Design And Decor
While one tends to be more serious than the other, both mold and mildew can cause problems in your home. Besides being unsightly and generating a musty odor, mold and mildew can cause serious health problems for you and your family, not to mention doing serious structural damage to your home. That’s why it’s so important to be on guard against letting mold and mildew grow in your home.
In order to protect your family and your home against mold and mildew, you need to understand what they are, because each type of fungal growth requires a different approach. Know where mold and mildew are most likely to grow, so you can monitor your home for their appearance. Know how to deal with mold and mildew yourself, and when it’s time to call in the professionals.
Mold vs. Mildew: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to identifying mildew vs. mold, you need to understand the characteristics of each type of fungal growth. Mildew is typically considered an early stage mold, and is therefore less serious and easier to treat. Both mold and mildew require moisture, high levels of oxygen, warmth, and darkness in order to flourish. Mildew likes to grow on flat, damp surfaces, and can most often be found in bathrooms and on window sills. It can also be found on paper, fabrics, and organic materials in your home.
Mildew may appear either powdery or fluffy, and is usually yellow, gray, or white in color. It can turn brown or black with time. Its growth appears flat, and it can cause a musty smell.
Mold, on the other hand, looks fuzzy, and may be white, black, blue, gray, green, brown, or even red. It can appear as irregular spots on any surfaces in your home where a damp, warm, dark environment is present. It, too, can create a musty odor. Though thousands of mold fungi appear in nature, mold inside the home is typically caused by one of five fungi:
- Alternaria, which is gray, black, or brown, and has a downy or wooly texture;
- Cladosporium, which is black or olive-green and can grow in cool conditions;
- Aspergillus, which is white, yellow, green, grey, black, or brown;
- Penicillium, which is green or blue, spreads easily, and causes a strong musty smell; and
- Stachybotrys chartarum, a toxic form of black mold that can cause serious illness.
Unsure whether you have mildew or mold? An easy way to tell the difference is to spray some bleach on the affected area. If it lightens, you have mildew. If it stays dark, you’ve got mold.
How Mold and Mildew Affect Your Home and Your Health
While mildew usually only causes cosmetic damage, if any at all, mold can cause serious structural damage to your home. That’s because mold and mildew fungal growths actually eat the surfaces they’re growing on. In nature, this allows fungi to break down and decompose dead plants and animals, but in your home, it’s bad news. A serious mold infestation can drastically compromise your home’s structural integrity, and even minor infestations can require completely replacing the affected materials.
Mold and mildew can also cause health problems. About ten percent of people are allergic to mold and mildew spores, and can experience allergy symptoms including:
- Itchy, dry skin
- Sneezing or coughing
- Runny nose
- Irritation of the eyes, throat, and nose
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on factors such as age and whether or not you have asthma. Stachybotrys chartarum, or toxic black mold, can cause severe symptoms even in people who are not allergic, which can range from respiratory problems, to fatigue, chronic sinus infections or asthma attacks, and depression.
Dealing with Mold and Mildew
If you have mildew, you can get rid of it with bleach cleansing spray and some elbow grease. Clean surrounding areas well to ensure that you’ve removed all of the fungal growth. Wear a face mask and gloves while cleaning, especially if you are allergic. Prevent the recurrence of mildew by eliminating sources of moisture, or, if that’s not possible, clean the mildew regularly.
If you have mold, you should call a professional remediation company. Not only will your home probably require extensive repair to eliminate the mold and prevent its return, but dealing with a mold infestation yourself can cause severe health problems if you don’t use proper safety equipment. It’s best to let the professionals deal with a mold problem.
Mold and mildew can be smelly, unsightly, and even dangerous. Don’t let fungal growth get out of hand in your home. Take steps as soon as you suspect a mold or mildew infestation, to keep your home and family safe and healthy for years to come.
When you’re looking for the next great idea as a homeowner, why not think about a home heat recovery system? It’s compact, energy efficient, and saves you money on your heating. Here are five excellent reasons to consider buying a heat recovery system today.
