Dermatologist Skin Care Products

HOW TO BECOME A DERMATOLOGIST

Required Education

Prospective dermatologists must first obtain a bachelor’s degree, taking courses in English, math, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, and biology. Then they must complete medical school, where they’ll spend the first two years studying human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pathology, and medical ethics, among other subjects.

During the last two years, they’ll work with hospital patients under the supervision of staff doctors. Graduation from medical school is followed by a one-year year internship, three years of on-the-job training as a medical resident, a state-licensing exam, as well as a certification by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD) for those who qualify.

Skills Required

Dermatologists must be emotionally stable, motivated to serve others, able to work long hours, and willing to engage in lifelong learning. Compassion for patients and good communication, organization, and problem-solving skills are key. Dermatologists should also be detail oriented, manually dexterous, and patient when dealing with individuals or young children who are anxious about treatments.

PLAN ACCORDINGLY: IT TAKES OVER A DECADE TO BECOME A DERM.

Like any medical professional, becoming a dermatologist requires *years* of schooling. Aside from earning your bachelor’s degree, you must attend an additional four years of medical school. After passing several major exams, you then apply to a residency, which takes another four years to complete. Some people choose to focus on sub-specialties within the field, such as cosmetic or surgical dermatology, and in that case, it takes another year or two to complete a fellowship. All in all, expect a bare minimum of 12 years of schooling before becoming a certified dermatologist.

REWARDS OF BEING A DERMATOLOGIST

Dermatologists treat skin, hair and nail disorders, and some beautify a person’s appearance. Enter the field of dermatology and you’ll reap the rewards, from a bank account that can see a huge deposit of money each payday to a work week that doesn’t see you chained to the desk for hours on end. But those benefits aren’t easy to come by — dermatology is a highly competitive field to get into.

High Salary

If you enjoy the sight of Benjamin Franklin’s face on money, you’ll love being a dermatologist. Physicians in general earn boatloads of money, but dermatologists really rake in the greenbacks, to the tune of an average of $283,000 in 2011, according to Medscape’s 2012 Physician Compensation Report compiled from survey results. That number hides an important statistic: women dermatologists earned significantly less than men. Women earned an average annual salary of $252,000, while men pulled in 24 percent more at $313,000. The average annual salary for all physicians in 2012 was $184,820, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reasonable Work Week

Putting in long hours at work often translates to more stress. That’s not as much of a concern for a dermatologist. According to Medscape’s 2012 Physician Compensation Report, 52 percent of dermatologists reported spending between 30 and 40 hours per week in direct patient care. Only 30 percent of all physicians surveyed said they worked similar hours — most worked more. Working fewer hours each week than you would in another specialty gives you plenty of free time to spend with your family, your dog, yourself or with hundreds of other people at the mall, spending a chunk of that massive paycheck.

Perform Surgeries and Variety of Patients

Many physicians don’t have the option of treating their patients’ conditions non-surgically and surgically. It’s usually one or the other. Think of your family doctor: if you need your wrist operated on, a kidney stone taken out or anything that requires a surgical approach, he’s not going to be the one who does it. Dermatologists are trained in surgical and non-surgical procedures, injecting some variety into their career and making their work week a little less routine. Speaking of variety, become a dermatologist and you’ll treat patients from all walks of life, from little rascals who have a bad case of acne to adults who want their wrinkly skin to be a thing of the past.

High Demand

In most communities, dermatologists are some seriously sought-after docs. Skin conditions are prevalent in most age groups. Teens often go through bouts of acne, older men and women aren’t awfully excited about losing their hair, people want treatment for their varicose veins, and skin cancer, thanks largely to tanning beds, is rearing its ugly head more and more. Beyond medical conditions that need to be treated, cosmetic fixer-uppers are also often requested, especially when the economy is trucking along and people have more disposable income.

PROS AND CONS OF CHOOSING DERMATOLOGY

This article is for you if you’re in the throes of med school. You’re probably in survival mode, subsisting on caffeine and adrenaline – but you are probably also giving some thought, when you can, to what comes next. Where do you want your professional career to take you? Perhaps – dermatology?

Of course, as a specialty, the years of schooling – and associated cost – are something to consider thoroughly before taking on dermatology as your chosen path. Many agree that dermatology is a specialty that requires some of the highest performances, academically, to enter.

But the eventual salaries can make up for that, with averages among the highest in any specialty, and growing. It’s possible that future compensation could fall, as managed care continues to evolve and affect the practice of medicine. But, for now, dermatologists ranked among the highest on job satisfaction overall.

Job growth is projected to be very promising, as it’s a small community. While dermatology saw a rise in burnout rates over the last few years, the rate is comparatively very low, according to a recent study. There can be lower feelings of stress, possibly because the profession is so well compensated and because most cases are not time-critical (unlike, for instance, those of an emergency medicine specialist).

However, some say that dermatology can have little respect in the overall physician community. This may be because some see dermatology as one of the “lighter” specialties, with a focus on wrinkles and other lifestyle, rather than foundational, health concerns.

DERMATOLOGISTS – PREPARATION

To work as a dermatologist, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • complete a bachelor’s degree;
  • graduate from medical school;
  • complete an internship;
  • pass a state licensing exam;
  • complete a residency program in dermatology; and
  • pass additional exams to become board certified.

EDUCATION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

To become a dermatologist, you must complete medical school. Medical schools grant a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. You spend the first two years of medical school in classrooms and labs. You study anatomy, biochemistry, and medicines. You also learn how to take a medical history, examine patients, and make a diagnosis. During the next two years, you work in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of physicians.

You need a bachelor’s degree to get into medical school. While you do not need to be a pre-medicine or science major, these programs are good preparation. If you earn a liberal arts degree, be sure to take courses in physics, biology, and chemistry.

WORK EXPERIENCE

It takes 12 to 14 years to become a dermatologist. It’s a good idea to decide early if dermatology is the right specialty for you. Volunteer to work in a dermatology office while still in college. Take a paid position as a medical assistant in a dermatology practice. Talk to people in this field and find out what they like about it and what skills and qualities are necessary. A helpful dermatologist may allow you to shadow them for a day or a couple of weeks. This will help you determine if this specialty is right for you.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

While in medical school, you spend two years working as an intern in a hospital or clinic. As an intern, you rotate through internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics, oncology, and other hospital departments.

After medical school, you complete a residency program in dermatology. Residency lasts up to five years. After your residency, you take additional exams to become board certified.

Flat Roof Repair Advice

Tips for How to Choose the Right Roofing Contractor

Getting a roof repaired or replaced is a large investment, so it’s important that you get the job done by the right roofing contractor. It takes careful consideration and research to choose a good roofing company

Read Local Reviews

A good place to start is to read customer reviews of local roofing contractors. A couple of good review sites to check include Yelp and Google My Business. Once you find a few roofing contractors with good reviews, you can move on to the next steps

Check their BBB Rating

A good business will always be registered with the Better Business Bureau. Check for a high BBB rating and whether or not the company’s been registered with the BBB for a long time.

Look for Association Memberships

All roofing organizations require that contractors meet strict standards in order for them to retain membership within the organization. If the contractor belongs to one or more roofing association, you can be sure that they’re dedicated to meeting high standards for their work

Ask for References

Roofing contractors should be able to provide you with references. Ask them for 3-5 references and make sure that they check out

Tips For Choosing The Right Roofer For The Job

When you purchase a home you are making one of the most important decisions in your life. You’re also making one of the most important investments in your life. Choosing the right home is just as important as choosing the right roofer to fix your home when problems arise

If you live in the Northeast then you better be prepared to encounter some problems over the years. The tri-state area has no shortage of rough weather that puts serious wear and tear on homes. If you live in areas such as New Jersey, you’ll want to find the right roofer

Experience

Look for a roofer with years of experience and credibility. Be sure that whoever you decide to work with knows the industry and has worked on credible projects you can verify

References & Reviews

When you finally find a roofing company you feel comfortable with, ask for some references and do some homework. God roofers will have tons of reviews and a portfolio of the past jobs. Or you can read online reviews or and you’ll have a better chance of choosing someone who is the right fit for the job

Free Estimates & Warranty

Be sure that the contractor you decide to work with provides work that is warranted. A credible contractor is confident in his work and a warranty will establish that. The best warranty is a manufacturer warranty and it is always best to have the roofer explain it so both parties know what is covered.

Steps to Hiring the Right Roofer

Whereas other home upgrades are purely elective, roof repairs aren’t a choice; they’re essential. Besides being critically important to personal comfort, structural integrity, and the resale value of your home, roofing ranks among the largest and most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake. The significant costs involved motivate some ambitious do-it-yourselfers to do the work on their own. But for the majority of us, a roofing job means hiring a professional. So if you’re at an early stage of the process, take control by finding a qualified contractor with a solid reputation. Hire well, and you can expect the roofer not only to get the job done on time and on budget, but also to offer valuable insight on the best materials for your house style and the climate where you live. So rather than flip open the yellow pages and settle on the first company listed

Get a referral

One tried-and-true method of finding a reliable contractor is to query your friends and neighbors. Within the past few years, has anyone in your life had work done on his roof? Make a list of names, reach out to each person, and ask two questions: Was he happy with the job done and would he work with that contractor again? Testimonials provide the most accurate picture of what your experience might be with a given company, and you can count on personal contacts to give you honest feedback. Outside of your circle, you can also get leads from lumber yards and hardware stores.

