How To Keep Seasonal Allergies Under Control

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When you have seasonal allergies, it’s difficult to enjoy the spring and summer seasons without some discomfort. In fact, many people struggle with the symptoms of seasonal allergies year after year, and they don’t know how to get relief from these symptoms other than taking medication that can sometimes be more disruptive than helpful. However, there are steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms and enjoy these seasons more fully. This article will help you find the best ways to keep seasonal allergies under control so you can feel better and perform at your best.

Learn the Triggers

The most effective way to manage your allergies is by learning to avoid your triggers. For example, pollen and pet dander are both common triggers for seasonal allergies. If you have a pet, be sure to keep him or her out of your bedroom at night. It’s also a good idea to purchase a high-quality air purifier that can remove dust and pollen from your home.

Establish Good Sleeping Habits

A number of studies have linked poor sleep with increased production of allergy-related chemicals in your body. These include histamine, which helps protect against infection but is also a component of allergy symptoms; cytokines, which are a class of proteins involved in immune responses; and leukotrienes, which help regulate inflammation. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night because you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, make sure to establish good sleep habits by setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it. You can also take supplements like melatonin or try relaxation techniques that may encourage sleep.

Use an Air Purifier

When you’re dealing with allergies, it can be difficult to know what you should and shouldn’t do. Take steps to keep your living spaces clean by using an air purifier for your home that removes allergens and irritants from the air. These machines are able to remove pet dander, mold spores, pollen, dust mites, and even smoke from your home so you can spend time there without having reactions to those substances. Using one of these machines could help you feel better during allergy season without having to compromise your family’s lifestyle. Most households only need a small air purifier in one room of their house, but some may need more depending on how much time they spend at home and the size of their living space.

Don’t Put Off Going to See Your Doctor

The first-hand consultation with a doctor is an important step in figuring out how to manage your allergies. By laying out symptoms and undergoing a physical examination, your doctor can confirm or rule out various causes of your reaction. If you suspect you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, head to an allergist right away—don’t wait until symptoms have reached their peak. According to research, patients who received treatment for their seasonal allergies within two weeks had less severe symptoms than those who waited longer. The sooner you get medical help, the sooner you can start finding relief!

Exercise Regularly

People with a history of allergies or asthma often benefit from regular physical activity. The result is improved lung function, stronger immune systems, and lower stress levels, which can make seasonal allergy sufferers feel better overall. Plus, when you exercise regularly your body gets better at fighting off allergens. A regular routine can also increase stamina and make allergy season less miserable. (Try exercising for 30 minutes four times a week.) If you’re not an active person but want to start working out more to deal with allergies, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking on any new exercise routines—especially if you have respiratory issues that could be exacerbated by exercise-induced breathing problems.

Dust High Surfaces

When dust mites and mold spores settle on surfaces, they can often make allergies worse. Though you can’t see them, these tiny allergens can make a big difference in the way you feel. By doing a little everyday cleaning you’ll reduce the dust that collects on surfaces in your home, meaning less of them and more breathing room for you. Wipe down surfaces daily with a damp microfiber cloth and avoid using any harsh chemical cleaners or sprays around your home – they won’t do anything to kill allergens and they could actually cause other health problems (like respiratory issues) if you’re exposed over time. For surfaces you can’t reach easily, you can hire a professional service to do a high dusting of ceilings, vents, and other places where dust may settle. Remember: A clean house isn’t just cleaner; it’s also healthier too!

Other Solutions

Getting a little dusting of pollen is natural and inevitable, but if you have allergies, it’s a good idea to take precautions. For example, when you head outside on those warm summer days, you might want to bring along an extra set of clothes so that you can change if your allergies start acting up. You may also want to consider sitting indoors in air-conditioning for a bit before going back outside. Keep in mind that many allergy medications don’t work well unless they’re taken one or two hours before exposure. Other options include: wearing masks (there are many varieties available) or taking antihistamines and corticosteroids.

