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4 ∫ THE ALPENA NEWS ∫ Thursday, July 15, 2010

Green and healthy: Make your home both By KELLY SMITH From Natural Home magazine

Green products are often good for humans, but not always. While green has recently been redefined and expanded to include protection of human health, there is a difference between what s good for the planet and directly good for people or not, says Allen Rathey, president of the Healthy House Institute. In a report recently published by Air Quality Sciences, an indoor air-quality testing and consulting agency, 84 percent of homeowners cited having a healthier place to live as among their most important reasons for buying green homes. Yet, the report says, many of them don t understand how to control sources of indoor air pollutants and provide adequate ventilation and filtration. Tight houses are great for saving energy, but they can trap pollutants inside. Fortunately, green and

healthy can coincide in your home — if you heed the following advice. Keep Toxins Out Cleaning Products: Some cleaning products (even socalled green ones) contain terpenes, which can react with ozone in the air to form formaldehyde and other toxins. Terpenes are found in citrus oil-type solvent products. Rathey recommends purchasing from companies that disclose all ingredients. Floor and Furniture Finishes: Synthetic, water-based polyurethane floor and furniture finishes often contain glycols, solvents that can take six months to completely outgas. “This is true even for finishes that say they are nontoxic and solvent-free,” says healthy home consultant Mary Cordaro. “If they contain glycols, you can expect to have to ventilate using fans or a fresh-air exchange.” Cordaro recommends natural floor finishes that don’t contain polyurethane, including Osmo, Auro and BioShield products.

3 bedrooms, 2 baths, NEW 1 1/2 story house in a LISTING quiet section of the city with deck and partially fenced yard. Lots of upgrades: kitchen remodeled in 2003 and living room floor refinished. Newer windows 1 6 8 0 F I R S T AV E . & doors. Give Barb a call 354-2194. $47,900.00 MLS #2687445 Quality Built 2 BR 6.39 Acres ranch with 2x6 construction, open floor plan, poured basement and 200 amp electrical service. 3 car detached garage is finished and heated. Jacuzzi tub in bathroom. Plenty of 6875 WINTERS RD. space to enjoy nature! Contact Barbara J. Skaluba for a personal tour 354-2194 $114,900 MLS #267947

150 E. Chisholm St. Alpena 989-354-2194

a c c e s s w w w. u c o m e 1 s t . c o m t o v i e w o u r o t h e r l i s t i n g s

Joint Sealants and Insulation: Poly foam joint sealants and foam insulation — which are great for weatherizing homes — can also be troublesome. Some blown-in foam products contain flame retardants, which can be toxic. Cordaro recommends applying sealant or insulation behind a sealed air barrier such as drywall. “It’s not an outgassing issue,” she says. “Dust from the material can break down and get into the air, where it can be breathed in. If it’s behind an air barrier, then the toxic elements are contained.” Recycled Products: Carpets made from recycled soda bottles are a popular (and affordable) green alternative, but they contain a toxic substance: plastic made from nonrenewable crude oil. Debra Lynn Dadd, a consumer advocate and author of Home Safe Home, recommends sealing the carpet with AFM Safecoat’s Carpet Seal. Salvaged wood also could harbor preservatives or leadbased paints applied in the past. It’s great to reclaim wood, Dadd says. But be cautious about what s on those beams. She recommends sealing old wood with a nontoxic finish. Used Furniture: While flea

Green afoot,

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be cold and hard to stand on for long periods. Wood The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent certifier that ensures wood is grown sustainably. This means the trees grow fast and are harvested using a picker instead of clear-cutting. American sustainably grown wood has a low carbon footprint and is available from numerous sources, but it costs more than noncertified wood. Reclaimed wood

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Stu n n in g 3 bed ro o m , 2.5 ba th w a terfro n t ho m e bo a stin g 100’ o n La ke Hu ro n Cha n n el. Bright kitchen w /spa cio u s isla n d , q u a lity a pplia n ces, fo rm a l d in in g ro o m . W a terfro n t m a ster bed ro o m sa n ctu a ry fea tu rin g priva te ba th w ith Ja cu zzi tu b. La rge bo n u s ro o m a bo ve ga ra ge fo r rela xa tio n , exercise o r m ed ia ro o m . Co zy ga s lo g firepla ce, cen tra la ir,fin ished ga ra ge.Sto w yo u r bo a t a t the d o ck a n d a w a y yo u go !M LS 266244

