One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst, frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture. Luckily, there are several ways to protect your home:
- Keep the heat in your house at a minimum of 50° F.
- Allow faucets to drip slightly, which can alleviate pressure in the piping system.
- Keep interior doors open. This allows heat from the rest of your house to spread, keeping your pipes warm.
- Seal any cracks and holes found near your pipes. This can help keep cold air out of your home.
- Add extra insulation to your pipes. Experts recommend fitting your pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.
Water expands as it freezes and puts significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. If you fail to take the proper precautions, your pipes can easily fail during a cold winter, which can be incredibly costly to repair.
Cold and flu season is upon us, and many people will begin experiencing symptoms like sore throats, runny noses, coughs, fevers or muscle aches. While a trip to the doctor is important and can help you recover quickly, there are a number of supplemental home care strategies that can help you further recuperate.
The following are some remedies to try:
- Take aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms, such as a headache, muscle ache and fever.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Use a humidifier or take a hot shower to relieve a headache, cough or congestion.
- Place a warm washcloth over your eyes to ease sinus pressure and congestion.
While home remedies can help relieve cold and flu symptoms, they aren’t useful for everyone. Children and the elderly should see a doctor if they begin to feel sick to avoid more serious health complications.
Specifically, individuals should seek immediate care if they experience any of the following:
- Chest pain when breathing
- A sore throat lasting more than 48 hours
- Yellow or green nasal discharge that is accompanied by severe facial pain or a relentless headache
- Persistent pain in your abdomen or rectum
Looking at almost two consecutive years of rising costs, the September 2018 IHS Markit PEG Engineering and Construction Cost Index report revealed an index reading of 62.1, up 3.2 points from August.
The survey’s creators expect overall costs to continue to rise over the next six months, reaching a reading of 79.8, the highest it’s been since 2012.
Contributing to rising costs is damage from hurricanes Florence and Michael, which are expected to put even more demand on construction services while materials and labor remain limited. Although the work will keep contractors busy, homeowners and businesses will have to be patient during the recovery process.
The 25 percent steel tariffs could have a significant impact on construction costs as well. In fact, a Northern Utah wastewater treatment plant saw its price tag increase by $25 million after the tariffs. With steel prices jumping by 31 percent since January, developers may rethink future large-scale projects.
Your successful business probably utilizes social media to build relationships and boost sales, especially as the holidays approach. Over 400 million users access Instagram every month, making it one of the most effective social media tools you can use. Maximize your company’s Instagram presence and protect your company with these tips.
Involve Your Audience
Because social media is meant to be social, interact with your audience as much as possible. Ask questions and take polls about holiday-related content as you motivate more people to talk about your brand.
Start a Debate
With a friendly debate, you increase interaction on Instagram. Center the debate on the holiday and your brand, and keep the content light. For example, ask fans of your electrical repair business if they prefer white or colored lights.
Keep Posts Short
While you should include words and hashtags in your posts, keep the written content short and sweet. Focus on posting high-quality and engaging photos instead.
Call on last-minute shoppers to make a purchase when you create urgency. Mention a deadline for a promotion or sale, or share how much of each product you have left on the shelves.
Utilize User Content
Instagram users enjoy participating with brands they like, especially if they get a shoutout. Create a special holiday hashtag, and put the word out for your viewers to share a picture with the hashtag. This campaign builds emotional connection and engagement.
Mention Pop Culture
Reference pop culture to increase the number of viewers who actively engage with your Instagram account. Be sure your pop culture posts are authentic, timely and fresh rather than outdated.
Advertise Sales and Discounts
If your company offers a sale or discount on your products and services, advertise the special on Instagram. Invite your viewers to share the sale with their friends, too.
Host a Contest or Giveaway
Give your audience the opportunity to win one of your products or services when they like your Instagram account or “like” or “share” the contest post. You could also sponsor a giveaway to improve engagement and increase sales.
Partner With a Charitable Cause
The holiday season and charitable giving go hand-in-hand. Choose a local charitable organization, and use Instagram posts to raise awareness or solicit donations. Your efforts demonstrate your company’s commitment to goodwill and the community.
Take Protective Measures
As you use Instagram more this holiday season, take several steps to protect your company.
- Honor sales, discounts, contests, and giveaways.
- Get permission to use customer photos before you post them online.
- Follow copyright laws for images.
- Update your insurance policy to include liability coverage.
Are you ready to boost sales this holiday? Use these tips as you maximize your Instagram account and protect your company.
On Tuesday, Nov. 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that romaine lettuce is, yet again, unsafe after at least 32 people in 11 states have gotten sick from the same strain of E.coli. The outbreak has also sickened Canadians, prompting the Canadian government to issue a public health alert as well.
While the outbreak hasn’t resulted in any deaths or official recalls, 13 people have been hospitalized, one of whom has kidney failure. The CDC is investigating the outbreak to determine a common source of the contaminated lettuce.
The good news is that this outbreak is a different strain of E.coli than the previous outbreak in the United States this year, which caused five deaths and over 200 illnesses.
What are the symptoms of E.coli?
Symptoms of E.coli can vary, but generally begin three to four days after ingesting contaminated food or drink. Common symptoms include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people are able to recover within a week, but severe cases can last longer. The CDC recommends contacting your doctor if you have symptoms of an E.coli infection.
How can you avoid getting sick?
To reduce your risk of getting an E.coli infection from romaine lettuce, throw out any store-bought romaine lettuce you may have at home, even if some of it was already eaten and no one has gotten sick.
The CDC warning includes all types of romaine lettuce, including heads, hearts, chopped and salad mixes. If you’re not sure if you have romaine lettuce or if your salad mix contains romaine lettuce, don’t risk it. Do not eat it, but throw it out. The CDC also recommends that you clean your refrigerator where your romaine lettuce was stored.
The CDC is currently investigating the outbreak and will work to determine its source. In the meantime, avoid eating romaine lettuce. To keep up with the outbreak, click here.
Happy Thanksgiving wishes for everyone! Hope this season is filled with lots of happiness and joy, wealth, and prosperity. May your home be filled with love on this wonderful occasion. Happy Thanksgiving