• Avoiding Mold in Your Home

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    Mold growing on wall | bath, bathroom, bathtub, black, corner, damage, damp, dampness, destruction, dirt, dirty, effect, environ

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    Wondering if your home has a mold problem? You should. Mold can grow anywhere in a place where moisture is allowed to leak or accumulate. Whether the cause is a loaf of bread gone bad, or rain water dripping into your attic, the key to eliminating mold growth in your home is targeting the source.

    Mold growing in homes and other buildings indicates a problem with water leakage or excess moisture. The problem could be due to user habits or structural issues. Mold caused by the habits

    “There are no guidelines for ‘safe’ amounts of airborne mold in the home. Testing will only keep you up at night, and not solve any problems.”

    of a home’s occupants often results from simple humidity build-up that could be resolved by regular use of an air conditioner, dehumidifier or exhaust fan.

    For example, condensation from your refrigerator might cause mold to grow behind or under your fridge. Mold on the grout in your shower tiles could be eliminated by flipping on the overhead exhaust fan before you bathe, and leaving it …read more  

  • Whole-House Humidifier Benefits

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    A whole-house humidifier can have a host of health benefits that go beyond making a scratchy throat or stuffed-up nose feel better when you have a cold. Instead of taking a hot shower or eating a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup when you get sick, a whole-house humidifier can hopefully prevent illnesses.

    Dry indoor air can lead to scratchy throats, nose bleeds, dry skin and even static electricity. A whole-house humidifier can especially improve the quality of the air in the winter, when low humidity can cause dry skin and static electricity, says Ryan Rex, who works in the mechanical trades for Evolve Build, a sustainable construction company in Pennsylvania.

    Allergies and nose bleeds are another problem with low humidity, Rex says. “People with dryer skin can also have problems with the inside of their noses drying out, leading to nosebleeds,” he says. “Adding moisture to the air helps prevent this from happening.”

    Installing a whole-house humidifier and keeping the humidity to around 60 percent can eliminate these problems, Rex says. Higher humidity can also render some viruses …read more  

  • 'American Dream Builders,' Episode 1: How to Get the Look

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    Kid's room before.

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    NBC/Zillow“You want to change things up when it comes to texture and color.”

    By Erika Riggs

    On the first episode of NBC’s new home renovation reality show, American Dream Builders, the designers faced their first project, which were Tudor-style homes in desperate need of smarter space and rooms with more light. Here’s a look at how two designers tackled problem areas on the show and how you can incorporate the designs in your home.

    Look No. 1

    The West family have six people living in tight quarters. One of the goals was to create space for a kids’ room, so the Team Blue transformed the home’s master bedroom closet into a kids’ room (see before & after photos below). While the room is on the small side, the team used it to their advantage, creating a bold, fun look.

    Kid’s room: Before

    This master bedroom closet is stuffed with clothes and other objects.

    Kid’s room: After