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How Trees Survive Cold Weather

tree with snow

Fossil records tell us that about 250 million years ago, trees were not able to live at temperatures below zero. It was only adapted to live in the tropics where it is always warm, the water is always liquid, and the leaves are safe year round without fear of frost.

If you took a tropical tree, whether ancient or modern, and moved it to Siberia or Patagonia in winter, its water would freeze into sharp edged ice crystals. They would fatally puncture the living cells in all of the tree's leaves. This is the same thing happens to lettuce and spinach when you freeze them.

The cold weather means that the water in the trees plumbing system freezes. Dangerous bubbles form in the ice from gases that was previously dissolved in the liquid water. The ice itself does not cause much harm. However, when it thaws the water remains, which is a problem because the entire plumbing system relies on the intramolecular attraction of water molecules pulling each other upwards against gravity. Air bubbles break the chain of molecules essentially shutting off the flow of water.

Therefore, to survive in cold weather, trees need to avoid two things:

1) Bubbles in its pipes
2) Direct damage to cells due to ice crystals

Trees solve the first problem before leaving hot climates, because air bubbles also are a problem during drought. When plants are working hard to get water from the soil, their water conducting pipes accidentally absorbed very small pockets of air from the surrounding tissue. To combat this, trees in the dry tropics developed skinnier pipes, which, thanks to the counter intuitive physics of bubbles and water, develop fewer bubble blockages than the wide high capacity pipes of their wet tropical cousins. Therefore, the plumbing of ancestral drought adapted trees was accidently pre adapted to the cold as well. This adaption occurred well before the trees began to spread beyond the tropics.

Upon arriving in cold places, trees developed two techniques that they still use to avoid frozen leaves. The first is to fill the living leaf cells with concentrated sugary sap, which is the biological version of anti-freeze. Some trees, mostly evergreen conifers like Pine or Spruce, use solely this technique and keep their needle like leaves unfrozen year round with their super strong anti-freeze.

However, some other varieties, such as maple, birch, and larches, combine a less extreme level of sugar in their leaves with a practice of going leafless during the winter to avoid foliar frostbite. These techniques are uniquely cold beating adaptations. That is until the decedents of leaf dropping trees made it back to the dry tropics, where their strategy helps them deal with the extended seasons of drought monsoonal climates.

As far as we know, sugary sap remains the only adaptation that is only useful in cold places. Which is why you have to come to the north if you want to tap into the sweet anti-freeze that might just help you survive the winter. We call it Maple Syrup, and it is delicious.

To learn more about caring for your trees during cold weather contact your local tree service expertslocal tree service experts.

Qualities Of An Expert Cleaning Service

These days, people are already too busy with other things that they can no longer deal with the task of cleaning their house thoroughly. Keeping your home tidy and clean involves hard work because every room has different cleaning needs. It may take you a lot of time to clean the house and you may not be able to do it when you are working or taking care of your children. Expert cleaning service makes life easier for you because professional cleaners can come to your home and make sure your place will look as new.

Have a look at the qualities that make this kind of cleaning service special:

- Flexible House cleaning experts can do the task in the method that you prefer. They have flexible schedules and they can attend to the required work once a week, every few weeks or simply depending on your needs. They also offer different types of cleaning services, including bond cleaning, spring cleaning, carpet cleaning, and pet urine treatment.

- Use of professional products Hiring a house cleaning company means you will receive high quality service because experts only use professional equipment and products. They also know the technique, which is necessary to use in cleaning every part of the house and make sure everything is dirt-free and free of damage.

- Customized service Expert cleaning service involves an evaluation of the situation and knowing your needs to choose the best techniques and products to use. Do not worry about having any item being damaged because professionals ensure that all household items will be treated with care. This way, you can deal with other important matters because the experts can handle your house cleaning needs, making sure your home remains clean and attractive.

