The Best Way To Clean Car Windows Without Leaving Streaks

Clean car windows look better and improve visibility while driving. However, many car owners get frustrated by the ugly streaks which form after every cleaning session. Learn the best way to clean car windows. The irregular shape and angle of your car windows can make cleaning difficult but with window cleaner I used that’s easy to remove.

Many people have tried all manner of cleaning solutions in a bid to find out the best way to clean car windows. In addition, recently tinted car windows can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days before they completely dry out in summer. During winter it can take a few weeks before the window film dries up. Any water moisture trapped in between the film and glass will create a blistery and hazy appearance. However, there are several car window cleaning techniques that you can use to achieve the perfect clean and gleaming look – tinted windows or not.

Cleaning windows is only a small part of a detailing project. You HAVE to read our Complete Professional Car Detailing Step by Step Process.

The Truth about Ammonia

There are many glass cleaning products available in the market which contain ammonia. Vehicle owners should avoid such products since ammonia does not bode well with common car surfaces such as rubber, leather, and vinyl. Ammonia fumes are dangerous and should not be inhaled in a closed environment. In addition, glass cleaners with ammonia compounds cannot be used to clean tinted windows – they pose a damage risk to the film itself.

Microfiber Towels

Microfiber towels can be used to clean even the most stubborn stains and produce great results. It is advisable to choose a microfiber towel with a tight weave as it would give you a better scrubbing capability. You should be wary of cheap microfiber products since most of them shed fibers easily. When cleaning car windows, dip one side of the towel in water and clean the glass. After you have finished cleaning, use the dry side and gently remove any signs of streaking. The majority of high-quality microfiber materials will eliminate any residual streaks. Again, this method is mainly for the outside of the glass. You must be much more gentle when cleaning the inside, especially if your car has tinted film.

Taking Care of Your Windshield Wipers

Your car windshield wipers should be maintained in good working order. It is impossible to drive in rain, dust, or snow without them being in good working condition. Optimum performance is achieved if the rubber and glass are well-maintained. This means that wiper blades should be cleaned whenever you are cleaning the window glass. Never use rubber dressing on the wiper blades as this will only result in streaking. Use a dampened cloth to wipe the blades clean and remove any dirt formation. The best product which can prolong the life of your wiper blades is the 303 wiper treatment. Treating your wipers will ensure that the blade rubber hugs the glass eliminating the noise caused by dry blades. In addition, the use of good additives will enhance the dirt removing properties of your washer fluid. If you are worried by winter weather conditions, choose an additive with antifreeze protection.

Cleaning Tinted Car Windows

As mentioned earlier, extreme care should be taken when cleaning tinted car windows since the film scratches easily. Learning how to clean car windows properly takes patience and practice. It is also not wise to use ammonia-based glass cleaning products on tinted windows. Use a soft damp cloth to clean tinted glass. In place of products which contain ammonia, soapy water will work fine. You can also purchase spray foam glass cleaners to clean the tint material without streaking. Otherwise, there are plenty of ammonia-free glass cleaners on the market.

Proper Wipe Down Tips

You can have quality products and still fail in washing windows without streaks forming. It is important for car owners to use the right technique when cleaning. If you are using a spray, do not spray directly on the glass as most of it will be will be lost to the surrounding air. Instead, you should spray the cleaner on a towel and then proceed to wipe the windows using the towel. This should be done in a rhythmic and spreading motion to ensure that the entire glass surface comes into contact with the cleaner. After clearing all the dirty grime, use a microfiber towel to wipe the glass surface and remove any remaining dirt residue and streaks. Remember that while the windshield receives added attention, all other windows should also be cleaned thoroughly. If you usually smoke inside your car, regular window cleaning will clear the resultant haze. It is recommended to use a good quality soft cloth material instead of used rags which might be carrying dirt particles capable of scratching glass. A soft cloth will not leave any scratch marks on tint film material. During waxing, try to steer clear of the windows since any marks will result in a grimy appearance. However, some waxes actually work on glass – read the label for the recommendations for the product you are using.

Cleaning Water Spots

After working tirelessly to clean your car, it is common for minor water spot contamination to occur during the week. These dirty water spots can ruin the shiny look that you toiled to perfect. Most of these contaminants which you pick while driving can be quite hard to remove with normal glass cleaners. The best way to clean glass with such spots is by using quality glass polish products. All you have to do is use a foam applicator and then finish off by buffing with a microfiber towel. Removing water spots every now and then will prevent noticeable etch marks from forming. Know more about the latest car window cleaner for your car.

Make sure that you always carry out a close inspection of windows if your car is more than one year old. Dirt buildup normally occurs around the trim of your rear window and windshield. This dirt can be removed by scrubbing with an old toothbrush or using a detailing brush. Apply window cleaner to the brush and scrub gently along the trim edges to break off the caked-on grime. If you encounter stubborn gunk spots, use a sharp edged instrument such as a razor blade. However, care should be taken not to scratch the glass or break the rubber seals.

Electric Problems Inspection Service

The battery, and the rest of the electrical system is an absolutely essential component of a vehicle. It not only starts the vehicle but also powers all of the comfort accessories such as the air conditioning, the radio and power windows. Electrician Brisbane 24 hours have helped many Brisbane businesses and families in times of electrical emergency.

Problems with the electrical system can quickly escalate and affect other components of your vehicle. Electrical system problems should be dealt with quickly and by a professional.

How this system works:

The basic components of the electrical system are the battery, starter and alternator.

The battery provides the entire electrical current to the vehicle before the vehicle is started, including the fuel and ignition systems, which are responsible for starting the vehicle.

The starter uses a small amount of power from the battery to rotate the flywheel, which turns the crankshaft, moving the pistons. Once the vehicle is running, the alternator takes over and keeps the battery charged and the electrical system working. While a vehicle will start with a malfunctioning alternator it won’t run for long.

