Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
Helpful tips for April 2020
In this issue:
Articles of the day
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca
Scams of the month:
Before giving you our scam tips of the month, here are some very valueable
You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.
Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.
For this month –
Be ware of those phone calls with an automated recording telling you that
charges were made to your credit card.
Simply hang up and then check with your credit card company.
The DHL scam!
If you receive either a phone call or an email telling you that you need to
pick up a parcel but there is no tracking number included in either the
phone call or email, then this is a scam.
Even if there is a tracking number included, take note of the phone number
and tracking number and then phone DHL to check it out.
As we continue to fight the Corona virus, here is an important tip.
It is more effective to wash hands as opposed to using wipes or wet ones.
Sometimes it may not be possible to wash hands so you can use hand
What is the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting?
Sanitizing refers to the removal of germs.
Disinfecting refers to killing the germs.
What’s this about using rubbing alcohol?
It is just another way to sanitize your hands during this difficult time.
An important tip about the strength of viruses!
They weaken with length of time.
They are strongest on wooden and metal surfaces.
Some additional important tips:
• Wash your hands thoroughly (20 Seconds) with soap and warm water or use
an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available. Please remember
washing your hand with soap and warm water is the best method.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
• Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
• Stay home from work/when you are ill
• Do not spend unnecessary time in common element facilities
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the
tissue in the garbage and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue,
sneeze or cough in your sleeve or arm.
• Stay away from large public gatherings
• Pay close attention to travel advisories if you are travelling
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your
home such as doorknobs, cellphones, keys, headphones, counters, switches, tv
• If you are sick, please keep in mind to keep your distance from the
vulnerable and elderly
About drinking soda?
O yes! It can raise the level of carbohydrates.
A good way to gage a healthy weight loss?
Experts are saying that a 5% to 9% of your body weight is a good gage.
About blood donations:
Each time you donate blood, it has a shelf life of 42 days.
That is, after you have donated your blood, it lasts for about 42 days then
it is no longer usable.
When washing shef’s nives?
Never put them into your dish washer.
About managing your cutting boards?
Use plastic cutting boards when cutting up your meat.
Wash all cutting boards with salt and lemon.
Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team
How to deal with cloudy glassware
By Mary Hunt of Everyday Cheapskate
Dear Mary: Not long ago, you had a comment about glasses coming out of the
dishwasher with water spots and stains on them and what to do. I thought I
kept it as I do keep so many of your Everyday Cheapskate but cannot find
I’ve used Jet Dry and that isn’t helping. We have very hard water. Any
solutions would be appreciated.
Dear Brenda: Water marks as you describe, or generally cloudy glassware, are
usually the result of the minerals in hard water, but not always.
To tell if your glasses are plagued by hard water deposits, try soaking a
glass in a pan of warm white vinegar for 5 minutes. If the cloudy deposits
disappear, then hard water is your problem. Put all of your cloudy pieces
through a white vinegar rinse to remove the minerals.
If the full-strength white vinegar does not make that glass sparkling clear,
chances are good that the mineral buildup has, over time, actually etched
the surface of the glass. In this case, there’s nothing you can do to
restore the glass which has been worn away.
Because you say you have such hard water, I’m hopeful you will be able to
restore your glassware by simply removing the minerals. Then, in the future
occasionally (monthly is good) add a cup of white vinegar to the final
dishwasher rinse to keep the glasses sparkly—and to also clean the inside of
your dishwasher from mineral buildup.
There is a product on the market, Glisten, that will soften the water to
water stains from appearing while at the same time clean your dishwasher. I’d
give that a try as well before giving up on your beautiful glasses. Let us
know how it works out for you!
A Dan Thompson contribution
Tips for preventing basement leakage
I am by no means a professional contractor or expert on water proofing
basements. However, we had ours done and are very pleased with the outcome.
Home owners hope to find a trustworthy company that is not just putting on a
good show to get your business. So I am providing a few ideas and resources
as well as who we chose to water proof our basement.
This year as in many places in the U.S. we got an over abundance of rain.
Yay for the new subpump and additional water proofing.
I actually had to add a plastic gutter runoff spilway at the base of the
subpump pipe that came out into our back yard hill. The soil was starting
to wash away. The addition directed water further out into the yard.
Resources for professional companies which water proof basements:
We had the GreenTree Water Proofing systems fix our basementtwo years ago.
There has been no leaks. We were able to put a new man cave down there that
I use as a recording studio and office.
Our cost was $7,500.00.
1. Greentree Waterproofing,
Greentree Waterproofing, Inc.
