Home Solar Power in Hot Climates

It doesn’t take a genius to know that solar power works off the sun and the energy it creates. It’s no surprise then that solar power is most popular in the southern, sunny states. Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, California, and Arizona lead the way in solar production per capita. These hot climates are perfect for squeezing every drop out of your solar panels, but they do provide their own unique set of challenges. If done correctly, solar power can be a great resource to help keep electricity costs under control, even when the air conditioning is struggling to keep up.

Choose Equipment Suited for the Temperature

Not all solar equipment is created equal. Solar panels, inverters and racking systems come in a wide variety of applications, each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Some equipment is made with the goal of being cost efficient, while some is made with longevity and long-term cost savings in mind. The http://coloradosluxuryhomes.com/ website says when considering solar for your a luxury home, you need to make sure you choose equipment that is designed for extreme heat. There are many options for solar equipment that fits these requirements, so make sure to work with a solar installer that is upfront about the equipment they use. All solar equipment has a corresponding spec sheet that will let you know it’s operating temperature range, as well as a few other points of important information. Make sure your solar equipment is rated to withstand temperatures of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a Long Warranty

High temperatures shorten the life of all electronic equipment, and solar equipment is no exception. Taking in all that sunlight and heat, day after day, year after year, can noticeably reduce the lifespan of your solar equipment. All quality solar equipment comes with a warranty from the manufacturer that protects you in case the equipment fails prematurely, but some manufacturers offer longer warranty lengths than others. The longest warranties available currently are 25 years. Long warranty lengths are especially necessary in hot or otherwise harsh climates.

Choose a Local Installer

Local solar installers are crucial in hot climates. They specialize in your particular area of the country so it is easier for a local installer to choose the right equipment and warranty package for your climate. They are also more accustomed to designing solar panel system configurations that can cope with extreme heat. Make sure to check the equipment specifications the installer is using, even if you are using a local installer.

Control Shading Issues

Shade from trees and other tall objects wreak havoc on solar panel systems. Not only are they a danger to the panels in windy conditions, shade can drastically reduce solar production and even shorten the life of the solar panels. This is true especially so in hot climates. Your solar installer should check for any current or potential future shading issues when initially evaluating your home. Any shade where the panels are going to sit should be corrected at this time, either by trimming the tree or removing the shade source completely. If removing or controlling the shade source is not a viable option, the solar panels should be arranged in the way to avoid the shade.

The sunshine belt leads the way in solar power, with more solar panel systems being installed every day. The high temperatures present some unique challenges, but with the right know-how, solar power can be a valuable, money-saving addition to your home for many years to come!

5 nightmares for every contractor

The role of a contractor has multiple levels of responsibilities given the fact that they are accountable for a vast range of people and tasks. On top of that, contractors are under constant pressure to deliver a great result to their client.

In that sense, it doesn’t take much to understand that the job of a contractor can be extremely stressful. In an effort to provide a better visualisation of the obstacles that contractors may come across on their day-to-day work, we present below five nightmares for every contractor regardless of the type of projects they are working on.

  1. Managing and delegating tasks on site

Maintaining a good connection between the back office and the construction site is of paramount importance. Especially if we take also into account that a contractor normally is responsible for a number of demanding projects at the same time.

That being said, task delegation can sometimes be a real nightmare for contractors as they may lack precise overview of the project’s progress. Thankfully, with the rise of digital technologies things have started to change for the better.

Being able to keep track of everything that is happening on site in real time can shorten the project cycle, minimise delays and lower rework rates. After all, “the programme is king” in construction and staying on top of the latest project updates is always the number one priority. But it doesn’t have the number one nightmare.

  1. Staying in control of the supply chain

The way the supply chain communicates and collaborates can also be a notable source of pain for many contractors. At the moment, it is no exaggeration to say that the supply chain in construction is very fragmented. There are simply too many decision makers and in quite a few cases valuable information can be lost as a project progresses.

Finding the right subcontractors for the job is always a challenge for contractors. The problem can be even more intense if as a contractor you don’t have yet a network of professionals whom you can trust and with whom you have worked again in the past.

The good news is that as digital tools have begun to emerge in the industry, it becomes gradually easier for contractors to gain control over the supply chain and hold everyone accountable for their deeds.

That is an extremely important parameter for restoring trust in contractual relations as it can lock disputes out of the project and save contractors a great deal of money and time.

  1. Repeating the same mistakes

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. One of the biggest nightmares for contractors around the globe is that of making the same mistakes again and again. Learning from past projects can pave the way for boosting productivity and improving efficiency in the construction industry.

For that to happen, contractors need to become better in taking care of their project data. These precious bits of information can provide excellent guidance in regard to upcoming projects based on geographic location, type of project, equipment and many more.

Simply put, data can be the way out for contractors in regard to this nightmare, as it can help them improve their decision-making process and bring their problem-solving abilities up to speed.

  1. Lack of skilled labour

The lack of skilled workers is a nightmare for the entire industry and contractors could be no exception. Construction seems unable to attract the new workforce generation which prefers to pursue an ambitious career in more digitised sectors. As a result, it can be a big challenge for contractors to find people who are properly trained in order to complete successfully the tasks in demand.