Do your research

If you’ve identified at least three qualified roofers, you can get started investigating each one. Start by verifying the businesses’ contact information. Next, confirm that each one is licensed and insured. Consult your chamber of commerce and the Better Business Bureau to be certain there are no red flags to be aware of

Meet face-to-face them

Having narrowed the field, invite the prospective contractors to visit your home and scope out the job. You’ll want to discuss roofing materials and the extent of work to be done, but don’t forget to ask about the time and manpower needed for completion. Observe the contractor: He should be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and professional in demeanor. Certainly, you’re dealing with an authority on materials and methods, but don’t be deterred from participating in the decision-making process! Ask a lot of questions and before he leaves, remember to get a list of references (then remember to check them).

Get it in writing

Work shouldn’t begin until you have a signed contract detailing every aspect of the job. Make certain it covers safety procedures and liability, including workers’ compensation. The contract should also specify such things as clean-up methods, payment amounts, and the schedule. Consider requesting a lien waiver to protect against claims that could arise if the roofer fails to pay a vendor for materials.

Tips For Choosing A Roofing Contractor

When it comes time to repair your roof, choosing the right roofing company can be a big challenge. How do you make sure you choose a Calgary roofing contractor who actually knows what they’re doing? What should you look for in a good roofing company? And how can you tell if your new roof was installed incorrectly?

Choosing A Roofing Contractor In Calgary:

Getting A New Roof Shouldn’t Leave You Soaked! It certainly can seem like there are more roofing contractors than you can shake a hammer at in this beautiful city. And they’re all trying to get your business.

Professional Advice On How To Choose A Great Roofer:

Here at Advanced Level Roofing, we’ve seen far too many Calgarians victimized by these shady “roofing contractors” and the sub-standard roofs that they’ve installed.

Get referrals from satisfied customers (and watch for warnings from dissatisfied customers!)

Online reviews are a good place, but word-of-mouth reviews are worth their weight in gold. Ask your family, friends, and coworkers if they know of a roofing contractor they’d recommend and then do a quick follow-up investigation. Definitely check their reviews online, but also be sure to ask them some questions to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs

Are they properly licensed and insured?

A reputable roofing company will have insurance coverage for all its employees and subcontractors. They will also be able to show you a copy of their insurance certificate upon request, so don’t be afraid to ask to see it! If a roofing company doesn’t have insurance, or if they say they do but can’t back it up with proof, then walk away and don’t look back!

How to Choose a Roofing Company

As a Raleigh area homeowner, having your roof replaced is one of the most important and most expensive home improvement projects you’ll encounter. Your roof is the first line of defense for your home against the elements, so it’s essential to hire a trusted, reputable roofing company. As you may know from experience, a quick search online can be quite overwhelming. It is key to look for a few important criteria when it’s time to choose a qualified roofing company.

At Triangle’s Trusted Roofing, we specialize in residential roofing. Roofing is all that we do. We pride ourselves on quality and we provide top notch service. Whether you need a roof repair or a full roof replacement, we are happy to answer your questions about the process, the materials we use, and past jobs we’ve completed. From our vast experience of over 20 years in the industry, we want to share some tips to help you choose the ideal roofing company for your next roofing project

Insurance. Your roofing company needs to have workers’ compensation and liability insurance. These coverages will protect you, the homeowner, if an accident happens at your house. For example, if a worker gets injured on the job while on your property, by having valid worker’s compensation coverage, you will not be held responsible for expenses related to the injury. Liability insurance protects you from accidents that may happen while your roof is being worked on. We recommend you ask to see the insurance certificates and possibly even call the insurance company to verify the policies are active and valid.

Local. Choose a local company – this means they operate locally and have an established reputation in the community. Many roofing projects come with a workmanship warranty, ranging from 1 year to 10 years or more. This warranty is only as good as the likelihood that the company will still be in your area when you discover a problem and give them a call to assess the issue. Also, a roofing company who is local will be familiar with the weather conditions and climate of your specific area. By knowing local environmental factors, the roofer will be able to provide the best solution for your roofing needs.

Communication. Make sure your calls, texts and emails are being returned and that documentation is provided as promised. If the company can’t follow through on their communication, they may not be able to follow through on the agreed upon scope of work. Communication is key.

Attractive Interior Painting Can Give Surfaces A More Distinguished Look Than The Usual Painting

Tips for Choosing Interior Paint Colors

The easiest way to choose the best interior paint colors is to start with the colors you love. When you start with the colors you love, you are not bound by the traditional color schemes for a particular decorating style. Using your favorite color as your base color, you can use it to create a color scheme around it. Your favorite colors can be the perfect inspiration for your new color palette for the whole room.

Find Paint Color Inspiration

Magazines and catalogs have always been the staple of decorating inspiration. You have access to thousands of pages of inspiration on the internet. Retailer sites can be inspiring with their room vignettes, and paint company sites can also show you ways to use color in your home. Social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram offer color inspiration that is refreshed in real-time. Pinterest is great for creating inspiration boards for your favorite ideas, so you can keep all your ideas in one spot.

Use Color Theory to Create a Color Scheme

You don’t have to study color theory to get great ideas from a little color wheel. These inexpensive color tools can generate color scheme ideas quickly. With a turn of the wheel, you can see how colors might relate to each other and learn the basics of color theory. While you probably won’t be painting your home in the exact colors you see on the wheel, you can choose shades of those colors at your favorite paint store.

Get Creative With Neutral Paint Colors

Just because you choose neutral paint colors doesn’t mean they have to be laid-back. You can rev up your neutral color palette by being creative with how the colors are used. A striped wall in neutral colors adds tons of style but still keeps the room looking relaxed. Neutral wall color with a pastel ceiling is a sneaky way to add color without losing the soothing vibe of the space.

Pull Your Paint Color From a Print

One of the easiest ways to choose interior paint colors is to start with a print fabric. Throw pillows, bedding, and even table linens can provide you with paint color ideas. If you’re creating an accent wall, look to the boldest colors in the print. If you would like to choose a paint color that is more subtle or for a larger space, look at the color in the small details of your print fabric. Take a fabric swatch to the paint store so you can choose paint strips to view at home.

How To Select the Right Paint and Color For Your Home

Painting is a quick and cheap way to give an old room a breath of fresh air or to make your house more sellable if you are putting it on the market. Find out all you have ever wanted to know about selecting paint.

Which paint should you choose?

Paint comes in a variety of sheens as well as in either oil or latex. Latex paint is the most commonly and preferred paint type to use because of its ease of clean up and long lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. I recommend using a latex paint for most of your walls and household uses. However, oil based paint is great for priming real wood moldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint wood. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time. I personally use an oil based shellac primer on my trim and then opt for a latex paint as the top coat. There are a variety of brands on the market, but my top preference is Behr paint.

Which sheen should I select?

The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will however make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.

Which color should I choose?

If you are in the process of selling your house, I recommend selecting a white or off-white color as the choice for walls. This will allow the buyer to easily cover the wall with their choice of color and will give your rooms a brighter and clean appearance. However, you should take full advantage of the hundreds of paint selections and brochures at your local paint store as well as talk to a salesperson about the various color schemes for the look you want. You can change the feel of any room in your house with a little planning and some color, varying the shades for a certain look or feel.

I want a subtle and soothing look:

You can choose to stay within the same shade and use a monochromatic approach such as select a variety of shades of blue for subtle color that tends to be soothing. This tends to look good in a bathroom or a bedroom if you want the feeling of calmness. Just choose your favorite color and overlap the shades. For example, select a darker color for the wall and then another in the same color scheme but different shade and slightly lighter for the trim. Your curtains, towels or bedding as well as accessories such as candles can be varying shades within the same scheme. You can also layer the colors by selecting a lighter green as the basecoat and then do a faux paint with a darker green overlay.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAINT COLOR

Today I’m continuing my quest to making choosing the right paint color easier for all of you. Last week we talked about neutral paint colors and how to choose the right one, but you will probably still end up with a few different colors or shades that you need to decide between and that is where today’s post will help you

Don’t Pick Your Paint Color First.

I know it seems natural to get the biggest things done first, but it is much easier to choose a paint color that goes with your furniture and decor than it is to choose decor to go with a paint color.

Start With An Inspiration.

Pinterest is a great place to start when deciding on paint colors. Make a board for each room and start pinning rooms that catch your eye. Once you have about 10 you’ll get a feel for what you are drawn to color and style wise.

Stick With Neutrals.

Now I’m not saying avoid color all together. Color is good, but you have to first decide where you want the attention in a room to go. If your answer is the walls, then heck, go bold. And if you go bold on the walls everything else in the room should be pretty neutral so that you don’t end up with too many things competing. This is why bold color in a bathroom can work so well because most everything else in a bathroom is already neutral (white).

