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What Should You Do if You Hit a Gas Main While Digging?

There are always potential obstacles under the ground, and you run the risk of doing serious damage if you bring in an excavator without proper planning. Having some idea what to do if something like a gas main is hit is a smart course of action.

Prevention

It can’t be stressed enough that you should take thorough steps before any digging begins to avoid this problem. If you are going to be doing any significant digging with machinery on your property, it is vital you contact the local utilities to ensure there is no risk. A professional service avoidance inspection can make this simpler by doing a single inspection to check for multiple utility obstacles.

While doing damage to a water or sewer pipe can be a disaster, breaking a gas line is a much more dangerous situation.

Identification

Are you sure that it’s a gas main? It may not be that easy to tell, especially if only a small portion of the pipe is exposed as you dig. They can be made from plastic, steel or copper so you probably won’t be able to tell just by the material. A water pipe would obviously be leaking water if actually damaged, so if the pipe is cracked with no visible leakage, there is a good chance it’s gas. If the pipe doesn’t seem to be damaged, you may have very little to go on and should take the following precautions. Gas can leak out even if the pipe looks intact.

Evacuate

If you hit a gas pipe when digging, your first step should always be to evacuate the area even if you aren’t positive that a leak has been created. Try to stay at least 100 feet away from the potential leak, and even farther is you start to smell gas.

Avoid Sparks or Flames

Once everyone is out of the area, you should ensure that no machinery is running and that no one uses matches or a lighter. This would also include flashlights or any other sort of electrical light. Even if you can’t smell any gas (yet), there is a flammable risk with any open flame or spark.

Call It In

Hopefully, you have the emergency gas main phone number handy and can call in the damage immediately. Trying to avoid potential trouble with the utility company shouldn’t deter you from making the call. This is a dangerous situation and you must let the professionals handle it. They will likely repeat the same steps as above, and give any further instructions on how to handle the problem.

When any underground pipe, wire or cable is damaged during digging, you should always take the situation seriously. Even if it looks like some old unused phone cable, you should call the utility and verify what you’re dealing with. If you do nothing and further damage results from your actions, you could be liable.

Who Pays for Work on a Shared Fence?

Nothing can make a relationship with a neighbor more strained than having to deal with a shared fence issue. By definition, fences are intended to mark the boundary between properties and are difficult to place direct ownership on them.

Check the Boundary

Just because you have always accepted that an existing fence goes right along the property line, doesn’t mean that it actually does. Examining official property documents and even having a professional topographical survey done can help get the facts.

Who Pays?

Technically, most local laws would state that both neighbors are equally responsible. So any repair work would be covered equally by both parties. The problem is that equal responsibility means that neither party can force the other either. Paying equally works fine if both parties are happy with the project. If you want a new fence and the neighbor does not, then you have a problem.

When You Disagree

If your neighbor refuses to pay their share, you may have some options. The simplest is that you just pay for it yourself and leave it at that. It may not be fair but at least you get the fence you want without any hassles.

In a situation where the fence is in bad repair, unsightly or even dangerous, you probably have the legal standing to force the neighbor to pay their half because the work is necessary. On the other hand, just because you want a new style of fence for aesthetic reasons, you probably can’t force them to chip in if they don’t want to.

Taking a neighbor to court over a fence can be satisfying when you win but you will put a strain on your relationship when it’s all over. That may or may not be something to worry about if you see other shared interests being an issue in the future.

Eliminate the Confusion

One of the best ways to avoid any confrontations about shared fences is to avoid having them in the first place. Have any boundary fences clearly on one side or the other. While a small strip of property may be sacrificed, and the cost will then fall on one neighbor, it means that the fence is under one person’s control and they can make their own decisions in the future.

Take care with this approach though, as your neighbor may have a valid claim against your fence if they can prove that it detracts from their own property enjoyment. Often referred to as a “spite fence“, there are specific laws against putting up a fence simply to annoy a neighbor. It usually only applies if you put up an excessively high or ugly fence for no apparent reason. As long as your fence is reasonable, you shouldn’t have any legal issues.

The bottom line is that a shared fence is legally the responsibility of both parties, and all costs are supposed to be shared equally. All of these points would also apply to a hedge as well as a fence.

Ideas For Your Home-Based Sales Business

Stay-at-home parents often turn to the Internet to find ways to spend time during the day, and some of those time-marking methods involve starting a sales business. It is easy to start selling products online thanks to the auction websites, but it takes work to find regular customers. One way you can help your home sales business to grow is attend to the details that make your small business look bigger.