C a n ’tm a ke the o p en ho u se?N o p ro b lem ,ca ll S ha ro n @ 6 5 7-6 6 10 fo r a p riva tesho w in g . NEW LISTING

Attra ctive 3 bed ro o m ra n ch w ith glea m in g ha rd w o o d flo o rs in livin g ro o m , d in in g a rea a n d ha llw a y.Nice o a k kitchen ,ga s lo g firepla ce, cen tra l a ir, a ll a pplia n ces (in clu d in g w a sher a n d d ryer).Fu lly fen ced ba ckya rd w ith sto ra ge shed .Grea t sta rter ho m e o r perfect fo r “sn o w bird s”. Ca ll Sha ro n @ 657-6610. Priced to sell a t $74,900 M LS 268851


Grea t 3 BR ho m e o n 1 a cre.Livin g ro o m ha s a w o n d erfu lw o o d firepla ce.K itchen / d in in g is spa cio u s a n d lea d s to the la rge d eck fo r o u td o o r grillin g.The ya rd o ffers ro o m fo r ga rd en s, pets to ro a m a n d a ll kin d s o fo u td o o rga m es.A 200 sq .ft.shed a tta ched to the 2 ca r ga ra ge m a kes a grea t w o rksho p.Sellers a d d ed in su la tio n a n d in sta lled n ew er w in d o w s & slid in g d o o rs.M LS 268412 -$99,000.Ca llCin d y a t 657-1171.

market sofas are great in terms of reusing resources, vintage upholstered furniture can contain poly foam with flame retardants. “These chemicals release into the air at higher levels as the piece ages,” says healthy home consultant Mary Cordaro. “The older a piece, the worse it is.” Having a few pieces of used upholstered furniture is fine, but Cordaro advises against filling a whole home with used furnishings. For used wood furniture such as tables and chairs, wear a face mask when refinishing and seal with a zero-VOC furniture sealant. Bring Air In Your home operates as a system, Healthy Home Institute founder John Bower says. “A change in one part of a house can easily have repercussions elsewhere in the building,” he says. “Weatherizing a house might mean lower utility bills, but it can also affect the way moisture migrates through walls and ceilings. Some newly tightened houses begin experiencing a higher relative humidity indoors — and mold growth.” Rathey says opening windows isn’t enough. Constantly changing conditions — wind speed and direction, temperature and pressure dif-


Q u a in t 3-bed ro o m ho m e in Alpen a . Bea u tifu l ha rd w o o d flo o rs - red o n e. New flo o rin g in kitchen & ba th.Ro o m y kitchen w ith a sepa ra te d in in g a rea .New fu rn a ce a n d 2 n ew er w in d o w s in ba sem en t.Vin yl tilt-in w in d o w s a n d pa rtia lly fen ced ya rd w ith a shed . Clo se to scho o ls a n d m a n y a m en ities.Ba sem en t w o u ld m a ke a grea t recrea tio n ro o m . (Seller is a licen sed Rea lto r).M LS 268731 - $68,500.Ca llCin d y a t 657-1171.

Visit for all the area MLS Listings.

130 Park Place • Alpena 989.354.3111

Reclaimed wood flooring is the most environmentally friendly flooring option, Freidberg says. Salvaged and remilled wood has a low carbon footprint and a oneof-a-kind look. “It has a lot of character, sometimes with nail holes and cracks,” Freidberg says. “The flaws are a big part of it, but part of the beauty, also, is that you can get widths of planks you can’t get with new wood. Sometimes the grain is just spectacular — and you can’t get that with the younger trees. Look for local companies that specialize in deconstruction. Freidberg works with Douglas fir that was used in downtown Los Angeles buildings built 80 to 100

