Monthly Archives: February 2018

Foundation Cracks: When to Worry

Home being repaired

It’s common for homeowners to see small cracks in their home from time to time. The cause of cracking can be something as benign as the house settling with age or something major like soil movement underneath the house or even the weather.

However, it’s difficult to tell if those cracks can lead to bigger problems or not just by looking at it. This is where a professional can help you determine the real cause of those cracks and if you need house foundation repairs.

Signs of foundation problems

Cracks are not the only sign that you may have issues with the foundation of your home. Some of the other signs include:

  • The walls are leaning, and the floors are sloping at an angle
  • Cracks in the walls over windows and doors
  • Doors or windows that won’t completely close or open
  • The walls and the ceiling have a gap between them
  • Cracks in a window glass or tile floor
  • Presence of water in your crawl space or basement
  • Cracks or bulges in the foundation that are about a quarter of an inch or wider

Common causes of foundation problems

Extreme weather like drought can cause major foundation issues because moisture evaporates from the soil causing it to shrink away from the foundation of your home and creates a gap between them. This will ultimately cause foundation movement.

Plumbing leaks, heaving or consolidating soil, poor drainage system, and poor construction and soil preparation, as well as natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, are the usual culprits for foundation problems.

Additionally, if your house is next to large trees, it’s also possible that they are drinking up the moisture of the soil underneath your home.

Not all cracks are dangerous but some definitely are. The best way to make sure is to call a professional to assess those cracks. Don’t wait until they become a bigger problem before having them fixed.

How You Can Help: Overcoming the Fear of the Dentist

Patient scared of the dentistAbout 8% of the population has a phobia of visiting the dentist. Another 20% will only go to the dentist during an emergency. Dental phobia is common and may be enough to stop some patients from visiting the dentist at all. Anxious patients may avoid a dental visit even when they have a toothache or infection. These fears may stem from a bad childhood experience at the dentist or a fear of discomfort during treatment.

Rather than putting up with a toothache, why not visit a dental clinic where the staff are trained to put patients at ease? Scott W. Grant, DMD lists what you should look for:

Soothing Surroundings

A good dental office should help patients feel relaxed in their waiting area. Therefore, they should make it as welcoming as possible. Comfortable informal seating, pot plants, and cheerful colors can all make a difference to the atmosphere.

Distraction Techniques

TV sets in waiting areas and on the ceiling of the examination room can be a good distraction. Relaxing or beautiful scenes of the forest or beach can be broadcast to provide a calming view while the teeth are being looked at.

Computer-Controlled Anesthesia

For patients who are terrified of dental injections, there’s the dental wand or CompuDent. It’s a computer-controlled way to deliver anesthetic slowly and almost painlessly. The injection system doesn’t look like a syringe, which is helpful for those who are afraid of needles.

IV Sedation

For patients who are frightened, there’s IV sedation. IV sedation dentistry is an ideal choice for those with phobias. It doesn’t induce unconsciousness, but will make the person sleepy enough that they won’t care about what’s going on around them.

IV sedation, syringe-free injections, and other techniques can ease fears and make a visit to the dentist as comfortable as possible. It’s best to find a dentist who you can visit comfortably, so you can take good care of your teeth.

5 Water Damage Cleanup DON’Ts

Ceiling damage due to water leakWater damage is dreadful. But it can be more costly, dangerous, and devastating if you make some avoidable cleanup mistakes. Here are five DON’Ts to avoid during water damage cleanup and restoration.

Don’t try DIY-ing the cleanup

One primary consideration when thinking about who should do the mold cleanup job is the size of the moldy patch.

Don’t attempt the task if there has been significant water damage or the moldy area is more than approximately 10 square feet. Instead, call a water damage restoration contractor in Salt Lake City.

Don’t take your time

If you have a water problem, you have to act quickly. The longer you wait to seek help, the more likely mold will develop. And the longer the fungus grows, the more damage it will cause.

Don’t use bleach without taking safety precautions

If you decide to use bleach to clean up some mold, you must take adequate safety precautions. Don’t use bleach in closed spaces. Do not mix bleach with acids, ammonia, or other cleaners. Don’t use bleach without first putting on personal protective equipment (PPE) to shield your nose, eyes, mouth, and skin.

Don’t keep moldy porous materials

Don’t consume or keep any floodwater-damaged food. Also, it’s best to throw out moldy absorbent or porous materials and anything else that can’t be washed and disinfected. It’s tough to eradicate the entire mold growing in empty spaces or crevices in porous materials.

For absorbent stuff with sentimental or significant monetary value, place the items in a freezer ASAP and call a water damage restoration specialist.

Don’t caulk or paint moldy surfaces

Paint applied over wet or moldy surfaces will peel. Accordingly, before painting or caulking, clean up the entire mold and thoroughly dry the surfaces.

