Two Tips For Storing Your Boat This Winter

Riding in a boat is one of the most enjoyable ways of spending time on the open water, but there will come a time when every boat owner will need to place the boat into storage. Regardless of the reason you need to store your boat, placing it in storage is a more complex task than many people realize. If a boat is not properly prepared before being stored, it can result in major damage, but there are a couple of tips that can help you avoid common problems encountered while storing a boat. 

Prep The Engine For The Long Winter

Before you store the boat, the most important thing you can do is properly prep the engine. If the engine is stored with fluids and water in it, severe degradation can occur. As a result, the boat may not be functional when you take it out of storage without first undergoing expensive repairs. Fortunately, it is not particularly difficult to prepare a boat engine for storage. 

Firstly, you will need to remove any fluids from the engine. This includes both oil and lubricants because these substances can form clogs if left undisturbed for an extended period of time. Once you have removed any mechanical fluids from the engine, you will need to drain any water that has accumulated and allow it to thoroughly dry. When a boat is in the water, moisture can accumulate in compartments of the engine, but you can release this water by unlocking the drainage valve. 

Scrub The Hull Completely Clean

While the engine is one of the most expensive parts of a boat to have repaired, it is not the only portion that can encounter problems from improper storage. The hull of the boat can develop major problems if it is not thoroughly cleaned before storage. As time progress, algae, barnacles and other materials can start to weaken the hull of the boat. Eventually, this problem can lead to the development of a leak that will make the boat unsafe to operate. 

To prevent this type of damage, you should always thoroughly scrub the hull of the boat and wash it using a cleaner that is designed for and water on a boat’s hull. When scrubbing make sure to not leave any debris on the exterior of the boat, and allow it to dry in the warm sun before storing it. Drying the boat will help prevent algae and other growths from returning when the boat is in storage. 

Properly storing your boat at places like Home Port Self Storage is one of the most important parts of being a responsible boat owner, but many people that are new boat owners do not realize what this entails. By understanding the importance of preparing the engine and cleaning the hull of the boat, you can help ensure that it avoids some routine sources of damage. 

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Three Burning Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Storage Company

Just because you’re moving your things out of your home doesn’t mean they’re no longer important to you.  So, ask these questions to make sure you choose the best facility for your things.

Is Your Complex Secure?

Find out how the storage company intends to protect your things. Some storage companies offer a full range of security options. For example, you might need an access code to enter or leave the premises. Furthermore, your individual storage unit might be equipped with an alarm system. 

Other companies might give you a contract and wish you luck. Put companies that offer sound security practices on your short list. If you’re okay with simply placing a padlock on your unit, a contract might be all you need. But, if you want to make sure your things will be waiting for you when you visit, choose companies that offer security such as the following:

  • Lighted entrances
  • Security guards
  • Alarm systems
  • Coded entrances and exits

If the company is happy to share their safety record with you, you might be off to a good start.

Why Does The Contract Say Insurance is Mandatory?

Storage companies (such as Capitol City Mini Storage) are likely to remind you to get insurance for your things. This isn’t an admission that the storage unit is in an unsafe location. It just means they want you to take every precaution to protect your belongings.

Yes, storage companies usually have insurance to protect their buildings and assets, but if a natural disaster such as a fire or hurricane comes through and damages the stuff inside of your unit, you’re often your own.

Now, the storage company will likely offer you insurance for your things, but you’re not obligated to take this insurance. Check your homeowners’ or renters’ policy to see what coverage you have. If you need more coverage shop around and choose a policy that’ll give you peace of mind.

If you choose coverage with the storage company, check the maximum coverage limit. The rental or insurance policy will stipulate how much the insurer will cover. And, the storage company will likely ask you not to store valuables above this limit. You’ll need to sign an agreement that says your items are valued at or below this amount.

How Do You Keep Non-Paying Residents Out?

Talking about rats and rodents here. The last thing you need is to find that you’re paying to shelter Mrs. Rat and her family. So when you ask this question, look for the storage company representative to talk about the following topics:

  • Restrictions on food storage
  • Weatherproofing the facility
  • Shrubbery and vegetation maintenance

Discussion of these topics show that the storage company is consciously taking steps to keep out unwanted residents. Also, you might notice that there aren’t any dumpsters in sight. This is by design. Reputable storage facilities take sanitation seriously, so they encourage residents to dispose of their trash offsite.

