The Importance of a Quiet Space

David Linn Cook and Joe Soster Waterproofing One of Weatherproofing Plus Inc.

This basement waterproofing “case study,” “The Lesson of the Forgotten Home Office,” tells how a large, damp, musty and unused basement was quickly transformed into a new moisture- and mold-controlled quiet home office.

Twenty years ago, a homeowner built a 6,000-square-foot raised ranch home with many amenities on 5+ acres. The homeowner, a Senior Sales Executive, stayed home two days each week, to make sales calls by phone. But he was frustrated because nowhere in that massive house was there a quiet and private room with no distractions.

For five years, he had been sneaking down to work in his home’s empty 2,000-square-foot (!) basement. There was nothing down there except for a small area rug, a folding card table with a desk lamp on it, a desk phone, a milk crate for his files, and one very old leather chair. That was all he needed for a busy day’s work.

The basement makeover project was simple: Give this man a dry and sanitary space where he wouldn’t be distracted from the weekly lawn crew, pool cleaners, two overly friendly Golden Retrievers who loved to run around the house, college sons home for the summers, and his wife’s friends who frequently came over for coffee and conversation. Amazingly, when he was at his card table/desk, quietly working in his basement “retreat,” everyone assumed he wasn’t home or that he was busy somewhere in the house. No disturbances meant he could get his work done early and then have time with his family.

The basement had damp walls, a musty smell and a noisy dehumidifier. The proposed and accepted solution was two-fold. On the house exterior, surface drains were added, the foundation was regraded, and rain gutters were cleaned and adjusted for proper and easy maintenance. On the inside, the basement walls and floor were washed down into the existing sump pump. Mold treatment and waterproof coatings were applied to the walls; the floor was covered with high-gloss paint; and some new window vents were installed. This makeover took less than two weeks. The basement was now just as empty as before, but it was well lit and naturally ventilated. No more musty smell, and no need for a dehumidifier. Many homeowners are pleasantly surprised to learn that interior french drains are not required to turn their damp, musty unfinished basement into dry storage space or a place to exercise, listen to music, watch a movie, work on some home projects, or, as in this case study, have a simple and quiet home office whose only distraction is perhaps a little tweeting by the birds outside.

For more info contact David Linn Cook of Weatherproofing Plus, Inc. By phone at 610-325-0596 or email [email protected]

Fireplace Accessories – The Options Are Astounding!

By Scott Magness; Scott‘s Fireplace Products

The fireplace is a beautifully visible part of the home. It plays an important role in our lives and is a sought-after feature for people looking to build or buy a house. The fireplace reflects the heart and soul of its owners, and can turn a plain room into an inviting retreat. Yet, one of the most exciting characteristics of a fireplace is its role as a design focal point, bringing together furniture, artwork, lamps and draperies in a pleasingly harmonious décor within a room.

The Key is Accessorizing

Adding accessories is the secret to creating a fireplace that integrates form and function. A basic fireplace can be enhanced by simply adding an attractive standing firescreen, which offers a myriad of finishes, including satin and textured black, brushed nickel, natural iron, polished brass, vintage iron and many others. We also have spark guards available which can be a more traditional alternative to a firescreen.

Quickly Get Your Fire Burning

There is no more need for newspaper or traditionally hard to ignite kindling to get your fire started. Two or three sticks of Fatwood or just one Lightning Nugget FireStarter is all it takes to quickly get your fire burning.

Grates and Log Rings

  • Grates – A quality grate offers good airflow and ensures excellent combustion, plus the tight casting design holds the burning logs and bed of hot coals until they are rendered to ash.
  • Self-Feeding – The high front and low back profile of the self-feeding grate allows wood to self-feed to the rear of the fireplace where the natural draft is.
  • Safety – The self-feeding grate features a higher front edge, which minimizes the possibility of a burning log rolling off the grate into the living area.
  • Log Hoops – Made of a solid grade steel material in a bar-stock design, log hoops traditionally come in three sizes: 24”, 36” and 48”.

Outdoor Log Racks

Wood racks are designed with quality and simplicity in mind. They feature the look and strength of a traditional firewood rack, and include a standard reinforced vinyl cover that fits over the rack posts, and slides down as wood is used. The stack of firewood is protected from rain and snow while allowing cross ventilation. 

Author of this article is Scott Magness of Scott’s Fireplace Products in Newtown Square, PA.  
Phone: 484-422-8334 eMail: [email protected]

Family Matters at Nothing Bundt Cakes

By Kim Wright, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Wright Commissioning

At Nothing Bundt Cakes, we strive to have a culture that feels and functions like a family. But what happens when you actually work with your family members?