On that you should also add the fact that the needs of the sector are rapidly changing and soon construction will be in serious need of knowledge workers instead of construction workers. In other words, they will be in need of people who have a good understanding of analytics and at the same time a certain knowledge around the industry.

Without a doubt, we are talking about a tricky combination which can make life even harder for contractors. Nevertheless, it is a great opportunity for the entire sector to revitalise its profile and become appealing for young and tech-savvy individuals.

Investing in the training of their employees can also be a way forward for contractors. In that manner, they can improve the ones that they have already found and make sure that they train them according to the current and upcoming needs of the organisation.

  1. Paperwork

Last but certainly not least, the paperwork nightmare. It goes without saying that this is a very common struggle for almost everyone involved in a construction project. The amount of tasks and captured information in the course of almost every project is gigantic and can be extremely time-consuming for contractors on almost a daily basis.

As the construction industry goes digital and pen-and-paper practices are left behind things are getting a little better but there is still a whole mountain that needs to be climbed. For now, paperwork is still a source of pain and frustration for many contractors who seem to be trapped in formality processes instead of investing their time and creativity in developing projects which can take the construction industry by storm.

Final word

By now, it is clear that the role of a contractor is very challenging as it entails a plethora of tasks and duties. There are many different factors that contractors need to take into consideration due to their multi-purposed role.

Nonetheless, the emergence of digital technologies in combination with the general paradigm shift in the sector are expected to pave the way for a new approach with regards to the challenges that a contractor is normally battling against.

About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is Content Marketing Manager at GenieBelt.

Driving Business Growth Through Good Safety Practices

Good safety is good business. This popular statement may be used a lot, but just ignored. It’s still true. Even simple improvements in safety can help boost competitiveness, increase profitability, and boost employee motivation.

Here are some impressive facts:

  • More than 60% of CFOs report that each (US)$1 invested in injury prevention returns (US)$2 or more.
  • Over 40% of CFOs surveyed, responded by saying productivity was the greatest benefit to creating a safer workplace.
  • Avoiding one workplace injury by investing in safety requirements can save a company (US)$37,000.
  • Each prevented worker fatality saves an employer approximately (US)$1,390,000

Making the Case for improved Safety Practices

Encouraging sufficient safety standards is a process that is becoming more important over time. Contingent workers are a vital requirement for many companies in the heavy industry and for some important reasons.

Some of the benefits involved include certain specialist skills, the cost of benefits, the ability to upscale faster, and far greater flexibility compared to a more traditional workforce approach.

But using contractors has its downsides. A key one is accountability. Owner of the companies are accountable for anything that happens on their worksites, including accidents and injuries. So, if a worker is injured on your site, you’re the one responsible.

Compared to full-time employees, contractors and temporary workers are more prone to an accident occurring and this can drive up the project costs, reducing overall profitability.

 

Benefits of Boosting Safety Practices

Using a contractor management software can improve worksite safety, meeting compliance requirements and reducing project costs, while lowering compensation costs. It can also help boost business growth.

However, selling the idea of a structured contractor management program to others in the company can be a challenge. Some others may not see the benefits of improving safety practices.

Below are six business benefits that can come from creating a contractor management program.

●       Increasing efficiency and productivity

A good contractor management software can provide a structured roadmap that can help you boost productivity and efficiency. Workers arrive on-site and are already pre-approved, pre-trained and skilled to start work on day one. Plus, it lets you customize online training so workers can complete forms and training that is relevant to them, using their native language.

●       Improving the effectiveness of safety training

The classroom approach to training can leave gaps that come back to haunt you later on. Initiafy’s online training is self-paced, allowing workers to reread or spend more time learning certain information, ensuring that no one is left behind. Quizzes at the end of each course chapter help improve retention rates. You can also customize your own training to include a mix of generic and site-specific content.

●       Helping to reduce compliance risk

Constantly changing environmental regulations increase the chance of non-compliance. This could result in heavy fines, penalties, and other financial losses for failing to comply with the law. Even if you make a good effort to meet legal requirements, you can still be held liable by the courts.

Integrating contingent workers into your system, is a huge problem when it comes to meeting these compliance requirements. An efficient contractor management software reduces the occupational health and safety risks involved with the hiring of contractors.

Using features such as Initiafy’s Traffic Light System, helps you to verify and approve the reliability of companies and their workers online. Workers can also self-register their qualifications, streamlining the induction process.

●       Helping to avoid project delays due to injury

Given the thin profit margins associated with heavy industry projects, the last thing anyone needs is an incident that delays a project, like a bad accident. This can drive up project costs and cause you to miss completion deadlines.

Implementing a contractor management program helps you cut project delays caused by accident or injury, so you won’t miss completion dates. Using the platform’s advanced features, like Access Control, helps gain control of what’s happening on your worksite.

Access Control links remote worker check-in/check-out to compliance validation. Workers can check into a worksite more quickly and easily with this feature but only if they meet mandatory requirements. Meanwhile, the platform’s Identify Capture feature helps to verify worker identity.

●       Lowering the costs of accidents and illnesses

Accident and compensations costs involved in heavy industry projects can slash a company’s profitability. However, medical expenses are only one of the major costs involved.

Other primary costs include:

  • Workers compensation insurance costs
  • Training replacement employees
  • Lost work time
  • Accident investigation

Improving safety training and safety standards helps reduce these costs by cutting down on workplace health and safety issues.

