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QDD

QD The Microwave Oven

Word Count:
486

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Can you remember the time in which we did not have a microwave oven? In fact, can you remember a time in which the mere thought of a microwave oven inspired a science fiction like imagination, that it was unrealistic that people who said that we will be able to cook and heat our meals in a matter of seconds, and that all the waiting will be a thing of the past, well, this was not so far ago.

The technological achievements of the last few decades are nothing less then pheno…


microwave oven, micro wave oven, micro oven

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Can you remember the time in which we did not have a microwave oven? In fact, can you remember a time in which the mere thought of a microwave oven inspired a science fiction like imagination, that it was unrealistic that people who said that we will be able to cook and heat our meals in a matter of seconds, and that all the waiting will be a thing of the past, well, this was not so far ago.

The technological achievements of the last few decades are nothing less then phenomenal, one of the easiest ways to examine how significant is the change is to learn what are peoples expectations of appliances in the house today, and the fact is that most of us has become very used to the microwave oven, most people would not compromise on anything less than a microwave oven speed today, and if fact most kitchens have a micro oven, and not necessarily an oven.

The day of the micro wave oven has certainly come, and today you can find a huge market of these micro wave ovens with different features and tools you can use, when the micro waves just started appearing on the market they had some problems and their baking quality was not perfect, some micro ovens did not have proper timing features and power regulators, today this is no problem, all of the new micro wave have varying degrees of heat and some combine oven features to complete a baking procedure, or pizza making.

With the advancement in the use and making of the micro wave ovens, the understanding of using the microwaves has increased, and today you can find many kitchens in which the micro wave oven replaces many different appliances, you can use the micro wave oven to boil water so you do not need an electric kettle, while its no real replacement for a coffee maker, it is a nice replacement. If you are exploring healthy cooking, the micro oven can help you steam your vegetables and keep all those vitamins, a micro wave is perfect for teaming and in fact, it s the micro wave most basic and initial purposes.

Using the proper tools and kitchen appliances you can cook almost everything in the micro wave, you just need to remember a few simple things (like covering liquid based sauces and food in sauce so it wouldn t go splashing all over the place) and you will be enjoying your micro wave oven.

One product that has been significantly effected by the appearance of the micro wave oven is the popcorn, most people don t even remember how difficult it was to prepare popcorn before we had the microwave, to start talking about that is an article by itself, the main point is that just like making popcorn, the micro wave oven has made our life much easier, nice and much faster.

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Tarmac Patio Paving Waterford

DDW Top 5 Home Improvements To Add Value To Your Property

Word Count:
423

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Many homeowners in the UK take out a homeowner loan to carry out home improvements every year, and there are a number of popular improvements that can really add value to your home.


Home Improvements To Add Value To Your Property

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Many homeowners in the UK take out a homeowner loan to carry out home improvements every year, and there are a number of popular improvements that can really add value to your home, making your loan a very worthwhile investment. With the right improvements you can enjoy increased comfort and practicality whilst you are living in the property, you can add to the appearance of your home, and you will find that the value has been boosted considerably if and when you decide to sell your property.

Amongst the top improvements that can add value to your home are:

1. Converting loft space. Often loft space goes to waste, and gets used to store junk, but imagine the extra usable space you could enjoy with a loft conversion. Not only will a loft conversion enable you to enjoy the benefits of a larger home, but it will also add considerable value to your property. You can use your loft conversion for anything from an extra bedroom to a study.

2. Adding an extension. This is another way to add additional room to the size of your property, so if you have the space then an extension could prove to be a great idea. You will enjoy a larger property, and can increase the amount of room that you have downstairs as well as upstairs. This is another great way to make the most of your homeowner loan by adding value to your property.

3. New kitchen or bathroom. The kitchen and bathroom are rooms that are often scrutinized by potential buyers. They are also rooms in which you spend a great deal of time. Creating the right look and ambiance for both of these rooms can be easy these days, and with a choice of great kitchen and bathroom designs available you can make these rooms look and feel perfect.

4. Replacement windows. Many people can be put off buying a property if the windows are shabby and old. Not only do they look bad upon first impression, but they also affect the light, heat, and comfort levels in your home. Replacement windows, such as double glazing, can help to increase energy efficiency and can improve the lighting, ambiance, and appearance of your home.