You’ll likely have countless other questions, but answers to these questions will give you an idea if your things will be safe in their new home. Check out a reputable storage company today.

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Renting Out Your Vacation Property By Owner? Save Your Sanity With Sound Property Management

There are lots of potential benefits to owning and managing your own vacation rental property — positive cash flow, reduced cost of ownership and possible tax incentives, to name just a few. But maintaining the property can be tough, especially if you don’t live locally. By enlisting the help of nearby service providers, you can avoiding turning the reins over to a broker without sacrificing your personal life during the rental season.

1. Hire a Cleaner Who Also Inspects

Cleaning issues are a common guest complaint, and a guest who’s dissatisfied with cleaning is likely to look for other issues to report. Create a cleaning process that covers all the bases, and give the cleaner a checklist that makes him accountable for completing each task.

The cleaner should also do a cursory inspection after each clean to check for damage and burned-out light bulbs and to make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the HVAC system is working, the hot water is on, and TVs and Internet modems and routers are properly set.

2. Compile a List of Reputable Repair Technicians

You need a list of at least two or three repair technicians in each category, including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, locksmith and general maintenance. At least one individual in each category should handle after-hours emergencies.

3. Hire an Answering Service

Reduce the number of calls you receive by contracting with an answering service to field and screen guest calls. The service can handle the entire volume of calls, or serve as an after-hours emergency service.

You can give the service instructions they can relay to guests, such as check-in and check-out times and lost lockbox combinations. More importantly, you can define the situations that constitute an after-hours emergency, and instruct the service to put through to you only those calls that meet the definition. The service will email or fax you a report each morning that lists details of the previous night’s calls so that you can contact guests who reported non-emergencies.

4. Encourage Repeat Guests

Repeat guests are often more self-sufficient and understanding when things go wrong than are first-time guests who have had limited experience with you and are unfamiliar with your property. The proprietary feeling they have for your property may also encourage them to bring minor issues to your attention, even if they don’t request or require service.

The best reason to rent out your property is because you enjoy doing it. By reducing the time and energy that go into managing it, you can focus on the positive aspects while continuing to deliver excellent customer service that ensures positive experiences for each and every guest. For more help in knowing how a 24/7 answering service could help, contact a company with professional experience.

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What To Do If You Lock Your Keys In The Car

It was bound to happen sooner or later. You always took precaution to make sure that you checked and double-checked. This time however, you were distracted. The second you shut the door, you know it. You glance back inside. There they are. You have locked your keys inside. If you have this happen to you, here are some ways to get your keys back in your possession and you back on the road.

Call Authorities

If you happen to lock your keys inside when you are in an area that you do not know anyone or that you feel unsafe, your best best is to dial 911. A police officer will come to your rescue, and may be able to open your car door for you, as well. If not, they will be able to get a tow truck operator or a locksmith to your vehicle. They will also wait with you if you are uneasy about being alone.

Call Roadside Assistance

If you happen to belong to an auto membership program that offers roadside assistance, here is where your payments will finally pay off. If you have a newer vehicle, you should have a roadside assistance program for a limited time that came with the sale of your vehicle. The information most likely will be locked in with your keys, but you might see a phone number listed on one of your windows on a decal that is adhered before selling. It is a good idea to write this information down and keep it on your person in case this happens again.

Call A Tow Truck Or Locksmith

If you can’t get free help, you will need to make a call to a service. Most tow trucks offer lock out services. Auto locksmiths are another way to get your key out of your car, fairly quickly. These services usually run 24 hours a day for people who need emergency help. For more information about auto locksmith services, contact a company like Victory Auto Lock.

In The Future

To prepare yourself for lockouts in the future, make a spare of your key and place it in a magnetic box that you can place on the undercarriage of your vehicle. If you do not feel safe doing this (as some thieves will look for this sort of thing), make sure you always have a spare in your purse or your wallet. Give a key to a trusted friend that could bail you out in case of a lockout. 

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3 Fire Safety Items Every Home Should Have

Whether you rent or own your home, you are going to want to make sure that you are purchasing the best possible fire safety. This way, not only will you be able to be quickly alerted to the fire, but you will be able to safely escape it as well. To help make that a reality, you will want to consider purchasing the following safety items.

Smoke Detectors

It is important that you have a smoke detector on every level of your home. For additional safety, you are going to want one in every bedroom. For your convenience, there are different types of smoke detectors available for you to purchase. There are battery-operated ones that operate separate from each other. Then there are the smoke detectors that are tied in to your electrical system and feed off of each other. This means that if the smoke detector in the kitchen is going off, it will automatically trigger the other smoke detectors to go off before the smoke even reaches them.

