Why Everyone Wants to Move to Texas

Texas is experiencing a huge number of new residents. It’s not because everyone suddenly fell in love with ten-gallon hats. This is the state of opportunity. Let’s take a look at five big reasons why everyone is now moving to the biggest state in the US.

  1. An Enormous Economy

Texas has the second biggest economy of all the states, lagging only behind California. If Texas was a country, it would have an economy the same size as Canada. And it’s not just because of oil, which we’ll talk about later. The economy means opportunity in a number of sectors because businesses are flocking here.

  1. One of the Big Sustainable Oil Fields

Texas has made a big contribution to driving the US to the top. The US now has more oil than Iran and Russia, and Texas is one of the biggest contributors to this. Helping it along is fracking. This new method of extracting natural resources, from areas like the Eagle Rock Formation, has allowed Texas to drive production and maintain those levels of production.

Again, this makes it wealthy and it means there’s a big demand for engineers, executives, marketing experts, and more.

  1. Real Estate Prices

Believe it or not, real estate isn’t as expensive as you might think. There’s a lot of available space. Real estate can be expensive in the heart of Dallas and Houston, naturally, but if you move outside of these major hubs of Texas you can pick up some real bargains. Areas like Dripping Springs are being snapped up fast.

But this is only going to last so long. It’s why Texas is seeing a huge spike in immigrants right now.

  1. Low Unemployment

We’ve already talked a lot about how rich Texas is. The Lone Star State can also thank its low unemployment rate for this. Texas has an unemployment rate that’s lower than the rest of the US, Canada, Australia, and the entire Eurozone. And it’s not just the unemployment rate that’s impressive, it’s the fact that it just keeps dropping.

One of the most prominent reasons for people moving to Texas is work.

  1. No Income Taxes

Nobody likes handing their hard-earned money over to Uncle Sam. Residents coming from places like California and New York are used to high-income taxes as a fact of life. Texas is a culture shock because it’s one of only seven states that has no income taxes at all. You’ll pay precisely zero.

And taxes are low across the board. Taxes on gas, for example, are low, so it’s easy to get around without paying a lot of money.

Final Thoughts – Texas is the Way

If prosperity and chasing the American Dream is your goal, then give Texas a chance. It’s one of the most prosperous nations, like California, but without the high cost of living, as in the case of California. Texans say that’s why the Lone Star State is the greatest of all states.

Take a look at Texas and see if you agree!

Know the Difference Between Oil-Based and Water-Based Roof Paint

roof paint

Some people are faced with a tough decision when putting roof paint—should they use oil-based or water-based paint?

Each type of paint has its own characteristics and functionality. Let us examine what each one does to help in our choices.

Oil-Based Paint

Oil-based paints or oil paints have alkyd or petroleum base as part of their components. Generally, oil paints take longer to dry than water-based paints or water paints. They also require turpentine or mineral spirits to clean the brushes or paint.

An easy way to detect an oil paint is the odor it emits. Unlike water paint, oil paint gives strong odor and fumes. A good ventilation is in fact recommended when working in an enclosed space using oil paint.

Oil paints are durable, making them ideal for painting objects that require more durable finish such as cabinets and furniture.

Since oil paints dry much slower than water paints, you have to allocate more time in your painting session to ensure each section or portion dries properly. This means no painting work when the weather is not cooperating or when rain is imminent.

Water-Based Paint

Identifying a water paint is relatively easy. The can or container should usually state that the paint is water based. Some water paints are called latex or acrylic. In the absence of any mark, just look at the instructions on the label on how to clean the roller or brush. If they say you can clean them with water and soap, then the paint is water based.

Compared to oil paints, water paint dries much faster and emits less odor and fumes. People prefer water paints for their very minimal odor when doing painting jobs in rooms, attics or other contained spaces.

Water paint is more eco-friendly than oil paint. With more people using water paints because of advances in technology that improve their quality, we will be relying less on oil-based materials and paints.

For those who need to work slowly while using water paints, additives are available that can be mixed with water paints to make them dry slower. Painting becomes easier with the use of these additives, which may be latex extender, floetrol or even ordinary water.

So when do we use water paint instead of oil paint? A good rule of thumb would be to use water paint unless a special reason or circumstance exists to warrant the use of an oil paint.

