Contractor Tips Blog


Loss Prevention Cameras Decrease Shoplifting

According to recent statistics from the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, more than $35 million dollars worth of goods are stolen from American stores every single day of the year. It’s a problem that costs businesses more than $13 billion every year, and the problem is getting worse as the financial crisis continues to cause problems throughout the country.

More and businesses are turning to loss prevention cameras to protect their profits from unwanted thieves. There are many different styles of loss prevention camera to choose from and your security professional can help you choose the right model to ensure maximum results. Dome cameras are particularly popular in businesses that want to let their customers and staff know that an area or store is being monitored for suspicious activities.

Of course not all problems in business can be solved by advertising your monitoring presence with a sign, particularly if you want to identify a thief rather than just deter them from committing an offense again. In this instance trained security professionals recommend something more subtle like a bullet camera.

A bullet camera is a very small camera which can be easily placed in a strategic location or locations to monitor activity discretely with minimum fuss. And of course your security professional will be happy to help you choose the right equipment for recording the footage which will be DVR based and should be H.264 certified for your peace of mind. Many systems are compatible with your iPhone and can be plugged straight into a computer network too.

In fact it’s a very simple process to install and maintain cameras in your workplace, and over time they pay for themselves by reducing theft and keeping your stock on the shelves until it is sold.



Golf Cart Battery Maintenance

Posted in Golf Carts

The batteries are one of the most important components on an electric golf cart.  Taking good care of your golf cart batteries will help them hold a charge better, last longer, and avoid expensive golf cart repairs.  Replacing a set of golf cart batteries costs several hundred dollars so it makes sense to follow good maintenance habits and maximize the life of the batteries.

Golf cart batteries need more care and maintenance than your car battery because larger demands are placed on them.  Unlike the engine starting battery in your car which is kept almost fully charged by the alternator, golf cart batteries are used until they are deeply discharged before recharging them.  This discharging and recharging cycle is hard on a battery.

The basics of golf cart battery maintenance are cleaning, watering, and charging.  When performing any maintenance on your golf cart batteries, be sure to wear appropriate protective gear to protect your eyes, skin, and clothing.  Also, golf cart batteries give off hydrogen gas so no smoking and avoid sparks while maintaining your batteries.

Golf cart batteries should be charged after every use.  Avoid discharging the batteries completely and always charge the battery fully.  Regularly undercharging or overcharging the batteries will shorten their life.

Once a month, clean the batteries and check the water level.  The water level in each cell should be checked and distilled water added to bring it up to the proper level.  Always add water after the battery is fully charged and don’t overwater.

Make sure the caps are tight, then clean the batteries using a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 1/2 gallons of water.  Spray the mixture on the batteries and let it sit for about five minutes.  Rinse with fresh water and dry the batteries with a clean rag.  Avoid spraying water directly on any electrical components.


When Can Asphalt Pavement Be Installed?

Asphalt is an excellent material for paving driveways, parking lots, tennis courts, walking paths, and other areas.  It is much less expensive than concrete and can be poured and ready for use in just a few days.  Unlike concrete, asphalt paving has some flexibility and it is resistant to cracking due to tree roots growing under the surface.  This flexibility is an important advantage in colder climates because asphalt is less affected by frost heave than concrete.

However, in colder climates, an asphalt driveway, parking lot or other area should not be installed in cold weather.  In warm climates, asphalt can be installed throughout the year but in other areas, asphalt should not be installed in the winter months or any time the temperature is too low.  The minimum temperature for installing asphalt depends primarily on the thickness of the asphalt, but other weather conditions such as wind and rain need to be considered as well.

Asphalt is heated to over 300 degrees and poured while it is hot.  It hardens as it cools and it needs to be graded and smoothed before it hardens.  In lower temperatures it will harden too quickly and the result will be a lumpy, uneven, and roughly finished driveway or parking lot.

Most experts recommend a minimum temperature of 70 degrees for laying a thin layer  (1 1/2 inches) of asphalt.  Temperatures can be a little lower if you are laying a thicker layer.  However, wind and moisture can also cause the asphalt to harden faster and need to be taken into account.  In fact, if there is too much moisture your asphalt paving contractor will probably recommend waiting until conditions improve.