Common reasons for this to happen:

  • Battery Issues: If the vehicle does not start or even try to turn over there is a very good chance the battery is the problem. Most vehicles have a Battery warning light that will come on if there is an issue with the battery or one of the other electrical system components. In many cases a drained battery is due to the lights being left on. Over time batteries will go bad and need to be replaced. Expect to get three to four years out of a typical battery. Corrosion on the battery can speed up its demise, so keeping a clean battery can help extend its life.
  • Corroded Battery Cables: The battery cables are responsible for transferring the current from the battery to the electrical components in the vehicle. If the vehicle will not start, makes a clicking sound or the radio and other electrical components do not work, the cables could be the problem. Again, corrosion can corrode the cable and the battery terminals. In most cases battery cables cannot be repaired and need to be replaced.
  • Malfunctioning Alternator: The alternator converts the power the crankshaft is generating into electrical energy, which charges the battery. If the alternator is not producing enough voltage the battery can go dead. In most cases a failing alternator will trigger the Battery light to come on. If the alternator completely fails the car will eventually stop running as the battery is not being recharged. Dim lights, a grinding or whirring noise can all be symptoms of a failing alternator.
  • Malfunctioning Voltage Regulator: The voltage regulator is connected to the alternator, it controls how much voltage the alternator sends to the battery. If this component is malfunctioning, the alternator will not send the correct voltage to the battery. Symptoms of a failing voltage regulator include the Battery light coming on, dim lights, dashboard lights that dim or flicker and the engine may start to hesitate.
  • Broken Serpentine Belt: The serpentine belt helps drive the alternator and if it breaks the alternator will no longer function.
  • Blown Fuse: If one specific accessory is not functioning, such as the radio or power windows a blown fuse could be the culprit.
  • Failed or Burnt Out Fusible Link: Fusible links are a high-capacity connector, which protect accessories that are wired directly to the battery. Over time they will fail and in some cases will suddenly burn out. Common symptoms include a pause before the starter turns and slow functioning accessories.

What to expect:

A top­-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to determine the source and cause of the electrical system issue, and will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.

How important is this service?

The electrical system not only powers convenience systems like the air conditioner and power windows it also is essential to safety systems such as headlight and brake lights. A malfunctioning electrical system can affect many other vehicle components and in many cases, the vehicle will stop running altogether. Electrical system problems should be addressed immediately. Check out the importance of electrical services.

5 Tips to Increase Readership for Artists Email Newsletters!

In our recent Seminar for marketing artists, I touched on the topic of creating interesting newsletters. Storyboard artists take ideas and interpret them into visual media.

Now why would an artist need to send out a newsletter? Isn’t seeing the art enough? I’m not sure just when the fantasy of “paint it, and they will come” first gathered steam, but the savvy art marketer today knows that in order to build and keep a relationship with their audience/prospects, they need to stay in touch!

So, with that in mind, there are many programs available which make it easy, affordable and convenient to send out email newsletters, in quantity, and without it being labeled by the Internet as spam.

I use Streamsend to send out over 1200 email newsletter for my Art Clients each month. It helps to research the newsletters that you receive and like, or do an online search, and you’ll see the names of other applications such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, aWeber, etc. See which ones fit within the parameters of what you are or would be doing. In the past, artists spent hundreds and thousands of dollars annually on just postage for newsletter distribution. In comparison, the cost of monthly newsletter programs, taken in context, is nominal. In other words, the $20.00 a month it now costs me to send out 1200 monthly email newsletters would be…oh, around $500.00 or up a month in postage! All the programs available are less than $49.00 a month.

The other, HUGE advantage is that through these programs you can see the results! Not only can you can see who opened your newsletter, but which areas were viewed most often, which links were most popular and all offer easy opt in or out subscriptions for readers. Faulty and duplicate email addresses are weeded out automatically and that is a valuable tool!

But after the first newsletter goes out, how do you keep the reader’s interest month after month?

Here are 5 things that you can do to capture and maintain the interest of your audience.

#1 Make your newsletter helpful and worthwhile.

Nothing says BORING like a newsletter that is all about you! A common mistake is to think your newsletter is all about promotion. Nothing screams SALES like a “ME, ME,and all about ME” newsletter. If that is what you’re doing, then you might as well just be sending out advertising because that’s how your newsletter readers are taking it. The biggest thing you can do to get more people reading your email newsletter is to make it helpful and worth their time. Content has to be useful to your readers.

The point of an email newsletter is NOT to use the whole format to promote your art. Just as the concept behind Social Networking sites is to promote a relationship, your email newsletter is also about forming those relationships with your prospects. The idea is to have interesting tips and topics that create a bond or a following of your art and your journey. Think of it as sharing a cup of coffee with a friend. WHat would you talk about or share?

There is nothing wrong with letting your readers know that you have a new workshop coming up or a Gallery opening or an open house at your studio but add a little something extra such as a mini-art lesson or a captivating story about your walk in the woods that inspired your latest painting.

Make the content of your newsletter something helpful they can use and they’ll open it every time. Need ideas? Take any or all of these ideas and tie it in with your artist’s life:

  • funny video
  • crossword puzzle
  • word game
  • charity/rescue/donation of the month/quarter, etc.
  • garden/wildlife/pet tips
  • interesting facts you didn’t know
  • jokes
  • add another voice speaking-your dog, your paintbrush, your sculpture
  • how to video of you creating something each newsletter
  • recipes
  • now you think of something!

#2 Share your artist’s life in your newsletter.

The artists who are selling their art successfully are doing so because they have mastered the art of sharing a little of the “artist mystique” with their collectors. Writers learn early in their careers that “Words tell, stories sell.” Artists are no different.

People view your art or buy it because both the image and the story behind the image spoke to them. That’s you! A newsletter is no different than a blog in that respect. People will open it and read it because they find it entertaining, educational, or useful. To make it more entertaining, use your artist’s voice. Be you. Be natural. Give the reader a tidbit of the life they envision an artist lives. In your art newsletter keep the tone light and warm and fuzzy. Stay away from serious and introspectively depressing news and thoughts! There’s enough of that in the news!

Remember, there are millions of images of art on the Internet. What can YOU do to take the static image of your artwork and turn it into an interesting event? Which brings us to number 3!

#3 Use Photos and images in your newsletter

There is simply no way an artist can send out any newsletter without images! Include your art, you at work, an image of something that inspired you. Only use the very best images of your work. Everyone knows the journey from studio to Internet diminishes the WOW factor from your original art but do what you can to compensate for that!

So, add videos, photos of work in progress, photos of an inspiring trip… add visuals!

#4 You need to have a call to action.

The interesting thing about readers of all ages is that you discover shortly that you have to tell them what to do! Seriously. Make it easy and convenient to do so. Asking your readers to do something is a “Call to Action.” A call to action can achieve results that a sales letter never would simply because by the time you ask for a call to action, your readers know MORE about who you are through your ongoing chatty and friendly style and newsletters:-)

A Call to Action can be as simple as asking the reader to go to a link. Do not assume because it is in convenient blue, that they will click on it! Tell them what and why they should click on that link and what they will find that will benefit them.

Do you want a poll of recent art work from your readers? Then ask them, “write back to me and tell me what you liked or did not like about my sculpture/river/glass, etc., series of art.” People love to give their opinions! Let them know that you value their opinions and find them truly helpful:-).

Do you want them to buy your art? Then tell them! “Click here to purchase my art.” Sure, occasional strangers might do it, but the readers who have been following your newsletters, feel by now that they know you and are far more willing to buy your art directly from the Internet.

You might also want to alter those PayPal buttons to say something like “Collect my Art!” or “Add this to my art Collection” or some chatty sentence that is YOU.

#5 Be consistent!

If you are putting your newsletter out here and there, or when you remember, you’re losing readers. And you’re not alone. Most newsletters are not consistent in their release schedule. Get a schedule. It can be once a quarter, on the first or fifteenth of the month, or every Wednesday. Just pick something and be consistent with it and you’ll improve your readership response.

Use the same heading each time so that readers know it’s from you!

Summary-Bringing it all together

It takes perseverance and dedication to write your newsletters. So make each one count by maximizing your response rate. Most of all-stick with it! Follow these five tips, and not only will you start getting more responses to your newsletters, a format/template to follow to make it easier each time, but an increase in online sales!

by M Theresa Brown

Artist Entrepreneur and art career expert, M Theresa Brown has been one of a very small minority of artists successfully selling her visual art as her livelihood for 20 years as http://www.mtheresabrown.com. Although she is now married to an artist, she supported herself and her four children as a single mom artist for years!

For the past 10 years she has worked with, helped and advised artists on every aspect of taking control of their artist career through utilizing her methods of marketing, promoting and selling their creative art. Want to know more? Join her marketing forum and enjoy the articles, blogs and newsletters on her artist marketing website, http://www.ArtCareerExperts.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Theresa_Brown/321995

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5693418

How To Wash and Wax Your Car

It may seem counterintuitive, but frequently washing and waxing your vehicle is the best way to maintain its exterior paint finish for years to come, regardless of the constant wiping and rubbing it entails — but only as long as you’re using the right products in the correct order. All major brands of car washes, car waxes and related detailing products are specially formulated to work gently on the clear-coat paint finishes found on every car built since the mid-1990s. They’re ideal for removing dirt above and below the surface, eliminating swirls and other imperfections and leaving a high-gloss shine. If you are in the market for car cleaning products that actually deliver great results, look no further.

Such obsessive-compulsive labor need not be arduous, however. While there are multiple procedures involved in washing and waxing a car to perfection, it’s not necessary to do them all at once. Some steps should be taken weekly. Others can be employed every few months or annually. If you want to watch some pros using the techniques described in this story, check out the instructional videos from car-care product companies Meguiar’s and Mothers.

At all times, there are some simple car wash rules to keep in mind:

No matter which stage you’re at in the car wash and wax process, it’s always best to have the car parked in a cool, shady place.

If the water you’re using to wash the car is hard — meaning that it contains a lot of minerals — it will leave spots on the paint’s finish when it evaporates. That happens more quickly in hot sunlight. And although many modern, synthetic polymer-based car waxes are sun-friendly since they won’t dry too quickly and become difficult to remove, you’ll expend less effort if you use them on a cool surface. For best results, the car’s surface should be no more than warm to the touch.

Be sure to have a good stock of microfiber towels on hand for washing and drying the car, and for applying and removing car wax and related car-care products.

A microfiber towel is gentler to a car’s finish than a cotton towel or chamois, which could mar the finish, creating slight scratches or ruts that accumulate over time. Microfiber towels require special care, however. Wash them separately from all other laundry and especially not with linty cotton towels. Use hot water and don’t use fabric softener. Run them through at least one additional rinse cycle in the washing machine. Then dry them on a low-heat setting. Finally, stop using them on painted or glass surfaces when they begin to show their age by, for example, shedding lint. Instead, use them for polishing wheels and, later, for polishing stainless steel exhaust pipe tips.

Keep the car’s paint in showroom condition through a four-step process: washing, cleaning, polishing and waxing.

It’s important to use the correct products at the correct stages. This will prevent unnecessary damage to your car’s finish.

Washing
The most critical of the four steps is washing, which removes the loose contaminants that gradually accumulate on the surface of the finish, creating a gritty residue that could cause scratches in later steps if it’s not removed properly first. This requires a genuine car wash product (such as Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash, Mothers California Gold Carnauba Wash and Wax or Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Car Wash). These products are pH-balanced and formulated to loosen and lift surface contaminants without stripping away waxes.

You should avoid normal dish soap, laundry soap and household cleaners. They are designed to remove and dissolve grease and oil, and they will strip away the waxes and in some instances could damage the car’s finish.

Wash the car thoroughly, working from the top down and utilizing a lamb’s wool or microfiber washing mitt. Professional car detailers prefer these because the nap of the lamb’s wool or microfiber draws the dirt particles away from the paint. Re-dip the mitt in the bucket after each panel of the car is washed. That cleans the mitt and ensures that you’re again working with fresh suds.

