How To Avoid Overcharging By Electricity Suppliers

April 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm

It is currently that time of year when it seems like winter will never end. Around now many of us will start looking at our electric bill wondering when we started paying so much. Being overcharged by your electric supplier is not an unheard of phenomenon. There have been recent cases where electric suppliers were required to pay back money that they overcharged their customers. But do not fret, there are a number of steps you can take to be sure you are not being overcharged by your electric supplier.

The best, and simplest, thing you can do to avoid overcharging by your electric suppliers is to pay attention. It is, after all, the little things that can really add up. When your electric bill comes each month be sure to open it and actually read through the charges stated before you pay. Keep track of your meter usage and compare it to what is listed in your bill. Also, keep track of how much you are being charged per kWh and compare that amount to your bills from the previous months. If there is a discrepancy between them that you can’t account for there may be a larger issue that you might want to look into. Be aware of the difference between the price your company advertises, the price you are paying, and the price of other competitors in the area as difference could possibly be considered a break in your original agreement. Finally, make sure you are not being charged any repetitive or additional fees, as glitches in billing systems have been known to happen recently. Regardless, be sure to first lodge any complaints you have directly with your electric supplier if possible.

If you believe you are paying too much and are unable to resolve the issue with your current electric supplier it may become necessary to change to another company. You can use a site like www.comparetexasenergyproviders.com to compare the offerings from different companies. To deter you from switching companies sometimes try to tack on an additional fee for changing that you could be able to fight if there was a jump in fees that constitute a change in contract. Keep in mind that there may be a delay in switching and take that time frame in account when you make the switch. Overall, don’t be afraid to change electric suppliers if you find their competitor has lower rates. It may be the best decision for both you and your wallet.

Top Tips for Remodeling Your Bathroom

January 9, 2015 at 1:06 am

The bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in any house. Most people have both a morning and a nighttime routine that takes place in it that involves showering, brushing their teeth, and getting ready for the day. Chances are that you visit it at least one more time throughout the day to take care of business.

What this all boils down to is the simple fact that your bathroom is important. It needs to be functional to take care of all your daily needs. Yet many people also desire an attractive bathroom since so much time is spent there.

Below are our top tips on remodeling your bathroom – and using green technologies while doing so. Because it takes a lot of skill, experience, and special tools to renovate a bathroom, our top tips all relate to hiring a professional building contractor to do the job for you.

Bathroom Renovation Suggestions

Hiring a contractor to renovate your bathroom is great because it allows you to kill two (or more) birds with one stone. In addition to improving the functionality and cosmetics of the room, you can also focus on making yours more energy efficient. Remember to ask your contractor about:

  • Low-Flow Showerheads – Reduce the amount of water you use in the shower. Some come with built-in timers so you’re aware of how long you’re in there for.
  • Moisture-Sensing Fan – These exhaust fans clear out steam in a room and then shut out automatically after the moisture is gone.
  • Low-Flow Toilets – Like low-flow showerheads, these toilets use far less water than a typical model.
  • Fixtures – Remember that the fewer parts your bathroom fixtures have, the longer they will last without breaking.
  • Flooring – It is very important to select heat and steam resistant flooring.

Find the Best Contractor

One of the most difficult parts of a home renovation project is finding a qualified contractor. There are a lot of them out there and it goes without saying that some do far better work than others. Keep these tips in mind while looking for a contractor for your bathroom remodeling project.

  • Referrals – You can’t beat referrals when it comes to hiring a contractor. If friends and family have had similar work done in their homes, their recommendations should be on the top of your list.
  • Reviews – Online reviews are another great way to gauge a contractor’s skill and reputability. Remember to check the Better Business Bureau as well.
  • Gut Feeling – Schedule a meeting with your top choice after narrowing down the field. If your gut feeling tells you anything is off, trust it. There are plenty of contractors to choose from, so go with one you are completely comfortable with.
  • Get an Estimate – Make sure that every estimate you get is in writing. In addition to price, it should include the estimated amount of time the project will take.