Custom Packing Materials

When your customers get a product packed in a diaper box and wrapped with duct tape, it does not create a great first impression. But if you get custom packing materials such as boxes with your company name printed on them and personalized packing tape, then you can develop a professional image for your company that will lead to more repeat business.

Include Marketing Materials

A sale is a great opportunity to market your business and bring in more sales. When you ship out an order, be sure to include your company’s business card and a sales flyer to get them to check out the rest of your offerings. Many businesses also include coupons for discounts on future purchases in with product shipments to turn those shipments into more orders.

Look Into Drop-Shipping Companies

One of the ways that very small business make themselves look larger is to ship products from a drop-shipping company that has several locations throughout the country. A drop-shipping wholesaler will package your products and ship them to your customers with materials that have your company name on them. Instead of making it look like you work from your home, a drop-shipping company can make it look like your small business has locations all over the country.

Do A Newsletter

Many people enjoy getting monthly newsletters from their favorite retail organizations that give information about new products and upcoming pricing promotions. A newsletter can be more geared towards sales than a blog, and building a newsletter email list is a great way to expand your customer base.

If you decide to start your own retail business from home, you can use little details to make your business look like a large corporation. When your company looks bigger, it inspires your customers to do more repeat business and it also attracts new clients who are interested in your products.

How Can I Cool My House Without Air Conditioning?

External House CladdingAs our summers seem to get hotter and hotter, keeping your house cool can take some new techniques, especially if you are trying to avoid the costs of running an air conditioner. You have lots of options to cool things down, from simple window dressings to investing in a lighter external cladding system.

Ceiling Fans

Regular fans are fine but they can be awkward to place and usually don’t cool an entire room. On the other hand, a ceiling fan stays out of your way and can create a gentle breeze that cools the entire space. They are particularly helpful at night and they can make a huge difference when trying to cool bedrooms for sleeping.

Another benefit is that they tend to operate more slowly than free-standing fans, so you don’t get that gale-force effect. It’s a more pleasant way to get air moving.

Curtains or Blinds

Though it can feel a little stifling to have windows covered up during hot weather, leaving them all open will just let hot sunshine stream in through the day. Light-blocking curtains or blinds can shade a room enough to keep it down several degrees.

Just remember that the sun moves through the day, so you might need to adjust which curtains are closed or open depending on what time it is. If there is no one home during the day to adjust with the sun, just leave everything closed up until you get home.

Of course, if a breeze is blowing or a certain side of the house is in cooler shade, you will want to open things up a little.

Ditch the Old Lights

Are you still using the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs in your house? Compared to modern CFLs or LEDs, they put out a ton of heat. With a few lamps or lights in a room, that’s added warmth you don’t need.

People use incandescent bulbs to heat fish and reptile tanks for a reason, they really do heat up. On average, each bulb loses 90 percent of its energy in heat. So keep them turned off as much as possible, or replace them with cooler LEDs instead. You’ll also save on power usage, which is a nice side bonus.

Cook Outside

BBQs aren’t just for parties or picnics; they can move cooking heat outside and let you keep your kitchen cool. It’s just for burgers and hot dogs either. You can use your BBQ to make a lot of different dishes so you won’t get bored.

Alternatively, you can bypass the cooking completely and stick to cooler foods when the temperature gets too high.

Lighter Siding

This is a bit more expensive, but if you are already considering new siding or cladding, this is the way to go for a cooler house. A house that is covered in a dark color will absorb a significantly higher amount of sunlight than a light colored house. And that will heat up the entire house, no matter what you might be trying to accomplish with curtains or fans.

Having a new layer of siding can also help with insulation to keep the hot air out, as well as keeping the heat inside during the winter, so it can be a year-round bonus.

What is the cost of cooling your home in hot weather?

slider-2eIf your home is warm during the hot weather you obviously need to cool it down. It’s not healthy to be too hot and it can also be very uncomfortable. The problem is that it can cost money to cool your home and if you are on a tight budget any addition to household running costs is a concern.

We are going to take a look at how much it is likely to cost to keep your home cool during hot weather. We are also going to give you some ideas about what you can do to help reduce these costs.

The cost of keeping your house cool when the weather is hot

Obviously, the cost of using air conditioning varies from property to property. There are several different factors to take into account including the number of people who live in the property and which area you live in. However, it is useful to take a look at some average cooling costs to give you an idea of how much air conditioning systems take out of your household budget. Here is a list of some of the costs involved with running an air conditioning system:

  • A bedroom sized 2.5 kW unit costs around AUS$86 for the summer.
  • A 5kW unit costs around AUS$179 for the summer.
  • A small ducted system that cools the whole property costs around AUS$445 for the summer.