For soft convertible tops, dip a soft bristle brush in the suds and work the dirt out of the grain using small, circular strokes. If the top is heavily soiled or stained, use a product designed for convertible tops, such as Meguiar’s Convertible Top Cleaner. These products are pH-balanced to safely lift dirt from cloth and vinyl tops without damaging the stitching.

Dry the car thoroughly with a soft, absorbent waffle-weave microfiber drying towel. Do not store the top in the down position if it is still wet, says the Haartz Corporation, a leading manufacturer of convertible tops. Make sure the top is completely dry before storing.

Experts recommend washing a car this way weekly.

For casual touch-ups between washes, you can use a spray-on product called a detailer (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Detailer, Mothers California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Spray Detailer). Detailer products slough off light surface dirt, but don’t offer any protection.

Cleaning the Gunk
Next, inspect the paint, searching for above-the-surface bonded contaminants such as a thin film of tree sap, bird droppings or pollen and below-the-surface defects such as swirls, oxidation caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation or etching from acid rain.

Lightly sweep your flat hand along the paint. If it does not feel as smooth as glass, you have above-the-surface contaminants. A clay bar designed for car care (such as the one included in Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit or in Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Kit) is mildly abrasive to shear off and remove these contaminants. It should be the first product you use to try to remove them. Rub it over the affected area, kneading and turning it to expose a clean area when necessary.

For below-the-surface defects, you can use a cleaner with mild abrasives (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound or Mothers California Gold Pure Polish). Use a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad to apply it, using small circular, overlapping strokes. Never use hard pressure.

Cleaning a section of the vehicle at a time, remove the cleaner with a microfiber towel that you’ve folded into fourths. Use one side to break up and wipe away the hazy product, then flip the towel over to a clean side to remove any additional residue. Your paint should now feel smooth and should be free of swirls and defects.

If upon the initial inspection you do not find any defects — either above or below the surface — you can skip the cleaning step altogether and go straight to polishing and waxing. However, experts say that use of a clay bar probably will be necessary every six months.

Polishing
Polishes and glazes add luster but do not protect the finish, so using them is entirely optional, especially since clear-coat finishes are highly resistant to oxidation. Even years-old cars generally retain their shine today.

Nevertheless, products such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish and Mothers California Gold Micro-Polishing Glaze can restore the natural oils your paint once had, making the car’s surface more reflective and shiny. Using a polish or glaze once a year may be helpful. Although light-colored paints such as white, silver and tan may not display much change, darker colors such as black, burgundy and navy blue will reflect light like a mirror after proper polishing.

As you did during the cleaning process, apply the polish or glaze by hand, using small circular, overlapping strokes with a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad on one section of the car at a time, removing the polish with a microfiber towel after the product becomes hazy. Don’t allow the polish to dry completely. Trying to remove dry polish will almost certainly result in scratches to the finish.

Waxing
For protection, you need to apply a car wax, and experts recommend that this be done at least every three months. However, there are varieties of wax that can be used much more frequently. If you’re really obsessive, some can be used as often as every few days.

The newest synthetic polymer-based waxes (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax, Mothers California Gold Synthetic Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Liquid Wax) generally provide longer-lasting protection and are easier to use in the sun than older-style carnauba-based waxes (such as Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Wax and Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax).

Normally, the newer liquid or paste waxes provide the longest-lasting protection — usually three or four months if the car is kept in a garage and not exposed to a harsh environment.

When applying a liquid or paste wax, you’ll use the same technique: small, circular, overlapping strokes, using a microfiber-covered or foam applicator pad and working one section of the vehicle at a time. As in the other steps, remove the wax with a microfiber towel that you’ve folded into fourths, using one side to break the waxy surface, then flipping the towel over to a clean side to remove any additional residue.

Spray waxes (such as Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax, Mothers California Gold Spray Wax and Turtle Wax ICE Premium Care Spray Wax) are designed for quick application but generally don’t offer the same long-lasting protection as the liquids or pastes. Experts say that spray waxes should be used as a booster between the quarterly applications of the liquid or paste waxes. Some car-care experts recommend using these spray waxes as often as twice per week. Some say once a month is sufficient.

A Special Caution on Matte Finishes
Except for washing with a car wash product, nothing should be done to or applied to a car covered in a matte paint with a flat finish, such as Mercedes-Benz’s “designo Magno” series. These matte paints also can be cleaned in a brushless automated car wash as long as the machine does not apply any shine agents. And as with a car that sports a glossy finish, it is important to clean bird droppings, tree sap and other surface contaminants from a matte paint finish immediately.

Your Car Wax Mileage May Vary
Despite their suggestions for how often owners should clean and wax, product manufacturers won’t make any firm promises for how long any of their products will actually protect a vehicle.

“How long a wax lasts on Car A is not necessarily true how long it lasts on Car B,” says Michael Deddo, senior research chemist at Turtle Wax in Willowbrook, Illinois. “Every car is like its own paint canvas. Every one is different.” Know more the benefits of washing your car.

Swimming Pool Opening Details

How to Open or Start a Swimming Pool in the Spring

Starting or opening up a swimming pool is pretty simple. But it does require a bit of work and a couple of extra hands. Honestly, it’s best to start a week or two before you want to open it for not only best results, but also to take some of the “last minute” stress away. In ground pool removal cost Sydney may vary based on many factors.

No matter whether you have an above ground pool or an inground pool, the basic work is the same or similar. Follow these simple steps with details & tips:

Remove all the leaves, dirt & debris from the winter cover before removing it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people let all of the winter mess just go right into the pool! Talk about extra work. I’ve seen really clean “winterized” water become black with the “tea” & debris from the winter cover. Spend a couple of half-hours scooping the excess & accumulated leaves from the top of the cover. Remember, it’s not just last fall’s leaves; it’s the spring pollen, tree “helicopters” & pine needles too.

