Ceiling Fans Installation And Other Considerations

Best Ceiling Fans for Silent, Powerful Airflow

The ceiling fan may be the one home appliance that is still notorious for being an eyesore. However, plenty of models exist without gaudy candelabra lights and annoying pull chains. With remote controls and silent operation, the best fans will stylishly blend into your home, keep you cool, and save energy all year round.

Sure, you could go to a hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot and strain your neck by looking up at the dizzying displays to imagine which model will look and perform best in your home. Or you could just go with one of these top-rated, bestselling fans from reputable brands like Hunter Fans, Westinghouse, and Minka-Aire.

How to Find the Right Fan for Your Space

The first feature you’ll look into when upgrading to a new ceiling fan (or installing one from scratch!) is probably going to be its blade size in relation to the room. In his feature for Popular Mechanics on what’s inside a ceiling fan, provided a guide for the ideal blade length per room size. Generally, you should go for a 42-inch blade for 100 square feet or less, up to 50 inches for rooms between 100 and 150 square feet, 52 to 60-inch blades for 150 to 300-square-foot rooms, or a fan up to 74 inches for anything 300 square feet or more

No matter which blade size you go with, if you’re planning on installing a fan in a room with low ceilings (eight feet or lower), you’ll want a model that’s specifically low profile to sit flush against the ceiling. Most fans also come with several options for mounting positions, such as downrod, flush, or angled. In addition, if you plan to add a new fan to your porch or sunroom, make sure to go with a model that’s designed for outdoor in addition to indoor use.

Also note that all of these fans have reversible, three-speed motors, allowing you to set them to counterclockwise in the summer and switch to clockwise rotation for the winter to save money on your energy bill all year round by spreading cool or warm air. While most of these fans will still have pull chains to control the speed and lighting, note that several also have hand remotes, wall controls, or even smart home capability for voice control. Remember, if you want to go with a cheaper model without one, you can always install a universal fan remote later.

Everything You Need to Know about Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Outdoor ceiling fans are a great way to cool down your porch, garage, or open areas outside of your home. Choosing the right one requires an assessment of the space and determining what features you want. Use this guide to find the answers to your biggest outdoor ceiling fan questions

What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Ceiling Fans?

The main difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans lies in their UL rating. A UL rating is determined by looking at the fan’s electrical components and determining if it runs the risk of electrical shock or fires when exposed to moisture. There are three ratings used to catalog fans, “indoor”, “damp rated” and “wet rated”.  Fans with an indoor rating should never be used outside, but fans with a “damp” or “wet” rating are fine for indoor and outdoor use.

Wet Rated Ceiling Fans

Wet rated fans are made to handle intense moisture and the top of the fan is sealed to prevent moisture from getting in the motor. These types of fans work well for uncovered areas such as a pergola where rain or snow may fall directly on the ceiling fan.

Damp Rated Ceiling Fans

Damp rated fans are better for covered areas like a patio, lanai or back porch. Damp rated ceiling fans can handle moisture but are designed to have a roof over their heads.

What Outdoor Ceiling Fans Features are Right for Me?

Outdoor ceiling fans can come with a lot of useful features, including remote controls, lighting fixtures, and different airflow capacities. Which of these features is the most important for you depends on your needs and preferences?

Importance of Installing a Home Ceiling Fan

Sometimes, because of how simple things are, they are ignored. This has been a behavioral trend that seemed to be recurring almost in all kinds of situation. Just like a simple ceiling fan placed at a certain part of your home. Obviously, you had it installed to provide convenience, to reduce the heat on your place while at the same time adding aesthetic value on your home.


How else can ceiling fans be used than to provide convenience? Ceiling fans are important because they provide cool air which eventually reduces the heat coming in on homes. And who would want to spend an afternoon at home with the heat?


By aesthetics I mean to the home aesthetics. Aside from reducing heat, ceiling fans also act as beautiful accessories at home because of its design. Ceiling fans come in different sizes and designs that is suitable for different types of home interior.


You can never underestimate the importance of being self-empowered by the fact that you played a role in setting up your ceiling fan at home. You see, unlike air conditioners whose installation require the help of technical experts, installing your home ceiling fan can be done by you with the help of any of your family members. (In fact you can do it alone if you want to.)

Bottomline, it’s all about what you need.

While ceiling fans are highly important and beneficial, it’s not for everyone (or every place).

It will help you to ask yourself the following:

Why do I need a ceiling fan?

Is a ceiling fan capable enough of handling my home’s heat?

What part of my house will need a ceiling fan if ever?

Benefits of Ceiling Fans

Many homeowners install ceiling fans to stay cool. Sure, fans are very useful mild climate. But there are many other advantages to ceiling fan installation, including energy cost savings, design and style choices, versatility, illumination, and year-round value.

Reduced Energy Costs

A 30% to 40% reduction in your electric bill is possible. However, ceiling fans don’t actually lower the temperature. The draft they provide makes it feel like it’s cooler, and allows you to retain the same level of comfort even if you raise the thermostat a few degrees. In turn, this reduces demand on your heating or cooling system, so you use less energy and are charged less by the utility company.

Diversity in Style

A ceiling fan is an accessory driven by style, given the choice of styles, sizes, and finishes available. The fan you choose can complement the interior design of your home. In addition to its functional aspects, your fan can help make a statement. A ceiling fan can be the single focal point of a room and influence every other stylistic choice you make, from paint color to the type of carpeting and furniture selected.

Versatility for Any Room

You can install a ceiling fan in a living area, kitchen, bedroom, or even a screened-in outdoor porch. It can improve the environment no matter where it’s installed. You can therefore enjoy comfort whether watching TV, making dinner, going to sleep, or sitting outside. The more ceiling fans you install, the better—you’ll save more on your energy bill

Convenient Lighting

Many ceiling fan models have lights built into them. Lighting adds function but also contributes to the ambience of a room. Illumination can be in the form of layered lighting to enhance the room’s environment. Fans can have built-in lights, but if you have a working fan at home and would like to upgrade it, there are fan light kits on the market. Either way, the lighting benefits are just the same.

How to Install Your Ceiling Fan

General Considerations

An easy-to-install ceiling fan can make a real difference in your home’s climate-both cooling and heating- at a far lower cost and operating expense than almost any other item.

The installation begins with choosing where the fan should be located. In almost all homes, the fan is installed in the center of the room, replacing a central light fixture. This spot provides a smooth air flow to most of the room.

Since a fan draws about the same power as a ceiling fixture, the electrical circuit shouldn’t be overloaded. But if your fan includes lights, be sure the circuit it’s on has enough extra capacity to handle the load. If not, you must run a new circuit with a new circuit breaker from the house main service panel or subpanel to the fan.

If there is no central light fixture, you’ll have to create a plan to hang the ceiling fan. Then, you’ll need to bring electrical power to it. You can tap into an existing circuit to do this.

Mounting the Ceiling Fan

Start your installation by turning off the power to the light’s circuit at the circuit breaker or fuse. Only then should you remove the light fixture.

