Roofing: A Guide to Lead Valley Installation

Roof valleys are a frequent source of leaks in older houses. Installation procedures differ depending on the roof type and materials used. We will look here at the basic installation of an open lead lined roof valley.

A roof valley is basically a gutter set between two meeting pitched roofs. Depending on the roof area it serves, the valley is the exit point for a large volume of water so extreme care should be taken with installation. If the roof has been leaking for a while or if there are any signs of rot, you will need to start by replacing the valley boards. Lead sheet is not self supporting and should be placed on treated roofing boards of sufficient strength to hold a large person. (Most roofing contractors are big guys!) Fit boards of sufficient width to accommodate the lead plus 100mm either side. This will give you something to nail the roofing batons to.

The top of the valley boards should be at the same level as the top of the roof rafters. If you lay the boards directly on top of the rafters it may cause the roofing tiles to kick up and restrict water run off. You will need to cut the valley boards to fit in between the rafters. Support the valley boards with studs or noggins. The valley should finish on an even plane at the eaves. It should not kick up higher than the bottom rafters. If it does, you will need to cut the fascia board or adjust the gutter to suit. It is a good idea to fit a tilting fillet each side of the valley. This angled strip of wood runs along the valley length and should be a minimum of 150mm from the centre of the valley. It should sit no higher than the roofing batons with the thinnest end closest to the centre of the valley.

It is common practice to fit a single sheet of roofing underlay the entire length of the valley. The adjacent roofing underlay will rest on top of this sheet. I recommend you use one of the new advanced synthetic underlay materials. The older bitumen based felts are fine for normal roofing situations but are not suitable for valleys. Over time the bitumen will bond the lead to the boards and restrict thermal movement. You should ensure you buy lead of a sufficient grade/code for valley applications. This should be between 1.80mm and 2.24mm thickness. If you are unsure ask your roofing merchant of the correct grade. The lead should be cut into sections no larger than 1.5 meters in length to allow sufficient thermal movement. Bend a welt into the lead 25mm each side. This acts as a last line of defence for water penetration. It also has the added benefit of stiffening the lead, which makes carrying it up the roof a lot easier.

Starting at the bottom of the valley, dress the lead neatly onto the valley boards and over the tilting fillets. The bottom of the lead should allow correct drainage into the gutter. Fix two rows of nails at the very top of the flashing. Use copper or stainless steel nails. Never use galvanised or aluminum nails which will just react with the lead and corrode. I recommend you use the minimum amount of fixing possible to hold the lead in place. If you over fix lead sheeting it will eventually split due to thermal movement. So don’t nail the sides. When you have successfully dressed the first sheet you can move up the roof laying subsequent sheets. Overlap each sheet a minimum of 150mm. On lower pitched roof valleys you will need to increase the lap. Where the valley ends at the ridge, you will need to dress the lead so it can sit neatly under the ridge tiles. You are now ready to start fixing the batons and laying the roofing tiles. The key points to remember are to keep the sheet lengths down to 1.5 meters and don’t over fix. If you follow the procedure outlined and take care with the dressing you will produce a durable maintenance free valley.

Commercial Painting – The Best Way to Choose Colors For a Commercial Building Exterior

Commercial painting is more than just slapping a color of paint on your structure. The best way to choose colors for a commercial building exterior is to consider what the choice of color will have to say to those to enter the building. It is possibly more about how the color choice will make a visitor feel or the people who spend several hours a day in the dwelling. Colors evoke emotional responses and can be either inviting or disparaging.

The paint for your commercial building should be one that will be inviting to your customers and make them want to enter your dwelling. For instance, painting your building a shade of orange will present the message that the store is very casual and offers bargain basement type deals. This is a good message if it is indeed the intent of your store. If you are looking for opulence and elegance, orange shades are not your best choice. Not only should the color be an invitation to customers but the type of business makes a difference. Many bars and restaurants decorate with red because red makes a person feel hungry. A spa or gym would not want to use red.

The color green says healing and caring so this is a good color for clinics while law offices and the like would do well with brown or grey as these convey the feeling of being strong, study and trustworthy. Colors that will set the main color scheme off should be in the same hue or family which is called a monochromatic look. As an example, the exterior of a building painted in sage green can be accented with a deep hunter green in the trim of the windows and roof lines and doorways. This gives a very elegant feeling. The main color needs an accent color for trim to bring it to life that is the same hue and either a little lighter or a littler darker than the main color.

If you want a color that will express an environment of being calm and receptive and trustworthy then a combination of blue with either a brown or green for the accent will bring this message. Using a steel blue/grey with a dark grey accent trim gives the feeling of being strong, enduring and yet tranquil. Experts say that people who are around yellow for a long period of time will end up losing their tempers. Although this makes it hard on the staff that works in a yellow environment, it is a strong drawing card that grabs attention quickly. Yellow is usually seen on signs like safety or caution signs because it grabs attention. Your decision would need to be do you want to present an attention grabber message that could eventually lead to high emotional responses or do you want the soothing and sturdy message of blues, grays and browns?

If the choice is still confusing you might go to a point store and look at the brochures of the exterior paint section. They will have pictures of houses and buildings done in different colors with coordinated colors for trim and accent areas. Look at these in the sunlight and see how they make you feel.

How To Remove Paint Seamlessly Using A Heat Gun

Paint removal is no longer a difficult task with the advent of the heat gun. This handy tool is particularly successful at removing paint from most surfaces if proper care is taken. The temperature can be regulated to make sure that the area does not become damaged due to overheating.

The instructions must be read carefully to know the correct temperature for the type of material you are working with. It would be best to experiment on any object you would not mind scorching as holding the heat gun too close or for too long over an area causes it to scorch, and you would not want to scorch any valuable furniture.

The heat gun is used to heat the paint as much as required to make it malleable and thereafter it can be scraped off with any stripping tool of your choice. Gloves should be worn during the heating process and one should make sure to direct the hot air away from one’s hands. Care must be taken while choosing the stripping tool as it should be compatible with the heat gun so that it can resist higher temperatures.

It is advisable to try it out for sometime and gain confidence before you attempt the real task. The heat gun must always be held at a stipulated distance away from the material. Once the paint starts to soften you must scrape it with care and keep an old towel or rag in hand to wipe off the sticky paint on the stripping tool.

