Perfect Way to Get Rid Of Smoke and Soot after Fire Damage

Fire Damaged HomeFire will always leave in its wake things like soot, smoke, ashes and charred items. You should never hesitate to get rid of these things towards timely home restoration once the fire is put out. If the soot or smoke is left to linger on for too long, it can penetrate into the walls of the home and the place will stink of soot for a very long time to come. The stink can also penetrate into other items in the home and it will be rather difficult to get rid of the stench from the home. So, you must get down to work as early as possible. So, how do you remove soot, smoke and ashes in the home and get the place resorted? Some of the important things to do will be looked into below.

Let professionals handle it

If the truth must be told, it is always better to hand over the fire damage cleanup to professionals in this aspect. They have been operating for several years and would have developed adequate experience over the years. They can bring their experience to bear on your needs and help to remove the smoke and soot within the shortest time period. They can also help in extinguishing the fire, no matter how extended. Just give them the job today and you will never regret it. They can help to save those items in the home that are yet to be touched by fire and get rid of the ashes in the most professional manner.

Get it done yourself

If you do not like handing things over to any professional but would rather get down to work by yourself, you can as well get down to work and get the home cleaned by yourself. How can you do this? After the fire had been put out, remove the charred woods and the ashes without delay. Timely action will help protect the other items in the home from getting burnt. All the items that might have been burnt or charred must be discarded to ensure the soot stench does not linger on in the home. Afterwards, wash the walls using special cleaning solution. There are some factory-made soot erasers that can help remove soot from items in the home, be it wood or concrete.

Many of the cleaning solutions can also be used on fiberglass and plastic materials. They do not only clean the home, they also help to deodorize it and refresh the odor in the home. However, not all the cleaning solutions have universal cleaning effect. This is why you must read the directions to know what material range a particular leaning solution can be used on.

Protect yourself

Make sure you put on protective clothing before you start with the fire damage cleanup. Put on a protective overall, a pair of gumboot, hand gloves, and protective eye glasses. A face mask will also prove to be a perfect addition as it will help to protect your respiratory system from taking in smoke, which may lead to unconsciousness.

Read on about flood and water damage cleanup..


Proper Care for Your Home after Water Damage

Water damaged room

Water damaged room

Water damage can occur every once in a while. The water damage may be due to flood and it can be caused when your drainage system gets compromised one way or the other. This means you may not entirely be able to prevent this situation no matter how very careful you are. When it happens, the next thing is to find a way to put things in order, ensure it does not happen again and take care of any damage it might have caused. With the right kind of information, you may also be able to limit the amount of damage caused by the water or flood. This write up will give you hints on how to control this situation when it occurs.

Get rid of the debris

In the course of the flood or water damage, water and debris will find their ways into the home. Once the flood is over or you have successfully blocked the source of the water damage, you should get rid of the water and the debris. Never hesitate in the last to get rid of it as the debris may lead to spread of all sorts of infections in the home. The debris may contain microorganisms that may infect foods and other things in the home, leading to an epidemic. The debris usually comes with mud and other thing. Make sure you get rid of the mud and the debris before they stain items in the home. Any home item that gets stained should be thoroughly cleaned.

Keep the home safe after water damage

Once you have cleaned off the water and the debris, it is time to keep the home safe and rid it of any health related problem resulting from the water damage. How do you do that? It is by getting the home disinfected. Pour some bleach into hot water and use the solution to clean the interior. Mop the floor using this solution and also clean the furniture with it. If any foam gets soaked, leave it to dry in the sun. The ultraviolet ray cushion the sun will easily penetrate the interior of the cushion and get any microorganism in them killed. The sun will also help to dry off any water that may be logged in the cushion.

Get things done on time

You must never waste time at all to put things under control after a flood. The water damage needs to be put in order to prevent rats and snakes from sharing your apartment with you without sharing in rent payment. Flood has a way of inviting these animals into the home and the only solution to this problem is the timely removal of debris, water and any other evidence of the water damage. The earlier you get this done the better for everyone. The mud that comes along with the flood water into your home contains considerable amount of toxins. If you leave the mud lying around in any corner of the home, it may cause one form of health problem or the other in the home. Make sure they are removed from every part of the home without any delay whatsoever.

continue reading about mold remediation..