If there is no central light fixture, snap diagonal chalk lines from opposite corners of the room to find its center. Determine whether the lines cross exactly below a ceiling joist. If they do, move aside just far enough between joists to let you fasten the side of the fan’s new junction box directly to the joist.

Cut a hole large enough for the junction box to be slipped in. If it’s next to the joist, drill holes in its side and screw it to the joist.

Installation between joists is OK, too. Fasten the box to a 2 x 4 header nailed between the joists. Sometimes, you can insert a 2 x 4 header through the junction box’s hole, nailing it to each joist. If not, you may need to open a larger access hole. Then, patch the hole to close it again. (A typical fan mounting where there’s access above the joists for header-nailing.)

You may choose to use a patented fan support unit designed to be inserted through the normal junction box hole to save you from opening a hole in the ceiling.

Use only a metal junction box to support a ceiling fan – never hang the fan from a plastic box. Depending on the brand, style and size of your ceiling fan – and your electrical code – you may use a 4″ or 3″ octagonal junction box. (Some local codes don’t permit the use of 3″ boxes.)

The heaviest fan that should be supported by an outlet box is 35 pounds. If it weighs more, the building structure must support it.

Whatever you do, make sure the junction box is supported well enough to hold at least 50 pounds. That’s the weight of an average ceiling fan. Also, you mounting must be able to withstand vibration while the fan is running. Even a well-balanced fan creates some vibration when it runs.

You’ll use a special beam mount when mounting a fan to a beamed ceiling. Use one kind for a horizontal beam, another for a pitched beam. You may need an extender to lower the fan to the proper level.

Fan-mounting is particularly important because any failure to make things secure could allow your fan to fall from the ceiling.


Fan assembly varies from brand to brand. Be sure to follow the specific instructions with the unit you buy. Regardless of the manufacturer’s instructions, if the fan blades are less than a screwdriver’s length away from the ceiling, it may be best to install the blades before hanging the fan.

The hanger pipe is usually placed into its hole on top of the motor. The wires are drawn up in the center. A set screw is tightened securely to make sure the pipe stays in place after it is threaded down.

Some fans have a separate motor hub into which the hanger pipe mounts. In this case, you’ll place the actual motor housing over the hub.

Other fans have a two-piece decorative ceiling cover to hide the hole in the ceiling. It is installed after the fan has been hung on the ceiling.

Tighten the set screw well.

Other models use a hook, with the hanger bracket designed to accept it.

To attach the fan blades, set the motor unit down where it will be stable. Often, the styrene foam packing for the motor housing makes an excellent stabilizer on your worktable.

Most fan blades have a two-pronged attachment, using screws that come through holes in the blades and into the flanges. These need to be drawn up securely, but not so tightly that the threads are damaged or the laminated blade material is crushed. On many fans you’ll find the flanges, or prongs, also need to be mounted to the motor housing. If this is the case, mount them before the flanges are mounted to the blades themselves.

Height Beneath Blades

Now, check the floor-to-ceiling height of the fan blades. You can do this by measuring the floor-to-ceiling distance and subtracting for the part of the fan that will extend below the ceiling down to the lower blade surface. An absolute minimum height of 7′ is recommended. This may be reinforced by building codes in your area.

If the floor-to-ceiling distance is too little, check into a low-ceiling mount for your fan. With some models, the fan blade height can be increased by as much as 10″. Remember, though, that you need at least 12″ between the ceiling and the tops of the fan blades for proper airflow. Having 18″ is better if the space is available.

Mounting the Fan to the Box

Install the hanger bracket on the box with screws and lock washers. If no lock washers are supplied, get some – they prevent fan vibration from loosening the screws over time.

The hanger bracket may accept either a half-ball hanger or a hook-type hanger, depending on which kind your fan uses. Either way, the hanger is carefully slipped into the bracket.

Next, the unit is wired, and the ceiling cover is slipped up to its full height and tightened in place.

Be sure to connect the black house wires to the black fan wires, and the white house wires to the white fan wires.

The fan should be electrically grounded to both the metal box and the fan. The grounding wires will be either green or bare copper. A green grounding pigtail attached to the box by a bonding screw will make your work easier. Wirenut the ground wires from the box, the fan and the power supply together.

If the fan wobbles when it runs, its blades may be unbalanced. To correct this, try interchanging two adjacent blades. If that doesn’t work, take all the blades off and weigh each one on a food or postal scale. If any is underweight, tape a soft object such as a pencil eraser or modeling clay to the top center of the blade, making its weight the same as the others. Reinstall the blades and the fan should run smoothly.

Mold Inspection Tips

Commercial Inspection

Inspection can help you with all your commercial inspection needs. From roof to slab, inspect everything in between. can make sure that your parking area and building is ADA compliant. inspect all the systems and functions of your property as you need. can arrange for septic inspection, underground storage tank sweeps, and more

Mold Inspection & Testing

Inspection provides certified mold inspections and testing. Testing includes air samples & surface samples, along with a mold analysis report. A separate mold test analysis report id provided in addition to the lab analysis report. The assessment report will explain the mold test results in layman’s terms.  You will also be provided phone access to mycologists on staff who can answer any questions you may have about the mold test results.

Underground storage tanks are an important issue to recognize during a real estate purchase. If an underground storage tank is present, there is the potential of an environmental hazard if the tank has leaked it’s contents into the surrounding area. If not disclosed or discovered, the financial burden of the environmental clean up would then fall upon the shoulders of the new owner of the property. The cost of an underground storage tank leak has the potential to be financial devastating to the property owner. For a small investment during a real estate inspection, we can arrange for an underground storage tank sweep. If an underground tank is found, it is often the responsibility of the seller to remove the tank and pay for any environmental clean up. Wouldn’t you like the peace of mind knowing that there are no underground storage tanks on your property that could cause you financial distress in the future ? Investing in a tank sweep becomes priceless if an underground storage tank is discovered

Certified Radon Testing

Radon is a colorless and odorless naturally occurring radioactive gas that seeps from soil into homes through cracks and other openings in the foundation or walls in contact with the soil


usually consider a home disaster to be something like the Internet crashing or the pool turning green. But really, a home disaster is a pipe bursting and having water cover your entire home. You would be surprised to learn that leaking pipes, floods, or burst sewage mains are quite common. And damage such as this can be devastating to your property.

expert technicians and professional customer service, Restoration 1 is a cut above the rest. A company that you can depend on when dealing with difficult situations such as these.

Services Include:

Biohazard Cleanup

Odor Removal

Carpet Cleaning

Crime Scene & Trauma Cleanup

Crawlspace Encapsulation

Emergency Services

Commercial Restoration

Mold Damage Restoration

inspect your property and find even the smallest traces of mold. then remediate your property to make sure any mold spores stay away.

Water Damage Restoration

experts have experience dealing with property water damage after a major storm, a hurricane, a flood or even a hidden or burst pipe.