Final Thoughts on Remodeling Your Bathroom

A bathroom remodel is one of the most common home restoration projects around. It is essential to have a solid idea of what you want before starting. If you find a reputable and experienced contractor, then communicating exactly what you want – and then getting exactly this – won’t be a challenge.

All About Water Damage Restoration

December 28, 2014 at 3:51 am

It doesn’t matter whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, water damage is highly upsetting. It is likely to cause serious damage to your property and needs to be dealt with in as swift a manner as possible.

Below is more information on what water damage is, the process of restoring water damaged property, and how to find the best water damage restoration companies, including those that specialize in the use of green technologies.

What is Water Damage?

Water damage describes numerous different types of damage caused by exposure to water. The term is most often used to describe damage caused to commercial and residential properties by water.

When water enters a home, it swiftly sets about to attacking the structure. A few of the most common problems the unwanted intrusion of water causes include rotting of wood, growth of mold, rusting of steel, and de-laminating of plywood. This is only the tip of the iceberg. If water’s access to your home does not stop, it will continue to cause increasingly serious structural problems.

Water damage occurs for numerous reasons. The damage can be slow, even imperceptibly so, and enter the home through a minor leak. On the other hand, water damage can also be catastrophic. Serious flooding is an example of this. In homes, water damage often occurs through failure of a sump pump.

How Does Water Damage Restoration Work?

Water damage restoration is exactly what it sounds like. It is a type of home renovation where property damaged by water is restored to its original, livable condition. Because most instances of water damage are serious, restoration is generally handled by skilled and licensed contractors.

The process of restoration is generally the same, although the specifics may vary depending on the extent of the damage. It often consists of extraction equipment removing any remaining freestanding water. The equipment then removes water from any carpet, padding, and upholstery in the home. In some instances, the carpet needs to be removed for proper drying.

Professional grade drying and dehumidifying equipment is then used to dry out the water-damaged areas. This equipment also ensures that the level of humidity in your home returns to normal, preventing the growth of mold. Your water damage restoration contractor will then use special instruments to detect if there are any hidden pockets of water still left in your house.

Find a Reliable Water Damage Restoration Contractor

There are a lot of different water damage restoration contractors and companies out there to choose from. It goes without saying that some of them are better than others. When dealing with a problem as potentially serious as water damage, it is essential to hire a professional you can trust to do the best restoration job possible.

The first thing you must look for in a contractor is specialization in water damage restoration. It is almost always the best idea to go with a company that makes water damage restoration its focus rather than one that offers it in addition to other varied home renovation services.

When looking for a specialized contractor, make sure they have an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This is one of the most widely respected certification programs in the industry. You can rest assured that individuals with the certification know exactly what they are doing when it comes to restoring your water damaged home.

One of the quickest ways to narrow down your hunt for a great service from the start is to take referrals from friends and family. If anyone you know has used a water damage restoration service in the past, then their suggestions are a great starting place. Searching online for reviews of the water damage restoration experts in your local area is another surefire way to find a company that is reputable and reliable.

Finally, the best water damage contractors offer a variety of services alongside their water damage restoration. The most important of these are mildew and odor control, wall cavity drying, deodorizing and disinfection, and 24/7 emergency service. It is always best to select a company that offers all of these services so that you receive the most thorough restoration possible.

There are numerous companies that specialize in using green technologies for water damage restoration. They use eco friendly cleaning equipment and products. These companies are dedicated to making the lowest environmental impact possible.

What to Do If Water Damage Occurs

There are a number of things you should do when you notice water damage in your home. The first is to stop the water at its source if possible. You should also turn off the electricity in the areas affected by water. If it is safe to do so, you can then remove any small electrical devices from these areas once the electricity is turned off.

The next step is contacting a water damage restoration service to come in and take a look. While you wait for them, you should do your best to avoid walking on the wet carpet. You can also remove small furnishings from affected areas and hang draperies so they don’t touch wet floors. Remember to always wash your hands after handling any of the water or water-damaged items.

