After the Storm: Detect and Repair Roof Damage

Your roof provides essential shelter from the outside world, protecting you and your most valuable belongings from the worst weather. Roofs are designed to weather the elements, but during a severe storm, your home may be damaged by wind, hail, or debris. But this roof damage is not always easy to see.

It’s important for homeowners to be able to identify roof damage, so you can quickly restore your home’s privacy, safety, and comfort. If left untreated, your home can suffer structural damage.

If you have recently experienced severe weather, you may see your neighbors repairing their roofs, or speaking with insurance adjusters in your area. Learn to spot signs of damage and take action, if needed.

Stay Safe and Assess Storm Damage

Before inspecting the exterior of your home for damage, make sure the storm has passed and it is safe to be outside. If you see downed power lines, electrical hazards, or flooding, keep away from the area and immediately call 911.

Even if the coast is clear, continue to be aware of potential hazards— especially on or near your roof. This is often the most dangerous place for post-storm damage as it can cause structural issues and is out of your line of vision. Check for fallen trees or heavy debris, loose or broken shingles, and ice dams if it’s a winter storm.

Detect Signs of Roof Damage from Hail

Hail damage is easy to detect. You will hear hail hitting your roof and windows, and you will see pellets of ice gathering on the ground. Hail damage is also usually easy to see— it can dent your siding or even shatter your windows. Hail can also dent your roof or tear away shingles.

Hail damage usually causes the following damage to your home’s roof:

  • Missing Shingles: Look for gaps in the pattern or pieces of exposed roof. You may also see shingles on the ground near your home.
  • Damaged Shingles: Check for shingles on your roof that are curled, buckling, dented, or cracked.
  • Build-up in gutters and downspouts that have collected loose asphalt granules.
    Flashing and downspouts that are dented, hanging, or missing.

Roof wood shingles rot and warp after storm damage.

Check for Signs of Wind Damage

High wind speeds have the potential to knock over trees, shatter windows, and damage roofs. If shingles are blown away, the roof deck or underlayment is left exposed to the elements. This leaves your home even more vulnerable to water damage.
After a heavy windstorm, check on the exterior of your home for the following:

  • Damage depending on your roof type:
    • All Shingle Roofs: Missing, cracked, or curling shingles
    • Composition Shingles: Granule buildup in gutters
    • Wood Shingles or Shakes: Rotting and mold
    • Flat Roofs: Cracks, tears, or surface bubbles/wrinkles
    • Damage to roof support or accents:
      • Flashing: Tears or buckling
      • Roofing Cement: Loose or crumbling cement
      • Gutters and Downspout: Rust, rot, or missing and dented sections
      • Chimneys: Loose or crumbling brick

Look for Signs of Water Damage

Missing or broken shingles from hail and wind damage can be quickly identified, but the effects of water damage can take longer to detect. Untreated water damage and leaks can lead to mold, which can affect your home’s foundation and structure.

Here are the most important places to check for signs of flooding, leakage, and general storm damage:

      • Gutters: Check here for water buildup. If water isn’t being redirected properly, it can pool next to your home and create mold and damage to the structure.
      • Ceilings: Check for water spots and yellow, copper, or brown discoloration.
      • Walls: Inspect for signs of cracking, peeling, or bubbling in the paint or wallpaper.
      • Check your attic, basement, and crawl spaces for mold or wood rot and leaks. This can reveal itself as a musty smell, which can occur as soon as 24-48 hours after a storm.
      • Flooring: Look for gaps or curling floorboards, sagging wood that feels soft to the touch, or expansion in wood and laminate floors Expansion occurs when the materials become waterlogged.
      • Roof: Cracked, curled, or missing shingles.
      • Windows: Look for moisture buildup (fog) between glass panes.

Ceiling becomes discolored and moldy after undetected roof damage.

Contact Your Insurance and a Find a Roofing Contractor

If you detect any of the damage above, it’s important to contact your homeowners insurance and find a roofing contractor to help stop future damage and repair your home.

1. Document the damage

Before you touch anything, take detailed notes and multiple photos of all damage to the area— both interior and exterior. This documentation will be important when you submit your insurance claim.

