When it comes to choosing flooring for your home, there are a myriad ways to go. And while looks and cost are certainly going to be key drivers in your decision-making, don’t forget that it’s also so easy to build eco-friendliness and sustainability into the equation.
What makes a sustainable floor?
It’s a surface that’s produced from readily renewable materials via eco-friendly processes. It also creates little impact on the ecosystems around it in the course of its life-cycle, from harvest through to manufacture, use and disposal. Many sustainable floors also have a social aspect to them, in that traditional flooring types, such as bamboo or sisal, tend to rate highly when it comes to sustainability, and choosing such options ensures a future for the communities that supply and manufacture them.
If you’re interested in assessment-based life-cycle information regarding the flooring you’re considering, the American National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Building for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (BEES) programme is the website to visit. It compares the life-cycle environmental impacts of a range of floorings, as provided by researchers around the world. Top of its list come the natural products cork, linoleum, and wood, with wool and composite marble at the other end of the scale, due to their manufacture and installation requirements.
So, what are some of the “greener” choices available to you?
Wooden floors have been popular around the world for centuries. They add warmth and color to your interior scheme, are practical and easy to clean, and – unlike carpet – are great for people with allergies. What’s more, depending on the kind of timber you pick, this is a great environmentally responsible flooring choice.
To begin with, trees are a renewable resource, but opt for a species that’s plantation-grown and harvested commercially, rather than one that’s plundered out of native forestry. They also absorb carbon as they grow and this remains stored in your flooring, rather than being released as emissions into the atmosphere. What’s more, at the end of its useful life beneath your feet, your wood can be repurposed or recycled, so that the carbon stays locked inside.
New technology has also made many types of hardwood floors much easier to install than they have been in the past. They can even now be ordered pre-finished, so there is no need to sand or seal the boards before or after installation – they can simply be laid straight out of the box.
Bamboo has been a traditional flooring in Asia for millennia. To look at, it can resemble hardwood, but it is cut from a rapidly renewing, highly replenishable resource – as bamboo is a grass, not a wood, it grows to maturity in just 3-5 years. It stores up to 70% more carbon a year than hardwoods, and can also be harvested without the need to replant, as the root system is left intact. This all means its carbon footprint is low, even after shipping out of Asia is included. It is strong, extremely durable, naturally anti-bacterial, and resistant to insects and moisture, which makes it ideal for humid environments.
There are a number of types of bamboo flooring available, each varying slightly in manufacturing process, economic viability at source and local preference. In Asia, the most common form uses thin bamboo stems, cut as flat as possible, then trimmed to similar lengths. The wood can then be stained, varnished or left with a natural look.
Outside of Asia, it’s more common to find more highly processed, manufactured bamboo floors. These are generally made from mature bamboo poles, again sliced into strips, then skinned and boiled to remove the naturally occurring starches and sugars. The wood is then dried and planed, delivering two major naturally occurring colors, similar to beech and oak, respectively.
It’s when it reaches the lamination stage that that the eco-friendliness of most widely distributed bamboo flooring tends to be compromised. This is because it is generally bonded together using urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins, which emit volatile organic compounds, so aren’t great for air quality at the time. That said, bamboo uses much less UF adhesive than other options such as particleboard substrate.
There are, however, bamboo products and systems available that don’t use UF. These locking bamboo systems are the easiest to install, in fact, with joints that click firmly into place and allow you to create your own look using plank alignment and color.
Cork tiles or planks are made from the bark of the cork oak, which is carefully harvested from the living tree. This means it is a highly renewable and sustainable flooring resource. It is stripped from a cork tree about once every 10 years, once the tree is 25 years old. Each tree can live for up to 200 years.
In terms of flooring performance, cork has a lot going for it. It is naturally anti-microbial, is a great insulator against both noise and heat loss, and is comfortable underfoot. Its springy resilience also means it copes well with furniture placement and heavy foot traffic. To round it all off, it’s fire-resistant as well.
Cork rates high on the “green” scale too. To begin with, as a tree, it provides a living environment for other plant and for animal species. It attracts few carbon emissions in the course of harvest, and if you choose your sealant carefully, you will find there are also low-VOC options available. It is also highly recyclable once its days as flooring are done.
True linoleum (lino) – also marketed under the trade name Marmoleum – has been around since 1855. It is manufactured from 100% renewable sources and is 100% biodegradable.
