Invest in Your Home by Starting in the Basement

For those lucky homeowners who have basements, making sure you do everything you can to keep that basement clean and dry is vital for the ongoing stability of your home’s foundation and overall safety of your home’s environment. A number of nasty diseases can spawn from mold and mildew run amok in your damp basement. Here are some aspects to consider when doing a little basement waterproofing.

1. Go straight to the top. Water running off your roof can quickly seep into your basement if proper gutters and drain spouts aren’t installed. Gutters that are clogged or missing can cause a waterfall to land right next to the foundation and eventually seep into the basement walls. Check your gutters regularly for clogged areas or leaky spots and take care of the problem fast. You can install a mesh or plastic screen over the gutters to prevent large objects from getting trapped inside.

2. Where does your water run? Your yard should slope away from the house so that rainwater is also running away from the foundation and not toward it. If necessary, re-grade your lawn so that it drops about 6 inches for every 10 feet. If the equipment isn’t readily available to you, contact a lawn care expert to handle this task.

3. Do you have a window well or egress window? During a rainstorm water can easily collect in those wells and act as a holding tank for moisture against your foundation. You should cover those windows wells with a plastic window well cover. These are a few dollars at any local home improvement store.

4. Sometimes the water comes from inside. Cut down on condensation and internal moisture by using a dehumidifier. It’s also best to insulate your pipes and air conditioning ducts. Basement bathrooms can be a real source of mold and mildew buildup. Clean the bathroom regularly and properly ventilate the room so the moisture doesn’t have a chance to collect.

Once you’ve established that your basement is clean, dry and protected, revisit this area of your home regularly to stay ahead of any new problems that might develop. Your home and family will thank you for it.

Do Not Scrap It! Find the Scrap and Make Money Instead

Do you know which scrap metal pays the most? Well, if you know the price, then you can get a handsome price for it. When people realize the value of a few specific metals, then they put all their concentration in collecting those metals. However, you must not just look for particulars. The best is to take them all and get something magical out of the one you thought was less important. So, the next time you find people discriminating scraps, you will understand how much money they are leaving in the curb just like that. Here is an unofficial list of the scrap that can fetch you money. It will give you an idea on what kinds of scrap you should sell.

Items

1. Stoves

2. Lamps

3. Water Heaters

4. Toasters

5. Batteries of all kinds

6. Air Conditioner

7. Lawn Mowers

8. Tire and basketball rims

9. Pet cages

10. Cabinets

11. Ironing boards

12. Strollers and Shovels

Other items from which you can extract metals include: Music instruments, metal drums, television, computer, screws, nails and bolts and so on. From the following list you can understand that there is money even in the small things. Now that you know, you need to find places where scrap is easily available. The street is waiting for you, so collect as much as you can.

The few places where you can find scrap:

1. Kitchen – An excellent source indeed! Look for those old cooking pans, spoons, cookie sheets, copper pots and the likes.

2. Living Room – Television, lamp bases, window frames – aren’t these some of the common things that we see in a living room?

3. Bathroom – This room too has a number of things like dryers, washers, plumbing pipes and etcetera. If you like to deck up your bathroom, then you must also have a nice collection of bathroom fixtures. These can definitely yield a fair price.

4. Garden and Attic – Both these places are a storehouse of junk and you never know how much money they can bring forth. Iron railing, swing sets, rusty metal table, old metal chair, broken appliances, ornaments and other accessories which you do not use any longer.

5. Garage – Last but not the least is the garage. You can refer the garage of your house as the treasure trove of scrap metal. There are a number of things in these places that are in one word “precious” in monetary terms.

What are you waiting for? Get your hands dirty now and strike a good scrap deal at a nearby junkyard!

Home Improvement May Not Be For Everybody – Tips For Homeowners

Dealing with frustrating repair and improvement projects is an unwelcome prospect for many homeowners. The hassle and frustration they so often experience is not worth the effort they are putting in, so hiring a professional to help them with the more complicated projects is a good idea. Once they decide to do the work themselves, homeowners usually end up regretting their decision and scouring the phone book for a contractor.

With extensive home improvement projects, homeowners are usually best served hiring a contractor. Some homeowners do attempt these projects themselves with some success, but these are often few and far between. Not that they cannot accomplish the project, but the quality homeowners receive from contractors far exceeds what they are usually able to provide themselves. Home improvement is not for everybody, so realizing when it is far above their head is important and helpful in avoiding a costly project. Spending more money than they realize doing the work themselves, many homeowners regret their decision.