2. Safe-proof potential hazards

Cover or board up any windows with shattered or jagged glass. Next, cordon off any areas that could be a danger.

3. Submit your claim

The next step is to report the damages to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Time is of the essence when submitting a claim. Insurance companies have a limit of filing claims within one year of the damage. It is best to contact your insurance company by phone, as well as email.

Document all your contact in a folder to help keep conversations, details, and dates organized. Submit your photo documentation and any receipts you’ve incurred along the way (for example, proof of your housing if the storm made your home temporarily uninhabitable).

4. Make an appointment with an insurance adjuster

The insurance company will arrange an appointment for an adjuster to come out to your home and assess the roof damage. It is very important that you get three to four contractor estimates before you meet with the adjuster so that you have a professional benchmark for the project cost. Make sure your appointment with the adjuster will give you enough time to get contractor estimates first.

5. Get in touch with a trusted roofing contractor
Now it’s time to contact a few trusted contractors. They will assess the repair or roof replacement cost and offer complimentary project quotes that you’ll give to your claims adjuster at your appointment. Most contractors have experience with storm-damaged homes, so it’s wise to ask your contractor to be present to make sure you get a fair assessment.

Modernize now offers homeowners a free digital Contractor Checklist as a simple step-by-step guide to assist with your windows project. Access the interactive contractor checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal (Log in using the link provided in your email) or download it here.

6. Replace or repair
Depending on the severity of the damage, your contractor will suggest either a roof repair or roof replacement. Any changes in the original estimate should be recorded in writing. The project is finished after it has passed a city inspection and you’re satisfied with the completed work to your home’s roof.

Already know you have home storm damage? We can help. Receive up to four quotes from reliable roofing contractors in your area.

The post After the Storm: Detect and Repair Roof Damage appeared first on Modernize.

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Florence’s first wave has potential to cause $5 billion in property damage

An estimated 250,000 homes in North Carolina will likely be affected, with the bulk of the damage in that state. Across both states, Florence could cause $ 3 billion to $ 5 billion in insured property losses from wind and storm surge, according to CoreLogic.
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After the Storm: Detect and Repair Window Damage

Because your windows keep you safe from the outside elements, they are one of the most important features of your home. If your windows are shattered or broken during a storm, they need to be replaced or repaired immediately to restore your privacy, safety, and comfort. But not all window damage is easy to see, and if it goes undetected, it can cause bigger issues—like structural or foundational damage—down the road.

If you have recently experienced a bad storm, you may see your neighbors repairing or replacing their windows. An insurance adjuster may also be speaking to homeowners in the area.

It’s important for homeowners to be able to identify damage after an event. No matter what type of storm you have experienced, learn to spot signs of damage.

Stay Safe and Assess Window Damage

Before inspecting the exterior of your home for damage, make sure the storm has passed and it is safe to be outside. If you see downed power lines, electrical hazards, or flooding, keep away from the area and immediately call 911.

Even if the coast is clear, continue to be aware of potential hazards— especially on or near your roof. This is often the most dangerous place for post-storm damage as it can cause structural issues and is out of your line of vision. Check for fallen trees or heavy debris, loose or broken shingles, and ice dams if it’s a winter storm.

Window damage and house damage due to a fallen tree after a storm.

To Check for Signs of Hail Storm Damage

Hail damage is easy to detect since hail can leave dents in your siding, roof, and car the size of a golf ball. Hail can also easily break or damage windows.

You will hear hail hitting your roof and windows, and you will see pellets of ice gathering on the ground.

Hail damage usually causes the following damage to your home’s windows:

  • Shattered or broken glass
  • Broken, dented, or torn screens
  • Cracked glazing
  • Dented flashing above window or frame

To Check for Signs of Wind Damage

High wind speeds have the potential to knock over trees, damage roofs, and —in severe cases— even shatter unsecured windows. After a heavy windstorm, check on the exterior of your home for:

  • Shattered or broken panes
  • Cracks, holes, or dents in glass
  • Damaged or dented frames
  • Chipped or cracked paint, siding, or wood

Look for Signs of Water Damage

Shattered glass and dents from hail and wind damage can be quickly identified, but the effects of water damage can be easily missed by an untrained eye. Untreated water damage and leaks can lead to mold, which can affect your home’s foundation and structure.

Here are the most important places to check for signs of flooding, leakage, and general storm damage.

  • Windows: Look for moisture buildup (fog) between glass panes
  • Ceiling: Check for water spots, and yellow, copper, or brown discoloration
  • Walls: Inspect for signs of cracking, peeling, or bubbling in the paint or wallpaper.
  • Check your attic, basement, and crawl spaces for leaks, or a damp, musty smell, which can occur as soon as 24-48 hours after a storm.
  • Flooring: Examine for gaps or curling floorboards, sagging wood that feels soft to the touch, or expansion of wood and laminate floors, which occurs when the material becomes waterlogged.

A window is broken after a recent storm.

Contacting Your Insurance and a Finding a Windows Contractor

If you detect any of the damage above, it is important to contact your homeowners’ insurance and find a windows contractor to help stop future damage and repair your home.

1. Document the damage

Before you touch anything, take detailed notes and multiple photos of all damage to the area— both interior and exterior. This documentation will be important when you submit your insurance claim.

2. Safe-proof potential hazards

Cover or board up any windows with shattered or jagged glass that could be a danger.

3. Submit your claim

The next step is to report the damages to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Time is of the essence when submitting a claim. Insurance companies have a limit of filing claims within one year of the damage. It is best to contact your insurance company by phone, as well as email.

Document all your contact in a folder to help keep conversations, details, and dates organized. Submit your photo documentation and any receipts you’ve incurred along the way (for example, proof of your housing if the storm made your home temporarily uninhabitable).

4. Make an appointment with an insurance adjuster

The insurance company will arrange an appointment for an adjuster to come out to your home and assess the damage. It is very important that you get three to four contractor estimates before you meet with the adjuster so that you have a professional benchmark for the project cost. Make sure your appointment with the adjuster will give you enough time to get contractor estimates first.

5. Get in touch with a trusted window contractor

Now it’s time to contact a few trusted contractors. They will assess the repair or window replacement cost and offer complimentary project quotes that you’ll give to your claims adjuster at your appointment. Most contractors have experience with storm-damaged homes, so it’s wise to ask your contractor to be present to make sure you get a fair assessment.

Modernize now offers homeowners a free digital Contractor Checklist as a simple step-by-step guide to assist with your windows project. Access the interactive contractor checklist by visiting the Modernize Homeowner Portal (Log in using the link provided in your email) or download it here.

6. Replace or Repair

Depending on the severity of the damage, your contractor will suggest either a window repair or window replacement. Any changes in the original estimate should be recorded in writing. The project is finished after it has passed a city inspection and you’re satisfied with the completed work to your home’s windows.

If you live in an area with high-impact storms, consider storm windows, which are installed overtop your current windows as an extra barrier against the elements.

Already know you have home storm damage? We can help. Receive up to four quotes from reliable window contractors in your area.

The post After the Storm: Detect and Repair Window Damage appeared first on Modernize.

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When Your Customer Refuses to Pay: 5 Tips for Damage Control

Maintaining financial stability in any business can be tricky, and many professionals in the home improvement industry struggle to stay afloat. Dealing with customers is equally difficult, since there is only so much you can do to force clients to pay on time – or at all. If you ever come across a customer who refuses to pay, however, there are several steps you can take to minimize damage to your business’ finances and reputation. Here are our top 5 damage control tips when your customer refuses to pay.

Unhappy employee or demotivated at working place

Be proactive

The best way to avoid payment refusal from clients is by asking them to sign a contract prior to beginning any home improvement project. In your contract, make sure to make crystal clear your payment policies and guidelines that specifically state what will happen should they fail to comply. Workplace insurance and contracts are essential for contractors, and are particularly useful in situations like these.

Another way to avoid late payments is by instituting a company-wide payment policy. Progress payments often work well for construction professionals: by asking for partial payment up front or payment through regular weekly or monthly installments, you can assure at least some amount of financial security for each project you complete. Clients will also appreciate this up-front approach and welcome the opportunity to spread out their payments – especially for long-term and larger scale projects.

