5 Benefits of Creating a Basement Suite

Some homeowners consider the possibility of renovating their basement and have it rented; however, there are reasons that hold them back from the idea. For rent basements, also known as secondary suites, are defined as a separate dwelling place inside a single detached home. A lot of these secondary suites are basement suites. But did you know that having a basement suite can provide you a range of benefits?

Below are five advantages of having a basement suite:

Additional Income

One of the main benefits a homeowner gets from a basement suite for rent is the extra steady income they get from renters. The extra income could go to savings, bills payment or other home expenses. The income could also be used for expenses in maintenance.

Tax Benefits

Owning a rental property such as a basement suite entitles the homeowner to a number of tax breaks, which is helpful when it comes to filing the tax. This can be considered as the second most advantage of having a basement suite for rent.

The government provides owners of rental properties with privileged tax breaks like depreciation, which owners to utilize paper losses to balance any profit they make on the rental. Losses that come from depreciation can also be utilized to balance other taxable income an owner might have.

Property Appreciation

The value of a house increases once it is extended, like creating a basement. According to a number of real estate agents, creating a basement provides the best per square foot value on any renovation works. Prospect buyers will normally appreciate the value of houses with basement apartments, which in turn raise their value compared to houses without basements that are on the market.

Flexibility for Family

A lot of homeowners truly value having a basement apartment since they also allow the flexibility for accommodating other family members or even friends. Parents can lease their basement to their children, whether if they are single or married. In the same way, children can also rent their basement apartment to their in-laws. Also, a basement apartment is useful if family or friends are in town.


Another great benefit for homeowners of having a basement apartment rented is the increased security level. Since there will be more people living on the property aside from the owner’s family, the chances of being somebody in the premise to watch out for burglars or trespassers will increase. And, if the homeowner decides to go out of town for a vacation, they can always ask the tenants to look after the house.

If you are looking for a basement suites contractor in Victoria BC, contact LIDA Homes.

Prevent Spring Flooding

Trees showing their new buds and the odd flower poking it’s head through the ground are welcome signs that Spring has finally arrived.  Those April showers that come along with Spring are not so welcome and a lot for your yard to handle what with the ground thawing at the same time. Improperly graded yards really create a problem as water puddles and all this moisture has nowhere to go. The soggy conditions spell disaster for lawns and plants when saturated roots lose oxygen and plants suffocate.  To remedy water pooling in your yard regrading is recommended at least 1 inch for every 5 ft of turf. If this does not fix the problem you may need to install a perimeter drainage system.

Not only is your yard and all your hard work threatened, but the next place that runoff water will go  is the cellar or basement of your home. And that water seeping  through any existing cracks or leaks in your foundation will cause even more damage. The damage to floorboards rusting appliances and soggy carpets and drywall that are a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Here’s the good news this type of damage can be prevented altogether by making some changes.

Gutters and downpipes are your first line of defense in preventing water from causing damage to your home. Of course keeping gutters clear of debris and in good repair is just common sense. To carry water away a sloped leader should be attached to each gutter and guide water at least 10 ft away from the foundation. If these measures are not enough to keep water away from your foundation there are  other ways such as installing a drywell which requires professional installation.

In regions of the country such as Calgary,  Spring rain, melting snow and the ground thawing can result in water damage to your home and belongings. Despite your best efforts you can wind up with unseen water or mold infesting your home. At Calgary Water & Flood we’re here to help with our home restoration services and get your home safe, dry and comfortable again.

Benefits of a Pool Cover

A backyard pool is a bit of a luxury so you might wonder how purchasing a pool cover could prove beneficial. It’s simply this, a pool cover allows you more time to enjoy your pool instead of spending time doing maintenance. To sort through the various options and benefits we’ve gathered the following information and listed the good and bad of each one.

Bubble Covers or Solar Covers


Good for use on either in ground or above ground pools, bubble pool covers easily float on top of the water. Their ability to trap the heat when the pool is not in use reduce the cost of heating your pool saving you money and can extend the pool season. Cut to fit the size of your pool, they reduce electricity, cleaning costs and chemical loss. They are not a safety cover and anyone accidentally falling onto it could become trapped underneath.


Pin Down or Winter Covers


Manufactured in either mesh or vinyl they are secured to the pool deck at the end of the season. Primarily for in ground pools they can be used on above ground pools as well and their primary purpose is to be used winterize your pool and require installing anchors.


Solid Vinyl Pin Down Covers


When properly installed they act as a safety cover and in an emergency hold a person’s weight. While they reduce heating, cleaning and chemical costs a big drawback is too much water accumulation on top require using a pool cover pump.


Mesh Covers


A mesh pin down cover will keep leaves and other debris out of your pool and for this reason can hold a lot of weight. Any rainwater will leak through the mesh with no buildup, so can be a good winter cover. Once again they are not considered a safety cover as they are unable to hold much weight, add to that there is no savings on heating or chemical costs they may not be the best choice.