Is it safer to remove asbestos from a building or leave it there

asbestos on panelAs a resident in a new home, there are several things that you need to make sure of as soon as possible. Is everything the way you expected it to be? Does the house have a spooky history?And should I remove the asbestos? You know, we’re talking about the usual stuff. But asbestos isn’t necessarily as bad as we make it out to be. Now don’t get me wrong, asbestos is dangerous under the wrong conditions. Although it’s also harmless under the right conditions. So, should you remove asbestos or not?

Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to find here. So we will be going down the list one by one. If you’re planning to make a lot of changes to your wall, then asbestos removal is usually the right choice (read asbestos removal reviews). Not only will it be much less of a pain to deal with, but it will also be a lot safer for the rest of your family in case something goes wrong. You can work around the asbestos if you can pinpoint the exact locations, but it tends to be tedious.

In general, you don’t have to remove asbestos at all unless you know you will have to work at that spot or the wall is damaged in any way. Asbestos is harmless as long as it’s hidden behind the wall. It harms the human body by getting caught in our airstream and being breathed in. This means that as soon as an opening is created, it becomes a threat that can hurt everyone in the vicinity.

Before you make a final decision, you need to learn the signs of asbestos and search the entire house for these signs. Indentation in the wall is the most reliable indication of asbestos. So keep a special eye out for indentation. If you can find a sign of asbestos and notice a leak at the same time, then asbestos removal becomes non-negotiable. That’s when you need to get rid of the spores.

But if you don’t notice any leaks throughout your house, then you don’t have anything to fear and can leave the asbestos where it is. There are plenty of upsides to leaving it in your wall, but just a single downside. While you might not have a leak at the moment, a small hole could turn up in your wall a few years down the road. And you could get exposed to asbestos for a while before you notice it. Avoiding carelessness is the best action you can take against this.

In the end, what you do with the asbestos in your wall is entirely dependent on you and your situation. Don’t remove asbestos if you’re not going to be remodeling a lot, there are no leaks to be found and you are fine with the risk of a hole opening up later on. Remove the asbestos if you are going to be heavily remodeling or if there are holes in your wall.

read on..

Applying to Western Michigan University

In 1903, Dwight B. Waldo founded Western Michigan University. The public university was known then as Western State Normal School, and in 1927, the school was renamed as the Western State Teachers College. It went through another name and status change in 1941, becoming the Western Michigan College of Education. It was not until February 26, 1957 that it became the state’s fourth public university. As expected and suggested by the change to university status, the academic institution is no longer just a teacher training school. It is now home to several other programs, including a thriving aviation program. Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation is among the nation’s largest aviation programs. The school is also home to the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Degrees offered

One of the best things about a university starting off as a school for teachers is that you should expect instruction to be given priority. High quality instruction this time is no longer just used for training would-be teachers. It is now used to train students under several other programs. As mentioned earlier, aviation and medieval studies are just two of the university’s better known programs. The university also offers engineering, visual arts, education, sciences, theater, languages, public administration and many other competent programs. You are bound to find a program that suits you. If you want to better appreciate what the university can offer, you may go for education, aviation, engineering, medieval studies, and the like.

Application requirements

– Filled out application form
– $35 application fee (with fee waiver for students with financial problems)
– Personal statement
– Letters of recommendation
– High school transcript
– SAT or ACT scores from testing center or with high school transcript

Application tips

Western Michigan University is not as selective as some top public schools. It accepts about 85% of applicants. Still, most of its admitted applicants have GPAs of 2.5 and over. Only about 2% have between 2.0 and 2.5. Those who managed to be accepted with GPAs below 2.5 but over 2.0 must have other qualifications that still manage to put them over the competition. The University also does not discriminate against applicants of a certain race or religion. However, it does prioritize students with advance placement (AP) classes, great GPA results, and above average standardized test results. It would also help if you have some volunteer work experience, actual work experience, and outstanding personal qualities or talents. With so many applying for freshmen admission, you need to be able to stand out.