Know your rights

If you do find yourself in a situation where clients refuse to pay regardless of any measures you have in place, there are ways to reduce the financial and emotional sting. By doing your research and knowing exactly what rights you – and your clients – have in these scenarios, you can be prepared for whatever happens.

If you and your client have agreed upon certain terms in a contract, they are legally bound to comply with these terms. Making sure your contract is clear and explicit in its terms will help you avoid payment issues and loopholes. In order to make sure your contract is watertight, you can enlist the help of other professionals in the industry or a legal advisor to give guidance and recommendations as to specific clauses and wording.

Occasionally, clients will refuse to pay some or all of their bills because they claim to be unhappy with the work you have completed. This can apply to timescales, materials used, and the quality of work. Depending on their issues and the state you live in, your clients may have a right to refuse payment – you can find out more about these kinds of situations by contacting a lawyer who specializes in construction law in your state.

Keep lines of communication open

While nonpayment can be a stressful occurrence for you as a business owner, it’s important to stay calm. Rather than bringing out the big guns immediately and contacting your lawyer, we recommend speaking with your clients first to find out exactly what is going on. Oftentimes clients will have perfectly valid reasons for late or missed payments for home improvement projects, and it’s just as important to maintain your reputation as an understanding and communicative businessperson as it is to get paid on time. If after speaking to your client you determine they will remain true to their word and contract, you can avoid legal fees and added stress for you and everyone else involved.

Give notice

If you have attempted to communicate with a client about late or missed payments and they have not responded, you can send them a notice of payment. By letting them know that they have a limited time to pay you or they could face potential legal action, you are giving clients a clear and firm reminder that they need to fulfill their end of the bargain – otherwise they will be breaching their contract.

Make sure your notice is clear: for example, after X amount of time passes, your action as a business owner will be Y. Remember to be firm with your deadlines. If your client still refuses to pay or makes no attempt to contact you, move on to your next step.

Contact your lawyer

After following the above steps (and provided your client is not refusing to pay because of anything you have or have not done), your client will hopefully contact you to resolve unsettled bills. If this does not happen, you should contact your legal team. Lawyers will be able to advise you as to what you should do in each individual circumstance, but generally you can:

  1. File a lein – a lein is an official filing of refusal to pay (more formal than a payment due notice), which can be done through your local records office.
  2. Sue – for breach of contract. This is a last resort, and one that should only be taken once all other avenues are exhausted and your client still refuses to pay or cuts communication ties altogether. In this case, your lawyer will ask you for proof that you have completed the work as promised and for any documentation associated with the project (so make sure to keep all these docs all the time, for future reference).

Although legal proceedings will certainly get things moving along in the right direction, it’s important to remember that they also carry significant risk for you and your business. Cases taken to small claims court or civil court will cost you financially and can take up significant portions of your time. Before you make the decision to sue, remember these points and ensure you have attempted every other option first.

The post When Your Customer Refuses to Pay: 5 Tips for Damage Control appeared first on Modernize.

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Russia weighs possibility of deliberate act in space station damage

Russia’s space agency said on Wednesday it hopes to announce the origin of a small hole found on a Russian module docked at the International Space Station in the coming weeks, including addressing whether the damage was deliberate.


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Experiencing homelessness for longer than six months can cause significant damage to a child

Researchers found that children who experienced both pre- and post-natal homelessness and those who experienced homelessness for longer than six months were at highest risk of negative health outcomes. These findings illustrate the urgent need to intervene and rapidly house children and families experiencing homelessness to minimize the negative health outcomes.
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Amber Davies warns of the damage that phones can have on a relationship

The Love Island 2017 winner talked her Bluebella x Amber Davies swimwear collaboration and her dreams of going on ‘I’m A Celeb’…

Bluebella

Love Island 2018 has left our screens, seeing Dani and Jack emerge victorious, but they’re not out of the water just yet. According to last year’s Love Island winner Amber Davies, they have got one crazy year ahead of them.

Relationship tests, A-list events and a lot of exciting collaborations, to name just a few.

Junior Digital News Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Amber to talk all things Love Island, from the reality shock of leaving the show to debating whether love can actually come from it.

With a current swimwear collaboration, Bluebella x Amber Davies, and dreams of going on I’m A Celeb, Amber is undoubtedly where the Love Island 2018 contestants want to be next year.

