Monthly Archives: July 2016

School Canopy: A School Structure Addition That Greatly Benefits Everyone

School CanopiesHaving a school canopy installed at your school is one of the greatest additions and investments you could ever make. It mostly benefits students, but teachers, parents and visitors can likewise enjoy what it has to offer. An all year round protection from the weather is one of the primary benefits of such canopies.

Kensington and other commercial shading solutions provider list some of the features that make school canopies a worthy investment.

  1. Dry and sun-protected walkway

Canopies serve not only as a dry walkway, but a sun-protected structure between classrooms and to other classrooms in another building. This is beneficial for students, teachers and other staff members because they do not have to suffer from the effects of inclement weather, particularly heat from the sun or rain. As for parents, they can find shelter under these external weather-protected walkways while picking up their kids after school.

  1. Makes it possible for outdoor learning

These covered structures provide students with more opportunities for outdoor learning. As health experts pointed out, some of the benefits of outdoor learning include improvements in physical health, communication skills and personal skills.

Giving classes outside under a weather-protected area enables students to learn, while enjoying the great outdoors. They can play and exercise freely without having to worry about the sun’s damaging rays or being wet from the rain. With outdoor learning, it encourages students to interact with their peers, making learning even more enjoyable.

  1. Increased overall school building value

Canopies, with all the good they can do, can quickly make school buildings even more valuable. It helps maximise the use of the school grounds, where outdoor lessons can take place. It likewise helps enhance the overall aesthetic value of the school, especially when installing them for playgrounds and walkways.

In case you have not installed any of these canopies yet, now is the ideal time to do so. Do not wait any longer.

Indirect, Abuse, Cycle Testing, and More: Variations in Testing Battery Capacity and Failure Points

Battery Testing VariationAll batteries, rechargeable and one-offs alike, contain chemicals.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH), Lead Acid, Lithium Ion (Li-ion), or Lithium Ion Polymer (Li-ion polymer) because all of them have the propensity to explode under the right conditions.

According to Qualmark Corporation, there are different ways of testing batteries to make sure accidents won’t happen. Apart from the actual dry run of the battery to test its capacity, there various metrics that evaluators look at. You can find all about them below:

The Need for Indirect Methods

While direct cell power testing would produce the most accurate result, they’re not the most convenient and efficient method. As an example, if you try to measure the capacity of a battery by knowing the State of Charge (SOC), you will need to wait for hours before it fully drains. That’s why there are alternatives to direct measurements, which provide a more economic yet sustainable approach.

Shake and Bake

There are two types of shake and bake approach: mechanical and environmental. What transpires in a shake and bake approach is the determination of the dimensional accuracy and the dynamic adaptability of the batteries to function in both static and dynamic environments. The life span and the sustained mechanical effectiveness of the battery are what’s being measured in the shake and bake test.

Abuse Testing

Abuse or stress-to-failure testing makes sure the product will remain fully intact in case of accidental or intended wrong usage. The main objective of abuse testing is to cross-check the mandated safety use guidelines to the actual capability of the battery to withstand conditional factors. It’s also a requirement for most logistics firm, as transporting batteries without abuse tests are dangerous.

Cycle Testing

Perhaps the most disputed metric, cycle testing determines the exact number of time a battery can be recharged. It verifies the claimed life of the manufacturer along with the charging and discharge times. Generally, new batteries should be able to perform at least 90% – 95% of its rated capacity and slowly decline to 80% after 1 – 2 years of use.

The different approach to testing batteries is an important process that clearly sets the boundaries between a safe-to-use power cell to a potentially hazardous one.

Why You Should Invest in a Privacy Fence

Privacy Fence InstallationAnytime you spend money to improve your home, you want to know that you are making a wise decision. A fence can be a costly investment, but the advantages of installing one outweigh the disadvantages. Why is investing in a privacy fence a wise decision?

It Breaks the Wind

If you are a gardener, you understand that strong wind is among the worst enemies to your crops. If you install the right privacy fence, it would block severe wind that can destroy your plants. Excessive wind can also be damaging to your house. It can also be annoying to anyone resting outdoors.

Keeps Kids and Pets Inside the Perimeter

If you have pets and small children, you understand that keeping them in check at all times is a challenging task. A privacy fence usually offers protection to ensure that your kids and pets do not wander off. Additionally, such a fence helps keep prowlers and stray animals out. It also protects you from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors.