Admission facts

Admissions data as of 2008:

Percent of Applicants Admitted: 85%
Test Scores — 25th/75th Percentile
ACT Composite: 20/25
ACT English: 19/25
ACT Math: 19/25

The above are just averages. Students with lower and higher scores have been considered for admission as well. However, other qualifications are referred to in order to finalize the decision.

Contact info

Office of Admissions
1903 W. Michigan Avenue
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5211 USA


(269) 387-2000


(269) 387-2096


San Diego State University Application Guide

San Diego State University is a public institution. Located in a suburban area, it is one of biggest campuses in California and one of the largest universities in the state. It is also one of the more popular state universities, with a good number of students enrolled in its undergraduate degrees. The university uses a semester-based academic calendar. Among the pioneering efforts of the university, which was founded in 1897, is the first women’s studies program in the US in 1970 and also the first MBA in Global Entrepreneurship program in the country. Its Master’s in Public Health program is ranked number 2 by physician executives.

Degree offered

The university is divided into several colleges:

* College of Arts & Letters
* College of Business Administration
* College of Education
* College of Engineering
* College of Health & Human Services (and Graduate School of Public Health)
* College of Sciences
* College of Professional Studies & Fine Arts
* College of Extended Studies (and American Language Institute)

Of the majors offered in SDSU, the most popular in terms of student enrollment are:

* Business, management, marketing, and related support services
* Social sciences
* Psychology
* English language and literature
* Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies

Application requirements

Here are the requirements to be submitted by prospective students who want to enter SDSU as incoming freshmen:

* Accomplished application form, which can be either submitted to the university’s admission office (the form should be requested from the office) or done online through the application website for California State Universities,
* Results of standardized tests (SAT/ACT):
* TOEFL/IELTS – for students whose first language is not English, results should be sent directly to the university’s admission office
* High school transcript, which the school should directly send to SDSU

Admission tips

Applicants are required to pay the university $55 as application fee. This fee can be waived though, should a student opt to apply for a waiver.

The most important considerations for this university in accepting a student are the accomplished application form, the standardized test scores such as ACT or SAT, and the applicant’s GPA. As with all California state universities, the consideration for the applicant’s GPA depends on a formula available in CSUMentor’s GPA Calculator. The major that the student is applying for is also considered, such that an applicant applying for entrance in a science program should have high averages in his or her high school science subjects. The criteria are explained in detail in the university’s admission website.

Admission facts

According to the 2010 data gathered by Forbes magazine and Us News and World Report in their annual college ranking:

* Of the applicants for admission in 2010, only 44.0% were admitted, a substantial increase from 2009 acceptance figures. 27 percent of those accepted eventually enrolled in SDSU.
* 15% of accepted applicants submitted their ACT score, while 85% of accepted applicants opted to submit their SAT I scores:
SAT Scores:
* Composite Range: 940-1160
* Verbal: 482
* Math: 500
* 50th percentile for the SAT scores: 890 – 1080
* 50th percentile for the SAT – Math scores: 450 – 550
* 50th percentile for the SAT – Verbal scores: 430 – 540
ACT Scores:
* Composite Range: 20-25
* English: 20
* Math: 22
* Composite: 21
* 50th percentile for the ACT scores: 18 – 24
* 50th percentile for the ACT – English scores: 17 – 24
* 50th percentile for the ACT – Math scores: 18 – 25
* Average secondary school GPA for current freshman class: 3.0

Contact info

A number of avenues are ready for applicants and prospective students of the San Diego State University where they can readily get more information about application, admission, and general college life once they get in. Here are some of the ways to know more about the university:

Address: San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7455
Phone number: (619) 594-6336
Admissions E-mail:
Web site:

Admissions Guide to St. Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a Catholic university divided into two major academic units: the College, which offers the Bachelor of Arts degree and the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs, which offer the Bachelor of Science degrees, certificates, master degrees, education specialist degrees, and two doctoral degrees. The Bachelor of Arts degrees are based on a liberal arts curriculum, while the Bachelor of Science degrees are based on a career-oriented curriculum. The university not only offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the US, but also abroad – in Nairobi, Kenya and in Mandeville, Jamaica, with its Master of Education in Teaching and Learning program. SMU currently has more or less 5,000 students enrolled in its different undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Its locations are in Wisconsin, Nairobi and Jamaica, with its main campus in Winona, Minnesota.

