How A Clean Office Environment Increases Employee Productivity

In old folklore, your space and environment reflect your state of mind. A clean work space leads to a person being productive and constructive. On the contrary, the psychology hoarding and having no organization causes anxiousness and increasing the amount of decisions that must be made day to day. No matter the size of your business, whether it is just you operating a small business or you have a staff of one thousand employees, it is essential to keep work areas free and clear from clutter.

Makes For Happier Employees

In many instances, due to the sheer volume of time that employees spend working, they will treat their office as their second home. After all, an employee spends eight, ten or even twelve hours in an office. It lays claim that a business should invest effort to ensure their work spaces are clean and organized.

Because a clean work desk means zero distractions. It also eliminates the time it takes for you to rummage through a cluttered desk just to look for an important document or a paperclip.

Boosts Creativity

Some employees would argue that the mess on their desk can help them think and be creative. However, scientific studies about clean offices state otherwise and that too much clutter can be detrimental to clear, creative thinking.

Here are three simple ways to organize the desk space to ensure no chaos:

  1. Put office documents that do not need immediate attention in a “later” basket.
  2. When working, only allow papers and stuff that you use at that very time to be on your desk. Put the rest in your drawers.
  3. Get into the habit of emptying your garbage basket and cleaning your office table every single day before leaving.

“Taking the time to remove clutter your office space can help you organize your thoughts. Not to mention that your next big idea might be sitting under the pile of documents,” says the owner of Bellevue Janitorial Service, who’s company services hundreds of offices and has had several clients reach out to them stating how their services allow their employees to “work happy”.

Improves Work Focus

Having a clean office area is crucial to a successful and efficient business.

In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 103 student participants were directed to sit in a room with a clean work space and or in a cluttered room. They then moved to a separate room afterward and were asked to work on an unsolvable geometry puzzle.

The Result: Those who sat in a clean work space spent 1,117 seconds on the task, while the other group only spent 669.

The numbers are clearly there, a clean and organized work space is key for a company or organization to ensure their employees work smart, efficient and stay happy.

How Mold Can Effect Your Home

When your home or business property is slowly being taken over by mold, there are more issues at hand than just an unpleasant smell, including damaging the structure of your home and causing health issues. When detecting mold in your structure, the smell is usually a dead giveaway. It is crucial to be on the leading edge of moisture, because it could lead to mold, a costly thing to remove that if left untreated, can lead to health and structure issues.

Spotting The Signs of Mold That Must Be Removed

If you think you might be experiencing mold in your building, here are some signs:

Visual

  • Black spores on any surfaces
  • You, your family or roommates are always ill with flu-like symptoms
  • A damp or musty odor that is always present
  • Respiratory issues – mold is an airborne agent and as you breathe it in, it will cause breathing problems
  • Bubbling paint, squishy floors,

Tell-Tale Scent

When mold is present as is beginning to spread, it produces compounds with a distinct stench. If you have ever smelled it before, you know you are encountering a potentially expensive mold remediation and removal situation and there is no mistaking that smell. It is similar to damp and rotting wood, or damp clothes that have sat too long.

Common Places That Mold Can Hide

Mold flourishes in areas where there is darkness, moisture and warm air. Common areas such as this are bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bedrooms, attics and vents. Always check for leaky plumbing, behind appliances where moisture is present such as refrigerators, as well as heating and cooling vents.

Recently Found Signs of Mold?

If it sounds like you have signs of moisture that has turned into mold, it is much better to have it remediated and removed sooner than later. As mold spores are potentially dangerous to you and your family. There are two components of mold remediation for most properties, it begins with cleaning up the area with the mold, then take steps to prevent it from occurring again in the future.

Eliminating Mold Now

Are experiencing mold that keeps coming back to areas such as your bathroom, air conditioning or heating vents? Or have you experienced any form of water damage that is causing mold related problems? Getting in contact with a trained technician for mold removal in Cicero, IL will allow your home to be restored effectively and efficiently so you can get back to your everyday life without worrying about the effects of toxic mold.

When Hiring A Contractor, These Questions Are Key

When it comes to hiring a contractor for your home or business property, there are practical items you must establish prior to the work beginning. In fact, these are best when asked during a discussion via phone call or email.