1. Low Noise Factor
The operations of a home heat recovery unit are surprisingly low. This is because the system runs in the background quietly extracting small amounts of stale air. It pulls in air from outside the home and runs it through some filters. But this again isn’t a noisy process. Unlike older AC units which can make a racket, you usually won’t know a heat recovery unit is turned on.
You can look for more information to confirm what the best brands are and why a professional installation is so important.
2. Long Ownership Period
A home heat recovery unit works well for many years. There are also the ducts which have little to prevent them from operating successfully for half a decade or longer. Getting quality brands is important to increase the durability. Once that’s accomplished, it’s all about having basic maintenance performed to ensure the system runs at peak efficiency. This keeps the annual ownership costs down by helping it to operate for longer.
3. Better for Allergy Sufferers
When using an AC unit, the air in the room isn’t being effectively cleaned. If the filters inside the AC unit haven’t been replaced recently, then the air quality will actually be getting worse. There have been cases of Legionnaire’s disease because AC filters weren’t swapped out.
With a heat recovery system, air is regularly replaced with filtered air from outside the home. This way, low-quality air is not allowed to linger. The effective filtering ensures allergy sufferers don’t have the usual itchy nose or breathing difficulties.
4. Reduces the Heating Bill
Heat that’s collected and redistributed, infused into clean air and distributed to other rooms means the home doesn’t have to be heated room-by-room. It’s more evenly spread around. You won’t find yourself turning up the heating in rooms that you spend time later in the day when the sun is setting, and the temperature is falling outside. This contributes to a low energy bill which is most welcome.
5. Less Times That You’re Sick
Damp rooms that aren’t regularly heated because they’re left unoccupied most days develop conditions where bacteria can flourish. Long-term issues with too much moisture in the air can affect the lungs and lead to a chest infection or a worsening of a chronic illnesses like asthma.
When the air is filtered and replaced regularly, and warmth is redistributed into the lesser used rooms, dampness is avoided. So too are a host of related problems that can be a danger to health. Therefore, a heat recovery system definitely has unseen health benefits.
With the reasons outlined above in mind, why not contact a heat recovery system contractor today?
For thousands of Americans, the amount spent on home improvement projects ranges anywhere between $5,000 – $18,000. However, if you plan to Do-It-Yourself, you can transform your home into a mini paradise with just a fraction of the cost to hire an interior designer. Whether you have just moved into a new home or are looking to spice up the aged design, check out these 3 DIY solutions to upgrading your home on a budget.
Create the illusion of a bigger room
Paint is one of the most important aspects of interior design. The color scheme of your walls could be the difference between boring and exciting. In addition, paint is rather cheap and currently, there are hundreds of colors to choose from. For smaller rooms, it is advised that one should use softer and lighter colors. You can also experiment with different colors on different walls in a room.
According to this interior design firm in Orange County, CA the mirror should not reflect anything unpleasant or another mirror as this could make them totally spoil the design of your home. Decorative mirrors are also great for smaller rooms. Their reflection makes the room look much more spacious. This has been proven to create the illusion of a bigger room.
One of the greatest mistakes that most people make is having too many things in one room or in a small space. Clutter is the main reason that most houses seem poorly designed. That does not mean that you have to go minimalist and ditch half of your belongings. You can use well-designed shelves to store away things that are not complementary to the general design of the house.
One smart idea that is gaining traction is the using of old items for unique creations. You can hang old cutlery from the ceiling to create a beautiful art scheme. What about repainting and remodeling your old furniture? The most important thing to remember is that you should not overdo the design. Small changes can make huge differences.
With everything going green, why not do the same to your home? Besides the already well known environmental and possibly health benefits plants have, they can also transform your home’s interior design. What is more is that plants come in different colors. You can get some green plants or yellow and orange flowers. The options are unlimited.
Plants are known to add color and texture to the design of the room. In addition, plants give you the option of playing around with vases of different colors, shapes and sizes giving your home that edgy look.
