Which Certifications Should You Review Before Hiring a Restoration Company

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Which Certifications Should You Review Before Hiring a Restoration Company

Prior to hiring a restoration company, it is important that you check whether they have proper certifications. Holding adequate certifications show that they have undergone the proper training and are qualified to carry out the restoration services. Both the company and staff should hold the proper certifications.

There are many types of certifications for different types of restoration work. Some certifications require more knowledge and expertise to obtain it. Some restoration work are simple and don’t require any certification to complete the work. You can do some research online and find out what scopes are covered in the certifications that they list on their website.

When hiring a restoration services company, you want to ask what expertise area they are specialized. You should avoid a company that claim to be an expert in every area. If there is a situation outside of their expertise, the company should inform you on the qualified sources that they use to get it resolved.

Usually, the restoration company will become a member of a respected organization to get certified. Examples of accreditation organizations include the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), American Council for Accreditation Certification (ACAC), Indoor Air Quality Association and Restoration Industry Association (IAQA).

To become a member of the accreditation organization, one is required to attend a course that covers lessons on the different stages of various restoration works such as how to address backflows, drying processes, microbial remediation and etc. To complete the training, they must sit for a test and receive good result in order to pass it. You can ask the restoration company what type of training they undergo at the course.

Certifications are not guarantee that the company will provide high quality restoration services. However, if the restoration company offers good service, they will get many positive reviews and referrals. You can talk to people that hire the company before and ask them if the work is carried out satisfactorily. Besides certifications, the company must hold the proper license. Every state has different requirement for obtaining a property restoration license. The state may set a requirement for obtaining a license.

You can do research on the restoration company at the Better Business Bureau site. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) will provide information on the complaints of the past customers. It is best to hire a restoration company that has the good rating and no record of customer complaint at the BBB site.

It is important to look for a mold remediation company that provides an adequate insurance coverage. You should look for a company that is equipped with professional liability insurance instead of general liability insurance. Professional liability insurance will protect you from any damage that arises from the errors carried out by the professional mold remediators.

What Are the Necessary Due Diligence Steps Investment Groups Follow Prior To Individual Property Investment

Before investment groups decide on individual property investments, they must exercise due diligence. Due diligence, as the name suggests, is the required care with which investors must investigate a business before they invest in it. Due diligence allows investors the chance to truly know the company in which they intend to invest and protects them from fraud. When it comes to investment in property, there are several Due Diligence steps that must be followed before any money changes hands. Four of the most important are explained below.

1. General investigation of the target property

Before investing in a property, investment groups must conduct a Due Diligence investigation of the property. They should examine all paperwork that pertains to the running of the property including: tax returns, contracts with current occupants, in the case of an apartment, general financial paperwork, and proof that the building is up to code.

2. Investigation of future expectations of the property
This can be a bit more complex than the general investigation, as it requires speculation and prediction, rather than cut-and-dry examination of the current state of affairs. With careful consideration of the current state of the property and a meticulous prediction of how it will fare in the future, however, you can reach a good understanding of how the property is likely to perform in the future and can base your investment decision, in part, on this expectation.

3. Examination of the details of the investment
At this point, you’ll need to figure out how much you would need to invest in the property, how much ownership you would then have of the property, and how you would eventually get your capital and the return on your capital back.

4. Special investigation if the property is outside of the United States*

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act requires U.S. investors to ascertain that their investment is not linked to foreign state officials or state-owned businesses. To invest in a property with such a link to foreign officials could be considered bribery. Investors must conduct an initial investigation into this matter before investing and must continue to ensure that the property in which they have invested does not develop a link with a foreign official.

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises also require that investors to investigate possible human rights offenses associated with their properties. This means investors must not invest in properties that have been constructed by individuals who were forced to do the work or were abused in any way while performing it. It also means that investors must make certain that any employees at the properties in which they invest are treated fairly.

It can be daunting to attempt to perform Due Diligence on your own. There is so much you need to know and it is so hard to be certain that you have found the truth. When you invest with companies that take these extra steps, your portfolio and investment capital is more likely to be in a secure position. market expertise to understand an investment’s return potential.

Was Bankrate The Internets First Loan Comparison Search Engine

Bankrate is one of the first loan comparison search engine established with the aim of helping borrowers more conveniently compare loans on the internet. Bankrate.com website was founded in 1996 and now they have more than 15 millions visitors every month. It is relatively easy to use Bankrate to compare loans. When you are on the Bankrate homepage, you must first select what types of loans you would like to compare.