How To Prevent Flood Damage In Historic Homes

   

Historical homes provide a charming aesthetic, although they are more vulnerable to flood damage. Older structures often have minor cracks on the roof, walls or flooring, making the interior more susceptible to water accumulation. Here are tips to prevent flood damage in your home.

1. Evaluate Your Drainage System

The drain should be sloped away from your foundation. Redirect gutters so water flows toward the street, preventing it from accumulating near your foundation. A build-up could lead to potential mold and a weakened structure.

In addition, clear out debris and leaves from the downspouts so moisture doesn’t build up. You can also install backwater valves to prevent water from entering your house.

2. Try Dry-Proofing Methods

Dry-proofing is where you seal your exterior to protect against floods. One method is adding flood shields to doors for better protection against heavy downpours. You can also raise the threshold of your entryway to prevent foundational issues. Be sure to seal around doors and windows tightly. Keep in mind older windows have larger openings to let in more light.

You can strengthen any masonry walls to withstand heavier pressure. However, if you ​​create a permanent installation, it must be compatible with the property’s historic character.

3. Decorate With Flood-Resistant Materials

Flood-resistant materials can withstand prolonged water exposure with little to no damage.

Make sure to add these to the underside of your home. Does your home need a renovation to create a more updated look? This is an excellent opportunity to add flood-resistant surfaces.

Here are a few materials to consider using:

  • Concrete
  • Clay tile
  • Brick
  • Pressure-treated (PT) resistant lumber
  • Polyester epoxy paint

Be sure to enclose any wall cracks with waterproof membranes or other sealants.

4. Raise Your Appliances and Utilities

Keep your appliances and HVAC system at taller heights whenever possible. Begin by determining your base flood elevation (BFE), which is how much the water level is anticipated to rise during an annual flood. This date is on the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) website. Make sure to raise your utilities above that level.

Be sure to elevate electrical wiring as well. This can prevent damage and potential electrocution. Also, turn off the home’s power systems if floodwaters rise.

5. Move Your Furniture Around

Take stock of your belongings and secure them as safely as you can to prevent potential water damage. Move high-value items to the upper levels. You can temporarily store a few things in your home’s attic. For example, do you have antique sofas or lamps you want to preserve during a period of rainy weather?

If you are accustomed to a storm season or rainy season, you should also be prepared to limit the furniture you keep outside. Taking in patio furniture, planters and other items for a few months can give you some peace of mind should flooding be a problem.

6. Have a Contractor on Hand

You want to restore your home as much as possible after flooding, especially historic homes with lots of charm. Have a trusted contractor on file and retain their number, which can help save time in an emergency.

Insurance companies will often work with general contractors during the claims process, which is why you must have somebody you can trust. Ask friends for references and research credentials before hiring someone. Make sure you interview multiple contractors as well.

7. Elevate Your Home

Raising your house on stilts or piers can protect against intense flooding by preventing water from seeping into your foundation. It also gives you time to move furniture around before the water level rises too high.

Contractors separate the frame and masonry veneer from their foundation during this process. Then they’re raised and kept up with temporary support. Finally, the new extended foundation is constructed below. Ensure you preserve the historical exterior features, such as wood siding. Also, check with local historical preservation societies to see if structural changes need approval.

8. Maintain Your Lawn Properly

A well-kept yard can elevate your home’s curb appeal and complement the charming exterior of older homes. You can use specific lawn care techniques to prevent flooding as well.

Use heavy soil with clay and sand so the surface runoff water empties into the street gutter. Also, leave plenty of room between your mulch and siding. Installing a rain barrel can help catch runoff water from the roof.

 

Tips to Keep Your Home Protected

Severe weather can be a problem for many homeowners, and preserving the beauty of a historical home is often a concern. Follow these steps to keep your property protected for years to come.

Author

 Evelyn Long is a Baltimore-based writer and the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She publishes home decor advice and product roundups for readers in spaces both big and small.

9 Tips For Sustainable Living

What do you picture when you think of sustainable living? Maybe it’s dramatic changes like ocean conservation work or switching to wind power. While big efforts are important, sustainable living is an aspect of daily life that can be implemented in small ways. You may be surprised at how small of a change you can make for a real improvement in sustainability, especially when that effort is sustained over time. Here are our nine tips for sustainable living.