Benefits of Seal Coating Asphalt Driveways

A little regular maintenance will help your asphalt driveway look great and last a long time.  One of the most important maintenance tasks is seal coating the driveway.  Seal coating is applied to the surface of the driveway to fill small cracks and to protect the asphalt against the elements.

Asphalt seal coating should be applied about every three years.  You should wait until the previous coating has worn off to apply a new coating.  Applying seal coating too often will result in unsightly peeling and flaking of the coating.  Waiting too long between seal coating will accelerate the wear and tear on the driveway.

You can purchase seal coating made for do-it-yourself application at your local home improvement center or you can have it professionally applied by your asphalt driveway contractor.  Professional grade seal coating usually has consistently good results.

Seal coating sold to homeowners can vary in quality between brands and even the same brand of seal coating can vary in color and quality from batch to batch.   If you choose to tackle the job yourself, it’s worth the extra cost to buy high quality seal coating and try to buy all of your cans from the same batch.  If you have to buy cans from different batches, try mixing some of the seal coating to avoid abrupt color changes.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the container.  The driveway should be clean and free of oil, transmission fluid, and other stains.  Fill larger cracks with crack filler and allow the product to cure thoroughly before applying the seal coating.  Choose a warm, dry day with no rain in the forecast for several days and start early so that you can get the job done and allow the seal coating time to dry before nightfall.


Mosquito Control

Posted in Insect Control

Consider this scenario – It’s a wonderful spring evening and you are entertaining friends and family on your outdoor patio, but just as the evening is getting started, the mosquitoes start swarming and drive everyone indoors.

If you want avoid ruined weekend get-together, you will need to know how to control mosquitoes in your yard and lawn.

First and foremost, eliminate breeding areas for mosquitoes. Water is the only breeding requirement for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes need stagnant water for laying their eggs so you need to find any pools of water and remove them. These can be anywhere that a small puddle of water can form including children’s play areas, birdbaths, and so on.

Remember following points to control mosquitoes in your lawn:

#1: Check your drainage system. See if there is any breakage or leakage and subsequently small puddles are formed close to leaking points. Repair the damaged points.

#2: Water can accumulate in garbage cans. Drill holes in the bottom of garbage containers so water does not accumulate.  Make sure the water has somewhere drain and doesn’t simply puddle under the garbage can.

#3: When you are going to be away from home for vacations or for work, make sure your pool is properly treated with chlorine.  Arrange for a pool service to keep the pool chlorinated or use an automatic chlorinator.

#4:  Check your yard for low areas that accumulate standing water.  Have your landscaper grade these areas or install french drains to keep your yard dry.

#5: Do not over water potted plants.  Remove old tires, cans, and other debris from the yard that can hold water.

Finally, consider installing an automated misting system to control mosquitoes.  These systems use safe, natural pesticides that are automatically released at timed intervals to kill mosquitoes and break the mosquito life cycle.


Facts about Golf Carts

Posted in Golf Carts

A golf cart is also called a “golf car”. It is a vehicle mostly used in golf courses for moving golf equipment and golfers around the golf course. They are also popular in retirement communities The Villages in Florida and planned communities like  Peachtree City, Georgia. Most of modern golf carts carts are powered by electric or 4-stroke gas engines and generally driven at a speed less than 25 mph.

History of Golf Carts

The first golf cart for a golf course was made in 1932. The golfers did not like to use it as initially the golf cart was used for disabled golfers only. By the late 50’s, most players started accepting golf carts.

Earlier golf carts were powered electrically; however, gas-powered carts are also being developed now. In most areas electric powered golf carts are preferred but gas golf carts are still in demand especially in hilly areas where the extra horsepower comes in handy.

Production of Golf Carts

Producing golf carts is a big business now as the uses have increased and are not limited to golf course only. Custom golf carts are even available that are custom built according to specific needs of the customer.

Since golf carts are driven generally in restricted areas and at low speeds, in some areas the allowable driving age is 13 years. In the US, the age restriction for driving a golf cart varies in different states.


Glass Break Detectors For Certain Intrusion Detection

Posted in Home Security

Glass break detectors take your security to the next level. Traditionally home and office security systems have relied on contact based systems for your windows. If the window is opened then a magnetic circuit is broken and the alarm sounds. The problem with this approach is that if the burglar smashes a pane of glass then the window itself remains closed and so does that magnetic circuit.