ferences between indoors and outdoors, and many other factors — mean you can’t rely on a specific ventilation rate. Installing an Energy Star fan or a good ventilation system with a cleanair exchange is the best solution. Minimize Moisture Installing cork or linoleum on a concrete slab may cause moisture problems, which can be toxic and difficult to eradicate. Cork and linoleum don’t allow proper vapor transmission, so moisture can get trapped under the floor backing. Before you install any flooring, check local water tables to see if moisture is a concern. Area installers or

retailers may have solution suggestions for your area. If in doubt, Cordaro recommends using stone or ceramic tiles, which allow vapor transmission. (For groundwater information, go to Excerpted from Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. To read more articles from Natural Home, please www.Naturalvisit or call (800) 340-5846 to subscribe. Copyright 2010 by Ogden Publications Inc.

years ago. Barns, factories and mills are also great sources for old wood. Installation — probably not a DIY project — calls for a solid understanding of wood and its knots and cracks. The finishing process is more complicated than the process for traditional wood, and it usually requires sanding. Cost can range widely, so do your homework to find a variety of local sources. Ask where the wood is from. Reclaimed exotic wood may also be available from buildings in your area, though it s likely to cost more. Cork Cork comes from the outer layer of the cork oak Quercus tree, which grows

back after it’s harvested. Available in a wide variety of colors and designs, cork is very comfortable underfoot. “If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, it is great. It cushions your legs,” Freidberg says. She also loves its resilience. “You can stand on it in high heels and make a dent, and in 24 hours the dent will be gone.” Research the source of a product’s cork before buying. Cork has become so popular that centuries-old cork groves in Spain and Portugal are being overtaxed. Freidberg warns to steer clear of cheap cork, which can be made with toxic, formaldehyde-based glue. Helpful Tips ∫ Don’t buy cheap cork or bamboo flooring — both are made with formaldehyde-laced binders. Do consider using reclaimed wood flooring. It’s one of the greenest options and offers a one-of-a-kind look. ∫ Make sure your installer uses putties, glues and sealants that do not outgas. ∫ Ask a green building consultant or retailer to recommend products certified for indoor air quality by an independent agency such as GreenGuard. ∫ Avoid oil-based products, which are generally more toxic than water-based products, and try to avoid acrylics. Excerpted from Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. To read more articles from Natural Home magazine, please visit w w w . N a t u r a l or call (800) 340-5846 to subscribe. Copyright 2010 by Ogden Publications Inc.

HARRISVILLE, Gustin Twsp. Stockton Rd. Beautiful newer 3 bdrm, 2 bath ranch on 15.57 rolling acres. 1620 sq. ft., C/A, wood burner, full w/o bsmt, 2 car att gar., deck. 2nd det. frame gar. 36x48x14 w/ (3) 12 ft. doors. Numerous add’l amenities! $179,900 #297 PRESQUE ISLE HARBOR ASSN., Lake access, Belfair Rd. Lovely newer 3 bdrm, 2 bath custom ranch w/1 car att. gar. 1396 sq. ft., hardwood floors, deck, open floor plan. Move in condition. $95,400. #295 ALPENA, Lakeview Dr. 3 bdrm, 1.5 bath ranch. Oversized 3 car detached garage, large lot. $63,100 #298

LACHINE, Werth Rd. Nice 1500 sq. ft, 3-4 bedroom bungalow 1 % bath. 2 large bdrms down, updates. Nice country setting, 100x230 lot, deep 2 car garage, 2 large sheds w/cement flooring and electric. $42,000 REDUCED. #293

ALPENA, French Rd., 4 bedrooms, 1 bath on over 1 acre. 2 more rooms up but needs access. Open floor plan, many updates but needs some plumbing work. $30,000 REDUCED #287

ALPENA, N. Lawn St. 3 bdrm, 1.25 bath Tri-level on comer lot. 1 car att gar. Needs work. $40,000 REDUCED. #294

A&M Properties 989-736-6958


6.39 Acres NEW LISTING Visit for all the area MLS Listings. becoldandhardtostandon forlongperiods. Wood TheForestSteward...


6.39 Acres NEW LISTING Visit for all the area MLS Listings. becoldandhardtostandon forlongperiods. Wood TheForestSteward...