There are several types of loans that you can compare on Bankrate including mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards and personal loans. After you select the loan type, you will be redirected to the next pages where you have to answer questions like loan amount, loan purpose, zip code, address, residence type, estimate credit score, birthdate, employment status, telephone number and social security number (SSN). They will then check the database to see whether the information you enter match the credit on file before displaying the .

At Bankrate, you can compare loan offers from a large selection of lenders. Many reputable lenders can be found at Bankrate. The loan comparison search engine allows you to compare factors like interest rate, and monthly payment. The information on the search result is verified by Bankrate to ensure that it is accurate. Toll free phone number of the lender is also provided for your convenience if you would like to contact them and ask for more information on the loan.

The signup button is provided on each listing of the lender in the search result. Clicking it will redirect you to the form where you can get an estimate quote for the loan. With Bankrate, there is no limit on how many loan offers you can receive. You are free to apply as many loan as you want to get the estimate quote before deciding which one to sign up. You are not obliged to accept the loan offer that you receive.

Using Bankrate to perform comparison your loans can help you to save a lot of time because all the important information about the loan are already displayed neatly in the search result. If you were to do research yourself on the search engine, it is going to take a lot of time because you have to find out lots of information like whether the lender offers the loan product you are looking for, loan interest and fees, loan availability and etc.

With Bankrate, the process is cut short. You take a look at the search result and you know which one has the lending terms that you are most likely to afford and qualify. You can then fill in the loan request form and get an estimate quote.

Storm Damage From Hurricane Irma Could Exceed Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Irma has just started to bring wreckage to the nearby islands and it is currently on its way to Florida. On the other hand, Harvey has just finished stalling 4 feet of rainfall in Texas and Louisiana. Initially, when Harvey arrives on Texas, it is a Category 4 storm but it keeps on downgrading day after day. Harvey has killed 60 people and it could cost the local government to spend at least $150 billion to carry out the restoration work.

Hurricane Irma is likely to cause an even more extensive damage than Hurricane Harvey. At the moment, it has broken the record as the most powerful hurricane to have hit the Atlantic ocean. The weather forecast agency claims that the storm is more than 800 miles wide and its wind is traveling at a speed of 185 miles per hour for 1 day or more.

Weather news agency claims that Hurricane Irma is becoming stronger and there is no sign that it is weakening at all. Hurricane Irma probably will not bring flood waters like what Hurricane Harvey has brought to Texas. But, when it arrives, its powerful wind will possibly cause a lot of damages. Irma’s strong wind could tear buildings to rubble, destroy the power line and fell trees.

In Puerto Rico, building wreckage can be seen all over after Hurricane Irma sweeps through. The authority of Puerto Rico predicts that the people will not have access to electricity for 6 months. The hurricane has swept through many Caribbean islands like Turks, Caicos, Saint Martin, Bahamas and Barbuda.

Saint Martin island is completely destroyed with the death toll count constantly increasing. Barbuda, a small island on the Caribbean lost more than 90% of its buildings. At least one death is recorded in Barbuda and more deaths have been recorded in other islands that it hit. Storm surges up to 20 feet has been reported in Turks and Caicos.

Even though forecasters have predicted that Irma is going to be more powerful than previous storms, there is no confirmation and everything is just a speculation. Irma is predicted to hit Florida on late Saturday. After that, it will head to the areas of South Florida where there is denser population. It is expected that the storm will cause storm surge of 5 – 10 feet in South Florida.

Storm surge warnings have been issued by the local authorities to residents in South Florida as well as Florida Keys. Many people are relying on the airlines to evacuate the area and this has caused many airlines to increase the number of flights. If you haven’t yet make plan to evacuate, you should do so now before the arrival of Hurricane Irma

What Companies Offering Personal Loans Allow Consumers to Borrow Over $40,000

Many lenders are offering a loan of more than $40,000 with low requirements and fees. The funds for these personal loans are usually released quickly within the same day or a period of a week following the approval. The following are the top 3 lenders offering personal loans with loan amount that exceed $40,000.

