Automated Monitoring to Improve Facilities Maintenance

Large buildings take a lot of maintenance, but your maintenance department is probably kept as small as practical to save money. This reality creates a demand for electronic and digital tools to help you keep track of your building’s status and needs. Automated monitoring systems make a facility manager’s job easier in a number of ways.

Working When Humans Don’t

Your flesh-and-blood maintenance workforce is only available part of the time, even if you and some of your staff are always on-call for maintenance emergencies. These days, that emergency call is likely to be initiated not by a person but by a computer. The 24-hour fire and security monitoring we have come to rely on are just two familiar examples. Automated maintenance systems of all kinds are able to have “eyes” on every part of your building while your human staff are getting some well-earned sleep.

Staying in Places Humans Can’t

You and your maintenance workforce are responsible for the whole facility, but some parts of the building are far less accessible for maintenance than others. A good example of an essential building element that you aren’t able to see every day is the roof. Although you can periodically walk over your facility’s roof to check its condition, you can’t keep a team continually patrolling the roof night and day. What is happening on your roof when you’re not looking can have costly results. Automated roof alarm systems with predictive monitoring can notify you 24/7 about current problems, and even warn you ahead of time about potential issues that could become a problem. This is especially valuable in cold climates where a rapid accumulation of snow can undermine a roof’s integrity faster than you might think.

Seeing Things Humans Don’t

Even when you and your maintenance staff are present and productive, there are some things you won’t notice simply because of the limitations of human senses. Automated sensors that “see” in the infrared spectrum can detect cold spots that could alert you to energy leaks or even hidden mold. Moisture monitors can detect dampness and warn you of the potential for water damage before a human would ever notice any leaks or condensation. Air quality monitors can “sniff” out carbon monoxide or other hazardous gases and airborne contaminants that humans couldn’t detect until it was far too late.

As a facilities manager, you’ve probably felt the need to be in multiple places at once in order to monitor everything going on with your building. Automated asset management and monitoring systems can’t clone you, but they can give you a remote “presence” to make your job more manageable.

How to Protect Your Home Against Fires

Your home is one of your most precious assets. Even if you don’t own a home and are renting, the place where you sleep at night, cook your meals, and relax with your family is one of the most important things you have. So can you imagine what would happen if your home were to catch on fire?

It’s a scary thought for anyone, but luckily there are plenty of things you can do to prevent fires in your home or yard.

Know the Risks

The first step to keeping your home and family safe is to educate yourself on what causes house fires and how to stay safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), some of the top causes of house fires are related to cooking, smoking, heating, candles, and electrical problems. Just being aware of these and their proper uses can go a long way in preventing fires.

Develop Safe Habits

Working to create good habits associated with cooking, candles, heating, smoking and electricity is essential. For example, when cooking, make it a practice never to leave food unattended on the stove or in the oven. If you’re always there to keep an eye on it, you will be able to put out any fires while they are small and prevent their spread to the rest of the house.

Keep heat sources clear. Keep material, blankets, pillows, or furniture from blocking or touching heat sources. These include vents, space heaters, electric and gas stoves, pellet stoves, fireplaces, and more.

Make a habit of completely putting out cigarette butts when you finish smoking. This can be placing them in sand or an ashtray or dousing them with water before throwing them in the trash. Don’t smoke in bed or on the couch, where hot ashes can fall and catch fire.  

Don’t overload electrical outlets with multiple plugs. They can only handle a certain amount of energy surging through them. If you need to use some sort of extension, purchase one with surge protection. 

Keep Up With Preventative Measures

Not only are education and creating good habits important, but there are other measures you can take to protect your family and home. For example, some companies offer fire safety services NYC that can inspect your home and ensure that your smoke alarms are correctly installed. They can also help you develop safety plans in case of fire and install fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems.

It may seem like a lot of time or money, but anything you invest in preventing house fires is well worth it. You’ll rest more easily at night knowing that you and your family are sleeping safely.

How to Decrease Manual Labor at Home

When you get home from a hard day of work, what you want to do most is finally rest and relax for the day. Unfortunately, a household requires a lot of manual labor to maintain. Thankfully, here are a few things you can do to reduce the work you need to do when you get home tired.

Treat Yourself to a Dishwasher

Washing the dishes isn’t only time-consuming, it’s also unnecessary, extra work that you can avoid thanks to a great, modern invention. If you do yourself the favor of scheduling a dishwasher installation Washington DC, you can treat yourself to more relaxation time after work. Plus, you’ll also save yourself from the negative consequences of having to do your own dishes. For example, this is an activity that can cause dry, cracked skin or back pain over time from having to lean over a sink for extended periods of time.

Don’t Allow Shoes Inside Your Home

Another chore that requires a lot of manual labor and can cause you a lot of back pain over time is mopping your floor. This is because you typically lean over while holding your mop, which can cause stress to your lower back over extended periods of time. Therefore, reducing the need to clean your floor is one way in which you can easily reduce the manual labor you do at home and save yourself some pain as well. This is actually quite easy to accomplish. All you have to do is not allow shoes inside your home, which will reduce the amount of dust and dirt that people carry inside, thus reducing how often you need to clean!