Even the thickest layers of paint can be removed with a heat gun from any surface. The heat gun works especially well on wooden surfaces. An example of such a process would be the restoration of your antique furniture to a state of previous beauty.

Product Familiarization – Hoist and Types of Cranes

Not all people are familiar with hoists and cranes, but they are, practically, lifting equipments. Construction industries use different kinds of hoists and cranes everyday to alleviate the burden in lifting heavy materials. By using these special equipments, their ‘lifting’ tasks will be finished effortlessly, saving time and energy. To have a better understanding of these things, you should know what hoist and cranes are, and how it is being used.

A hoist is a helpful device that is used for lifting/lowering loads. This is usually done by means of a barrel or a drum where a chain or a rope can be wrapped around. A hoist can be manually or electrically operated, it can also be pneumatically driven using a chain and wire/fiber rope as lifting medium.

Cranes are used commonly in construction/ manufacturing industry. These are temporary structures, and is either fixed or mounted. Cranes are usually operator-controlled and some of them are operated by using a push-button control-station or a radio/infrared remote control.

Cranes have several types, to name are:

– Telescopic crane has a boom consisting of different fitted-tubes that resides inside each other. The tube retracts or extends by hydraulic mechanism that increases or decreases the main boom’s length.

– Tower crane is fixed to the ground. The combination of lifting capacity and height are great characteristics of a tower crane. It is used for building skyscrapers and tall buildings.

– Rough-terrain cranes are mounted usually on an undercarriage with 4 rubber tires designed for carry and pick up operations.

– Truck-mounted cranes are mounted on a rubber-tire truck. The truck drives around to achieve maximum portability.

– The crawler crane is a mounted crane that has its own set of tracks that provides mobility and stability.

– Loader cranes are used for loading or unloading goods; this is fitted to a trailer. It has different jointed-sections that can be folded when the crane is not in use.

– Suspended or overhead crane are usually mounted on the assembly area’s side. It has a hoist on a trolley, moving is a certain direction at a right angle along 1 or 2 beams.

– A stacker crane has a similar mechanism as that of a forklift. It is being used in automated warehouses, most especially in hazardous environments so that workers don’t need to tolerate such harsh conditions.

Hoists and cranes are tremendous-aids in safe and efficient lifting and/or material-handling operations. Hoists and cranes are properly engineered for a powerful, reliable and efficient operation.

These powerful lifting equipments need proper maintenance, in order to provide excellent and reliable service. Proper selection is essential before making any critical decision. When purchasing hoists and crane products, answer the following questions before you place an order:

1. What type of lower or upper hook do you need?

2. What are you lifting or moving?

3. Is overhead protection or indicator required?

4. How much is the weight of the load?

5. How much lifting is required

6. Do you need a short or a long handle?

If you are able to answer the following questions, now is the time to look for hoists and crane suppliers. There are a lot of manufacturers available in the market ready to provide the equipment you need. You can choose from the best lifting-equipment providers.

Consider costs but not to the extent of sacrificing the quality of the equipment. Safety in the workplace should be your number one concern. If you buy low quality equipments, chances are they won’t last long or can even cause accidents.

6 Key Elements of a Contract

1. Offer. An offer can be oral or written as long as it is not required to be written by law. It is the definite expression or an overt action which begins the contract. It is simply what is offered to another for the return of that person’s promise to act. It cannot be ambiguous or unclear. It must be spelled out in terms that are specific and certain, such as the identity and nature of the object which is being offered and under what conditions and/ or terms it is offered.

2. Acceptance. As a general proposition of law, the acceptance of the offer made by one party by the other party is what creates the contract. This acceptance, as a general rule, cannot be withdrawn, nor can it vary the terms of the offer, or alter it, or modify it. To do so makes the acceptance a counter-offer. Though this proposition may vary from state to state, the general rule is that there are no conditional acceptances by law. In fact, by making a conditional acceptance, the offeree is rejecting the offer. However the offerer, at his choosing, by act or word which shows acceptance of the counter-offer, can be bound by the conditions tendered by the offeree.

3. Consideration. Consideration for a contract may be money or may be another right, interest, or benefit, or it may be a detriment, loss or responsibility given up to someone else. Consideration is an absolutely necessary element of a contract. As a word of caution, it should be noted that consideration has to be expressly agreed upon by both parties to the contract or it must be expressly implied by the terms of the contract. A potential or accidental benefit or detriment alone would not be construed as valid consideration. The consideration must be explicit and sufficient to support the promise to do or not to do, whatever is applicable. However, it need not be of any particular monetary value. Mutual promises are adequate and valid consideration as to each party as long as they are binding. This rule applies to conditional promises as well. As additional clarification, the general rule is that a promise to act which you are already legally bound to do is not a sufficient consideration for a contract. The courts determine the application.

4. Capacity of the Parties to Contract. The general presumption of the law is that all people have a capacity to contract. A person who is trying to avoid a contract would have to plead his or her lack of capacity to contract against the party who is trying to enforce the contract. For example, he would have to prove that he was a minor, adjudged incompetent or drunk or drugged, and so forth. Often this is the most difficult burdens of proof to overcome due to the presumption of one’s ability to contract.

5. Intent of the Parties to Contract. It is a basic requirement to the formation of any contract, be it oral or written, that there has to be a mutual assent or a “meeting of the minds” of the parties on all proposed terms and essential elements of the contract. It has been held by the courts that there can be no contract unless all the parties involved intended to enter into one. This intent is determined by the outward actions or actual words of the parties and not just their secret intentions or desires. Therefore, mere negotiations to arrive at a mutual agreement or assent to a contract would not be considered an offer and acceptance even thought the parties agree on some of the terms which are being negotiated. Both parties must have intended to enter into the contract and one can not have been misled by the other. That is why fraud or certain mistakes can make a contract voidable.

6. Object of the Contract. A contract is not enforceable if its object is considered to be illegal or against public policy. In many jurisdictions contracts predicated upon lotteries, dog races, horse races, or other forms of gambling would be considered illegal contracts. Yet in some states these types of contracts are valid. Federal and some state laws make contracts in restraint of trade, price-fixing and monopolies illegal. Therefore, a contract which violates those statutes would be illegal and unenforceable. This is true for drugs and prostitution or any other activity if considered criminal.