Serving Central IL since 1992
“We’re family owned and local since 1992”
Basement, Crawl Space Waterproofing Systems Foundation Repair
(Transferable life of the foundation system warranty)
No interest financing plans available
Toll Free 1-800-831-0112
We are the company for you if you’re experiencing any of the following
Basement water seepage where the wall meets the floor (hydrostatic pressure)
Water seepage in the corners where walls meet
Scattered spider or hairline cracks allowing water to seep up through the
Wet crawl space
Surface water entering the basement at the top of the wall
Horizontal or vertical foundation cracks in the wall
Want an emergency escape egress window/well in the basement
Sump pump installation
Need sump pump back up options should your sump pump fail
2. Basement Waterproofing Information and Estimates | Wet Basement
Contractors at Basement Systems
Finding a responsible and trustworthy contractor is challenging, but you’ll
find that Basement Systems dealers adhere to simple guidelines of respect,
integrity, and responsibility.
Showing up on time for appointments, performing the work that we contract to
do, and standing behind our company warranty helps homeowners trust that we
will be there when you need us. Homeowners should expect this, and we, as
contractors need to earn your business.
Learn more about: Basement
A basement should be dry all the time.
Our trusted dealers can design a solution that fits your basement’s specific
needs and your budget.
Learn more about Basement Systems: A Company You Can Trust | About Our
Extensive Basement Waterproofing and Crawl Space Contractor Network at the
Basement Systems Headquarters
60 Silvermine Road
General Contact: 1-800-640-1500
Looking for a specific dealer or a Free Estimate in another state?
Call 1-800-638-7048 or
Fill out the form online at this link.
3. What to Expect with Basement Waterproofing | Angies List
A contact us form can be filled out at this link.
4. Angie’s List Guide to Basement Waterproofing
5. Comparing Popular Basement Waterproofing Methods
6. Waterproofing Basement Walls: Costs and Options
AquaGuard Injection & Waterproofing® | Contact
Visit the link above to fill out a form for contact or use the information
below for live contact to this company.
Contact Us Live
Tel: 905.842.9100 – Oakville / Burlington / Milton
Tel: 905.796.9100 – Mississauga / Brampton
Tel: 905.713.0222 – Aurora / Newmarket
Tel: 905.771.1800 – Markham / Richmond Hill / Thornhill / Vaughan
Toll Free: 1.888.284.2384
Tips start below from a variety of reliable sources.
1. Ensure that all downspouts discharge rainwater at least 8-10 feet
away from your foundation.
2. Ensure that soil and landscaping slopes away from the foundation to
prevent water build-up.
3. If there is excessive water between your home and your neighbour’s,
create a swale or install a french drain to channel water to the front or
back of your properties.
4. Clear window wells of any debris to assure optimal drainage.
5. Make sure that the caulking around windows and doors is in good
condition in order to prevent leaks through the building envelope.
6. Grade the soil so that at least 4 inches of the foundation is visible
above grade; this will prevent water front entering your basement from the
top of your foundation walls.
7. Tuck point cracked mortar joints in brick walls to prevent rain from
coming through the building envelope and leaking into your basement.
8. Confirm that roof and chimney flashing hasn’t separated from vertical
surfaces to prevent building envelope leaks. Caulk as required.
9. Ensure that sprinkler systems spray water away from the foundation.
10. Ensure that penetrations in the building envelope, such as those for
gas, hydro and air conditioning lines are well caulked.
If you’ve undertaken these measures and still have a problem
1. Step 1
Patching Leaks in a Basement 01:00
Here are the DIY Basics on patching a leaky basement.
1. Check for Outside Problems
Most basement moisture is the result of water run-off problems outside your
home. Make sure that your gutters are clear, downspouts are in good working
order and that rain water is being directed “away” from your home’s
Step 2: Comments
2. Patch cracks with two layers of cement
Once the water pressure has been removed from your home’s foundation, you
can seal it from the inside using a hydraulic cement.
If you have cracks in your basement that are allowing water to seep through,
use a hammer and chisel to open them up. Undercut the crack by making the
inside of the opening wider than it is at the surface so as the concrete
hardens and expands, it will become locked. Once the crack has been opened,
clean the area with water and a stiff brush. Now mix a small batch of
hydraulic cement according to the instructions, and — with gloves on —
roll the cement into a ball.
Dampen the area to be patched and press the cement into the crack to within
1/2″ of the surface. Allow the first layer to dry, and then apply a second
layer to match the surface you’re repairing.
Step 3: Comments
3. patching a leaky basement
Use Water-Proofing Paint
Once all the foundation cracks are repaired, apply a water-proofing paint to
seal out the moisture.
*A few more Ideas to prevent leaking:
Do a Leakage Test
The first step in drying out a wet, leaky basement is to find the source of
the moisture. This simple test, using plastic wrap and masking tape, will
help determine whether wetness is coming from inside or outside the
Tape the plastic wrap tightly to a discolored area of the foundation. If the
moisture is outside the plastic, there is moisture coming from inside the
Probably the easiest way to get rid of moisture in a basement is a
If the wetness is on the inside of the plastic, you may have a case of the
“killer Gs”: gutter and grading problems.
Routinely check the condition of the gutters. Keep them clear of debris and
add gutter extensions to the downspouts.
Check Gutters and Grading
For grading, make sure water is properly diverted away from the foundation
of the house.
To add an extension to a gutter, first stretch the extension to a length of
4′-5′ (enough to draw the water away from the house). The corrugated-plastic
pipe, though sturdy and rigid, does pull apart with a little effort. Shape
the extension pipe into a 90-degree angle; then slide it over the bottom
Remember always to aim the extension away from the foundation. end of the
downspout Secure the extension in place by inserting sheet-metal screws
into the downspout
Remember always to aim the extension away from the foundation.
For those neededing a little visual guidance, there are visual images
available at this link.
*Repair a Hairline Crack
1. To repair a hairline crack use a hammer and a chisel to open up
To repair a hairline crack use a hammer and a chisel to open up the area (
2. Start at the top and work toward the bottom, chipping a 1/2″-3/4″
groove (don’t go any deeper than 3/4″ or there is a risk of completely
cracking the cinderblock).
3. Use a chisel to remove any loose concrete or debris that may clog
up the crack. A stiff-bristled brush will help dislodge any smaller pieces
still in the groove.
Mix and Apply the Cement
Wet down the crack’s surface with a spray bottle. Wearing safety gloves and
working quickly, dump a small portion of hydraulic cement into a bucket, add
the water and begin mixing by hand. The texture should be similar to cake
batter, so add water and hydraulic cement as needed. Once the right
consistency is achieved, grab a handful and work it around in your hand,
shaping it into a ball.
Begin to push the hydraulic cement into the open crack.
Quickly use a trowel to slice away the excess cement before it cures. Any
remaining flakes of cement can be removed with the brush.
* Assess the Costs
Costs for repairing a wet, leaky basement begin around $15 or $20. This will
cover the cost of gutter extensions, splash guards and leaf covers. All are
fairly easy to install and should take no more than a few hours to do so.
Medium repair work, such as fixing a hairline crack will cost around $50
and take about half a day to complete.
Serious structural damage to the foundation (Image 2), which can run more
than a thousand dollars, should always be done by a professional. If
structural damage is found, get several estimates before beginning any work.
Take preventive measures such as applying cement paint; a stiff brush will
be needed to apply the paint to cinderblocks. Dip the brush in the paint and
apply generously to the cinderblocks.
A stronger preventive measure, cement coating, will actually create a
chemical reaction that will bond with the wall. Mix up the cement coating
with water until smooth and apply with a very strong brush directly onto
A condensate pump can be installed to the dehumidifier’s hose connection so
that instead of going into the bucket, the water will drain into the
condensate pump. Hook up a hose to the condensate pump’s drain line to pump
the unwanted water up out of the basement.
There are visual images at the link below demonstrating how the tasks are
*How to Install a Sump Pump | how-tos | DIY
· Start to Finish
* drill bits
* electric drill
* pipe cutter
* pressurized fittings
* wire ties
* PVC pipe
* corrugated pipe
* sump pump
* check valve
* J hooks
* silicone sealant
find location where water collects
Find a Location
The first step to installing a sump pump is to find a location where the
water collects. This location needs to be near a GFCI (Ground Fault
Interrupter Outlet, pictured) for the sump pump to be plugged into. If you
don’t have a plug near the site, have a certified electrician install one.
Step 1: Comments
dig a hole for the sump
Dig a Hole for the Sump
Dig a hole six inches deeper and 10 inches wider than the sump. Place three
inches of gravel in the bottom of the hole. Place the sump into the hole.
preparing the sump pump for operation
Add More Gravel
Stand in the sump, then pour more gravel around the sump leaving one or two
inches at the top of the sump exposed. it’s now time to prepare the pump for
Step 3: Comments
attach the adapters
Attach the Adapters
Glue the male adapter to the PVC discharge pipe, then place into the female
adapter on the pump. Using a 1/4 inch drill, make a hole into the discharge
pipe six inches above the pump. This is called a weep hole, which allows
water to flow back into the pump when it’s turned off to keep it primed.
Step 4: Comments
install check valve
Install a Check Valve
Attach the pumps electrical cord to the discharge pipe using wire ties.
Install a check valve on the open end of the discharge pipe. Place the pump
into the sump and prepare to run the water out of the house. Make sure you
use a check valve that is made for vertical operation.