But what has her first year since leaving the villa entailed? Here’s what we know…

Bluebella

Was it weird for you to watch Love Island this year?

Oh I loved it! I was obsessed. Everyone said to me last year that they were obsessed and I couldn’t work out why. I was like, “how can you be?” And then when I watched this year, I was like “Oh my gosh, I understand now how addictive it gets!” But it was so weird for me because I have done it and I know how it works – I know what is really going on behind the scenes and how it is edited and I just felt like I couldn’t give real opinions while it was on TV because I always had that in the back of my mind. One of the weirdest things for me was seeing people sleep in my bed. I was like “Get out of my bed!”

Talk us through the reality shock of leaving the Love Island villa and the sudden fame that comes with it…

I feel like the first few months coming out the villa were the craziest two months of my life. I can’t even remember it – it was that crazy. You’re flown everywhere and you very rarely get to sleep in your own home, but do you know what? You don’t actually have time to think about it – you’re just so busy! You just gradually just get used to it, and because you’re experiencing so much there’s nothing to complain about. The last year of my life honestly feels like it was a month long because it went so fast. Obviously it’s difficult because your private life and everything’s thrown in there, but you learn quickly.

Do you think love can last from Love Island?

100%. I think the bond that you create in there is very old fashioned. Falling in love in the villa is the best way I think – and you do fall in love. You spend eight weeks together with nothing else, it’s impossible not to.

Bluebella

How do you think leaving the villa changes relationships?

You spend so much time with that person – no phone, no social media, no entertainment, no music even. So when you come out and get all of those things back as well as being the other side of the country, it feels like a huge change. I found it hard to retain a relationship, others might not, but I struggled. I actually saw in the paper today that Megan has pulled out of a few jobs to spend time with Wes and I think that’s such a good decision, because at the end of the day you go on Love Island to find love, and I think you just have to compromise. You don’t want to lose someone to keep up with the millions of followers that you’re getting swept up in having.

What is your advice for lasting on the outside as a couple? 

Take time away from your phone. When Kem and I used to get into bed we would put our phones down and that was really lovely because you need to talk. I think one of the most important things for a successful relationship is communication. And that’s not just when coming out of the villa – that’s for society in general. Everyone is on their phones and you need to stop and focus on spending time together, not just scrolling through Instagram in the same bed.

What’s it like to have a break up in the media?

It was very difficult. When you have any break up, you want that time for just yourself, but in the media, you can’t have it. There are millions and millions of opinions on your life. It’s really difficult being heartbroken and when you’re getting accused of saying and doing all sorts of things on top of that, it really can be awful – I struggled.

Has Love Island changed the way you date?

It has definitely made it harder to date. I don’t know whether I’m too conscious. I always wonder whether they are in it for the right reasons. Plus fame just makes it hard – you’ll go on a date to a restaurant, get papped coming out and it will be on the Daily Mail within a few hours. I just want a normal guy. I just love a normal guy I do – I come from a normal family and that’s what I would want. I just sometimes question if they’re in it for the right reasons. But you never know, do you?

Bluebella

Tell us about Bluebella x Amber Davies…

I wanted to create something different and Bluebella seemed like the perfect brand to work with because their looks are classy AND sexy. I just wanted to do something a bit different and create a swimwear collection made up of different styles and colours but it was important that they were good quality and affordable. And so we just got started – four colours and A LOT of designs. And we worked so well together – we literally turned around the collection so quickly in time for summer.

What was the hardest part of the design process?

Choosing the colours, definitely! I had to choose colours that would look good on everyone. I was putting baby pink by my skin and I thought, ‘that will look amazing with a tan’. But I’m pale, so it didn’t suit me – it just looked like I was naked. Honestly, to find four colours that compliment everyone and each other is a huge challenge. And then you have to pick the styles too! We had to work really hard.

Bluebella

What is your favourite piece in the collection?

I love the lilac bodysuit. I’m all for swimsuits at the minute rather than bikinis, and lilac suits everyone. I’m not a purple girl usually, but all of my best friends have been trying them out for me, and despite them all having such different looks, they all look amazing in the lilac. We’re going to Ibiza next week and I’ve got them all a piece from the range.