Ocean Cargo Containers

Ocean cargo travels either loose or in containers. Most ocean freight is containerized in metal boxes know as ocean containers. Ocean containers come is many different sizes. Ocean cargo containers are known primarily by their length dimensions. Ocean container dimensions, particularly steel ones may be from 8 feet to 53 feet long. The most standard container measurements are 20 feet and 40 feet.

Ocean containers are built to agreed standard dimensions so cargo can be loaded and unloaded, stacked and transported efficiently by container ship, rail and semi-trailer trucks without being opened.

The first shipping vessel built to carry ocean containers began operation in Denmark in 1951. In the U.S. ships began carrying ocean containers between Seattle and Alaska in 1951. Malcolm McLean, a former trucking company owner, worked with engineer Keith Tantlinger to develop the first modern intermodal container in 1955. This development reduced transport costs and supported an increase in international trade. Today, about 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide moves by ocean containers on transport vessels.

APL introduced the first 45-foot ocean container in 1980, the 48-footer in 1986, and the domestic 53-foot box in 1989. In November 2007 introduced the first 53 foot ocean container. The new, reinforced 53-foot boxes are built specifically for international trade and designed to withstand ocean voyages. According to APL, 53-foot containers could become the transport method of choice for customers moving cargo. The bigger boxes have 60% more capacity than standard 40-foot containers. They’re 9 feet 6 inches high and 102 inches wide – six inches wider than standard boxes. That extra space enables shippers to consolidate more cargo into fewer containers.

A 20 foot ocean container measures 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width and 8 feet in height. A 40 foot shipping container has measurements that are 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and height of 8 feet and 6 inches. There are 53 foot ocean containers that have container dimensions 53 feet long, 8 feet height and 9 feet 6 inches wide. The actual inside dimensions of ocean containers vary based on the container type and shipping vessel line.

The twenty-foot equivalent unit (often TEU or teu) is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. One TEU represents the cargo capacity of a standard 20 foot intermodal container.

For this specific type of shipping container, the internal dimensions are the following: length – 19 feet and two inches, width -seven feet and six inches as well as height – seven feet and eight inches. The external length and width of this container are 19 feet and 10 inches as well as seven feet and six inches, respectively. The external height of the container measures eight feet and six inches. The height of the door opening is seven feet and four inches while the width is seven feet and six inches.

40 Foot ocean containers are built to withstand a variety of different conditions, and are suitable for shipping on land or sea. Due to the difference in size compared to a 20 Foot container, there will be a higher price tag attached to it.

Intermodal is the utilization of different transportation modes to move cargo. One of the most common types of shipping containers used for this purpose is the 40 foot containers. FEU is an abbreviation for “forty-foot equivalent unit.” FEU is an ocean freight term meaning containerized cargo equal to one forty-foot (40 x 8 x 8 feet) or two twenty-foot (20 x 8 x 8 feet) containers. One FEU equals about 25 metric tons or 72 cubic meters.

The 40 Foot ocean container internal length of this container is 39 feet and an inch while the internal width is seven feet and six inches. The internal height of the freight container is seven feet and eight inches. When it comes to the external length, width and height, the container dimensions are 40 feet, eight feet as well as eight feet and six inches. The width of the door opening of the container is seven feet and six inches while the height is seven feet and four inches.

Leroi Air Compressors – A Very Dependable Company

Leroi Air Compressors are manufactured and marketed by Leroi, which was founded in 1926. Over the last 83 years, this company has gone on to become one of the most experienced manufacturers of air compressors not only in the US but also the world. The company has for long believed that air compressors are much better than conventional tools as they are comparatively more powerful, light and easy to use.

Their expertise lays in manufacturing state of the art rotary screw compressors, which are ideal for operating a number of air tools and various other applications. These are powerful machines that have the ability to run a vast majority of tools for prolonged periods of time.

Low maintenance and ease of service

These air units are highly reliable and have low maintenance needs due to a fewer number of moving parts. As there are no rings or valves, there is hardly any chance of wear and tear while normal operation. Service is also easy due to state of the art alarms and service hour alerts, which inform the customer about the correct time of service. The units are designed so as to provide easy access for regular maintenance and repair work to be carried out. These combine to prolong the life of the unit and also help in maintaining it in perfect condition.

High efficiency coupled with lower cost of operation

These units perform better due to a smooth operation due to presence of balanced forces and uniform pressure. These are designed so as to operate smoothly at all times and irrespective of the input in the unit the output of air is maintained at a constant rate. This is important to operate the tools properly as intermittent bursts of power will harm both the compressor and the tool being used. A continuous operation at the same rate goes a long way in increasing their efficiency. As these units perform at high levels of efficiency they use much less power as compared to similar products and therefore result in enormous energy savings in the long run.

Various options are available

The company has been in business for a number of years and has slowly but steadily come up with a number of options. The customers can easily select the one which is most suited to their requirement from various single stage and two stage air compressors. Customers may also choose oil lubricated or oil free options as per their preference. The range of options is so huge that sometimes expert help is required to decide as to which unit is best suited to particular customers needs. As almost all the possible options are available with this organization, customers who use Leroy seldom go to some other organization for their air compressor needs.

The 7 Pillars of Branding

Although the question of branding has always been essential part of marketing and has been approached with multi-dimension models, sometimes these studies have been made without systematic approach or with full of redundancy or ad-hoc views. Unlike marketing which has the widely-known and usable, practical 7P-model, branding still misses such a sort of basic structure which makes the skeleton of all branding story.

Here I am making an outline of such a simplified model to help people in successfully designing brands and also to better understanding the already existing ones. I collected 7 layers of the branding with 7 different tasks to be completed in everyday actions. I hope this can be useful for the readers, too.

Right before entering this syllabus, we need to define what brand and branding is: in our view brand is a vision that is related to a specific company, product or any specific entity which lives in people and materializes to them. Branding is the art of deliberate control over the whole process.