Prior to installing any type of fence, you need to read as many DIY fence installation guides as you can to ensure that you get everything right.

Improves the Value of Your Property

A quality fence usually accentuates a quality landscape. If you install one, you would improve the appeal of your property, hence improving its value. Most fences allow for painting. This means that you would be able to tailor it to match your tastes and preferences.

It Helps Reduce Noise

Installing a solid privacy fence usually helps block outside noise. In case you live in a street with heavy traffic, a fence that buffers everything coming from the outside would be a worthy investment. If your property borders a public playground, such a fence would minimize the noise coming in from the playground.

Always seek the help of a reliable fence installation firm. This would ensure that you do not waste time, fencing materials, and money.

Snow Shoveling: A Relatively Innocent, but Extremely Risky Feat

Snow in Salt Lake CitySalt Lake City in the winter is an enchanting sight to see. Kids play snowball fights, teenagers make snow angels, and families create snowmen in their yards. Houses are filled with ornamental lights, and designs celebrate the holiday spirit. Despite the joyful atmosphere, snow brings with it the hassle of the cold temperature inside homes, slippery sidewalks, snowed-in roads, and black ice on driveways.

When it comes to cold temperatures, residents typically use radiant heat. Proper footwear helps ease walking on slippery sidewalks. Local officials can handle roadblocks, and you can use a shovel to get rid of the snow on driveways. You might think the daily shoveling serves as exercise, but research reveals they may cause you more harm than good.

The Risky Activity

Cardiologist Grace Cater, MD says the cold weather can have serious consequences on the heart. Physical exertion, when done in the cold, may lead to heart attack.

Dr. Cater says snow shoveling is more rigorous than doing full throttle exercises on a treadmill. This isn’t a problem for those who are already physically active, but it can be dangerous for those who aren’t.

When a person is shoveling or even just pushing a heavy snow blower, it heightens blood pressure and heart rate. The cold air tightens blood vessels and reduces oxygen to the heart. If all these occur, the person will be at great risk of having a fatal heart attack. The individuals who are most at risk are those who smoke, have a history of heart attack, have heart disease, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and are habitually sedentary.

Care for Your Heart

When you’re shoveling snow, use a small shovel. Don’t rush the activity, and have regular 15-minute breaks. Even though it’s not hot outside, keep hydrated. Dress in layers to prevent hypothermia, and make sure to cover your neck and head.

Winter may be far from now, but it’s best to keep you and your family updated regarding potential risks. When the time comes, follow necessary precautions to avoid fatal consequences.

Keep Customers Coming by Improving Your Loyalty Program

Customer Loyalty ProgramCustomer loyalty programs have become an integral part of many businesses. They not only bring repeat customers, but also allow companies to understand their audience better. Businesses often get stuck, however, in offering simple and monotonous rewards like "buy one get ten free" to their loyal customers. These deals still guarantee repeat customers, but they quickly become dated. 

Times are changing, and so is consumer behavior. As such, it's important to improve your customer loyalty software and adopt strategies that give your business a competitive edge over others. Here are some effective ways to improve and upgrade your customer loyalty program.

  • Using time-sensitive campaigns that create more traffic

Sadly, many businesses adopt open-ended campaigns in a bid to attract repeat customers. While this strategy might work, it may not be as effective as a time-sensitive promotion campaign. A time-sensitive promotion prompts customers to make the most of any free deal before the promotion expires.

  • Adopting personalized responses

Many businesses using customer loyalty software have templates for repeat customers. Shopperloyaltyrewards.com noted, however, that customers respond better to personalized messages. Personalized messages reflect a brand's tone and allow companies to create a mutually beneficial relationship. These messages don't have to focus on incentives; you can thank a customer for their recent visit. Depending on resources, some companies may designate this role to a particular team of experts who reach out to every customer.

  • Using social media

Social media has become an integral part of branding and marketing products, and many companies have seen the need to incorporate it into their loyalty programs. This allows businesses to learn their customer's preferences and interests, increasing word of mouth marketing. Additionally, companies can find out where customers spend most of their time on social media platforms and which campaign is more appealing.