Degrees offered

The university offers different degrees in the following disciplines:

Biological sciences, biochemistry, biophysics, environmental biology
Accounting, business, entrepreneurial studies, human resources management, international business, management, marketing, and related support services, sales, distribution, and marketing operations
Advertising, applied communication, journalism, public relations, publishing
Computer science, information science, information technology services administration and management
Biology teacher education, chemistry teacher education, elementary education and teaching, French language teacher education, language arts teacher education, mathematics teacher education, music teacher education, physics teacher education, social science teacher education, Spanish language teacher education
Computer engineering, engineering physics, industrial technology
French language and literature, Spanish language and literature
Cytogenetics/genetics/clinical genetics technology, cytotechnology, health sciences, medical technology, nuclear medical technology, nursing, physical therapy
International studies, mathematics and computer science
Corrections, law enforcement administration, securities services administration
Political science and government, social sciences, sociology
Religious education religious music, theology, youth ministry
Dramatic arts, fine/studio arts, graphic design, music, music management and merchandising

Application requirements

Fist-time applicants who want to enroll as incoming freshmen are required to submit the following to the University’s Office of Admission:

* Accomplished SMU online application (form can be printed from the university’s website)
* Accomplished Common App online application (form can be printed from the university’s website)
* Universal College online application
* $25.00 non-refundable application fee, if using the SMU printed application
* Official transcript of applicant’s high school grades, sent directly from applicant’s high school
* A score report from one of the following tests, sent directly from the testing agency:
* American College Test (ACT) – SMU code: 2148
* Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) – SMU code: 6632
* A 250-word application essay
* Letter(s) of recommendation

Admission tips

The university follows a rolling application deadline. Here are the application requirements deemed as “VERY IMPORTANT” by the university’s admission office:
* Academic GPA
* Standardized test scores

Requirements or factors deemed as “IMPORTANT” by the university’s admission office:
* Character/personal qualities
* Class rank
* Interview
* Talent/ability

Requirements or factors CONSIDERED by the university’s admission office:
* Alumni/ae relation
* Application essay
* Extracurricular activities
* Level of applicant’s interest
* Recommendation
* Volunteer work

Admission facts

According to the data from the US News and World Report for its annual college survey, as well as the 2010 Forbes Magazine survey of American universities, here are the scores and figures that SMU considers in the applications it receives:

* Average secondary school GPA for current freshman class: 3.0
* 88% of accepted applicants submitted ACT score, while only 12% of accepted applicants submitted SAT I scores.
* SAT Composite Range: 890-1220
* ACT Composite Range: 20-26
Median ACT scores for particular subjects:
* English: 21
* Math: 21
* Composite: 22
* 50th percentile for the ACT scores: 18-24

Contact info

Address: St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987-1399
Phone number: (507) 457-1700
Admissions E-mail:
Web site:

More Scholarship Programs Available to Detroit Public School Students

Students at Detroit public schools now have another reason to not lose hope when looking for college funds. Two additionalscholarships programs are currently looking for applicants from Detroit public schools – the Detroit College Promise program and the Detroit Compact.

Scholarship details

The Detroit College Promise program is available to all students of Detroit public schools, whether or not they have high grades and GPAs. This is similar to a program offered in Kalamazoo. The College Promise Program is an effective marketing strategy for Detroit City. However, one possible problem is that not all students and parents are aware of this scholarship program. According to a group who talked to several Detroit public school students, none of them have ever heard of the Detroit College Promise program.