First pillar: Publicly known

A brand always defines a smaller or bigger group of people who are somehow aware of the product or the service in question. This is the prerequisite or trivial condition of all brands: if you are the only one who knows a specific service or uses a specific product and no information is publicized, the service or product is unable to evolve into a brand. This is the primary task of all marketing efforts, making our specific product or service (along with its whole branding costume) widely known on the addressed market: the majority of the marketing budget is used for this purpose. At this point we normally pay attention to the details of the publicity of all brands: target segment(s), its content, geographic, demography, media, communication methods, timing etc.

Task 1: design and make your publicity

However, the fame of a product or service is not exclusively based on the publicity gained (mostly depending on the money available for promoting the brand) via frontal, push-type of promotion. Money spent on communications is a very important factor to reach the second stage of publicity: the people involved in the communications flow will probably share the information with each other and start a – sometimes very simple and few words – discussion about the product or service heard. The act of sharing the information with each other happens or has happened with all known brands. Suggestions, opinions made in public are very important in articulating brand and thus creating or strengthening/weakening brands. This is why the importance of Facebook in contemporary marketing cannot be overestimated enough, or, with similar effect, the customer service/problem handling has always been focal point of customer satisfaction and branding, too.

The publicity of branding therefore incorporates all means of sharing the information related to a specific brand or service. There are two basic type of publicities: there is of course the strictly controlled information sharing method (typically: marketing communications) and we also have to face a second publicity, the huge uncontrolled means of communication. When we are thinking on designing a new brand or just examining an existing one, we have to enlist all the ways how the specific brand gains publicity and sort them by relevance with regards to the public coverage and effect, making special attention to the uncontrolled ways of publicity.

The success of controlling publicity is a key to profit from branding, however, public control will never mean information monopoly over the media and over the outcome: even situations when a company has theoretically 100% control over the situation (e.g. customer care desk at the office or shop), it is always a challenge to control what is exactly happening there, what is going to be told or heard. Thus, from micro to macro level the publicity always carries a huge uncertainty factor with regards to reach, direct effect and future implications.

Second pillar: Associative and narrative – stories around

The discussions initiated and information shared publicly about a brand (or a branded product or service) would show up the next major characteristic of brands, that is, the power of the coupling or association related to the branded products or services. In other words, branding means that we create stories around a brand. Brand identity or personality, brand vision, brand promise are the official stories reflecting the narrative of a generic brand on different levels. Marketing creative planning is exactly doing the same around a specific product of a brand (e.g. ‘The environment friendly Toyota Prius’ as a story), while general brand stories (I mean the Toyota brand in the example) or associations are on higher level only. We therefore have to consider several layers of brand stories or narratives when examining them. It is very useful when these stories are consistent and formed professionally and are not contradicting to each other.

Brands are incorporating many stories and ideas not just from individual products and services determined by the company but stories and ideas also coming from the public. Unfortunately – as we mentioned above – we cannot control the majority of the perceptions of our brand. Individual opinions, perceived qualities, good or bad experiences are building the narrative universe, or more simply, the stories of a brand.

Task 2: define and drive brand stories

Notwithstanding the above, we can drive these brand stories and narrow them to the desired ones on at least two-three different areas. The mission statement of a company/organization is the very source of official brand stories and determines the branding direction via its written values and operational reasons. Secondly, the slogan or the tagline of a brand (like LG’s Life’s Good) is meant to embody the driving narrative story and works like a magnet: collects all the associations around a brand. The third layer of story comes along with specific products or services: repeating the slogans, taglines while inserting the logo of the brand on individual products/services makes the specific product or service painted with the general brand’s associations and qualities. The individual story of a product or service is like a topping on the branding cake. Pure brand campaigns on the other hand are always aiming outlining and fixing the desired main stories and narratives of qualities in the customers.

Controlling publicity cannot be done without controlling the stories attached to a specific brand and seems the major task of all branding and communications managers. Here, we have to highlight a related issue which behaves like the blind spot of the branding: rebranding. Rebranding campaigns are to change the very basic story of a brand. This is the reason why these campaigns fail many times and real rebranding is a very seldom event.

Third pillar: Concrete and multiplicative form

In real life we always give tangible forms to brands because we want to make profit from our money spent. Brand without concrete product/service to buy (or without a related person when we talk about personal brands) is useless or just a promise (like the newly planned Jolla mobile OS with only a demo video). The embodiment of a Brand is an essential part of its very nature.

Normally we use the power of a general Brand Name for many individual products. An already existing brand hands over its potentials (its stories of qualities, usage, value etc.) to specific, individual products and even when we see a new product of an already known brand we are already having a presupposition or sense of certain expectations towards the brand new product. A VW car is perceived for many as a reliable one; however, it may happen that a much lower quality is introduced in a new model than what the brand had fulfilled at its predecessors.

Task 3: make several appearances to utilize brand power

Most times we may say that a brand is transferred into several products and therefore it is multiplicative. It is very seldom that an earned reputation of a brand represented in only one product or service. For example the perfume 4711 seems to be transferred only into one product for a long time, but the brand’s product portfolio today consists of more than one item: after shave or even shower gel is also produced. Start-ups typically own only one product and normally the first product is the one that determines and forms the brand later on. Initially, the brand is typically built upon on only one product or service and this is why it is very sensitive when entering a market with a new company and a new product: it also determines the future brand and products the company assessed with.

Personal brands, seen superficially, are not multiplicative: a person who has double face (see politicians) and therefore not able to form a consistent and concrete personal brand, are subject to lose their reputation and their face rapidly. This is because brands can have only one concrete (credible) story, without major contradictions. The multiplicative nature of personal brands should be investigated from another perspective. In case we regard a person’s appearances in public as concretizations and multiplications of his/her brand, we are closer to the truth and we understand better why celebrities and politicians are so keen on public appearances.

Fourth pillar: Unique proposition

The history of branding is stemming from the wish of making a producer’s goods identifiable. This is not just to ensure the identity of goods but also to prevent from copying and forgery. The brands around us are still carrying these old attributes: the logo of the company/brand is expressing the uniqueness of a brand (supported by law as trade marks) and helps us to identify a specific brand in the universe of brands and signs.

