Mold is nasty stuff. Homes with water damage and visible mold are unhealthy for people and pets. The unsightly fungus can produce irritants, allergens, and potentially toxic substances. The presence of mold in a home can substantially lower both the visual appeal and value of the property. The United States Center For Disease Control reports that for persons sensitive to mold, exposure to moldy and damp environments may cause a diverse array of health problems including coughing, wheezing, throat and nasal passage irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye or skin irritations, headaches, depression, and nervous system disorders. Do You Have A Moldy Home? Mold is all around us, both indoors and out; you canít get away from it. Mold is carried into our homes from the outdoors through open windows and doorways, through the heating and air conditioning ductwork, and through vents such as an attic fan. Mold in the outdoor environment also enters the home by attaching itself to pets, shoes and clothing. Mold thrives in moist locations such in a cabinet with a dripping pipe, in damp basements, from leaks in the roof, or in places where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on most any surface including fabric, upholstery, carpeting, paper products, wood products, bedding, and porous ceiling tiles. Mold is much more than a repulsive patch of disgusting fungus; itís a health hazard in the home that requires removal and standardized preventive measures to inhibit regrowth. However, before you attack the problem with caustic chemical sprays that can cause more problems than they cure, consider addressing the issue with organic measures that do not damage the environment. Reduce Dampness And Humidity Increase air circulation in moisture-prone areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. When cooking, run the exhaust fan to remove steam from boiling pots of pasta and simmering stews. Make sure that moisture from the dryer is properly vented outdoors. Clean the dryer filter and vent after each use. Drain and clean all drip pans under water heaters or washing machines on a regular basis. If your home tends to be high in humidity, use portable dehumidifiers in closets and closed areas or consider adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system. Always run the bathroom exhaust fan during and after showering to remove excess moisture in the air. If moisture pools on the bathroom shower stall, tub or tiles, wipe dry after use. Damp towels turn sour and moldy quickly. Always put wet towels in the laundry or hang to dry. Rinse and wring out bath sponges, hang to dry. To make your bathroom sparkle and shine, wipe all surfaces with a rag saturated with white vinegar. Vinegar removes hard water deposits and mold and helps prevent regrowth of the black fungus. Have your heating and air-conditioning system checked semi-annually, cleaning ductwork, checking for dampness and leaks and replacing all filters. Fix All Leaks Immediately Repair dripping faucets, shower heads, and pipes as soon as a problem appears. Once the source of the water has been fixed, scrub the area with a solution of 1 part white vinegar, 1 part baking soda, the juice of a lemon, and three parts water. Dry thoroughly. If moisture has saturated a wooden cabinet bottom, dry with a portable fan after cleaning. If any moisture remains in the wood, mold will reappear. Examine the attic careful to check for any leaks in the roof and make needed repairs. Drain Water From Foundations If water collects around your homeís foundation, contact your plumbing contractor about installing a drainage system to divert water away from the foundation and into a catchment pond or sewer drain.
If you're an allergy sufferer, you probably have a love-hate relationship with carpeting. On one hand, you may love the way soft carpeting feels on your bare feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. On the other hand, you probably hate the allergy symptoms it triggers and the cleaning problems it creates.
There's no denying that wall-to-wall carpeting can be a nuisance to clean and maintain. Once you've spilled something on carpeting, it's often tough to get that stain out. For households with children, pets, or "spill-prone" adults, the problem of dealing with carpet stains is unrelenting!
Issues For House SellersThe fact that many people have both a physical and mental aversion to carpeting is an important thing to keep in mind if you're considering putting your house on the market. Although it can be relatively simple and inexpensive for new homeowners to remove carpeting, some prospective buyers can't look past it. It can be a "deal breaker." When staging a house for sale, it might be worthwhile to remove old carpet or -- at the very least -- point out to prospects that there are hardwood floors or other desirable flooring material underneath the carpet. Loosening up a corner of the carpeting so that it can be easily pulled away to show the underlying flooring material can help deflect objections about the carpeting being there.
Partial Solutions For Dirty Carpets
Newer carpets that haven't been subjected to the wear and tear of daily use can temporarily look good and complement the dťcor of a room. However, it doesn't take long for carpet fibers to collect and harbor a host of undesirable household allergens -- ranging from dust mites and mold spores to pet dander and bacteria.
Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning can help reduce the problem, but it's more of a "Band-Aid" approach than a long-term solution. If you don't have the right kind of vacuum cleaner, it could even make the problem worse. Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter, it may actually redistribute dust mite proteins back into the room, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Carpet manufacturers often recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned at least once a year, but the benefits of that can wear off quickly.
There are a variety of products on the market for cleaning carpet stains, but they sometimes tend to do too good of a job. Not only do they get rid of the stain, but they also can cause the color of your carpet to fade in the treated area! Some carpet spot cleaners also contain toxic chemicals, so you have to be careful when using them.
One way to slow down the problem of dirty carpets in your home is to ask family members and visitors to take their shoes off when entering the house. Although you probably are not going to get 100% compliance -- especially with kids -- it will be step in the right direction!