The Detroit Compact has been active for about twenty years now, and it aims to provide assistance to large neighborhood high schools. Unfortunately, not all students and parents are actually aware of this program. Ever since its inception, this program has helped thousands of students and according to program organizers, the graduation rate for students who have joined this program is higher. Requirements for this program include an ACT score that’s at least 21, a GPA of 3.0, and a 95% attendance.

Although these two programs offer a lot of promise to public school students at Detroit, more efforts are still needed to ensure the complete and continuing success of the Detroit College Promise program and the Detroit Compact.

Photo Credits: Toshiyuki IMAI

source: The Detroit News

Looking for Scholarships for Special Needs Students

In a world that is aiming to be increasingly politically correct, there are more avenues opened for different types of people. So whatever background, religious affiliation, ethnicity and nationality a person has, it will have an equivalent supporting scholarship. It is just fair to also have opportunities for people with special needs. After all, special needs students may need extra expenses during the course of their studies.

Types of special needs scholarships

There are several categories of special needs scholarships that they can almost compete with the number of general scholarships out there. The reason behind this is that special needs people are not one-dimensional students that can be labeled with what most perceive to be their disability. They can also be labeled by their chosen fields and their outstanding skills.

Disability scholarships

Disability scholarships refer to grants that are given based on a physical constraint, such as blindness or deafness. Blind or deaf students need special equipment.

Illness scholarships

Students with cancer, diabetes and other potentially debilitating or expensive to treat illnesses may also avail of scholarships.

Level of education

As with the rest of the other students, special needs students can apply for college, masters and professional degree scholarships.

Merit-based scholarships

Being special needs does not equate to not having any talent or degree of academic skill. Special needs students can apply for merit-based scholarships as well.

Photo Credits: Ed Yourdon

Source: Different Dream

MBA Placement Rates Increase

Despite a difficult year due to the recession, b-schools in general were able to make a turnaround in terms of placement rates. The market for MBA graduates has made a rebound from probably one of the most difficult MBA hiring seasons ever. Many of the top-ranked MBA programs (full time) have experienced an increase in job landing rates for their graduates, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Some of the schools that were able to make a slow recovery include Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, the Wharton School of (University of Pennsylvania), and the Booth School of Business (University of Chicago).

Effects of recession still linger

However, the effects of recession can still be seen in the dramatically altered MBA career landscape. These effects include fewer or lower signing bonuses for MBA graduates, not-so-good compensation packages compared to previous years, and internships that have resulted to fewer or even zero job offers. Because of these lingering effects, some business school administrators are advising their students to adjust job expectations based on the current trends.

Still, some MBA graduates have expressed their optimism and persistence in landing a job with good perks and compensation packages. According to Olin Business School’s Weston Career Center director and associate dean Mark Brostoff, the marketplace for MBA graduates has improved, but it still needs a lot of boost.

Photo Credits: OpenSourceway

source: BusinessWeek

Listing Extracurricular Activities in College Application Forms

College applicants, when filling up the Common Application form, may feel a bit queasy when they see the numerous white blanks set aside forExtracurricular Activities and Work Experience. What if an applicant hasn’t done so many extracurricular activities or doesn’t really have any work experience at all?

The truth behind extracurricular activities

According to Kenyon College Dean of Admissions Jennifer Delahunty, they do appreciate students with lots of extracurricular activities, but what makes them cringe is when they see items such as “personal reading” listed down. Delahunty is happy that a student loves to read, but items like these are just fillers.

The space provided for in the Common College Application form for Extracurricular Activities and Work Experience can reach a total of 12 blank spaces, but that doesn’t mean applicants are required to list down 12 activities. As a matter of fact, admissions officers are looking for more in-depth experiences. They prefer quality over quantity in terms of activities. After all, colleges and universities prefer well-rounded students who made distinct achievements in a specific field over students who have done plenty of little things.

For this year’s Common Application form, the sections for the extracurricular activities and work experience have been combined into a 12-line space. This was done so as to imply that there is no hierarchy between work experience and extracurricular activities.

Photo Credits: L.E. Macdonald

source: New York Times