Sometimes it is very hard to make distinction based on the products/services alone: Pepsi and its rivals put in a neutral glass next to each other are unidentifiable, so the use of branding techniques is crucial for gaining profit for both companies. Just like in the cola case, the technological industry also heavily relies on the branding when selling its products or services: PCs, laptops, smart phones or internet accesses are very similar to each other. Or, a tax advisory service consultant firm is facing real challenges to provide specific brand vision.

Task 4: find and use the means of brand differentiations

The unique proposition of the brands has to be built up and shown for the public: the individual logos of brands on devices for example help the company to make distinction from their competitors and help the customers to identify different market players in order to make a personal choice of preference. Most times companies heavily rely on the unique brand distinguishers, like stories about their unique market segment, tailor-made products, additional services they provide etc. Sometimes, when stories among a group of competitors are very similar or compatible (like the Big Four Auditors) and even their service is similar, a common story may evolve around them focusing on more the similarity and indirectly expressing the exclusivity of the group members.

Fifth pillar: Value

When we identify a brand on its telltale signs (e.g. design) or logo we do not think on what we see first (the product itself) but rather we focus on the brand value represented by the specific product or service. We may say (even without seeing the product) that if you are having Martin Logan stereo speakers that is very cool, but if you are having Philips that is not so awesome. Different brands represent different values: there are low-end and high-end brands with many in between. Start-up companies have to position their brand value on the axis predetermined by the existing market players. Making decision on positioning the companies’ services or products on the lower or higher end of this axis has nothing to do with ethical values: a low-end, cheap car helps many disabled or poor people without doubt. Rather, making the choice of brand values determine the market we are about to target. And this target market decision affects our business outlooks directly. When Toyota launched it Lexus series and decided to focus on the higher end cars they probably considered the higher profit option.

The value of a brand is also expressed in a more measurable way. In general ledgers brands are valued as a part of the company’s goodwill and are very sensitive for new product introductions and for amortization, too. From financial point of view brands regarded as assets that have been created due to investment and are also subject to lose or increase their values.

Task 5: define and carry brand values

The value of a brand emanates into individual products of a company and the value of the sold products affects the value of the brands. More surprisingly, the value of a brand may transfer over the buyer persona influencing the perceived value of a person in a certain group of people (see Apple fan-effect) while the network-effect of the public also modifies the brand value (exclusivity, limited models are also able to increase brand value).

The relative price of a product or the whole branded portfolio both has very special connection with the brand value: the higher the price positioned the harder to imagine low brand value. This is because the narrative of the price (see Second pillar) influences the brand value. Other narratives of a brand (how durable it is, for instance, or which celebrities are using this brand) heavily effect the brand value, too. Similarly, the extent of public spread (see First pillar – how much the brand is known, how much spent on advertising) also effects the brand value.

Brand value is determined by several other factors even not listed here. It is partly the result of deliberate actions of the company (market positioning of the brand and its products) but also exposed to external factors (like time) and public opinion.( LG’s rebranding from the low-end Goldstar brand to the higher positioned LG showed that value propositions of a brand require efforts in both areas. Grundig made the opposite U-turn when sold to Chinese company.)

Sixth pillar: personal relation

All the pillars encountered previously are summoning on personal level because the nature and the definition of branding 100% relates to human feelings and perceptions. Most cases we can translate this personal effect and feelings to perceived brand values and the position of a brand in the customers’ head. People know or do not know, like or dislike brands, become haters or fans of brands, recommend or just accept certain brands.

Task 6: turn personal relation to action

As a result, this personal disposition of a brand clearly ends up in the relation to the act of buying. We, marketing professionals should not deny the aboriginal intention of our branding efforts to influence buying decisions on personal level. We are not just simply influencing people in business for the sake of general human aims: we do not want world peace; we do want to have our specific products and services sold. We want to convince John or Clair Smith as individual customers to select our service or product. This is the action we – or more generally: the investors – expect from any investments (including brand campaigns) made.

Fortunately we not all live in the business sector, not all follow business aims (i.e. sales) in our lives. Surprisingly, non-profit organizations are not so much different from business ventures from this point of view. Non-profits also want to have a specific action to be reached: an action that is maybe appearing directly (like giving donation for starving people) but can be mental action or change to be targeted (for instance diversity campaigns).

The personal relation to a branded entity can be outlined in a matrix where on the first axis we can define the readiness or probability of buying action (or in a non-profit: readiness for action) and on the second axis we may highlight the level of brand’s emotional acceptance.

The personal relation to a specific brand with regards to the ultimate sales reason can be mapped as shown, but we should not forget that personal emotions and relations to brands are much wider than presented above: some people feel that their beloved brand is expressing also their way of life, involving several other actions well beyond a simple shopping; or just feeling neutral about a brand while the person is not going to be represented in any commercial situation (like myself with any hunting brands, although I know some of them).

We should therefore identify very precisely the personal relations to our brand of our existing and potential customers and we should make focused actions to harvest the branding efforts we have previously made.

Seventh pillar: Exposure to time

We have already mentioned before the amortization as an important factor in brand values. The simple reason of amortization is that the brands (via materialized products/services) and the customers live in time.

The general life exposure to time factor represented in concrete shapes with regards to brand itself and to its specific products/services. (Amortization is only the result of that process.) Brand perception very much effected by the products/services in timeline (e.g. how much up-to-date the product is reflects the brand’s state-of-the-art nature) and on the other hand the brand itself (without looking at individual products) also has an individual character which has its own life-cycle (how old a brand is, what type of products they represent).

Task 7: Consider time: plan and replan over time

Brands do not last for ever and are changing over time, even without deliberate actions. Amortization expresses the time-factor in economic terms but all the pillars mentioned before has a time layer. The repeated actions of marketing campaigns, the product developments or changes in market environments change the face of the brand even if it is not perceived by the company. The sad story of Nokia is a perfect example of how this specific brand was effected by the time factor in all possible way, from the publicity of its phones (a complete new generation has skipped Nokia phones), through the changes in the narratives attached to the brand, with the refreshed need to be unique again to the sharp decline of the brand value.

Green Area Rugs – Safe, Soft and Eco Friendly Flooring Idea For Baby’s Room

As home makers and house proud people already know, the advantages of purchasing modern green rugs are aplenty for various rooms and sections of the residence or even a home-office.