Use Testers.

Buy testers in a few colors/ shades and paint a large enough area on a few different walls so that you can see how the light hits it at different times of the day. Try your best not to test your paint against white walls cause it will throw the color off. If you have to, just do a larger test area to get a better feel.

How to Choose Interior Paint Colors

Choosing the right interior paint colors depends on the kind of room you want. Take some time to think about what kind of ambiance you want. Certain colors add weight to the room while others create a lighter tone. You can also mix colors into different shades and tints to help create more visual unity. Plan out your rooms before painting so that you can make your home’s interior pleasant no matter what colors you use.

Paint with warm colors to create comfortable, energizing rooms. Warm colors include red, orange, and yellow. The brightest tints of these colors are bold and vibrant but can be too strong when used often. More muted shades can make a room feel cozier, similar to a summer or autumn day. Warm colors work well in rooms that feature a lot of activity, such as living rooms

Choose cool colors to make a room relaxing. Blue, green, and purple are all cool colors. Cool colors can freshen up a room or help you calm down after a long day. They make for good choices in bedrooms and sitting rooms. Lighter shades can feel more vibrant, while darker shades can feel more soothing

Select neutral colors to balance out other colors. At first glance, the various shades of white and gray seem boring. In decorating, they are very useful because they fit well in any color palette. They tone down warm or light colors, but they also lighten cool or dark colors. Black, brown, and light blue are a few alternative colors that can serve as a neutral base

Opt for lighter tints in order to open up rooms. Pale yellows, blues, and whites are great choices to lighten up a room. Light colors lack visual weight, which means your eye isn’t drawn to them. When you step into the room, your eye may go to a piece of art or another bright feature. Since you aren’t focused on the exterior surfaces, rooms with light colors often feel larger than they are

Here’s How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color Every Time

Let’s face it: Picking the right paint color is important. There’s no denying the shade we pick to adorn the walls is a fundamental part of any interior design project. In fact, it’s often the element the rest of our aesthetic choices are based on.

That said, choosing the ideal shade is far from easy. There are so many options available and each one just a little different than the last. For many, it’s almost impossible to figure out where to start.

Buy textiles first

Usually when we talk about textiles, they’re considered a finishing aspect of the design, so this advice may seem counterintuitive. However, one of the easiest ways to make sure your paint coordinates well with the rest of the room is to use fabrics as your design inspiration.

Work with neighboring spaces

Odds are, you’ve experienced a house where the paint choices were truly overwhelming. As you walked from room to room it may have felt as though there was nowhere for your eyes to rest, as though the home was too busy for its own good.

Factor in lighting

Like it or not, the way in which a room is lit can have a huge impact on how the room looks. Each light temperature pulls out a color undertone, which is why rooms often feel vastly different at night than they do during the day.

Outdoor Electrical Lighting Will Give You the Opportunity To Save Money And Energy

Must-Know Outdoor Lighting Tips

With summer in full swing, you’re probably spending most of your time enjoying the great outdoors—and that likely includes relaxing in your backyard, or hosting friends for a dinner alfresco. Don’t let the fun stop once the sun goes down just because your outdoor lighting is nonexistent or inefficient. Not all outdoor lighting is created the same, and it requires more than just putting up a wall light or some string lights and calling it a day. To create ambience, it’s all about choosing the right type of lighting fixture for your backyard. Luckily, Michael Murphy, Interior Design and Trends Producer for Lamps Plus, is here to help. Here, Murphy breaks down the different types of outdoor lighting, where to place fixtures, how to calculate how much lighting you need, and much more. Use his tips and you’ll be able to enjoy those fun summer nights even more.

Include These Three Types.

Make sure to incorporate the three basic types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting can be achieved through hanging lights, post lights, and wall lights. Task lighting includes pathway lights, plus deck and security lights. And you can get accent outdoor lighting with landscape kits and spotlights. “For a small patio and a modest budget, consider string lights, solar spotlights, or LED candles,” Murphy says.

Calculate.

Before you start shopping, you’ll need to figure out exactly how much lighting you need. “To determine how much light a space requires, try this quick calculation: multiply the square footage of the area you want to light by 1.5 to get a rough estimate of the total wattage required,” he says. “For example, 100 square feet of space would require 150 watts.”

Plan Ahead When Choosing Fixtures.

Observe your space and take measurements so you don’t choose fixtures that are too large-scale. “Check the size and position of a fixture before you buy using a simple piece of paper,” Murphy says. “Use a paper template to determine exact placement to review the size before buying. For either the front porch or the back patio, the size of an outdoor wall light should be approximately one-third the height of the door.” You’ll also want to make sure you’re choosing sturdy lighting, one that’s made of high-quality and weather-resistant materials.

Use LEDs.

“They use far less energy than halogen or incandescent bulbs,” he says. “Plus, they are almost maintenance-free, so you won’t have to change bulbs.”

Outdoor Lighting Buying Guide

Add beauty and security with outdoor lighting. Our guide helps you understand outdoor lighting fixture types and functions so you can choose the best and safest accent lighting, post lighting and deck lighting for your home.

What Is Outdoor Lighting?

Outdoor lighting includes a variety of light fixtures that address and improve exterior home security and safety. Additionally, these outdoor lighting fixtures highlight landscaping and architecture at night and come in a variety of styles and finishes.

Power and Performance

With options ranging from hardwire flood lights to plug-in dusk-to-dawn lights to even solar motion lights, you can find the perfect outdoor flood lights for your landscape and the exterior of your home.

Solar-powered outdoor lighting draws the energy it needs to make the lights operate from sunlight. Though this option can cost more for the initial purchase and setup, you can ultimately save on your energy bill. Be sure to install the solar panels in areas that receive sufficient sunlight, and avoid dark and shadowy areas of your home.

Security and Flood Lights

Security and flood lights are broad-beamed, high-intensity lights designed to flood large areas with light. As a result, these fixtures are often used as a preventive measure to reduce criminal activity and increase feelings of safety, especially when equipped with a motion sensor that causes the light to illuminate when movement is perceived

Outdoor lighting buying guide

Stay safe and have fun with our garden lighting options

Enjoy your garden after dark by introducing some outdoor lighting. It not only helps you move around your space safely, illuminating paths and changes in level, it can also help create an atmosphere for socialising or dining. Be it for fun family parties; romantic, intimate dinners or quiet, relaxing time alone. And with such a range of designs on offer, garden lighting can become an attractive feature to complement contemporary or more classic garden styles

So whether you’re looking for a permanent solution, or ones that can be put up and taken down as and when you need them, we have lighting options to help you make the most of your outdoors space.

What area do you want to light?

The area in need of lighting often determines what lighting type would work best in this space. So, if you’re looking to light up a path for example, this would require navigational lighting that helps people stay safe and easily follow the route, rather than a decorative alternative that might only illuminate a portion of the path. So, have a think about your space and how you use it to shape your lighting design.

Do you want your lights to be portable?

When it comes to whether or not you can move your outdoor lighting around, power source plays a large part. Fixed, electrical lights need to be connected to the mains making them the ideal choice if you want lighting close to the house. Whereas candles, battery or solar-powered lighting have no restrictions and can be moved around as, and when, you like. So, if the area you want to light is a distance from your home, or you want to be able to adjust your lighting based on what you’re doing, choose one of these options.

Electrical lighting

Mains power provides consistent and uninterrupted lighting which will burn brightly and for us long as you want it to. Being a permanent fixture, it has to be fixed into place and be properly fitted.

DIY Outdoor Lighting Tips for Beginners

No Electrical Experience Necessary

Since most outdoor lighting is low voltage, it’s safe and easy enough for any DIYer to install. In fact, the only special tool you’ll need is a wire stripper. Find out what’s trending in outdoor lighting before embarking on your project.

Install Underground Wiring After Planting

To prevent accidental cutting of wiring for ground-level fixtures, install wiring after your landscape has been planted. That way you won’t accidentally chop through it with a shovel. Also, don’t install wiring in digging areas like garden beds, and be sure to bury low-voltage wire at least 6 in. below the surface

How It All Fits Together

A low-voltage system has three parts:

The transformer plugs into a nearby GFCI-protected outlet and reduces 120-volt current to 12 volts.

The low-voltage cable carries current between the transformer and the light fixtures.

The light fixtures get connected to the cable with wire connectors made specifically for outdoor use.

Keep Your Fixtures; Upgrade Your Bulbs

For decades, halogen lights reigned supreme in low-voltage outdoor lighting systems, but LEDs have all but replaced them because they cost less to operate and last much longer. But you don’t have to tear out all your old halogen fixtures to enjoy the benefits of LEDs—retrofit bulbs are available. Just be sure to replace each halogen bulb with equivalent wattage and the same base type. Expect to pay about four times more for an LED bulb, but they use less energy and you’ll get up to 20 years of life from one compared with only two or three years from a halogen

Don’t Overlap Pools of Light

The purpose of most deck lighting is ambience, and professional outdoor lighting designers say it’s best not to create overlapping ‘pools’ of light on decks and patios. So avoid mounting fixtures too close together. For decks, choose fixtures that cast a 4- to 5-ft. pool of light. Keep them 30 in. up off the deck’s floor and space them up to 10 ft. apart. Overlapping lights on deck stairs and walkways can be a good thing, however, by providing enough light to help people avoid tripping

The Best Ways to Light the Backyard

Assessing Your Yard’s Needs

Darkness needn’t put a damper on backyard activities like swimming and barbecuing. By installing backyard lighting, you can keep the party going long after dusk, boost outdoor ambiance, and protect your property from unseen threats.