It is very important to note that you should not use your household vacuum or a shop vacuum to attempt the removal of any water. These devices are not made for removing large quantities of water and could very well malfunction. Restoration companies have equipment specifically designed to safely and effectively extract water from damaged surfaces.

Final Thoughts on Home Water Damage Restoration

Water damage is something that no one wants to deal with. Yet unfortunately accidents do happen and it sometimes does become a big problem. If you are dealing with water damage, then you must hire a water damage restoration company to come into your home and take care of the problem. The information above will help you find the best possible company for the job.

All About Residential Carpet Cleaning

November 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm

It really isn’t possible to keep your home’s carpet in order without regular deep cleaning. No matter how careful you are, spills and tracked in dirt are inevitable. For those that have small children or pets, keeping carpets clean is even harder. It goes without saying that at some point, your carpet is going to need cleaning on a higher scale than vacuuming.

Fortunately, cleaning your carpet really isn’t that hard. Those that want to tackle the job themselves have a number of options including renting a carpet cleaner/shampooer or tackling the project in a DIY fashion. You might even consider buying your own carpet cleaner/shampooer if you live in a dirty household (such as one with small children or pets).

If you’re not eager to take on cleaning your carpets yourself, there are a wide variety of professional companies out there that offer residential carpet cleaning services at affordable prices.

DIY Carpet Cleaning

Those with a DIY (do-it-yourself) bent might consider cleaning their carpets themselves. This is also a great option if you are not willing to shell out the money for a professional service.

As mentioned above, there are two primary ways to go about DIY carpet cleaning. The first, and easiest, is to rent a carpet cleaner. These devices can easily be rented at home improvement stores as well as many grocery stores. The cleaners used in the machines can be bought at these locations as well. Most carpet cleaner rentals leave you with a professional quality steamer.

The other DIY method only works for smaller spot cleaning jobs. It is not feasible to use them to clean your entire carpet. In this method, you mix one-teaspoon dishwashing liquid, one-teaspoon white vinegar, one-teaspoon baking soda, and one cup of warm water in an empty spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the stain you are dealing with. Rub and dab with a dry and clean towel. You will notice immediate results. Continue rubbing until the stain is removed.

Tips for Using a Carpet Cleaner

The first thing you need to do before using a high-quality professional steamer on your carpet is make sure your carpet will not bleed, fade, or change. This is called testing for colorfastness.

The best way to test for colorfastness is to dampen a cloth with a small amount of the cleaner you intend to use in your steamer. Rub it onto a small part of your carpet in an inconspicuous area, such as inside of a closet. Leave for an hour and then rub the area of carpet with a dry white cloth. If the cloth becomes stained with any of the cleaner, you should continue testing different cleaning products until you find one that does not cause the carpet to bleed.

After finding a cleaning product that works, it is time to protect your furniture. Remove all the furniture from the room that the carpet is being cleaned in. This protects the furniture and also makes the entire cleaning process easier and more effective.

All About Residential Carpet Cleaning

The next step is to thoroughly vacuum your carpet. Now that your carpet is free of furniture and vacuumed, you can use your rental carpet cleaner. These carpet cleaners generally use the water extraction method. They inject a wet solution into the carpet and then pull out the dirt. The more powerful the machine you use, the easier it will clean your carpet.

Make sure to wait for at least twenty-four hours after steam cleaning your carpet before moving furniture back into the room. This allows the carpet to fully dry and prevents the growth of mold.

Hire a Residential Carpet Cleaning Service

Many homeowners choose to hire a residential carpet cleaning service to clean their floors. This is a great option if, like most people, you only need to clean your floors once a year.

When you hire a professional, you will have the choice to select between steam cleaning (wet extraction) and the dry extraction method. After visiting your home, a professional will be able to tell you which will most benefit your carpet.

Professional carpet cleaners have special equipment and cleaning products. This allows them to get the job done far more thoroughly than a rental carpet cleaner can do. Professionals additionally have extensive experience removing stains. This knowledge and experience helps them do the best job possible.