However, many hobby decorators so in tune with latest trends tend to miss out on the potential of seeking inspiration from the hottest green trends and thus fail to incorporate these special, soft and safe flooring options for their little angels’ room. If you are a parent or caregiver to a little one, consider our nudge below – in the direction of revamping the nursery into a toddler’s ideal play area, which would mean readying it up in time for your baby to sit up, start crawling then taking baby steps.

Now if this can be done with a safe, non-toxic, allergen-free flooring material underfoot for accommodating your baby’s basic needs for all these activities, then wouldn’t you just love to know about it?

So, stick with me to discover useful, practical and trendy tips for latest flooring ideas integrating green area rugs for baby’s room, where to pick them from, in addition to what to avoid and why.

Interested in finding out what else super-soft, all-natural fiber crafted modern green area rugs can deliver for your baby’s room in addition to the carefully picked matching baby room d├ęcor, Disney accessories, pastels and some of grandma’s heirloom linens?

Then, it pays to learn that babies tend to have a mind of their own when it comes to choosing places they’d like to have their power naps in – yes, in addition to their regular beddy-bye times in your discerningly chosen high quality, child safety feature-rich, bassinet, cradle, bassinet, side car sleeper or even a designer crib, they looooove the floor!!

Floors – and other spaces that have parents throw up their hands in panic, chanting ‘no,no,no’ which babies, being selective listeners tend to tune out from hearing after the initial few minutes – seem to hold an irresistible attraction for babies and toddlers who can loll especially cutely on bare floors much to the dismay of hygiene conscious caregivers.

So, it’s best to be prepared for giving in to baby’s adventurous run across the floor!

Enter modern green area rugs – the super-soft, uber-cool and affordable flooring option (as compared to carpeting, wood floors, cork, linoleum etc) for giving a more snug look to your little one’s room, rather than the tough resilience, expense and heavy maintenance required for concrete, vinyl, wall to wall carpets, tiled or granite floors).

The latest designs in throw rugs are easily available in small to large and even extra large sizes, besides a variety of shapes and nursery appropriate prints, weaves and colors, not to mention the added attraction of earth-friendly materials used for crafting these! Organic materials such as bamboo, sisal, sea-grass and more typically comprise the main components of modern area rugs and these materials makes hem free of harmful toxins available in synthetic dyes and fibers used in carpets and alternate flooring options that can kick up allergies or asthma in children besides full floor carpets tending to be difficult to vacuum or remove stains from, when spills occur, as they tend to frequently, in kiddy environments.

These are easily available in baby furnishing stores, green flooring shops, retailers of home furnishing items and can be even ordered from bed-linen catalogs or convenient online stores that offer a wide range of whimsical designs, shapes and colors that makes braided, plain or soft chenille, cotton or other natural materials for green area rugs a perfect flooring choice for baby’s room.

Oh yes, don’t forget to also pick up a non-slip pad for placing under the green area rug of your choice placed in baby’s room to ensure the rug stays in place and baby is not only comfortable exploring its texture, color and softness – but safe too.

How To Copy and Paste – For The Absolute Beginner!

One of the most requested tutorials from our business of training and tutoring Seniors on their own computers is ‘how do I copy and paste?’. To older computer users, this seems to be such a daunting task, yet nothing could be easier, once you learn how!

Here’s our tutorial that we hand out to our clients:

1. Take your mouse, and place your pointer at the beginning or end of the text, the pointer will change from an arrow to an “I” bar, when it does then click and hold the left mouse button, while pulling your mouse over the text. This will highlight the text with a dark color.

2. Next, release the left mouse button without clicking anywhere else.

3. Now, with the mouse pointer over the highlighted text, right click the mouse for options and a small menu of commands will appear. Move the mouse pointer over and down the list and select ‘copy’ by clicking with the left mouse button.

4. The menu will disappear … don’t worry, the selection has been copied to an unseen, imaginary “clipboard” in your computer!

5. Next, place your mouse pointer where you want the text to be placed (even in another program!), left click to place the blinking cursor (this is the insertion point) then right click your mouse again, and select ‘paste’ from the small menu and you will have copied and pasted the text!

Cut and paste is the same as above, except you choose ‘cut’, instead of ‘copy’. You will see the difference right away, as the words will “disappear” when you ‘cut’ and will appear again when you ‘paste’ them in another place.

Copy and Paste Large Amounts of Text

1. For large amounts of text, say an entire page or email message there is an easier way than moving the mouse to highlight, simply go to the Edit Menu at the top of the Window and Click once, bringing the menu selections down.

2. Then, bring your pointer to “Select All”, click on it and watch as all of the information gets highlighted!

3. Next, go back to Edit and bring your pointer to “Copy” and click on that command. Again, the information will go to the imaginary Clipboard!

4. Take your newly copied information to wherever it needs to go, like a newly opened email, and after you click your mouse in the area where you want it to go (the ‘body’ area of your email, for example), either Right Click the mouse or go back to Edit and select “Paste” to insert the copied information.

Shortcuts

To Highlight All: Press and hold ‘Ctrl’ then press the ‘A’ key.

To Copy: Highlight an area, as shown above, then press and hold ‘Ctrl’ then press the ‘C’ key.

To Paste: Click your left mouse button where you want the text pasted, and then press and hold ‘Ctrl’ then press the ‘V’ key.

The ability to cut, copy, and paste is found in most programs, including email and word processing. Sometimes, the ability to do these tasks via the mouse is disabled, but is still quickly achieved through the use of the shortcuts outlined above.

Shipping Regulations Regarding Certain Kinds of Adhesives

Because adhesives can be hazardous, toxic, or flammable, you should never ship any industrial grade adhesives without first taking the necessary steps to make sure you’re doing so safely, and legally.

Because of the regulations, and especially with recent tightening of certain regulations, we advise that, if possible, you try to buy epoxy, adhesive, or any other hazardous product from a distributor in your area before ordering an adhesive over the internet or through the mail. What’s legal in the manufacturer’s area might not be legal in yours, and even if it is, the red tape sometimes just isn’t worth it. So the following should serve as more of a Plan B.

Besides, the better manufacturers of sealants and adhesives, like Permabond, usually have a distributor’s directory on their websites, so it shouldn’t be hard to find cyanoacrylate glue, metal adhesives, or anything else you need without risking it.