The initial effort to improve safety may increase costs in the short-term, but it lets workers know that safety is a top priority. That makes workers pay more attention to the safety practices imposed by companies on-site.

●       Demonstrating social responsibility

Savvy companies recognize the importance of image and reputation. However, the public expects large companies to display ever-increasing standards of corporate governance, such as the willingness to explain any future plans, admitting any risks which could occur. Investors and stakeholders expect the same thing.

Boosting Safety Practices Does Make Sense

Research shows that boosting workplace safety makes sense, even with a small improvement. Convincing others of the benefits involved can often be the primary challenge. Workers may not fully grasp the business benefits of safety improvement.

The benefits described above can help to explain the importance of a structured contractor management program. The platform is easy to learn and use, streamlines contractor management and reduces paperwork.

More importantly, encouraging safety practices reduces compliance risk, maximizes return on investment, and increases profitability—while providing a sustainable competitive advantage that rivals will find hard to beat. This can lift companies up to the next level, boosting business growth.

Using a contractor management software, powered by Initiafy’s SaaS platform, is a proven way to boost safety practices.  Easy to learn and use, this Initiafy platform plans and simplifies contractor management with less administration confusion, while reducing the costs involved.

Improving occupational health and safety:

  • Increases efficiency and productivity
  • Improves the effectiveness of safety training
  • Encourages compliance with any safety regulation
  • Lowers the costs of accidents and illnesses
  • Assists in the cutting of project costs
  • Demonstrates corporate responsibilities

 

 

11 Problems Contractors Have to Face

 

Contractors face a number of different problems, some of which have been present for many years, and others have joined only in the past decade. No matter what the pain-points are, contractors need to learn how to identify and solve them in order to have a successful business. They are not only responsible for their employees, but for their family and clients as well,


Even though there are many more issues, in this article, we will go through the eleven most challenging ones for tradesmen.

1. Worker shortage

In the last couple of years, one of the main problems contractors face is finding proper and talented workers. In order to preserve the business, contractors need to become more creative in their training, technologies and recruiting strategies so they can attract the right people.

 

“The age gap between the people needed and the ones working is quite big as well. The youth does not feel tempted to start working in this field and their desires are more headed to a creative, financial, linguistic or programming future. It is hard to find good pest exterminators,” says PantherPestControl.co.uk, “The parents are also a part of this change as they tend to push their kids to a more traditional higher education, and prefer having their kids behind a desk, where it’s supposedly safer. Where in our experience, the market of pest control is only growing in the UK”.

 

One way to deal with this issue is for contractors to engage in a strong marketing campaign towards younger generations. Companies are starting to see the benefit of internships, which are helpful for both parties in more than one way. Companies are able to test the talents of the employee before hiring them full time while popularising the business. The students, on their side, will be able to work in a proper environment, gathering experience while combining it with their studies while also balance as a part time job for cleaning, moving, pet walking and even voice actor gigs.

 

Another good strategy for companies is a partnership with high schools and vocational schools. By doing so, contractors will have the chance to catch the attention of potential future employees while they are still young and searching for their path in life.

2. Increased competition

Unlike the working force, throughout the years, competition is only growing. This is more of an issue for the small-scale contractors and not so much for already accomplished and proved companies.

 

Most of the work goes to the companies people already trust and have tried before, so that’s why is harder for those smaller to win a bid and projects in general.

3. Rising Cost of Raw Materials

There is always a huge risk of cost change during a fixed price project. Many times the price of land and raw materials can change so quickly, that the small construction companies don’t have enough time to react and suffer great losses.

4. Safety

Every contractor and business owner understands the importance of safety regulations. Keeping the workers secure and unharmed should be a top priority for everyone. That’s why regular training should be performed and the safety protocols updated when needed. Still, this is a bit difficult to achieve with the constant flow of new inexperienced workers.

 

“So in order to keep everyone safe, frequent trainings and strong vigilance by management and supervisors are crucial” shares Jordan Vellutini from Westline Electrical Services.

4. Slow Invoicing and Payments

A common problem that small construction businesses face is underestimating the importance of having a reliable invoicing system. Without one, the cash flow cannot be regulated properly and it’s a lot harder to keep track of the projects and their different phases.

 

It’s easier and smarter to divide the various payments that go with the different parts of a certain property, than having a bunch of resources tied up in a single job advice Variety Cleaners.

5. Time constraints

With the constant flood of demand, many contractors face issues with keeping up with their schedule. The ones motivated to get better, have started integrating a project management technology which allows them to do real-time updates and data entry. With a simplified communication and daily updates, those contractors manage to do a lot with less.

6. Government regulation

Often contractors find it difficult to keep themselves up-to-date with the constantly changing government regulations connected to their business. Still, no matter how annoying it might be, they have to regularly check posts and publications about the construction industries and reassure that nothing will affect them.

 

It’s best to have a specific person who will keep up with the regulations and will have the time to check how the business is affected financially and economically, if possible, one who is usually keeping track of the company’s documents.

8. Trouble getting paid

This issue affects mostly subcontractors. A paycheck of a subcontractor depends on how good they are at keeping records. The documents presented must always be detailed and completely accurate in order to collect the money on time. Proper file organisation and security are a must here if the subcontractor wants to receive what he deserves.

