The Northeast and New England are home to some of the most historic estates in the country. If you drive through almost any small town in New England you'll notice houses that proudly wear signs giving the year the home was built, with many dating back to the 1700s. Many of these homes have fortunately been preserved and opened to the public as museums. The area isn't just full of old colonials, either. Mansions in Rhode Island, estates in Vermont, tenement buildings in New York City, and even a few modern feats of architecture in Connecticut sprawl across the region. Here's a list of 10 must-see homes-turned-museums in the Northeast:
Mold is nasty stuff. Homes with water damage and visible mold are unhealthy for people and pets. The unsightly fungus can produce irritants, allergens, and potentially toxic substances. The presence of mold in a home can substantially lower both the visual appeal and value of the property. The United States Center For Disease Control reports that for persons sensitive to mold, exposure to moldy and damp environments may cause a diverse array of health problems including coughing, wheezing, throat and nasal passage irritation, nasal stuffiness, eye or skin irritations, headaches, depression, and nervous system disorders. Do You Have A Moldy Home? Mold is all around us, both indoors and out; you can’t get away from it. Mold is carried into our homes from the outdoors through open windows and doorways, through the heating and air conditioning ductwork, and through vents such as an attic fan. Mold in the outdoor environment also enters the home by attaching itself to pets, shoes and clothing. Mold thrives in moist locations such in a cabinet with a dripping pipe, in damp basements, from leaks in the roof, or in places where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on most any surface including fabric, upholstery, carpeting, paper products, wood products, bedding, and porous ceiling tiles. Mold is much more than a repulsive patch of disgusting fungus; it’s a health hazard in the home that requires removal and standardized preventive measures to inhibit regrowth. However, before you attack the problem with caustic chemical sprays that can cause more problems than they cure, consider addressing the issue with organic measures that do not damage the environment. Reduce Dampness And Humidity Increase air circulation in moisture-prone areas such as the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. When cooking, run the exhaust fan to remove steam from boiling pots of pasta and simmering stews. Make sure that moisture from the dryer is properly vented outdoors. Clean the dryer filter and vent after each use. Drain and clean all drip pans under water heaters or washing machines on a regular basis. If your home tends to be high in humidity, use portable dehumidifiers in closets and closed areas or consider adding a dehumidifier to your HVAC system. Always run the bathroom exhaust fan during and after showering to remove excess moisture in the air. If moisture pools on the bathroom shower stall, tub or tiles, wipe dry after use. Damp towels turn sour and moldy quickly. Always put wet towels in the laundry or hang to dry. Rinse and wring out bath sponges, hang to dry. To make your bathroom sparkle and shine, wipe all surfaces with a rag saturated with white vinegar. Vinegar removes hard water deposits and mold and helps prevent regrowth of the black fungus. Have your heating and air-conditioning system checked semi-annually, cleaning ductwork, checking for dampness and leaks and replacing all filters. Fix All Leaks Immediately Repair dripping faucets, shower heads, and pipes as soon as a problem appears. Once the source of the water has been fixed, scrub the area with a solution of 1 part white vinegar, 1 part baking soda, the juice of a lemon, and three parts water. Dry thoroughly. If moisture has saturated a wooden cabinet bottom, dry with a portable fan after cleaning. If any moisture remains in the wood, mold will reappear. Examine the attic careful to check for any leaks in the roof and make needed repairs. Drain Water From Foundations If water collects around your home’s foundation, contact your plumbing contractor about installing a drainage system to divert water away from the foundation and into a catchment pond or sewer drain.
If you're an allergy sufferer, you probably have a love-hate relationship with carpeting. On one hand, you may love the way soft carpeting feels on your bare feet when you step out of bed first thing in the morning. On the other hand, you probably hate the allergy symptoms it triggers and the cleaning problems it creates.
There's no denying that wall-to-wall carpeting can be a nuisance to clean and maintain. Once you've spilled something on carpeting, it's often tough to get that stain out. For households with children, pets, or "spill-prone" adults, the problem of dealing with carpet stains is unrelenting!
Issues For House SellersThe fact that many people have both a physical and mental aversion to carpeting is an important thing to keep in mind if you're considering putting your house on the market. Although it can be relatively simple and inexpensive for new homeowners to remove carpeting, some prospective buyers can't look past it. It can be a "deal breaker." When staging a house for sale, it might be worthwhile to remove old carpet or -- at the very least -- point out to prospects that there are hardwood floors or other desirable flooring material underneath the carpet. Loosening up a corner of the carpeting so that it can be easily pulled away to show the underlying flooring material can help deflect objections about the carpeting being there.
Partial Solutions For Dirty Carpets
Newer carpets that haven't been subjected to the wear and tear of daily use can temporarily look good and complement the décor of a room. However, it doesn't take long for carpet fibers to collect and harbor a host of undesirable household allergens -- ranging from dust mites and mold spores to pet dander and bacteria.
Regular vacuuming and steam-cleaning can help reduce the problem, but it's more of a "Band-Aid" approach than a long-term solution. If you don't have the right kind of vacuum cleaner, it could even make the problem worse. Unless your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA (high-efficiency particular air) filter, it may actually redistribute dust mite proteins back into the room, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Carpet manufacturers often recommend that carpets be professionally cleaned at least once a year, but the benefits of that can wear off quickly.
There are a variety of products on the market for cleaning carpet stains, but they sometimes tend to do too good of a job. Not only do they get rid of the stain, but they also can cause the color of your carpet to fade in the treated area! Some carpet spot cleaners also contain toxic chemicals, so you have to be careful when using them.
One way to slow down the problem of dirty carpets in your home is to ask family members and visitors to take their shoes off when entering the house. Although you probably are not going to get 100% compliance -- especially with kids -- it will be step in the right direction!