All About Residential Carpet Cleaning

It’s important to note that prices for professional carpet cleaning services vary widely. Unlike other home renovation services, carpet cleaning is generally the same from one company to the next. For this reason, it’s best to do a little shopping around so you can select a high-quality company that doesn’t overcharge for their services.

Green Carpet Cleaning Services

A number of residential carpet cleaning services are popping up that specialize in green technologies. These services use environmentally-friendly cleaning agents. Their employees are all highly trained in green cleaning techniques.

One trick that many of these green companies use is to leave a neutralizing rinse in your carpet. This leaves very little residue and a neutral pH. It keeps cleaning even after the cleaners have left. And it does so in a way that is safe for you, your family, and your pets.

Finding a great green carpet cleaning company is easy with the Internet at your fingertips. These services are available in almost every major city and the majority of smaller ones as well. They are a great choice for those that care about staying green during their home renovation projects.

Final Thoughts on Residential Carpet Cleaning

If your home has carpet in it, then you’re going to have to clean it at some point. Most experts recommend that you shampoo and steam your carpet at least once every twelve to eighteen months. If you have light colored carpet or kids/pets, you might need to clean your carpet two or three times per year.

Fortunately, you have a lot of different options available. You can rent a carpet cleaner, use a DIY method, or hire professionals. Each method comes with its own set of pros and cons. It is important to understand what your individual needs are before selecting a method to use.

Hire a Toxicity and Mold Removal Service

November 9, 2014 at 5:15 am

Mold should never be left unchecked. When moisture in a home becomes too great, it facilitates the growth of mold. And this mold can lead to a number of serious problems, both for the health of your family and for the health of your house itself.

Hire a Toxicity and Mold Removal Service

Problems With Mold

The biggest reason why mold should never be left unchecked is because it can become dangerous to the health of you and your family. Breathing in mold is likely to cause a number of health problems including infections, allergic reactions, and asthma among many others. It’s even worse for those with already weakened immune systems – in severe cases, exposure to it can even lead to death.

But mold doesn’t just cause toxicity problems to humans. It also causes permanent damage to your home, leading to costly repairs. Simply put, it’s much better to take care of mold from the get-go rather than worry about it when it becomes a serious problem.

Hire a Toxicity and Mold Removal Service

Mold Growth Prevention

It’s far easier to prevent the growth of mold than to remove it once it has infested your home. The top ways to prevent mold from setting in include checking your roof for leaks (including stains on your ceiling), checking your floorboards for dampness, and occasionally checking your house for a musty smell. All of these are signs mold has found its way inside of your home.

Hire a Toxicity and Mold Removal Service

Combatting mold is a home renovation project best dealt with by experts. Attempting to address the problem yourself will only make matters worse. Like always, hunt for a contractor with particular experience in toxicity and mold removal. They should be licensed for these particular regulations and carry proper insurance for every member of their crew.

Hire an Exterior House Cleaning Service

October 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm

While any cleaning job can be difficult, cleaning the outside of your house is on a whole different level. It’s difficult and dangerous. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to hire a professional service to clean the exterior of your home. The pros will get the job done safely and effectively every time.

Benefits of Professional House Cleaning

There are numerous benefits to hiring a professional house cleaning service. Chief among them is safety. When cleaning the exterior of a two-story (or taller) home or the roof of any home, safety is paramount. The pros have equipment and experience the vast majority of homeowners don’t have access to.

Hire an Exterior House Cleaning Service

Professionals will scrub down the exterior of your home without damaging it or nearby landscaping. When they’re done, both the curb appeal and property value of your home will increase. Furthermore, hiring professionals ensures that your homeowner’s insurance policy is still intact. Self-cleaning can sometimes void these policies.

Hire the Best Exterior House Cleaning Company

Hiring an experienced and reputable exterior house cleaning company is essential. Make sure they are licensed to work in your area and that they are certified in exterior house cleaning. It is also important to ask about their experience with this particular type of work and how long they expect the process to take. Finally, you must ask what type of safety precautions they will take to protect your home and outdoor landscaping from accidental damage.