9. Lack of communication

Having a good level of communication between the different layers of management and workers should be a natural target for every contractor.

 

Naturally, the smaller the company, the easier it is to achieve, but one must not put compromise when the business grows larger. Everyone wants to streamline operations, improve their accuracy and overall having a good flow of work in every field and level of their company.

 

Luckily we are living in the era of communications so mobile and cloud based softwares are easy to use and implement in the work of your staff. Time has proven that nothing compares to real-time communication when completing a project with a deadline or with certain milestones. So check what are the best options for your business, put them to action and enjoy the efficiency of your workers.

10. Managing documents & files

There is a very small number of people who genuinely like sorting out documents and files. Especially if the transition from paper records to a mobile and cloud-based system has not yet occurred.

 

The latter makes access to notes, documents, records and photos a lot easier and also space saving. There are no restrictions on where the files are opened from. Could be done from the office or from home. You can decide which ones should be accessible to all the employees, which ones are only for the coordinators and so on.

 

Security is easy to control, more reliable just physically guarding a bunch of documents. Still, the person managing all of the files and the cloud systems should be someone who is specially trained for such tasks and someone who can be trusted completely. Having the wrong people taking care of your documentation is very dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

11. Integrating technology

Now that we have already mentioned a couple of fairly new technologies that could be implemented in the construction business, is important to also add that they should be integrated slowly, carefully and by people who are specialist in the technological fields. Innovations are easily accepted by the younger generations, but the process for the veteran employees might be a bit longer.

 

It’s important to make everyone understand that these technologies will not change the operations of the company, but only improve the quality and execution of already existing practices.

The future is bright for the learner


Just like in every other business, problems and issues will never seize to exist, so to survive, one must learn each day and never stop improving. As the technology and the rest of the world move forward, so should tradesmen companies. Business will never disappear and the demand for competent people as well. The types of projects might change and for a person who has been working only 5 years ago, they might seem absurd and impossible, but for the contractor of today, everything is in the realm of possibilities.

8 Reasons Why Contractors Should Use Dumpsters for Waste Disposal

As a contractor, there are many costs to consider. Owning or renting the equipment for a job can be hard on the pocket book. We’re not just talking about the tools for your project – you also have to dispose of any waste leftover once the projects done.

Using a pickup truck is one solution, but you can’t get a lot of material in the back of a truck and that means plenty of trips to the dump. Even if you have a trailer, it still doesn’t give you much to work with. These issues alone are enough justification to consider a dumpster rental, but there are others a contractor should consider. Here are 8 reasons we’ve identified why contractors should use a dumpster for waste disposal.

 

Keeping it Clean for the Property Owner

When you rent a dumpster, it’s much easier to keep the owners property clean. That’s important. After all, they did hire you to improve their property so leaving a mess behind isn’t a good way to get a referral.

When you rent a dumpster, many dumpster companies will place boards underneath them to prevent scratches or gouges. It’s also easier to safely dispose of material in a large dumpster. When you use a pickup truck, even one with a trailer attached, there is usually a bit of spillage. That can make a mess of the property you’re there to improve. When you use a dumpster, it’s a much bigger target for a more efficient disposal.

 

Convenience

Using a dumpster for waste removal is also convenient. You don’t have to worry about the waste removal from site. All you have to do is make a quick phone call to your local dumpster supplier when the bin’s full or when the job is done and the bin is taken away for you. That allows you to concentrate on what you do best, instead of secondary tasks such as waste removal.

 

Cutting through Red Tape

The more equipment you own the more red tape you have to cut through to make your business work. That trailer has to be registered and it has to be maintained. Opting to rent a dumpster instead reduces the need to deal with bureaucracy and the rental company insures the bin so that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about. There aren’t too many business owners that enjoy dealing with paperwork so renting a dumpster is another way to reduce this burden.

 

More productive

Renting a dumpster also allows you to be more productive. If your company’s laborers are running back and forth to the dump all day long they won’t get as much done as they could. When you rent a dumpster, you don’t have to worry about all those trips. The laborers can stay on site making sure it’s clean and safe. That makes for a much more productive job site.

 

Less Risk of Damage

When you use a small container such as a trailer attached to a pickup truck for waste removal there’s a good chance that there will be some spillage as we’ve already mentioned. It’s not uncommon for nails and other sharp debris to find their way to the ground. That can damage vehicles using the site and, in the case of a residential job, it will probably result in an angry homeowner if they find themselves with a flat tire because of a messy jobsite.

 

Fast Same Day Service

If the reason you haven’t considered a dumpster in the past is because you don’t want to have to wait to get the job started don’t let that stop you. Look for a dumpster provider that can offer same day dumpster delivery service. Companies that can flip you a trash container in the same day means they efficiently manage their inventory and can get you a container when you need it; even on very short notice.

 

More Disposal

A dumpster can hold a lot of waste – sizes range from your basic 4-yard dumpster all the way up to a 40-yard behemoth. There’s a right option for every job. 10 yard dumpsters are ideal for roofing projects and 20 yard dumpsters are ideal for kitchen remodels. When you choose the right size you’ll have all the waste disposal space you need right there on the job.

