Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine

Air Quality

When remodeling clients’ homes, one of the primary challenges we contractors encounter is mold. Pooled moisture leads to mold and mildew, often followed by bacteria, which introduces the possibility of termites and other vermin. While you may have entered the home expecting to take down and rebuild based on the customer’s plans, your job can suddenly change from remodeler to cleanup specialist. Handling mold and preventing further infestations are essential parts of a job well done, so employing... more

With all of the high-speed communications available today, it is easy to do research. One topic that seems to be showing itself in parents’ magazines, newspapers, and television shows is lead usage. Studies have shown that lead in our bodies causes harm in many ways. The group that can suffer the most damage are children six and under and pregnant women. Children can have learning difficulties and behavioral problems as a result of lead exposure. Adults are also affected with kidney problems, blood... more

If you’re buying or selling a home, you’ve probably been advised by your realtors to test for radon levels. For the rest of us, though, radon testing probably hasn’t made it onto our home improvement to-do lists. But, according to public health officials and agencies, radon should be at the top of everyone’s list — especially those of us who live in Oregon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. In more populous counties of the Willamette... more

The bathroom fan has come a long way in just the past year. With the introduction of the dual-sensor fan that monitors both humidity and motion, the bathroom fan has become mostly automatic. For many years the bath fan was turned on like a light with a switch or a timer. Now the Panasonic WhisperSense fans come on only when moisture or motion in the bathroom is detected. It saves energy by not working when it is not needed. Why operate the fan when there is no moisture, and you are not there? By... more

On August 1, 2010, Oregon’s “Heat Smart for Clean Air Law” went into effect. This law is meant to protect homebuyers and clean our air of unnecessary wood-smoke pollution. This law requires a homeowner to remove and decommission an uncertified older woodstove or fireplace insert from a home at the point of sale. The law also applies to uncertified woodstoves located in outbuildings, shops, and garages. Uncertified wood stoves and inserts are required to be removed only when a home is sold.... more

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) offer a perfect opportunity to test your hand at an energy-efficient or sustainable structure. Small in size but large in environmental significance, the ADU helps to reinforce the community nature of the neighborhood, and as such should be in harmony with its surroundings. While this doesn’t mean you have to build a mini-earthship or use a recycled shipping container, an ADU can be a miniature example of the most advanced sustainability models. ADUs: A Platform... more

The inside of your home may not be as healthy as you think. Recent facts suggest that we as a population, especially children, are sicker today than ever before, with more instances of asthma, leukemia and autism. These statistics are even higher among low-income families. Although other factors including diet and exercise contribute to these problems, consumers need to be more aware of the materials and products they have in their homes. The following ten home features can influence the health of... more

People who love the charm and character of old Portland homes don’t have to deal with high heating bills and drafty bedrooms forever. Many energy efficient upgrades can make a tremendous change in your comfort, safety, and utility cost. When you think of the energy efficiency of your Portland charmer, you’re often confronted with a seemingly endless list of problems: inadequate insulation, single-pane windows, outdated furnace and appliances… Rather than be overwhelmed with questions like “Where... more

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