Mold Remediation

Mold Remediation & Repairs

understand that dreadful feeling you get when you discover mold indoors. You want to feel safe in your living spaces, and finding mold in your bathroom, kitchen, basement or elsewhere in your property can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

A mold problem is always a moisture problem. Moisture problems in commercial buildings can be caused by emergency water damage from floods, broken pipes, failed appliances, etc., as well as by on-going and unnoticed leaks from pipes, roofs or around doors and windows. In some cases, building design issues that cause high humidity levels also can support mold growth.

When mold is discovered, trained technicians will locate the source of the moisture and recommend a course of action to eliminate the problem quickly. In commercial buildings, will work with you to minimize the disruption while our team works quickly and efficiently to remove the mold.

you are assured:

Consultation, including environmental testing to identify the source and extent of the mold.

Full service remediation, involving controlled demolition and safe disposal of mold contaminated materials, as well as thorough cleaning and sanitizing of any affected areas.

A variety of other techniques appropriate to the project conditions as required.

All necessary restoration and reconstruction services provided through a single point of contact.

An IICRC certified technician on every loss, with all work done to the proper Standard of Care.

Mold remediation done in conjunction with an Environmental Consultant or Certified Industrial Hygienist, if desired.

Mold Remediation & Removal

Don’t jeopardize your health with mold in your home.

Mold spores are present almost everywhere, but when mold colonizes in your home’s crawl space it’s time to consider mold remediation

There are several reasons why mold can be become an issue in your home:

Improper ventilation

Blocked bathroom vents

Crawl space flooding

Natural moisture generated in all homes

Mold build up in your home can lead to several health risks.

Your health is the primary consideration when faced with mold issues because mold can cause serious respiratory system health issues. Symptoms may include:

Itchy eyes

Scratchy throats

Difficulty breathing issues

Mold can also impact the resale value of your home.

Studies indicate an average property devaluation of 17 to 23 percent because of the presence of mold. Other issues such as the unavailability of insurance can make it difficult to sell any property that is infested with mold.

Aspergillus, the mold (a type of fungus) that causes aspergillosis, is very common both indoors and outdoors, so most people breathe in fungal spores every day. It’s probably impossible to completely avoid breathing in some Aspergillus spores. For people with healthy immune systems, breathing in Aspergillus isn’t harmful. However, for people who have weakened immune systems, breathing in Aspergillus spores can cause an infection in the lungs or sinuses which can spread to other parts of the body

Penicillium, a genus of ascomycetous fungi, has a long history of interaction with mankind; sometimes beneficial and sometimes harmful, the genus Penicillium contains over 300 species and remains poorly understood by the general public despite its widespread medical use. Penicillium is best-known as an agent of food spoilage; many species prefer to live on organic biodegradable substances and as such, they contribute heavily to the growth of visible mold on food products which are stored improperly

Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal

All About Mold and the Dangers of Mold

Mold results from water damage and excess moisture and can form as quickly as within 24-48 hours. If you experience flooding or other water damage, you must address it as quickly as possible to avoid health hazards and damage to your property. The longer it is left, the more difficult it is to remove, and the more damage will be sustained.

Mold can leave stains on walls, furniture and important documents. Mold is a toxin and can cause health problems like allergic reactions, asthma attacks and more. Depending on the extent of the problem, you  may be able to handle it yourself, with proper precautions. More on this below. When in doubt, call a professional mold and water damage expert who will have the proper knowledge and equipment to safely and quickly remove the problem.

What is mold?

Molds occur outdoors as part of the environment and have a role in nature by breaking down dead matter such as fallen leaves and trees. They reproduce by means of tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. Mold grows when these spores land on a damp surface. Mold can occur anywhere that moisture is present, whether it is from a leaky pipe, flooding, or spilled water left unattended. There are many types of mold.

Black mold  (stachybotrys chartarum) is one of the most known toxic molds and can grow very quickly in your home. It is a greenish-black color and can grow on materials with a high cellulose content such as fiberboard, cardboard or paper. Black mold thrives in warm, moist environments such as baths, showers and toilets, basements or kitchens. Pink mold is common in bathrooms, aspergillus mold, which is prevalent even in arctic regions is less dangerous to those with healthy immune systems but can be detrimental to those with compromised immune systems and lungs. And don’t forget your pets! Pets can also be susceptible to health issues from mold. This mold can even be found in your kitchen on starch items such as bread or potatoes

What causes mold?

In a word, water! Every type of mold needs water to form. Moisture is the key cause of mold growth in a home. High humidity from extensive rain, or by the coast or other large bodies of water increases indoor humidity. It is important in those conditions to keep your home well vented. Other causes of mold are leaking pipes, roof leaks, condensation, poor ventilation, wet clothes, a water-saturated floor that is not promptly dried and of course, flooding and other water damage. Mold will form in a damp basement, or at a house’s foundation if the water run off is toward your foundation.

Tax Preparation Career Overview

What is a simple tax return?

A simple federal income tax return is one with almost no options. Prior to the 2018 tax year, the Internal Revenue Service offered two streamlined versions of its 1040 individual income tax return. The simplest was Form 1040-EZ, for taxpayers with very basic tax situations and usually the quickest refunds. While the 1040EZ form can still be used to file returns for tax years 2015 – 2017, beginning with the 2018 tax year, the 1040EZ form will no longer be used. Another option, the 1040-A, was also simplified but had more options for filing status and more opportunities to claim tax credits, and like the 1040EZ, will not be used beyond the 2018 tax year.

For the 2018 tax year and onwards, the IRS offers a revised Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR. The IRS also has simplified filing with e-file, an electronic method that was used in 2019 to file over 138 million tax returns for the 2018 tax year.

Simple Returns

The 1040-EZ is for an individual or married couple filing jointly, under age 65 with no taxpayer dependents and with taxable income under $100,000. You must be reporting income only from wages, salaries, tips, taxable scholarship or fellowship grants, unemployment compensation, or Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, and taxable interest not more than $1,500, with no mortgage interest or other itemized deductions. This is easiest to e-file, and if you don’t qualify, the system will automatically tell you.

Information You May Need

  • All income documents.
  • Your age, your spouse’s age, and filing status.
  • Federal income tax withheld.

The tool is designed for taxpayers that were U.S. citizens or resident aliens for the entire tax year for which they’re inquiring. If married, the spouse must also have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year. For information regarding nonresidents or dual-status aliens, please see International Taxpayers.


Conclusions are based on information provided by you in response to the questions you answered. Answers do not constitute written advice in response to a specific written request of the taxpayer within the meaning of section 6404(f) of the Internal Revenue Code.

How to file a simple tax return for a stimulus check

The Internal Revenue Service has provided a simple tool for people who are eligible for the federal government’s economic impact payment but do not normally file taxes.

One aspect of the $2 trillion package to help mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic is a $1,200 check, which will be automatically sent to most eligible U.S. taxpayers. Among those are people who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019; people who receive Social Security retirement or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or those who receive Railroad Retirement benefits. These people will not need to file anything to receive a check.

However, some non-filers are also eligible, including citizens and permanent residents who had a gross income that did not exceed $12,200, or $24,400 for married couples for 2019 or those who were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019.

The IRS has provided a quick tool to enter payment information to help determine a person’s eligibility and payment amount.