The three main types of backyard illumination are safety lighting to deter prowlers and improve navigation, landscape lighting to accentuate garden features, and accent lighting to put the focus on the hardscape. Ultimately, you’d want all three types in your backyard to achieve different lighting levels for different needs—and within each of these categories, there’s a variety of lighting choices. So let us shine a light on the best backyard illumination options, so you’ll know what to put in your outdoor space

Security Lighting

Security lighting, generally the brightest backyard lighting, is safety lighting to illuminate large areas and scare off would-be burglars or destructive animals. Powered by standard, 120-Volt current, this lighting is installed high spots such as the eaves or above a garage to cast wide beams of light down onto main walkways or the backyard fence entrance.

Our Pick for Security Lights

Available in bronze or white, the Revolve 270° Triple Head (available at amazon.com; $69) blends in with your home’s trim when positioned on the eaves or the underside of a covered patio. But you’ll know that this wired light is there when you approach: Its three optical LED lights produce a powerful 2400 lumens to light up your landscape as bright as day for up to 100 feet for as long as you choose. And, when placed at the corner of the eaves, the rotating optics on the Revolve can be adjusted to light up two sides of the house.

Path Lighting

Path lighting is soft to moderately bright safety and landscape lighting designed to help you navigate walkways while attractively highlighting them. Install it on the ground along both sides of main walkways from the back door to your fence door, along stepping stones from the main walkway to a backyard feature like a fountain, and/or around flower beds to emphasize their contours.

Try Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Tips to Keep Your Home Rodent and Squirrel Free This Fall

Out with the old, in with the new- Are there broken or old and warped attic, dryer or gable vents on the exterior of your home? Now is the time to replace them. Rodents and squirrels have no trouble tearing through vents to enter your attic or home

Don’t hang bird feeders- Bird feeders are prone to both squirrel and mouse feeding. Squirrels are exceptionally good climbers, so breaking into bird feeders is a treat for squirrels. Even if squirrels don’t touch your bird feeders, birds will. Birds fling seeds around, leaving piles on the ground while they feed. Mice and rats flock to this easy food source, attracting them to your property. Next stop? Inside your house.

Seal it up- Take a walk around the exterior of your home. Look for cracks and crevices that can be sealed with foam or stuffed with steel wool. Mice are not able to chew through steel wool, so getting it right the first time is important. Mice have collapsible bodies and can fit through tiny holes and gaps as small as ¼ inch. Once they enter your home, mice nest in wall voids, insulation, attics, under refrigerators, under stoves, and under dishwashers. It’s better to take a proactive approach as soon as you find these vulnerabilities.

Stop using essential oils- They do not work for pest control. If it was this easy, pest control companies would be out of business. If mice or squirrels are getting into your home, the entry point needs to be sealed. Think about it this way. If a bird keeps flying through a broken window in your house, would you spray essential oils onto the broken opening or would you fix the window?

Keep it clean- Sweep up crumbs inside your home on a regular basis. Make sure that you pay close attention to the hard to reach spaces that are easily ignored such as under stoves and under dishwashers. In garages, move bird seed and grass seeds into heavily secured Tupperware or containers.

Choosing a Squirrel Removal Company

Sometimes the best and easiest way to remove a squirrel or exclude it from your property is to hire a company to do it for you. Wildlife removal companies are not well monitored or licensed, so it is up to you to ask questions about a company’s practices before hiring them

A good wildlife removal company should

Provide a customized plan of action and a firm price estimate before you are required to commit

Focus on long-term solutions, such as fixing potential entry points (as opposed to simply removing squirrels)

Guarantee their work (for at least one year)

Know about squirrel behaviour, such as when babies are born and where squirrels are likely to gain entry to a building.

Use only humane live traps (cage traps) or one-way doors to remove animals (rather than leg-hold traps or other harmful capture devices)

Physically check the space for babies, no matter the time of year

Release any live-trapped animals on-site.  Never hire a company that moves squirrels to a new location: this is illegal and harmful to the animals. Instead, they should remove squirrels from the nest space and seal the hole to prevent return.

Squirrel Exterminators – Choosing a Pest Control Service

Squirrels look cute and cuddly… until they enter your home. Then they’re not so adorable when you hear sounds coming from your attic, find chewed up stuff, or worse, find droppings everywhere. Finding a company to remove squirrels from your attic, chimney, or other places in your home isn’t as easy as looking up a list of squirrel exterminators and picking one. It’s important to find a pest control service that is experienced with dealing with these quick and sometimes unpredictable little rodents.

The Use of Poisons

Some companies will suggest poisons as a means of squirrel control. Aside from being inhumane, toxic, and potentially dangerous for households with children and pets, consider what happens after the squirrel ingests the poison. It has to die somewhere – and that “somewhere” might end up being inside your house. You then end up with an entirely different problem of how to locate and remove a decomposing squirrel corpse. The smell could attract other wildlife or insects and, of course, is unpleasant to homeowners – particularly if the body is located near the home’s ventilation system. It could be very costly to try to remove the rodent if it has died somewhere particularly hard to access.

DIY vs Professional Help

Sometimes homeowners want to try squirrel removal themselves, before turning to the professionals for any type of extermination service. This is not as easy as it may seem. Even if the homeowner is able to convince the squirrel to leave and then seals up the squirrel’s entry points into the home… how can we be sure that all the squirrels are out?

Choosing a Pest Control Service

An experienced pest control service can help prevent these types of problems from occurring

How much experience do they have with squirrels?

There are many different rodent types, each with its own behaviors. A company that deals with squirrels regularly will be more familiar with what to look for and how to deal with it. Are they able to remove squirrels from different parts of the home – the attic, the chimney, the walls, etc?

WAYS TO ELIMINATE SQUIRRELS IN ATTIC SPACES

Find entry points around the home.They might be cute and fuzzy outdoors, but when you get squirrels in the attic or walls of your home, serious harm and injury can occur. Squirrels can cause damage to your house in places that are very difficult to reach, meaning lengthy and costly repairs. Further, they can transmit quite a few diseases, so an encounter with a frightened and trapped wild animal in your home could spell disaster for you and your loved ones. That’s why it’s important you not only learn how to get rid of squirrels in the attic, but also how to keep squirrels out of attic spaces

Seal up all entry points except one. Squirrels can squeeze through just about any opening in your home, so make sure doors and windows are properly fitted to your house and covered with fitted screens. Wire mesh can be placed over open vents and chimney tops (or you can invest in a chimney cap). Seal up other openings with caulk, steel wool or appropriate materials as needed (e.g., fill up holes with dirt, use bricks to fix a wall, etc.). A pest management professional can help suggest ways to shore up your home’s defense. Just remember to always leave one entry point open so the squirrels can leave on their own. This should be the most obvious and accessible entry point. Cover this last entry point with a single sheet of newspaper, and if it’s still intact a few days after you stop hearing signs of squirrels in the attic, it’s safe to seal it off for good.

Give the squirrels some incentive to leave. Unfortunately, you might have to learn how to get rid of squirrels in your attic by giving them a little push. Squirrels won’t always leave on their own, especially if they’ve already given birth to a litter. In this scenario, the adult will repeatedly leave and enter the home to bring food to the young. If you seal up the final entry point when the adult squirrel leaves while the baby squirrels are still in the attic or walls, they will need to be removed by a pest management professional, dead or alive. To prevent this, drive the squirrels out as soon as they make themselves known, before they can give birth or set up shop. Playing loud music and keeping lights on can be effective as a squirrel repellent. Attics should be avoided while squirrels are in them since they can be dangerous and may even get scared and run into other parts of the house, creating a path of terror and destruction along the way.

Learn how to get rid of squirrels in the attic with traps.Traps are a very effective weapon in the war against squirrels in the attic. There are a few different types of squirrel traps that you can use, as well as a few different places to set them. Live-capture traps do just what their name sounds like: captures the squirrel alive. Unfortunately, you will still have to deal with the live animal after trapping, either through euthanasia or setting it free 5 or 10 miles from your home. This is dangerous to both you and the squirrel and may require a permit based on your state’s wildlife laws. Kill-traps are actually more humane than live traps and much safer, since the rodent will be taken out of the equation quickly and safely. Live traps also have to be checked frequently, as it is inhumane to let the animal starve to death. Both of these types of traps (kill- and live-capture) are typically ‟box traps” and can be placed in attic runways where squirrel activity has been noticed. A third type of trap is called a ‟body-gripping” trap and can be placed directly outside of entry points to catch the squirrel as it darts in and out of your home. Box traps can also be placed outside in the yard, near burrows, to capture squirrels before they can enter your home.