Automatic Safety Pool Covers
Widely recommended by professionals these covers check most of the boxes and are easy to remove with the push of a button or turn of a key. Ease of operation make theme ideal for everyday use plus the reduce evaporation and chemical loss and keep the pool cleaner. Acting like a solar blanket studies have proven they will pay for themselves within a few years. Along with the cost savings is the safety feature that when closed they are locked and prevent unwanted entry. Their ability to hold a large amount of weight ( think waterbed here ) qualify them as a true safety pool cover. The biggest drawback is the initial cost of $5,000 to $15,000 and any accumulated rainwater must be pumped off to prevent drowning risk. Made to work with rectangular pools the are not an option for most free form pools. Need more information, contact Katchakid for all your pool cover needs.

Tips For Designing Your Own Custom Home

Designing a custom home that will be your dream home requires careful planning. It’s an opportunity to design a unique space made just for your family. The six designer tips listed below will help as you create your dream home. Thanks to Lida Homes for providing these tips.

Start Simple

You don’t need any special software as you begin to design your custom home. Just a pencil and paper to list what features you would like and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Even a rough outline of a floorplan with a list ideas you may have seen in a magazine before to get started.

Think About The Future

This home is meant to take you into the future so consider if you plan on having children or expanding your present one. Do you need a guest room. home office or a flex space of some kind?  Is it possible that aging parents might share your home or would an in law suite be an option. As you design your dream home consider how things could change in the future.

Showcase & Maximize The Lot

If you already own the property you plan to build on you may already have decided where to build the structure. Be sure to consider the topography, size and best features of the property. A location to take advantage of any views, naturescapes or being able to keep an eye of children at play need to be considered. A home that looks good on a sloped lot will look quite different on a flat piece of land.  

Prioritize Features

As you look over that list you made earlier of features you really would like it’s a good idea to put them in order of importance. With so many luxuries to choose from you can easily end up with a budget out of control, decide what your personal must haves are.

Consider Function And Flow

As you and your custom home designer in Victoria BC start to decide where each room should be located consider how the final design will flow and how each space will function for your family. An example might be placing bedrooms away from communal areas of the house. Kitchens can be a gathering place for families so an open plan with easy flow to the living room might be ideal.

Reflect On Light

Light or the lack of has a big effect on people, especially during winter months. For those of us living in the Pacific Northwest taking advantage of natural light in the home is a priority. The direction windows face and window size should be considered, even installing skylights allow natural light to flood your home. Taking time in the planning stages with the above tips in mind will have you enjoying your custom home for many years.

if you require a custom home builder in Victoria BC, contact Lida Homes to start the process of building your dream home.

During a home renovation, should painting come last?

You’ve purchased a house, and it’s a great deal. You saved a lot of bucks. Now it’s time to renovate, but you have no clue where to start.

Renovations, when done correctly, can refresh, revive and energize a small part of your house or your whole house for that matter. If you are planning to do a home renovation project that involves various works including painting, you may wonder if paint must be applied first or last during the home renovation work. So, should painting come first or last? Read on and let Paint Works help you find the right answer.

What’s best for you?

This is one great example of a “chicken and egg” question that nobody seems to have a definite answer for. The answer is, it depends on your situation.

For most people, instinct would tell them to have the walls painted first to avoid dripping paint into the newly made floors. Although it is possible to just sand away some paint stains, it is not always that easy.

One way of knowing what work must be done first is to determine the amount of dust and debris estimated to float in the air. It is important to know that paint brushes and paint mixtures can easily become soiled by small airborne particles. This will affect the quality of work as it concerns the colour and texture of the paint.

If this is the case and floor sanding is required, it is highly suggested to do the floors first. This will let you remove all the dust after sanding before you proceed to paint. Dealing with dust problems prior to the painting job will give you an assurance that everything will finish great.

Try to use paper or plastic dust sheets to make sure that dust stays off of your newly painted walls. Covering the floor must not be done hastily. It is important that such work must be done properly and patiently to have full coverage and prevent any potential problem.

Don’t Rush

Lots of people get too excited and try to finish their renovation projects in haste. Bear in mind that one must spend adequate time planning and preparing for the different stages of the renovation to prevent any issues like splattered paints on the floors or floor debris splashed on the walls.

Thank you to Paint Works for stopping be. If you are looking for house repainting in Victoria BC, please contact them.

What Time Of Year Should You Prune Your Trees

Falling leaves and the crisp air comes as a reminder that the windstorms we experience here in Edmonton will soon follow. You may be wondering if it’s too late to prune some of those trees that might present a problem in the next few months. To answer some of your questions the Edmonton Arborists here at TimberTrim Tree Works have supplied the following helpful guidelines.