For contractors, once the final nail is hammered in, it should signify the end of a remodeling or construction project; waste disposal shouldn’t be a concern. Renting a dumpster for your project site is the most efficient and cost effective option to remove waste from the job site.

5 Tips for Professional Tradesmen Working as Contractors

To work as a professional contractor is not an easy job and at ContractorsToday.com we acknowledge it loud and clear. That’s why we’ve gathered the following dash of advice for professional tradesmen:

1. Find and keep customers.

First, decide on your business plan, what your targets and budget are. It’s wise and even a must nowadays to invest in marketing efforts. The old method of a word of mouth is something that might also earn you lots of jobs, however, planning a budget for online marketing, advertising in local media outlets, flyers and business cards is a good idea for increasing the online visibility of your company.

 

Think about creating your own website and developing a social media presence. For window cleaning business it’s a good idea to create a Facebook profile and keep it active.

2. Grow your business.

In the beginning, you will start with the modest approaches, such as traditional window cleaning using ladders, cherry pickers and chemicals. Each business changes over the years and the competition is high, so it’s worth of thinking about ways to beat the competition. You need to use modern, eco-friendly and safety methods. Always try to penetrate in small niches that will bring your business profit.

 

For example, you can specialize and invest a capital in a grinding machine. It removes scratches and other stubborn stains like graffiti, paint, plaster, stucco, or any other construction remains.

 

There are many groups dedicated to one particular trade, say the to Top window cleaning professionals. In such groups you can find jobs, advice, support and more. Research them and join in as many as you can. But also keep an active presence, join discussions and advice people and even colleagues. This is also a form of a free advertising.

 

Look into business listings and create business profiles. Your online presence is essential because customers will look for services on the Internet and through the Apps on their smartphones. You should be online and your brand, logo and image should be visible and recognizable. Don’t be shy about these forms of interactions with customers, dive into it and see for yourself the immediate effects.

3. Get good insurance.

When you start a business one of the main expense would be a liability insurance. The insurance professionals at MortgageSavingExperts.com advise that no matter whether you work by yourself or you have employees, this is crucial because trades can be dangerous. Working as a contractor can lead to many injuries and accidents, and adding the risk of medical negligence on top, it simply does not worth it. A proper insurance gives your company more credentials and trustworthiness among both customers and partners. There are different insurances but the most important ones include:

 

  • Personal accident insurance: it can cover any injuries or even death caused by an unexpected event.
  • Employers’ insurance: if you hire employees you’re legally obliged to have this one.
  • Business equipment insurance: this protects your equipment and tools in case of loss, theft or other damages.
  • Public insurance: it covers you from a customer or other public person who experience a harm as a result of your business.

4. Get proper training.

First, you need to look into the training and qualifications that a tradesman in your niche has to acquire. Investing in your training and in that of your staff, if you are considering running a bigger business, will be repaid in the quality of your work the competitive services you’re offering to the customers and the trust you will build by providing reliability and quality.

 

Тraining courses are provided by federations, unions and professional qualification providers. Another option is to reach out to business owners of already established companies and ask or apply for a training position/apprenticeship programme and from then on to be able to qualify as an experienced tradesman.

5. Consider health and safety.

Familiarize yourself and comply with all the laws and health and safety regulations that apply for your particular business. If you went through a professional training, then you will already be familiar with all these requirements. According to James, a Glasgow stonemason and bricklayer, if you underestimate and neglect the importance for health and safety precautions, you risk lawsuits and fines that will not only destroy your company but can also destroy

Final remarks

However, if you are on the brink of starting your own business, you need to consider all regulations and laws for practising your job, hiring staff, working with customers and what equipment you should invest in.

 

HOW PLUMBING CONTRACTORS FIX ROOTS IN YOUR SEWER PIPES WITHOUT KILLING ANY TREES

If tree roots have ever caused you sewer pipe problems, you understand how frustrating the whole thing can be. In most cases, homeowners decide to attack the roots, which leads to the destruction of the tree. Though this may look like a simple, fast and rational solution for some, many others find this method problematic because they would to like to preserve the plant. What most people don’t realize is that the issue can be resolved in an eco-friendly way.

Why trees go for the pipes?

Roots thrive in the warm, moist, nutrient-rich atmosphere above the water level inside sanitary sewers. The flow of warm water inside the pipes causes water vapor to escape to the cold and/or dry soil surrounding it.

 

Tree roots are attracted to the water vapor leaving the tube and they follow the vapor trail to the source of the moisture, which is usually coming from cracks or loose joints in the sewer pipeline. They will penetrate the opening to reach the available nutrients and moisture. This continues in winter even though trees appear to be dormant. Once inside the tube, roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed, they will completely fill it.

 

As roots continue to grow, they exert considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the piping. The force exerted by the root growth can break its structure, which may result in total collapse of the pipe. Severe root intrusion and damaged pipelines can even lead to complete replacement, which usually costs a lot of time and money.

How to save both the pipes and plants?

The key to work out a problem such as this without having to sacrifice a whole tree is using trenchless technology. This type of sewer repair gives the professionals the ability to address the situation without causing any damages by digging up your yard. Not only that they can perform the job without going underground but can also replace your old clay, concrete or iron pipes with new ones.

 

High-quality HDPE is used, which has been shown to last more than 100 years.

Here is how the procedure is performed?