Your response to a water problem in your home will determine the extent of the damage the water will cause. Act quickly and avoid common cleanup pitfalls to prevent further damage to your property.

Food and Beverage Sector Led Manufacturing Growth in January

manufactured canned drinksThe Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) reports that the manufacturing industry used more packaging machinery and other factory equipment in January when activity rose for the 16th month in a row.

Food and beverage production mostly drove the increase for the month. Other sub-indices such as the petroleum, coal and chemical sectors also complemented the rise in manufacturing activity.

Segment Growth

Each of the seven sub-indices listed in the PMI has been expanding since November 2017. Innes Willox, CEO for the Australian Industry Group, said that the country’s manufacturing industry has marked a strong start to 2018. The increase in January also represented the “longest manufacturing expansion in more than a decade.”

But Willox said that high energy prices and tougher competition had kept narrow margins and subdued wage growth. Still, there are some bright spots in the industry, such as more jobs, production, sales volumes and new orders. Despite some challenges, there is a belief that the Australian manufacturers should continue to invest in sustaining a manufacturing expansion.

Index Activity

The PMI recorded a score of 58.7 points in January, which indicates growth; a figure less than that suggests a contraction. Since the reading for January almost reached 59 points, it means that activity has increased at a rapid pace.

New orders, in particular, continue to increase, which could support the continued growth of manufacturing this year. The ongoing increase stems from many infrastructure projects in the pipeline and the mining industry. Demand for food exports will also be another significant factor for maintaining healthy activity in manufacturing.

The Takeaway

It makes sense that food and beverage enterprises led the growth in Australia’s manufacturing sector for January. But tough competition from overseas companies should prompt local businesses to find more ways on how to keep up this year.

Understanding Modern Trends in Hairdressing

happy young woman and hairdresser with hair iron making hairdo at hair salonYour hair is your ‘crowning glory.’ It is understandable that most people always ensure it is in pristine condition. You cannot, however, trust just anyone to take care of your hair. Getting a well-equipped salon with qualified hairdressers in Tauranga is essential.

You could ask for a consultation before making an appointment to ensure the salon you choose is the right one. You need not stick to the same boring hairstyles daily; try out new things. Here are some of the latest trends in hairdressing you could try out.

Coloured Hair

Some years ago, people would have shuddered at coloured hair. This is becoming more acceptable and is now here to stay. With the broad range of hair colours available, you could even opt to change your hair colour each month.

Golden ombre, burnt orange, chocolate mauve, jewel tones, strawberry rose and baby blonde are some of the trendiest colours currently.

Natural and Organic Hair Products

The increasing awareness regarding hair health and the need for healthy products, there has been a shift towards organic and natural products. These products are free of irritants and harmful chemicals.

Though typically more costly than other products, the benefits they offer your hair and overall health are tremendous.


Most ladies are opting for a natural look, and braids are back. Goddess braids and box braids are currently the hottest trends. You can style both types in many ways to suit virtually any occasion.

They are, however, not suitable for all types of hair. It is hence best to get your hairdresser’s opinion before trying them.

To maximise your time at the salon, you can get spa treatments fitted in with your hairdressing appointments. Going to a two-in-one salon, commonly called a “spalon,” which combines a spa and hair salon is the way to get this. This arrangement also typically comes with discounts and is hence a great way to save money.

Keep Your Good Looks Despite The Stress

a happy ladyStress at work and even at home is something you cannot avoid. And the result of being stressed out is much visible when you look older than your age. Then there are the pimples, blemishes, eye bags, grey hair and others that are some more noticeable manifestations of stress. Even gaining or losing weight can also be signs of stress.

Getting medical treatments like figure toning and chemical peel in Utah by Clarity Skin are a few examples of effective methods to gain your good looks back.

And then there are the small things you can do yourself every day to keep you glowing and help you combat the effects of stress.

Breathing Exercise

Breathing is the simplest thing to do when stressed, and you can do it anywhere. Inhale using your nose and exhale through your mouth. Breathing exercises help to relax your tensed muscles and skin and also to calm your emotions, one of the biggest contributors to stress.


This is not only for those who want to lose weight or to build their muscles. Workouts help to keep you in shape and sort your mind and emotions while you try to go through various routines. You can do simple yoga or gym exercises, even just brisk walking.


The mind is often busy when stressed that people forget to eat or even drink a glass of water. But did you know that merely drinking water can pull down your stress level significantly? Drinking water makes us feel refreshed and relaxed, and your skin becomes hydrated.

Balanced Diet

One popular way of venting out the pressure building inside is by eating too much, binge-eating. This may be enjoyable while you’re doing it, but it doesn’t make you better; in fact, it will most likely cause you to gain weight or develop diseases like obesity. So, a balanced diet is important, not only in maintaining a good body shape, but also regulating your hormones that contribute to your stress.


Keep a positive attitude in every problem you face so you can deal with it easier. Just a simple smile on your face not only lessens the intensity of your stress but also makes you feel relaxed and look much younger.