Learn how to keep squirrels out of attics and your home in general. Finally, it’s vital that you take preventative measures to keep not only squirrels, but also pests in general, out of your home. Insects, arachnids, wildlife and reptiles belong outside in nature (unless kept as pets), so start by sealing up entry points around your home (discussed above). Trim any trees that overhang your house, as squirrels and other pests can gain easy access to your roof, windows and attic. If the squirrel population around your home is a problem, use traps to alleviate it. Take necessary precautions if you have children or pets, as they can get caught in the traps as well.

Squirrels

A problem squirrel can destroy insulation, strip the protective coating from electrical wires and can be incredibly destructive to furniture and woodwork (interior and exterior). Squirrel Control is not for amateurs and is best to be handled by a licensed professional. Similarly, raccoons and bats like to nest in the attics of homes and commercial properties and when left unchecked can cause extensive damage.

How long do squirrels live?

Depending on the type of squirrel, some can live upwards of 5 years

What do squirrels eat?

They mostly eat nuts, seeds and fruit

How do you get rid of squirrels?

The best way to get rid of a squirrel in your home (walls, basement, attic) is to trap it and release it somewhere else.

Importance Of Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Lawyer vs. Consultant

Immigration lawyers, or attorneys, have much more legal experience than consultants. Immigration lawyers must attend law school and complete a three-year degree in order to become a lawyer. They are also required to complete the bar exam in order to become legally registered and many undergo an internship period with a law firm during, or after, their studies. Most law programs also require an undergraduate degree before attending law school, which means that lawyers generally have several years of post-secondary education.

Immigration lawyers are also able to attend immigration interviews with you, and can advocate for your application in a Canadian court of law in the rare case that your application is brought under judicial review. 

 Conversely, immigration consultants are not lawyers. They do not attend law school and generally undergo a one-year certification in order to become registered.  It is also not required for immigration consultants to have completed an undergraduate degree to start their certification.

While immigration consultants are legally able to represent you, only lawyers are allowed to advocate on your behalf in federal court, in the event that it is required.

What About an Immigration Consultant Instead of an Immigration Lawyer?

Immigration consultants also provide services to immigrants, but these services can be limited. They can fill out immigration forms for you, but they cannot appear in Federal Court if necessary when the case is refused.

In Canada, the immigration consultant occupation generally only requires a certificate or diploma while immigration lawyers have gone through university and then law school. Immigration lawyers are regulated by their Provincial or State Bars while immigration consultants, in Canada, must be members Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), which as it turns out,  does seem to have the resources nor will take disciplinary action where there is misconduct.

There have been many cases in the media during the past year where immigration consultants have overcharged clients, not done the work the client paid for or even blackmailed clients into paying more money before having them deported. This is not to say all consultants are bad. There are many good, ethical and qualified ones. However, clients will have little to no recourse, it seems, using an immigration consultant if something does go wrong. This is not the case when using a licensed  immigration lawyer.

What is the Role of an Immigration Lawyer?

The role of an immigration lawyer is somewhat unique when compared with other types of lawyers.  Most immigration lawyers spend their time helping persons who are having difficulty dealing with immigration requirements. 

The role of immigration lawyers is usually that of an advisor or counselor to foreign citizens and immigrants who must interact with U.S. immigration authorities.  Immigration lawyers provide advice and guidance for matters such as visa applications, green cards, citizenship and naturalization, deportation issues, and employment for non-citizens. 

Immigration lawyers spend far less time handling civil disputes in court than other types of lawyers.  Instead, they usually act as mediators between clients and immigration authorities such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

On the other hand, immigration lawyers do make appearances before immigration judges if a client is facing an immigration hearing.  Many immigration lawyers also handle matters involving an interaction between immigration and criminal laws.

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

You do not have to have a law degree, or any degree, to give immigration advice regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. You will need to pass an examination and meet the standards required by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. The timescale for becoming an immigration advisor regulated by the OISC is generally much quicker than that for becoming a barrister, solicitor, or member of the Institute of Legal Executives.

Unlike solicitors and barristers, who can give advice on area of immigration, asylum and nationality law, to any level, those regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner can decide which areas of immigration, asylum and nationality law they wish to do, and the level to which they wish to do them. There are three levels of regulation. Regulation by the OISC allows you to give advice on only on the immigration matters for which you are regulated, to the level at which you are regulated. Those working at level three can appear before the Immigration and Asylum chambers of of the Tribunal and those working at levels two and three may be able to join a licensed access scheme that will allow them to instruct a barrister to represent their clients. OISC registered advisors cannot lodge applications and conduct proceedings in the higher courts.

It is possible for solicitors and barristers, whether practising or not, to qualify as OISC regulated advisors.

Essential Traits Of The Best Immigration Lawyers

Accessible

While you are not entitled to 100% of an immigration lawyer’s time, you may expect a good immigration lawyer to be available when you need them. When faced with an emergency, however, the attorney should be able to respond quickly to your situation. Also, ask who would be the backup professional to help in case your attorney is not available at the time.

Experienced

Besides academic achievements, you should determine how many years of experience the immigration lawyer may have with your case type. Look for one who specializes in immigration and check out their credentials. Is the attorney well respected by peers, or won awards? If you reside in Texas, has the individual been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law?

Excellent Reputation And References

Seeking a lawyer who specializes specifically in immigration matters is the right starting point.  Law firms like Davis & Associates in Dallas TX work exclusively on immigration matters such as:

  • Family and business immigration
  • Visas and green cards
  • Political asylum
  • Deportation issues

Always ask for bonafide references and look for personal testimonials to determine what experience others have had in dealing with your prospective immigration lawyer. Ask about the types of cases the lawyer has handled and the outcomes.

Also, check online search engines and social media sites for reviews from other clients.

Good Judgement

The best immigration lawyers are successful because they can draw logical conclusions from a wide range of situations and variables. Because they frequently appear in courts and before immigration officials, they should be well prepared with reasonable arguments and must remain confident and decisive at all times.

Creative Solutions

A competent immigration lawyer draws from experience, recent research, analytics, and logic to find unique and innovative strategies to accomplish the goal. The best immigration lawyers also demonstrate perseverance when representing their clients, always creating new solutions whenever roadblocks appear.

Excellent Communication And Public Speaking Skills

Precise communication with you, the client, is critical. The ability to communicate well in negotiations and while presenting your case is also essential. Often, the lawyer will need to think about and respond to challenges on the spot and must do so with confidence.

People Skills And Compassion

Immigration lawyers should be personable and persuasive. How the lawyer is viewed can reflect directly on your case. If your representative is easily angered or rude, your case will suffer. Avoiding confrontation while presenting an argument is vital to success.

Immigration officials prefer to work with immigration lawyers who can communicate professionally, demonstrate reasonableness, are knowledgeable, and show a genuine commitment to their clients.

Is A Metal Roof A Good Investment For Your Home

Metal Roofing – Get The Facts!

Metal roofing has become a good option for all homes excluding those with very flat roof pitches. It is important to note that now shingle-style metal roofing products are indistinguishable from the traditional asphalt shingle roofs. If you are a person who wants to know about the metal roofing, then below are the twelve facts that you need to know:

1-Install It on Existing Roofs

Yes, you heard it right! You can install the metal roofing on the existing roof without tearing off the singles. Remember that the shingle removal is a preferred but tear-off is messy and raises the cost of the job as well. One of the big problems with this installation is trapped water vapor. If it stays trapped between the old roofing and metal roofing, then this leads to rot and mold. But this problem can be removed by installing a vented metal roof. The second option is that you can install new metal roofing over the furring strips (1 x 3s or similar) and it will raise metal to provide a ventilating air pocket between the layers. Remember that you should check local building codes before you are going to install a metal roof directly on the old shingles.

2-Does Not Attract Lightning

The majority of the people think that it may attract lightning but that’s not true. According to a technical bulletin by Metal Construction Association, it is said that metal roofing does not increase the risk of lightning strikes. Note that if metal roofing will be struck by lightning, then remember that this is less combustible in comparison to conventional roofing materials like wood shakes or shingles. According to the bulletin, metal roofing is an electrical conductor and noncombustible material, this makes it desirable construction available during lightning.

3-Energy-Efficient Option

According to studies, a metal roof will reflect solar radiant heat that will be reducing the cooling cost by 10 to 25 percent. In areas, where the cooling cost is more than the heating cost, they should add a shiny and granular coating on a metal roof to increase the reflective capacity of the roof. You will see a clear difference in energy savings of metal roof vs. asphalt shingles.

4-Cost-Effective Option

The metal roofing will carry warranties in comparison to the best asphalt shingles that last for 30 years. On the other hand, metal roofing will last 50 years or more. According to other statistics, it may last for 40 to 70 years. So, there is very little chance that a homeowner has to install more than one metal roof during his life. Remember that the metal roofing installation cost is more as compared to asphalt roofing but it will save your money in the long run.