“After providing this information you won’t need to take any additional action,” the IRS says.

After going to this site and clicking “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here,” you will be asked to create an account by providing your email address and phone number, and establishing a user ID and password. Then you’ll be directed to a screen where you will input your filing status (single or married filing jointly) and personal information. Make sure you have a valid Social Security number for you, and your spouse if you were married by the end of last year.

You will also be asked for bank information, or you will be sent a check. You will need your driver’s license (or state-issued ID) information. If you don’t have one, leave that area blank.

An e-mail from customer service will either acknowledge that you have successfully submitted the information, or will tell you if more is needed.

Among information you’ll be asked for:

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address.
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number.
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one.
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one.
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse.

Pick a Filing Status

Your filing status helps you figure out what you’ll need to do to file, what your standard deduction is, your eligibility for certain credits, and how much you’ll owe in taxes.

There are times when picking your filing status is pretty straightforward—like if you’re single—and other times when you might qualify for more than one filing status and it’s not so clear.

How do you figure out which filing status to pick? There are five different statuses to choose from:

  • Single. If you’re not married, divorced or legally separated, or widowed before the tax year, you’ll file as a single taxpayer. Simple enough, right?
  • Married Filing Jointly. You’re married and both of you agree to file a joint return. In most cases, married couples usually save more by filing jointly.
  • Married Filing Separately. If you’re married and for some reason don’t agree to file jointly—maybe you want to be responsible for your taxes only or filing separately results in a lower tax bill—you can use this filing status.
  • Head of Household. This one’s a little tricky. To qualify you must have paid for more than half of the household expenses for the year, be unmarried, and must have a “qualifying child or dependent.” So, if you’re a single parent or taking care of an ailing family member, you might qualify to file as head of household.
  • Qualifying widow(er). If your spouse dies and you don’t remarry in the same tax year, you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. For the two years following the year of death, you can use the qualifying widow(er) filing status if you choose to.1

In most cases, folks will either file as single taxpayers or married filing jointly. But there are some rare instances where you might consider filing separately or another filing status if it applies—so always do the math.

How does a client get their Economic Impact (stimulus) Payment?

Most taxpayers do not have to do anything to receive their EIP. Taxpayers will generally fall into one of three categories. Determine which of the following applies to the taxpayer’s situation, then follow the process indicated below:

  • If the taxpayer qualifies to file a tax return on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, go to item 1.
  • If the taxpayer is a social security beneficiary who is not required to file a tax return, see 2 below.
  • If the taxpayer does not fit into category 1 or 2, they must file a simple return; see 3 below.

For more information about the Economic Impact Payments, including details on amounts and qualifying individuals, see the IRS website. A Frequently Asked Questions section is available to address some common issues. Sections help further define those who are and are not eligible to receive a payment, as well as how to return payments received in error.

1. Regular Filers

If a taxpayer has already filed a 2018 or 2019 return on which direct deposit information was included, the IRS will use that account to directly deposit their Economic Impact payment. If the taxpayer did not receive a refund in 2018 or 2019, they can use the IRS portal to enter their direct deposit information. See the IRS Economic Impact Payments page for details.

2. Social Security Beneficiaries

Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file a simple tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. See Related Links below for more information on the Treasury Department’s announcement.

3. Simple Return

Those taxpayers who normally are not required to file a tax return will need to file a “simple tax return” in order to get a stimulus payment. This allows taxpayers who did not file a 2018 or 2019 return to provide their household and direct deposit information to the IRS/Treasury department. For more information, review the IRS website and the Non-filers page.

Window Cleaning Like A Pro

Window Cleaning Tips from the Professionals

Window Cleaning Equipment

First things first – you need the appropriate equipment, starting with a bucket. Your bucket should be large enough to fit 1) a squeegee and 2) a mop-like cleaning tool. Other tools and materials you will need: a small scraper (perfect size for residential windows) to remove stubborn grime such as splattered paint, detergent, rags and a tool belt (for easy access to scraper and rags).

Your squeegee is a magical tool, as it gets your glass clear and streak free in a fraction of the time it takes with paper towels. Invest in a good one with swivel capabilities if you are looking for streak-free sunshine all season long!

Your mop-like cleaning tool should hold water allowing you to apply adequate solution to the windows. It’s also helpful if it has a scourer to help scrub away dirt and grime. Lastly, the handle should allow you to easily maneuver the tool over the entire window.

Window Cleaning Technique

Fill your bucket with cold water. Either add detergent to the water or apply directly to your cleaning tool. Use adequate water to clean the window starting at the top. If there are any stubborn spots, grab your scraper. Make sure you do not scrape any stubborn debris over the glass leaving scratches. Always use a forward motion, pushing the debris then clean it off with a rag.

If you need a step stool or ladder to reach second-story windows, remember to use them safely. Make sure the ladder’s feet work properly and have slip-resistant pads. Also look for a safe location with firm, level footing and rigid support for the top of the ladder. When using the ladder, use three points of contact – two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands

Inside & Out: Window Cleaning Tips

It is that time of year again: time to ready the house for winter.  Over the weekend I set out to get one of the winter ready chores checked off my To-Do list.  I spent Saturday cleaning my windows inside and out so that all winter long I will be able to see clearly out each and every one of them.  I don’t spend too much time in the spring cleaning the windows since they get covered with screens, but in the fall they get a serious cleaning.

I could not live without the screens in the summer to let in the fresh air, but I get giddy – truly I do… when I take them off because not only does more light come into the house, but the house looks so much better sans screens.

In the fall, I remove the screens to store them for the winter. It always amazes me how much nicer not only the windows, but the exterior of the house looks when the screens come off.  The white trim looks bolder and the glass shines which adds contrast to the texture of the brick facade on the front of the house

The first floor windows were pretty easy to clean when the shrubs around the house were small, but once they grew, I could no longer get a ladder up to them to clean the outside of each one. I ended up having to lower the top sash and hang out upside down to clean the outside of each.   A few years ago I found a much better way to do the hard-to-reach exterior side of the windows.

For the second floor windows: I use Windex Outdoor that I got at my local True Value hardware. You simply attach the bottle to your garden hose, move the nozzle to rinse, clean, and then rinse again to get the windows sparkly clean – no ladder or hanging upside down out the window needed.

How To Clean Windows

Tools and materials

Glitz cleaning vinegar

Glitz glass cleaner

Karcher Window Vac 2

Microfibre cloths


Rubber gloves

Spray bottle x 3



The vinegar method

One the easiest – and most environmentally sound – ways to clean your windows is by using good old white vinegar and water. It’s non-toxic and naturally sourced. Make your own cleaning solution by simply mixing 50 per cent vinegar and 50 per cent water in a spray bottle. Spray your window, let it sit, then grab a microfibre cloth and give everything a good wipe. If there are still streaks, flip your cloth to the other side and give it a second going-over. How easy was THAT?

Glass cleaner and a squeegee

This method is particularly good if your windows are extra streaky. Simply spray your chosen window cleaning solution onto your glass – we’re using Glitz Glass Cleaner, one of the best brands out there – and leave for a few moments. Grab a squeegee and drag across your window from top to bottom. Leave to dry for a bit and it should be streak free and sparkling clean.