- Professional service Hiring the right company offers you the assurance that your home will be as clean as it should be. A professional cleaning service ensures that their employees have the right training, so they can perform the task efficiently. They also make sure that the task is done on the agreed time period and based on the clients desired level of satisfaction.

When choosing an expert cleaning service, it is recommended to make a list of the areas of the house that require cleaning. Aside from cleaning the walls and floors, expert cleaners can also dust furniture, clean the window, vacuum carpets or remove stains, and make beds. When you work with a good cleaning company, every part of your home will be sparking clean.

Some Important Facts About White Mold

People understand the dangers of having mold growth in their homes or structures. While a lot of attention has been focused on toxic black mold, it is important to know that a lot of other kinds of fungus can also affect our health and well being. White mold is one of the many fungi that can have an adverse side effect on our bodies. Experts think that the same caution and attention should also be focused on other species of mold as to that of the black variety because several of these can negatively affect our health both long term and short term.

Mold vs Efflorescence

This white type of mold is characterized by the white coloring that it has as it grows on mostly porous surfaces. Just like any other kind of mold, it needs to be out of direct sunlight and in a consistently moist area to grow and thrive. It is often overlooked and ignored because it might have been mistaken for efflorescence. Efflorescence is an occurrence that commonly takes place on structures made of concrete or brick as well as any other masonry structures. The production of efflorescence is due to the salts and minerals in masonry and concrete products coming to the surface as the item or items are exposed to water. Experts who are trained to detect and assess a building for molds can easily tell the difference between the two. Some efflorescence occurrence which are older actually look like fine crystals which is very different from the cottony appearance of mold. Home owners in Texas who wish to tell the difference between the two should exercise caution when doing the following ways to distinguish:

- observe what kind of substrate the white growth is on (efflorescence occurs exclusively on concrete and other masonry items)

- observe the appearance of growth (mold is finer and more cottony looking than efflorescence)

- a moldy smell might be present if the growth is white mold

- cautiously spray a fine mist on the white growth (efflorescence should dissolve since it is made of salts and minerals)

Health Implications

A lot of people think that this particular white fungus is not dangerous and will not affect their health. While it is not as dangerous as toxic black mold, people are different and each may have different reactions to environmental factors. Some people are more sensitive to allergens while others with a lowered immune system might react to exposure to mold spores from the white variety after being fine beforehand.

Common health issues that come with exposure to spores from this particular mold have something to do with the upper respiratory system of the person. Usually, when spores are inhaled, they almost instantaneously trigger an allergic reaction in the individual. The symptoms of this reaction is similar to allergic rhinitis or hay fever, including but not limited to:

- itchy, watery eyes

- itchy nostrils or nose

- a runny nose

- chronic cough

more serious symptoms are:

- nausea

- dizziness

- depression

- headaches

The reason some individuals may have more serious symptoms may have to do with how long they have been inhaling the spores as well as a not so effective immune system.

The removal of white mold should be done with caution; better yet, done by professionals who are trained to do this effectively with the means to protect themselves from exposure. Do-it-yourself projects to remove white mold colonies should only be done on a small or medium sized colony in a well-ventilated area. The person to do this should also wear protective clothing that covers up most of the limbs and other body parts. These include a mask, goggles and gloves.

While immediate removal is necessary to prevent health issues, it is also important to identify the kind of mold present. Professionals can test the spores and can use a vacuum to make sure that spores will not float to other areas of the house when they are being removed. Mold Removal Doctor.com

Top 4 Worst Crawl Space Insulation Practices You Need To Know

Most homeowners interested in insulating their crawl spaces end up searching for that information on the internet. Yes, there are lots of good information online, but there also very bad and outdated advice being given out there. The most common worst practice is using fiberglass to insulate a damp crawl space. This is because fiberglass absorbs and holds moisture from the foundation walls and ground, and when its too heavy it falls. This leads to rot, excessive moisture and mold growth. Here are more worst crawl space insulation practices that youve probably not heard of before.