1. LightStream
LightStream is offering personal loans with a loan amount in the range of $5,000 – $100,000. You can choose from a loan term in between 24 months – 84 months. The APR rate is in between 3.24%-16.34%. You need a minimum credit score of 680 to get approved for LightStream personal loan. It does not have any requirement on credit history and the debt to income ratio requirement is quite low. You can apply the loan as an individual or joint loan. When you submit the application, it will immediately let you know whether your application is approved. You can choose the date within 30 days of approved when the funds will be wired to your account. LightStream does not charge fees like origination, prepayment, and late fees.

2. SoFi
SoFi gives borrowers the ability to borrow a loan amount in between $5,000 – $100,000. the minimum loan term is 3 years and you can take up to 7 years to repay the loan. The APR rate for the loan is in between 5 – 15% but most people get approved for an APR rate of 8.5%. The APR rate can be either fixed or variable rates. The minimum credit score requirement is 660. it does not have any minimum requirement on gross income, credit history and debt to income ratio. After you get approved, you will have to wait up to 10 days to receive the funds. It does not charge origination, prepayment and personal check processing fees. It does charge a late fee of 4% of the amount due but the fee will be no more than $5.

3. Earnest
Earnest personal loans features a loan amount in between $2,000 – $50,000 and a loan duration in between 1 – 3 years. The APR rate for Earnest loans is in between 5.25% – 12%. It does not have any requirement on the credit score but most borrowers that get approved have a credit score higher than 720. It has no requirement on the credit history and debt to income ratio. After your loan gets approved, you have to wait for at least 2 – 3 days to receive the funds. Sometimes, earnest will take up to 1 week to wire the funds to you. Earnest does not charge any fee but it can charge you up to $8 if the payment is not successful. You have the option to choose the payment due date and loan term.

The Basics Of Sump Pumps To Keep Your Basement From Flooding

Your sump pump is one of the most vital parts of your plumbing system. Very few people however can answer where there sump pump is let alone sump pump basics. You might only actualy need you sump pump once every five to ten years, but it is good to know that it is there when you need it. Your sump pump is vital if it ever floods in your basement such as from a sewage backup into your basement, your sump pump will remove much of the excess water, pumping it out of your basement. Your sump pump is the last line of defense when flooding occurs and will help to save your valuables, as well as protecting the integrity of your home’s foundation.

When it comes to selecting a sump pump for your home you have a choice between a standard sump pump and a grinder pump, or even both with a clever installation. A standard sump pump removes water which has entered your basement. Your grinder pump grinds up sewage and sends it to your main sewer line. With either type you should have a good battery back up on hand in case of power failure. You should also replace this battery every 2 to 3 years because of battery shelf life as you need to be 100% certian your back up battery is going to function in a time of need. You also need to consider the maximum lift of your sump pump model, most models are around 10 feet of maximum lift. The lift of your sump pump is how much water it pump up vertically in feet. Your maximum flow rate is also critical to consider. Most common models are a a 1/3 horsepower pump. If your basemet frequently floods you may want to consider using a 1/2 hp pump as a 1/2 hp pump will pump more water and lift it higher than a 1/3 hp pump.

If you do decide to install a new sump pump, a Proper installation as well as precisely following the manufacturer’s installation guidelines, is essential for the safe and efficient operation of your sump pump. Improperly installed sump pumps can be dangerous especially ones that were not grounded properly. It is recommended to hire a professional plumber do any sump pump installation, it is not worth the risk of electrocution or sump pump failure due to an improper installation just to save a few bucks. A qualified plumber will install your sump pump with a grounded 15A electrical circuit and a surge protector. Sump pumps that are professionally installed as well as properly maintained often have a shelf life of 10 to 15 years before needing replacement.

You should test your sump pump every 3 months to ensure it is functioning properly should a disaster strike. Simply turn off your power and pour in 5 gallons of water. The sump pump should start up on your battery back up and remove the water, if it does not there is an issue and a professional should be called at that point. You should then retest it with the power on. If the sump pump does not start up, make sure your sump pump is connected properly to your power system. If the power is not the issue then your sump pump is in need of repair.

There are some signs to let you know its time to replace or repair your sump pump. If you pump is making abnormal noises, or too much noise it could be due to a variety of reasons. If your pump is humming for example it might have a broken impeller blade. if your sump pump is making sucking or slurp noises you may need to adjust its float switch. If your pump is banging around its often due to the discharge pipe banging against the wall or flooring, in which case you can add insulation to solve the problem.