Step 5: Comments
channel water from pump and away from house
Channel Water Away From the House
Use pressurized fittings and 1 1/2 inch PVC to channel water from the pump
and away from the house.
Step 6: Comments
run PVC through wall
Run PVC Through the Wall
Install ‘J’ hooks to hang the PVC from the joists. Make a hole through the
outside wall to run the PVC out. If you need to make a hole through a block
wall, use a hammer to make the hole. Use a rotary hammer to break through
Step 7: Comments
apply silicone sealant into hole
Apply Sealant to the Hole
Apply silicone sealant into the hole where the pipe comes out of the house.
Complete the connections in order to run the water at least four feet away
from the house.
Step 8: Comments
attach increaser on end of pipe
Spread Out the Water Flow
Attach a 1 1/2 inch by three inch increaser on the end of the pipe to spread
out the water flow. Next, attach corrugated pipe to the PVC pipe. This will
dispense the water even more.
Step 9: Comments
place cover over sump
Cover the Sump
For visual demonstrations of each step in this process, visit this link.
* 5 Ways to Prevent a Basement Leak | DoItYourself.com
A basement leak can be a serious problem. Water leaking into your basement
is not only a waste and causes superficial damage, but it can also lower
your property value, damage your home’s structure, and even pose a health
Because of the many negative consequences of basement leaks, it is best to
prevent them rather than repair them. While it is not possible to plan for
every accident, taking reasonable steps to avoid basement leaks is a task
that any careful person can accomplish. The following list should give you
an idea of how to take action now to prevent a basement leak in the future.
1. Observe Carefully
Basements are vulnerable to some specific problems. By observing things that
can leak and noticing potential problems before they turn into full blown
leaks, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.
Washing machines can develop leaks either from age or improper maintenance.
By observing your washing machine’s hoses, you can see their condition. If
they are in poor condition, the chance of a basement leak increases
When examining your washing machine’s hoses, check for all kinds of damage.
Any cracks or other signs of stress can turn into leaks if left alone.
Replace your hoses if there is a problem.
In addition, though they do last for many years, water heaters can also
develop leaks. Rust and moisture are strong signs that a leak may spring
2. Watch for Warning Signs
Although you may be careful, it is not always possible to avoid every
accident. Catching leaks early is preferable to catching them late;
therefore, watching for warning signs of a leak is a good idea. If you hear
water running when you are not using any, you may have a leak. Discolored,
damp, or damaged walls, floors, and ceilings can be warning signs that you
already have a leak.
3. Sump Pump
Sump pumps can fall into disrepair, allowing water to flood the basement.
While you cannot prevent all problems, testing your sump pump before the
wet season begins is a good way to avoid a leak. Installing a backup is
also a good idea.
4. Automatic Shutoff Valves
If you have a leak, it can cause a great deal of damage before you catch it.
Automatic shutoff valves are a solution to this serious problem. Once
installed, an automatic shutoff valve will search for leaks and close your
pipes to prevent water damage. While it does not prevent all damage from
occurring (especially to your pipes), it can greatly reduce the problems
caused by 5. broken or cracked pipes.
Sometimes your basement may have a small leak that is supplied by moisture
from the outside. While waterproofing your basement is usually a difficult
task, it will often be possible to fix small cracks by filling them with
caulk. It is possible to do so easily with a minimal amount of equipment
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
Paying the cab driver with either your credit card or debit card
This is probably one of the most uncertain types of transactions for a
vision impaired person while on a trip and why?
Because you are at the whim and fancy of the cab driver.
First, you need to depend on someone that you do not know to assist you and
you have no way of knowing whether or not they are watching as you enter
your pin number and whether or not they have just captured your pin number.
Next, the same goes for your card number.
When you insert your credit card or debit card, you cannot tell if the cab
driver is taking note of your number either on the screen or as it is being
inserted into the machine.
Then here comes the tip and you probably need to depend on the cab driver to
input this for you.
Then you need to depend on the cab driver to show you where to sign and
while they are doing this, you have no idea as to whether or not they are
taking note of your info.
Then finally if you ask them for a receipt; you are again at their whim and
fancy and you hope and pray that they enter the right amount on your
What to do?
If you decide to use your credit card then you need to check as soon as
possible to make sure that this transaction is correct. Either through
phone banking or by visiting your nearest branch. The same for when you use
your debit card.
Phone banking is the most convenient and the customer service reps are
Suggestion: if you are able to, probably best to take enough cash along to
cover your cab fare.
Another suggestion: Set up an account with a regular cab company.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.
To learn more about me, visit
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In the car, on the plane, on the bus or train, at the beach, anywhere!
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