Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 8/24/2017

Many of us take for granted the safety of our homes from asbestos. Some of us have grown comfortable at home and would never guess there could be potential dangers like asbestos or lead paint lurking behind our walls and under our floorboards. Others assume that since these dangers have been known for decades they must have already been taken care of in our homes. Unfortunately, many homes, especially homes built before the 1980s, still contain potentially harmful asbestos. Here's everything you need to know about detecting and removing asbestos from your home.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is a known carcinogen--meaning it is capable of causing cancer. Asbestos has been utilized throughout history for a number of practical uses, dating back to Ancient Greek and Egyptian societies who used asbestos in the embalming process and in candle wicks. In 1900s America, asbestos was used in a range of industries from automobiles, the military, and in building our homes. The benefits of asbestos are many. It is a great insulator and is also fire retardant. So for homeowners trying to keep warm but also concerned about their house burning down, asbestos offered two highly sought after services. It wasn't until the 1970s that the U.S. government began warning about and regulating the use of asbestos.

Risks

In spite of its many uses, asbestos has one--huge--disadvantage: it causes cancer. More specifically asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer and mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the chest and abdominal cavity). The cancer is a result of inhaling the fibers of asbestos mineral that are released into the air. In extreme cases where asbestos exposure becomes cancer-causing, some common symptoms include:
  • pain or difficulty breathing
  • coughing blood
  • a cough that doesn't go away or worsens
  • shortness of breath

Detecting asbestos in your home

The ways in which asbestos can make its way into the air are innumerable. Sometimes drilling into a ceiling that is blown with asbestos insulation causes the fibers to fall into the home. However, there are other places asbestos has been used in homes such as in flooring, paint, and wallpaper used around wood-burning stoves. According to the EPA, you generally can't tell if something contains asbestos just by looking at it. If the asbestos containing material is in good condition it is recommended that you leave it alone. However, if you are planning a remodel that will disturb the material (work which involves breaking ceilings, walls, or flooring) it is recommended that you seek out a certified inspector.

Removal or repair?

If an inspector deems part of your home unsafe due to asbestos fibers they will help you determine if the asbestos needs to be removed or simply repaired. In minor cases, a contractor will be able to repair the fix that is causing asbestos fibers in such a way that it doesn't need to be removed entirely. In more severe cases, the asbestos may need to be entirely removed by a contractor. It is important that you don't attempt these repairs or removals yourself as they require safety equipment and precautions that only accredited professionals have access to.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/4/2017

The gym. It’s a place few people enjoy despite the flocks of people lining up to sign up each passing New Year. Exercise is seen as an embarrassing activity to many as most of us aren’t taught how to properly use gym equipment. Equipment that looks more like torture devices than a machine that will help you become stronger and healthier. Enter the home gym. Not only is no one around to watch you attempt your first shaky round of pushups  but also it’s a place we already feel naturally at ease. Keep reading to find out how you can skip gym fees and create a gym in the comfort of your own home. Make space. A space that allows you enough privacy from the rest of your family to focus on yourself for a while. When choosing your space, consider a room that has a door you can close, contains lots of light, room to hang a full-length mirror to watch your form from, and room to roll out a mat to work on. If you have a room you can dedicate solely to your home gym paint it a color that inspires you. This could be anything from a calming blue to an energizing orange. A good music speaker to blast some tunes is another great feature to add to your home gym to help to inspire. Know your budget and goals. Don’t be afraid to start with small investments if you are just jumping back into an exercise routine. If your goal is to create a more healthy, active lifestyle you won’t need fancy, expensive equipment to get there. A set of dumbbells and some resistance bands paired with exercises that rely on body weight are enough to get you started and at a low cost to boot. Extras for experts. As your strength builds and your routine evolves you may start to look to add more variety to your weekly workouts. Some further investments to consider for your home gym could be a stability ball, kettle bell, suspension system, jump rope and /or foam roller. All of these items can add more interest to your routine without costing you an arm and a leg. Make a plan. This tip doesn’t quite relate to setting up a home gym but, bear with me. Creating a plan for which days you will exercise and what exercises you will be doing will set you and your home gym up for success. Don’t go through all the effort of setting up space for your home gym to have it go unused. Instead, schedule times into your week that you will use your home gym. Think of these time slots as mandatory appointments just like a doctor’s visit or business meeting. Don’t let the intimidation of the gym prevent you from developing a regular workout routine. By setting up a home gym you can get fit and healthy in the privacy of your own home and at a cheaper cost than the average gym membership. Just don’t forget to schedule time slots throughout your week where you make the most of your new home gym!