Unlike contact detectors, the glass break detectors use radio frequencies to detect the sound of breaking glass and also the vibrations that are associated with breaking glass to offer complete protection for your home or office. Because of the way they work you don’t need a glass break detector for every window. You usually only need one per room or for every twenty five feet of radius that you need to cover in especially large spaces.

It is possible that you may get the occasional false alarm through a glass break detector. This is usually caused by objects that vibrate in a similar way to breaking glass – so the sound of cutlery being smashed together or the ringing of a bell can occasionally set them off, but won’t usually be a regular occurrence and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A good security installation company can supply you with and install glass break detectors quickly and efficiently, so that you and the people around you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to react quickly and safely in the event of an intrusion into your private space. If you think about it, you’ll understand how much sense it makes to get some glass break detectors for your home or office.


Wireless Monitoring For Total Residential Protection

Posted in Home Security

One of the best things about current home security products is that fire alarms and burglar alarms can let your alarm provider and the police know if there’s any trouble in your home. However if the intruders or the flames have cut your telephone lines then there’s a problem. With traditional alarm systems it’s not been possible for home owners to feel totally secure with their security protection.

Plus, what if you don’t use a land line normally? This is a situation more and more folks find themselves in, after all, with advances in mobile phone technology and cheap ways to make calls over it such as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) it means than families find themselves with the unwanted overhead of a land line just to maintain their alarm system.

If that all seems a little impractical and may be a touch less safe than it could be – then the good news is that you don’t have to rely on a land line to protect you and your loved ones any more. A wireless security system adds additional protection without the need for a land line.

Wireless monitoring for residential homes works by installing a wireless monitoring system in your residence which, in the event that your alarm is triggered, sends out a message over the cellular system to your security provider’s monitoring station ensuring prompt response from the emergency services.

If you like your land line or want to add another layer of protection, the wireless monitoring system can act as a redundancy solution for when the phone lines are down, have been tampered with or if you or any of your family is in a difficult situation such as being held hostage.


Get The Perfect Home Movie Experience With Custom Home Theater Design

Posted in Home Theaters

Getting a home theater can be a daunting experience. You’ll want to recreate that perfect movie experience with immersion in sound so that it feels like you’re in the action. You’ll want to thrill with your kids as you jump out of your seats as the monster leaps out in front of the hero or heroine. The range of options to get there can be dazzling and confusing, and it takes a fair amount of skill to assemble even the most expensive of systems to give great audio.

The good news of course is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. Reputable home theater integration providers will take all the hard work away from you so that all you need to do is get the popcorn ready and choose which seat to grab on the couch.

Custom home theater design companies employ skilled engineers with years of experience at getting everything just right for families like yours. They will understand how everything affects the movie lover’s pleasure and make sure your home theater is perfect for your needs.

The engineers take into account the dimensions of your viewing room, the way the seats are arranged, select the right audio components including amplifier, speakers, bass units, cables, etc. and find the ideal projector and screen, all taking your budget into account.

If you don’t have the space for a dedicated home theater, you can consider the construction of a dual purpose media room instead using space saving technologies that won’t overpower your living space when it’s not in use.

Install a custom design home theater and your family can enjoy the latest blockbusters without leaving the comfort of your own home.


Consider a Central Vacuum System For The Good Of Your Health

Home automation offers people a great range of simple and convenient money and time saving benefits, as well as potential security benefits and along with this growing trend more and more folks are turning to central vacuum systems for the amazing benefits they can offer a home owner and their family.

Current research suggests that the air quality in your home is often worse than the quality of the air outside of it! Why is that? Because of the opportunities for mischief present in a home – trapped moisture, pet hairs, insects, output from electrical appliances, the materials used in cleaning products, dirt, mites, and many other things we don’t normally consider. This can be bad news for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.

A central vacuum system offers a real advantage to these families, because unlike ordinary vacuum systems a central vacuum system will not recycle dust and other potential allergy causing particles in the air of your home. The system works by filtering the air in your home through tubing placed behind the walls, and sucking in air through inlets in each room. This air is then expelled outside of your house and doesn’t allow those allergens to stay in the air inside.

Recent studies at the University of California have demonstrated that a central vacuum system can and will provide relief from discomfort and symptoms for asthma and allergy sufferers. What better reason could you have for investing in a central vacuum system? It’s a fully automated process so once you’ve had it installed you can forget about it and just enjoy the clean fresh air inside your home.

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