Collapsible Ladders

If you have ever found yourself worried about getting safely out of a second- or third-story window in the event of a fire that you are unable to escape any other way, you will want to invest in the collapsible ladders. These do not take up much room once they are collapsed and can be easily slide under the edge of the bed. If you have one in every bedroom, everyone should be able to make it out of their windows without harming themselves in the process.

All-Purpose Fire Extinguishers

If you have never really taken a close look at the available all-purpose fire extinguisher, you might want to do so now. When you start to look them over, you will find that there are some extinguishers that are meant specifically for grease fires, while others might be designed to be used on electrical fires. Since you are not likely going to want to run around the house looking for the specific fire extinguisher for the fire you are fighting, you will want to invest in several all-purpose ones. These extinguishers can be used on all types of fires. You will want at least one on every level of the home, with and extra one in the kitchen and garage.   

When you make sure that you are purchasing all of the previous mentioned items, like from GMW Fire Protection, you will find that you and your loved ones will be much safer in your home.

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Car Break Down? Try Out One Of These Options

Regardless of whether you have a job to go to, need to take the kids to school, do your grocery shopping or more, you need a method of transportation to get you where you need to go. As much as you might depend on your car to get you where you want to go, that isn’t always an option. If your car breaks down, you are probably wondering what options are available for you to do all of the things you are used to doing already. Consider some of the following options below to get you where you need to go when your vehicle can’t.

Ride the City Bus

Depending on where you live, you might be able to grab a ride on the city bus. They have various options available to accommodate your needs. You can buy a single use pass or purchase a weekly pass to save on costs even more. Not only is this option inexpensive, but it can get you where you need to go in town for a flat-fee every time you hop on the bus. You don’t have to worry about paying extra to go farther out in town.

Call a Taxi

When you need to go grocery shopping, you want an option that allows you to bring all of your groceries home with you without having to worry about trying to lug them around with you. With a taxi, you can put all of your groceries in the trunk just like you would your own vehicle. Regardless of whether you simply need to go a mile or two or you need to go to the other side of town, you can get where you need to go with a taxi. Rates are going to vary based on where you are going, how long the driver needs to wait and so on. Visit a website like http://www.yellowcabaz.com to find out more about how taxi services work.

Use a Ride Service

Based on where you live, there are certain areas that offer ride services. These services are essentially people just like you who offer to give you a ride using their own vehicles. It is often a flat-rate fee, but that all depends on which company is available around you. Since this is only available in certain areas, you want to check and see who offers rides for where you live.

Explore your options to get where you need to be. Just because your vehicle might be out of commission, that doesn’t mean you have to be.

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3 Ways To Market Your Business And Attract Customers

As a business owner, you are always looking for ways to build your client base and get your name out there for all to see. You want to do what it takes to advertise your company and what you have to offer clients. After all, advertising your business is the main way people are going to find you in the first place. Not sure where to start? Turn to one of these options for marketing your business and attracting customers.

Postcards

If you want to stick with some of the time-honored traditions in terms of marketing, why not go with an old-time favorite in postcards? They are simple to make, and you can have them printed in bulk and save on the cost of printing your marketing materials. With postcard marketing, you can easily track the number of customers your marketing reaches by having them bring the postcard into the store to get the discount. Since everyone has to get their mail at some point, you know they are going to see your postcard in there.

Signs

Every business needs a sign to draw people in and make them want to check you out. With a giant, colorful sign customized with your name and logo, you are sure to catch the attention of anyone driving down the road or through the shopping center near you. Signs are a great way to advertise specials as well. You can easily change them up to accommodate your individual wants and needs. The possibilities are endless in what you can write on a sign, as well as the style and shape of your new marketing piece. Contact a sign company near you for more information.

Social Media Networks

With social media networks taking the world by storm, many people are turning to them as a means of advertising their business for the world to see. Since you can post as much as you want on your social media account without having to pay anything for it, this makes it a top choice for marketing professionals to attract customers and gain inbound traffic. Customers can also comment and tell you what they think about your brand, so you can improve upon your products and services with ease.

By considering the three different marketing tools above, you can determine which one is going to work the best for your business today. The main goal is to bring in more customers and increase your bottom line, so you have to figure out which one of these is going to make that happen for you.

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