The training and experience a contractor brings to the table will help ensure the quality of the project. Helping with the planning and development stage of the project and providing excellent craftsmanship, professionals are able to provide a level of service far better than any amateur trying to pass themselves off as professionals. So when it comes time to choose the best route to take when facing home improvement projects, it is usually best to consider the work of a contractor. It may be one of the best decisions the homeowner can make for their home.

Filing an Accident Claim

Sometimes we can’t all be as careful as we would like, and negligence or carelessness can result in serious injury. If you were to suffer an injury from an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical bills and any other losses. A San Antonio accident lawyer can help you file your claim, as well as present the claim in court if a settlement cannot be obtained. Read on for a list of some possible lawyers in the San Antonio area that you can check out.

Heard & Smith, LLP serves San Antonio and the surrounding areas. They specialize in protecting the rights of the elderly and disabled, particularly those involved in car accidents. The offer free consultations and Spanish speaking lawyers.

If you’re looking for a law firm in downtown San Antonio, you might want to look up the Law Offices of Pat Maloney. They have a good reputation for winning cases involving trucking accidents as well as medical malpractice lawsuits, but they are able to handle a variety of cases in which a client has been injured through the fault of another party.

The law firm of David A. Canales, PLLC, also located in downtown San Antonio, believe in a softer approach to law. They will help you through both the legal and emotional fallout of a serious accident. Whether you were injured in a car accident of through another negligence, these San Antonio attorneys will fight to make sure your rights are protected and that you are compensated to the fullest extent allowed by law.

If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s carelessness, please do not wait to file a San Antonio accident claim. Many people are unaware of the fact that the law sets a time limit regarding how long you can wait to file a claim after the incident occurs. If you wait too long, your claim may no longer be valid and you could lose out on financial compensation that could pay for your medical bills, future treatment, and emotional suffering. You can also be reimbursed for money that you lost by not being able to go to work. So don’t hesitate to seek the help of an accident lawyer!

Best Accounts Payable Processing Practices

When it comes to working in accounts payable, there are a dozen things that can happen to cause a good day to become a bad one – and these things are often actions that took but a second or two to happen. These mistakes often occur not because of a lack of training or due to faulty practices but often because people are unaware of ways to improve the work situation.

Thankfully, there are many actions that can be taken to ensure that your business is using the best accounts payable processing practices available. By doing this, you can minimize the risk and exposure that result from not having a totally secure system and effective recovery process. While there are many different steps you can take, one of the most important things is that you track a number of elements in the accounts payable processing department.

· Keep up with the number of invoices that come into the accounts payable department in given period of time. The larger your company the more of these there will be. Tracking these will give you a baseline and make it easier to track other items within your department.

· How many invoices are processes as a percentage of the total number of invoices during a specific amount of time. Tracking this helps measure how effectively and efficiently your department is getting the work done. If you feel that the work being done is not enough, then sit back and determine what can be done to make your department more efficient.

· Pay attention to the rate of wrong payments as a percentage of total payments. You need to be aware of any over or under charges. Using a HER program can minimize occurrences such as these.

· Figure out how much it is costing you per invoice processed. Be sure to note things such as software costs, IT support, hardware, and any other types of overhead. There are a number tools that can help you be effective and yet still keep the bottom line in the black.

· Track how many invoices are electronic versus paper. It is cheaper to process an electronic invoice than a paper one. In addition, the electronic invoices require less time to process. Hence, the more electronic processing and information storage is a better way to improve your budget and work efficiency.

Having the best accounts payable processing steps in place, you can be certain that you are doing all you can to protect your business. Talk to a team of business management specialist and learn how you can begin to better protect your company.

Ways to Overcome Copyright Problems

In this age of instant communication, more and more ideas are being born and products created than ever before. With the current entrepreneurial trend, new business owners are creating never-before-seen content and services in order to better the world. With so much going on, it can be easy to create something that copies another person a little too closely. Luckily, there are several steps that can be taken to overcome copyright issues.

1. Get permission from the original owner.

When it comes to using copyrighted content, the only legal way to make use of the content is to contact the original owner and ask for permission. In the event this is impossible, there are websites like Creative Commons that offer royalty-free image and audio files that are free for commercial use.