Adding More Foundation Vents To Your Crawl Space

Due to bad advice and old building codes, homeowners are adding more vents to the crawl spaces with the intention of drying excessive moisture. The thinking behind this practice was that circulation of air (ventilation) would force moisture in the crawl to go outside. However, it has been proven that adding warm and humid outdoor air through the foundation vents leads to increased levels of moisture in the crawl space. Proper encapsulation is the only effective way to reduce high levels of moisture in the crawl space.

Spray Foam On A Damp Crawl Space Foundation

In dry, below-grade crawl spaces, using spray foam insulation is the best for maximum energy efficiency. However, theres only one problem. Many below-grade crawl spaces have ground floors and foundations that are not dry. Hence, choosing this form of insulation for a damp crawl space can lead to moisture being trapped in the wood, causing rot and weakening the structure of your home. So, unless your crawl has a foundation waterproofing membrane, footing drains, foundation sealant and downspout extensions, youre better off not choosing this form of insulation.

Insulating Heat Ducts With Fiberglass

If insulated with fiberglass, ducts in vented crawl spaces are likely to condense, and the fiberglass will absorb this excess water, leading to mold growth around the fiberglass ducts.

Improper Installation Of Drainage Systems

After heavy rains, most crawls usually have standing water on their floor grounds. And as you may already know, you cannot insulate your crawl space effectively without first tackling water and moisture problems. Most homeowners try to solve this problem with a sump pump and a stand -alone pit. But, a sump pump alone is not enough to pump all the water, which collects around the crawls perimeter or center. To intercept the standing water and lead it to the pump, a perimeter drain is necessary.

To protect your home, avoid these unprofessional crawl space insulation practices at all costs if you can. For more information about crawl space insulation head over to http://www.regioisolatie.nl/waarom-kruipruimte-isolatie/.

Attention Homeowners: French Door Fly Screens Are Possible

Whether you’ve just bought a new home or are looking to increase your enjoyment of your long time dwelling, french door retractable fly screens are a good way to protect your home from insects. 

There are numerous homeowners that love their French doors and wouldn’t change them for anything, which is one of reasons why fly screens from Intelliscreens are so popular.

French doors provide that visual link between the indoors and outdoors, in a stylish way. They also provide that privacy you may be looking for if your neighbours are quite close.

Having fly screens installed and keeping insects out is a great way to start enjoying your home. Insects are the biggest reason why people don’t keep their doors and windows open, so why not address this issue by having fly screens installed?

Screens are available for windows, any type of door and any size of opening, even French doors. Fly screens are a viable solution to keeping insects out without damaging the look of your home in the process.

As a company who have invested considerably in developing our product and making sure it is innovative, the screens we offer are a far cry from those we would have seen at our grandmother’s house decades ago.

The screens of today are modern, chic and sleek and manage to keep pests out while letting the fresh, natural air in. They manage to do all this without even interfering with your view.

Remember your home is a wonderful, shaded and cool environment not only for you and your family but for insects as well. They will take every opportunity to take shelter inside your house, so you need to be proactive in keeping them out.

Australia is renowned for a high fly and mosquito population but that doesn’t mean we must resign ourselves to suffer from the buzzing, biting, stinging and general annoyance of these insects. We can do something about it, beginning with having our homes fitted with fly screens.

Although screens of the past weren’t compatible with French doors, nowadays screening any type of door is possible and easy for our professional installers.

Even notoriously difficult to screen French doors can be quickly and easily protected with a screen.

We’re now also able to screen double French doors and maintain the aesthetic appeal with non-obtrusive screens, that don’t inhibit the view to the outside and don’t disturb the house’s look and feel.

French door sizes and heights can vary dramatically, that is why we provide a screen that is modified to fit your door. You can also choose the colours and finishes that appeal to you.

SlimLine Panorama Screen from IntelliScreens on Vimeo.