When To Prune

Mostly it depends on the reason to prune, for example light pruning and branch removal can be done anytime. Otherwise the deciding factor is the species of tree so keep reading for more expert advice.

Winter Pruning

The most common time to prune is during dormancy after the coldest part of the Winter is over. Vigorous growth is the result when you Winter prune should that be what you want to achieve. Some species ( eg maple, walnut, birch ) may “bleed” when the sap flows but is in no way harmful to the tree.

Summer Pruning

Pruning in Summer results in slowing the growth of certain branches when a “dwarfing “ of a given tree is the effect you want.

Pruning Flowering Trees To Encourage Flowering

Two guidelines to follow are trees that bloom in Spring should be pruned after the flowers have faded. Trees that flower in mid to late Summer when pruned in Winter or early Spring will flower more abundantly.

Fall is the one time you never want to prune because decay fungi spread spores profusely and healing of wounds seems to be slower at this time of year.

Pruning trees is a dangerous job and even a set of pruning tools in the hands of someone inexperienced could damage your trees. Better still why not save a tree and give us a call right now a TimberTrim Tree Work.

8 Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry

As Victoria drain experts, our goal is protecting your basement from water. Here are a few tips on how to keep your basement dry.

#1 Landscape ground slope away from the foundation

This keeps water from pooling against the foundation which will eventually end up in your basement. If you slope the ground away from the house it will keep water flowing away from the foundation.

#2  Properly functioning gutter and downspouts

If you don’t have gutters they will need to be installed, this is a very important step in waterproofing in Victoria BC because of the amount of precipitation we have here. If you already have gutters clean them regularly and make sure the downspout is extended a minimum of 5 feet away from the house.

#3 Use gravel and rock surrounding your house and your perimeter drain

Many issues we see with perimeter drains Victoria BC have to do with the materials used. Unfortunately materials that hold moisture will wreak havoc with basements. It’s much better to use something that doesn’t hold water- like a gravel or rock.

#4 Use Metal Window Wells

Again it’s just as much what you do on the exterior as the interior to passing drain inspections Victoria BC. Many basement windows aren’t constructed properly and will collect and retain water. To alleviate this problem use metal window wells that have been filled in with gravel or rock.

#5 Use Water Resistant Paint

It’s very true that you get what you pay for and exterior paint is no exception. Cheap paints that are non water resistant will allow water to seep through. Don’t skimp on paint, you’ll end up spending more to repaint and get rid of excess moisture.

#6 Vent Appliances Outdoors

This may seem like a no brainer but it’s amazing to see how many bathroom vents have been installed by shady contractors and not vented outside. Ensure your vents actually go outside and you’re a huge step closer to conquering your moisture problem.

#7 Use a dehumidifier

A great tool for musty basements!

Unsure if your basement is dry? Contact Wet Coast Drainage Solutions to learn more about their drainage inspection service in Victoria BC.

How Do Solar Panels Work

Edmonton solar panels are based on a modern but extraordinarily simple tool that transforms sunlight into electricity.

A solar panel converts the light from the sun directly into electricity. We use electricity in the majority of our day to day activities. Like turning on the lamp, electrons travel through the wire and lights up the bulb. The flow of electrons is known as electricity.

A single solar panel is composed of a number of small solar cells. Every cell utilizes the light from the sun to make electrons move. The solar cells are made from two various layers that are held together. The initial layer is filled with electrons, so electrons can easily transfer from this layer to the other layer. While the second layer has less amount of electrons on it so it can easily take in electrons.

How does a solar cell turn sunlight into electricity?

Inside a crystal, the bond among silicon atoms is composed of electrons that are shared among the atoms in the crystal. The light from the sun is absorbed, and the energy level of an electron that is among the bonds gets high enough and can move freely compared to when it was bound. That electron has the capacity to move easily in the crystal, and the result is a current.

Try to think of having a ledge, just like a mantelpiece on your wall, and you throw a ball on that ledge. That is the same with an electron attaining a high level of energy, and it will not fall.

Photons, which are packets of light energy comes in and it collides with electron going to the ledge and that energy stays there until it is collected through the use of electricity.

Powering Homes and Business Establishments with Solar Panels

Electrical current that leaves a module or an array of modules, goes through a wire channel that goes into an inverter. This tool, which looks like a waffle iron, transforms direct current that flows using a fixed current and voltage, into alternating current, which then runs with oscillating current and voltage. Every electrical appliance around the world operates on alternating current. From the inverter, the power coming from solar panels goes into a business or house’s circuitry or power plant and into the electrical grid of the region. An independent power system can create a self-contained circuit without having to connect to the grid. But, the off-grid system will need batteries to store the power for certain time like during night when panels can’t absorb enough sunlight.

Contact Solar Energy if you are thinking of getting solar panels for your home.