Clearly, incorporating customer loyalty software is not simply about giving incentives when it comes to customer retention. Businesses have to upgrade incentives by using time-sensitive campaigns, creating personalized messages, and incorporating social media into the loyalty program.

Building a Second Floor: 3 Things You Need to Consider

Two Story HouseThe appeal of building a second floor may grab hold of you at one point and never let go. Nobody can blame you, especially if there are views all around your area that you would much rather enjoy from a second story window or veranda.

Not all houses are made to hold a second floor, however, as there are structural and mechanical considerations to take into account. Find out whether your house has the capacity to have a second story with this guide:

1. Structural concerns.

Adding another floor means your home will be heavier due to its new walls, fixtures, and furniture. The capacity of your current structure to bear an additional load is something you should not DIY. In some areas, Waterproofing Direct says that you may need a concrete bonding agent to fuse walls. You need an engineer to do all the calculations. You also have to follow code requirements and secure the necessary permits.

2. Electricity and water.

These are your mechanical requirements. Can your HVAC handle a bigger building? Can you adjust the plumbing to accommodate a second floor, especially if you’re building a new bathroom? An engineer will also be the one to discuss this with you.

3. Insulation.

Of course, your insulation needs to stay sound. A professional contractor will look at your plans and discuss the best possible ways to insulate, including the new windows, ventilation, and your heating and cooling system.

There are many other considerations before your house is structurally and mechanically sound enough to have a second floor. In case your engineer or builder informs you that the second floor is not a possibility, be ready to compromise. You also have other options for expansion, like a basement. None of these will give you the views you want, but they will add room and you don’t have to worry about the added weight.

Homeschooling: Is It Right for Your Child?

HomeschoolingEducation is always the top priority for parents. They always want the best for their children, especially when it comes to school because they know how it will help them build their lives once they’re on their own.

While most parents send their children to public, private, and posh boarding schools, there are those who would rather have their children study at home. This method is called homeschooling. It is becoming increasingly popular with an annual growth rate of 7 to 15 percent. The American Academy shares the benefits of choosing homeschool over sending them to a regular school.

Freedom

Homeschooled students have the freedom to pick whatever course they want to study and do it at their own pace. Unlike in traditional classrooms where they follow a certain curriculum, homeschooling gives them the liberty to pick from all sorts of courses that they may study according to their abilities and interests.

Students who study at home have physical freedom, too, since they do not have to follow a certain schedule, giving them the chance to plan their own social calendars and academic goals.

Most importantly, children who are homeschooled do not have to deal with bullies and the emotional trauma they can get from school. The lingering distress they experience can affect their academic performance.

Resources

With the advancement in technology, digital learning has become very popular because study materials are available online, making it convenient for students to study at their own pace.

Online programs and courses make it easier for them to do advanced learning. This is because compared to learning inside the classroom where they develop the mentality of keeping up with the rest of their classmates for the rest of the term, once they finish a course, they can pick from a variety of other courses to add diversity in their electives.

Homeschooling offers students the freedom to be independent in their studying. It also gives them the chance to explore and study what their interests are, apart from the usual courses that they study in school.

Trailer Pointers: Avoiding Breakdowns in the Middle of a Road Trip

Road TripPlanning a leisurely trip through states on your trailer while with family or friends? Go ahead, but do remember how important it is to have your trailer in tip-top shape before you traverse the roads. Here are some suggestions to avoid that hassles of a breakdown while on a long road trip.

Clean and Care

One of the most common reasons of breakdowns is the lack of regular maintenance. Washing, cleansing, and tidying up may seem tedious. Since you actually live in the trailer, not cleaning can accumulate dirt, moisture, and damage to particular trailer parts. Clean your trailer regularly inside and out using a high-pressure hose or brush and soapy water on parts with mud and dirt. In addition, disinfect, wax, and oil where it’s necessary.

Replace and Repair

Another common reason for accelerated breakdowns is putting off repairing or replacing of damaged part. Trailers are continuously travelling and are mostly under exposure to different elements. Any part that has begun to corrode or break down will definitely need looking after if you don’t want the problem to get worse while on the road. If it’s difficult to find available parts in stores for certain trailer models, a1trailerparts.com recommends checking available online stores that offer uncommon trailer parts.

