If you have recently bought or sold a house, you have probably heard of radon. This invisible, odorless and tasteless gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, and it rises through the ground and into the air. The air dissipates it enough that it is not harmful. But it also can seep into your home through cracks or holes in the foundation, where it becomes trapped and can become concentrated to unhealthy levels. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths a year.
Luckily, testing for excessive amounts of radon and alleviating the problem in your home is a simple process. You can purchase low-cost “do it yourself” tests or hire a qualified tester. If levels in your home are found to be high, a radon mitigation system can be installed, which is simply a vent pipe system and fan that pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside.
Radon levels can vary tremendously from home to home, and even in the same home from season to season. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes have undetected high levels of radon. So if your home hasn’t been tested, it is probably a good idea to do so and make sure you are protected from this dangerous gas. Visit the EPA’s website athttp://www.epa.gov/radon for a variety of publications and resources about radon.
Fact: Radon is heavy and collects in low areas. If you spend a lot of time in your basement, the EPA recommends you test your home for radon.
Candles have been around for thousands of years. Until electricity, they were merely a source of light. Today, they are more used as a decorative accent. True, they do add a soft glow and wonderful light to your home. Scented candles go one step further and add practically any smell under the sun.
If you burn candles in your home with any regularity, chances are that you’ve spilled melted wax on the carpet more than once. Thankfully, you can remove melted wax from carpet in just a matter of minutes.
The good news is that you can attack the stain immediately and remove the wax from the carpet. The better news is that if one of your party guests neglected to tell you about the spilled wax, you can still remove it all and leave no trace.
One warning: If you’ve spilled wax onto an Oriental rug that is an antique, silk, or part silk, contact a professional to remove the stain. They are more delicate and generally more expensive.
- If wax is still soft, put some ice in a plastic bag and place over the spot to harden the wax. If it’s set, gently scrape the hardened wax with a butter knife to remove as much as you can.
- Use a vacuum to remove the small pieces of wax that you have scraped off.
- Preheat iron to lowest setting.
- You can use a white kitchen towel or brown paper bag as a blotter to absorb the wax. WARNING: Be sure there is no printing on the paper bag. When heated, the ink will be transferred to your carpet, which is much more difficult to remove.
- Gently press the warm iron over the waxy area until it melts and adheres to the blotter. You should keep the iron moving in a circular motion to prevent it from scorching the carpet fibers.
- When the wax has been absorbed, lift the blotter from the...