It’s not cheap to run air conditioning in your home but there are ways that you can reduce the costs as much as possible.

How to reduce the cost of cooling your home

One of the best ways to control the cost of using air conditioning in your home is to utilize a system that can be programmed. This means that you can choose only to cool certain areas of your home which automatically helps you to reduce the overall cost. You should also aim to keep your air conditioning set to around 23 to 25 degrees. This should mean that you home is cool enough to live in comfortably at the same time as ensuring your air conditioning operating costs are kept as low as possible.

If the temperature in your home is less than 30 degrees then you may want to consider if it’s worth switching on your air conditioning at all; you do have other options. The use of fans in your home is a good alternative to having the air conditioning switched on. They do not cost nearly as much to operate and they should keep your home cool enough if the temperature is not exceptionally high.

Hopefully, you are now more aware of how much it costs to operate air conditioning systems during hot weather; it’s not cheap but it’s often a necessary expense. If you are thinking of having a system installed you should look for a good air conditioning service where you can get advice and support if you have questions about installation and costs. The good news is that you can reduce the operating costs of any air conditioning system as much as possible using the tips that we have shown you.

Discounts & Deals in Your Area

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

 photo groupon_zpsvt091pcc.jpgWhat do you think would be the best time of the year to escape to Miami, FL?  The best time of the year for me would be during the winter seasons since I live here in the north country. The frigid temperatures here in northern Minnesota make me want to go somewhere warm. I think Miami would be the perfect winter getaway for me and my hubby. I grew up in a tropical country and the cold weather here up north is still unbearable for me, even after living here for more than ten years now. I am still trying to get accustomed to it. I once even asked my hubby if we could move south and he is considering it, especially now that he is retired and dealing with some health problems.

 photo groupon.jpg-1_zpsv84ysnth.jpgMy hubby has been to Florida once and visited Disney world, the Cape Kennedy Space Center and more. It was before I met him. I have also a friend there and she invited us to give them a visit. She suggested that my hubby and I should move there because it is warm all year around. The weather is very similar to my native country, the Philippines and we could grow plants all throughout the year.

There are many places that I want to visit including the world class theme parks, water parks, festivals, events, arts and cultures. I would prefer to stay in a vacation rental while enjoying the warm weather.

There are a lot of fun things to do for everyone in the family while vacationing in Miami. You can check out Groupon Things To Do to start planning your trip and find deals for some famous attractions. Groupon is your one-stop shop if you want to save money on your adventure in Miami and to discover other fun activities in your area. You can find huge discounts and great deals from kids activities to nightlife; try out new restaurants, spas, massages and hair salons near you.

Home Renovation Contractors

Kitchen RemodelingMany homeowners don’t realize how important their basement is when it comes to how comfortable and how safe their home is. Plenty of people also fail to realize the awesome options that a finished basement provides to any homeowner. Plenty of stuff can get into the home through a basement that isn’t sealed properly. Many overlook the exterior waterproofing of their basement when they remodel their home or have maintenance done. A properly waterproofed basement does a lot more than just keep the basement from flooding. It can provide a myriad of different benefits. Here are 3 great reasons to waterproof your basement.

1. Finished Basement – It is not possible to have a properly finished basement without first making sure that the exterior of the basement is properly waterproofed. A finished basement does two things for a home. The first thing that a finished basement does is provide the residents of the home with a lot of new living space that they didn’t have before. The second thing that a finished basement does is greatly increase the value of the home when it comes time to resell it. Proper exterior waterproofing of your basement is an essential part of the process of remodeling your basement.

2. Keeps it dry – This one is pretty obvious but a lot of people fail to realize the scope of what keeping a basement dry really means, though. It doesn’t just mean keeping a basement from flooding when it rains or when the winter’s snow melts. It means keeping any kind of moisture out of your home. This will prevent your basement from getting damp or developing mold. It makes the finished basement much more livable and also makes the home much more valuable.

3. Keeps out animals – No one wants mice or other small animals to be able to get into their basement whether it is finished or not. Think about it. Water can get into just about any crack or space in your wall. If your basement is completely waterproofed then no animal can get in either.

Anyone that is considering exterior basement waterproofing should do it. It will greatly improve your existing basement. It could also be the final touch on your finished basement at the end of a remodel. Remodelingcontractor.com is able to send a professional to just about anyone’s basement to give them a free estimate on their basement waterproofing.