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Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 6/2/2016

They say it's a silent killer. Odorless, colorless, toxic fumes with symptoms similar to those of having the flu. It can kill you and your loved ones without you even knowing its there. Are you safeguarding your home against this deadly threat? Step one is knowing where the threat comes from. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states carbon monoxide can come from "unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages; and tobacco smoke." (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html) With winter upon us, and the possibility of power outages during large winter storms a reality, many homes have generators to help in these situations. But improper installation can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise, putting your family at risk. Ensure that generators are installed outside, away from your home, to ensure fumes aren't entering your home. Never install generators in your home, including your garage or basement. Another winter threat is fireplaces, wood or gas, and wood stoves. As you are snuggling up during a long winter night, you need to ensure that ventilation is sufficient. It's always best to have a trained professional inspect and clean your fireplaces and wood stoves on a yearly basis. So what else can you do? Buying a carbon monoxide detector is a cheap and easy way to ensure you are safe. For as little as $20, you can purchase detectors that will alert you if carbon monoxide levels get too high. And if they do, you can quickly evacuate the house and call the fire department for inspection of your home. Most states now require that when you sell your home, these detectors are already installed, just like fire and smoke alarms have been required for years. So be safe this winter season and take precautions as needed. It really could save your life!




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Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/5/2015

If you have been packing on the pounds it may be your kitchen that is to blame. New research has shown that it could be your kitchen making you gain weight. Here are some tips on how to keep your kitchen from contributing to a growing waistline. No Media The TV in the kitchen is now a media snack station. Parking yourself in front of the TV with food all around you makes snack time a lot easier. Computers in the kitchen can also lead to mindless munching and web surfing. It's too easy to grab a bite when all the food is within arm’s reach. Stand Up Who doesn't love an island prep station? But all the handy seating around the island is an invitation to linger over snacks. So lose all the stools to help resist temptation to gather in the kitchen. Open Invitation The so-called great room isn't so great for your weight. Combination living/kitchen areas make your kitchen the focal point of the home. Add a few partition walls or screens to keep the fridge and cabinets out of sight when relaxing, and watching TV in the living room. Skimp on Storage Pantries, large cabinets are so appealing and offer a great place to stockpile food. They also offer lots of temptation. Too many trips to bargain bulk stores will have your storage full in no time and also create a mentality of surplus. More is always more especially when it comes to food.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 11/6/2014

Not only do plants make a beautiful addition to your homes décor but they are also beneficial in oxidizing and refreshing the air you breathe. Oxygen producing plants can be used to both produce oxygen as well as remove harmful chemicals in the air. Not only do plants clean the air we breathe but they also have been proven to reduce our heart rate and blood pressure and reduce muscle tension related to stress. There are so many different plants that you can bring into your home to help clean the air. Here is a list of just a few. A popular clean air plant that removes toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene, exylene and toluene from the air is Warneck Dracena. Another good air cleaning plant that is easy to take care of is the Peace Lilly. The Money Plant releases oxygen in the air while removing formaldehyde, this is commonly released by cigarette smoke and adhesives with wood furnishings. The Snake plant also known as Mother-in-Laws Tongue converts CO2 (carbon dioxide) to O2 (oxygen) at night making it an ideal bedroom plant. Other plants to try are Philodendron, English Ivy, or a Spider Plant. While the plants are busy purifying the air in your home, they also provide a therapeutic effect with their color green. The color green has a soothing green effect and helps people to feel at ease. Here is a quote from plantforlife.info “It may sound surprising but as little as 2 or 3 minutes in the company of plants and trees or natural environments can be enough to provide measurable stress relief!" What a small investment for something that can bring so much beauty and health to your home.







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