Remove all winter & ice expansion plugs (Gizzmos). You can’t start the pump & filter system if water isn’t flowing from pool to filter & back! Be sure to replace the respective directional returns (eyeballs), suction grates (usually used on lower suction fittings), Circulator fittings, etc. If you are using standard, stationary eyeballs, remember to point the flow of water DOWN toward the bottom of the pool to optimize the circulation. For even better circulation, consider replacing standard directional returns with “the Circulator”.

Bring the Water Level up to normal operating level. If the water on top of the cover is relatively clean & algae free, use that water to fill the pool. It’s free! It may be a little dirty, but that’s okay, it will be treated with the rest of the pool. At this time it’s a really good idea to add either an algaecide to the water or a natural pool enzyme to start cleaning up the water and prepping it for the initial shock. If you are adding fresh tap water to top the pool off, add a good metal and mineral stain & scale control product to prevent sudden metal stains, especially iron or copper, when the pool is first shocked.

Carefully remove the winter cover. Clean it up, fold it up & store it away. When cleaning, use a good cleaner that is specifically made for cover material. A good chemical cleaning of the winter cover will lengthen the life of the cover by removing the dirt & soil from the fabric (you wouldn’t put dirty clothes away in the closet for the next season would you?)

Hook up the filter system. Properly attach the correct hoses or pipes to the proper valves or fittings on the pump and filter. Even I’ve made this mistake: the right hose goes on the wrong filter fitting & 2 weeks later, the pool is still not clear! Here’s the easiest way to remember: basket to basket (skimmer basket to pump basket) and hole to hole (exit – “to pool” – hole on filter valve or tank body to return opening on pool wall). Be sure to properly lubricate all multiport or shut-off valve “O” rings with a good silicone lubricant. Not only will you give the gasket added life, you’ll help it seal more easily too. Don’t over-tighten clamps on above ground hoses; over-tightening will often “crimp” the hose allowing air leaks. REMEMBER: replace ALL of the drain plugs to the pump, filter tank & heater (if equipped).

When starting the pump for the first time, be sure to “prime” the pump with water. Don’t start it dry, not only can harm be done to the pump, extra stress & strain is placed on the entire system. If your pump is below the water level, as on most above ground pools, priming probably isn’t necessary because the water is naturally “falling down” to the pump (gravity feed). If the pump & filter system is more than 3 ft above the water level, priming is an absolute must. Keep in mind that the system could take several minutes to “catch” and start.

SPECIAL NOTE: it is VERY normal for LOTS of bubbles to come out of the return fittings when first starting. Even for up to 24 – 36 hours, some bubbles will remain in the plumbing system while it returns to normal operation.

SPECIAL TIP: to make the filter start easier, open the “air bleeder” valve on the top of the filter tank when the filter starts. You will hear a big “whoosh” of air as it is pushed out of the filter. When water gushes out, replace or close that valve. If your filter does not have a manual air bleeder, temporarily remove the pressure gauge for the same results.

Clean & vacuum the pool of all dirt & debris. Get all of the excess stuff out of the pool before adding shock & start up algaecide, especially if the water is relatively clear & clean. The less stuff in the water, the more effective your initial shocking will be.

Clean the liner or tile line with a good quality pool surface cleaner like Off the Wall Surface Cleaner. DO NOT use household cleaners as they can affect the pH and add phosphates to the water which will contribute to algae growth later on. This is where most of the winter’s scum has left its mark. Clean it off now while it is still “soft” & easy to remove rather than when it bakes in the sun is more difficult to clean. Prevent this scum line (biofilm) from reforming with regular cleaning or by using AquaFinesse Pool Pucks.

Add your initial doses of shock & algaecide. Now you can add the chemicals! When starting, don’t skimp. Do a good “heavy” shocking and proper dosing of algaecide at opening. In the long & short run, you’re going to save a lot more money by doing this the right way. Follow the doses below.

Allow the opening or start up chemicals to circulate for 24 – 36 hours before doing any testing or water balancing. Why wait? 2 reasons:

1. Additions of Shock & algaecide will change the water chemistry and water balance. That little bit of time will allow the levels to settle back down for a more accurate reading.

2. The chemicals already in the pool water may be settled toward the bottom. This is especially true of cyanuric acid typically known as pool conditioner or stabilizer. If the water is not allowed to circulate & stir up what’s on the bottom, you will end up adding stabilizer that, more than likely, doesn’t need any additions. This is a great way to save money. By the way, NEVER add conditioner or stabilizer unless the pool water needs it and only if the test shows a level of 20 ppm or less. Stabilizer or cyanuric acid levels should be no higher than 60 ppm. Higher levels are simply wasteful and provide nothing for the water balance.

Install ladders & deck equipment. Be sure to secure tighten anchor bolts, diving board & slide anchors (if equipped). Check to make sure bolts or hardware are in good condition. Replace worn or corroded nuts & bolts for your safety.

Filter 24 hours before bringing in Opening water sample for Testing & Analysis. Adjust pH, Total Alkalinity & Calcium Hardness as needed.

Chemically clean the filter with Kleen It or Strip Kwik Filter Cleaner after 2 weeks to remove the filtered winter stuff. Chemically cleaning the filter about every 8 weeks lengthens the life of the filter media and promotes longer filter runs.

NEVER DRAIN your pool. The liner will shrink, voiding the warranty and could cause damage to your pool. In gunite, plaster, or even fiberglass pools removal of the water from the pool could result in the pool structure “floating” and causing serious damage to the structure. Always check with local builder for specific instructions.

Start up chemical doses in chlorine, bromine, ionizer, salt-chlorine pools. Shocking must be thorough in order to break up residual chloramines (combined chlorines) from winterizing. If chloramines are not dealt with now, a lingering chlorine demand (an inability to maintain a solid chlorine or bromine level) problem will develop.

Chlorine shock: un-stabilized Cal-Hypo is the preferred product to use on an initial spring shock. It gets in, oxidizes, then gets out (gasses off). Use at a rate of 3 to 5 lbs per 5,000 gallons for best results. Do NOT use a non-chlorine shock with the initial start up. Liquid chlorine bleach is OK, but is very weak (about 11%) when compared to Cal-Hypo (about 60%).

