Rare Flower Jolts Skin’s Vitality

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When it comes to healthier skin, flower power isn’t such a ridiculous idea. Haberlea rhodopensis, a rare Resurrection Flower, might be the key to smoother, younger-looking skin.
Indigenous to the harsh, arid Rhodopes Mountain Range in Bulgaria, the flower has adapted to survive in extremely arid conditions and can survive periods of dryness in a suspended state for up to 31 months. Even after drying out completely, a few drops of moisture are enough for the plant to return to normal growth. It will resume its usual functions in a matter of hours and achieve full recovery in one to two days. For this reason, it is sometimes called a “Resurrection Flower.”
The plant’s unique ability to revitalize its own cells may allow it to create visibly healthier, younger-looking skin in humans. In young women, the skin replaces its cells every 28 days. Some studies show that by age 40, skin takes 40 days to replenish itself. This contributes to changes in the skin’s appearance that most women dislike, including a rougher texture, less elasticity, and more fine lines and wrinkles.
However, Haberlea rhodopensis may have both a protective and a vitality-stimulating effect on skin. One company, Kiehl’s, has added a high concentration of the Resurrection Flower to a new advanced anti-aging cream. Called “Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream,” its active complex has been shown to increase cell vitality and protect skin cells from future aging in-vitro. After using the cream, 91 percent of consumers said that their skin looked rejuvenated, while 93 percent reported that their skin felt denser and thicker. Most people felt they looked five years younger after using Rosa Arctica.
The high concentration of the Resurrection Flower in Rosa Arctica helps skin retain moisture for smoother, healthier skin while increasing cell vitality and triggering the skin’s natural ability to create elastin and collagen.
For more information, visit www.kiehls.com.

Homeowners Scramble as Termites Spring to Action

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Spring is here — and with the refreshing start of a new season, the last thing you need on your mind is a termite invasion. However, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), spring is a key time for termite infestations to occur in the home.
Termites eat constantly and can cause serious structural damage to your home, which is why prevention is paramount in keeping your home termite-free. Some useful termite prevention tips include:
* Avoid any moisture at the foundation of your home.
* Divert water away from your property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
* Reduce humidity and ventilate crawl places.
* Repair gutters and leaking outdoor faucets so that water will run away from the house, thus removing moisture.
* Remove infested stumps and trees near the foundation of the house.
* Store scrap lumber and firewood as far from the house as possible.
* Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
* Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
However, if termites have already made their way into your home, it is important to contact a licensed pest professional to assess the situation. There are many solutions to control termite infestations, including barrier treatments and baiting systems and your professional will help you to select the most effective treatment plan to suit your needs.
NPMA recommends your home be checked every year for termite infestations. Termites are silent destroyers and can often go unnoticed for long periods of time until the damage is already done. What’s worse is that damage from wood boring insects is not covered by most homeowners’ insurance policies, which can become a major and unexpected expense for homeowners.
Protect your property with annual inspections from a qualified pest professional. To learn more about termites or to contact a pest professional near you, visit www.pestworld.org.

To Be Green, Homes Must Be Dry and Mold-Free

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You often hear the term “green building” as homebuyers seek to purchase homes that are built using recycled materials or that use less energy.

Recycling and energy-efficiency are important goals, but they must be pursued in a way that preserves your home’s ability to manage and repel moisture. Energy-efficient homes often trap unwanted moisture. Some renewable building materials aren’t durable enough to be sustainable. So, how do you build green and dry? According to The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (RSMC), a consortium of building materials companies and associations, including USG Corporation, National Gypsum and American Gypsum, building green homes means designing, building and maintaining them in a way that keeps moisture at bay. Damp homes not only deteriorate more quickly, they also create an unhealthy environment that can become moldy and attract insects and other vermin.

Here are some helpful hints to make sure your home stays dry:

* Avoid complex roof designs that trap rainwater in valleys that do not drain.

* Never install wet building materials — they should be protected from the elements before installation.

* Flashings must be installed around all doors, windows and chimneys to drive moisture outside of the building.

* Only install drywall once the home has been closed in, and give joint compound enough time to dry before it is painted or covered.

* Be sure that there is adequate ventilation in your home. Energy-efficient homes can trap moisture, which leads to mold.

* Bamboo flooring is abundant and renewable, but bamboo’s not highly durable. For a truly green floor, choose more durable materials, like ceramic tile.

* Select the right type of wallboard for high-moisture rooms like kitchens and baths. Generally, cement board or boards that combine fiberglass and cement are best for applying ceramic tile. Tile grout allows water intrusion, which can lead to mold.

For more information on these and other mold-resistant building tips, please visit www.responsiblemoldsolutions.org. Also, a copy of a free brochure on mold-fighting tips is available by e-mailing info@responsiblemoldsolutions.org.

Is the Air You Breathe at Home Healthy?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Between working in offices, studying at school, exercising at the gym and relaxing at home, Americans spend most of their time indoors. But many people don’t realize that, in staying indoors, they face more pollution that they would outside.