Popular opinion may warn against hiring family members, citing nepotism and drama. As a momtrepreneur, I like to challenge the norms. I focus on the positives of employing siblings, couples, cousins, parents and their children, aunts and nieces, uncles and nephews, and other family-like bonded individuals. At times, we face coworking challenges within these relationships, but, for the most part, we find that the positives of working with connected employees outweigh the negatives. In my experience, having actual family members in our locations helps naturally build an intimate work family.

I surveyed a dozen related employees to learn the best and worst parts of working together, and these are their top five pros and cons.

Nothing Bundt the Best: The Pros of Working with Family

  • Instant work besties! From day one on the job, you know all about your co-worker.
  • Your family has your back. When you’re not having your best day, someone’s always there to pick up your slack. 
  • You’ll grow closer and feel proud of one another’s accomplishments. Seeing someone you know so well achieve things you might not believe if you didn’t see it with your own eyes can give you all the feels.
  • Carpooling! When you can use less of your paycheck for gas and more for fun, that’s winning.
  • You share family values. Bringing similar family values into work helps organically make your work team feel like family. 

Nothing Sweet About It: The Cons of Working with Family

  • Even though you might share a family resemblance doesn’t mean you’re the same person; being compared to one another is the absolute worst.
  • When tempers flare at home, it’s hard not to bring that heat to work. Sometimes, it’s hard to check your feelings at the door.
  • When work talk turns to family talk, your co-workers can learn your family nicknames and embarrassing moments when you least expect it. Your chatty sibling can spill the beans you don’t want out!
  • When you work and live together, there’s no break from each other. Sometimes, you just need a change of scenery. When you’re both on the same payroll, it’s hard to find the space.
  • When you work at the same place, work talk often ends up at the dinner table. Even though you don’t want it to, work always follows you home.

Working with family isn’t a fit for everyone, but my husband and I have always found that blurring the lines between work and home is our happy place. As our four sons grow closer to work-appropriate ages, I look forward to having them learn more about our family businesses.  Maybe it will be their legacy. At a minimum, it will give this Mom additional time with them until they leave the nest.

Expert Article on Entrepreneurship provided by Kim Wright of Nothing Bundt Cakes
(1001 Baltimore Pike, Suite B-2, Springfield) [email protected].

Technology and the Modern World

By Amy Holler of Home Instead Senior Care

Tech or no tech? That is the question. On the surface, we take some aspects of technology for granted, such as cameras at red lights, voice-controlled virtual assistants, video doorbells and self-checkouts. Most of us regularly use a cell phone and/or computer, not only to communicate but also to receive information. These advances in technology have become so quickly ingrained in our daily lives that they often go virtually unnoticed. But where does it end? Or, is this only the beginning?

There is no doubt that advancements in technology have proven extremely valuable in many aspects of modern life. Perpetrators of crimes can now be identified with the use of video cameras. Many office jobs can now be done remotely utilizing applications such as Zoom or Teams. Even some surgeries can now be performed by robots.  

Nevertheless, technology has its negative effects. Unemployment has been a result of computers entering the workspace since they can do the work of many people in less time.  Data security is a major issue since sharing a single piece of information online increases the chances of it reaching the hands of criminals and hackers. People have become addicted to technology such as social media, causing them to be complacent, thus affecting their health with issues such as obesity and insomnia.  

We now find ourselves thrust further into the world of technology through the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). Encyclopedia Britannica explains AI as the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experiences. AI technology has many benefits, such as monitoring bank transactions for suspected payment fraud and reviewing large sets of medical data searching for disease patterns that would advance patient treatments.  However, society could be facing the most menacing aspect of this technology: self-developing AI systems. Computer and technology expert Stephen Hawking once stated, “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans.” Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently expressed its concern over this technology’s potential dangers and lack of regulation.  

Technology is transforming every walk of life, even to the point of changing our brains and bodies. However, we can reap its benefits while not allowing it to overtake us. Developing healthy practices such as regularly “unplugging” from tech and enjoying nature walks are good ways to balance our lives and maintain both our physical and psychological well-being. After all, technology alone is neither good nor bad. It is the way and extent to which we use it that truly matters. 

Expert Contributor for Home Health Care, Amy Holler – Franchise Owner of Home Instead for more information contact Amy at 267-551-4700 or by email [email protected]

Electrical Safety in a Residence: Protecting Your Home and Family

By Joe Voci JDV Electric, LLC

Electricity is an essential part of our daily lives; it can also be dangerous if not used and maintained properly. Electrical accidents can cause serious injury or death, so it is important to take electrical safety in your residence seriously. Here are some of the key ways to protect your home and family from electrical hazards.