5-It’s A Viable Option

In the past, you will see metal roofing on a high-end architect-designed home but now that’s not the case. You will see metal roofing in conventional houses as well. All the credit goes to the better manufacturing process and increased availability. As per the industry statistics, market share for metal roofing has increased at the rate of 3 percent every year in the past few years. You may be surprised to know that now 15% of all the roofing installation uses the metal roofing materials. To get metal roof installed, you should contact Corey & Corey to hire their expert roofing contractors Cape Cod. They will properly install the roof using proper tools and advanced techniques to provide you satisfactory results.

Metal roofs are loud

40% of respondents said that a metal roof may be too noisy.

Fact: While it may come as a surprise to many homeowners, a metal roof can be even quieter than asphalt shingles. Contrary to popular belief, metal panels or shingles are not loud at all!

An aluminum or steel roof has solid sheathing attached to the underlayment that actually helps silence the noise from rain, hail, falling branches and other weather conditions, better than other types of materials. So you do not ever have to worry about waking up to the sound of rain!

This misconception may come from people being in barns or industrial warehouses that have tin roofs. Indeed these roofs are good conductors of noise, but that is because very thin sheet metal is used and there is no insulation.

Since residential metal roofing adheres to much higher construction standards, there is no reason to compare it to these barn roofs and worry that they will be just as loud.

Pros and cons of metal roofs for your home

Advantages of metal roofs

  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
  • Durability. Some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack, and may be impact-resistant (depending on which metal you choose). In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
  • Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
  • Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-25%.
  • Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.

Disadvantages of metal roofs

Despite their many advantages, metal roofs have some potential drawbacks.

  • Affordability. Metal roofs can be as much as two or three times more expensive than other roofing materials. While the life of a metal roof is much longer, investing in a metal roof only makes sense if you plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy the cost benefits.
  • Noisiness. Metal roofs can be noisy, especially during a heavy rain or hailstorm. Adding more insulation during installation usually solves this problem, but that may increase costs.
  • Expansion and contraction. Metal roofing materials that are attached as large panels tend to expand and contract. If they are not properly installed with fasteners that allow the metal to “breathe,” the panels may loosen.
  • Inconsistency of color match. If a repair is required or a home extension is added years later, it may be difficult to find an exact match to the existing metal.
  • Performance. If water accumulates anywhere on the roof because of poor-quality installation or repair, it can eventually cause serious damage. Low-grade metals may also be thinner and less durable. Some metals rust in certain climates or dent more easily than others during hailstorms or installation.

How to Get a Wireless Internet Signal in a Home With a Metal Roof

Metal objects can cause major wireless Internet disruption, so if you have a house with a metal roof you may need to take extra steps to ensure that your wireless Internet signal is as strong as it possibly could be. You want to avoid dead signal zones in the house where you are unable to get wireless Internet at all. You can adjust your modem and router in order to get in the best position for a signal.

Step 1

Purchase a wireless router with as long a range as possible. Metal roofing significantly decreases the signal strength of a wireless network in many cases, so you’ll want to start with the most powerful hardware possible

Step 2

Keep any metal objects within the home as far away from the router as possible. Situate the router so it is off of the ground, and ideally near a window to escape some of the metal roof interference.

Step 3

Use a wireless repeater to strengthen the wireless signal as you go through your home. The wireless repeater will also extend the effective range of your wireless network, although it will not have as great of an effect as it should, due to the metal roof.

Step 4

Move all of your computers to be within line of sight of the wireless router, if possible.

When you ask the question about the heat absorbancy of metal, there are a number of variables to consider:

  • First, both the color and finish of the metal affects its heat absorbancy. Metal exposed directly to the sun will certainly heat up, but whether or not it heats up more or less than other roofing materials has to do with the color and finish. The Energy Star finishes that most of our metal roof products use are certified to be reflective of sunlight and therefore cooler than the older finishes. And a pale color will absorb less heat than a dark color.
  • While it’s true that a metal roof will absorb heat when directly exposed to the sun, the same is true of any roof covering material. A dark colored roof in either asphalt, ceramic, slate or any other material will absorb heat at roughly the same rate. It’s unlikely that using the same color in differing material will result in a significant roof top temperature difference.
  • Once the sun stops striking a roof directly, the lightest material will lose its heat fastest. The lightest roof available is metal, so it cools quickest. Once the sun stops shining on a metal roof, it quickly reverts to the same temperature as the surrounding air. With heavier materials like slate or concrete, their mass means they will retain heat much longer. The longer they stay hot, the more heat they’ll transfer to the building beneath.  In terms of roofing materials contributing to heat in a building, once the sun stops shining, metal is the best possible option.

Helpful Information About Stucco Repairs

How Stucco Repair Is Done

Stucco can endure for 100 years or more, but that doesn’t mean it is impervious. Cracks and holes that develop in the surface let in water that can quickly lead to further damage to the stucco and the underlying surfaces. Patches of stucco can also break free from the wood or metal lath is it adhered to, resulting in loose areas that can grow over time. In this way, small holes often turn into bigger ones, along with more moisture exposure and damage.

Remove the Loose Stucco

Remove all loose or otherwise damaged stucco in the repair area by tapping it with a hammer and a cold chisel. Break away the loose pieces until you reach solidly adhered stucco along the entire perimeter of the area. Be careful not to damage the underlying wood lath or sheathing. If there is metal lath under the stucco, cut it out along the perimeter, using metal snips. Remove all nails or screws securing the lath, and remove the lath from the wall.

Add Building Paper

Cut two pieces of grade D building paper to fit the patch area. Each piece should cover all exposed wood materials to create an effective moisture barrier.

Staple the first piece of paper to the wood lath or plywood sheathing, as applicable. Staple the second piece of paper over the first.

Install Metal Lath

Cut a piece of galvanized metal mesh stucco lath, using metal snips. As with the building paper, the lath should match the repair area so there are no gaps between the lath and the edges of the original (well-adhered) stucco.

Position the lath over the building paper and fasten it with galvanized roofing nails. The nails must be long enough to penetrate 1 inch into the wood framing members behind the original lath or, if the wall has plywood sheathing, nails should penetrate the full depth of the sheathing.

Mix the First Batch of Stucco

Mix a batch of quick-setting repair stucco, following the manufacturer’s directions, using a drill and mixing paddle or, for large quantities, a mortar mixer.

Keep the mixed stucco in a shaded area, and be ready to apply it as soon as it is mixed. Quick-setting stucco typically has a working time of 45 minutes or less, so mix only as much as you can apply in that time.

Apply the Scratch Coat

Spray the edges of stucco around the patch area with water (to prevent premature drying of the new stucco). Scoop a fist-size amount of wet stucco onto a trowel, then sling the stucco onto the metal lath to embed the wet mix into the openings in the mesh. The stucco should be able to hold onto the mesh by itself.

Repeat the process to cover the entire patch area, then smooth the stucco into a flat, even layer that is within 1/2 inch of the original stucco surface. Carefully press and smooth the wet stucco along the edges of the patch to bond the new stucco with the old.

Scarify the scratch coat with a trowel or scarifier, then let the coat cure as directed the mix manufacturer. You may need to water-cure the stucco by spraying it with water periodically. Curing may take only one to two hours, depending on the conditions and the stucco product.

Apply the Brown Coat

Mix a batch of stucco for the second, or brown, coat. Trowel the stucco onto the patch surface in a smooth, even layer that is recessed 1/8 inch from the surrounding original stucco. Let the brown coat cure as directed, misting with water, as applicable.

Apply the Final Coat

Mix a batch of stucco for the final, or color, coat. This coat can be a standard or custom-order color to achieve the desired look. However, it is very difficult to color-match a patch so that is blends with the surrounding stucco; hiding a patch completely often requires painting or coating the entire wall with a compatible paint or pigmented coating.

Apply the final coat with a trowel so it is flush with the surrounding area. Texture the coat, if desired, to match the original finish. Let the stucco cure as directed.

Common Problems with Stucco Homes

You’ve probably seen or heard of house hunting TV shows. The real estate agent and potential homebuyers evaluate the home’s location, bed and bath count and interior color choices. But the home’s siding rarely gets airtime. As a contractor, this concerns me, because siding is one of the key elements that determines curb appeal, not to mention its function of protecting the home from nature’s elements. Stucco siding requires careful consideration. Here’s what you need to know!

Stucco installation

As is the case with any home improvement material, stucco’s reliability depends heavily on how it was installed. Unfortunately, because stucco is comprised of several layers, there are several opportunities for an inexperienced contractor to incorrectly apply the material. One of the most common installation errors is incorrect flashing. Water intrusion, which can cause expensive damage, is a consequence of this.

If stucco sand becomes mixed with soil around the home, cracking can occur. While cracking can be repaired, the homeowner is most often the party responsible for bearing the burden of the cost. Even more troublesome is the fact that many installation issues don’t appear until several years down the road. 

Water damage

In order to maintain its integrity, stucco must be kept moisture-free. It’s vital that gutters and downspouts are installed in a manner that directs water away from the home. Special care must be taken to ensure that doors and windows are tightly sealed so that water can’t permeate the stucco. 