Your house doesn’t have to be another source of physical strain on your body. You can relax a little more at home by getting a dishwasher and disallowing shoes inside.

Floor Care for 3 Different Materials

The floor in your home sets the mood for the rest of the house. However, your floors take a beating every day. If you neglect their upkeep, you might notice your home does not feel quite right.

If you want to take better care of your floors, continue reading this article. Whether you have hardwood, tile or linoleum, these tips will improve your flooring.

1. Hardwood Care

Hardwood floors require some of the most maintenance compared to other floor types. It would be best to sweep your floors once per week. Once per month, you should use a safe cleaning solution for your wooden floors. However, do not mop in the traditional sense. This will soak your floors with more water than an accidental spill. If you notice warping or cracks in your wood, contact a professional about floor refinishing service Ramsey NJ.

2. Tile Care

Tile, on the other, can and should be mopped with a mild detergent. If you have unglazed tiles, use a mixture of vinegar and water. Avoid sponge mops because they spread around dirt and push debris into the grout. To clean your grout, use baking soda and make a paste with water. Apply the paste and let it sit overnight, then scrub it with a nylon brush.

3. Vinyl Care

Vinyl needs to be cleaned every day if you can. Sweep your floors every day to keep your floors in good shape. Do not let spills sit on vinyl. Even though it is waterproof, it might stain if you allow things to fester. Put protective mats in high-traffic areas to help reduce dirt and grime and minimize your need to clean. Find a good vinyl cleaning solution and use it once a month.

Your floors require work. They can take a pounding, but if you want to avoid costly repairs in the future, spend some time every day and clean your floors.

Tips to Maximize Your Small Kitchen

Many people have small kitchens, but that does not mean you cannot make it into an attractive and efficient space in your home. Using color, accessories and space will transform your small kitchen into the centerpiece of your house.

For kitchen decorating tips, continue reading this article. Cooking is a beautiful pastime that brings together friends and family and creates memories. Do not let your kitchen become an unused part of your home.

Install New Cabinets

Small kitchens do not have to lack storage. Look into professional cabinet services California in your area to get some quotes. One benefit of a small kitchen is that it will not cost you a fortune to install new cabinetry. It would be best to opt for units that give a more open and spacious appearance. Talk to a professional about the best option for your space.

Use Wallpaper

If you have blank walls between your cabinets and counters, consider adding a fun pattern that brings color to your kitchen. Wallpaper is relatively inexpensive and gives you nearly infinite possibilities to experiment with designs. Get several samples and hang them up in your kitchen to see what fits your style.

Create More Space

Even tiny kitchens have more space than you realize. Many people neglect open wall space and the area by their feet. Consider installing shelving or pegboards to hang up pots and pans that you use the most. Put away appliances and utensils you need but do not use very often. Also, consider taking an inventory of your kitchen supplies and donating the things you no longer need.

Kitchens are one of the most fun rooms to redecorate. You might be amazed home some simple redesigns can transform the form and functionality of your cooking zone. Search online for some color and organization inspiration, and consider hiring a professional to install new fixtures.

Top 3 Reasons To Use Accent Windows in the Home

When remodeling or constructing a home, window placement is a primary consideration. Windows add to the exterior and interior design of the house and create an interior luminosity that cannot compare with electrical lighting options. A dark and dank home interior can drastically change with the addition of one or more new windows. The windows you select might also include accent windows. Depending on your choice, they might be used as transom windows above a door or as sidelights flanking an entrance. Additionally, they often come in unique curved shapes or as popout windows used for kitchen gardening, giving a highlight to whichever surface they grace. Many homeowners realize three important reasons for using accent windows in their homes’ construction or remodeling.

1. To Increase Interior Light

Accent windows help to bring more light inside the home. For example, adding window light increases natural light within the dwelling, which relies on free solar energy, thereby giving you a bit of a break on your electricity costs.

2. To Increase Curb Appeal

Because most windows feature square or rectangular forms, accent windows draw the viewers’ focus due to their unique shapes. They can appear in round, oval or hexagonal forms. Placing one of them over a door or under an eve brings attention to that area in grand style, thereby improving your home’s curb appeal.

3. To Increase Interior Heat

Another reason for adding one or more accent windows to the home is the window’s ability to allow sunlight into the house. The sun provides a beautiful energy source that you can utilize for free if you place your accent and other windows in appropriate places to take advantage of the sun’s rays.

Accent windows provide the light and bright spots where your eye travels when looking at any home exterior. Furthermore, their unique shapes add the extra spark or even function as the home’s jewelry that the residence requires to help it feel right for you and your home design sense.

How To Prepare for Your Fence Installation

Fencing clearly distinguishes your property from that of your neighbors. It can also provide privacy and security. If you have determined the type of fence you want to install and have chosen your contractor, you are almost ready for the work to start. These are a few things you should do to get ready for your installation.