Indoor air can contain viruses, dust mites, formaldehyde, radon, pet dander and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pollutants that aggravate allergies. But in understanding four key air quality components, Americans can ensure a healthy, sustainable home.

1. Moisture Control. Too much moisture can lead to mold, while dry air can cause skin and respiratory problems. Controlling humidity allows the HVAC system to work more efficiently, so homeowners pay less in energy bills. Choose automatic, whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers. For example, Aprilaire’s Model 1750 Central Dehumidifier’s built-in intelligence provides automatic control for not only whole-home dehumidification, but also for fresh air ventilation, air cycling and air filtration.

2. Ventilation. Without air circulation, allergens, odors, moisture and other pollutants cannot leave the home. Ensure air flow with a mechanical ventilation system, which will use fans and ducts to circulate fresh air.

3. Air Filtration. Central air filters permanently remove airborne contaminants. In a recent standard industry test, the Aprilaire 5000 achieved 99 percent efficiency against airborne particles. The unit captures and kills virtually all contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, mold spores and allergens.

4. Energy Efficiency. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), using efficient heating and cooling systems, leakless ducts and thermostats that are programmed to save energy at night or when residents are away would prevent 169 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The EPA says that a programmable thermostat can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bills.

For more information, visit www.aprilaire.com.

Humidify Your Home to Ease Winter Dryness

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – During the winter months, many people notice bloody noses, itchy dry skin, painful static electricity shocks and respiratory health issues — signs that the air in their home is too dry.

Having too little moisture in the air can cause health problems and home damage. However, adding the appropriate level of moisture into the air of your home will actually keep your family healthy and protect the condition of your home.

By using a humidifier attached to the heating system, you can provide continuous moisture throughout your entire home at an optimal humidity level of 30 to 50 percent. Whole-home humidifiers continually monitor relative humidity levels in the home, then work to deliver the right amount of moisture — never too much or too little — to the entire house.

This constant flow of moisture into the air will provide multiple benefits, including:

* Well-being. The American Society of Otolaryngology reports that being in an overly dry environment can make people more susceptible to infection. A humidifier keeps the respiratory system moist and running healthy, thereby reducing the chances of upper-respiratory problems caused by dry air.

* Energy savings. When moisture is added to the air, the human body actually feels warmer at lower temperatures. A whole-home humidifier allows you to feel comfortable at a lower thermostat setting and helps decrease energy costs. Aprilaire offers a drainless humidifier (Model 400) that needs only eight ounces of water to operate, utilizes 100 percent of the water in the unit and uses virtually no electricity, making it the most environmentally friendly humidifier on the market.

* Preservation. Winter can cause extensive damage to the building materials of your home as well as the personal belongings inside. Added humidity protects against shrinkage and cracking in furniture, moldings and hardwood floors.

* Comfort. Dry air takes moisture away from your body and can cause discomfort from dry nose, dry throat and itchy skin. Adding humidity into your home helps to eliminate those problems as well as reduce static electricity.

A heating and cooling contractor can help homeowners determine which unit is right for them. For more information, visit www.aprilaire.com.

Protecting Your Investment From Mold — Tips for Homeowners

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – In these hard economic times, it has never been more important to protect what for many people is their most significant investment: their home. And one way to do that is to keep mold at bay — because not only does mold present health concerns, but it also can damage your home.

Areas of your home that are continually wet — like the insides of walls or attics and basements, often out of view — will eventually shorten the life of your home and lead to expensive repairs. Research shows that if you keep moisture out of your home, you’ll likely avoid mold. In the presence of moisture, mold will grow on virtually any surface — steel, plastic, even fiberglass.

Fortunately, there’s a new source of information to help avoid such problems. The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition, funded by USG Corporation, National Gypsum and American Gypsum is an excellent source of information on how to keep your house dry — from the way it’s designed, to the way it’s built, to the way it’s maintained. RSMC’s members, including academic, government and building industry associations, developed the Guiding Principles for Mold and Moisture Control-50 steps that can be taken to build and maintain a house free of mold.

Here are some helpful hints:

– Run bathroom and kitchen vents for an extra 10 minutes after you finish showering or cooking. Also, make sure your vents go outdoors. If they vent into the attic, you’re not getting rid of the moisture.

– Make sure the grade around your home slopes away from the foundation. Often, houses will settle as they age, creating a drainage problem. If the ground around your home slopes inward, which may or may not be visible, it provides a pathway for moisture to enter your basement.

– Make sure sprinklers are pointed away from the home. Over time, sprinklers that are directed toward your house will allow thousands of gallons of water to penetrate the walls.

– Take a look at the caulking around doors and windows. If it’s cracked or falling apart, water can seep into your walls.

– Replace washing machine hoses every five years. This is the single largest category of water-related claims filed with insurance companies each year.

The Responsible Solutions to Mold Coalition (www.responsiblemoldsolutions.org) provides a wealth of information for homeowners — whether you’re building, remodeling or maintaining your home. Be a “water detective” in your own home. If you see water or dampness, find out where it’s coming from — stop it — and repair or replace any materials that have been damaged.