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Alt text: A sun setting behind windmills and a grass field

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Tip #1: Turn Off the Light

The average annual electricity consumption for a US household in 2018 averaged over 28 kilowatt-hours per day. A kilowatt-hour is equal to one 100-watt light bulb left on for 10 hours. And we’re averaging more than 28 of those a day in our households! Most of this energy usage comes from lights being left on all day.

Turn off your lights when you leave the room. Conserving the light might mean opening the curtains and letting natural light in. Maybe all you need is a small lamp. We tend to overuse electrical lights unnecessarily.

There are also ways to cultivate sustainability in home decor with your lighting options. What are the materials of your light fixtures made from? Take into consideration how your lights are shipped or provided to you. Sustainable packaging can make all the difference. Sources that prioritize sustainability will help you be sustainable too.

Tip #2: Invest in the Reusable Options

A big part of living sustainably is reusing what you can. We have a lot of daily-use items in our lives that are disposable. But, there are also reusable options available like straws, plates, water bottles, towels, and grocery bags. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your reusable materials, and explore all the new items that are being created every week.

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Alt text: A marble kitchen counter with reusable straws and fresh fruit

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Tip #3: Conserve Your Water

Watching your water usage is an oft-repeated eco-friendly measure, but there might be some specific tips you haven’t considered. We’ve all heard about the importance of taking shorter showers, but have you thought about getting a water-saving showerhead or a shower timer? You may not be aware of how much water you’re using or saving until you start to keep track of it.

Tip #4: Rethink Your Commute

Commuting is a necessity for many people, but you can make your commute a part of your sustainability commitment. If you work close to your home, try walking or biking to work. Taking public transportation is better than taking your vehicle. If you have to drive a car, consider getting an electric one, and carpool as much as possible. If you fly on planes frequently, make sure you find an airline that utilizes zero-waste practices.

Your sustainable commuting routine can also be more basic: take the stairs instead of the elevator. It’s the little things like this that add up.

Tip #5: Dress with the Environment in Mind

A sustainable lifestyle includes supporting sustainable fashion. Sustainable shopping isn’t to be confused with thrift shopping — although getting secondhand clothes is more sustainable than buying new ones. When you decide to buy new clothes, it is better to buy “slow” fashion rather than fast fashion — meaning you choose higher quality items that last longer.

Better quality also often means brands are more environmentally conscious. Plus, in addition to choosing the styles that last longer, you can also make your clothes last longer by doing simple repairs yourself.

Tip #6: Take a Closer Look at Your Bedding

A sustainable life looks at the little details, especially for items you use every day. There are plenty of ways to be more sustainable with your bedding.

You want to choose products from a company that utilizes sustainable practices and uses good materials. Bamboo fabric is beneficial for the environment. Sourcing sustainable fabrics is a great way to institute an eco-friendly lifestyle all across your household.

Tip #7: Ditch the Printer

Today’s world is digital. You don’t need a home printer. If you have to print something, you can seek one out. But not having a printer on hand will save you from printing items you don’t need to print. Practice storing files and information digitally to promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

Tell your bank you want electronic statements. Get receipts emailed instead of printed. Take notes on an electronic device instead of on a pad of paper. Go paperless and then encourage your peers to do the same.

Tip #8: Donate Your Belongings

Just because you’re done with something doesn’t mean no one else can use it. When you donate items you don’t use anymore, you help the environment by keeping them out of the landfill. Donate what doesn’t bring you joy and give it to someone who can reuse those items for a win-win!

Tip #9: Save Gift Bags and Wrappings

This is a small tip, but it can have a big impact. Whenever you get gift bags, save them instead of throwing them away. You can do the same with tissue paper or other wrappings that don’t get ripped or damaged when you open the present. This will not only save you some money but it will help the environment.

Encourage Working Together

Sustainable living works best when everyone makes the same commitments. It doesn’t do much good if you take short 4-minute showers and everyone else still takes long 30-minute showers.