The technicians work with certain tools to clean and remove all the obstructions. They also use techniques such as relining and bursting to replace or repair old pipes. Professionals can complete the job all at once, within a few hours or in small intervals depending on your preferences.

 

Once completed, the visual difference is barely noticeable. This process has been around for over 10 years and it is affordable in comparison to an excavation. The cost for the trenchless replacement method is a bit higher than a traditional sewer excavation but it is still much cheaper than having whole trees removed. Another major plus is that you are left with an intact garden.

What is a trenchless sewer repair?

A trenchless sewer repair is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a method that replaces damaged pipes without trenching. This technology is preferred because it is less intrusive, more affordable, and quicker than traditional, open-trenched repair.

 

There are two types of trenchless sewer repair:

1. Pipe Bursting

As alarming as it sounds, bursting is quite an effective way of handling cases like these. “This procedure doesn’t require digging trenches.”, says Shem Bruce, a fantastic plumbing expert from London, “Professionals will intentionally break the existing pipe with mechanically applied force. This is accomplished by pulling a head, also known as a “bursting head or bullet,” through the old one. The head fractures the existing piping while dragging and laying the new one behind it.”

 

This technology does not require the use of any added chemicals or other contaminants during the trenchless repair process – it simply replaces the existing piping with environmentally-safe HDPE. Because of HDPEs long lifespan, bursting also prevents future disturbances to the surrounding environment through additional projects and replacements.

2. Sliplining

Sliplining is an older method for trenchless rehabilitation of existing pipelines. Basically, an epoxy liner is installed into an existing sewer lateral. This essentially creates a “pipe within a pipe”. The most common materials used to slip line an existing pipe are high-density polyethylene, fiberglass-reinforced tube and PVC.

 

This method is very cost-effective. Easy to install and requires tools and equipment widely available to any pipeline contractor.

Why you should choose this method

  • Less damage is caused to the site
    Pipe bursting causes less damage to the area that’s been worked on – there’s less cleanup and repair necessary, subsequent to the work. It is also “greener” than other more conventional ways on the marker. When using excavation, a lot of toxic substances are used, and since trenchless repair doesn’t involve digging, there is no way for them to enter the water supply or anywhere else on upon land, for that matter.
    Another important factor is that the state of your yard will be in the same condition as before the procedure – no holes, no missing grass, flowers left intact.
  • It’s a much cheaper option
    At the end of the day, pipe bursting will save you tons of money. Just think about it: with excavation, you’re going to hire an army of workers to dig a huge hole (either that, or a large loud machine). Upon completion, you’ll have to clean everything up, right? This means you need to spend on new soil, grass, plants, flowers, etc. You can see how quickly this process can empty your pockets. Opt for the trenchless version and only a couple of workers will be required, while the site they are working on won’t be damaged in any way.
  • The flow capacity of the pipes can be increased
    Bursting and splitting can be used to upsize the pipeline thereby increasing its flow capacity if this is necessary.
  • You get a lifetime guarantee
    Modern sewer tubes offered by trenchless technicians are much sturdier than the traditional clay and iron pipes. They do not support rust making them indispensable and are resistant to potential chemicals found in salt water and sanitary sewerage wastewater. In fact, manufacturers have concluded that your new pipelines should last as long as a century. Unlike a lot of the materials today, this type of plastic is impervious to the damage roots impose.

 

Top 10 Tips to Save Energy on Heating and Cooling

Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about ways to save on heating and cooling bills. The worst of winter may be behind us, but cold temperatures still plague much of the nation—especially at night when thermometers plummet down to near-freezing…or worse. And during the day things tend to heat up to the point where switching your HVAC system over to the cool setting might be necessary. We’ll go through 10 tricks to help keep your home at optimal temps either way.

 

    1. Cover Your Windows

Windows, although more energy efficient than ever, can be a primary culprit for thermal transfer. Consider buying insulating drapes that will help to cut down on cold drafts and heat loss without breaking the bank. The same technique is also helpful for keeping out unwanted heat on those warmer days. If your home’s windows are old and poorly insulated, you may wish to consider replacing them altogether with more energy efficient models.

  1. Uncover Your Windows

On the flip side, if it’s cold during the day, open the insulating blinds or drapes to allow the sun to warm the house. You’ll be amazed at the difference this can make in rooms that receive direct sunlight.

  1. Up Your Insulation

As the name implies, insulation is the primary source for insulating your home from cold and heat. The greater the level of insulation, the less your home will be affected by exterior temperature changes and the more easily you will be able to control the temperature inside.

There are many different types of insulating materials and the best choice is often dependent on where the insulation is being placed. For example, insulating concrete is often used for foundation walls, whereas blown-in insulation is usually used in attic spaces.

Keep in mind that heat rises and cold air falls, so the attic is often a prime culprit when accounting for insulation loss within a home. Also, an older home, unless it has been renovated, is often not insulated to the same levels as today’s modern home.

  1. Look for Leaks

A great way to figure out what corrective actions to take is to actually find any air leaks. An inspection of the openings around your home can provide a great deal of insight. For example, take a look at window and door frames. Electrical, plumbing and gas lines that enter the home can also be primary culprits. Basically anywhere on the exterior of the home that had a hole cut so that something could be installed or routed. Are there gaps around any of these opening where air is leaking? A set of expert eyes can be helpful for this and there are companies out there who provide professional energy audits.