Best Rewards Credit Cards for 2017

Searching for a bargain in 2017? Our friends from BestCreditCards.co compiled a new list of top credit cards for rewards and points, you can see their full ratings on their website or check out the abbreviated listing below. One thing that makes sense is to start the year 2017 by using your cards for your purchases and accumulating rewards points at the same time. The rewards card can help you to save a lot of money through cash back if you are able to meet their minimum points redemption requirements of the rewards program. The following are the top 5 best rewards credit cards in 2017.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 50,000 signup bonus points which is equivalent to $625 when you spend a minimum of $4,000 within 3 months. There are 3 options when coming to redeem the 50,000 signup bonus points including airfare, hotel and cash. The annual fee for the card is $95 but it is waived in the first year. It offers 2x points on travel and restaurant purchases worldwide. Trael purchases include the accommodation and transportation fees. If you use the card for gas purchases at the local gas stations, you get to earn up to 2x points.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards offers 2x miles for every dollar you spend through the rewards program. It will reward you with 40,000 bonus miles when you make a minimum purchase worth $3,000. the 40,000 bonus miles is equivalent to a travel voucher worth $400. The annual fee for Capital One Venture Rewards is $59 but you don’t have to pay for this fee in the first year. The card is suitable for you if you like to travel or want a card that offers big sign up bonus.

3. Wells Fargo Rewards Visa Card
Wells Fargo Rewards Visa card offers new members the opportunities to earn 15,000 bonus points when they spend a minimum of $1,000. for every one dollar you spend, you will be rewarded with 5 points for 6 months after the account opening. The 15,000 bonus points can be used to redeem discount in your travel, cold hard cash or gift card. The card provides a 0% intro APR for a period of 12 months.

4. Barclay Arrival Plus
Barclay Arrival Plus offers an attractive signup bonus of 50,000 points when at least $3,000 is spent on your card balance within 90 days. The 50,000 points is equivalent to the value of $500 and you have several redemption options. The bonus points you earn can be exchanged with a statement credit, or merchandise worth $500. You can also use your bonus points to exchange for a gift card for your friend. On all the purchases you make with the card, you will earn 2x miles. The miles can be redeemed at anytime and no foreign transaction fee is charged.

5. Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited offers $150 bonus when your card is charged for a total amount of at least $500. it will reward you with a $25 cash back when you put someone as an authorized user on the card and make a purchase within 3 months. It offers 0% APR interest rate for 15 months and you will be charged with a variable APR rate of between 14.24% 23.24% afterwards. All purchases are eligible for a 1.5% cash back.

How Many Credit Cards Does Citibank Offer In 2016

Citi Bank offers 16 types of credit cards that are categorized in different categories including cash back, Aadvantage, ThankYou, Diamond, Expedia, Hilton and secured cards. Citi Simplicity is a standard credit card that offers 0% interest fee for up to 21 months. The normal APR rate of between 13.24% – 23.24% following the introductory period will depend on your credit score. The card can be used to perform balance transfer and the fee for each transfer is $3% or a minimum of $5. City Simplicity does not have any annual fee and it comes with features like identity theft, car rental insurance, extended warranty, zero liability for unauthorized charges.
Citi Double Cash card is cash back card that offers twice cash back on all your purchases which is 2% cash back of the initial 1% cash back you receive on all your purchases. The card provides an 18 months 0% intro APR introductory period for balance transfer. You only earn cash back on your purchases and not with balance transfers. If you want to qualify for the 0% intro APR for balance transfer, it is required that you transfer the balance within a period of 4 months. Citi Double Cash card does not have annual fee.

Citi Bank offers four Aadvantage Master credit cards including Platinum Select, Executive World Elite, Platinum Select World and Gold. Both Aadvantage Platinum Select card and Platinum Select World Mastercard allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000 within a period of 3 months. Both cards charges an annual fee of $95 but you don’t have to pay for the annual fee in the first year. Aadvantage Executive World Elite rewards you with 50,000 bonus miles when you have spent $5,000 within the first 3 months. The card’s annual fee $450 which can be expensive. Aadvantage Gold Mastercard rewards customers with 25,000 bonus miles for spending at least $750 in 3 months after opening the account. The annual fee for Aadvantage Gold Mastercard is $50.