And it won’t matter as much if you are the only one taking public transport to work. If everyone else in the office drives their car separately try to address the opportunity to increase sustainability. Encourage your coworkers to brainstorm together and try to coordinate carpooling times. Together you can make a much larger positive impact by organizing carpool groups.

The possibilities for sustainability are endless. And when you work together to achieve your sustainable living dreams you can make the world a lot better. All it takes are small meaningful changes to make a world of difference.


Tips For Keeping Your Home Healthy

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If you want to keep your home healthy, your top priority should be to keep your home clean. Here are efficient ways you can maintain your home to create a safe and healthy living environment. 

Declutter your Space

So, the first and most important thing you need to do in order to keep your house clean and healthy is to declutter your space. You have to start with bigger stuff to get to the finer cleaning tasks like dusting and vacuuming.

Efficiently done decluttering process will free up a lot of space. Clothes that are lying around for no reason will only make you trip every time you try to walk around. That kind of clutter will only limit your space for movement and it will make you stressed and anxious whenever you look at it.

On top of all of that, having dirty clothes and wet towels lie around just about anywhere is very bad for your health. This kind of clutter creates perfect conditions for bacteria to grow and spread around. So, take your time to properly declutter, do your laundry and maybe go through your wardrobe and see if there are any clothes you no longer wear. You can either donate it or get it recycled. 

Keep the Kitchen Clean

Kitchen should be one of your top priorities. This is the space in which you prepare your food and eat. The last thing you want is to have all sorts of bacteria and infections running around freely where your food is. So, take your time and be very thorough when it comes to cleaning your kitchen.

Firstly, make sure to clean your kitchen sink regularly. Unclog the pipes, switch to new sponges regularly and wash everything off. The kitchen sink can get stinky if you don’t maintain it. Make sure to clean out your fridge every once in a while and don’t forget to clean your stove since stains can dry out and cause a whole mess that is hard to get rid of. 

Don’t Forget the Bathroom

The bathroom is tricky because this is where you take care of your hygiene. It needs to be clean and sanitised. That means to wet towels lying around to collect bacteria. Change your towels regularly and make sure to wipe off any excess water off the surfaces in the bathroom. 

The wet and moist environment is the best for bacteria. That is why you need to take extra care of your bathroom and prevent mould from developing on the walls. Making sure to ventilate or let enough air in is very important.

Let the Fresh Air In

Speaking of which, if you want to live in a healthy environment you need to let some fresh air in. make sure to open your windows in the morning when you wake up and let the fresh breeze inside. The fresh air will help clear your mind and breathe with your whole lungs. It’s good both for your physical and mental health.

Get some Houseplants

Another great way to get some fresh air is to simply get some houseplants for your home. Firstly, they look amazing ad can create a whole new aesthetics in your home. Secondly, they will quite literally bring life into your living space. They will produce more quality air for you and make a better living condition for you and your family. Just make sure to take care of them well. Water them as much as they need and let them sunbathe. 

Take care of Pest Control

In order to prevent infection growth and spread, you need to take care of pest control. If you haven’t already, you need to consult experts and get them to check your home to see if there’s any need for pest control. In case you live in a flat, in a bigger city, chances are that you sometimes might have cockroach outbreaks in the pipes. In that case, getting professional cockroach pest control services is simply a necessity if you want to keep your home clean, safe and healthy.  

Sanitize your Home

This goes together with the previous statement. Keeping your home sanitised will prevent all sorts of bacteria and infections from spreading around. You are also less likely to get any pest-related issues in the apartment if you clean and sanitise everything correctly and thoroughly enough. Just make sure there are no wet spots around the house that will attract the pests.

Use a Doormat

Lastly, if you want to maintain your home and keep it clean with almost zero effort so that you don’t have to vacuum every day, use a doormat at the entrance. It will make sure that most of the dirt, dust, debris and water stay outside; or you can start wearing slippers around the house. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, keeping your house healthy means you have to keep it clean and sanitised. Hopefully these tips were enough to help you organise your cleaning check list. 