Lino is a blend of dried and milled flax seeds (linseed oil), pine resin, ground cork and pine resin, with a jute, burlap, or canvas backing. It is fire-resistant and is also anti-static, which makes it ideal for allergy sufferers. Further, as its decorative pigments are embedded in the structure of the lino, it doesn’t fade.
Top-quality lino is extremely flexible – making it useful in environments where tiles etc would crack – and durable. There are cheaper linoleums available, but they are thinner in cross-section and won’t last as long. Just make sure, if you are opting for lino, that this is actually what you are getting. More common today is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring, which has become colloquially known as “lino”… but isn’t. Yes, it wears well, but it also contains plasticisers, chlorine-containing combustion products and impurities such as free monomers, which are less than environmentally friendly.
Rubber flooring tends to be associated with commercial and industrial spaces, but – with a bit of imagination – can play a useful role in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms in particular. True rubber is harvested from the living rubber tree, and is therefore a 100% renewable resource. As a floor, it is easy to install and keep clean, insulated against sound and vibration, and is anti-static, so great for asthmatics. It should be fade-resistant too. Again, just make sure you get the real thing, though – synthetic rubber is not a sustainable material.
This is an interesting one, given the sheer number of products from which carpet can be made. Perhaps the greatest surprise to be found here, though, is that wool carpets – although wool is a natural, sustainable and renewable resource – rate very poorly on the “green” scale, in terms of published research. This is largely due, not to the wool itself, but to the energy requirements of the carpet manufacture, the VOCs given off by the adhesives used in laying the carpet, and your choice of underlay. That said, low-VOC carpets are becoming increasingly available – or you can use tacks, as they used to do before the onset of glues. And there are also more environment-neutral underlays coming onto the market.
What are your other choices, if you’re worried about wool carpet’s eco-friendly performance? Sustainable carpeting includes that made from other natural fibers such as cotton, sisal, jute, or coconut husk. Again, it’s a case of looking into the manufacturing and installation of each individual product you are considering. One particularly “green” option is carpeting made completely from recycled polyethylene terephthalate – that’s the plastic used in food and drink containers. There’s a never-ending source of the stuff, recycling it like this keeps it out of our land-fills, and its dyeing is less polluting and requires less energy than other flooring types.
The timber of the coconut palm is a comparatively rare flooring choice, but is one with good sustainability credentials. Coconut palms grow quickly, but the wood is usually harvested from 60-80-year-old plants that are no longer producing fruit. Coconut is a hardwood with an unusual, appealing close grain. It is cheaper than teak, and as hard as mahogany.
You should now be set to specify eco friendly fooring. There are a lot of choices and you now have the information to help make your decisions.
Conventional rain gutters clog all the time. Leaves float down from the trees, fill up the gutters, and stop up the opening to the downspout. In the beginning, clogged gutters tend to only pose a minor nuisance. When it rains, you’ll see the gutters overflow, and spill plenty of water all around your house. You’re not likely to mind it when it’s raining outside, anyway.
You will begin to object greatly to the clogs, however, if you make the mistake of letting the problem fester. The purpose of a rain gutter system isn’t simply to keep runoff from the roof from annoying you. It is to make sure that water doesn’t fall close to the foundation where it can get into the basement, and cause structural damage.
Leaving rain gutters clogged and uncared for can have another side effect. Come winter, you may have ice dams.
If your gutters are clogged, you need to do something about them. Putting it off can end up in huge bills for foundation repairs and roof repairs.
Since it can rain practically any time of the year, your gutters should never be clogged. No matter what time of year it is, you need to get a handyman if your gutters are clogged. Certainly, you could save a few dollars getting up on a ladder, and getting your hands dirty. It isn’t the safest way to save money, however. Slip-and-fall accidents or distressingly common among DIY homeowners cleaning out their rain gutters.
The conventional open rain gutter design is no longer current. Designers have worked on a number of innovative solutions over the years. Homeowners today have the choice to pick one of these designs over the conventional style.
Gutter inserts: These are foam or brush inserts are placed inside conventional open rain gutters. The idea is to keep leaves and debris from settling in, but to allow water in. This design approach works for some time, but clogs tend to occur after a year or so.
Large downspout designs: These rain gutters come with downspouts and downspout openings that are so large, leaves and debris near them simply wash away, rather than sit around causing stagnation. The problem is that these designs do not keep leaves from settling into the rest of the rain gutter system. Overflows are inevitable.