Initial Algaecide: don’t skimp with the algaecide! Always use an algaecide that has at least 30% active ingredients. Be careful using algaecides with copper as an active ingredient; improper use may lead to staining of pool surfaces. Gallon jugs of algaecide typically contain less than 10% active ingredients and are a virtual waste of money. Follow the label directions for an INITIAL dose, typically 1 – 2 quarts per 10,000 gallon.

After adding the initial shock and algaecide, be sure to run the filter for 48 to 72 hours continually. DO NOT backwash the filter during this time. Let the filter and the chemicals do the work.

Final & continuing steps: balance the water (pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness). Using additives such as borates and natural enzyme products will enhance any pool chemical care system you use. Be sure to shock the pool and add algaecide every 2 weeks to rid the pool of swimmer waste cannot be filtered out and to keep algae in check.

Follow the 5 keys to pool care. It’s that easy.

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Here Are the Health Benefits of Pilates

People who dance are easy to spot, even offstage. “They’re very aware of their body’s position in space, and they move almost like cats,” says Marie-Louise Bird, a Pilates researcher and post-doctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia. “But most of us are more like puppy dogs, moving without much attention paid to our posture.” You should be passionate about Pilates instructor course, but you should also be a great communicator and love working with people.

Luckily, the puppy dogs among us don’t have to go to dance school to get better body awareness. They can just do Pilates.

Ever since Joseph Pilates founded his studio in New York City about a century ago, the training method has focused on strengthening abdominal and trunk muscles—called the “core”—through hundreds of very specific movements. The first Pilates clients were ballet dancers looking for a way to improve their posture and control their movements.

Pilates looks deceptively easy. But the often-tiny movements improve balance and core strength, Bird’s research suggests. Pilates does this in part by reinforcing the bond between mind and muscles, helping people engage the right muscles in the core. This leads to better posture and control over the body’s movements, says Cherie Wells, a senior lecturer in physical therapy at Australia’s Griffith University. Wells’s research has found that the core-strengthening perks of Pilates may also ease pain and improve daily life for people suffering from chronic low-back pain.

Some research has also linked Pilates to better flexibility, trunk stability, injury prevention and athletic performance. (Some former and current NFL players, including Antonio Brown and Martellus Bennett, are fans.)

But it’s easy to do Pilates incorrectly, so if you want to experience all these advantages, good form is essential, Bird says. That requires a good teacher, at least in the beginning. “Results come from a structured class taught by a certified instructor,” says Ann Gibson, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico, who warns newbies not to assume they can pick up Pilates by looking at a few online pictures or guides. “There needs to be a lot of focus on rolling down or up from the ground, one vertebrae at a time.”

The other unique part of Pilates isn’t physical, but mental. One of the key concepts of Pilates is called “centering,” or understanding that all movements originate in your core. “Like yoga, it’s about breathing and focus and being mindful of your body’s movements,” Gibson says. At least one study has linked Pilates to enhanced mindfulness and something called sensory awareness, which may induce relaxation, mood improvements and stress reduction.

It won’t surprise anyone familiar with the classic “hundred” exercise—a grueling Pilates pose performed for 100 beats—that the practice also does something special to the stomach. “Pilates seems to activate the deeper abdominal muscles more than conventional gym exercises,” says Duncan Critchley, a lecturer and exercise researcher at King’s College London. Research from Spain shows Pilates also eliminates “asymmetries” in the abdominal muscles the line the sides of your torso.

It’s probably not the best workout for those looking for a vigorous sweat, says Wells. Newer forms of the practice use machines to increase resistance and even aerobic intensity—reformer Pilates and jumpboard Pilates are two examples—but they’re less studied than the traditional forms of the exercise.

Look around online and you’ll find plenty of anecdotal evidence that Pilates can help people lose weight or, even more likely, lose inches, but Gibson says her findings were mixed when it came to Pilates’s ability to reduce waist circumference.

But if you’re searching for a mind-body practice that strengthens the body and has a few pleasant side benefits—like great abs and more poise—Pilates is certainly worth a try. Check out on how to strengthens the body through your mind body practice.

15 Minute Home Pilates Routine

This set of Pilates exercises is designed to provide you with an at-home routine and help you build familiarity with Pilates mat exercises, whether you are new or experienced. These exercises develop the core strength, stability, and flexibility for which Pilates is famous. Nutritionist Northern Beaches motivating you to tackle food, weight and health issues, the wiser way, to give you the health you deserve.

The muscular focus for each exercise is noted so you can target your routine. Please keep in mind that all Pilates exercises engage the core abdominal muscles. Feel free to choose any from the list for an ab workout. There are modification notes in the full instructions for each exercise.

Pilates Warm-Up Moves

The warm-up set of exercises are very important in teaching the foundations of Pilates movement. They also prepare the body for safely executing more challenging exercises later. Even if you skip the later moves, choose at least two or three warm-up moves to begin each Pilates routine you do. Grab a mat and begin.

Ab Scoop

Exercise: Chest Lift/Ab Scoop.

Target Area: Abdominals—especially the six pack or Rectus Abdominis.

This is not a crunch. The abdominals must be pulled way down into a deep scoop as you use them to control a slow, smooth curl up and roll down. Precision in this type of scoop is one of the secrets of Pilates.

The Hundred

Exercise: The Hundred

Target Area: Abdominals, Breathing

Your abdominals will be deeply pulled in, so you will have to use your full lung capacity by breathing into your back and lower ribs. Use your abs to hold yourself up—don’t let your neck and shoulders do all the work.

The Roll Up

Exercise: The Roll Up

Target Area: Abdominals

Use your abdominals to roll up and down with control. Do not rely on momentum or letting your legs lift off the mat. Pilates is about control, and this is where you build that control.

One Leg Circle

Exercise: One Leg Circle.

Target Area: Abdominals, Thighs, Hip Flexors

The abdominals keep the pelvis stable as the leg moves. No rocking and rolling! Be sure to use your full range of motion without losing control.