With the tips mentioned, you can cost-effectively transform your house into a masterpiece. Find a design you like and use it to meet your taste. The rule of the thumb is to never overdo a design but also never limit your creativity.
The average expense for multiple room renovations in the US ranges from $17,000 – $63,000, and homeowners are spending more and more each year. It’s the harsh reality that, before you’ve even begun your home improvements, you may find out that you’ve not quite got the funds; and on top of that there are hidden expenses of remodeling that haven’t even been budgeted for in the initial planning. Whether your project involves a complete redecoration to bring your house back to the 21st century, or just installing a new bathroom, funding always seems to come up as a barrier to realizing your ideal remodeling project. But, no matter the scale, there are funding solutions that can keep your plans on track and on budget without having to sacrifice your vision for the perfect home remodeling.
Secure your finances early with mortgages or loans
Most homeowners need to consider whether to go with mortgage or loan solutions when renovating their property. A home equity loan is one of the more common solutions to funding your home improvements as it offers a lower interest rate and larger available funds than a personal loan; however, it does involve a fixed payment plan. Some consider refinancing their mortgage instead if they know they will be able to pay it back over time and might get a lower interest rate in the process. However, a reverse-mortgage should also be considered if you are over the age of 62. These are based on just a percentage of the equity of your property and aren’t required to be repaid until the property is sold of you have moved out; making reverse-mortgages the most secure finance solution for remodeling your home.
Use cash assets and do-it-yourself for smaller aspects of the project
As cash doesn’t involve interest rates, it is best to pay with cash for the much smaller aspects of your home improvements such as buying the odd piece of material from the DIY store. And of course, where possible, do-it-yourself! DIY is all part of the fun and will save you on labor when it comes to smaller tasks such as painting walls, nailing in the skirting boards, and putting up shelves or small units. Save where possible, get stuck in when you can, and the positive effects on your budget will really show.
When it comes to remodeling your home, you don’t have to let your finances get on top of you. Early planning and secure budgeting solutions such as taking out a reverse-mortgage and knowing which aspects of the renovations can have cash assets spent on them will make all the difference. Then, you will be well on your way to realizing your dream home remodeling project, no matter the scale or budget.
Boost your home’s curb appeal with a fence that’s perfectly suited to your property. One of the great features about fences is the beauty they can add to a home. Whether you’re talking about a white picket fence around a charming cottage or a privacy fence surrounding the backyard, fences can create a real wow factor.
If you’re in the market for one, consider some of the best and most attractive fence styles available today:
A long-beloved fence style, wood fencing is popular for a reason. Available in many grades, species and styles, wood fencing opens a world of possibilities for completing your property. From the durable, lightweight quality of cedar to the modern look of wood fences made of horizontally fixed planks, you can choose just the right design to fit your home.
When you want a fence that looks like wood but is even more durable and easy to maintain, a vinyl fence is the answer. Today’s vinyl fences are resilient against inclement weather, so you can count on them to last well into the future. Likewise, they come in all kinds of designs, from picket fencing to semi-privacy fencing.
What’s great about chain link fences is their affordability and convenience. Use these fences when you want to protect pets, add security or otherwise contain an area with a no-frills fencing option. You can also dress up chain link with plants or climbing vines to make it look more eye-catching.
Available in steel, aluminum and wrought iron, ornamental fences can create an upscale look that highlights quality architecture and adds value to a property. Shop different ornamental designs to find one that befits your home.
When you’re planning to invest in a new fencing structure for your home, evaluating the fencing types and materials is worth the effort. Likewise, in addition to exploring designs, put a little time into goals, contractors, samples and more. Check out the infographic below for more information on how to pick the right fence for you.
Dean White Bio
Dean White is owner and operator of Peerless Fence, one of the largest fence companies in northern Illinois. He has more than 30 years of experience in the fence industry. Peerless Fence uses its size, expertise and quality products to provide a superior product and service compared to its competitors.