5. Heating. Having the right heating system in place is another important factor when it comes to the comfort and sale ability of your home. For most buyers central heating is a must these days, and by having central heating fitted you can enjoy cozier winters, a warmer home, and a more sellable property.

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Paving Dublin

PDD1 Don’t Purchase A Fireplace Until You Read This

Word Count:
816

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Have you decided the allure of a warm, toasty fire is something you can no longer resist? Is the purchase of a fireplace in your future? There are many options depending on your needs, where you plan on installing the fireplace, and your budget. Below are some things to think about and consider.

1) Is your fireplace going to be in a new home you re constructing or are you adding one to an existing home? As you probably expect, it s much easier to put in a fireplace if you…


fireplace, wood burning fireplace, gas fireplace, electric fireplace, fireplace mantels

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Have you decided the allure of a warm, toasty fire is something you can no longer resist? Is the purchase of a fireplace in your future? There are many options depending on your needs, where you plan on installing the fireplace, and your budget. Below are some things to think about and consider.

1) Is your fireplace going to be in a new home you re constructing or are you adding one to an existing home? As you probably expect, it s much easier to put in a fireplace if you re building a new home or putting one in an addition you re adding on. If you are adding one to an existing home, you need to consider the following. Is there an existing chimney I can use for venting and is it in good shape? If I don t have a chimney to use for venting is there somewhere I can place the fireplace so that it can directly vent outside? Or am I considering a vent-free fireplace?

2) What type of fireplace do you want? Would you like a wood-burning fireplace (http://www.fireplacesinfo.com/wood)? If you are venting your fireplace through a chimney, the chimney needs to be in good working order. If you don t have a chimney or if it will be very expensive to get the chimney working properly another option for venting your wood-burning fireplace is with a direct venting system. A direct venting system can be used on nearly any room with an exterior wall. Do you prefer a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning fireplace? A gas fireplace lets you avoid the work and mess of burning wood and can either be vented through a chimney, direct-vented or possibly even using a vent-free system.

3) Be cautious if considering a vent-free fireplace. Adding a vent-free fireplace to an existing home can be an attractive option to many people because there s no need to worry about having a safe chimney or having to have an outside wall to place the direct vent. And because there s no venting to the outside, there s no heat loss.

If you are considering a vent-free fireplace though, be aware of these proper operations procedures from the research division of the American Gas Association: only use the fireplace for short periods of time (less than 4 hours at a time); do not use in a small confined space; and do not use as the only source of heat. In addition, a vent free fireplace should not be installed if anyone in your home is pregnant, anemic, has respiratory problems; has heart problems, or is diabetic.

A few other considerations with vent-free fireplaces: they can cause excessive moisture; there may be a noticeable smell from the fireplace; and levels are low enough to not be considered dangerous to people who are healthy.

4) Another fireplace option is an electric fireplace. The electric fireplaces today are efficient and fairly inexpensive to operate. An electric fireplace is pretty much a plug and go item. You take it home, plug it in, and enjoy it. An electric fireplace will generate some heat but is not intended to be used as the primary source of heat in a room.

5) Look before you buy. A great place to do research is a store that sells fireplaces and/or fireplace surrounds. Some companies who specialize in selling brick, stone, and tile for fireplace surrounds also sell the fireplace inserts as well. If you go to their showrooms you ll have the opportunity to see both the fireplaces and some of the fireplace surrounds with different styles of mantles, stone, brick, tile, and hearthstones. When I was building my home and was looking for fireplace ideas I went to my local stone company. They had a showroom with over 20 gas and wood-burning fireplaces on display. Each fireplace had a different surround that had been built by a local mason using various types of bricks and stones. It helped me make my decision on what brick I wanted to purchase, the style of surround I wanted, along with the type of stone I wanted for my hearthstone. Another good place to do research is on the Internet.

6) Work with a professional. Unless you are purchasing an electric plug and go fireplace or you are an expert in the installation of fireplaces, don t attempt to install one yourself. Consult with a professional because you want to make sure it is installed correctly so there are no dangerous fumes emitted and so the fireplace is not a fire hazard.