Rolling Like a Ball

Exercise: Rolling Like a Ball

Target Area: Abdominals, Spinal Mobility

Stay in your curve for the whole exercise. Initiate the roll back with the abs and not by falling back or using momentum.

Open Leg Balance

Exercise: Open Leg Balance

Target Area: Abdominals, Hamstring Mobility

Use your abdominals and back muscles to control the pose. Try to work with the straightest arms and legs possible. If it doesn’t work at first, keep practicing. You’ll get there!

The Side Kick Series

Exercise: Side Kick Series

Target Area: Abdominals, all thigh muscles—especially inner thigh

Work the torso as well as the legs. The ribs should stay supported throughout each repetition. Do not let them sink to the mat.

Front Support/Plank

Exercise: Front Support/Plank

Target Area: Back Extensors, Abdominals, Shoulders, Arms

Stay in one line from your heels to your ears. Though the focus is somewhat on the upper body, if you engage the legs and imagine squeezing the gluteals together, the exercise will be easier.

Saw

Exercise: Saw

Target Area: Hamstrings, Inner thigh, Obliques, Back Mobility

Keep your hips anchored and level as you twist to the side. Use opposition when reaching forward so that you also reach back at the same time.

Mermaid

Exercise: Mermaid

Target Area: Side stretch

Bend your body directly sideways as you stretch, as though you were between two sheets of glass. Keep the hip on your stretching side down.

Swan Prep

Exercise: Swan Prep

Target Area: Back extensors, Abdominal stretch

Swan provides a wonderful counter stretch to the many forward flexion exercises that we do in Pilates. This is an everyday move.

Wall Roll Down

Exercise: Wall Roll Down

Target Area: Abdominals, Back and Hamstring stretch

Use this exercise as a transition from doing your Pilates routine to carrying good posture into your daily life. Squeeze this move into your daily routine. Check out more on pilates.

Kitchen Design Tips – Planning For The Future

Unless you plan to spend the rest of your life in your current home if you are planning a kitchen makeover then best advice is not only to think about the design that may be appealing to you, but also to consider what would be appealing to the next owner too. Come and visit our company showroom where we show off some of the best designer kitchens Sydney.

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that one of the most important rooms in any house is the kitchen. In fact there are so many people who look to the kitchen first when they’re buying a home that failing to ensure that is up together and functional could put a real dampener on a successful sale if your property is on the market.

Whilst all homeowners will have a good idea about what may be right for them there are certain traditional aspects to kitchen design that if followed will help to increase your property value, or at the very least make it more attractive to potential buyers.

It’s Got To Be Functional And Warm

One of the first ideas that people need to grow accustomed to is the fact that the kitchen needs to be both functional and warm. You’ll often find that professional designers suggest the use a lot of materials that evoke warm feelings such as wood, stone and laminate in both your choice of flooring and kitchen worktops.

Whilst stone and solid wood can prove expensive good quality laminate flooring can achieve the desired effect and is both practicable and affordable too, and given the diverse range of styles you’ll not be limited for choice.

One of the other places that you want to look for style and elegance are the kitchen worktops. Although many people suggest that stone is best, granite worktops are often out of reach budget wise to many home owners but fortunately there are other synthetics that can mimic this such as composite stone for example.

Another popular choice here is laminate worktops as they are available in an awe inspiring range of colours these days, so you will be hard pressed not to find one that will fail to compliment even the most bizarre of colour schemes.

When it comes down to the cabinetry, the experts suggest that hand painted and natural finishes add a great touch and homely feeling to your kitchen, but more modern designs of both kitchen units and kitchen doors can be a bit garish so it is best to choose wisely if you only plan to be in your current home for just a few years.

That said, there are generally some styles that people have warmed to and can be good neutral designs particularly if you a planning on selling in the near future.

Contemporary Kitchen Design

Many people are familiar with a contemporary kitchen design even though they might not know the proper name for it. It is generally characterized by high style and things like stainless steel appliances and granite marble countertops or outstanding laminates.

This modern kitchen style is often criticized as being cold and not as warm as some of the older more traditional kitchen designs but these are by far the most functional.

The French Kitchen Design

Another one of the more popular layouts is called the French kitchen design. This kind is where you’ll find available workspace is at a premium because French kitchens as well as many other types are designed to allow several people to work in a confined space at the same time.

People involved with modern kitchen design stress the fact that any modern kitchen you choose to work on should have at least one wall-mounted kitchen worktop and an island to satisfy the requirements of these kinds of workspaces.

One of the elements of the French kitchen design that has is a unique characteristic are the storage capabilities. Here’s where you’ll find a variety of different storage ideas from shelving to pot racks. This is the blueprint that incorporates the methods of decorative elements and practical storage all in one.

Of course one of the most important elements of any kitchen design is the kind of work tops that you choose. More and more people are choosing laminate worktops because they look great and stands up to the rigors of daily use. By all accounts this material is best for a glossy effect that works well in many different kitchen designs, but do be aware that a gloss finish is best for a low use kitchen if it is to maintain its glossiness over time.

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Gypsy Q Will Launch Barbecue Food Truck and Catering Company in May

Chef Nick Shankland takes a hands-on approach to barbecue. When he decided to start his own smoked-meats business, he built a smoker from an old horse trailer and converted a run-down party bus into a food truck. In May, Shankland will start parking Gypsy Q at 3410 Brighton Boulevard, where he’ll smoke brisket, pork shoulder, chicken and roast beef in that converted trailer, then sell plates, sandwiches and sides from the bus. Our favourite team activity involves food and there’s no better way for your employees to bond and share than with a staff lunches.

“I found it on Craigslist,” he says of the Gypsy Q rig. “It was only a couple thousand dollars. The thing was awful, but at least it had good bones…so we gutted the entire thing.”

Shankland was the executive chef at Hideaway Kitchen + Bar in Genesee until the restaurant closed in 2016 (before that he worked at Colt & Gray, Old Major and Parker Garage), and has been doing private parties and catering since then, while also working on perfecting his barbecue technique. He came up with the Gypsy Q concept during that time, taking a slightly different approach to barbecue.