Professional Check-Ups

Prevention is better than cure and bringing your trailer to a repair and maintenance shop when it has completely broken down is highly inconvenient. Not only would it leave you in the middle of nowhere, you may not be able to find a ready towing service to bring you to the nearest repair shop. Get your trailer checked up regularly or, at the least, before you start a long drive.

Enjoying your voyage is the ultimate goal of any road trip. It is always best achieved by being prepared at all times. Have your trailer checked, cleaned and repaired before you roll out. Rest assured that your travels will be safe and truly enjoyable.

So You Want to Buy a Classic Car? Here’s What You Need to Know

Classic CarsPlanning to drop some serious dough on that ’58 Impala you’ve been dreaming of since you were a kid? Unless you truly know what you are doing, however, you could end up with the car of your dreams, an excellent investment or a huge waste. If you’ve never bought a classic car before, here are some basic guidelines you need to take note of:

Always Choose a Professional Inspection

While you can easily search online for prices, there are many factors to consider when pricing a car. If possible, get a trusted mechanic to come with you so they can assess the condition of the car and restoration cost (if needed).

Consider Insurance Costs

Fortunately for you, insurance premiums for classic cars are typically lower. However, to get the lowest rate you can find, you shouldn’t drive your car all the time because insurers are banking on the fact that cars that are driven less also have a lower risk of getting into accidents.

Rust is Everything

If you spot major rust on the body and the structural components of the car, then run away from that deal immediately. Some superficial bubbles are fine, but major rust damage will make it impossible for you to restore the car to pristine condition.

Consider Maintenance and Restoration Costs

Keep in mind that vintage or classic basically means old and used, so you must factor in the maintenance costs. This includes the availability and cost of parts, as classic unit parts can be rare and costly. Do your homework so that you won’t be blindsided once the car’s yours.

Decide What You Want to Do With the Car

Are you buying the car so you can drive it around, keep it in your collection, or have it ready for reselling? Ardellscars.com and other car dealers noted that the value of your car would significantly depend on its condition.

Critical Numbers

While only a few things could guarantee that you’ll get an ROI when reselling, one thing is especially crucial. This is making sure that all the numbers of the critical car components—the rear axle, transmission, and engine—correspond accurately to the vehicle identification number or VIN of the car.

Whether you’re planning on driving your car everywhere you go, keep it like the treasured jewel it is, or thinking of making some cash off of it, it pays to know these guidelines.

Gearing Up for a Long Drive: Travel Tips You for a Great Road Trip

Great Road Trip As time passes by more and more people take pleasure in travelling. It is nothing surprising especially given the fact that this activity is said to be the best way to relieve stress and enjoy life to its fullest. However, as much as it offers enjoyment you’ll never find in other things, it might also bring chaos when not planned properly.

To avoid ruining your much-awaited trip, Ready Towing shares some tips to help you get ready.

Before You Go

1. Plan ahead of time

Right before you even start your journey, it is always good to have a loose plan that will guide you throughout your trip. Some of the things you need to take note, includes the estimated travel time, list of expected activities as well as the destination itself.

2. Have a good escape plan

A long and endless drive may certainly bore you or even bring car sickness. To avoid feeling this way, try to explore other possible routes other which offer beautiful scenery. This will make your trip even more interesting and fun. On you way back, you may also choose another route to make it even more exciting.

3. Do a last-minute check

One day before you leave, make sure you’ve packed all the things you need. Be prepared and get everything ready. Have a master list of contacts you may possibly need when you travel, from the number of your friends, family, police, and towing service. This is so you may easily notify them when something went wrong.

During Your Trip 

1. Be Alert

This is the day you’ve been waiting for, but don’t let excitement cloud up your mind. While on the road, it is necessary to stay focused and pay attention around you especially when you’re driving. This is to ensure that you’re not making any mistakes.

2. Take Breaks

If you’re feeling tired and sleepy, find a spot where you can rest comfortably. Don’t force yourself to drive if you really can’t because you might regret it in the end. Take the necessary meal and rest breaks you need to recharge your energy. Driving itself is not easy, so it is pretty normal to feel that way.

Once You Arrive

Enjoy and have fun

One of the reasons why you decided to go on a trip is to unwind and treat yourself. So, don’t stop yourself from living the moment. Enjoy and get the break you certainly deserve.

Road trips are best when you’re fully prepared and with your loved ones. Make sure to follow some of these travel tips to make the whole experience worth it.