Archive for the 'Health and Safety' Category

Q&A — How to remodel to protect children with allergies?

Question: My two daughters suffer from allergies and asthma. When we remodel next year, we need to end up with cleaner indoor air. What should we do? Answer: My first thought is that you should not live there during the remodel. Even with control measures, construction dust will infiltrate your house. Drywall dust is the [...]

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How’s that remodel working out? Greening up a modest tract house

Bill and Becka Doering did a whole-house green remodel on their Santa Barbara home, and I wrote a Pardon Our Dust feature about it, which you can read here. Bill is both an engineer and a green-building enthusiast. With his firm, Doering Design & Engineering, he helps others make their homes more energy-efficient. Also, the [...]

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The secrets of the spider webs

Here we have two identical windows on the same wall in a bathroom. A spider has built a web on one window (top), but not the other (bottom). Do you wonder why? It’s all about air leaks and food. Spiders don’t choose their home sites like we do. They don’t check Zillow for nearby home prices, [...]

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Dogs of the job site

I’m so happy to see that the editors of Fine Homebuilding are fun, lively and enlightened enough to not only admit that workers bring their dogs to the jobsite, but to have a whole photo gallery of these furry workplace companions. I suggested such a feature to some other editors in the past and they reacted [...]

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What is home performance? Check this out

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Is it a grab bar? Or a fashion statement?

It’s true: People don’t generally like the way grab bars look. The industrial feel of old-school grab bars brings to mind an institution of some sort. And so while it would make sense to install grab bars during any bathroom remodel, many homeowners don’t on account of the looks. These are from our friends at [...]

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A hot new career for women — home energy auditor

First, what are home energy auditors? These are professionals (accredited through BPI or certified through RESNET) who go into homes and measure or assess how much energy is being used and wasted through leaks and lack of insulation and bad HVAC systems and watt-sucking appliances. The idea is to figure out ways to make that home more [...]

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Coming soon to a house near yours: climate change distasters

Who could have predicted this? I'm not referring to radical climate change exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists have been telling us about this for decades. There is no real question about this. If you're not into science, however, then the research and conclusions of the vast majority of scientists won't mean much. [...]

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During a hurricane, wishing for another chance

With a hurricane on the way, you have a long list of things you wish you’d done earlier. They include: • Installed some kind of shutters or hurricane-resistant windows • Bought a generator to avoid the long lines at Home Depot or Lowe’s • Bought a small air conditioner and small refrigerator to run off [...]

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Macy’s recalls nearly 1 million Martha Stewart enamel cast iron casserole dishes

If Macy’s and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are recalling 1 million Martha Stewart enamel cast iron casserole dishes, and you are an avid cook, it’s possible you have one of these. They are kind of cute. Should you care about the recall? You decide. Here are the details: Hazard: The enamel coating on the [...]

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Why should buildings cause 39% of greenhouse gases? That just ain’t right

What is the most critical, dangerous, life-threatening problem of our time? Carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Everything else — political discord, economic downturns, loss of freedoms — can be changed fairly quickly. But once those greenhouse gases become trapped in the atmosphere, they will be there for a long, long, long time. And [...]

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A deep energy retrofit — coming soon to a very HOT climate

In case you’re not familiar with central Florida, let me break it down for you: it’s HOT, HOT, HOT. And humid. Think sunshine, thunder and flash rain storms in the summer. So what does this mean? Houses in hot and humid climates need to be built differently from those in, say, cool and dry climates. [...]

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4.8 million box fans recalled

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. Name of Product: Box fans Units: About 4.8 [...]

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Protecting your kids from lead poisoning — tips from the NAHB

How do you protect your kids from lead poisoning during a remodel? Here are tips for homeowners from the National Association of Home Builders: Professional remodelers who have achieved EPA Lead-Safe Certification are trained and prepared to work in pre-1978 homes for minimizing dust and potential lead paint exposures. These workers also have certified their firms [...]

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Is there toxic lead in everything?

Just for fun here at Kathy’s Remodeling Blog, we decided to check how many products have been recalled lately for dangerously high levels of lead. As you know, lead is very dangerous when inhaled or ingested and causes brain damage and learning disabilities in children. As if life wasn’t hard enough. In adults, it can [...]

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Report: ‘Green’ product claims are often misleading — USA Today

More than 95% of consumer products marketed as “green,” including all toys surveyed, make misleading or inaccurate claims, says a report today. The number of products claiming to be green increased 73% since 2009, according to a survey by TerraChoice,an Ottawa-based marketing firm owned mostly by Underwriters Laboratory of Canada. The UL network does independent [...]

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Ryobi recalls 455,000 cordless drills for fire hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. Name of Product: Ryobi Model HP 1802M [...]

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Protect your family from lead-dust poisoning during remodeling

If you live in a house older than 1978, there’s a chance it contains paint with lead in it. Now don’t freak out. Even though lead when ingested or inhaled can cause brain damage, the paint itself is not dangerous unless it’s chipping off or is turned into dust by sanding and cutting. In a [...]

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Having fun in an RRP lead-safety class? Is that even legal?

As anyone who has taken the 8-hour lead-safety class to become an EPA RRP Certified Renovator knows, the material can be quite dry. Of course, New Orleans-based trainer Bill Robinson tries to bring a little life into his classes. After all, he wants his students to remain awake and aware and to pass the test [...]

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New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton’s wife has a whole lotta shoes . . . and a great closet for storing them

If it wasn’t for the poisonous Chinese drywall used in the house owned by New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton and his lovely wife Beth, there may not have been a massive remodel to get rid of that drywall. And if there hadn’t been a massive remodel, she may not have gotten these awesome shelves [...]

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