Covered, surface tension designs: These are the most successful of modern clog-free gutters. These rain gutters come with full, solid covers, and an opening for water on the side, rather than the top. The precision of the curve of the cover ensures that rainwater runoff flows directly into the slit.
While premium rain gutter products do tend to cost slightly more than conventional designs, they are hardly a luxury. Rain gutters that do not clog, protect your home as much as they save you on handyman fees and dangerous labor. These are investments that pay for themselves in no time.
It started out with just a few cracks in the foundation of your home. Now, you can see that the foundation is in trouble and it’s going to need repaired. Your first thought is going to be about the costs involved to get it repaired. Do you know that it could be a plumbing leak that’s causing the entire problem? Leaking water is a culprit in many issues around the home, from foundation cracks to toxic mold. When you call a company that offers the Foundation Repair Denton, Texas has available, there are some things you need to look for in measuring that company’s professionalism.
Since repairing the foundation of the home you’ve paid for through thick and thin is extremely important to its value, you’ll want to make certain you’re dealing with a company that is reputable, dependable, offers warranties and is highly recommended by other homeowners in your area. If you can, try to talk to at least three companies and get an estimate from each one. This way, you can be much more informed and make a wise decision based on how you were spoken to during your meeting and in the estimates each company gave you. Remember that first impressions begin when the phone is answered, especially ‘how’ it is answered.
The person at the front desk of any company either makes you feel welcome or that you’re a bother. Take your time and write things down as you go along such as each company’s name and conversation you had with them. The first thing you should ask for is an inspection of your foundation to find out if the problem is water or in the type of soil your home is built on that’s causing it to settle and crack. Good companies will tell you if the problem is large or small and what you can expect. They have special ways to measure the damage, what is causing it and how they can repair it.
When obtaining an estimate, listen intently to each company. You know the foundation must be repaired in order to ensure your home holds its value for later years. A good company will make permanent repairs that won’t have to be repeated in the future.
A growing number of ladies have become knowledgeable with the incredible qualities connected with silk, specifically when they stick to smooth silk pillows. A couple of the biggest perks that females enjoy are that they will not contribute to forming facial wrinkles and they really don’t grab and tangle your natural hair. With positive aspects similar to these, women are starting to choose primarily silk pillows at nighttime, and are generally discovering some outstanding final results. Websites similar to http://silk-perfect.com can offer much more information and also allow you to buy smooth silk pillows to try them yourself.
Almost all typical pillows could whisk away moisture away from facial skin ointments and also other products, which usually minimizes their results. Furthermore, with all the creases which press against your skin as you sleep at night, facial lines begin to establish. Soft silk pillows limit the amount of facial lines on your
facial skin at night, which helps stop the lines and wrinkles from establishing. They go a move further by leaving just about any facial treatments on your facial skin so
that they can do their job.
Beyond the help with wrinkles and lines, silk pillows are perfect for flowing hair. A result of the smooth components associated with soft silk, they never grab your hair when you get to sleep. If your hair gets to be stuck on additional fabrics for your pillows, it will cause tangles. It’s possible to refrain from these tangles with the use of soft silk pillows, since your hair should efficiently move around the pillow whilst you go to sleep. Should you change to silk pillows,
you won’t have to spend the time to brush out all the tangles through your hair every morning any further.
In case you are curious about learning more details on the spectacular benefits of soft silk pillows, you can check out silk-perfect.com. You may also
learn to purchase a smooth silk pillow to help you see the successes for yourself.
Are you seeing a plumbing problem arising in your house? You need to act fast on that. Whether your requirements are large or small, proper plumbing is needed and that is possible only if you hire a professional plumber norcross ga or plumbing company. Keeping the toxins out of water, keeping the pressure adequate and preventing leakages are just a few of the several plumbing jobs these professionals can do. Do not ignore what plumbers can do. You need them and will always will. Make it sure that your plumbing system is always in the good condition. Be guided so read more.
Sliding Door Repair for Beginners
Homeowners may be faced with sliding door repairs on a regular basis. Even if there are times when you just want a sliding door repair expert to take care of this task for you, there are still some things you can do to keep your home’s aperture working without any glitches.