Using a window vac

This method is for all of you who love a gadget – in this case, the Karcher Window Vac! Spray on your window cleaner, use the squeegee attachment and give it a good scrub. After you’ve done this, you’re ready to vacuum the extra water off – voila!

Newspaper and water

From the super high tech, to the super LOW tech – the good old newspaper and water method! Simply spray on some clean water or window cleaner, and then use a scrunched-up piece of newspaper to wipe away the dirt. It might sound basic, but it works a treat! And it’s a great way to make your windows sparkling clean and streak-free

Top Window Cleaning related questions

What does a professional window cleaner do?

Professional window cleaners clean the interior and exterior surfaces of glass windows, as well as other glass fixtures. They’ll use a detergent with water to loosen and remove any dirt, then rinse and dry the window to remove streaks and marks.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional window cleaning service over DIY?

A professional window cleaner will save you time and effort. And because they have the equipment (like ladders, harnesses, and poles) and supplies to safely and efficiently clean your windows, you’ll get a much better result than if you tried to do it yourself.

What equipment will a window cleaner bring to my home?

Depending on the height of your windows and how easy they are to access, window cleaners will bring ladders, water blasters, cleaning tools (squeegee, brushes, sponges, and cloths), as well as their preferred detergents, sprays, and specially formulated cleaners.

How long does a window cleaning services take?

It normally takes a professional cleaner around 3 hours to wash all the inside and outside windows for a standard 3-bedroom home. If there are second-storey windows requiring ladder access, it’ll likely take longer.

How do you find the best window cleaning service provider near you?

Airtasker is the easiest way to find top-rated window and glass cleaners in your local area. Just post your task and you’ll start to get quotes from professional window cleaners near you within minutes.

How to clean windows

Learning how to clean windows is all about learning how to get the best possible, streak-free results with a minimum of effort. Ever spent half an hour cleaning a window only to discover that it’s still grimy/covered in unsightly streaks? It is an essential job that makes your home look more presentable and can noticeably increase how much light is coming into your rooms – all the better when it is done with ease.

Don’t start cleaning windows until you’ve checked these quick tips:

Is it a sunny day? If it is, hold off washing windows until a cloudy day – it might be easier to see smears on a sunny day, but the sun drying the windows too quickly is usually the cause of any streaks in the first place.

Have you brushed, swept or vacuumed the window? It’s sooo much easier to wash windows that are free of dust, so vacuum the sash, frames and sills first. Plus, doing so will ensure there’s no muddy, soupy mess on the floor afterwards.

Have you removed window dressings? This isn’t a must, but if you’re doing an annual, thorough window clean, it makes sense, especially if your window dressings are a) in the way and b) likely to be dirtied easily by drips and splashes. Plus, you can use this as a good opportunity to have curtains and blinds cleaned or freshened.

Have you got some newspaper handy? If you’ve only got a couple of microfibre clothes, buffing your clean, dry glass with crumpled newspaper will give your windows a sparkling, streak-free finish.


There are so many routes to go down when cleaning windows, depending on how dirty your windows are, how big they are and how much time you have. We’ve split the various best ways to clean windows to reflect what you might be tackling.


If your windows are given a regular wipe over and aren’t hideously dirty, you can simply use a damp microfibre cloth to wet them, and a dry cloth (or a series of dry ones) to dry them off and achieve a streak-free finish.

The upside to these cloths is that they can be simply popped in the washing machine, ready for use next time, making them a fairly eco-friendly way of cleaning windows. Plus, you can use a squeegee before you dry off the windows with your microfibre cloth to cut down on the cloths you use and get the job done even faster.

Massage For Sports Therapy And Pain Management

How do I prepare for a pain management appointment?

Pain resulting from injury or surgery is completely normal, but if you’re experiencing ongoing pain for months or years it’s time to seek help from a chronic pain management specialist.

Before your Chronic Pain Management Appointment

Both doctors recommend you bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • All your medications – either bring the bottles or a list with current doses
  • Names and contact information for all your other physicians
  • The name and number of your pharmacy
  • Your medical and surgical records and any imaging results

During your Appointment

When you’re with your pain management specialist, share as much information as possible – this will help your specialist make an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. And be sure to take notes – a lot of information will be given during a short amount of time.

It’s even a good idea to make a list of questions in advance so you don’t forget anything. Questions may include:

  • Are there any medications I should take or avoid?
  • How can I keep myself free from further pain-related issues?
  • How will my treatment plan be developed?
  • What are reasonable goals for treatment?

How Can I Prepare for My Visit?

The best way to prepare for your visit at The Pain Management Center is to become familiar with our treatments and your treatment goals. By exploring our pain treatment and therapies, you can develop an understanding of the types of services we offer. This can be helpful as you discuss possible treatment plans with our doctors. Reviewing these treatments and our page on pain conditions can also give you an idea of the kind of treatments you can expect depending on your condition.

What Should I Bring to My Visit?

On the day of your visit, you’ll want to make sure you dress in comfortable clothing. This will make it easier for us to perform any treatments, while also making your experience more enjoyable. Additionally, you may want to bring any paperwork or other information that relates to your condition or injury. This can include anything that relates to care under workers compensation, if applicable. We also ask that you bring in your insurance information.


Your pain management team will work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your pain, disease or condition. Options may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Physical therapy – Typically the first approach to pain management, physical therapy can often resolve pain without further treatment.
  • Medical therapy – If there is no benefit provided from physical therapy, medications may be prescribed. It’s important to note that research shows significant risks and side effects associated with long-term use of opioid pain medications for pain not related to cancer. Because of this, if your pain is not related to cancer, your pain management specialist will work with you to identify alternative options to opioid pain medications.
  • Interventional procedures – Sometimes combined with medical therapy, interventional procedures can include epidurals, steroid injections, nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulators.
  • Complementary therapies – These are therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback and herbal medicine. These may not be provided at the hospital, but your pain specialist can provide recommendations on where to go.

Preparing For Your Interventional Pain Management Appointment

Chronic Pain is a difficult burden for patients to bear and especially when dealing with doctor appointments.  Because many chronic pain patients have seen multiple doctors, taken many different prescriptions and even have had multiple surgeries, the idea of seeing yet another doctor may be almost unbearable. Even more so when you are required to produce copies of medical records before you can been seen.  Why does the process have to be so involved and difficult?  As a Specialist who treats chronic pain, I understand how patients can get frustrated.  Why can’t you just get pain relief without all of the tedious requirements?  This article is written to help you understand the process, why it exists, what to expect and how to prepare for your first office visit with me.