Paint color commitment

Opting for stucco on your home requires forward thinking, as this siding material can last more than 50 years. In order to update the color, the stucco must first be sandblasted. Skipping this step can create future issues with moisture. 

Tips for Painting Stucco

To avoid different shades of color on your home, stucco walls should all be painted at the same time. Don’t be tempted to just paint the areas that need it. Use this time to closely inspect all the walls to identify problems (cracks, mold, pests) before they get worse.

Before painting stucco, always begin with a dirt-free surface by power washing the walls. Scrubbing the lower 1/3 of the wall with detergent and a stiff brush will remove excess dirt. Stucco paint can be rolled or sprayed on. While spraying is faster, it doesn’t always result in the fullest coverage. Brushing is not recommended.

If spraying, back rolling is a professional technique for ensuring complete coverage: Immediately after spraying a wall, have someone follow behind and roll the fresh paint with a lambs’ wool paint roller. This pushes the paint into cracks and crevices the sprayer cannot reach.

Always apply two coats of paint.

THERMAL BREAK

The new stucco systems include an additional insulation layer of Styrofoam, a feature I love because it provides more of a thermal barrier. This is known as an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS). An acrylic-polymer coat of stucco is applied onto a base of mesh and foam board insulation. EIFS has higher plasticity, which means it has more resistance to cracking, but it is more vulnerable to high impacts such as hail or hockey pucks, than traditional stucco siding.

For my money, new synthetic stucco – if used with a high-strength backer mesh and high-compression foam – is the way to go.

Repairing Stucco Saves You Money

If you already have plaster or stucco on your walls, removing it entirely can actually be more costly than simply calling in the professionals for repair. Even after you take off the surface layer, you’re then faced with the cost of installing an entirely new interior surface. If your home already has plaster or stucco, quality care and upkeep are investments that just make sense.

There are clearly plenty of reasons to have and keep up plaster and stucco walls, but repairing old or damaged surfaces takes the touch of a skilled craftsman. So what can you do? Call in the pros, of course. Homeowners can avoid messes and mistakes by having an experienced professional handle their repair. They can assess the current state of your walls to answer questions like:

  • How well is your plaster or stucco attached to its lath (meaning the wooden slats that attach it to the wall’s framework)?
  • Is it salvageable at all?
  • How is the surface quality?

They will then decide exactly what the best technique is to reattach your layer of stucco or plaster to the lath, repair surface damage, and repaint it to get the exact look you want.

The Correct Time To Get A Mold Inspection

Why Is It Important to Call for Mold Inspection Services?

A Look at the Benefits of Scheduling a Mold Inspection

If you suspect that you have mold in your house i , it’s important to hire an expert in mold remediation to perform a professional mold inspection. Symptoms of mold exposure can be incredibly serious, particularly exposure to toxic black mold. Here is a look at the key benefits of hiring a mold remediation expert to perform a mold inspection and black mold testing in your home.

Prevent Serious Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold symptoms, particularly black mold symptoms, are dangerous, and can even be life threatening. If you or anyone in your household is already ill or suffers from an autoimmune disease, you’re at a higher risk of dangerous symptoms of mold exposure. Symptoms of mold exposure can be as mild as allergies, skin rashes, and common cold symptoms. Black mold symptoms can include serious respiratory problems and infections, asthma complications, chronic headaches and fatigue, dangerous neurological problems, and toxic mold syndrome.

Improve Indoor Air Quality
When the mold in your house becomes airborne, your indoor air quality significantly declines. Mold exposure and mold symptoms occur when mold spores are inhaled from the air and settle in the lungs or nasal passages. A mold remediation expert can test your indoor air quality for signs of mold spores. He can also perform an extensive mold inspection to look for signs of mold growth throughout your home. If he finds mold in your house, he will perform professional mold testing, including black mold testing, to see if you are at risk for toxic mold exposure.

Reduce Your Risk of Structural Damage to Your Home
Mold growth occurs in areas that are damp and warm. This means that mold might grow in areas of your home that aren’t immediately visible, such as behind walls or wallpaper, behind or underneath plumbing fixtures, in flooring or ceiling tiles, and behind or underneath appliances. Water damage and mold growth can cause problems with wooden structures, insulation, and electrical wiring in your home. A mold inspection and mold remediation will reduce or prevent serious structural damage.

Signs You May Need Mold Remediation

So, how do you know if your home contains harmful levels of mold? When you see black spots appearing on walls, ceilings or other areas of your home, it is a clear sign that there is an overgrowth of mold. However, mold could be growing inside the walls invisible to the naked eye. Mold build-up in air conditioning ducts also often goes unseen. As the AC unit blows, it contaminates your air with tiny mold spores circulating throughout your home day and night.

Water Intrusion Events

Moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores. A water intrusion event is a common cause of mold overgrowth. Overt flooding from an outdoor or indoor source will often bring on a mold problem within 72 hours of the water intrusion. When drywall, carpeting, upholstered furniture, and other porous materials become saturated with water, it takes a long time to dry out thoroughly. Mold likes to grow in damp, dark areas. That’s why basements and attics are particularly vulnerable to mold problems.

Some water intrusion problems are not as easy to detect. Leaking pipes inside the walls may go unnoticed for a long time. If the water collects behind tiled walls, for instance, you may never see the damage.

Odd Odors from an Unknown Source

If you get a whiff of something musty in the air inside your home, it is a good sign that there is a mold source nearby and you may need mold remediation. Again, air conditioning ducts could be the source. Also, check for water that has pooled around an AC unit, water heater, or under a sink.  These are all places that small leaks may occur and go unnoticed. Some species of mold do not give off odors, so mold could be present even if you do not smell anything unusual.

Stains and Discoloration of Walls and Ceiling Tiles

Even if you don’t see the tell-tale black spots of mold growth, more subtle hints may be popping up around your home. Yellow, brown or orange discoloration of ceiling tiles, walls, or in showers or bathtubs could be an indication that there is mold growth occurring. Not all mold species appear black. Just like you may have noticed on different types of food, some molds are white, gray, green, red, or brown. Depending on the organic substance that the mold has settled into, colors may vary.

Health Symptoms that May Indicate Mold Problems

One of the most critical yet unrecognized signs that you need mold remediation is the adverse effect that mold has on human health. Breathing mold spores can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • A sore throat
  • Nasal & sinus congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Watery eyes
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing

Because these symptoms resemble the common cold, a mold problem may not be considered as the source. If you or your family members seem to catch colds often, a mold issue could be the real culprit. Inhalation of mold can even bring on asthma attacks for those who suffer from the condition.

Long-term mold exposure to toxic molds may cause including cancer, pneumonitis, neurotoxicity, and other serious illnesses.

Here are the ways you can prevent the spread of mold, and what you can do to get rid of it. 

  • Keep an eye out for hidden leaks: Wet spots on your ceiling, at baseboards or on the floor are a telltale sign of a leaky pipe or roof. Your home’s pipes are behind drywall, which can leave a small leak unnoticed for a long time.

    Mold can grow behind those walls and filter into the air through ducts or pipes. A plumber or contractor can help identify weak spots or possible leaks and prevent mold growth.
  • Keep your air conditioner clean: Many air conditioners, especially window units, are susceptible to mold growth. They often trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for the spores. Choosing a unit with humidity control can prevent moisture build-up. Leaving the device running at a low or “automatic” level during the day will keep air circulating and prevent a serious rise in humidity. You should also replace filters every three months, or as recommended.

    “Your home should always maintain less than 60 percent humidity in order to stop mold production,” said Dr. Spahr. Finally, keeping ducts free of dirt and dust also eliminates the organic matter on which mold can feed.
  • Ventilate heat-prone rooms: Bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms create a lot of excess heat and humidity, whether it be from the shower, stove or dryer. All three of these rooms should be well ventilated to prevent the lingering moisture that attracts mold.

How Black Mold Affects The Brain

When mold enters your body through the air or skin, it can cause disturbances in many body organs including the brain. Often confused as just allergies, mold infection can greatly affect the cognitive function of the brain. When this happens, many dysfunctions occur leading to psychological distress and even feelings of craziness. Toxic mold can kill the neurons of the brain and affect a person’s mental ability. They also cause nervous disorders like tremors and personality changes such as irritability and mood swings.

Treating Mold Infection

If you’ve experienced black mold infection symptoms, the first step is to have the mold completely removed or remove yourself from the contaminated environment. However, in serious incidences, you need to take the necessary steps to treat it. Because of its long-term effects, it can easily be misdiagnosed and mistreated thereby leaving you more frustrated. If you think that you have mold symptoms, then you need to get a proper evaluation. To test for mold allergies and symptoms, your doctor may perform a blood test and skin prick test. These tests can help diagnose both severe mold poisoning and mold allergies. Treatment for black mold exposure and allergies may include:

  1. Nasal sprays: You can use over the counter nasal sprays to reduce any inflammation caused by black mold allergies or a solution of warm distilled water to clean your nasal passages and remove congestion.
  2. Over the counter medications: Over the counter drugs such as antihistamines can also help reduce your immune system and the swelling that occurs due to allergic reactions.
  3. Allergy shots: Your doctor may also recommend getting regular allergy shots to boost your body’s immune system over time.