 

  1. Fix the Leaks

Once you or an energy auditor has determined the points of leaks, it’s time to seal them off. What’s used to seal the leaks will depend on where the leaks are. For doors, weatherstripping is usually the most appropriate remedy. For windows, caulk will often work best. Foam spray insulation is usually used around pipes. Each situation will be unique, which is why these fixes are best left to the pros.

  1. Fire Your Fireplace

A fireplace can be an excellent source of heat in those frigid winter months, but when it’s not in use, the chimney is one giant air vent in and out of your home. Be sure to close the damper to block off the flue (and don’t forget to open it again before using). It’s imperative to make sure the damper creates a tight seal, so have a professional come out to service your chimney if this is not the case.

  1. Semi-Annual Service

Once you’ve corrected insulation and air leak issues, it’s time to focus on your home’s heating and cooling units. Getting these units serviced on a bi-annual basis is an excellent way to keep them in top-running condition. If tests prove that there are efficiency problems, consider having the unit fixed or even replaced, which may actually save you money in the long run.

  1. Keep Tabs on the Thermostat

Technology has impacted the way that we do nearly everything. Controlling your home’s temperature is no exception. If your home is still equipped with a manual thermostat, consider upgrading to an electronically programmable thermostat. These thermostats can be set to kick heat and air on and off at certain times of the day. That way, you can let temps fluctuate a little more while away at work, and bring them back to a comfortable temp by the time you get home. There are even some systems that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

  1. Stay Out of Hot Water

Your hot water tank may be using more electricity than it actually needs to. If the water from your faucets is hotter than it needs to be, turn down the temperature on the hot water heater to save some energy. When it comes time to replace the hot water heater, you may even want to consider switching to a tankless (also known as instant) hot water heater. These can be powered by either electricity or gas and heat up water on an as-needed basis. This saves energy by eliminating the need to keep an entire tank warm all the time.

  1. Pick a Pro

Since we’re talking about efficiency, working with a professional will be the most efficient way to accomplish all of the tasks above. Once they come out to meet with you in your home, they may have additional ideas about how to save even more money. Get in touch with a local contractor today.

10 smart tips for construction managers

It is a well known fact that the construction industry is comprised of various complicated work processes. The industry has a varied collection of projects that are built with the joint effort of various entities. In one given project, carpenters, masons, designers, engineers and many other parties interact together to get the job done. And once that’s done, the cycle starts all over again as the project ends and people move on to the next one and work with unfamiliar faces again.

 

With that going on, it’s a huge struggle for managers to deliver projects that would please their clients, on time and within budget. In order to help construction managers become better at their jobs, we decided to round up some smart tips for all of them. We hope that this helps them become much more efficient at their jobs.

 

  1. Get the right reporting/scheduling tool

 

A scheduling tool is an essential tool for managers to keep track of supplies and tasks on site. Reporting tools allow managers to keep track of the project’s progress, manage construction workers on-site and monitor schedules in order to make sure that all the dependencies are adjusted.

Without a scheduling tool managers have absolutely no idea or control of the entire project’s pace and that may let thinks escalate to a point where various parties handle unnecessary costs.

 

 

Currently, the latest technology is the use of real-time tech to bring construction project’s scheduling and planning to life. Even now, many managers are using various planning tools that can only be updated once the workers are at the office and the managers need to send emails and call them on site in order to get the latest update.

 

Many days and weeks are wasted in this process which is why real-time technology has reached the construction industry now. Workers now work on updated schedules, they report their progress and instantly the progress is monitored by the managers on site. Allowing various contractors to save money on travelling time. Any delays are reported as problems and relevant entities are informed in real-time. This can have a huge impact on the current work processes and improve efficiencies rates which according to Ulrik Branner are at 30% in any given project.

 

  1. Be data focused

 

Data brings you knowledge and knowledge is power. There is a reason why experienced people are given so much importance in the construction industry. Managers understand the need for people to learn by doing. Of course, that doesn’t mean that people need to invest years to gain insight and awareness form working various projects. It can be achieved by many managers if they go data savvy.

 

The tip here is to use data that is available to every manager. Approximately 95% of data is either thrown away or not used at all in construction. That just shows that managers are not using most of the data that is generated.

 

Almost every manager is using some kind of a project planning tool. All you need to do is learn from past mistakes and past achievements. Build your next project around a data foundation.

 

  1. Be on top of your project

 

Tools and the effective usage of data helps managers be on top of their construction project. It’s a big hassle when one second everything is going according to plan and the next everything goes south. Does that mean that managers are not doing their job well? No, of course not. There are just too many steps in the project cycle and all of them performed by various entities that have their own systems.

 

There are a lot of dependencies riding on a job being done right. Then there are changes made by engineers, advisors, clients or subcontractors. The construction manager needs to take into account all of these things and many times the cycle is going to stop and the work will come to a halt.

 

How does one handle that? Use real-time technology, hire subcontractors that you have worked in the past and trust to get the job done right, and make sure that your workers are well informed. There are software that are designed to help managers make the right decision and be aware of a potential problem beforehand.

 

  1. Train and grow your team

 

Want to get your project done right? Make a super team. A team that understands the importance of getting the tasks delivered on time. A team that you yourself invest hours in training and developing.