“What I want to do is offer unique takes on traditional barbecue,” the chef explains. “We’ll sell meat by the half-pound with sides, or as three different sandwiches with a choice of meat and slaw, or as a banh mi. And we’ll do a sandwich of the day on Instagram.”

Brisket, smoked over hickory and pecan, will be the star of the meats, but Shankland has also been working on slow roasts that will be shaved thin for sandwiches. “I’ve been working on a reverse sear on oddball cuts of meat,” he explains. After experimenting with several cuts, he found that the humble chuck roast yielded great results when cooked low and slow to medium-rare.

He also wants to differentiate himself with unique sides influenced by Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Vietnamese, Burmese and Thai: turmeric-poached cauliflower with tomatoes and eggplant, for example.

The Brighton Boulevard address will be a little hidden from traffic; Shankland is leasing space behind a row of garages so that he can maintain a semi-permanent location, but he’ll occasionally make forays to local breweries, including the soon-to-open Aero Craft Brewing at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street. “The whole point is to have a backyard barbecue party every day,” he says.

The property where he’ll be hosting that party is slated for redevelopment, and Shankland hopes to convert Gypsy Q to a brick-and-mortar restaurant as one of the first tenants in new retail spaces that will be built on that site. Until then, though, Gypsy Q should be smoking. Shankland says the outfit will be up and running in mid-May (depending on when he can schedule his final inspection with the city) for lunch and dinner. Just look for rising smoke and a backyard party on Brighton Boulevard. Know more about cooking different mnenus for bbq party.

Tips On Having A Lusher Lawn

Everyone would like a yard that their neighbors envy, but may not know how to get started. Landscaping isn’t all that difficult once you know the correct information. The article will provide you with helpful ideas to consider for creating a beautiful yard. Concrete driveway costs are common questions before you start building your own.

Before you take on your next landscaping idea, you might want to make a sketch of your plans. You can also find it easier to change a sketch more easily than to actually change your landscape.

Use marble or granite for the surfaces in your outdoor kitchen design. While other materials such as marble don’t cost as much, granite is good because you place very hot things on it and does not require much maintenance.

Consult a professional prior to starting any type of landscape work in your landscaping project. While you may not need them to do everything for you in regards to your landscaping, you can use their experience and knowledge to get the look you want. This should definitely be done if you are inexperienced in landscaping.

When beginning a very large landscape project by yourself, consider a short consultation with a professional landscape designer or architect to get their perspective on your materials and design. The $75 or so that you will pay for itself after a while.

Leave grass clippings where they fall after you mow it.

Stop thinking that spending less on every item. While you can locate inexpensive supplies, your probably looking at quality that is not up to par. If you need help or advice, a store which specializes in it can give you good helpful advice and guide you to creating something much better.

Try using curved borders around what you plant when landscaping your yard. These rounded borders are less formal and more visually appealing than straight ones.The curved lines, when seen from the street, straight borders your house or driveway create.

If you are doing landscaping on your own, sit down and figure out what the costs will be. Make a comprehensive list of every item that you may need. Prices can greatly differ from place to place. Look for ways to find quality materials at low cost.

Location is important when figuring out where elements of your landscaping project. You have to place plants where they’ll get adequate sunshine in the right areas to help them thrive to their potential. You need to consider the weather exposure, light, shade and light your plants will get when placed in your yard.

Do not overlook the impact certain kinds of landscaping features can wreak on your home and yard. If you are not careful, you can find yourself with plants with root systems that affect your underground pipes or shrubs that block line-of-sight to traffic when exiting your driveway. Take all of issues into consideration as you carefully plan your landscaping plan.

The soil in your area has much to do withe what kinds of plants you use can use. Some plants have trouble growing in certain type of soil. If soil is a persistent problem, consider replacing it or creating beds with mulch and wood chips.

Learn as much as possible about design techniques. For example, make use of anchor plants or a plant that is used often throughout your design, to build a sense of continuity in your landscaping. The texture of plants should also important so consider that to vary your design. There is a lot of landscaping-themed books and websites that describe these techniques.

Create a self maintaining yard to prevent the growth of weed growth. Weeds do best in areas where they have space to spread out.

Don’t forget how important the walkways are with regards to your landscape. An unattractive concrete sidewalk is a boring and ugly look.Change it up by using cobblestone or stepping stone patterned paths to make your landscape more attractive. These have a variety of types and shapes and cost more than concrete.

Multi-level elements can add great dimension to any landscaping designs. You can enliven a boring and flat environment by adding design elements such as terraces, birdbaths and benches.You don’t necessarily need to rent a backhoe to add dimension into your landscaping. A simple shovel and a few small terraces to your landscape.

While seeing your neighbors can be fun for a barbecue, it is also nice to create a private space in your yard to relax in. A nice fence or shrubs can provide this privacy.

Use basic elements of design to enhance your landscaping. Anchor plants can help provide continuity to your yard. Various shrubs planted repeatedly can create some unity to you overall design. Balance out your yard by using the same pattern of plants in single areas. Variation can be achieved in planting plants with different leaf textures.

A border can be more interesting and unique than keeping borders squared away. This will achieve a pleasing effect, eyecatching, and may even add value to your home. It may be a bit harder to build than a border that is straight, but it will be worth it.

Do not worry about taking plants from any area of your yard.Sometimes a fully grown plant or tree may outgrow your yard and needs to be removed.You may always move plants to other spots or even give it away.

You should allow professional landscape designers to help you plan your outdoor space. Before you hire one, ask for examples pertaining to their work, samples of their work and budget estimates. Remember to have the designer give you should also collect references from your designer. References should be both professional and personal references. When you are checking into these references, determine if they stayed on budget.

Beautiful landscaping design is a dream of many homeowners, and you can realize that dream by implementing the tips you have just read. Keep these simple tips in mind anytime you are outdoors, working on your yard. You will soon be envied by everyone in the neighborhood due to your new beautiful landscape. Check out the design of the landscape that we build.