Roofing Trivia: Fun and Little-Known Facts About Roofs

roofing trivia

We have some roofing trivia for you. Hera are some fun and oftentimes unknown facts about our beloved roof:

  1. Clay Roof. Some clay roofs are said to have lasted for more than 1,000 years. That is a lot of years.
  2. Green Metal Roofs. Metal roofs can also be eco-friendly. Their durability significantly reduces the need for replacement, therefore saving on materials. Metals are also recyclable, which makes them perfect for recycling enthusiasts, and are energy efficient as well.
  3. Concrete Shakes. You can buy concrete roof tiles that look like wood shakes. They do not pose a fire hazard because they have no wood contents.
  4. Heating Water. You can use metal roofs to heat your water for taking a bath in a tub or the swimming pool.
  5. Metal Roof and Lightning. Some people believe metal roofs are more susceptible to lightning strike. That is not correct. The fact is lightning is equally drawn to other materials and not only metals, although the latter is an excellent conductor. Lightning actually tends to hit the highest point in an area.
  6. Roof as Food Source. Roofs can do more than protect your home from the weather. You can convert your roof into a green roof and sprinkle it with different plants and vegetables. They cool your house and at the same time supply you with cheap and fresh source of vegetables.
  7. Babylon Gardens. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon—one of the Seven Wonders of the World—is the first recorded rooftop garden.
  8. Wood Shakes Insurance. Insurance companies normally charge more premiums in covering houses with wood shake roof because of potential fire hazard.
  9. Clay Tiles. People began using clay tiles for their roofs in 2800 BC – around the same time the Pyramids of Egypt began construction. Back then people were using packed sod and straw to keep rain out.
  10. Roof Warranty. A 30-year warranty given for an asphalt shingle does not necessarily mean that the roof will last for that long.
  11. Thatch Roofs. Thatch roofs were developed around 735 BC. King John of England decreed in the 12th century that thatch roofs are to be replaced by clay tiles to avoid fire. Unfortunately, it did not prevent the Great London Fire in 1666 because the houses were made of wood and pitch.
  12. Asphalt Shingles. Asphalt roofing material was developed sometime in the 1800s. We still use it today in our asphalt shingle roofs.
  13. New Roof Over Old. There are times when you can install new roof materials over your old roof without removing the existing roof material. But if you want to use tiles as a new roof over the old shingles, you need to reinforce your roof to support the heavier roofing material.

Importance of Proper Roof Ventilation

roof ventilation

One of the most neglected parts of a house is the roof. Perhaps the reason is that unlike other areas of our home, we do not often see the roof in our daily routine. Yet, undertaking a roof repair or replacement requires substantial budget on our part, which is why taking care of our roof should never be neglected.

The most common reason for roof replacement is damage caused by moisture and its other unwanted effects on the roof. Maintaining proper roof ventilation is, therefore, crucial in the longevity of your roof regardless of the material used.

Unfortunately, many homeowners are not aware of the importance of roof ventilation. Problems occur because of this ignorance that eventually cost them a lot of money in hiring roofing contractors to repair their roofs. An informed homeowner ensures a comfortable home that has all the ventilation areas covered.

Ventilation Extends Roof Life

Roofs last longer when there is proper ventilation. The importance of ventilation remains the same whether you are ventilating your roof for hot or cold climate. In cold places, proper ventilation avoids a variety of problems, including preventing the formation of ice dam, which occur when ice on the roof melts and refreezes at the edge. Ice dams trap the flow of water downwards and also freeze shingles.

In hot climates, ventilation cools your house by releasing heat in the attic and lessening the load of your air-conditioning system. This lengthens the life of your cooling system and saves you money on energy bills.

Ventilation Eliminates Moisture

An important function of ventilation is the release of moisture that could have collected in the attic or under the roof without proper ventilation. Trapped moisture has unwanted consequences and could lead to serious problems later. A good ventilation presents many benefits – metals subjected to extreme moisture will corrode over time and weaken, necessitating replacement; the roof deck could rot and deteriorate faster because of moisture; and greater chances of fungi and mold infestation when there is lack of proper ventilation.

Remember that a good roof does not only mean properly-laid shingles or tiles, it also requires proper ventilation for the total protection of the roof.

Degrees of Ventilation

The degree of ventilation varies with each roof. Some roofs have complete ventilation while others have limited ventilation only. Those areas of the roof that have limited or no ventilation will suffer from the issues we mentioned above. Homeowners must therefore strive for a complete ventilation in all key areas of the roof to avoid experiencing problems normally associated with improper ventilation.

EternaTile: Durable Tiles with Replaceable Solar Module

eternatile

The rising number of people opting for green and cool roofs helped boost the popularity of solar power as an additional source of energy for residential and commercial buildings. Tapping the energy of the sun is possible through the use of solar panels commonly installed on roofs.

Finding a durable roofing material with integrated solar panels is not easy. Today we look at a versatile roof tile with integrated but replaceable solar panels—the EternaTile. The manufacturer aims to produce a durable roofing material with the functionality of solar panels for maximum benefits of an integrated roofing system.

The EternaTile

The EternaTile has a 50-mil proprietary cement-infused Geopolymer that is bonded to a foam for long-lasting finish. The tiles can be used on any roof with a slope of at least 3:12. The installation does not require approval from an engineer because the tiles are lightweight.

Durable and Long-Lasting

The product is one of the lightest, toughest and long-lasting roof systems in the market. It is designed to resist strong winds with speed that is greater than 250 mph. The tile does not crack, peel or chip even under extreme weather conditions. Non-edged objects categorized as “class-3” projectiles cannot damage the strong material. This quality makes the product an ideal roofing material for high-risk places or uninsurable areas.

The core consists of 3-lb to 4-lb polyurethane closed cell foam with thickness of 2.5 inches. The top layer is ultra violet (UV) resistant so it does not get hot. It also has the lowest thermal transfer for any sloped roofing system.

Low-Maintenance

Maintenance is not a problem with the EternaTile because it is mold-resistant and needs only light water pressure to clean the solar panels and restore their pristine appearance. Unlike ordinary but expensive tile, shake or slate that is easily damaged when trampled on, EternaTile is strong enough to be walked on.

Replaceable Solar Module

Most solar panels are installed on top of the roof, which is not the case for EternaTile. The solar module in EternaTile is built subordinate to the roof itself, which eliminates the need to remove the solar panels whenever a re-roofing or repair is required. An attractive feature of the product is the replaceable solar module design for easy and convenient replacement of damaged parts.

The top layer is projected to have a lifespan of more than 50 years. Confident on the product’s durability, its manufacturer sells the product with a lifetime warranty.

The outstanding qualities of EternaTile make it a smart choice for people looking for durable roofing materials with integrated solar panel module for extra energy-savings features.

A Look at DataForma Software for Roofing Companies

dataforma roofing companies

Managing a roofing companies can be a big challenge. Similar to operating other ventures, you have to handle a variety of things to properly manage the business from marketing and giving proposals to clients to managing your supply chain and production teams.

Fortunately, an application for roofing business exists to make thing easier. Dataforma project management software is designed to streamline tasks, including monitoring proposals and documenting internal reports and invoices. The web-based roof management app optimizes roofing business operations with its power-packed features.

Among the things that Dataforma could help management are:

  • Effectively manage crews and projects
  • Improve the deployment and schedule of stocks
  • Increase assets and business opportunities
  • Faster and more accurate response to bid request
  • Enhance communication with clients and marketing

The Core System

The Dataforma system consists of the main web application, and a database where data is stored to manage the business. The core system can be accessed by company personnel such as the sales department, service department, office support staff and top executive management.

Customer Access

Data can be shared by the management with clients and consultants through a company website including project history, work order information, invoices, photos, documents and building information.

Mobile Application

Data access is further enhanced through the use of a mobile device such smartphones and tablets. The mobile applications for iOS and Android devices empower businesses to connect to the project management platform and database of clients on the field. Contractors can easily communicate with their field personnel and supply them with information to better serve their clients. Team members on jobsites can access vital information and update project reports even before leaving the sites.

Data Security

Data security is assured through built-in mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access. Access is allowed only through a secure 128-bit encrypted website that meets industry standards used by banks and investment firms. Servers are located in fortified buildings while data is backed up every hour, saved to tape and monitored 24 hours a day.

Potential Benefits

Based on its useful features, Dataforma has the potential to deliver the following benefits to a roofing contractor:

  • Maintaining customer loyalty, increasing the number of customers and attracting new customers through prompt response to their increasing demands.
  • Security of information since all data are owned by the contractor with access controlled by a portal administrator of the company.
  • Interactive relations with customers who can report service needs through the web portal and receive updates on work status.
  • Promotion of a company brand since the access portal is customized with the contractor’s unique business logo.

Top Plant Choices for Your Living Roofing Lancaster, PA

green roof

Green roofs are hostile sites for plants because of elevated temperatures and high exposure to wind and light. Selecting the right varieties of plants requires careful consideration of different factors such as location, substrate used, level of maintenance and local climate.

We listed below the top plant choices suitable for a living or green roofing Lancaster, PA, these are:

Succulents. These colorful plants are commonly found on shallow green roofs in North America and Europe. People prefer to use succulents because of their low growing and spreading habits, tolerance for lack of water, colorful seasonal flowers and textures.

Grasses. Most grasses will not survive on rooftop gardens, unless they regularly receive plenty of water during summer. There are same grasses though that are able to withstand extreme conditions during the hot months. Grasses are ideal for covering wide territory and present beautiful contrast to succulents.

Herbaceous Perennials. These are non-woody plants with persistent roots and stems below the ground, which allow the plants to thrive and regrow for several years. The flowering perennials are used for display. They are paired with ornamental grasses to create striking contrasts both in form and texture. It only requires periodic pruning for them to maintain their shape.

Annual and Biennial Plants. Two groups of annual and biennial plants are used for living roofs—the quick growing annuals and ephemerals and the vegetables. The first group, especially those that come from dry climates, are superb supplements to other flowering plants. However, they require constant irrigation to extend their survival. The second group of annual plants are similarly widely used on living roofs. To prevent these annual plants from becoming weeds on the roof, careful selection of the plants and regular maintenance are advised.

Aromatic Herbs. Many varieties of culinary herbs can grow in dry, rocky places and are suited for planting on living roofs. Some have wide-spreading and low-growing covers, which make them ideal for living roofs.

Small Shrubs. These are ideal for use on the substrate with at least 250 mm depths. Shrubs often form the bulk of plantings on living roofs with deeper substrates. The create display, cover and habitat.

Trees. Trees can be planted on living roofs with substrate depths of at least 600 mm, although a depth of 1,000 mm is ideal. The best types of trees to plant on green roofs are those with high tolerance to heat, flexible stems and sparse canopies.

Product Review: Sungrabber Kit for Miami Roofing

miami roofing sunsolar

The high cost of electricity pushed homeowners to devise new ways to lower their power bills. Different solutions to lower energy consumption include the installation of cool roofs (lowering the temperature of the structure and therefore requiring less energy to combat the heat) and solar panels (to collect heat from the sun, which are used as heater for devices within the house or energy to power them).

The rise in the popularity of solar power can be attributed to people’s efforts to make their houses more energy-efficient. For people living in places with plenty of sunshine throughout the year like Florida, the installation of solar panels on the Miami roofing or the ground is a wise investment.

The Sungrabber Solar Panel Kit

We take a look at one such product in the solar panel category that offers to heat up your pool using the free and clean energy from the sun. This is the Sunsolar Energy Technologies’ Roof Mountable Solar Panel Kit, simply called the Sungrabber.

The Sungrabber is a solar panel system that is attached to the roof of your house. Its primary purpose is to heat up your pool by tapping sunlight to generate heat. According to the manufacturer, the product will easily heat your pool through the free and reliable heat from the sun. A solar system of the proper size can generate all the heat to warm up your pool. The immediate benefit from using the Sungrabber is reducing the use of electricity to totally eliminate if not minimize your water-heating bill.

The panels consist of 1-1/2ʺ headers optimally designed to maximize solar efficiency and therefore present the best circulation of pool water through the solar panels. To increase the heating capacity of Sungrabber, additional panels may be added. Sungrabber circulates the water from the pool through the solar panels. The system utilizes solar energy to warm the water before it returns to the pool.

Mixed Customers’ Review

Customers’ satisfaction from the product is mixed. One buyer extols the product for heating up his spa at 100°F despite having a 60° F temperature. Others, however, complained that the solar panel package does not contain all the parts needed to install the system. You have to buy additional items from the store to use the product. Most complaints are centered on the stock hoses that connect to the panels. They apparently do not connect properly and could not withstand water pressure resulting to unwanted leaks.

Roof Repair Houston Accidents and First Aid Tips

roofing accidents

Accidents happen at work. They are sometimes unavoidable even if you observe utmost safety precautions. Roofing, in particular, is a hazardous job that exposes individuals to different risks, including falls, cuts, heat stroke and exhaustion. If injuries do occur, call medical assistance immediately and help the victim by applying first aid while waiting for help to arrive.

Below are the common injuries sustained from roof repair Houston accidents, and the steps that you can do while medical help is on the way.

1. Broken Bones

If the skin breaks and the bone protrudes, immediately stop the bleeding by applying pressure and control the swelling by applying ice packs. Look for any available strong and straight objects nearby and affix to the affected part to keep the limb immobile. Do not touch the bone pushing through the skin or attempt to set it back in place.

2. Minor Cuts

Clean the wound with water and soap to disinfect it and apply pressure with clean cloth or gauze. If no materials are available that could be used as dressing, thoroughly wash your hands and apply pressure to the wound using your fingers. Do not remove a blood-soaked bandage, simply apply a fresh one on top. For severe bleeding, raise the affected part above the heart level.

3. Head Injury

Make the victim lie down and ensure that breathing is not blocked. Place pillows or soft cloth under the head and shoulders and turn the head to one side. This will prevent accidental chocking while the victim awaits medical attention.

4. Heat Stroke

This condition is categorized as a medical emergency. Remove the victim from direct sunlight and into the shade. Putting the victim in an air-conditioned room is preferred. Apply ice or cold wet cloth on the armpits and neck area to cool the body. Never give water to a vomiting or non-alert individual.

5. Heat Exhaustion

Promptly get the victim out of heat and into a cool or air-conditioned room. Apply the cool compress, give the person a cold shower, spray water to cool the body temperature and give a cool sponge bath. If the victim is alert, give non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drink to rehydrate.

6. Puncture Wounds

Remove the object that caused the wound, if it is small and could be easily removed. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with clean cloth or gauze. Clean the wound with water and soap then apply antibiotic cream. Wrap the wound with sterile bandage or cloth to prevent dirt from getting in.

Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels on Chicago Roofing

chicago roofing solar panels

The increasing popularity of solar power is shown by the number of households and businesses installing solar energy systems on their houses and buildings. If you are one of those thinking about using this clean energy source, below are some of the pros and cons of installing solar panels on your Chicago roofing.

Advantages

1. Environmentally Friendly

Using solar energy does not contribute to air and noise pollution. It has no moving parts and does not emit noise. It also decreases our need for non-renewable sources of energy. While emissions are noted from the manufacture of a solar power system, they are negligible compared to those produced by conventional power sources.

2. Abundant Source of Power

Solar energy is everywhere on our planet. The earth’s surface is bombarded with solar radiation that is more than enough power to supply our entire world. It is available throughout the world and not only to countries located near the equator.

3. Sustainable

Sustainable means that we cannot over-consume the power source in our generation as to affect the needs of future generations. Solar energy is not only abundant but renewable and sustainable too.

4. Renewable Energy

Solar power is derived from the sun, which is expected to be around for billions of years. Solar energy is, therefore, a renewable source of power because its source will never run out. Non-renewable energy sources include coal and fossil fuels.

5. Reduces Electricity Cost

Installing solar panels can save you money from electric bills. Homeowners experience sharp reduction of their monthly power bills when using solar energy. Depending on the location of your home, your savings could reach up to hundreds of dollars per month.

Disadvantages

1. Expensive

Expense is a primary consideration of homeowners thinking about solar power. You have to buy upfront the solar panels and pay for their installation, which is not cheap. The higher your energy requirement, the more solar panels you will need.

2. Big Space Requirement

Power density refers to the amount of power that can be generated in a specific real estate of energy source. Low power density means the power source requires too much real estate to produce energy at reasonable price. Solar power has a higher power density than other renewable energy sources but has significantly less than gas and oil.

3. Expensive Energy Storage

Batteries present an ideal solution to the non-availability of the sun to power solar panels twenty-four hours a day. However, energy storage is relatively costly as well, which adds to your expense in using solar energy.

4. Intermittent

The source of solar energy is not available at all times. The sun cannot power the solar panels at night and provide limited energy during bad weather. There are places that have limited exposure to sunlight for several months in a year.