 

It’s lazy to just want skilled workers from scratch. Of course, we want qualified individuals but we also want to make sure that they have the spirit to grow and want to learn. With the right kind of mindset, a construction manager can have a team to rely on.

 

Equipment and software training is vital for the the future development of a manager’s construction worker.

 

  1. Focus on site safety

 

Site safety and security is very important if managers want to avoid health issues or crisis during the construction processes. To start with, guidance and information to the workers about certain safety rules and regulations is imperative. Another important thing is daily checklists. Make sure that there are posters that remind workers of wearing protective gear. Managers also need to invest in protective gear. An unfortunate incident on a construction site can lead to many damages to contractors. Site safety helps to avoid those unnecessary costs.

 

  1. Build relationships with various contractors

 

Your job on a construction site doesn’t start from your first day at a construction site. There are various stages that come before that. Most of the delays and variations that come to the construction plan midway are due to poor planning beforehand by the contractors, clients and architects.

 

The design phase needs to be realistic that should be a straightforward open process in which both contractors, subcontractors and architects are involved. If architects create an artistic building without taking into account the actual building process, then there will be a lot of delays, claims and variations to deal with in the end. And that ruins relationships with a lot of parties that are trying to achieve the same goal.

 

Many cases go to court due to various misunderstandings and petty issues that escalated. So a tip here would be to build relationships for future work together.

 

  1. Be an approachable manager

 

Often times managers focus on getting the job done and that’s it. It’s understandable that they deal with a lot of pressure. But try to be a manager that workers can talk to. Try to be someone who can be approached to discuss issues or problems. It’s a good way to collaborate with the team.

 

  1. Learn and develop from past projects

 

Everyone makes mistakes, everybody has problems, everyone deals with crisis. What’s important is what you do after that. Do you learn from it or do you wipe it from your memory and move on with a clean slate.

 

Data from a project gone wrong is insight to your next project. Data from a project gone right is information for the next one.

 

  1. Focus on self growth

 

It’s not enough that the construction workers are the only ones to grow and train. It’s important for the managers to develop along with the passage of time. Having a mindset that is 15 years old does not work in the year 2018 anymore. It’s high time that we keep up with the world around us. So a tip here is to keep up with the latest happenings such as green construction, 3D printing in construction – you never know when an opportunity may arise from that.

 

  1. Be friends with technology

 

Technology can be intimidating to those that are not directly linked to it. It can be surprising and difficult to get around. It can also be a bit unrealistic but it brings many benefits that should be explored. It can also be difficult to implement in your complicated work processes but it brings with it many advantages.

 

The idea here is to not reject it the minute you hear of it as many managers do. The aim is to know that there are a lot of technologies out there that can be implemented to get the job done right, without delays and within budget.

 

Conclusion

 

We hope this list of tips helps the current construction managers become more proactive in their construction project. Construction is on a verge to change and with that comes the need for managers to put their game face on!

 

Author Biography:

Shaneel Nasir Akbar is a content marketing assistant at GenieBelt.

 

Custom Metal Roofing

Some information in this article has been sourced by https://www.austinlonghornroofing.com and https://contentrally.com/close-look-at-top-5-roofing-materials-pros-and-cons/.

Custom metal roofing has taken the country by storm. These days, it appears in both commercial and residential structures. It couples an attractive, modern look with exceptional performance and the ability to last for decades — even in the harshest weather.

 

No matter your home’s age, size, or style, custom metal roofing is a great selection.

 

Still, the choice to update the roof shouldn’t be made lightly. After all, the roof is one of the first things any visitor will notice. Plus, the quality of the roof has a major effect on what it’s like inside your home or business, too.

4 Huge Advantages of Custom Metal Roofing

It Lasts Longer

Composite shingles are strong, but nothing out there is better than custom metal roofing. When it is planned, fabricated, and installed by a true expert, it can last five whole decades. It usually needs less maintenance than other options, too.

 

It Fights Fire and Wind

When a storm hits, wind is the culprit behind much of the damage a structure sustains. A metal roof is a great defense against wind. Additionally, rain and hail bounce right off. Naturally, metal roofs don’t catch on fire, which helps protect against major accidents.

 

It Keeps Your Home Cool

A metal roof lets you save money on cooling by deflecting large quantities of solar radiation right back into space. Since much less heat reaches and penetrates the building, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain the temperatures you want.

 

It Improves Structural Strength

By bringing together low weight and high strength, custom metal roofing will assist any building to age gracefully. Less pressure on the foundation improves building safety over time and can fend off major repair issues.

Find Your Local Custom Metal Roofer of Choice

Metal roofing is ideal for a wide range of situations. Still, it has to be installed by experts to truly unlock its potential. Custom metal roofers can fabricate all custom metal roofing materials on-site before installation starts.

 

That means a more durable – and more beautiful – new roof.

We recommend looking for standing seam 24-gauge galvalume-coated steel panels. These are thicker and more seamless than 26-gauge steel panels that you can get right off the shelf from the hardware store.

 

The standing-seam process enhances the strength of the panels while giving each one an ideal fit. They simply look better, too: With custom metal roofing, there’s no need for ugly bolts, screws, or fasteners. Standing seam roofs give you a truly sleek look everyone will notice!