Are you a Millennial who is interested in buying a home? If so, now may be an excellent time to purchase a house. Millennials who understand the ins and outs of buying a house will be better equipped to make a great home purchase. So what should a Millennial look for in a new house? Here are three factors that every Millennial should consider when they evaluate a house: 1. Location Location is everything in the real estate market, and Millennials who consider a house's location relative to their personal needs are sure to find a wonderful house. For instance, if you don't own a car, you may want to consider purchasing a house that is located near public transportation. Conversely, if you want your home to be a haven from the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day office work, you may want to consider buying a house outside the busy city. Examine the location of a prospective residence during the home evaluation process. By doing so, you'll improve your chances of finding a home that fulfills your personal needs both now and in the future. 2. Price A home is a long-term investment, and as such, you'll need to consider the house's price before you begin your search for the perfect residence. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage generally is a good idea before you start looking at homes. Pre-approval means you'll be able to establish a homebuying budget and determine the maximum amount that you can spend on a house. Also, you should examine your personal finances closely prior to your home search. This may allow you to find ways to save extra money for a down payment on a house and explore other cost-cutting measures to ensure you have enough money to afford a new residence. 3. Debt Unfortunately, debt plagues many Millennials and can destroy your chances of purchasing a house quickly and easily. As a result, you'll want to examine your debt and find ways to reduce it before you buy a house. To minimize debt, you'll first need to know your credit score. Fortunately, you're eligible for a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) at least once a year. Get a copy of your credit report so you know your credit score. Then, you can review the sources of your debt and work toward paying off outstanding credit card bills and other debt that may hinder your ability to purchase your ideal residence. Of course, buying a house can be a stressful endeavor for Millennials. And if you need extra help along the way, it is essential to remember that you can employ a friendly, experienced real estate agent. A real estate agent enables you to take the guesswork out of the homebuying process, and ultimately, may make it simple for you to find a house that fits your personal needs and budget. With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to streamline the process of buying a house and discover a residence that suits you perfectly.
The kitchen can be one of the most cluttered rooms†in the home. Not only does it house your everyday dining and cookware but thereís also all sorts of seasonal, special occasion and specialty items that seem to take over precious cabinet space. If youíre ready to take inspiration from the minimalist movement and make your kitchen a more sane version of itself keep reading! Begin. Start by clearing out anything you know you donít use. If you are having a hard time ask yourself if you have used the particular item in the last three months. If itís not a holiday related item, you can add it to your donate pile. If the idea of getting rid of half of your kitchen items is overwhelming, itís okay to start slow and move at your own pace. In the end, this is your project so you only need to go as far as you are comfortable and make the tips below work in a way that is best for you. One. The number the average family needs of a particular item and/or set. One measuring set, one silverware set, one bake set, one set of drinking glasses, etc. In our culture more is more. However, how often do you really need more than one of any of the above-mentioned items? Be honest here and cull your stash accordingly. Skip specifics. Consider letting go of any food type specific appliances and gadgets. Items like garlic crushers, lemon squeezers, popcorn machines, waffle irons, or ice cream makers. The list can go on. Of course, if you really value an item and use it on a weekly basis donít toss it in the name of minimalism. The case, more often than not, though is that these types of items are rarely if ever used. Coffee mugs. One section of the kitchen that can grow out of control easily is coffee mugs. Between ďBest MomĒ mugs and vacation mementos on top of your regular set, the average household usually has more mugs than they ever use. Keep the coffee mug situation under control by keeping ones you truly enjoy using. If you have one you love but donít enjoy drinking from it consider using it as a unique pencil cup or flower vase. Get creative. Invest in kitchen tools that can pull their weight by becoming the ultimate multitaskers. Make your own spice combinations instead of buying premade bottles that take up more space. An immersion blender with a whisk and chopping attachment easily replaces itís bulkier counterparts that can only single task. A couple of great knives can do more a whole set of subpar ones. Create a less cluttered kitchen you enjoy using by taking a page from the minimalist movementís book. By cutting down to the bare necessities and buying good quality multitasking items youíll feel like you get more use and creativity out of your kitchen than when it was filled with gadgets. Youíll also have the added bonus of fewer dishes to clean and more time to spend with your family!
Saving money is on everyoneís mind, and rightfully so. One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is by using your phone. There are many apps offered in the App Store and Google Play Store that are amazing at saving you money through discounts, coupons and even money back. All you have to do is download the app and create an account and your on your ways to savings. Check out the apps below: Cartwheel: This is Targetís app. It features deals that are based on items youíve purchased before or are likely to purchase in the future (based on shopping patterns it learns from using the app). But the best part about this app is the scan feature. While shopping scan all of your items that you put in your shopping cart to find additional offers, saving you even more money. Savings Catcher: This is Wal-Martís app. With the Savings Catcher app you scan your Wal-Mart receipts and it then scans for competitorís prices on items that you purchased. You will receive money back for any item that was priced lower at a competitorís store. You can turn this money into a gift card at any time and redeem it at your local Wal-Mart. Shopular: Shopular is a very popular shopping app. It has coupons, deals, and sales for almost every store imaginable. They include Express, Famous Footwear, Michaels, Old Navy, Target, Kohlís, factory stores, and so many more. The best part about this app is that stores actually accept the coupons. Groupon: Groupon is very popular. It offers deals on restaurants, goods, hotels, vacation packages, activities, and much more. Beyond the offers that are offered, Groupon also runs specials where you can receive an additional amount off the already discounted amount. These are perfect times to purchase the Groupon youíve been holding out on. Now get to downloading and happy saving!