Are you getting enough (or too much?)

Drinking water

When it comes to hydration, summer is usually all about more, more, more! However, The Washington Post writes that experts now say guzzling water just because it’s hot or you’re active is not always a good thing. It’s possible to get too much. Read on to learn how you can stay properly hydrated this summer. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/07/01/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-if-you-drink-too-much-water-during-exercise/

Spring Storms Bring Musty Smell Inside

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When people think about protecting their homes from spring storms, they usually give more consideration to their roofs than their basements. However, heavy rain falls also mean there is a greater chance for flooding in crawlspaces and basements. While flooding is an obvious problem in a finished space; it’s just as important to keep crawlspaces and unfinished areas dry to avoid a musty smell.

Don’t Dismiss the Dangers of a Damp Basement

Even small amounts of water can cause foundation damage, mold growth, musty smells and damage to tools and furniture. Whether from a flood, a small leak or a just excess humidity, a wet basement creates some serious issues:

  1. Mold and mildew: The growth of mold and mildew is what causes the familiar musty smell in basements and crawlspaces. However, mold also releases spores which can aggravate asthma and allergy conditions. In rare cases, exposure has even led to life threatening compilations in those with severe allergies or weakened immune systems.
  2. Bugs, rodents and pests: A damp crawlspace or basement provides a welcoming environment for pests. Bugs and rodents appreciate the sheltered space with access to water – perfect for breeding. Some critters will even feed or gnaw on the exposed wood structure of a home, causing severe damage.
  3. Oxidation: High relative humidity in a basement can lead to rust on tools and other metal objects; damaging their appearance and performance. Excessive moisture in the air can also cause electronics to fail. If homeowners get a whiff of a musty smell, many items in the basement may be at risk.

What You Can Do to keep it Dry

Earlier in the year, the South, plains and Midwest all experienced their share of storms, according to MSN News. More recently, Houston saw wide spread flooding after record rain fall in the month of May. Even when spring weather events don’t cause rivers to break their banks, they still cause increased saturation of the ground around houses. Humidity levels also rise in the spring, which can create moisture problems and musty smells, even in homes with well-sealed foundations. Protecting a basement or crawlspace requires defending against both types of moisture infiltration.

  • Patch and seal: If the source of a leak is obvious and fairly small, homeowners can perform some patching and repairs on their own to prevent leaks. However, if cracks are widespread or there are signs that foundation damage has already occurred, it’s best to call a professional.
  • Clear drains and install a sump pump: If a home has a clogged French drain or no sump pump, then there is nowhere for the water to go. Even if a small amount of water sits on the floor for a period of time, the situation can create a musty smell.
  • Dehumidify the air: While pumps and drains can remove water from the floor, the only successful way to reduce moisture in the air is with a dehumidifier. Basements and crawlspaces usually have the highest RH levels in the home, which is why a musty smell is so common. Purchasing a high-capacity dehumidifier that can meet the demand is essential.

While it’s great to see that spring has arrived and summer is on its way, the muggy days ahead can cause serious problems in basements and crawlspaces. Homeowners should act now to protect their homes from musty smells, insect infestations and structural damage.

It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity, right?

woodfloors

It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity, right? Your hardwood floors would certainly agree. Sweltering temps outside can lead to high relative humidity indoors. The Huffington Post explains how swings in RH can wreak havoc on a hardwood floor.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-revere/how-does-your-homes-indoo_b_5556419.html

Why Allergy Symptoms will be ‘Brutal’ in Spring 2015

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“It’s going to be the worst ever.” Allergy sufferers hear that comment every year. However, according to experts on the today show, conditions actually are ripe for a brutal allergy season in 2015. A warm fall coupled with a wet and cold winter often causes trees and flowers to produce more pollen.  A higher pollen count means more allergy symptoms for the millions of Americans that suffer each year.  The key to surviving this spring is preparing early.

Build An Arsenal Now!

It’s easier to prevent a fire than put one out, and that should be the thinking when preparing for spring. Seasonal allergy symptoms are the body’s overactive immune response to pollen in the air. Once this response is activated, it’s hard to turn off, according to WebMD. Allergy pretreatment is one great step toward feeling comfortable this spring.

Top Tips for March Allergy Preparation 

Get an early start: Depending on where you live, the time to start pretreatment with medicine will vary. For folks in the Northeast and Midwest, March or early April is a good time to begin. In the southern U.S., sufferers may want to start taking antihistamines even earlier. Thirty days prior to the usual onset of one’s allergy symptoms is a good benchmark.

Know your enemy: Even if a person doesn’t wish to pursue allergy shots or prescription medications, knowing what causes his or her allergy symptoms is essential to winning the battle. A trip to an allergist can quickly identify which types of pollen a person is most sensitive too. Armed with that knowledge, it’s time to watch the allergy forecast.

Avoid allergy triggers: Allergy sufferers have a large selection of news outlets, websites and apps that report pollen levels – and even what plant species are currently the most active. Checking these daily reports can help one decide if it would better to postpone the day trip to the lake or the stroll in the park until certain pollen counts fall. 

Improve your indoor air: Even when a person’s allergy symptoms are a response to pollen from outdoors, bringing those irritants inside is easy. Pollen sticks to hair, clothes and pets and can infiltrate indoor air. When this happens, even the home offers no respite from allergy symptoms. A whole-home air purifier can trap and remove the majority of airborne pollen before a person breathes it in. 

This spring, control your allergies before they control you. Pretreatment, avoidance of triggers and cleaner air are good ways to start this season off on a comfortable note.