10 Places to Find Free Firewood

Tight on budget? Don’t want to spend too much on firewood? Be practical. Below are a few helpful tips from Flametech Heating on how to get free firewood with effort, the right tools, and a watchful eye.

Inquire for wooden pallets on stores.

Various consumer goods like furniture and construction materials are shipped or kept on wooden pallets. Sometimes, stores can’t return wooden pallets, don’t use them and are anxious in getting rid of them. You can ask these stores if you can have their wooden pallets. Pallets can be dismantled without trouble.

Go to the sawmill.

The whole purpose of the sawmill is to yield lumber that can be used from logs of trees; however, they do not use the whole tree. You can take this advantage by collecting the scraps that they will throw away and can surely use as firewood.

Volunteer to empty the landfill.

A lot of communities have reclamation areas where wastes like firewood are thrown away. Find out if your local landfill has free firewood. It depends on the size of the wood; you may not have to use a truck, but can just use the trunk of your car to carry it home.

Ask the tree removal companies.

Many tree removal companies are always searching for a place to throw away trees. If a company is working near your home, you can ask them for excess trees they will be throwing away and they might drop it off at your home or let you pick it up.

Visit new construction sites.

You can find free firewood at lands being cleared for commercial or residential development. Cleared trees and sturdy bush from this cleared land are perfect for firewood.

Ask property builders.

A builder’s’ job is to refurbish and demolish buildings, and sometimes they throw away or burn old lumber like cladding, floorboards, joints and others.

Check for downed trees after a windstorm.

A strong windstorm can bring down trees that landowners would remove later on. You may find that some homeowners need aid in disposing and removing these trees.

Explore woodworking shops.

Woodworking shops or hobbyist may have scrap woods they won’t be using. You can ask them if they can give it to you for these woods are great firewood.

Visit road log droppings.

In places where trees are harvested, you can sometimes find logs that fall off from logging trucks. These woods can be used as firewood.

Ask hydro line workers.

Hydro line workers regularly cut down trees or do brushing to limit tree growth around power lines. Although some of the brushings might run through a chipper, it is sometimes possible to talk about wood or brush removal which can help them save time and work.

If you are looking for Wood fireplaces in Victoria BC, contact Flametech Heating.

3 Reasons You Need to Hire Professional Plumber

For some homeowners, do-it-yourself repairs can sometimes be tempting when it comes to handling small maintenance setbacks. However, when it comes to plumbing in Victoria BC, it is much better to hire a professional plumber. Professional plumbers can provide a number of maintenance services that can help in preventing small problems from turning into big ones.

May it be a whole kitchen remodeling or fixing a leaky faucet, here are three reasons why you must hire a professional plumber to do the job:

Prompt and Safe Work

Professional plumbers have the right tools and equipment to do appropriate plumbing works and repairs without hassle. They also have the latest technology in the field of plumbing that makes them finish plumbing services and repairs promptly. These tools are the advantages that professional plumbers have over DIY enthusiasts. Services such as sewer line repairs, inspections, leak detection, excavation and more can be accomplished easily and correctly with the aid of their technology. The advantages of modern tools and technology don’t only help in plumbing services; they also play a huge role for you and your family’s safety.


The main reason some homeowners would go with unlicensed plumbers is to save money. Unlicensed plumbers may have skills when it comes to plumbing works and may also be considered as a good handyman; however, if you are hiring an unlicensed plumber, you are running the risk of having an individual doing improper work to fix plumbing issues.

Incorrect plumbing works will unavoidably lead to more problems in the future. These problems may not be easy to repair and may result in spending thousands to correct them. By contracting a licensed plumber, you can be guaranteed that the job performed is correct and further issues can be prevented.

High-Quality Work

A professional plumber can finish plumbing repairs more efficiently compared to an individual who has no training or experience. A professional plumber has the skills, training, know-how, experience and the mentioned tools. If a DIY enthusiast has to do his own plumbing repairs, he would have to remember everything before he starts to work. By the time an individual acquires the skills, know-how and tools to do the repair, another individual has already contacted, hired and finished a plumbing repair by a professional plumber.

When your supply of running water is cut off, time is important. A licensed plumber like Goodsense Plumbing & Drain Cleaning can repair your plumbing problems in as little as one day, helping you save time, money and worry.

How to Protect Furniture During a Move

Are you worried about the safety of your furniture during your move? Or you have old and expensive pieces that you don’t want to be damaged? Then it is important for you to properly plan your move for planning can greatly help in protecting your furniture from damage.

Below are a few helpful tips that can help you avoid damaging your furniture as you move. Bear in mind that some furniture pieces are bulky and heavy, so hiring Toronto professional movers can be a great help.

  1. Using pieces of cloth or towels, you can wrap them around legs of tables and chairs. This way can help in minimizing chances o f getting dents or damages if the legs get in contact with doors, door frames or floor. And, if you want your floor and carpets protected during the move, using this trick with another furniture with legs is also helpful.