Other than Love Island, what’s another reality show you would go on?

‘Oh my God, I definitely have to tick I’m a Celeb off my bucket list at some point. I would probably be awful at it but it would be fun! I’m actually very good with heights and I wouldn’t struggle with the trial where you have to eat all the bugs, but anything like snakes – there’s absolutely no way I’m doing it! It’s definitely something I need to tick off one day.

Bluebella x Amber is available at Bluebella.com

The post Amber Davies warns of the damage that phones can have on a relationship appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Trevor Noah Slams Trump’s Russia Damage Control: ‘Get the F*ck Out of Here, Man’

Comedy Central

“After President Trump threw America under the Russian bus, everyone stateside lost their shit,” Trevor Noah said Tuesday night of the president’s joint press conference with Vladimir Putin the day before. That explains why the White House apparently forced him to walk back his comments about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

In yet another surreal moment Tuesday afternoon, Trump claimed that when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia, he actually meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be.”

“You know what? That makes sense. I actually believe Trump on this,” the Daily Show host said, before checking his notes. “Sorry, what I meant to say was, ‘Get the fuck out of here, man!’”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

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Trevor Noah Slams Trump’s Russia Damage Control: ‘Get the F*ck Out of Here, Man’

Comedy Central

“After President Trump threw America under the Russian bus, everyone stateside lost their shit,” Trevor Noah said Tuesday night of the president’s joint press conference with Vladimir Putin the day before. That explains why the White House apparently forced him to walk back his comments about Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

In yet another surreal moment Tuesday afternoon, Trump claimed that when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia, he actually meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be.”

“You know what? That makes sense. I actually believe Trump on this,” the Daily Show host said, before checking his notes. “Sorry, what I meant to say was, ‘Get the fuck out of here, man!’”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Floods Cause Heavy Damage In Upper Midwest

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Ready for the C-Suite? 6 Mistakes That Can Damage Your Executive Presence

If you have your eyes on an executive position or the “C-suite,” take note: Competency is not enough to claim the corner office. Climbing the corporate ladder of success requires a combination of skill, emotional intelligence, and unshakable self-confidence. So, are you really prepared to take the lead? It all boils down to how you carry yourself at work and connect with the people around you.

 6 mistakes that can damage your executive presence and C-suite potential 

  • Not keeping cool under pressure –A big part of executive presence is understanding how people view you as a leader. So take note, rarely will employees respect the authority or vision of an unhinged leader. Staying calm under stressful situations builds trust, credibility, and a positive team culture in the workplace.

 

  • Not polishing your soft skills – As you advance in your career, soft skills like negotiation and presentation skills become increasingly more important than functional skills. For instance, if you’re standing up in front of staff or executives and presenting a status update, be prepared to clearly articulate your challenges and ideas for improvement, ask questions, listen, and accept constructive feedback.

 

  • Not inspiring people to take action – Whether you work at a small organization or large company, change and conflict is inevitable. Beyond maintaining your composure during uncertain times, you’ll need to find the good in a negative situation and empower people to take action.

 

  • Not understanding how your work fits into the bigger picture – Oftentimes, tough decisions are made at work that affects the daily routine of staff, as a leader you’ll be expected to focus on the big picture while rallying employees around the positive and keeping them on track. Also, if you’re looking to get ahead at work, keep track of your numbers. For instance, how has your work impacted the company’s bottom line? That way, during talks of promotion, you can clearly articulate your performance metrics and the value you’ve delivered to the company.

 

  • Not making decisions – One of the quickest ways to fail as a leader is to not make a decision. Indecision is a decision that could affect your ability to reach company goals and inspire your team. Plus, it can kill your opportunity for career advancement.

 

  • Not understanding office politics – Regardless of your industry, there’s a game called “office politics” that’s played in every organization. Office politics include navigating informal social networks and systems of power and influence. When it comes to office politics ask yourself: How are decisions made at this company (take note, it’s not about how you think they should be made)? Who are the key people who influence change at work and filter ideas to the decision makers? How can I build relationships with these people and get them on board with my ideas? Asking for stretch assignments is one way to understand office politics.