  1. Is the contractor licensed to perform the service?
    This question goes without saying how important it really is. Do not under any circumstances just take their word for it! Some unscrupulous contractors out there do not operate with proper licensing. So ask them to provide their license number that was provided to them from the governing body at the state or local level.
  2. How much will the job or project cost?
    “It is imperative to read the contractual agreement you are signing when hiring a contractor” says the owner of plumberalton.com, an Illinois based plumber. Some contractors will squeeze a clause into their deals that they will add additional charges if more time is spent on the job or the rate increases for overtime. Make sure you have budgeted for this prior to hiring.
    a plumber working on a sink
  3. When is payment required?
    Knowing when the contractor wants to be compensated for the work is vital. It will vary depending on the job, some companies will just require payment immediately at service completion for maintenance and repair work. On the new installation side, if the project reaches a certain price threshold, they may require a deposit. Some companies will require fifty-percent down at contract signing and the remaining balance due at completion. Others may do thirty-three percent at contract signing, thirty-three percent at project starting and the remaining balance due at completion. Make sure these are noted in the agreement
  4. Who will be doing the work?
    Contractors will generally have crews or technicians that provide the service at your property. When the representative from the company is at providing the quote, ask who will be completing the job and what level of experience and qualifications they have. If you feel uncomfortable with the answer or if the plumber cannot provide accurate details, find someone else.
  5. Do messes get cleaned up for free?
    This should go without saying, however some home service contractors may do their work at your property, finish things up and leave their mess behind. Whether it be a plumber, siding company, roofers, you name it. There will be liquid, debris or material and parts left inside your home or on the outside for you, the customer to deal with getting rid of. Some companies may charge removal of debris or cleaning up afterwards, so read the signed agreement to be sure!

Always read your agreement thoroughly before signing and writing a check or swiping your credit card and you will surely be set up for a good experience when working with a contractor at your home.

What Time Of Year Is Best To Trim Your Trees

To keep your trees looking their absolute best, occasional tree trimming and pruning is highly recommended. Many people ask – “what is the best time time to trim your trees?” There are several parameters that define the answers to that question.

Like all plants and flowers, trees operate on a cycle of growth and dormancy each year. Trimming can be done during any season even if a tree is in its dormant phase. It is best to narrow down your trimming to solve a problem your tree may be suffering from.

Winter Tree Trimming

Wintertime is when your trees are not actively growing and this makes it a very popular time of year to prune branches.  Especially because most trees do not have leaves during the winter, making it easier to find the problems your trees may have such as disease or issues with growth. The beauty of trimming trees in the winter is that it encourages new growth once spring arrives, however it is best to trim trees in the winter after the coldest part of the season has past. Otherwise the tree could be susceptible to injury during a cold snap if it was recently pruned.

Nearly all trees in the cool climate zones can be trimmed in the winter.

Spring and Summer Tree Trimming

Most tree species fair well when pruned in the spring time. It is best to do so before the leaves start to visually take over the tree, because they make cover up problem areas that should be removed when trimming, trees also expel a lot of energy producing buds and leaves so it is best to prune before buds start to grow, as explained in this video.

If leaves have begun to grow, it will be easy to spot the problem branches if they are suffering from a disease or growth impairment because those branches will not have buds or leaves on them. At this time you can also clearly see which trees are coming back from winter dormancy and which are not, if this occurs on your property anywhere in the northern regions, it is ideal to get in touch with Tree Service Champlin to come out and inspect your tree to determine if it should be removed.

Trimming in the summer is certainly recommended, however during the summer, the leaves can block out a lot of the trouble areas. If you see dead branches, it is best to remove dead branches. Summer trimming is more ideal for the aesthetics or functionality of a tree. Such as removing lower branches or even branches higher up to increase the space beneath the tree. This is done to ensure branches don’t come in contact with structures or vehicles and gives your property an expansive look if your trees are large.

Autumn Tree Trimming

Fall is one of the worst times to trim trees. This is due to cuts taking longer to heal because the tree is preparing for the dormant season and they are more susceptible for fungal infection spreading. Sometimes, trimming during the autumn cannot be avoided. But if the branches could impact property or are a safety hazard, troublesome branches or the entire tree itself should be taken down at that time.

What To Ask Your Local Plumber

One of the most important aspects of your home, office or industrial building is its plumbing. The absolute last thing you want to experience is a failure within the system, which could mean no running water or leaks causing water damage, among other issues. None of which one wants to experience.

But when the inevitable occurs, it is important to keep these tips in mind to ensure you hire on a top tier plumber.

“Finding an ideal and well-versed plumbing contractor is crucial,” proclaimed TC Plumber’s area manager of Lino Lakes Plumber. They state you need to ask several questions before making the purchase.

  1. Ask about their licensing – are the licensed to do the work. Some will display this on their website, if they don’t just ask them on the phone if they do
  2. Ask about proof of insurance, this is a no-brainer
  3. How long have they been in business? This doesn’t always mean you deal with a competent operator but it’s a good test.
  4. After doing a plumbing inspection, they should be able to give you a rough estimate of the cost to repair.
  5. Ask about what type of warranty or guarantee they offer after the service is complete
  6. Ask for references or look at their website for reviews from previous customers

Additional Questions

Some further questions to ask are just general related to the actual job procedure. Such as asking about who will be visiting your property and coming into your house. Ask about providing a picture of this individual – safety should be at the top of their priorities and concerns.