2. Trademark and copyright your own content.

If you create something you intend to turn into a business or revenue stream, it is important to obtain legal rights to it. While it may be your intellectual property, you cannot prevent someone from creating a similar idea and starting a business based on it. It’s important to trademark and copyright your ideas in order to protect them.

3. Obtain a legal copyright.

Intellectual property can be copyrighted by simply putting the copyright symbol in front of it with your name. However, the Copyright Act covers certain topics that are not so easy to claim ownership of, including architectural and choreographic works. Speaking to a copyright lawyer is the way to go to properly claim ownership of your own work and prevent illegal copying of it.

4. Trademark your property.

A trademark differs from a copyright primarily in the things it protects. While a copyright is usually used to cover a creative work, trademarks are used to protect names, logos, symbols, and other corporate IPs. The process of trademarking a property is lengthy and complicated, so it’s best to consult professional help. You must first search to ensure no similar trademarks exist to the one you want to file; even if an existing trademark isn’t identical, one that is too similar can make it impossible for you file.

5. Remember: registration isn’t absolutely required.

Since 1978, there has been no formal requirement in the United States for copyrighted work to bear the copyright symbol. A novel, for instance, is protected as soon as it is ‘saved’ in a word document. That said, registering the work offers certain protections that proprietary copyrighting does not. A person can only sue over copyright issue if their copyright is registered. The restitution a person may receive for damages will only count after the content is registered, not before.

While it may be an extra step, taking the time to copyright and trademark your property, whether intellectual or physical, can protect it in ways that claiming ownership cannot. Copyright issues can pose a number of problems for content creators or those who want to use content, but knowing how to overcome this problems before they arise can prevent a lot of headaches.

Timing the Apartment Hunt is Crucial

If you are hunting for an apartment, you should be aware that the task will be a challenging one, especially with the economic crisis that has been going on for some time now. Therefore, here are some tips that can make the search easier.

When it comes to apartment hunting, the first thing that you have to realize that timing is very important. The real estate market is highly competitive and finding an affordable apartment can be an onerous task. It is important that you keep a sharp lookout for apartments, search a number of places and have an open mind. You should have the ability to make quick decisions if you happen to find a good apartment. Rents, certain charges and benefits keep changing.

You should not start searching for an apartment too early. You should start your search around two to three weeks before you intend moving in. This way you will get a more accurate picture about the rent. Make sure you look hard in all the places where you would like to live.

Before you begin your search, it is advisable to check a rental website that has a listing of all apartments available in city and neighborhood that you would like to live in. The website should have a floor-plans, tours, amenities and specials so that you can make a decision. Once you have narrowed your selection to a few select apartments, call up and arrange a visit.

After visiting a few apartments, you might be able to make a decision without any problems. Remember to keep searching until you find the perfect apartment.

Choosing The Right Fence For You

When it is time for a new fence you have many choices to choose from. Choosing the right fence is very important if you want one that will last for years to come. Read this article and learn about the different types of fences that are available.

The first type of fence and perhaps the most common is the common plank style privacy fence. You can find these fences in heights up to 8 feet and they have many advantages. For example they are affordable and they offer a great deal of privacy compared to other fences. The downside to these fences is that they are vulnerable to wind, insects and rot. To extend the life you can get them made with cedar or even vinyl and with posts made from metal.

Another type of fence is the chain link fence. This has the advantage of also being quite affordable and being very durable. The downside to chain link fences is that they offer no privacy whatsoever and that they may not quite fit in with your neighborhoods style.

Wrought Iron is another type of fence that you might be interested in. It has benefits and drawbacks similar to those of chain link fences. It is very durable and offers little in the way of privacy. They are however expensive compared to other fences but they are more likely to make your neighbors happy as they are quite attractive.

The last fence style I will talk about is the picket fence. They are available in wood or vinyl and are an attractive alternative. If made from wood, they are vulnerable to insects and rot but the gap between the planks makes them less vulnerable to wind damage. They also offer little in the way of privacy and are reasonably priced.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about. If you are having a hard time deciding you should consult a local fence builder. They will be able to suggest something that will fill your needs.

What You Need to Know About the Increase in Traffic Fatalities in South Carolina

In response to a recent report issued by South Carolina Highway Patrol, there has been an increase in traffic fatalities in South Carolina. South Carolina has seen a whopping 25% increase in deaths caused by traffic automobile accidents.