The post Ready for the C-Suite? 6 Mistakes That Can Damage Your Executive Presence appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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US, China launch trade talks to avert tariff war, economic damage

The United States and China launch a second round of trade talks to try to avert a damaging tariff war.
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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Despite an Overall Down Year, the Big Ten Can Do Damage in the NCAA Tournament

It’s been a disappointing year for the Big Ten as a whole, but Michigan showed in the tournament final why it may be poised for a deep March run. Plus, here’s why you don’t want to count out Purdue.

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Women Who Clean at Home or Work Face Lung Damage

Source: American Thoracic Society

Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In “Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction,” researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway analyzed data from 6,235 participants in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. The participants, whose average age was 34 when they enrolled, were followed for more than 20 years.

“While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact,” said senior study author Cecile Svanes, MD, PhD, a professor at the university’s Centre for International Health. “We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age.”

The study found that compared to women not engaged in cleaning:

  • Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), or the amount of air a person can forcibly exhale in one second, declined 3.6 milliliters (ml)/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 3.9 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.
  • Forced vital capacity (FVC), or the total amount of air a person can forcibly exhale, declined 4.3 ml/year faster in women who cleaned at home and 7.1 ml/year faster in women who worked as cleaners.

The authors found that the accelerated lung function decline in the women working as cleaners was “comparable to smoking somewhat less than 20 pack- years.” [WH note: 1 pack-year is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes (1 pack) per day for 1 year.]

That level of lung impairment was surprising at first, said lead study author Øistein Svanes, a doctoral student also at the Department for Clinical Science. “However, when you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all.”

The authors speculate that the decline in lung function is attributable to the irritation that most cleaning chemicals cause on the mucous membranes lining the airways, which over time results in persistent changes in the airways and airway remodeling.

The authors speculate that the decline in lung function is attributable to the irritation that most cleaning chemicals cause on the mucous membranes lining the airways, which over time results in persistent changes in the airways and airway remodeling.

The study did not find that the ratio of FEV1 to FVC declined more rapidly in women who cleaned than in those who did not. The metric is used when diagnosing and monitoring patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The study did find that asthma was more prevalent in women who cleaned at home (12.3 percent) or at work (13.7 percent) compared to those who did not clean (9.6 percent).

The study also did not find that men who cleaned, either at home or at work, experienced greater decline in FEV1 or FVC than men who did not.

The researchers took into account factors that might have biased the results, including smoking history, body mass index and education.

Study limitations include the fact that the study population included very few women who did not clean at home or work. These women, the authors wrote, might “constitute a selected socioeconomic group.” The number of men who worked as occupational cleaners was also small, and their exposure to cleaning agents was likely different from that of women working as cleaning professionals.

“The take home message of this study is that in the long run cleaning chemicals very likely cause rather substantial damage to your lungs,” Øistein Svanes said. “These chemicals are usually unnecessary; microfiber cloths and water are more than enough for most purposes.”

He added that public health officials should strictly regulate cleaning products and encourage producers to develop cleaning agents that cannot be inhaled.

Journal Reference:

  1. Svanes et al. Cleaning at home and at work in relation to lung function decline and airway obstruction. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2018

The post Women Who Clean at Home or Work Face Lung Damage appeared first on Women's Health.

Women’s Health

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Boycotts and Brain Damage Cast a Dark Shadow Over Football Season

Mindy Reed has been in love with the NFL for more than 50 years. As a kid in Connecticut, she wore a Bart Starr jersey and bonded over the game with her dad. Fandom helped Reed break into the old-boys’ club as she climbed the corporate ladder at Dell and connect with football-mad Texans when she switched careers and became a librarian in Austin. Now she’s giving it all up.

Reed, 61, has decided to boycott the NFL because no team has offered a job to Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback whose protest of police brutality during the national anthem last season ignited a cultural firestorm. Reed, who is white, says police have pulled over her husband for “driving while black,” and tuning out the NFL is a way to show solidarity. She has plenty of company. Kaepernick’s supporters range from the active players who have continued his protest and celebrities like Spike Lee to the 175,000-plus signatories of a petition on Change.org called #NoKaepernickNoNFL.

