Rain gutters cause many home drainage problems

By Dean Fosdick

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The person who coined the phrase “saving for a rainy day” must have been a property owner with home drainage problems.

The financial costs of poor drainage can be substantial, and the human health costs significant too.

Prevention is important, and many clues exist for predicting trouble, says Ryan Larsen, a civil engineer with NDS Inc., a manufacturer of drainage products in Woodland Hills, California.

“Low spots in the landscape can be hard to see, but areas where the ground is wet for long periods of time after it rains or the sprinklers run are locations where water is collecting,” Larsen said.

Discoloration and mould growth on a home’s foundation, and places where stucco, siding or paint easily fall off a house are indications that water is pooling, he said. “You should suspect water is getting into your home if you detect damp or musty smells in your basement or crawl space,” he said.

Most homes have some kind of drainage problem, and most often the damage comes from rain gutters, Larsen said.

“Because a lot of homes have gutter downspouts that lead straight to the ground, you’ve got all this water coming off the roof and pouring to just one point, where it can collect against a home’s foundation and flood landscapes and planter areas,” he said. “Fortunately, gutter problems are also the easiest to fix with a downspout extender.”

The financial costs of poor drainage can add up. Outlays for drying basements can range from $1,000 to $10,000, according the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program. Repairing foundation damage can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $25,000, the National Association of Realtors says.

The human health costs of poor drainage on properties also can be sizeable, Larsen said. “Poorly drained runoff from roofs can enter basements or flow inside homes through foundational cracks or leaks where it can warp floorboards and turn finished rooms into mildewy and mouldy messes that can attract insects and rodents.”

Inadequate drainage also cracks foundations, creates standing water that ruins yards and gardens, and allows breeding spots for disease-carrying mosquitoes and heartworms.

“Soggy, poorly graded ground spells certain doom for lawns, shrubs, plants and gardens,” Larsen said.

Three of the most common solutions for drainage problems are catch basins, pop-up emitters and French drains.

Catch basins trap sediment and contaminants beneath downspouts for drainage to safer locations. Pop-up emitters are connected to underground drainage pipes and channeled away from structures. The pop-up tops allow water to drain when full but remain closed when empty to keep out rodents and debris. French drains are gravel-filled trenches that direct storm water away from specific areas. They collect water over their entire length, rather than from one particular spot.

With water drainage problems, though, come opportunities, said Monica Day, a water resources educator with Michigan State University Extension.

“Be creative,” Day said. “There are positive ways of dealing with too much water. Keep it in the soil but where it’s not damaging anything. Let (ornamental) plants grow there to filter out the water and retain it.

“That provides beautification as well as practicality,” she said.

Winter Workplace Blues Hit These Cities Most

Survey:

Winter’s getting a frigid reception at many workplaces around the country. According to research from staffing firm Accountemps, 38% of professionals said winter weather has a negative impact on their mood at work. About one-quarter (26%) cited January as the least happy month.

Which Cities Love or Hate Their Winter?

Employees in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland felt bluest in the wintertime. In contrast, professionals in milder climates such as Phoenix, Miami and San Diegosaid winter weather has a positive effect on their state of mind at work. Interestingly, nearly one in three employees (29%) in New York are in high spirits despite low temperatures and carry this enthusiasm to their jobs.

View an infographic of the top five cities where winter weather negatively and positively impacts workers’ moods: https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/job-market/which-cities-love-or-hate-their-winter.

Cities Where Workers Give Winter a
Thumbs Down
 

Cities Where Workers Give Winter a
Thumbs Up 

1

Pittsburgh

1

Phoenix

2

Detroit

2

Miami (tie)

3

Cleveland

2

San Diego (tie)

4

Chicago

4

Austin

5

Boston

5

Dallas (tie)

6

Indianapolis

5

Los Angeles (tie)

7

Minneapolis

5

Houston (tie)

“Winter doldrums are a reality at work in some cities, often due to colder weather, fewer hours of daylight and holiday festivities ending,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Employers can do their part to lift morale by fostering a collaborative, engaging and supportive office culture year-round.”

Accountemps shares five tips to help employees beat the winter blues and boost their mood and productivity at work.

  1. Stay active. Take a brisk walk outside (weather permitting) or hit the gym during lunch to clear your mind and get energized to tackle your next project.
  2. Nourish yourself. When you’re hungry, snack on fresh fruit or nuts. They’re much better for your body and focus than sugary or greasy selections from the vending machine.
  3. Make time for small talk. Sometimes the best ideas come from casual conversations. In between tasks, grab coffee or lunch with a colleague.
  4. Set goals for the year ahead. Now is the time to think about your career objectives and what you would like to accomplish in the coming year. Write them down and have a discussion with your manager about your goals.
  5. Pursue professional development. Explore the idea of attending seminars and workshops to gain new skills, build your network and increase your marketability.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,700 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

About Accountemps
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company’s blog, can be found at roberthalf.com/accountemps.

 

SOURCE Accountemps

Some Canadian companies start new year with gains from U.S. tax cuts: analysts

Some Canadian companies start new year with gains from U.S. tax cuts: analysts

By Ross Marowits

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL _ Some Canadian companies that earn a high share of their revenues in the United States stand to save big from a large reduction in the corporate tax rate, say industry experts.