The Pain Management Team has a strict policy for treating chronic pain patients.  This policy includes some of the following:

  • Your medical records are very important; but the experience that you share with us is equally important. While the thought of re-telling your pain story may make you want to stay in bed with the covers pulled over your head, please know that it is a vital tool I will use to find the best treatment for you and your pain.  Please come to your appointment with an open mind and trust that I will help you in any way I can to reduce your pain.
  • Your willingness and openness are also important in the area of treatments I may recommend. In addition to medication, I often prescribe Physical Therapy, in-office procedures or injections, exercise, aqua-therapy, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and many other modalities and therapies.  Just because Physical Therapy didn’t help you in the past doesn’t mean it won’t help you in future.  I often suggest many different treatments, in concert, to find the best pain relief for my patients, but their efficacy may largely depend on you and your willingness to try.

Questions to Ask at Your Appointment

The easiest way to have a painless discussion about pain with your APM provider starts by asking the right informational questions. Here’s a suggested checklist you may adapt to your situation:

  • What causes my pain?
  • Can my pain be cured or managed?
  • Is it normal to suffer this type of pain with this condition?
  • Are there common triggers for this type of pain? Should I avoid noise, heat, certain foods or other situations?
  • Why does my pain seem worse at certain times of the day or during certain weather conditions?
  • How can a pain specialist help me and my condition?
  • What kinds of pain treatments are available and appropriate for me? What are the risks and side effects of each?
  • What about alternative treatments? Are there homeopathic or complementary treatments?
  • Will diet or exercise help alleviate my pain? Should I see a nutritionist or work with a physical or occupational therapist?
  • What resources are available to help me learn more about my type of pain and how to manage it?

Transmission Repair Versus Vehicle Replacement

Is it worth fixing my transmission?

Transmission Problems – Rebuild or Replace?

Some of the most dreaded words any car owner can hear are that their vehicle needs a new transmission.  Replacing a transmission is quite possibly one of the most expensive services that your car will ever require because working with the transmission is incredibly complex and can be quite time-consuming too.  In most circumstances, you have two choices when you replace the transmission on a vehicle. You can rebuild the transmission or install a new (replacement) transmission. So, which of these is the best option? The answer isn’t always cut and dry.

Rebuilding Considerations

Rebuilding a transmission means that your existing transmission will be taken completely apart and inspected. Any damaged parts are replaced until the transmission is back to factory specs. In most cases, the gaskets and other rubber parts will all be replaced, but damaged moving parts may need to be replaced as well. This is a complex process and rebuilding a transmission is a job for a specialist for certain.

The beauty of rebuilding a transmission is that you can rebuild an older transmission with up-to-date parts that manufacturers have designed to be more efficient and safe. While a transmission rebuild is a great solution in many cases, it can be challenging to find a transmission specialist who is up to the task and it may take him or her some time to complete the job correctly.

Installing A Replacement Transmission

Replacing your transmission is a bit misleading–in most cases, you can’t actually find a “new” transmission. You’re likely working with a remanufactured transmission. This is similar to a rebuilt transmission, but it was done in a factory setting. For a quick fix, this is ideal. However, you may not have access to the most up-to-date parts and you don’t get to pick and choose how it is rebuilt.

Work with a Transmission Expert

Deciding on whether your transmission should be rebuilt or replaced is usually a question of cost and time to complete the repair. Having a transmission expert rebuild your transmission may take a little longer and cost a bit more upfront, but it can result in a longer-lasting and better-performing transmission. The other option of installing a “new to you” transmission still assures you have a safe, functional vehicle but you may not get as many options. Whichever way you are leaning, it makes sense to discuss your desires with an expert.

How to Decide Whether to Repair or Replace Your Car

Now that you know the options available, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth repairing your car or if you should start looking for a replacement. There isn’t one right answer as it depends on the year, make/model, mileage and condition of your vehicle as well as your personal situation (work/family driving requirements), but here are a few tips to help you make this important decision:

  • Does your car still meet your needs?

Things change. Sometimes the purpose you bought your car for years ago is no longer necessary. For example, if you’ve recently been married and are planning to have kids, does that sports car still make sense? The kids have all moved out, do you still need that 7 seat minivan? Or maybe you’ve retired and no longer need a pickup for hauling things at work.

  • What condition is it in?

If your 14 year old car that has more than a little bit of rust on it, has over 200,000 miles and is worth less than $2,000, then it probably isn’t worth investing several thousand dollars in a transmission repair or replacement. If the car is rust free, runs smoothly and all the other parts are in good condition, then it makes sense to at least consider a replacement transmission.

  • How long would you have kept the car?

If your transmission hadn’t died, were you planning to keep it for another 2+ years? The payback period of a replacement transmission is about 2 years, which means that if you choose to get a new transmission installed, you’ll want to drive your car for another 2 years in order to get your money’s worth.

The (Many) Factors that Can Rack Up Transmission-Related Costs

Transmission systems are complex, consisting of an unimaginable number of moving parts. From the planetary gear sets to clutch packs to output shafts, the list goes on. Keep in mind that these primary components are also made up of many other parts.

This sheer number of parts that make up a car’s transmission is what makes them super expensive. It’s also the reason a transmission is one of the most valuable car parts to scrap or sell.

That should already give you an idea of how hefty their repairs or replacements could be. As if that’s not enough, there are also many factors that can further drive the costs up. For starters, there’s the car’s year, make, and model, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Age of the Car

The older or rarer your car is, the harder it’ll be to find replacement parts for it. As you can imagine, this will increase your mechanic’s fee, since it’ll take a longer time to hunt for parts.

The Manufacturer

Costs also depend on who manufactured your car, such as if it’s a domestic brand, like GM or Ford, or if it’s imported. US-made transmissions usually cost less to fix or replace than a BMW or Volkswagen.

Manual vs Automatic

There’s also the matter of whether it’s a manual or automatic transmission. Manual transmissions are often cheaper to repair or replace.

The Severity of the Transmission Problem

How big the damage to your transmission is will also affect your costs. If you followed your recommended fluid change timeline, you may be looking at a lower repair cost. Whereas a clunker that’s been through a lot will definitely cost a lot more.

Is a rebuilt transmission worth the cost?

When your car transmission is on the fritz, it may conjure thoughts about expensive repairs or even a new vehicle, but there is a better option. Rebuilding a transmission can save you a lot of money over the short-term, while keeping car payments out of your monthly budget. For many, rebuilding their transmission is worth the initial cost.

Smaller Cash Outlay

Rebuilding a transmission may cost you twenty-five hundred dollars or more, which is a significant chunk of change. However, it pales in comparison to the cost of a brand new transmission or the purchase of a new vehicle. New transmissions can cost thousands of dollars more than rebuilt ones, and the down payment requirements for a new vehicle can be much more, depending on the vehicle you want. Rebuilt transmissions typically come with warranties, ensuring that you’ll get your money’s worth out of the unit.

Less Financial Strain

The cost to rebuild a transmission isn’t cheap, but you’ll be left with more money in the bank, if you decide to forgo purchasing a new unit. The same goes for purchasing a new vehicle, because monthly installment payments can make life more difficult. The net result of rebuilding a transmission being less financial strain on you and your family. The less debt that you go into, the better your finances will be over the long run. Over the short-term, you’ll have more disposable monthly income that you can use to invest or save for retirement.

