Mold and Your Home

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Mr. Joseph Arnone


Featured Articles

The Fungus Among Us

Mold isn't just for bread anymore.
In fact, more and more homeowners are becoming concerned about the levels and types of mold that can potentially be found almost anywhere in the home. Here's a brief overview on the why's and how's of-yuck!-mold.

Why is mold growing in my home?
Fundamentally, mold is a perfectly natural part of our outside environment, helping to break down things like dead trees and old leaves. Indoors, however, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny invisible spores that float through the air. When a mold spore lands on a surface that is wet or moist, that's when the growing begins. No molds can grow without water or moisture.

Are there health risks?
Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. If you have any health concerns regarding mold, make sure to contact your doctor.

How do I get rid of mold?
Since some molds are found floating around the air and in house dust, it is virtually impossible to get rid of all the mold in your home. Indoor mold growth should be prevented by controlling moisture inside the home. If you discover mold in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, chances are the mold problem will come back. To clean mold off hard surfaces use water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles that are moldy should be replaced.

Home Clean Home

If your house is for sale, then you're not only selling your home, you're showing it, too. So, as you continually clean, dust and straighten-up (not to mention threaten anyone who even thinks about making a mess) you wonder-is all this fuss and aggravation really worth it? Well, the answer is definitely 'yes.'

Even everyday clutter (that we all can relate to!) may be sending negative messages to a potential buyer: The house is messy = it hasn't been maintained. Bathtub rings = plumber's bills. Dirty registers = need to replace the furnace. Oftentimes buyers act more upon what their emotions are telling them, rather than what logic is telling them. That's why even making the beds everyday helps your broker by reducing the amount of imagination that buyers will need in order to fall in love with your home!

Is a Straw-bale Home Right for You?

Part of the classic "American Dream" is to own a comfortable, attractive, functional and durable home. Yet, since conventional building methods rely on Earth's dwindling natural resources, the costs of new construction are sky-rocketing. This means that for many, finding high-quality housing is out of reach.

One way to potentially save on new home building costs is to consider utilizing straw-bale construction. First used in the United States around 1900, straw-bale building is demonstrating renewed attraction in today's high-cost marketplace. Straw-bale construction literally uses bales made from the leftover stems of harvested grain, mostly rice. Straw-bale buildings feature mega-insulated walls, a simple construction process and lower costs. It also earns bonus points for converting an agricultural byproduct into a viable building material-while at the same time helping to relieve the strain on our limited forest resources.

Properly constructed and maintained, the straw-bale walls, stucco exterior and plaster interior are naturally water proof, fire resistant, durable and pest free. Straw-bale construction promises a low-cost, stylish and energy-efficient living space for the owners, a graceful addition to the community and a vital boost to local income.

The Trivia Block

What kind of home construction is considered to be the safest in areas where earthquakes occur?

Straw-bale homes in seismic zones have proven resilient enough to withstand the shock of earthquakes.