Following the model put forth by the United Nations, the Department of Transport (DOT) divides hazardous materials into nine different classes, and mailing hazardous materials requires that you obtain a placard and make sure the contents of the package are clearly labelled on the package itself.

These classes are:

1. Explosives

2. Gases

3. Flammable Liquids

4. Flammable Solids

5. Oxidizing Agents and Organic Peroxides

6. Toxic and Infectious Substances

7. Radioactive Substances

8. Corrosive Substances

9. Miscellaneous

Adhesives are, luckily, much easier to ship than many other hazardous materials or dangerous goods, but are still considered dangerous because of their toxicity and their flammability, placing them into classes 3 and 6.

If you’re shipping flammable, toxic adhesives out (check the label, it should give you all the info you need), you’ll need a class 3 flammable placard and a class 6 poisonous placard to place on the packaging. Where to go and who to see about being authorized and equipped with these placards is quite literally different in nearly every city, so we can only recommend that you speak to someone at the post office for further information.

Keep the Law in Mind!

Whatever you do, do not just stick the stuff in an unmarked box and hope they don’t find out! In many places, it’s considered a felony to ship unmarked hazardous materials.

When having adhesives shipped to you, make sure the person sending it knows what they’re doing, as well. If they don’t know already, tell them. Receiving unmarked chemicals in the mail looks just as bad to the postal service, and the federal government, as sending the stuff.

Be Smart, and Exercise Caution

It may seem like a lot of worry over nothing. It is just glue, after all. To be fair, ninety nine percent of the time, you probably could get away with sneaking hazardous chemicals through the mail, but because of that one percent chance of possibly doing some serious jail time, it really isn’t worth the risk.

How to Pack it

Different countries have different regulations on how a hazardous product should be packaged, and it would take forever to list every single one of them. The easiest way to make sure you’re covered is to first, never send an unsealed container. If you’ve already popped the cap on the adhesive, it’s yours, you can’t ship it. Second, you should put it inside of a box, preferably filled with packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or some other shock absorber, and then put that box inside of a bigger box, also filled with shock absorber. The person receiving it may be initially confused, but many countries require this measure be practiced before shipping is allowed.

How to Repair Shoes or Boots – Shoe Goo or Super Glue?

Just when your shoes or boots start getting comfortable you notice a split on the side of the sole. Or a heel starts to separate. You can take the culprit into a cobbler for some ‘shoe restoration’ to have the sole repaired or the boot heel glued back or you can do it yourself in a few seconds. There are a couple of options. Shoe Goo and an advanced or commercial grade cyanoacrylate (superglue).

Shoe Goo is the favorite of the skateboarders as it will glue most things together and fill some serious gaps left by the road scraping off parts of the sneakers.

Super Glue and Krazy Glue are cyanoacrylates – that is the chemical base of super glue or Krazy Glue. Advanced or commercial grade super glues have characteristics that make them a better fix than off the shelf super glue.

Both types of products (Shoe Goo and super glue type glues) have their use. Both of these types of glue will last for quite some time so are good to have around as they will not go bad and will be available when you need them. Both will dry flexible.

Shoe Goo can be purchased in hardware stores and some sports shops and certainly online. It is fairly thick and comes in clear, black and white. One can actually use it to rebuild a worn heel on a boot or running shoes. It can be used to re-attach a split in the sole of the shoe or heel but as it is so thick I find a product like a high end super glue (a commercial grade cyanoacylate) more useful.

To rebuild a heel with shoe goo you first of all need to use a bit of sandpaper to roughen up the surface. This gives the glue something to attach to. Once that is done just squeeze some out of the tube and shape it with a small stick. Most packages of Shoe Goo will come with a stick for applying. If you are going to apply in layers to build a bit thicker wait about 5-6 hours between applications. Allow 24 hours before walking on the boot or shoe. It dries shiny but that will wear off once you start walking.

If the sole has separated somewhere you can carefully squeeze in some of the glue then press the two surfaces together. This is not the best glue for this type of application as it can be messy but with care can be done. When you press the two surfaces together some will squeeze out and you can scrape off with a piece of wood or metal to get the edge smooth. Let this set for 24 hours as well. It will be flexible when cured.

How and when to use an Advanced Cyanoacrylate for a ‘Shoe Fix’

If you have a sole or heel starting to separate the Shoe Goo can get messy very easily and if you are trying to repair a pair of dress shoes or very nice boots this may not be the material to use. If you use super glue or Krazy Glue you may run into problems as well because they often get brittle when dry and once you start walking in your shoes or boots they very likely will come apart again.

Commercial grade cyanoacrylates are made from the same base as superglue but without the solvents will dry clear and flexible. They are extremely easy to use and being almost instant you don’t have to wait to wear the shoe or boot.

Some examples of types of situations where you might use this type of super glue: the toe of the sneaker or running shoe starts coming apart; heel of a boot starts to separate or falls off; two layers of leather on dress shoes start to separate.

One of the benefits of this type of product is that it will wick in. This means that if you put a drop at the edge of a crack or joint that is just starting to split, it will go into that space. It will kind of be drawn into it. This means less mess.

So, for a split in a shoe try to hold the shoe or boot so that the split is open as much as possible and so that the glue can run down into it. Place the tip of the spout at the edge and gently squeeze a drop into the gap. If it is fairly lengthy you may need to run the tip of the bottle along the line of the gap while gently squeezing out a bit of glue. Set the bottle aside and press the two surfaces firmly together. This type of glue takes only a few minutes to set. Give it a few more minutes and you can walk in your shoes or boots. Take care as some of the glue may run out as you squeeze the two surfaces together – hold the shoe so that it does not run onto the top or other parts where a stain could show.

This makes for a great emergency fix: You are ready to go to work or the party and you find that the heel of your dress shoe is loose. Take out your commercial grade super glue, apply it and within a few seconds you are good to go.

Both types of glue will be water proof when cured. With these two types of glue and a bit of duct tape you can fix just about anything.