Longer Vehicle Life

When you rebuild your transmission, you’re extending the useful life of your vehicle, which has a number of financial benefits. You defer car payments and interest on debt, when you make your used car last just a little longer. Most dealerships pay little to nothing for cars and trucks with faulty transmissions, but if your vehicle still has functional unit, you can get more money for it when you trade it in. Overall, extending the life of your vehicle has worthwhile financial benefits for you.

Tips to Keep Your Automatic Transmission in Excellent Shape

Check and Change Fluid Regularly

You probably check your coolant and your windshield washer fluid, but transmission fluid may be last on your list, if it’s on there at all. The fluid is the only safeguard against the wear and tear that comes from high-temperature friction. Check fluid levels routinely.

You can find the dipstick by checking your owner’s manual. If the fluid looks low or you see a reddish puddle forming under your vehicle, you could have a leak.

Also, make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations about when you should plan on changing your fluid. While some manufacturers say that your car will be fine up to 100,000 miles, if you regularly drive in stop-and-go traffic or tow heavy loads, it’s smart to flush the transmission more frequently.

Establish Good Driving Techniques

How you drive affects the life of your automatic transmission. Try to accelerate gradually rather than pressing your foot down hard on the gas pedal. Do the same when you’re coming to a stop and allow enough time to brake slowly. When you’re shifting from reverse to drive, let your vehicle come to a complete stop in between and you’ll reduce the strain on the gears.

Take Care of Your Cooling System

On some cars, the automatic transmission fluid is cooled by the vehicle’s radiator. It’s pumped into an additional heat exchanger and back. This means you should always take care of your car’s cooling system — cooling system health goes hand in hand with transmission health. If you suspect any coolant leaks, get them repaired completed right away.

Address Problems Immediately

Is your car jerking when you shift? Do you hear any rattling or grinding noises? If you suspect an issue with your transmission, waiting it out won’t work. Acting quickly can save the system, but letting the problems continue may cause the entire transmission to break down. The longer you drive with a faulty transmission, the worse the problem will become.

Rodent Control Ideas And Measures

Common Types of Rodents & How to Get Rid of Them

Everyone knows the uneasy feeling of finding a rodent in your home. These unsanitary creatures are extremely sneaky and reproduce very quickly. And the worst part? Since rodents are nocturnal creatures, you might not even see them as they run around at night. By the time you do see them with your very own eyes, there’s a good chance they’ve already reproduced. And unfortunately, it’s not usually until it becomes a serious issue that you wonder how to get rid of them, and what you could have done to prevent them in the first place.

Here are the most common rodents that frequent homes and businesses here in the area and a description of what they look like:

Deer mice: they have short bodies, brown fur, and small ears.

House mice: they have even smaller bodies than deer mice, and are typically brown.

Roof rats: they are about a foot in length, and have black bodies and long tails.

Norwegian rats: these are even larger than roof rats, are typically lighter in color and have shorter tails.

Why Rodents Are Dangerous

Rodents can pose a great threat to your family and pets, as well as the condition of your home. They’re not only cringe-worthy because they’re a wild animal invading your home, but they’re also dangerous

Here’s why:

They spread disease: Rodents spread diseases through their feces, urine, and sometimes even hair that can contaminate your food. When they invade your home, they can also spread bacteria and harmful diseases, like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and rat-bite fever. Since rodent-borne diseases are serious and even sometimes life-threatening, you certainly don’t want these pests roaming your home freely.

They damage your home: Rodents aren’t only unsanitary and dangerous to your health, but they can also cause structural damage to your home and belongings. These nuisance pests can ruin your furniture, floors, drawers, insulation, and more. They’re also notorious for chewing through wiring, so if you notice electrical problems in your home without reason, they could be the cause.

They create a fire risk: If rodents want to chew through your wires, there is nothing stopping them. Because they can easily chew through electrical cords, they pose a serious fire risk. These open wires are not something you want your family or home exposed to!

Easy Ways to Keep Rodents Out of Your Home

Seal up holes and cracks in your home’s foundation: Eliminating entry points in your home is the first step in preventing rodent infestations altogether. After all, if they don’t have an easy way to get in, they may never. Mice can enter your home through extremely small spaces — in openings as small as a dime. Be sure to inspect the perimeter of your home and make sure to seal up holes and cracks where they could possibly get in.

Good home sanitation: Keeping your home clean and sanitized is the best way to keep rodents from being drawn to your home over your neighbors. Properly seal your food, keep waste tightly secured with garbage can lids, and make sure to regularly clean crumbs on your counters and floors. Don’t provide free meals for these critters!

Ultrasonic sound box: Simply plug into an outlet and repel rodents — and even roaches and insects! Its ultrasonic waves emit high-frequency sounds. These sounds then attack the tiny auditory and nervous system of the rodents, discouraging them from entering your home. While these sound boxes are not dangerous to the human or pet ear, they are subtle enough to drive rodents out of your home. That’s what we call a win-win!

Set mouse traps: If you suspect your home is also home to mice, mouse traps can be a simple and affordable solution for small infestations. Set them along the wall and dispose of the mouse promptly after it’s trapped. Use mouse traps with caution though, because setting out a food source might attract them in more than keeping them out.

Humane Rodent Solutions

Rats and mice live alongside us, thrive because of us, and survive in spite of our attempts to eradicate them. While they mean us no harm, the presence of unwanted rodent visitors can, at times, undoubtedly cause problems for people, In order to ‘control’ them, a selection of products is available including repellent sprays, ultrasonic devices, poisons and several different types of traps, some lethal and some intended for live release.

HSI advocates that the default solution should be to implement humane methods of deterrence and eviction instead of killing them. This is for two important reasons:

Killing mice and rats typically causes suffering. This may be brief but is often drawn out over hours, days or even — in the case of some poisons — weeks.

Lethal methods do not offer a viable long-term solution. Treating the symptom by eliminating a single rat/mouse — or even an entire colony — is ultimately futile unless the conditions that encouraged them to take up residence in the first place are addressed. Over time, others will simply move in to the vacated territory.

Prevention and deterrence

Like all animals, rats and mice require food and shelter and will seek out easily accessible sources of both. Rats prefer to be outside but mice like to live indoors and can enter your home by squeezing through very small spaces, for example air vents, and gaps around gas and water pipes. Prevention is better than cure: seal off holes and don’t tempt mice and rats in with easily accessible food supplies. The food that we throw way in our rubbish or compost bin, leave out for our companion animals and put out for wild animals whose visits we do enjoy, such as hedgehogs and birds, provides rats and mice with a tempting buffet. Many rat ‘infestations’ are the result of bird-feeding.

As soon as a rat or mouse problem is identified, it is important to take swift action. Identify the source of food that attracted them and remove it. Humanely remove the animals and then seal up holes to keep others from gaining entry

Home and Kitchen:

Mice need only around one tenth of an ounce of food each day: crumbs are enough to sustain them. Clean (and keep clean) all areas where food and crumbs may have dropped, such as under the toaster and down the sides of the cooker and fridge.

Store rodent-susceptible food (e.g. crackers, cereal, pasta, bread, chocolate) in cupboards in metal or glass containers.