The Mold Inspection Procedure

When your professional mold inspector arrives at your property, in order to begin the inspection, he will use an assortment of methods, including: visual inspection, surface sampling, and air sampling in order to determine the source and the type of mold that is present in the building.

Each time a mold inspector visits a property they will begin the process with a visual inspection. They will check the property and look for any signs of water damage, water intrusion, possible faucet or pipe leaks, and any other signs of moisture. They will also test the temperature and the humidity on the property, and add these calculations to a wide variety of data that they will be obtaining about your home or property.

When a professional mold inspector begins the surface sampling process, they are actually attempting to determine what kind of mold exists at a particular location within the property. The inspector may use a swab or a piece of tape to obtain the sample. As soon as the sample is properly packaged to avoid contamination, it is sent to a reliable laboratory where it can be analyzed.

The air sampling procedure is perhaps the best process of determining whether or not  airborne mold spores exist within your premises. There are a variety of types of equipment that may be used for this type of sampling, but generally air will be drawn and then impacted over a glass substrate in order to create the sample.

Pediatric Nursing Isn’t Just Kids Stuff

How to Choose a Pediatrician

Pediatricians have special training in the health and illnesses of children from birth through adolescence and into the young adult years, and most are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics after passing a comprehensive examination covering all areas of health related to infants, children, and young adults

How to Find the Names of Qualified Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics and HealthyChildren.org can supply you with names of board-certified pediatricians in your community through our Find a Pediatrician tool.

*​​Note: Only Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics or “FAAPs” are listed in our Find a Pediatrician tool. Only board-certified pediatricians can add the designation “FAAP” after their names, which means they have reached the highest status of membership in this professional organization.

Most local/county medical societies provide referral services to pediatricians in their area who are taking new patients.

If you are located near a major medical center, community hospital, or teaching hospital, contact its department of pediatrics for the names of doctors in your area

Interviewing Pediatricians

With a list of doctors in hand, call the office of each. Explain that you are looking for a pediatrician for your child, and inquire about the doctor’s background and training, as well as general office procedures. If you are impressed with what you hear, arrange for an interview during which you can meet the doctor and ask some additional questions. It may be more convenient to do this interview by telephone

Here are some key questions to ask and things to consider during this first meeting:

What medical school did the pediatrician attend, and w​here did he or she undergo postgraduate and residency training? (Medical directories in many public libraries and online—such as the American Board of Medical Specialists Directory​—can also help answer these questions.)

What are the doctor’s present hospital appointments? If it becomes necessary for your child to be hospitaliz​ed, where would he or she be admitted?

Is the pediatrician’s office conveniently located? Is it easily accessible by car or public transportation?

Are the office hours convenient for your own schedule? If you are a worki​​ng parent, you may desire evening or weekend hours.

What is the doctor’s policy on taking and returning phone calls? Is there a nurse in the office who can answer routine questions?

Is the doctor in a group practice with other physicians? Does another physician cover for the doctor at times? Who handles phone calls when the office is closed or during vacations?

Do you sense a genuine interest by the doctor in the problems of your child, including particular health disorders he or she may have?

Do both the physician and the office staff appear amicable and courteous? Do they demonstrate compassion and patience? Or do you feel rushed in the office, as though the doctor is eager to move on to the next patient?

How are visits for acute illnesses handled? Can you make an appointment on short notice if your child needs to see the pediatrician because of a sore throat, cold, or a potential ear infection, for example?

Does the doctor communicate clearly to explain illnesses and treatments, and does the doctor make an effort to ensure that all your questions are answered?

In what managed-care programs does the doctor participate? What is the office policy regarding the processing of insurance forms?

What will be the fees you will be responsible for when seeing the doctor for sick visits, routine examinations, etc.? See Understanding Cost Sharing: Deductibles, Copayments & Coinsurance.

If your child ever develops a complex illness that requires he care of one or more specialists, will your pediatrician coordinate care among all the doctors providing treatment? See Your Child’s Medical Home: What You Need to Know.

How to Select a Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician for your baby is no easy task. After all, this doctor will help your little one through childhood vaccinations, nasty colds, and everything in between. But when should you start looking for a pediatrician, and what criteria should you focus on?  Here are our top tips for choosing the best pediatrician near you.

When Should I Look For a Pediatrician?

Start looking for pediatricians while you’re still pregnant—preferably between 28 and 34 weeks along. “It’s important to have a pediatrician you’ve already met and respect, because you have enough going on after the baby is born,” says Evaline Alessandrini, M.D., a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

There’s also another benefit of finding a pediatrician early: Dr. Alessandrini’s recent study, which she co-authored, found that babies who see the same doctor for their first 6 months are up to twice as likely to receive important health tests before they turn 2. Sticking with the same doctor also prevents wasted time on things like “going over whether immunizations are up to date,” she says. “If you have a continuing relationship with a doctor, you have the time and comfort to go deeper.”

How to Research a Pediatrician

Searching for a pediatrician may seem daunting, but remember that you’re not trying to find “the best doctor in the world.” You’re simply looking for the most effective doctor for you, your partner, and your future child. Here are some tips.

Get references. Everyone has different criteria for picking a pediatrician, so you should collect at least three names from friends and coworkers. (If you’re short on preferred doctors, try the American Academy of Pediatrics’ referral site at aap.org/referral.) Also look into the hospitals that your candidates are affiliated with; you’ll want one that’s both convenient and reputable.

How to Choose the Best Pediatrician for Your Child

Parents seem to go to a lot of different extremes when choosing a pediatrician. Some do almost nothing and simply choose the pediatrician on call in the hospital when their baby is born or pick a doctor randomly from a list in the phone book or their insurance directory.

The Importance of Choosing a Pediatrician

Choosing the right pediatrician is more important than most parents think. While you can simply change doctors if you don’t like the first pediatrician you see, if your newborn or older child is truly sick, the first doctor you see could be making life-changing decisions about your child. Or they could miss a potentially life-threatening problem.

Pediatrician Recommendations

A common way for parents to choose a pediatrician is to get a recommendation from their friends or family members. This is probably one of the best ways, but when someone tells you that they love going to their pediatrician, be sure to ask why before you blindly follow them to the same office.

Choosing a Pediatrician

Although we like to think that things like cost and convenience should be secondary when making such an important decision, they can be very important when choosing a pediatrician. If the pediatrician you would like to see is not on your insurance plan or is an hour away, it may not be very practical to go to her office.

Interviewing Pediatricians

Although you can typically narrow down your choice of pediatricians by figuring out who is on your insurance plan and in your area, who is accepting new patients and getting some recommendations from friends and family, the best way to find a good pediatrician is to actually set up an appointment and meet with a few.

How to Choose a Pediatrician

When looking for a pediatrician to care for your baby, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to find someone both you and your partner feel comfortable with. So it’s a good idea to begin choosing a pediatrician at the beginning of your third trimester. Ask your OB and trusted family and friends for recommendations.

These questions can help you choose the right pediatrician for you.

Does this doctor have a good reputation?

What is this doctor’s training and experience?

Does the pediatrician respect my philosophy on breastfeeding and immunizations?

Does the doctor listen to me and explain things clearly?

Will my child see the same doctor every time?

 Who covers for the pediatrician when he or she is not available?

Is my spouse or partner comfortable with this doctor?

Is the office staff pleasant and helpful?

Is the office location convenient?

How long does it take to get an appointment?

How long will my child and I spend in the waiting room?

Does the pediatrician offer evening and weekend hours? Who sees my child during these hours?

How are emergencies and after-hour calls handled?

What hospital is the pediatrician affiliated with?

Does my insurance cover this doctor’s services?

How to Choose a Pediatrician: What to Look For

Choosing the right doctor for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for you and your baby. Sure, you’ll want to consider convenience and office hours: Is it close to home, are they open late or on weekends? What about expertise — where did they do their training, are they board-certified? Do they come recommended by friends and family? What’s their philosophy on things important to you?

Convenience

It can help to look for a practice that fits into your life and can support you, too, by being there when you need them. You’ll want both convenience and quality care, from a doctor you can trust to be on your side through your child’s development and growth. A good pediatrician will be available to your entire family to offer advice from infancy through adolescence

Values

A good pediatrician knows how to listen to you and your child. They understand the unique needs of parents and young families and can dispel myths, alleviate fears, and provide information you need — at the right time. You want someone who you can speak to honestly and collaborate with on the care of your child.

Expertise

Consider the level of training of the provider who will care for your child. Are they board-certified in pediatrics? Do they offer specialized training in breastfeeding, child development, or other things that will meet your family’s needs? And does the practice have direct access to pediatric specialists, if and when they need them, for reference or advice?

Make an informed choice

Becoming a parent or growing your family is a time of huge transition. It can, at times, feel like a rollercoaster ride. But it’s all part of the process; the joys and challenges of being a great parent. And when your child is here, having the right pediatrician by your side can make all the difference in the world.