Citi Bank also offer four Thank You credit cards.
Citi ThankYou Preferred card offers 0% interest rate for 15 months and the annual fee is waived. With the Thank You Preferred Card, you get to earn twice ThankYou points when you shop in the restaurant and entertainment categories. Citi Premier Card rewards you with 3 points on each dollar spent on gas and 2 points on each dollar spent on restaurant and entertainment. Other categories of purchases will receive 1 points rewards for every dollar spent. The annual fee for the Citi Premier Card is $95.

Citi Prestige Card offers 3 points for air ticket and hotel accommodation, 2 points for dining and entertainment and 1 point on other categories of purchases. The card offers 50,000 points that is equivalent to a $800 American Airlines air ticket when you spend at least $3,000 in 3 months. If you don’t want to redeem for American Airlines, you can use the points to redeem a $665 air ticket on other airlines and $500 gift cards. Citi Thank You Preferred card for students offers 2,500 bonus points for a minimum spending of $500.

Signs Your Garage Door Needs to be Replaced

There is nothing wrong with chipped paint on your garage door. However, there are several signs that indicate a bigger problem. If you experience any of the following signs, your garage door needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Delay in Movement: You have been using your garage door long enough to know how fast it opens and closes. There should not be a delay in this movement. If you start to notice it is opening and closing slowly, this could be the early signs of a problem.

The Door is Shaking: Your garage door is not supposed to shake when it is opening and closing. This usually means there are parts inside the door that are broken. Keep an eye on the door and make sure it is moving smoothly.

Strange Sounds: You are probably used to the sounds your garage door makes when it is moving. If the noise is louder than usual, or it is excessive, this is another sign that your door needs to be replaced.

Bills Have Increased:
When the insulation of the door is damaged, you may notice an increase in your bills. This can also happen when the garage door is just old. Replacing your garage door is a great way to keep the home warm without increasing your utility bills.

The Door Has Come Off The Tracks: The door sliding off the track is a big sign of wear and tear. It needs to be on the track in order to work properly. If you notice any shaking, delays or loud noise, double-check to make sure it is on the tracks. When it does come off the tracks, you can have specific parts or the entire door replaced.

It Stops Moving: Does your garage door get stuck while it is trying to open and close? Maybe it has stopped moving altogether. This is a bad sign, as it may not open and close again until it has been repaired.

If you notice any of these signs, it is best to contact a professional repair company immediately. You do not want to wait until the problem turns into a safety hazard for your loved ones or belongings. The damaged insulation or the energy it must use to open and close could cause an increase in your bills.

You want to hire a repair company with a good reputation and certified staff. The time and money will be worth it when you are not worrying about your broken garage door.

Top 3 challenges entrepreneurs face when tasked with starting an ecommerce business

Running a successful e-commerce business can be very rewarding, yet extremely challenging at the same time. Regardless of how great your product is, it can be difficult to get the word out, especially if you do not have a well-designed website and marketing strategy. We spoke with Don Marks with High Level Marketing, a company that specializes in designing websites and e=commerce web platforms.

Implementing the Right Content Marketing Strategy
People are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis; on mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers at work, etc. According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 42% of B2B marketers believe they are effective with their content marketing efforts. Content marketing includes many branches such as blogging, social media, email-marketing, and so on. Entrepreneurs are challenged with understanding which branch works best for them, their brand, and most importantly, their customer.

Building Trust Simply Through a Website
Especially for e-commerce businesses, your website is your customer’s first impression…so how does it look? The design of your website is first and foremost meant to be built to attract the highest possible amount of new visitors from search results. If you have a poorly designed website, customers will not trust you and you will lose traffic. To build solid trust through your website, you need to make sure it’s visually appealing and easy to navigate (and of course, include great content about your products).

Not Mastering the Right Sales Funnel
A main challenge you will run into is understanding how your sales funnel works. You could generate a high level of traffic to your website, but often times, especially in the initial stages of an e-commerce site, your site will be delivering few or no sales. To figure out why you are losing potential sales/customers, you will need to have a clear understanding of your sales funnel. Your funnel is a directed path that your customers take from the time they first enter your site to when they make a purchase; it is simply understanding your customer’s navigation tendency. With that being said, your website should execute a given objective of the sales funnel. It must properly move your customers from page to page, leading them to a final purchase.

While the benefits of having an e-commerce website can be numerous, the challenges are visible. When it comes to ecommerce, keeping up with the pace of consumer interests and their needs is an ongoing process, with many challenges in-between in regards to how to effectively reach them.