Critics too are emboldened. After several Cleveland Browns players knelt during the anthem before an August preseason game, the police and paramedic unions planned to withdraw from a pregame flag ceremony.

For the NFL, the simmering conflict is one of many dark clouds looming over the start of the season. September has long been when America’s real national pastime reasserts its grasp. Yet rather than fighting over fantasy teams or marveling at Tom Brady’s longevity, fans in the run-up to this season have been consumed by soberer topics. Be it the Kaepernick debate, violence against women or the nature of the game itself, a growing number of Americans are becoming fed up with football.

The most important NFL news this summer was not a big free-agent signing but a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July. Researchers examined the brains of 111 deceased NFL players and diagnosed 110 of them, or 99%, with the degenerative brain disease CTE. The study, said author Dr. Jesse Mez, “suggests, with a lot of caveats, that this is probably not a rare disease–at least among those who are exposed to a lot of football.”

Two days after the findings were released, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman John Urschel, who’s studying for a Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT, abruptly announced his retirement. His decision was reportedly linked to the study. Urschel is one of several NFL players who have retired in their prime rather than increase their chances of developing serious brain injuries. These concerns are trickling down to the youth level: some 23,000 fewer students played high school football last season than in 2015, and schools and peewee programs are dropping their teams for lack of interest.

Alleged violence of a different sort defined another off-season story. On Sept. 5 an arbitrator upheld the NFL’s six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott, the young Dallas Cowboys star who led the NFL in rushing last season, for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy after an ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. Officials in Columbus, Ohio, declined to pursue charges, and Elliott has denied the allegations.

Then there is the matter of Kaepernick, whose absence from the game may well be more significant than his presence. He is no longer the player he was in 2013, when he led San Francisco to a Super Bowl berth, but he did throw 16 touchdowns last season against just four interceptions. Yet since March, NFL teams have signed 20 new free-agent quarterbacks who have never completed a pass in the regular season. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti admitted it was about more than talent when the team considered signing Kaepernick, and he asked fans to weigh in. Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis–who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in a double-murder case but didn’t lose his NFL livelihood–said Baltimore passed on Kaepernick because his girlfriend posted a racially charged tweet. This, when NFL teams have signed players who have been convicted of domestic violence, illegal gun possession and DUI manslaughter.

Last year the NFL’s once reliable regular-season TV ratings dipped by 9%. They could fall again if more people like Reed turn away. “Who knows what I might discover out there,” Reed says of life without the NFL. “I certainly know how to read a book.”


This appears in the September 18, 2017 issue of TIME.
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Vice President Mike Pence to travel to Texas to see Hurricane Harvey’s damage

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is getting a chance to survey Harvey’s wreckage.

Pence is traveling to the tiny coastal town of Rockport, Texas, on Thursday to see the devastation caused by the hurricane-turned-tropical depression that set a rainfall record and severely flooded the Houston area. Harvey’s five straight days of rain totaled close to 52 inches, the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S.

Residents of Rockport were among the first in the U.S. hit by Harvey, which came ashore last Friday as a Category 4 hurricane.

President Donald Trump visited Corpus Christi, Texas, and Austin on Tuesday for briefings with local officials.

Trump plans to return to Texas on Saturday and possibly visit Louisiana, parts of which are now being lashed by Harvey’s remnants.

The post Vice President Mike Pence to travel to Texas to see Hurricane Harvey’s damage appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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Major Damage Reported in Texas as Hurricane Downgraded to Category 1 Storm

Major damage was reported in several cities along the Texas coast after Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday, with local authorities in Rockport describing a scene of devastation from the Category 4 storm. Local media in Rockport reported that at least 10 people were injured when the roof of a senior housing center caved in late Friday, and authorities said the roof of a high school had partially collapsed as well. The storm hit the area with winds of up to 130 mph before being downgraded to a Category 2 and then a Category 1 storm early Saturday, though authorities warned the 90-mph winds were still dangerous. Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios told local news station KIII-TV that any residents planning to stay put and ride out the storm “should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen” so that rescuers can identify them. There were no immediate reports of fatalities, but Melissa Munguia, deputy emergency management coordinator in Nueces County, one of the counties hit the hardest, said early Saturday that rescuers have not yet been able to assess all the damage.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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