A fireplace can be a wonderful addition to a home. I have a gas fireplace. It s great to be able to turn on the fireplace on cold evenings and enjoy the coziness and warmth it provides. One of my friends has a wood-burning fireplace. They enjoy their fireplace as much as I enjoy mine.

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DPC

DPC Wind Chimes – An Unexpected Pleasure

Word Count:
450

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What could be more soothing to a gardener’s soul then the sudden sound of wind chimes softly catching the breeze on a summer day? I always have to stop whatever I’m doing in the garden and just listen to the wind chimes which seem to be telling me, all is well with my world.

Undoubtedly, one of the first set of wind chimes were made from plain sticks and/or strings of small sea shells. Then wind chimes graduated to those made from the hollow stalks of bamboo, which result…


windchimes,wind chimes,gardening,bamboo windchimes,

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What could be more soothing to a gardener’s soul then the sudden sound of wind chimes softly catching the breeze on a summer day? I always have to stop whatever I’m doing in the garden and just listen to the wind chimes which seem to be telling me, all is well with my world.

Undoubtedly, one of the first set of wind chimes were made from plain sticks and/or strings of small sea shells. Then wind chimes graduated to those made from the hollow stalks of bamboo, which resulted in a more pleasing sound. Once that sound was discovered, some smart soul went on to learn if those hollow tubes were cut to varying lengths, wind chimes could become almost musical in nature.

Today, some of the most beautiful sounding wind chimes are made from hollow tubes made of light weight metal such as aluminum. The longer the tube, the deeper the tone. It is now common to cut 4 or 5 tubes of varying lengths and attach them to a wooden disk at the top, while inserting a second wooden disk in the center of the tubes. The purpose of the second disk is to allow the sound of each tube to come forth as it hits the wooden disk, as driven by the wind.

One of the first wind chimes I ever noticed was made of thin pieces of glass. They were extremely common at the time as they were available in amost any dime store for less than $.50. I believe they were made in China and/or Japan. They were not that well put together, but while they lasted, the sound they made was, and still is charming. And to this day, the sound of glass wind chimes is still my favorite. But because of their being so fragile, I know hang them inside my home.

Yes, you can enjoy wind chimes inside your home as well as outside. I’m kind of surprised more people don’t seem to know that. Just hang them in front of a window which you are inclined to leave open all summer long. Mine hang just inside my kitchen and bedroom windows and offer beautiful, melodic tones upon the whim of the breeze all summer long.

The best thing about wind chimes are they are still cheap. In general, they start at about $4, but can cost as much as $200. They are made from all sorts of materials. Bamboo, sea shells, aluminum, metal, glass, ceramic, and even flattened table ware, such as old spoons, knives and forks. Take a listen, then decide what kind of sound you would like to unexpectedly hear in your own home and garden when that breeze begins to blow.

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Locksmiths

RL Mold Disinfectant

Word Count:
768

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How to get rid of molds in your home


mold disinfectant, get rid of mold in my house free information.

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Some Facts About Mold

Most of us have heard of mold, but don t really know much about it. Until it makes it sick, or we notice that something in our refrigerator or cupboard has grown a layer of green fuzz, we don t really think about it. The fact is mold is a living fungus that exists aRL around us. It grows in our houses, often unseen, and we should really have a good mold disinfectant on hand.

Mold spreads easily because it sends out tiny spores that the air carries everywhere. The spores are invisible and their goal in life is to be warm, damp, and find food. The trouble is many common materials in our homes are what give them life. Things we take for granted as part of our daily lives such as clothing, carpet, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, dust, and books, when existing in the right temperature and humidity cause mold to flourish and spread unless treated by a mold disinfectant.

Not everyone experiences symptoms when exposed to mold, just as not everyone reacts to pollen in the air during the spring and summer, or cat dander aRL of the time. Even if this is true in your case, it doesn t mean that it s healthy to be breathing mold. Some possible ill-effects are runny nose, itching or burning eyes, cough, asthma, or other respiratory problems. Go online or contact your local health department to find get rid of mold in my house free information.

Taking Action

Since you usually can t see mold, your first clue that you may have it is a damp, musty, or mildew like odor in a room or particular area of your home. Learn more about detecting mold from reading up on it in get rid of mold in my house free information literature or website. Mold often grows after you ve had some sort of water problem. Even something like an overflowing toilet or leaky washing machine can attract mold spores. Since mold grows fast and can invade at anytime, you should have a mold disinfectant available (#761 Industrial Germicidal Cleaner). This is especially true if you live in a damp or humid climate, use a humidifier, and daily temperatures range between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are definite steps you should take when you find mold, as you don t want it to be a permanent houseguest. First of aRL read over your get rid of mold in my house free information. It s important that you eradicate every sign of mold as it wiRL just keep spreading if you don t.

Before you attack the mold and handle any chemicals, be sure to protect yourself from breathing in the spores or making skin contact. You should wear eye goggles, a mask over your nose and mouth, and rubber or latex gloves. Your clothing should be made from a washable fabric, as you RL need to put them through the washer and dryer as soon as you ve finished your mold disinfectant project.

If your home has many of the conditions that make it extra susceptible to mold, vacuum carpets and clean hard surfaced floors regularly. Be especially vigilant in damp areas. Any time you have a leak, repair the problem that caused it right away. Use your mold disinfectant since the spores are so difficult to detect.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms attract mold because they are damp, in the ideal temperature range, and there are lots of materials in there for mold to feast on. You should regularly use a mold disinfectant when you do your routine cleaning (#9841 Fullsan Quaternary Germicidal Cleaner). In fact it s a great idea to create a bathroom cleaning check sheet to ensure that you don t miss any possible mold growing hotspots. Include such things as:

Scrub the shower curtain with mold disinfectant
Frequently wash aRL towels, bath mats, and area rugs
Thoroughly clean sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets If your bathroom is carpeted, vacuum (they are best with hard surfaced flooring)
Wash uncarpeted flooring

When you work with your bathroom cleaning check sheet each time, you won t accidentally forget to do one of these critical tasks.

If you have mold on your deck, sidings, or roof, use a pressure washing product (# 574 Pressure Washer Mold and Mildew Cleaner).

Mold is something you definitely don t want to live with. A little diligence and good cleaning habits wiRL help you avoid this annoying problem. To learn more about it, read more get rid of mold in my house free information. Also, don t forget to make up your bathroom cleaning check sheet.

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Tarmac Patio Paving Waterford

DDW Top 5 Best Motor Home Rentals

Word Count:
596

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Freedom adventure the thrill of the open road they re all part of what makes a vacation such a joy. What better way to spend with your family than cruising down the road in style via a spacious motor home? Before you rush out to make reservations, keep a few things in mind.

Deposits are non refundable. Most dealers charge anywhere from 10 to 100% of the rental price depending on when the booking was cancelled. Read the terms and the conditions of your RV rental contra…

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Freedom adventure the thrill of the open road they re all part of what makes a vacation such a joy. What better way to spend with your family than cruising down the road in style via a spacious motor home? Before you rush out to make reservations, keep a few things in mind.

Deposits are non refundable. Most dealers charge anywhere from 10 to 100% of the rental price depending on when the booking was cancelled. Read the terms and the conditions of your RV rental contract including the cancellation policy before you sign a rental contract and pay your deposit. The reservation is non-refundable because the dealer can t rent the vehicle to anyone else while it is on hold for you, and the dealer may not be able find another renter in due time especially if reservations are cancelled with little or no notice at all.

Purchase Optional Insurance packages. Extra insurance tends to reduce your security deposit and provides the necessary protection in case of unforeseen events that would occur.

Your rented RV is your sole responsibility. It is usually the renter s obligation to ensure that the engine fluids are at the correct levels. And if ever the RV breaks down during the trip, you can be charged for mechanical damages due to negligence.

Never forget to disclose all additional drivers. If you are not the only one who is going to drive the RV, make sure to tell your dealer or you will be held responsible for any damages caused by unauthorized drivers. Your best option is not to let anyone else drive the vehicle.

Renting from a supplier will not provide you with a much cheaper option. Most people mistakenly assume that if they rent directly from a supplier company rather than from a booking agent they will be able to get a lower rental rate. However, this is not always true since rental agents usually cost the same or less in an attempt to have competitive rates.

What makes motor homes ideal for travel?

RV is an acronym for recreational vehicle. The synonyms for RV are motor home, camper, and trailer. RVs offer a comfortable method of road travel and transportation since they usually contain all the basic home amenities like kitchens, bedroom, showers, bathrooms, and entertainment centers. RVs are usually parked in specially designated and equipped campgrounds called RV parks where utility hookups are provided. The greatest thing about RVs is that you get to travel without having to worry about your lodging.

What are the top 5 motor home rentals?

The most popularly rented RVs are motorized and can be driven from campsite to campsite. These are your Class A motor homes, Class B camper vans, class C motor homes, and towable RVs which are designed to be simply towed behind a car or truck and typically open up to create a tent at the campground.

Class A motor homes are the most desirable, luxurious, and expensive. Most of these are rented by upper class people with higher budgets. The class C RVs are also similar to Class A in terms of being expensive and being luxurious. They both have large capacities and always have the necessary amenities of convenient and comfortable living.

Class B motor homes are like vans and usually are just for sleeping. They don t boast any of the extravagances found in Class A and C. The towable RVs are also called folding camping trailers, travel trailers, and fifth-wheel travel trailers. When using them for typical family events, motor homes are usually the rentals of choice.

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Health Choices

Two Reasons Why You Might Want a Second Opinion

342

Summary:

I guess I had one of those gut feelings. You know the kind of feeling that tells you something is grossly wrong? She must have seen the ghost of that thought appear on my face because she started talking really fast.

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This article deals with
opinion, medical, doctor, glaucoma, cavity, dentist, dental, tooth, pulpitis, oral, eye, eyes,


About six months ago, I visited my dentist. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

After jamming a dental instrument into one of my teeth and asking me if I had been eating sweets, she made a decision. She felt that I had an area that needed to be drilled into, “to see how far the problem goes”. Fortunately, I declined.

This all happened shortly after she told me of her impending wedding. Maybe there is something about a new house, wedding and honeymoon that leads to fuzzy diagnosis?

I guess I had one of those gut feelings. You know the kind of feeling that tells you something is grossly wrong? She must have seen the ghost of that thought appear on my face because she started talking really fast.

I decided to see another dentist. There was nothing wrong with my perfectly healthy tooth.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little uneasy about treating a body part that doesn’t really have a problem. In fact, I was so sure there was nothing wrong that I didn’t bother to see that second dentist until six months later.

My mother’s ophthalmologist told her she had glaucoma in one eye and started her on some very expensive medication. The long list of side effects included changing eye color.

When she went back for a follow up visit she asked how many drops she should use. The doctor told her to put x amount of drops in both eyes. My mother realized that something had to be wrong as he had previously said there was only a problem in one eye.

She went for a second opinion. You may have guessed that the second doctor said she didn’t have glaucoma in either eye.

Doctors are only human. Whether these mistakes were intentional or not does not matter. The important thing to realize is that if you feel uneasy about a diagnosis, it is a your body and your right to get a second opinion before submitting to a treatment that you aren’t sure about.

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Paving Dublin

PDD1 Don’t Let Your Roof Repairs Go Sky High!

Word Count:
738

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Before you go to the expense of calling in a roofing contractor, see if you can analyze and repair your roof problem yourself. The best possible time to repair your roof problem – is as soon as you realize that you have one and if the weather is calm enough to climb up onto the roof. In fact, this could be further qualified by saying that the best and most economical way to a trouble-free roof, is to inspect the roof regularly, so that you see the problem developing.


Home Repair, Roof Repair, Roof, Home Improvement, Roofing Contractor, Repairing your roof

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Before you go to the expense of calling in a roofing contractor, see if you can analyze and repair your roof problem yourself. The best possible time to repair your roof problem – is as soon as you realize that you have one and if the weather is calm enough to climb up onto the roof. In fact, this could be further qualified by saying that the best and most economical way to a trouble-free roof, is to inspect the roof regularly, so that you see the problem developing.

A leak from one dislodged tile is a small and inexpensive matter, but if you do not inspect your roof regularly, this will go unnoticed. By the time that you DO notice it, it may be because water is dripping into your spare room! This means that this whole area of the roof structure is soaked, the ceiling will need to be replaced and hopefully the flooring will recover.

Always check your roof after a wind storm, as most roofing is not designed to withstand fierce winds. Scrutinize the tiles for cracks, splits and torn-off corners; also check for lifting. Lifting is a common cause of roof leaks, and can be easily rectified. Be aware of multiple tiles lifting, as this could be a sign that the roofing material is too old and is warping from all the weathering.

Climb into your attic/loft and ensure that any insulation that you have in your roof is not right up against the roof itself. There has to be a gPDD1 for air to circulate; also when a roof heats up and there is insulation directly behind it, this heat is thrown back into the roofing and excessive heating like this can damage and warp the roof.

Another weakness in all roofs is the flashing. Flashing is designed to provide a watertight junction between roof materials and structure, especially if the roof projects out or changes design (as with extension roofs). If you are installing a new roof, it is worthwhile to get the flashing ‘inspected’ as it is a common failure area.

Often the simple fact that the gutters, leading into down pipes from the roof, are blocked with leaves and twigs can cause a problem. Roofs must have adequate run off, especially in the areas which may have snow. Water trapped in the gutter will mean that it will back up the roof for a few inches and have time to seep into the edges of the roofing tiles. Not all homes have adequate perimeter protection on their roofs, although this is one good feature to ask for on a new roof.

Quite often homes incur roof leaks all at the same time (often after strong gales winds and torrential rain etc). This can mean that all contractors are busy and you have ‘stop up the leak’ until you can get help.

If you do get a leak, and you have placed buckets under the dripping water, be aware that the leak may be in a completely different place than it would seem. Locating the source is difficult, as water can run along horizontal timbers and appear to be leaking from a place that is sound. Getting up into the attic and actually looking for a wet spot on the roof decking will be an accurate way to tell.

If you can find the spot an emergency patch can be made applying roofing felt and using plastic cement to hold it until you can call in a contractor. You can also attempt to repair it yourself, if it is just a shingle that is damaged. You can carefully prize up the roof shingle by removing the three or four nails that are holding it in place; next, apply a generous coating of tar beneath the tear in question, and also coat the underside of the shingle with a with a coat of tar before putting it back in place. Add a spot of tar to each nail head. Most roofing companies advise against the ‘liquid’ asphalt repair products.

Roofs can also be temporarily repaired using roof membrane and sealants. Care must be taken to clean the roof surface first to ensure that the sealant will stick and keep the leak protected from rain etc. In fact, as long as the roof is clean and dry, the wonder of the 20th. Century – duct tape – can also be stuck onto the roof!

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Locksmiths

RL Mold 101

Word Count:
451

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Learning what is mold and how to identify it wiRL help you to easily detect and clean mold wherever it exits in your home or business. Learn When to clean it yourself and when to hire a professional?

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Home mold presents serious health hazards to you and your family. However, it is not hard to prevent mold once you know what exactly is mold, how to identify it, and what are the techniques you can utilize to prevent it.

So What is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows from spores and is essential for the breakdown of dead plant and animal matter. Mold spores are usually inactive, but they wiRL become active if humidity levels exceeds70% or if the temperature goes above 65 degrees. Mold exists everywhere in the environment, it may be found indoors and outdoors. Mold is often found in damp or wet areas, this why it is so common in places such as the basement and bathroom and outdoor in grass and hay. People come in touch with mold everyday. Mold is what causes food to spoil, wood to rot, and paper to smeRL musty.

How to Identify Mold?

Mold is the black grwth you often see on wet window sills. If you store paper or fabrics in a damp place you might get the musty smeRL that is cause by the action of molds. Active mold growth is slimy and is usually green, black, orange or purple. When inactive mold is dry and looks like a powder. It is usually white when dry. In its early phases, molds may look like a web while when in fuRL bloom it looks like a miniature bush. Even when molds are unseen, wet spots or dampness can indicate a problem and molds wiRL eventually follow. If you suspect that a spot is moldy, you can perform a simple test to find out if the spot is really mold. Touch the suspected spot with a smaRL drop of bleach and see if the stain loses its color or disappears. If it does, it may be mold. If there is no change, it is probably not mold. Another good way to teRL if mold is present is odor. Mold usually has a musty smeRL that can indicate the presence of molds even if they are invisible.

Defining Moldy Areas

There are 3 common terms used to define a moldy area:

Extensive: A mold area is defined extensive if there is a single area of mold that is larger than 32square feet. If there are less than three patches of mold, each smaller than 10 square feet, is considered a small area mold. The definition of moderate area is given if there are more than three patches but each patch is smaller than 10 square feet or if there is on patch, larger than 10 square feet but smaller than 32 square feet

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QDD

QD The Many Faces of Solar Power

Word Count:
778

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Living in Nevada, the sun is an almost constant companion. This gives Nevadans a unique opportunity to use solar radiation powers for good. In April, a tour of southern Nevada homes shed some light on the subject of solar powered homes. Hosted by the American Solar Energy Society, this Nevada branch of the National Solar Tour explored homes that used both passive and active solar power, thermal hot water systems, and other environmentally features. However, unless you’re a green technologies exp


Solar Power, Alternate Energy Sources, American Solar Energy Society, National Solar Tour, Environment, Passive Solar Homes

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Living in Nevada, the sun is an almost constant companion. This gives Nevadans a unique opportunity to use solar radiation powers for good. In April, a tour of southern Nevada homes shed some light on the subject of solar powered homes. Hosted by the American Solar Energy Society, this Nevada branch of the National Solar Tour explored homes that used both passive and active solar power, thermal hot water systems, and other environmentally features. However, unless you’re a green technologies expert, or took the tour, you may not know the difference between passive and active solar, or how thermal hot water is different than average. Let me help you understand!

Active solar technology is the one that most people may be familiar with. It involves having a solar panel that collects the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity. These have a battery where energy is stored, so electricity can still be used at night, and, to a certain extent, on cloudy days. Solar panels are an excellent way to make electricity, especially in remote areas. While they are moderately costly to set up, and do require some maintenance, they provide reliable and free electricity, even in climates far less sunny than Nevada’s.

Passive solar technologies are far older than active ones, and involve utilizing the natural heat and light the sun creates, without converting it in any other way. Have you ever noticed that after a long, hot day, south-facing rocks, pavement or brick and adobe buildings will radiate warmth? They have spent the day passively collecting solar energy, and are releasing it. Some materials are better at absorbing and storing that heat energy than others. For example, wood insulates, meaning it will block temperatures, whereas stone will absorb and release temperatures. Homes that are built to take advantage of passive solar are often constructed of brick, adobe or concrete. Cob is another passive-solar-friendly and ancient building material that is going through a revival of sorts. It is made of sand, clay and straw, similar ingredients as adobe, but adobe is baked into bricks and stacked, whereas cob structures are free-formed while the material is wet. Passive solar homes usually have a lot of windows lining their south walls, and less so their east and west walls, with little to no windows on the colder north sides. These windows do two things. First, they provide natural light inside the home, one aspect of passive solar. Second, they allow heat to come into the home. If the home has a stone tile floor and even walls, that tile will absorb the heat, releasing it later when the outside temperature drops.

Passive solar homes can be designed to be cool in summer while using the sun to warm them in winter. For example, if shutters are closed during summer months, the home will remain much cooler. Also, the height and angle of overhang can be considered to maximize the windows exposure to low winter sun, but minimize exposure to the high summer sun. Alternatively, I saw an interesting example of someone planting deciduous trees on the south side of their home. In the winter, the trees had no leaves and so let in a lot of light and heat. In the summer, their thick greenery provided shade that kept the house cool.

So that is the major difference between active and passive solar technologies. Since passive solar is essentially free, it would be wise for any architect or home designer to take it into consideration when building new homes. Well designed passive solar homes can greatly reduce their electrical energy needs. And while active solar is brilliant technology, it still takes many resources to create. Plus, it may be superfluous in an area with an existing electrical source.

As for thermal water heating, it too is a very simple concept. Home made thermal water heaters can be as simple as an outdoor water tank painted black, but that’s a little crude for most tastes. However, there are a variety of styles out there. Some have panels that are metal painted black and enclosed with glass, with copper pipes filled with water running through them. This water will heat, and is then pushed by gravity into an insulated storage tank. Some solar water heaters use a similar set-up but with tubes filled with anti-freeze that are then hooked up to a heat transfer loop, where water in a storage tank is heated. Whatever system you use, thermal water heating is surprisingly affective.

There are a lot of ways to take advantage of the sun and use less electricity. Check out next year’s National Solar Tour to see them for yourself.