  • Install and maintain smoke detectors.

Smoke detectors are crucial for protection from fires caused by electrical faults. Install them on every level of your home and in every bedroom, test them regularly to ensure they work correctly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.

  • Use certified and approved electrical appliances and fixtures.

Electrical appliances and fixtures like lamps, power strips and extension cords that are certified and approved by a recognized safety organization are tested and designed to meet strict safety standards and are less likely to cause electrical hazards.

  • Do not overload circuits.

Overloading circuits can cause electrical fires and damage appliances. Avoid using too many appliances on one circuit and never plug in too many extension cords or power strips. Consider installing additional circuits to use multiple appliances in one area.

  • Keep electrical cords away from water.

Water and electricity do not mix. Keep electrical cords away from water sources such as sinks, bathtubs and pools. Ensure outdoor outlets are weather-resistant and protected from rain and moisture.

  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

GFCIs are designed to prevent electrical shocks and should be in all areas of your home where water is present, such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. They detect imbalances in the electrical current and shut off the power if a fault is detected.

  • Do not attempt electrical repairs yourself; hire a licensed electrician.

Electrical repairs should only be performed by a licensed electrician; licensed electricians have the expertise and knowledge to ensure that your electrical system is safe and up to code. Attempting to fix electrical problems yourself can be dangerous and/or cause further damage. 

  • Replace damaged or worn cords and plugs.

Damaged cords and plugs can cause electrical shocks and fires, so replace frayed or cracked cords immediately.

  • Use surge protectors.

Protect your appliances from power surges and spikes. Surge protectors are particularly important for expensive devices such as computers, televisions and home theater systems.

  • Use arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) protection.

AFCIs are designed to recognize dangerous arcs in your wiring and immediately break the flow of electricity. They prevent your electrical system from becoming an ignition source for a fire. The life-saving technology and superior design of AFCI protection, now standard in new construction, has been refined to also reduce unwanted nuisance tripping due to interference from electrical devices or appliances. Arc fault receptacles and circuit breakers provide fire and electrical safety protection.

In conclusion, electrical safety is an important aspect of home maintenance that should not be overlooked. By following these tips, you can help protect your home and family from electrical hazards and ensure that your electrical system is safe and up to code.

For all your Electrical needs contact Joe Voci at JDV Electric, LLC at 610-364-5099 or [email protected]

This Is How Many Gallons of Water Plumbing Leaks Cost You

By Jeff Goane Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

If you had a gushing leak in your home’s plumbing, you’d notice it right away, right? Aside from the potential water damage, you’d be thinking about the amount of wasted water and just how much your next water bill might cost.

What if we told you that most of the wasted water isn’t caused by huge emergencies? Would you want to know just how much water might be going to waste in your home right now? We’ve got some fascinating facts for you about just how much water is wasted in American homes and why. We’ll even tell you just how much money that could be costing you. And yes, we do have a great solution to this problem.

Water Usage
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American uses 82 gallons of water per day. For a family of four, the household would then be consuming 328 gallons every day. That’s almost 120,000 gallons in a year! 

Water Bills
One statistic from 2019 suggested that the average American water bill for a four-person household was nearly $73 a month. However, according to the Census Bureau, as of 2021, the average American household contains 3.13 persons. Another study determined that for the average American household, the monthly water bill was $45.44. Even at this lower estimate, that’s nearly $550 per year; the higher estimate would put it around $875. 

Water Waste
The EPA determined that plumbing leaks account for 10,000 gallons of wasted water in the average American household every year. Even worse than that, they say that 10% of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day. That’s more water than adding a family member would use. These leaks add up to over a trillion wasted gallons of water every year in the U.S. 

Crunching the Numbers
If ten thousand gallons are wasted each year in a household that uses 120,000 gallons a year, that’s the equivalent of losing an entire month’s water bill each year. If you’re unlucky enough to be in the 10% of households that waste 90 gallons a day, that’s 2,700 gallons per month (more than a quarter of the average household’s water use). That potentially adds up to nearly $20 every month going down the drain.

Sources of Leaks
It’s astonishing just how much water can be lost to a very small leak. A shower dripping just ten times a minute allows 500 gallons a year to be lost down the drain for no reason. If your toilet won’t stop running, it might be going through two gallons of water every minute! Having your fixtures tightened could make a huge difference. If you’re worried that water is being lost in other ways, our team can use video pipe inspection to check your entire plumbing system for problems, so you can get plumbing leak repair and stop wasting water—and money.

For an assessment of your plumbing by Jeff Goane contact Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Located at 565 Abbott Drive, Broomall. Phone: 610-461-6502; [email protected] or visit
(PA License #113639)

How to Choose the Right Vitamins and Supplements for You

By Chichi Ilonzo Momah, PharmD., Springfield Pharmacy Owner & Pharmacist

Premium supplements are dietary supplements that are made from high-quality and pure ingredients. They are designed to provide a wide range of health benefits to individuals who take them regularly. These premium supplements can help to improve quality of life and promote optimal health by providing:
– Improved nutrient absorption
– Increased energy
– Enhanced immune system
– Improved athletic performance
– Better overall health

Choosing the vitamins and supplements that are right for your body and lifestyle can be overwhelming. I recommend asking a healthcare provider to make recommendations based on your age, diet and health conditions. Here are some of the commonly deficient nutrients that they may recommend a supplement for.

Magnesium is essential for regulating the nervous system, easing sleep problems, balancing blood sugar, and making proteins in the body. Research suggests that it may improve glucose levels in those living with diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity for people with prediabetes. It can also help with blood pressure regulation.

A B-Complex vitamin is made up of eight different B vitamins, most notably vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 creates and sustains your energy supply by breaking down foods and identifying the micronutrients your body needs. Patients with type 2 diabetes who take metformin may have lower levels of B12.

Several B vitamins may also help reduce blood pressure levels, such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B9 (folic acid).

The primary function of vitamin D is to help the body absorb calcium, which is vital for bone health. More than 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough sun exposure to achieve the daily recommended dose of vitamin D, and it is not commonly found in food. Research shows that people with high blood pressure tend to have lower levels of vitamin D than those without.

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and brain function. Fish oil is found naturally in fatty fish tissue such as herring, tuna, anchovies and mackerel. If you don’t eat 1-2 servings of fish per week, supplementing with fish oil can help you get enough omega-3s.

Vitamin C has many functions in the body, from protecting against cardiovascular disease and prenatal health issues to working against eye disease and skin wrinkling.

It is important to talk to a healthcare provider any time you are planning to introduce a new vitamin or supplement to your regimen—especially if you are taking other medication. Without supervision, vitamins and supplements can cause potentially serious drug interactions or counteract the positive effects of the medication.

Not all vitamins and supplements are created equal. There is no standard or regulatory definition for dietary supplements from the FDA. Always double-check with a healthcare professional to make sure you’re getting a safe, high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade product.

To receive a recommendation from an expert, discuss your health history with your doctor or pharmacist. Healthcare professionals who are familiar with your health, your medications and your lifestyle are best suited to help you find the right supplements for your needs.

For more information about vitamins and supplements, call or stop by Springfield Pharmacy and talk to our trained staff.

Expert Article provided by Chichi Ilonzo, PharmD – Owner of Springfield Pharmacy
1154 Baltimore Pk, Springfield. Phone: 610-544-4645 – [email protected]

Our Home Should Feel Safe and Comfortable All Year

Heat-induced illness is a very real threat as temperatures climb during the summer. Heatwaves and other hazardous weather can settle in, and, if you aren’t taking the proper precautions, things can take a turn for the worse. While heat and humidity make us all uncomfortable, there are ways to mitigate risk and ease the impact of extreme temperatures. Oliver is here to provide some helpful tips. If you live in the Delaware Valley, we can give your home an air conditioning safety inspection so that you know you’re ready to handle the heat.

The best way to safeguard yourself from heat-induced illness is to stay hydrated. It is recommended to drink eight glasses of water a day–not just to keep your body hydrated, but also to help flush out toxins. While sports drinks or caffeinated beverages may help increase your body’s water level, they are not as effective because they can sometimes contain other dehydrating elements. Staying hydrated will help reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Another important way to avoid the summer heat is to stay indoors in your climate-controlled home. Your air conditioner regulates the temperature inside your house and can be a haven for anyone at risk for heat-related illness. Making sure your air conditioner is in working order before the heat comes can help you avoid an emergency. The experts at Oliver recommend an annual home A/C safety inspection to make sure your system is clean, operational and running efficiently this season. By ensuring your home will be cool all summer long, you have one less thing to worry about.

A membership with Oliver provides true peace of mind when your heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical equipment has been inspected to keep it running safely and efficiently all year long. Annual inspections and testing by our professional technicians help to identify issues before they become unexpected problems or expensive repairs. Here are just some of the benefits of our Peace of Mind Membership:

  • Plumbing and electrical inspections
  • Convenient payment options
  • Priority service
  • Appointment reminders
  • No-breakdown guarantee
  • 10% discount 

Expert Article provided by Ashley Dennon of Oliver Heating & Cooling. To learn more about the Peace of Mind Membership, call 610-616-5691 or visit