New Flyer (TSX:NFI) and Boyd Group Income Fund (TSX:BYD.UN), which earn more than 80 per cent of their sales south of the border, will be among those that are most impacted, an AltaCorp Capital report said Tuesday.

Analyst Chris Murray said that among engineering and construction firms, Stantec (TSX:STN) and WSP Global (TSX:WSP) will be “favourably impacted” from the tax changes and planned American infrastructure spending.

“We would expect that the introduction of new tax rules could serve as a catalyst for accelerated acquisition activity as a number of sellers see a window in which to divest their business to take advantage of the changes, benefiting the growth via acquisition strategies,” he wrote in a report.

Tax changes approved by the Republican-led Congress and signed by President Donald Trump before Christmas cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 per cent effective Monday, from 35 per cent.

Molson Coors, headquartered in Denver and Montreal, declined to provide details about how the tax changes will affect the brewery ahead of its quarterly results Feb. 14. However, 70 per cent of the beverage company’s revenues come from south of the border, said spokesman Colin Wheeler.

Brittany Weissman of Edward Jones expects Molson Coors will gain despite losing some of the cash tax benefit it has had from its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Miller Coors.

“Directionally it should be a net net benefit … but how much it is too soon to say,” she said in an interview.

Weissman also believes dairy processor Saputo Inc. (TSX:SAP) stands to gain because almost half of its business is located in the United States.

However, she said Montreal-based clothing manufacturer Gildan (TSX:GIL) is already subject to a very low tax rate because it is domiciled in Barbados.

Several Canadian firms, including Quebec-headquartered Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX) and Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR), said they are studying the tax changes.

“We are assessing the impact of the bill and its potential impact to the company in both the near-term and long-term,” Valeant spokeswoman Lainie Keller wrote in an email.

In a report before the tax changes were approved, RBC Capital Markets said large tax reductions could lead to a significant shift in winners and losers.

“We think it could have a profound and positive impact on TSX performance, given its cyclical tilt,” Matthew Barasch wrote Sept. 26.

However, he warned that clouding the outlook is the fact that most Canadian and U.S. companies operating south of the border actually pay a lower effective tax rate than statutory corporate tax rate.

“While a comparison of statutory tax rates (inclusive of all state and local taxes) suggests that U.S. rates are far higher than most other countries, a comparison of effective tax rates suggests something different.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers says the implications of the tax law on Canadian-owned businesses can be significant.

“The various provisions may be beneficial or detrimental. Thus, it is important to give careful consideration to the specific implications for your operations so that value is preserved when possible,” it wrote to clients after the bill was passed.

Barasch said some Canadian sectors such as oil and gas producers, telecommunications, grocers and Canadian retailers like Dollarama won’t be impacted, while some Canadian banks and insurance companies will get some earnings growth.

Most real estate companies would not be directly impacted because of their REIT structures, but non REITs such as FirstService Corp. and Colliers International Group Inc. (TSX:CIGI), with large U.S. footprints stand to benefit materially.

He said it’s difficult to quantify the impact for convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX:ATD.B), even though it gets nearly 70 per cent of its revenues from the U.S.

What can $300K buy? A share in Buffett’s conglomerate

OMAHA, Neb. _ Shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate have topped $300,000 for the first time.

Berkshire’s Class A stock hit $300,100 Monday morning before retreating to slightly below the milestone. The stock closed at $299,360, up $3,080.

Buffett has never split Berkshire’s A shares, which first topped $1,000 in 1983. He did, however, create more affordable Class B shares in 1996 that reached $200 a share at Monday’s peak.

As a result, Berkshire’s Class A shares have long been the most expensive U.S. stock.

When Buffett’s investment partnership began buying Berkshire stock in 1962, the New England textile company’s shares sold for $7 and $8 apiece.

Buffett used revenue from the textile company to buy other companies such as National Indemnity insurance and See’s Candy. Berkshire Hathaway today owns more than 90 companies and holds major stock investments.

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Irish Examinar

Young adults’ willingness to share personal information with others online could be putting them at greater risk of fraud, a report warns.

While older people are often seen as less tech-savvy, potentially putting them at greater risk of fraud, UK bank NatWest found that less cautious behaviour among those aged 18 to 24 years old in particular could be making them vulnerable.

NatWest, which commissioned think tank Policy Network to look into financial fraud trends, found more than 80% of young adults in this age group are willing to share their email address online with their friends, and as many as 29% are willing to share their mother’s maiden name – a commonly used security question.

This contrasts with just 60% of over-55s willing to share their email address, and only 12% willing to share their mother’s maiden name.

The report was launched at a fraud summit being held by NatWest.

David Lowe, NatWest’s head of fraud prevention, said traditionally the view has been that older people are most at risk of financial fraud.

He said: “Whilst fraud is still prevalent in this age category, we are seeing an increasing trend in younger ’digital natives’ falling victim to online fraud.”

Matthew Laza, director at Policy Network, said: “We need to ensure that today’s school children don’t become another ’generation scammed’.

“As more and more of life moves online this is a real danger for the future.”

Research for this report involved a review of available data on fraud and scams, analysis of YouGov survey data, and interviews with fraud experts.

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

 

“We aim to protect the individual Arsenal fan experience when they want to go to a game, whether they’re travelling from Islington or India, Sydney or San Francisco.

Read more
Page 1 of 1512345...10...Last »

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest