October 26, 2015 |
October is National Indoor Air Quality Month, so I thought I would share a few thoughts from Broan Nu-Tone, a manufacturer of home-ventilation products. Of course, it's a good idea to spend the entire year in a clean-air environment. For those with allergies, that's especially true. A member of my family once had a violent reaction to packaging in which some kitchen cabinets arrived. We believe the adverse reaction was chemical-based, so it's good to keep track of those levels.
October 7, 2013 |
Above-normal rainfall since early June has yielded a bumper crop of mold and mildew issues, homeowners and professionals tell me. But one of the worst reports comes from Richard A. Heath, worshipful master of the Palestine-Roxborough Masonic Temple. The building is seldom used in summer, and when Heath stopped by in late August, he saw mold on the back wall of the banquet hall. "In the vestibule of our lodge room, this same back wall has photos of our past masters, and many of the mats and photos are covered with mold," he wrote.
May 17, 2013 |
Question: We moved into a home with 20-year-old sliding glass doors that were treated with what appears to be a thin plastic coating or plastic shield for sun glare. Is there any way to remove this coating? One slider has clouded over, and the coating has chipped and blistered in spots. It could be a broken seal, but the areas that have no coating are perfectly clear. Answer: The best solution I've read is from my buddies the Carey Bros. of San Francisco: Spray the coating with ammonia, cover it immediately with Saran Wrap, wait 45 minutes, and then scrape it off with a broad-blade putty knife.
August 17, 2012 |
Question: About three years ago, the trim on my sister's house was cleaned, sanded, and repainted with the same good-quality, oil-based paint. Now, for the first time in 25 years, she's discovered what definitely looks to be mold on a door that had been cleaned with house wash and Clorox. Dirt or soot not evident before is also there. It soon spread to adjacent windows and trim and is now everywhere all around the house regardless of sun or shade and even inside storm windows. None of the neighbors has this problem.
July 22, 2011 |
Question: What are the basics of DryVit care? Our home was built 10 years ago, and we've lived here almost three years. I don't know if it's ever been repainted since installation. Can it be power washed? (It's getting mildew streaks on the shady, damp side of the house.) When it's time to paint, does it require a special product? Answer: The manufacturer recommends that the surface be cleaned every five years. DryVit products include mildew-retarding agents, but mildew can still grow under the proper conditions, especially warm, moist, and shady.
July 24, 2010 |
South Jersey farmers in the Vineland area spotted the fungus about two weeks ago. Sweet basil plants were yellowing, and brown spores appeared on the underside of the herb's leaves. Though seen on other crops, downy mildew is relatively new to basil in the United States. It wiped out much of the crop on East Coast farms, including those in New Jersey, last summer. The aggressive disease was carried on the wind from the south, and, if it spreads as before, it will again discolor and disfigure the region's crop, reducing availability and likely driving up prices.
April 30, 2010 |
Question: My mother, who believes that if you say it is so, it must be so, has a vinyl roof on her bay window that she wants to repaint. My Internet search found that it can be done, and that a high-quality, 100 percent latex paint should be used, but she needs to hear it from the master. Answer: The "master" defers to the Rohm & Haas Paint Quality Institute, which has never steered him wrong. The PQI says, "Yes, you can," with the proper surface preparation and, as you say, a high-quality, 100 percent latex paint.
October 31, 2008 |
Question: I have a composite deck, light gray in color, and, even though I clean it two times a year with a power washer, there still is this light green mold that appears under the railing and on the steps. Do you have any suggestions for cleaning, and what type of cleaner/detergent do you suggest? Answer: As you surmise, mildew forms where the sun don't shine, even on "maintenance-free" composite decking. Just to clarify: No manufacturer ever claims its products are maintenance-free.
April 11, 2008 |
Offering the look of supple leather and silky chenille, plush mohair velvet and gossamer sheers, outdoor fabrics are getting so sophisticated that they're spot-on matches to the most fashion-forward of their indoor counterparts. And consumers are catching on to the fact that there's incredible substance beyond the style. The durable materials are colorfast under exposure to intense sun and resistant to stains, mildew and odors. Designed for outdoor furniture but with looks that mimic indoor decor, the fabrics have come full circle - they're being marketed for indoor use as well.
October 21, 2007 |
Lysol has become the St. George of our time, conquering Nature as represented by viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew. Nature is represented on the label by a soothing pastoral scene, replete with rising sun, woods, water and lavender fields. The irony is that nature is exactly what is being kept at bay, or at least contained. How much more honest it would be to have microscopic images of the nasties the product is meant to destroy - although that might put off some impulse buyers. The label's soothing pastoral scene is undercut by the word kills not once, but twice, on the label above it, followed by the not much more comforting eliminates.