Even the simplest of things can make a lot of difference when we’re dealing with stressful situations. We forget about these in the face of bigger and more important matters. But making them your everyday habit can help you cope with stress and keep your good looks at the same time.

4 Ways to Make Your Business Green

ecofriendly businessTop business leaders take their bottom line seriously, but they also stay mindful of their businesses’ impact on the environment. The current trend in business is to embrace eco-friendly practices, so that the planet doesn’t suffer as companies make more profits.

Here are four easy ways you can go green in your firm:

Invest in green energy

Most businesses rely on electrical energy to keep operating. Sadly, the production of power can have a devastating impact on the environment, particularly where fossil fuels are involved.

What you can do instead is use alternative sources of energy. For instance, and other industry experts suggest finding a contractor who can install a few meters of solar panels at any location of your choice. Not only is solar eco-friendly, it’s also free.

Make eco-friendly business cards

Your business cards say a lot about your company. You want cards that communicate your level of success, but you also want to communicate your commitment to eco-friendly practices. Go for green business cards — the kind that’s 100% recycled, made from tree-free paper, and use vegetable-based ink.

Plant trees around the building

You may think that planting trees or creating a park outside your building is a waste of time and money, but it isn’t. Trees play a huge role in both the appearance and functionality of your compound. They help keep the air clean and fresh, besides being a good source of shade for your clients and staff. If you’re worried about doing the maintenance, you can always hire someone else to take care of that.

Reduce paper use

Ultimately, your goal should be to go entirely paperless if you can. Meanwhile, you can cut back on the amount of paper you use by creating recycling stations in all break rooms. Discourage people from unnecessary copying, and use both sides of paper when you have to make or print notes.

Embracing environmentally friendly practices will help your company save money while keeping your surrounding healthy. You can start small and gradually work towards making your entire business green.

A Guide to Important Information on VA Loans

Loan displayed on the monitorSince the year 1994, the VA loans program has seen over 22 million military servicemen and women become successful homeowners. But many military service members aren’t aware of the procedures, benefits, and operations that come with this program. As primary proponents of this financial program, they are missing out on a lot of critical information.

Demand has been on the rise for VA Loans, otherwise known as Veteran Affairs Mortgages. VA Loans in St. Louis do not require a down payment and are available to both active military members and military veterans. Besides the common knowledge on VA loans, there are more benefits and restrictions that come with VA loans.

They Are Reusable

A full VA loan entitlement is applicable repeatedly as long as you ensure that you pay your loan to completion every time. You may also get an additional VA loan even if you have an ongoing loan you are still paying for. In addition, if you suffered a foreclosure on a VA mortgage, you still have another chance to try again.

VA Loans Are for Primary Residences

Your VA loan benefit only applies to buying single or multiple primary residences. That means you cannot buy a vacation home on your favorite island or an investment property abroad. There are few exceptions to this rule, and your private lender can inform you of your limitations.

Restriction on Property Choices

A VA Home loan is only good for homes that are move-in ready to for single individuals or family people. That means, it includes homes such as condos, single family homes, multi-unit properties, modular housing and more. Therefore, if you are considering a fixer-upper, a downtown deli, or a working farm, then a VA loan may not be a viable option for you.

VA loans come with a lot more details attached to them compared to a normal loan. With the right lending agent, you can maneuver the stipulations and get the best and the most out of your VA benefit.

Avoid DIYs: The Reasons to Hire a Mortgage Broker

a Mortgage broker talking to a coupleThe past decade has witnessed swift modifications when it comes to purchasing a property. Gone are the days when building society managers or banks managed it because mortgage brokers have now taken over. A number of factors, including the decreasing number of building societies and banks, caused this shift. This is why several finance firms shifted their attention to home loans, particularly because of their connections in this competitive market.

By getting the services of a mortgage broker in Tempe, you will reap the benefits of their widespread network in the real estate loan market. Here are other ways you can take advantage of their expertise:

Avoid making expensive judgment calls

A homebuyer who blindly rushes into a mortgage agreement without completely comprehending its terms and conditions could be paying more than its actual cost. With the array of loan conditions, the only means to guarantee that you get the best deal is to appoint a broker who understands the industry.

Dodge hidden charges

Trying to understand your mortgage agreement’s terms and conditions can become frustrating, but you can avoid this hiring an intermediary. You can easily cut to the chase as soon as you notify the broker regarding your needs. They will be able to determine the current availability and assist you in choosing the best deal.

The mortgage market is constantly changing, which is precisely why you require the capabilities of a broker for they always keep themselves updated. With their straightforward advice, you will be able to dodge hidden charges.

Probably the main reason you would hire a broker is that you won’t really need to pay them. Their work is based on commission, which they get from the lender. Think about it; you will be getting the expertise of these brokers and get the best loan available without having to pay anything.