Also, be sure to inquire about pricing. Is it a fixed rate for a “the job” or does the clock and bill run up by the hour or even by the minute?

These few questions should help your determine the ideal plumber to come to your property and repair, replace or install new plumbing, unclog drains or any other plumbing related service they offer.

Hiring Tree Services For The Home

When you’re in the market for a tree removal service, there are many from which you can choose. However, the vast majority don’t have the experience required to provide a flawlessly professional service. Many times, these services may end up doing more harm to your landscape than good. Plus they may not have the capability to provide a broad spectrum of services or be a so-called one stop shop for all things tree service related.

Whether you are a home, business or the owner of land that requires tree or stump removal it is important that the service you hire use the best equipment. This ensures that the work is carried out in a manner that is quick and efficient. After all, you do not want the removal of a few branches to take multiple days. “Check the reviews” is what Pittsburgh Tree Service Authorities, a provider of Tree Removal Pittsburgh stated. Knowing how experiences with a company in the past went is crucial

Get a Quote Before Hiring

Make sure to get in touch with the company and have a representative of the company come out and inspect the proposed work or project and ask for an estimate of the job in writing. Whether it is physically written on paper or simply created with a software and emailed. Do your due diligence.

Never Do-It-Yourself!

Tree removal, pruning, and anything near power lines is dangerous work! That’s why hiring a professional service makes so much sense. Professional tree removal companies come fully equipped with all the safety gear required to remove fallen trees, grind stumps, prune branches, and overall take general care of your trees and sometimes shrubs. Included with the professionals is the experience and expertise on their side, which means your home, yard, landscaping and everything else will be in trusted hands of the experts.

Bottom line, when it comes to hiring a professional tree removal company, make sure to:

  • Read reviews – see what type of experience previous customers have had
  • Get a quote before writing a check/paying in cash – make sure both you and the contractor have agreed upon a price for the job
  • Never do a job yourself – tree services can be outright dangerous

4 Important Facts You Must Know About Water Damage

Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the intrusion of water. There are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to the restoration process:

1. Multiple Insurance Policies For Flood Related Claims

Most assume that the insurance coverage on their property is neutral, however flood damage is not covered under your general homeowner policy. If you happen to live in an area where floods are likely to occur, you will need a separate policy through the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP).

Ana, the founder of Iowa Flood Doctors, a company that offers Des Moines water damage restoration insists that “when you report your claim to your insurance, specify whether the claim being for general water damage or from a flood, so a contractor knows whom to bill”.

2. Not all water damage is covered by your insurance.

Take a thorough look at your policy statements and understand the potential for any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover incidental damage such as water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowed washing machine. However, water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded.

3. As soon as water arrives, the clock is ticking

When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup.

Mold growth can occur quickly and mold spores are everywhere, but they need a solid amount of moisture to grow and thrive. And that is exactly what the wet features inside your house offer.

There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time an item gets wet and to when mold grows. After that time, the spores rapidly multiply.

To prevent mold growth, you must employ a drying strategy right away. To do this, you’ll need to contract a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. Most offer 24 hour service and can dispatch a crew quickly.

4. Call your insurance immediately!

It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your agent can start the claim process immediately, and help guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff or bagging sand if your home has a flood.

Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing water damage is an important part of home maintenance. But if you know the basics of what to do once it happens, you can prevent it from doing its worst.

Here are additional water damage repair tips:

Top Reasons To Have Landscaping On Your Property

Landscaping is important because it helps by contributing to our well being thus improving our overall quality of life. Landscapes provide a much broader context within our lives. It goes without saying that living in a home which is surrounded by an aesthetically pleasing landscape which is also culturally pleasing enhances our sense of wellbeing. In a way, it helps you reconnect with nature which ensures that your mind and body are reinvigorated. That’s why it is so imperative to only hire the very best landscaping service provider.

A professional landscaping service will offer everything needed to make sure that your yard space or lawn is thriving and healthy. Whether it is basic lawn care or the installation of sprinklers or new sod, good professional services can make a significant difference.

The Benefits of Residential Landscaping

While as you might imagine there are many benefits of a well designed and managed landscape, the fact is that most homeowners will opt for it primarily because it looks good. Though there are a couple of other benefits worth considering especially if you are weighing doing it yourself against hiring a professional.