Bags of dry cat/dog food should also be stored in rodent-proof containers and not left out in cellars, basements or cupboards.

Do not leave out cat or dog food in dishes overnight.

Rodents have been found to avoid the smell of peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus. Soak cotton wool balls in one of these oils ensuring they smell very strongly and leave along work surfaces, underneath units and anywhere that could be an entry point. Refresh the oil for several weeks after you believe they have gone to discourage them from returning.

Block all potential access holes with wire wool, ’mouse mesh’ (available online), or a strong sealant that will harden quickly. Don’t use caulk or other rubber or plastic fillers because mice can easily chew through them.

how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally

Mice are cute little critters, which is the reason most people write about how to get rid of rats in the attic naturally but that doesn’t mean we want them sharing our homes with us. As adorable as their tiny whiskery faces are, the disease they spread via urine (which they communicate with, and therefore leave a lot of lying around) and feces-not to mention the extensive damage they can do when they put their teeth to something-is no joke. But a lot of us (myself included) don’t want to turn to traditional snap traps (have you ever seen one go wrong? It’s not pretty) or rodenticides that pose serious risk to children, pets, other wildlife, and the environment

Being naturally nocturnal, voracious nibblers, and rapid reproducers (starting at the tender age of 6 weeks) how does one go about dealing with mice without turning to mainstream methods? Enter a fun little idea called integrated pest management (IPM.) It takes some more work, dedication, and thought than other methods, but you can manage without using toxic chemicals, which makes it far superior in my opinion. IPM involves pest proofing your home by sealing up any potential entrances, keeping food well sealed and securely locked away, knowing your pests habits, likes/dislikes, and eliminating any water sources.

How Poison Works: Most rodenticides on the market today are anti-coagulants. They essentially inhibit the body’s ability to clot blood, which results in the mouse hemorrhaging and bleeding to death internally. Warfarin, brodifacoum, diefenacoum, and flocoumafen. While all of these are nasty and toxic, flocoumafen is so powerful that it is only legally certified for indoor use. In addition to prohibiting blood clotting, the poisons will make the mice extremely thirsty. They then leave the house in search of water and die. On top of all of this, and the risk you pose to pets and children, there is secondary poisoning to consider. Many poisons are toxic to animals that will eat the mice, such as birds of prey-or your dog or cat.

How Traps Work: Fairly self-explanatory, the two main traps on the market are sticky traps and snap traps. Snap traps are triggered when the mouse goes for the bait, and a powerful spring mechanism snaps a wire down, breaking the rodents neck. I have, unfortunately, been witness to several trap malfunctions-one particularly gruesome one involved the mouse pulling back so that its neck didn’t break, but its snout and the front part of its face was crushed and caught in the trap. It was very much alive afterwards. It may sound soft-hearted, but I can’t stand the sight of even a pest struggling and in pain.

Sticky traps are about as inhumane as they get. The mouse runs onto it, sticks, and is terrified while its struggles to escape. It will either die slowly of dehydration or starvation. The traps can rip off fur and skin while they struggle, and rodents have attempted to chew through their own limbs to get free.

How to get rid of mice

Mice create messes and will chew through walls, wires and other materials. An infestation of mice or other rodents in your home or business puts people at risk of spreading disease and other health risks. In short, you do not want to just live with a mouse infestation in and around your property

Take the following steps to get rid of mice:

Forget the DIY solutions – They can be highly ineffective in eliminating a mouse infestation

Eliminate entry points – Cover up holes and fill in cracks

Cut back shrubs and branches – Mice like to use them to get into your house

Seal food in airtight containers (this includes pet food!) – Mice can eat through the bags in which pet food often comes

Do dishes immediately after eating – Mice will come out to check for scraps

Check under the hood – Mice sometimes hide inside your car and chew through wires

Clean up food spills – Mice love to eat!

How to get rid of mice in the walls

There are a number of ways in which mice can find their way into your walls. Whether you have a crack in your siding, a poorly sealed door, or an uncovered chimney pipe, mice will make their way in.

The biggest concern with having mice in the walls is that mice love to chew. Where are the majority of your electric wires located? Inside the walls. Don’t let them make a snack out your power sources. Not only will your devices and appliances fail to work, but chewed wires could start a fire.

How to get rid of mice in your car

No matter if you keep your car in a closed garage, store it away in a storage unit, or park it in the street, mice can find it. To escape from the elements, mice often crawl into the inside of a car, and they can do damage quickly.

What Do Rats in the Attic Sound Like?: How to Tell If You Have a Rodent Infestation

If you’re the night owl of your home, then you’re probably attuned to all the sounds that go on in your home every night. You know the sound the furnace makes when it kicks on, the refrigerator’s low whirling noise and the wind rustling through the trees outside your window. But one night, you might hear something that is unfamiliar.

Some rodents, like rats, mice and racoons, are nocturnal, which means they’re most active at night. That’s when they come out looking for food, materials to build their nests and new water sources. If you work from home or stay at home with your kids, you probably won’t notice or hear the sounds of rodents scurrying around your attic, especially if you rarely go up there.

What do rats in the attic sound like?

Though you’d like they’d be too quiet to hear, mice and rats do make a lot of noise, and hearing them can be one of the first signs of a rodent infestation. When they’re in your attic, mice and rats make several sounds. You might hear scratching and gnawing as they crawl around or chew on your walls and wires. You could also hear a scurrying noise as they move quickly across your attic. Chirps and squeaks are also common in mice, but rats usually communicate at a pitch that humans cannot hear.

Other signs of a rodent infestation

Though it can make them easier to hear and spot, rats, mice and other rodents who have moved down from your attic to the main floor pose a number of problems. Most importantly, it probably means that your walls have a lot of chewing and scratching marks, and the wires in your walls may be severely damaged.

If you think you’re hearing what rats sound like in the attic but can’t be sure, here are other signs of a rodent infestation:

Rodent droppings: Gross, right? In most infestations, you’ll find rodent droppings near food sources as well as in cabinets, drawers, cupboards or under the sink. If you leave food out on your kitchen table or forget to wipe up those after-dinner crumbs every night, chances are you’ll find rodent droppings nearby because rodents are coming to these spots for food.

Chewing marks on food packaging: Isn’t it bad enough that rodents are eating your crumbs? If they are making their way into cupboards, then you will probably find chew marks on some food packages, such as boxes of cereal, bags of chips and boxes of crackers and snacks.

Shredded paper or fabric: Don’t remember tearing up that pile of old newspapers? Finding scraps of fabric on the floor of your attic? There’s a good chance rodents are getting into these piles and ripping apart pieces for their nests. These are prime building materials for rodents.

Stale smells: As you’re walking around your attic, do you notice a stale smell in some of your corners? That could be the smell of rodent urine. When it sits in a spot for long enough, it gives off a stale smell.

Small holes in the walls and floors: When given the time, mice and rats can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It often doesn’t take long for rodents to chew holes in your walls and floors. If you’re unsure if a hole was caused by a rat or something else, check the hole for bite marks. That’s usually a dead giveaway