  2. Keep your furniture from things that are present in the truck that may cause scratches or damage during moving. Secure loose items such as rakes, brooms, etc. that may damage or dent your furniture.

  3. It is vital to use clothes, towels and cloth pieces for fragile items before placing them in boxes. Also, make sure that you know what every towel or cloth contains and inform the movers about it to avoid damage.

  4. You may also put pillows and bedding between furniture in the truck to lessen friction and movement. This way can help avoid scratches, scrapes, and damages. Just make sure to wash your beddings after moving before using them again.

  5. Mirror frames and pictures can be protected using cardboards. If you have kept their original boxes you can use them but if not you can just cover them with cardboard, it can also do the job.
    If you are taking apart your furniture, make sure to keep everything together. Place small pieces such as bolts, nuts, and screws into bubble wraps and bind them firmly to a piece of the furniture that they belong to so they will not get misplaced.

  6. And finally, a helpful tip is to hire professional movers – they have the experience and knowledge to properly keep your things from damage during moving. A dependable, professional mover can do the job much faster than you and you will not be involved in the packing and lose precious time. Movers in Toronto also have all the packing materials needed, and they know what to do and how much it would cost for optimum results.

7 Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry

Since basements are the lowest part of the house, they tend to draw unwanted water. Having leaks in your basement can be a pain; they pose big problems for health reasons, structural integrity, and cleanliness. Below are a few tips to help you make sure you have a dry basement. You can always have a perimeter drainage contractor in Victoria BC help install some waterproofing around the basement’s exterior. 

  1. Install a Dehumidifier 

In most environments, a dehumidifier is a great way for controlling home climate. For basements has the tendency to accumulate more humidity compared to other parts of the house. If your basement is prone to getting wet, then a dehumidifier is essential.


  1. Grade Your Property

Water goes into areas with minimal resistance, so if your land is inclined to your home, chances are, rainfall and moisture will accumulate at the base and slips its way inside. Land must angle away from your house.


  1. Ventilate the Area

To eliminate air from a wet basement, dehumidifiers can be installed. It may be important to make temporary ventilation by opening doors or windows and running fans. If you have an air circulation option in your furnace for ventilation, then this can come in handy to eliminate air from the basement.


  1. Use Landscaping Rocks

Landscaping using rocks or gravel surrounding your home can help in making sure the water stays out of the structure of the house.


  1. Attend the Air Leaks

In most houses, the part where flooring meets the foundation can be a way for moisture to get into. Small entry points such as vents, seals on basement windows and others let moisture and water in, particularly during downpours. If your vents or windows are leaky, then seal it using a silicone sealer or foam weather stripping.  You will need to ventilate through to make sure everything is dry.


  1. Look for Cracks

Cracks in the foundation can be a problem for many homeowners because it can be an entry point for many leaks. This problem can be sealed either inside or outside of the house, but you must ask assistance from a professional to make this repair.


  1. Check Downspouts and Grading Issues Outside 

If there is moisture accumulating outside the foundation, then it can be hard to keep things dry inside, and even sealants can hold it out if there is constant moisture outside the house. To ensure that water runs away from the foundation, make sure that downspouts are positioned at least four feet from the house. Another way is to check the grading all over your house for parts where water runs down going to your house and regarding such areas.

Contact Wet Coast Drainage if you need waterproofing in Victoria.

Advantages of Hiring a Custom Home Builder

Everyone dreams of owning a house. Naturally, no one wants to live in an apartment forever. Imagine going home to a property you own at the end of the day. Today, many people who want to own a house are seeking assistance from custom home builders. Since homeowners want to build a house that is based on their wants and specifications.

Below are the following advantages of hiring Victoria custom home builders to help you with your house.

Custom Design

Probably the most vital advantage of a house that’s built with the help of custom home builders is that owners get just what they want. They pick a floor plan and modify it based on their choices.

An owner has lot choices to make, from granite countertops, marble, hardwood floors. The owner also has the benefit of choosing the style and color of walls, cabinets, shelves, and carpets.
The owner can choose the types of light fixtures, doorknobs, and windows. Indeed, the whole process of designing one’s home can be fun and exciting.

You Have Full Control Over Your Home

This is another advantage you can enjoy from working with a custom home builder. Hiring these contractors gives you full control of all the things you want for your house. You will love the freedom and opportunity to pick the items you want to be part of your new home.

Exactly What You Want, No More and No Less

Another good thing about having custom home builders is that owners can get the most out of their money. No wasted rooms, useless space or paying a part of the house that you don’t want. Instead, homeowners will get the most of what they want from their budget.