Is Historic Preservation Trending in Home Interior Design?

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Is Historic Preservation Trending in Home Interior Design?

Interior design trends come and go. Chances are, you’re not going to find green shag carpet from the ’70s in someone’s home today (thank goodness some trends fade for good!). But, what’s old can sometimes become new again. Certain trends are recycled or brought back to life for a variety of reasons.

One trend that is currently seeing a huge surge in popularity is historic preservation. You can chalk it up to home design shows on HGTV, inspirational boards on Pinterest, or just pictures and before/after reveals all over social media.

Whatever the reason, more people are seeing the value in home restoration and preservation. Many want to keep the historical elements of an old house intact rather than gutting the whole thing.

But, if this is truly a “trend,” can you expect it to stick around? What’s the value of restoring a historical home, and what should you expect?

Understanding and Increasing Value

It’s not uncommon for historical houses to be “diamonds in the rough,” allowing buyers to purchase them at a low listing price so they can restore them to their natural glory. But, that isn’t the case with every old home. To have a better understanding of what a property is worth, consider some of the following:

  • The existing foundation and what it’s made of
  • Quirky aspects of the home
  • Craftsmanship and details
  • Original colors, textures, and materials

If the home needs remodeling, there are things you can do to add value while keeping some of the historic charms. Some of the best improvement projects that can boost overall value include adding a bathroom, converting the attic space, remodeling the kitchen, and improving energy efficiency.

Things like new windows, a new HVAC system, and even new wiring can often be necessary repairs and improvements to historic homes, especially when it comes to keeping them safe. If you’re interested in a classic piece of Southern architecture, for example, you might need to make renovations that properly prepare the property for natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding. Things like sealing cracks in the foundation and adding retaining walls can make a big difference.

What to Know Before Preserving a Home

If you’ve fallen in love with the bones of an old home and it’s got a great listing price, you might be tempted to jump in right away with your sledgehammer. But, there are a few things to keep in mind before you put a lot of time, effort, and money into a home restoration. Before you start any rehabilitation, check the following off your list:

  • Research the building’s history
  • Identify interior elements
  • Assess what needs to be altered
  • Pay attention to any deterioration
  • Draw up plans

You also should consider any potential challenges you might face along the way, including planning and adjusting your budget for any unexpected repairs, and working with your local historical commission. There may be some things within the home that can’t be changed. A historical commission group can guide you through those things, but it can be a lengthy process. It’s also a good idea to work with a contractor and home inspector. They’re trained to see potential risks or problems that you might not discover on your own.

Is Historic Preservation a Lasting Trend?

Historic homes are becoming popular again for a reason. People love the charm, the attention to detail, and the comforting, familiar feel of an old house. But, is it a lasting trend, or is it something that will lose its luster after a while?

It’s hard to pin down an answer. While many home trends don’t last long, it seems that historic restoration gets a boost in popularity every few years. The most important thing is to decide if it’s the right option for you.

There are some aspects of a historic home that will undoubtedly seem outdated, and may not even appeal to you. For example, many modern homes have open-space concepts, and whether you have a larger family or just like the feel of more space, that’s a trend that’s not going away any time soon. Many historical homes are known for having multiple rooms, but those rooms aren’t necessarily that spacious.

You can keep the charm and integrity of an older home while increasing your space with just a few small changes, like:

  • Getting creative with storage options
  • Installing shelves
  • Investing in multi-use furniture

You can also choose to tear down walls in certain areas to increase the size of certain rooms. That’s obviously a bigger undertaking, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take away from the “older” appeal of the home. It may even make it feel more luxurious, like a Victorian mansion.

Historic preservation is absolutely a hot trend. But, because of the comfort and charm of old homes, it’s a trend that is likely to stick around – even if it becomes mixed with modern touches. Take the details into consideration and recognize all that goes into home restoration before deciding if it’s right for you. But, don’t be afraid to take on a historic project if bringing an old home to life is something you’ve always wanted to do.