A Closed Ileocecal Valve

The ileocecal valve is a valve in between your small and large intestines that is under nerve control. This valve secures substances inside your small intestine right up until digestion is complete. The small intestine can be viewed as the kitchen section of an individual’s bowel; it happens to be the place that the major amount of food absorption happens. As soon as the process is finish, the material will become waste materials that need to be taken out of the kitchen area. At this time the ileocecal valve opens up to enable the content to go into the large intestine, or the garbage region of your bowel.

Now and again the valve isn’t able to open up correctly. This in turn may cause the waste material to stay for too long within the small intestine. Due to the fact the small intestine is where the major amount of food is absorbed, your body begins to absorb the harmful waste material, causing your whole system in becoming toxic. When your body is toxic, the most fragile areas in your systems, organs, and muscles become more subject to issues. This is why so many varied symptoms can arise from a closed ileocecal valve.

There are many ways recommended to return your ileocecal valve to normal function.

The valve is actually under nerve control. A chiropractor can locate the areas of nerve involvement and correct them. Your ileocecal valve could go and return to working properly after an adjustment from a chiropractor. Nevertheless, there exists a possibility that the problem might return unless certain safety measures are taken to prevent the re-irritation of the valve. You must watch your diet, and it’s also often necessary to supplement your system with calcium and/or vitamin D. If it is advisable for you to stimulate certain nerve reflexes, your chiropractor can show you the way to do so.

The closed ileocecal valve is frequently found in the general population. It can be responsible for a myriad of symptoms, and is sometimes known as the great mimicker. As a result of ileocecal valve involvement, an individual may have any of the following symptoms: shoulder pain, sudden low back pain, pain around heart, dizziness, flu symptoms, Pseudo bursitis, Pseudo sacroiliac strain, Tinnitus, nausea, faintness, Pseudo sinus infection, Pseudo hypchlorhydria, headache, sudden thirst, pallor, dark circles under eyes, and bowel movements. These symptoms usually improve after getting out of bed and moving about and can usually intensify upon staying in bed.

It is suggested that you should remove specific food from your diet such as all roughage food, which would include popcorn, potato chips, nuts, seeds, whole grains, etc. You should also avoid raw fruits and vegetables, which includes celery, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, apples, oranges, salads, pickles, tomatoes, etc., but these foods can be eaten if cooked and will cause no problems. Spicy foods must also be your diet such as chili, peppers, tacos, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon, etc. Liquors, alcoholic beverages, cocoa, chocolate, and caffeinated products must be avoided.

Sometimes with chronic ileocecal valve problems, it is valuable for the person to stimulate certain nerve areas at home. These areas could be stimulated simply by using a rotary massaging motion with the pads of your fingertips. Find the tender spots and use a moderately hard, irritating pressure.

Brick Stains – Efflorescence (White Powder)

If you own a brick home and have a white powdery substance on some of your brick, block or stone then you have what is called in the trade, efflorescence.

Is it a problem? Well it can be. Is it serious? Well it can be but not usually. Can I fix the cause of this problem? Yes you can but first let’s try to define what this substance is and then offer some solutions on how to prevent its’ occurrence.

Efflorescence is a white power that when visible on the surface of brick, block or stone masonry is an indication of excessive water within the masonry structure.

It often occurs when flashing, cap stones, rowlocks, chimney crowns, etc. leak allowing rain water to enter the masonry wall system. Once the water is inside the wall it will dissolve soluble salts within the individual masonry units and the mortar.

As the water migrates to the outside surface of the masonry wall by wicking action it carries these soluble salts with it and then deposits them on the surface of the masonry during evaporation. This is a sure sign of excessive water infiltration into the masonry and if not taken care of, can lead to costly damage with premature deterioration.

Solution: As with any water problem you must stop the water from entering the wall system at the source. Flashing joints must be checked periodically as well as mortar joints on cap stones and rowlocks and cracks repaired on chimney crowns. Once the leak has been repaired, wait for a few weeks of high pressure weather to arrive which will dry out the wall system.

Many times rain or a simple hosing will wash the efflorescence off, if it is minor. Usually though, further steps are needed to remove the stain completely. You may remove the efflorescence by using a stiff brush to scrub the masonry surface while applying a mild diluted acid such as muriatic acid. It may take more than one scrubbing and application. Be certain to flush liberally anything that has come in contact with the acid to assure that it has been sufficiently diluted including the roof, masonry, siding or ground.

If your effort was not effective then there may be other issues that need to be addressed by a professional masonry repair expert. Contact your local repair expert, explain the steps you have taken and ask for advice on what should be done next.

How to Market Your Apartments For Sale Or Rent

Selling an apartment or flat in a condominium is a little different than selling a house. Apartment comes handy when you are looking for a small residence in some highly populated area but the problem arises when you have to sell it. Many people prefer to stay as tenants instead of purchasing an apartment. One thing that you must consider when buying an apartment is its resale value. For instance, an apartment at uppermost storey might sound OK to you but families with young children or some old members will just reject the deal, because it’s not possible for the children or senior fellows to go up or downstairs in case the lift is out of order. Therefore, you should look at the apartment from a general point of view before purchasing it, so that it won’t be a problem when you decide to sell.

Emphasizing on strong features in ads:

Think of an appealing title that will immediately catch attention when giving ads in the classified section of a newspaper (or property portal). For example, instead of choosing titles like “two bedroom apartment for sale” or “studio apartment for rent”, use titles like “perfect apartment for a family, with schools and markets in close proximity” or “ideal apartment for young professionals”. You must think of some strong points for your property and then highlight these features in the title.

Choosing the right medium:

As stated above, you must think of the strong features and then target some specific type of customers according to those features. In addition to the catchy titles, choose your advertising medium according to your targeted customers. For example, if your apartment will be best suited for students than advertising the apartment in a college campus makes absolute sense. Similarly you can choose internet, social networking websites, magazines, newspaper, etc in accordance to your targeted customers.

If you can’t replace, at least repair:

Once you’ve put on the ad, you can expect some prospective buyer or tenant to visit the apartment. If the apartment is newly built and vacant for some time, a little clean up will do. However, if you or some of your tenants are currently residing in the place, it means you must go through the basic repairing and cleaning work. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom, and make sure your apartment is odor-free. That familiar scent of cigarettes may not trouble you or your friends in general but it may put off some buyers at once, especially if they are looking to move in with family.