Affordable Services

A lot of future homeowners would think that hiring a custom home builder will cost more compared to a normal contractor. But, this isn’t always the case. For example, you have bought a house that’s already been built. There will be parts of the house that you would like to change based on your preference. Modifying such parts of the house actually will cost you a lot of money. So it is much better for you to first make a layout and have a contractor build your house. This is to make sure that everything you want will be constructed, thus, saving you money.

Eliminates Frustrations

Asking help from a custom home builder can help eliminate disappointments or frustrations. This is because everything you want and plan for a house will be constructed. In the end, you will not do not have a house that has details that you can’t do anything about.

Contact LIDA Homes if you are thinking of building a custom home in Victoria BC.

How Do Solar Panels Perform in the Winter

Winter performance of solar panels is the most common question we answer. It’s a misconception that solar panels need sunshine and heat to charge. In fact, solar systems run off daylight not heat. So solar panels perform very well in the winter unless you live at the north pole and see absolutely no daylight. However cities like Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Grande Prairie, Lloydminister all have the perfect winter climate for Edmonton solar panels.

How cloudy is your climate?

If you live in a cloudy climate you’ll want to make sure your solar panels are high efficiency and are anti-reflective. This way your panels can still charge from daylight, without needing alot of sunshine. However because daylight hours are reduced in winter, you will be collecting less energy. Thankfully Alberta and Saskatchewan have big wide open skies, dry air with plenty of sunshine and daylight in the winter.

How do solar panels deal with snow?

A high quality solar panel, shouldn’t have an issue with being covered by snow. Panels that are installed properly in at an appropriate angle and location will enable the snow to slide off the anti stick surface quite easily. In rare circumstances, a very large amount of wet sticky snow in a short amount of time will result in snow staying on the surface of your solar panels. In this case hire a professional to remove the snow, with good instructions on where the panels are. Proper care and attention should be used when removing snow from solar panels.

How do temperature shifts affect solar panels?

Temperature shifts can affect solar panels quite adversely, but only if they are low quality solar panels. Big differences in temperature cause solar panels to expand and contract. Lower quality solar panels will crack due to moisture seeping into the expansion and contraction lines and allowing for corrosion. It is important if you live in a climate that experiences drastic temperature changes to have a high quality product. Preferably with no metal on the front and copper, plated with tin, all along the back.

Solarcor Products and Warranty

At Solarcor Energy all our products are high quality. You never have to worry about our products failing because we offer a warranty on both installation and the products. More importantly though your solar system will be custom designed to match your location and energy consumption needs, so problems are unlikely to occur in the first place, saving you the hassle of dealing with warranty issues and reinstallation.

Choosing A paint Finish

The walls and woodwork can experience some wear and tear over time and especially if you have children or pets. When you go to touch up the paint you discover the paint colour looks completely different. You may be surprised to know it’s not the colour but the paint finish that’s causing this effect. Paint colours in different finishes change the sheen that is mixed into the paint. When choosing a paint finish it’s important to consider the area or room you are painting. Here are some tips from Victoria BC Painters Paint Works.

We can spend a lot of time pondering the colour we think will look good and compliment our furniture or drapes. Next you need to choose the finish that will work whether it’s durability or you need to hide some minor flaws.

Paint finishes come in four general categories depending offering a different level of reflectivity and durability.

Flat Finish

Paint with a flat finish gives the wall a well saturated, rich colour. Ideal for covering imperfections in joints for example it is the most forgiving finish. It lacks any type of sheen and the major drawback is it’s lack of durability that requires care when cleaning.

Best places to use flat paint are ceilings, low traffic areas and rooms that don’t require extensive cleaning

Washable Flat

Washable flat paints only come in Premium flat colours it’s washable and allows for easy touch ups. So it’s washability in addition to the other great attributes of a flat finish like good color saturation and hiding imperfections make it a good choice.

Best places to use would be general living spaces.

Eggshell/ Satin/ Low luster finish

Eggshell is the most popular finish for any areas that may need frequent cleaning. It provides a subtle sheen with great coloring that can hide minor imperfections as well. Light reflective it has a low angular sheen yet lacks the chalky appearance of flat paint or the sheen of a semi gloss finish. Offering the truest color match it will be the most like the swatch color when you paint your walls. Possibly it’s best feature is its strength allows it to dry just a bit harder than other finishes and it’s highly resistant to moisture.

Best places to use  are living areas, kitchens, any high traffic areas

Semi Gloss finish

Provides a high sheen is light reflective while giving off a beautiful glow this is the most durable of all the finishes and very easy to clean.

Best places to use are on wood trim, kitchen cabinets and doors.

Thanks to Paint Works for their tips on choosing a paint finish.

Why should you wear safety glasses during summer yard work?

Summer means undertaking lots of enjoyable outdoor activities; it also means a time for various eye injuries. Summer is the perfect time for people to accomplish home improvement works, yard work, gardening, etc., but this makes potential eye injuries just around the corner and more probable.