  • Adds value to your residence: Regardless of where you live, or the size of your home it is estimated that a well designed and thought of landscape can add up to 12% percent to its value.
  • Directs the flow of water: A well planned landscape helps by directing the flow of water so you’ll not have any issues with it. Water issues are generally reasonably common in DIY landscapes.
  • Solid Planning: Professionally designed landscapes use trees for shelter or shade, the shrubs are placed in a way so that they direct cool breeze during the summer and the open areas are where the winter snow accumulates.
  • Easier Navigation: If you have a large yard or an odd shaped one landscaping makes navigating through it more comfortable. Walkways will help to keep the water and mud from being tracked into your home.

A Roundtable Discussion Amongst Landscapers

As spring has sprung, landscapers worldwide are talking amongst one another, trying to stake claim on what the best landscape practices are.

Perennials or Shrubs for Landscaping?

This question is often asked by customers to our landscape designers. The next question we ask is, how much maintenance work do you want to do or hire someone for? Typical landscape shrubs require pruning and extensive watering in their first couple years as a planted specimen. Whereas perennials require frequent watering during their early years but only require pruning when cutting the wilted growth back once – either during the fall after the first frost or in the spring before it begins growing again.

Paver Patios – Permeable or Traditional?

Water conservation is a prevalent topic in today’s current events, another question landscape designers receive is whether customers should have a traditional paver patio/walkway or permeable paver patio/walkway constructed at their home. The biggest difference between the two paver patio structure types are the cost and water run off. The big advantage of having a permeable paver patio is that the water is filtered through the hardscape’s base before going back into the ground.

With a traditional patio, all water runs off the patio and down the street to the storm drain, this can take contaminants such as oil, fertilizer, or gasoline and continue polluting our freshwater sources. If you can afford the increased cost of a permeable paver driveway, walkway, or patio, it’s the preferred choice for many to preserve our ever important freshwater sources.

Things to Consider With Your Landscaping Design

When you have a landscaping project designed for your home, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Here are Pat, owner of alwaysgreenerlawnpa.com‘s top five tips for hiring the best landscape designer to ensure your project is created exactly how you’d like:

  •     How will your outdoor space be used?
  •     How large of an area will your project cover?
  •     Where on the property will the landscaping be?
  •     Is there a swimming pool to be constructed in the future?
  •     Do you want to have a fire place or landscaping shade structure such as a pergola?

The list is longer but those are the basics you must have narrowed down before the project is executed.

5 Reasons To Hire A Landscaper For Your Outdoor Work

Today’s roundtable discussion – we all hate it, unless you are some freak of nature that enjoys sweating all summer and shivering, then sweating while shoveling in the winter. There is a reason contractors that offer lawn care, landscaping, and snow plowing services, because they know people hate the work.

The Five Reasons To Hire A Landscaper

    1. Avoiding Hard Labor – is that even a question to ask yourself? Why on Earth would someone spend their own money on the products like mulch, rock or brick pavers or blocks for a retaining wall to THEN have to do the backbreaking work of laying it down the proper way. No thanks, pass.
    2. Boosts Your Home Value – if you are building the landscape on your own, there is a high chance it will not look that great, which will NOT boost your property’s value. “When you hire a proper landscape contractor, homeowners can be rest assured that when the project is completed properly, their home’s value will increase when it comes time to sell”, Pat, the founder of https://www.alwaysgreenerlawnpa.com says, a regional landscape contracting company specializing in residential landscape construction, lawn maintenance and commercial snow plowing.
    3. Makes Your Family Happy – this goes without saying. Mom and dad are no fun if they are stuck out in the back yard slaving away shoveling rock. And while it may sound like fun and games having junior and sister “helping out”, their production is quite slow and then the entire family is just slaving away in the heat and humidity, still not sure where people would find the fun in that.
    4. Lowering Your Energy Bills – cheaper electric bills? Sounds good to me! Here is how this works. When you plant large deciduous shrubs or trees on the south side of your house, as they grow, during the summer the leaves essentially block the hot summer sunlight from heating up the outside surface of your house. If the hot rays of sun do not get the chance of heating up the siding, that is less work the air conditioning unit has to do, and the less work it does, the less of an electric bill you will rack up.
    5. Quality and Experience Do Not Cost, They Pay – experience and quality service may have an increased “cost” perception, but that is only to the uneducated. The cost of a new landscape to be designed and built for $20,000 may seem like a lot but guess what that buys: a designer that is local to the area (if you just moved to your home from another location this is crucial) who knows the plants that will work in the exact spots based on the sunlight they receive, winter winds, and more. Then a full scale construction crew to build everything with heavy equipment, this can not possibly be done with you, the wife and a wheel barrow. A professional lawn and landscape contractor will have the man power to get the tasks done, in a timely manner which allows you to get your yard back to its restorative state, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space.

Stay tuned for the next one, as we may try to decipher why one would want to take on a landscape project of their own, if the answers are actually true.