Clean Up Your Property

To prepare for your wood fence installation in Forest Lake IL, need to clean up your property. First, remove everything out of the way of the line where the fence will go. You probably don’t want to pay for the extra time it will take for your contractor to remove it. In addition, you should move anything that could cause an accident. Your contractor will be carrying wood and other supplies around your land, so clear all the paths that will be used.

Call Your Utility Companies

Before you do any kind of building or digging on your land, you should contact your utility companies. If any of your utilities are disrupted or damaged or someone is injured, you could be looking at heavy fines and repair costs. Avoid these dangers and fees and call your utility companies.

Have Your Land Surveyed

Your fencing contractor may be able to look over your property description and layout your fencing, but these individuals are not surveyors. They can make mistakes. To ensure that you aren’t encroaching on your neighbors and that you aren’t giving away your land, hire a professional to mark your property lines.

Speak With Your Neighbors

Before you do any work on the property line, you should have a discussion with your neighbors. Let them know that you will be doing construction and show them samples of your fence. You never know, they may offer to pay for part of the fence since it will be shared.


It may seem like a lot of work, but if you spend some time preparing, you can speed up the installation process.

4 Ways To Bring Your Kitchen to Life

The kitchen in your home is more than just the place where you cook. It is often the center of everything that your family does. For this reason, you should make its design a priority.

If you have been thinking about installing new countertops Pittsburgh PA, why not use this time to come up with other routes to add some life to the area? Even if you are on a budget, there are numerous ways to bring your kitchen to life. For some inspiration, check out this list of ideas. 

1. Let Light In

Great lighting is always best in a cooking space, but nothing compares to natural lighting. One way to add more light to the room is by installing additional windows. Something else to consider is putting a skylight in the ceiling. 

2. Add Decorative Backsplash

How does the backsplash behind your oven look? To add an artistic touch, you can give the wall space more style by adding geometric shapes, bold colors and sharp lines. Whether you use tiles, paint or both, the options are limitless. For a seamless look, try using colors that match cabinets and countertops. 

3. Mix History With Modernity

If you are someone who appreciates more of a historical look but you also want some modernity, why not have both? For example, another great kitchen remodeling idea is to make your cabinets echo the style of a past period in time while complementing them with modern appliances. 

4. Create an Open Space

How much open space does your cooking area currently have? Depending on the size of your kitchen and the number of belongings that it contains, it may be a bit crowded. This is common for many households. However, by creating more of an open space layout and decluttering, you can give the room an entirely new (and welcoming) character.

If you want to add more life to your kitchen but are unsure where to start, this list can help you brainstorm. However, do not be afraid to get creative!

What To Do After a Tornado

Tornadoes can wreak havoc on entire towns in just a few minutes, so it’s no wonder that they often do extensive damage to people’s homes. If your home or business fell victim to a tornado, there are several steps you should take to get things back up and running safely.

Assess the Damage

As soon as it’s safe to do so, step outside and assess the damage done to your home, business, or any other outbuildings or property that you have. Look for uprooted fences, damaged vehicles, broken windows and doors, downed walls, or torn-off roofing. Create a list of all the damage that you find and take as many pictures as possible to document it.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

The sooner you call your insurance agent, the better. You’ll need to have your policy number handy and provide a basic description of the damage that you found. Your agent will send out a claims adjuster who will take his or her own photographs of the damage as well. Avoid doing any clean-up until after you meet with the claims adjuster. When you do begin the cleanup process, keep your receipts to further help your insurance claim.

Get in Touch With Service Professionals

Chances are that you can’t perform your own contracting work to rebuild walls, install new doors and windows, and perform roofing service Bloomsburg PA. It might even be a good time to put in some solar panels if you need to rebuild your roof anyway. As soon as you can, get in touch with the right contractors to help you rebuild your home or business and get in back in safe operational order. 

There is nothing quite as scary as falling victim to a tornado, but it does not need to mean the end of your beloved home or business. Finding the right contractors could even mean making improvements along the way.

Best 2 Gutter Types For Your Home

When building your home, there are many different types of exterior features you should consider, both stylistically, and practically. You need to make decisions regarding what type of paneling to install, what color paint you want to use on the house, what type of trim you must install; but the most important decision you have to make is what type of gutter is best for your family. Here are the top two most popular types of gutters for residential homes.

Out of all the types of gutters available, the one that sticks out the most to most people is the basic K-gutter. For reference, if you think of a gutter in your mind, you are likely thinking of a K-gutter. K-gutters are the most popular gutters by far because of 3 things. They are practical and feature an efficient design. They are stylish and blend well with the majority of housing styles, and they are cheaper than most other types of gutters. They also work well with gutter guards Gresham, as they have a nice square bottom to work with. However, you should not jump to the conclusion that these are the best gutters, as there are other gutters to consider.

Half-round gutters are the second most popular type of gutter, second only to the K-gutter. Half-round gutters are stylish on brick houses and they often can be made out of old pipes, which can reduce cost and waste dramatically. Online resources are available to help you decide whether half-round gutters are right for you 

These are the two most popular types of gutters for use at residential properties. By taking advantage of these gutter types for your home, you can be sure that you will have a stylish exterior that will impress any invited guest that has the privilege of entering your home.