According to the National Safety Council, traffic deaths in the U.S. from 2014 to 2016 increased by 18 percent. However, the state of South Carolina saw a 25 percent increase. In North Carolina, the number jumped to 26 percent during the same two-year time frame.

More traffic, increased distractions, and poor road conditions lead to higher traffic fatalities across the state of South Carolina. Remember, it is easy to call a death in a traffic accident a “fatality”-which is a generic term. But imagine if it were your loved one, or close friend, who died tragically in a preventable traffic accident. Deaths caused by auto wrecks are an unnecessary tragedy. All of us have to remember that it’s not just a “fatality”; in fact, it’s a the loss of a human being-the loss of a father, mother, son or daughter, brother or sister – in a preventable situation. As an auto accident lawyer, I witness how car wrecks affect the lives of real people in our community. And it’s a terrible, terrible preventable tragedy.

What are some of the reasons for these high statistics? The program Target Zero discusses the state of South Carolina’s goal of eliminating traffic related deaths to Zero. One of these factors is the increase in traffic due to tourism. Whether toting our gorgeous parks or our fabulous food, our state, especially the Upstate, has received a lot of positive media attention in the past couple of years. This has resulted in an increase in visitors.

Another contributing factor to the increased traffic could be attributed to people relocating here. In 2015, there was a 2.5 percent jump in the number of registered vehicles and a 2 percent rise in the number of driver’s licenses issued in South Carolina.

With more traffic on the roadways of course there will be more traffic-related accidents. Nevertheless, there are still other reasons for wrecks. Distracted driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving are still factors in fatality related auto accidents.

So, please be safe out there and be a defensive driver. And follow this simple advice: Slow down. Give plenty of distance between your car and other cars. Get off the cell phone or smart phone. Keep your eyes on the road. Keep two hands on the wheel. Never drink or drive or drive while tired. Take safe driving seriously.

Preparing for Cyberspace

While cyber security is an important issue for boards, it has not always been top of mind. Because a major corporation like Equifax had a breach in its IT system, many companies are rethinking how to secure cyber security.

Boards around the world are examining the Equifax case to determine how to best secure their organizations valuable information stored in their IT systems. So who is responsible? Since the CEO has stepped down, it is apparent he was being held accountable. However, where was the board of directors?

In today’s world of cyberspace, corporate boards have to think about more than governance, CEO compensation and strategy.

As it stands, it is in the board’s best interest to ensure the company is not exposed to debilitating risks. Companies have workplace safety standards and sexual harassment policies to mitigate lawsuits. They even have disaster recovery plans in the event of natural disasters or occurrences like the World Trade Center plane crash. These plans and policies are in place to keep business running smoothly and perpetually. It protects customers and employees.

However, with sophisticated computer hackers around the world, it is no news that computer systems and valuable information can be breached and stolen. There are hackers who breach computer systems as a business. They ask for ransom in the amount of tens of millions of dollars. If it is not paid, they threaten to release the companies secure information, which sometimes could contain private email communication from top executives.

While many enterprises as large as Equifax may have disaster recovery plans for their physical operation, they may not have the same plan for cyber breach. The disaster recovery policies would include immediate action steps based on size of the breach, who made the breach, what information was taken, were company smart phones breached, what to communicate to employees, the public and shareholders as well as other important factors.

In some cases, it may make sense to inform the FBI. In other cases, it may be better to pay the ransom. The challenge with calling the FBI is that the hackers could be in countries like Russia. In Russia, the FBI may not pursue them. Why? Because the Russian government is always looking for good hackers. If the FBI exposes the hackers in Russia, the government may hire them, which can present long-term problems for the US. When it comes to paying ransom, it’s tricky. If you pay, they may hack you again as though you are an ATM machine. If you don’t pay, they may expose confidential information. These are also the kinds of challenges that directly involve the board.

What’s most important is that the board is talking about cyber security before there is a problem. There should be constant audits of the cyber security system to mitigate any risks. In addition, as a board, they should hold the CEO accountable for that security. Furthermore, there should be clear policies to guide the board and the executive team on how to handle the various moving parts in a delicate situation. Boards with disaster recovery plans and high accountability with the CEO are more likely to be forward thinking about cyber vulnerabilities and proactive about updating the security system.