With regular use over the years, it is not surprising for interior doors and sliding doors to be full of dust and dirt. Once this takes place, you’ll observe it sticking every time you try to shift the glass along its track. Make use of a solid brush to loosen and clean hardened dirt from your sliding door. Once you are done taking the dirt off, clean the tracks using soap and water.
Make Adjustment on the Screws to Address Sticking
The sticking gears can be so exasperating. You can find the two screws by looking at the bottom of the unit by its edge or face. The screws may be seen below the trim caps. Try prying off the trim caps to expose the screws if it is indeed below the trim caps. The height of the track can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the screws. Check out the door’s height to make sure it appears even. If a particular side of the door seems higher or lower than the other side, proceed in turning the proper screw to either make that side of the door go up or down some more. Simply tighten the screws by another quarter to lift the entire unit if ever the entire mechanism is still sticking. To find out if the glass is no longer sticking, start gliding it back and forth.
Inspect the Rollers
Persistent issues with sticking point to roller problems. To check the rollers, you need to take off the entire sliding door. You will likely need assistance in moving the glass after taking it off since it is heavy. Remove the screws from inside the jamb to be able to take off the stop molding. As soon as you removed the stop molding, gently pull out the glass by shifting it a bit and then lift it out. Look at the rollers to find out if they are filthy. Clean the rollers once you see it is full of dust and dirt. Check if the rollers are mobile. Loosen up a stuck roller by spraying it with some lubricant. Observe them again to determine if the problem was fixed by cleaning and lubricating the roller. If the problem persists, buy a new one instead.
Changing the Screen Part
Having the screen door replaced is a routine sliding door DIY fix. The screen part of your sliding door deteriorates over years of use. Many of us often use the screen with stronger force than necessary resulting in bent frames or broken wheels. Think about purchasing a new sliding door made from extruded aluminum that offers more durability and strength by the time you need to change your sliding door. You’ll require basic tools to do this project. Arm yourself with a silicone lubricant so that you can lubricate the tracks after you are done installing your new sliding door.
Save money and extend your entryway’s lifespan by doing your own sliding door repair. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help you ensure that the mechanisms roll on the tracks without any difficulty. If you don’t want to bother yourself with any more do-it-yourself sliding door repairs, just buy a new one instead.
Tips And Suggestions Regarding Fence Building
Before even starting to build your fences in areas like NY, NJ and more, homeowners are advised to lay out the whole place to get a good glimpse of the area appropriately and deduce how the fence is going to be built and positioned in relation to the property and the nearby areas. When you have string lines running along elevated regions and areas where the fences will be set up, you will have a good view of how the yard will look like with the fences. You are advised to run the string lines at the top part and the bottom part of the fence’s finished height.
The precise and approximate digging of post holes depend on the line markings where the fence will be installed, so it is advisable to use spray paint to indicate these areas. In places like NJ with various terrains, this tip will help and aid you identify the difficulties that you may encounter while doing the actual installation of fences as early as the lay out stage, such as property grade issues and obstructions which both need to be accounted during the design stage of the fence building.
Installing the posts in places for the fences is one of the most important and crucial components of the task. If you have improperly installed the posts on your property, produce some offset positioning or the posts have been set up in a different manner, there are chances that the results will be noticeable in terms of the fence’s aesthetic aspect. To prevent these from happening, it is advised that you make double checking and triple checking even on your measurements and dimensions before actually digging for the holes. Take in account the spacing of the post holes in relation to any possible obstructions with mailboxes, gates and other elements around your area in places like NJ. For the rails and stringers of the fence, consider the measurements of the materials that you will be using. These fence rails are the entities that refer to the horizontal structures attached to the boards of the fence. The reason why you should pay attention to the spacing of the post holes is because you need to prevent the problem of having a stringer and rails that are not long enough to span according to the post and the next post. Having this obstacle is one of the major problems that you might encounter, and you must do everything to avoid this as much as possible during your installation. The posts spacing is very critical and they should be equal so there is an immediate way to double check the spacing with the proper measurement using the correct tools.
Working as an electrician is never easy. A Meehan Electrical aspirant may need to accomplish numerous physically strenuous tasks to prove himself. Why? Well there can be instances when a person or electrician will find himself lifting heavy items or operate heavy machinery during the service. That can’t be avoided. So to be able to succeed on that part, you need to be physically fit. You need to make sure that your body is prepared as well. Remember that an electrician job can be tiresome and wearying. Always be in the good shape. That is not hard to do if you are well-disciplined.