So before you indulge in summer fun, it is crucial to take safety measure to ensure that your eyes are protected. Here are some tips from Calgary Optometrists Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates.

A lot of eye injuries occur inside and around the house, in the kitchen, garden, garage or lawn. Regrettably, these injuries are avoidable with proper safety knowledge.

For instance, line trimmers that spin at 6,000 and 14,000 rpm can throw pieces of debris, rocks, and nylons. What’s worse is that glasses or reasonable distances away from the line trimmer can’t offer maximum protection.

An eye injury is a terrible experience, but it can be prevented or minimized beforehand. Here are some experiences for you to ponder:

  • A woman who was 15 feet away from a line trimmer and was wearing normal prescription glasses but lost her eye as a piece from the line trimmer broke.
  • A veteran landscaper’s sunglasses were knocked off by a piece of rock tossed by a line trimmer and resulted with his eyes bleeding. Fortunately, his vision returned but after a long period.
  • A kid lost his vision when he was 30 feet away from a lawnmower that tossed a tiny metal.

To stay safe from eye injuries, observe these guidelines:

  • In using powered lawn care equipment like a saw, hammer, or grinder, make sure to wear polycarbonate safety goggles that have side guards or wraparounds to stop debris entering through the framers. Normal glasses provide minimal protection against debris. Ideally, every home must have a minimal of 1 pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear that is worn while doing any activities or projects. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is safety equipment approved by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) eye protection standard. ANSI-approved protective eyewear is available in many hardware stores. For people who require glasses correction, they can go to the optical department, which can put prescription put into safety glasses to provide vision while using power tools.
  • Bystander, particularly kids are sometimes the victims of injuries in the eyes due to power equipment. Ensure that bystanders are away at a safe distance when using power equipment.
  • Before using power tools, make sure to check lawns and gardens for debris materials.

Thanks to Dr. Alex Wilson & Associates for these tips on keeping your eyes safe when you are doing summer yard work.

How surge protectors work?

Surge protectors or surge protective devices are designed to control transient overvoltages and divert surge current or both. They come highly recommended from electricians in Victoria BC. It has a minimal one nonlinear part. In short, SPDs or surge protective devices intend to control overvoltages with an aim of avoiding damage and downtime to equipment and because of transient voltage surges getting to the devices they protect.

So you can understand better, here’s an example: think of a water mill that’s being protected by a pressure relief valve. The valve doesn’t do anything until there’s an overpressure pulse happening from the water supply. If that happens, the valve will open and pushes the extra pressure away so it will not get in the water wheel.

If there’s no relief valve, then extreme pressure could destroy the water wheel or maybe the linkage for the saw. Even if the relief valve was there and functioning properly, traces of the pressure pulse will still go to the wheel. However, pressure may have been lowered not to destroy the water wheel or upset its functioning. This shows how surge protective devices work. They lower transients to intensities that will not destroy or upset the work of sensitive electronic devices.

How does it function?

The electrical appliances you’re using get power from wall sockets. The power coming from the socket goes directly to the appliance through the cable. In surge protective devices, the main power line has another connection connected to it that goes into the ground wire also called the Earth wire, which is a wire that sends any unwanted electrical current to the earth. Usually, the surge connection is not active. But, if there is the presence of a large than the normal voltage that created excessive current, the excess electric current is sent safely to the ground. This means that there’s no excess current flowing in your appliance, so it is safe from danger.

How can the surge connection identify if it’s time to divert excess current? Through a device known as a varistor or voltage-dependent resistor, created from a material known as a metal-oxide semiconductor, which is normally a bad electricity conductor. If there’s excess voltage, the varistor becomes a good conductor and begins carrying electric current normally. As long the surge voltage continues, the semiconductor sends excess current into the ground. After everything goes back to normal, the semiconductor switches back.

This means that your appliance isn’t only protected, but it will go on to work normally.

Thanks to Jaycox Industries for explaining how surge protectors work.

Which pool cover is best for you?


A swimming pool cover is an important piece of device if you have a pool. This is used to cover your pool during the winter or if your pool is left unattended for a number of days. Pool covers help protect your pool from rubbles such as dirt and leaves, and they act as protection if you have kids and pets. Covers can also minimize the need for pool chemicals since your water is not exposed to the sun.

With so many options, how do you choose?

There are various types of swimming pool covers, and each of them has their unique assets. Important this is to know each type so can decide on what to buy. Listed below are few types of pool covers to help you pick what’s right for you.

Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic pool covers can help with safety concerns and are very easy to use. Basin on its name, automatic pool covers will automatically open or close at a single press of a button. They are very easy to operate and are more secure compared to other types of pool covers.

Unfortunately, this type of cover is quite expensive, but the benefits are greater than the price. A lot of pool owners say that the extra amount is worth it, and also, it is so cool to just simply push a button, and it will open and close on command.

