spring home improvement 2015

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  • A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PRINCETON DAILY CLARION & OAKLAND CITY JOURNAL THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015

    March 2015 A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO

    THE NEW BACKYARDMUST-HAVEDOS AND DONTS OF BACKYARD FIRE PITS

    OUT WITHTHE MOLDTHE POTENTIALLYHARMFUL EFFECTS OFMOLD IN YOUR HOME

    GEAR UPSAFETY GEARFOR YOUR NEXTDIY PROJECT

    CLARIONPRINCETON DAILY

  • THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015 A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PRINCETON DAILY CLARION & OAKLAND CITY JOURNAL2

    for 48 Months

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    The Super Z is a commercial model that is a step up from the X-ONE. Its redesigned features include a commercial duty 21cc pump, a Parker TG series wheel motor with hot oil shuttle and large-capacity oil cooler with 8-inch fan. The Super Z also features Kawasaki engines and VX4 deck technology.

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  • A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PRINCETON DAILY CLARION & OAKLAND CITY JOURNAL THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015

    The presence of mold in a home is a sight few homeowners want to see. In addition to being unsightly, mold found in a home can be unhealthy.While certain cleaners may prove effective at removing mold, homeowners who want to remove existing mold growths and prevent future growths may benefi t from gaining a greater understanding of mold and why it grows inside homes.

    What is mold?Mold is a blanket term used to describe fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Many species of mold exist, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that some estimates suggest there may be more than three hundred thousand different species of mold. Common indoor molds include cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria, and aspergillus.

    Which conditions promote mold growth?Homeowners may notice that mold tends to grow in specifi c areas of their homes but not in others, and thats because molds grow best in certain conditions. Warm, damp and humid conditions, such as those found in poorly ventilated bathrooms and basements, make ideal breeding grounds for mold.

    What are the effectsof mold exposure?Molds are a natural and resilient part of the environment, but mold growth indoors should be addressed and avoided. Mold spores are tiny and invisible to the naked eye, and when these spores attach to wet surfaces, they begin to grow. Once these spores begin to grow, they can then affect people in various ways. Roughly a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine found suffi cient evidence to support a link between exposure to indoor mold and respiratory tract issues, such as coughing and wheezing in people who were otherwise healthy. The same report found that mold may trigger asthma symptoms among people with asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a disease in which the lungs are infl amed when a person breathes in certain dusts he or she is allergic to, in people susceptible to that condition.

    Some people who do not have a preexisting condition can still be sensitive to molds. When exposed to mold, such people may experience symptoms like nasal stuffi ness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation.

    How can exposure to mold be decreased at home?Adequate ventilation is arguably homeowners best friend with regard to reducing mold exposure at home. Control humidity levels in areas of the home that tend to be warm and humid, such as the kitchen and bathroom. Install an exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom and a window in the bathroom if yours does not already have one.The CDC recommends that humidity levels be no higher than 50 percent throughout the day, and an air conditioner and dehumidifi er can help you keep indoor humidity levels in check, especially during the summer when humidity levels tend to be their highest of any time during the year.When renovating your home, remove any existing carpeting from bathrooms and basements and toss out soaked carpets or upholstery as well. If painting will be part of your home renovation projects, add mold inhibitors to paints prior to application.Mold that grows inside a home is unsightly and potentially unhealthy. But concerned homeowners can take several reactive and proactive steps to reduce existing mold growths and prevent them from returning in the future.

    Homeowners looking for a rustic or weathered look for their fl ooring often rely on terracotta tile, a durable and versatile material that many feel gives a home a warm and earthy feel. Terracotta tile comes in various fi nishes and has proven resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. However, because it is very porous, terracotta tile absorbs moisture quickly, which means it must be sealed somewhat regularly to prevent cracking, discoloration and staining. It also must be sealed especially well when installed in a kitchen, as terracotta fl oor tiles are susceptible to damage from acids, alcohol, oils, and vinegar. Installation of terracotta fl ooring is labor intensive and is therefore best left to professionals.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Did you know terracotta tileThe potentially harmful effects of mold in your homeStock up on safety gear before your next DIY projectDos and donts of kitchen remodelsPower tool safety tipsCommon mistakes made on home renovation projectsGet started now on spring cleaningExplore the alternatives to granite countertopsAdd value to your home with these renovationsTips for homeowners on their fi rst renovation projectsHelp your homes exterior rebound from harsh winter weatherHow to cool your home without breaking the bankHow to close up a fi replace for the seasonExplaining carpet fi bers and typesThe dos and donts of backyard fi re pitsHow to address ceiling stainsOptions abound when laying a new driveway

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    tHe potentiaLLy HaRMfuL effectS of MoLd in youR HoMe

    Poorly ventilated bathrooms are susceptible to mold growth.

  • THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015 A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PRINCETON DAILY CLARION & OAKLAND CITY JOURNAL

    Do-it-yourself, or DIY, projects around the house can give homeowners a more personal stake in their properties. Getting their own hands dirty when renovating a bathroom rather than paying a professional to do all that work gives many homeowners a strong sense of accomplishment while allowing them to learn a few things and save some money along the way.But whether homeowners have years of experience with regard to renovations or are about to embark on their first DIY adventure, safety should be a top priority. Securing the right safety equipment might not guarantee a DIY project comes out looking exactly as homeowners hope, but it can help protect DIYers and their helpers from suffering injuries as they renovate their homes. The following is a list of some safety equipment all homeowners should have at the ready before beginning home improvement projects.

    First-aid kit: All homes should have a first-aid kit on hand, regardless of whether any renovations are in the offing. First-aid kits can help treat minor cuts and scrapes, but such kits also can be used to prevent more serious injuries from escalating in the time it takes to see a physician. When tackling a large DIY project, secure a well-stocked first-aid kit that includes more than just band-aids and adhesives. In addition to such items, a reliable first-aid kit should include antiseptic ointment, a chemical cold pack, cotton balls, eyedrops, first-aid

    tape, needles, sterile gauze bandages, and tweezers. In addition, make sure the kit includes a first-aid handbook that contains instructions regarding the treatment of common injuries.Eyewear: Protective eyewear is essential when working on renovation projects. Safety goggles may suffice on smaller projects, but make sure the goggles fit well, as loose goggles will still allow debris into your eyes, and that debris can compromise your vision and result in injuries to your eyes. If you will be welding, be sure to wear proper welding goggles with adequate lens shading.Mask/respirator: Home renovation projects, especially those that involve taking down walls, can leave DIYers lungs susceptible to lung irritation and disease. But masks and respirators can protect the lungs. Cloth masks may be sufficient for smaller projects, while more significant undertakings may require the use of dual-cartridge respirators that provide added protection for sensitive lungs.Gloves: Hands also can take a beating during home improvement projects, so its important that DIYers find sturdy gloves to wear throughout their renovation efforts. While this may contradict the idea of getting your hands dirty, splintered, blistered hands are painful and susceptible to infection. Wear sturdy rubber gloves when using chemical cleaners or any products containing acid.Joint supports: Achy joints can make it

    difficult to effectively tackle DIY projects, so its important that you support your joints from start to finish. Knee and elbow pads can protect your joints as you spend time on