waste and kitchen scraps into a compost pile is the cherry on top of your recycling sundae.  And contrary to popular belief, compost piles don’t smell, and you’ll have a rich, organic fertilizer for your garden. Collect Your Own Green While you’re busy trying to go green, you may be interested to know that you may be able to earn some quick green of your own for your efforts. Many recycling centers nationwide will pay you for items that can be recycled. You already know about recycling centers for cans and bottles, but there are some centers that will pay you for old electronic items as well as paper products as well. Check with your local municipality or yellow page directory for information on recycling centers near you that help you go green by giving you some...

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4 Things You Can Do With Timber From Tree Removal

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If you have to have a tree removed on your property, the wood that comes from this timber can be a valuable resource. The tree service may charge you to haul the material away, but if they do not want it, you can save money by using the timber for your own projects around your home. It can be milled into lumber and used for woodworking projects, or you can use it for things like landscaping and garden borders. Here are four things that you can do with the timber you have from tree removal: 1. Using The Timber For Firewood And Fuel Material If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, using the timber for firewood is a great option if the wood is hardwood. For trees like pines, you may not want to use it as firewood because burning pine trees can cause a buildup of soot in your chimney. The firewood can also be sold if you do not need all the firewood that you have. If you cut the tree into firewood, you will want to split it and stack it, and then let it dry for seasoned firewood the next year. 2. Milling Your Own Lumber For Woodworking Projects Another good project to do with your own timber is to mill your own lumber. This can be great for woodworking projects and small projects around your home that you need wood for. You may not want to invest in a portable sawmill, but you can get things like Alaskan chainsaw mills, which are affordable chainsaw attachments that you can use to roughly mill lumber for your own use. If you use a chainsaw mill, you will probably need to finish milling the lumber with other equipment like table saws once you have the rough boards cut. 3. Creating Garden Borders With The Timber The timber can also be used for things on the exterior of your home, such as borders for gardens. If the trunks are small, you can use them for a timber garden border. Larger trunks you may want to cut in half or into quarters with a chainsaw to make them easier to manage and a little smaller to use for borders around your garden. This timber will rot, so you may want to paint it with a sealant, or spray it with a coat of used motor oil to give it a little more protection from the elements. 4. Using Large Timber For Retaining Walls And Landscaping Structures Large timber can also be used in your landscape design. If you want to have a retaining wall added to help improve drainage, or give you more useable space in your yard, these timbers can be used for small retaining walls, stairs and other landscaping design features. Just like with using the timber for garden beds, you will want to treat the wood to protect it from the elements. These are some things that you can do with timber you have left after having a tree cut down. If you have a tree that is a problem for your home, contact a tree removal service like Stritar Tree Service to have it removed, and consider using the timber for your own needs. This may even save you a little money on removal...

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Commercial Parking Lot Clean Up Business Start Up Tips

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Many businesses have their own private parking lots that are not cleaned or maintained by the city or their localities. This can make cleaning a parking lot on their own a hassle, and usually causes the outside of the business to look dirty, dreary, and dilapidated. If you’re interested in starting your own parking lot clean up business, it is a lucrative venture that can be fulfilling and profitable.  Job Tasks If you decide to start your own parking lot cleaning business, there are several things your clients will expect of you. Of course, trash in and around the lot will need to be removed and disposed of. You’ll want to invest in a good blower that can make removing small debris much easier and faster. Oil and grease is often left behind by parked vehicles and can make a parking lot look unsightly. The client will expect these stains to be cleaned and the parking lot paint lines to be cleaned as well so they’re easier to see. Industrial steam cleaners made especially for this task can be purchased, and you’ll want to remove these stains as part of the cleaning routine. Tools In order to be an effective business, you need the right tools. For those involved in cleaning parking lots, you will need a good truck (preferably a pick up), a heavy duty high-powered blower, shovels, large bags designed to carry out trash and debris, safety equipment like gloves and dust masks, and a machine designed to help steam clean the concrete and paint lines. Ear plugs and goggles are also needed to protect your hearing and your eyes from flying debris or dust. The scope and scale of the tools you purchase will depend on the number of clients you have, the size and demand of the parking lot, and the number of staff you hire. The Business Aspect Before you can start garnering clients, you will need to make sure you’re following the protocols to start a successful business. Secure the correct business license for your parking lot cleaning company. Ask your local city what is required, and make sure you have the right license first. Find out what kind of insurance you will need to protect you, your employees, and your business from any liability issues that may arise. Develop a quality company name and logo, and order signage for your vehicles, uniforms, and business cards. Decide on a pricing scale and include that pricing in all of your advertising. Be sure to make it clear that pricing can vary depending on the size of the parking lot, the specific cleaning needs your customers request, as well as the frequency they would like to have their parking lots cleaned. Check out places like Supervac Of Lincoln for more...

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