Automatic pool covers can only be installed by professionals. If properly installed; it’s hard for anyone to fall into the pool.

Tarp Pool Cover

Among the various types, this is the least expensive. A basic tarp is used to cover your pool and help in place using water tubes. They can help in blocking out the sun, which lessens the chance of algae growth (particularly if used with UV system). Though this cover is not that expensive and can help block the sun, chances of water from rain and snow building up is very high.

Thermal Pool Covers

Thermal pool covers can be considered as among the best type of pool covers. They can block sunlight, making sure algae growth is lessened. They can also retain heat much better compared to solar covers. Thermal covers are made from insulating foam material, and although they are more expensive compared to other types, they can insulate better compared to solar covers.

Safety Pool Covers

These are made by either solid or mesh and are placed over your pool. They are held by attached springs and hooked in an anchor. Mesh safety pool covers is more common because the solid kind permits more build up same to the tarp cover. Though these covers are not made to be walked on, they can take on a certain amount of load, which makes them ideal if you have a concern about safety.


Upgrading Your Electrical System to Become More Eco Friendly

Taking easy simple steps to reducing energy consumption in our everyday lives can have an enormous positive impact of the environment. These small changes from Jaycox Industries aren’t just healthy for the planet, they will also help you save money.

Change light bulbs

Did you know the typical 60 watt light bulb lasts 1500hrs while CFL (compact fluorescents) last 10,000hrs? The regular incandescent 60 watt light bulb wastes a lot of energy on producing heat, while the CFL doesn’t- resulting in an energy savings of 75% and a reduction in fire hazards. And because they last so much longer using CFL lightbulbs reduces waste in the landfill and saves the earth 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Also coming on the market are LED bulbs, though currently they are more expensive, they stand to reduce energy consumption even further than the CFL bulbs.

Replace appliances with energy efficient models

Laundry appliances, dishwasher, fridge, freezer and oven/stoves are major draws on power. Starting with your fridge and freezer is going to have the biggest impact on savings due to these appliances running all day every day. Next target your dryer and consider a natural gas dryer to reduce consumption even more. Or consider hanging your clothes to dry. This can be a little tough in our moist chilly winter here in Victoria! But definitely a realistic option for the beautiful summer, spring and fall months.

Install programmable thermostats

Heating or cooling your home when you aren’t there is a serious waste in energy and programmable thermostats prevent this waste. In Victoria there are rebate incentives to having programmable thermostats installed and sometimes you can even have the entire cost covered. Making sure you aren’t wasting climate control energy on heat or air conditioning for hundreds of hours a month when you aren’t home will result in a big reduction in energy consumption and save thousands of dollars over the years.

Helping the planet and saving you money is really about making small changes. CFL or LED light bulbs, modern energy efficient appliances and programmable thermostats are all great places to start. They items keep you comfortable yet are part of everyday green living.
If you would like to cut down on your hydro bills and want to help the environment at the same time, please contact our Victoria electricians and find out how they help.

Should My Arborist Be Insured?

In a nutshell, pardon the pun, yes. Insurance is designed not only to protect the customer but if you are the Edmonton arborist, it protects you as well! Trees can weigh many tons and their care, maintenance, removal, or trimming is all very risky work. If you do some of the following then you should have arborist insurance:

Landscaping: It may seem strange but if you do this you should have insurance. Landscapers have been known to hit water and electrical lines or accidently ruin or destroy rare plants or other things of value. Having insurance provides you an extra layer of protection from the unforeseen. Once you’ve had an accident, it’s too late to get insurance!

Tree pruning: Working dozens of feet in the air, often with windy conditions, on a large swaying tree near a home or power lines can be considered to be slightly risky work. It should come as no surprise then that having insurance to cover many of these aspects is important. Remember, insurance does not just protect the customer, it protects you, too! Falls, falling debris or limbs, dropping a limb on a car, or worse a person are all things that should be taken into consideration when deciding what kind of insurance to get. You don’t just want to protect yourself but your customers as well.

Tree removal: Perhaps one of the most high risk areas of being an arborist who does tree pruning is actually removing a multi-ton tree from a dense residential neighbourhood. Having insurance will not only give your customers better piece of mind but you as well.

Pest management: You should have insurance when dealing with toxic chemicals designed to kill things. Accidental overuse, exposure, misapplication, and other things can open you up to a suit or hurt your health.

So what should you do?

The first thing is before you ever start to work, for yourself or for others, talk to an insurance agent to find the right kind of insurance for your work. Price is important but it is not everything. You want a company that will be fair, be honest, and if you should need it, be willing to pay out. Their reliability is far more important than their bottom-line price. You will likely need a few different kinds of insurance – you will want insurance that protects you and your workers, that protects your clients and their property, and that protects your equipment and your business. Like with trees, taking proper precautions can help your business to grow and thrive for years to come.