Home buyer discovered the real house sponge after purchase

Serpula Lacrymans

The fungus can remain invisible for a long time

An unpredictable journeyman

The “real house sponge” (Serpula lacrymans) behaves as an unpredictable journeyman. Even in cases where he already seemed successful, he can turn up again. Already two hundred years ago there were extensive treatises on the life, occurrence and the destructive action of this fungus. It can grow even at a relatively low level of wood moisture and even attack almost dry wood when it is simultaneously settled in a different area with higher humidity. With the aid of its strand mycelium or the so-called strands, the real house sponge can spread over long stretches, thereby also wood-free substances overgrown many meters. No wonder every builder shrugs when the real house sponge is mentioned.
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Five drill holes for a thousand dollars

hole in the wall, which is freshly drilled

Hole in the wall, which is freshly drilled

The building-biologist Oliver Zenkel looks surprised at the holes in the wall, which are freshly drilled a few centimeters above the base of the sock. Together with Susanne Planer he stands in the living room of the customer. She had called the expert, because there was mold in several places in the wall corners. Mr. Zenkel should carry out a collection of air germs and then have the culture media examined in the laboratory. In the course of the sampling the customer told how the holes in the wall had come. “Over a thousand dollars would have cost this action,” says Mrs. Planer.
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Nanoparticles sneak into our lives

Nanoparticles

nanoparticles sneak into our lives

Almost unnoticed, nanoparticles sneak into our lives. Whether in the form of rinsing aid in ready-to-use soups or in the dining salt, as a sun protection factor in sun protection creams or as additives for scratch-resistant surfaces, the tiny particles are useful in the eyes of the industry for the improvement of the products. The consumer usually does not know where nano is in it. For the time being, only food, cosmetics and biocides are subject to identification, but only if the nanoparticles of all particles are at least 50%. The Federation of Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) maintains a database with nanotechnical products and some further links to the content description and the purpose of the nano application.
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The role of gender in the case of fogging

Excessive use of candles and tea lights

excessive use of candles

A woman lights a lot of candles

Fogging is understood as ghosting black dust deposits, which can partly occur overnight in apartments. The oily, greasy deposits on walls and furniture can only be cleaned with great effort.
Diploma chemist Martin Wesselmann from Hamburg sees a gender-specific problem group among those affected. In 62% of the households surveyed by Wesselmann lived women and in 33% couples or families. Only 5% were pure male households.
The excessive use of candles and tea lights is the main cause of black dust. The gender-specific allocation of causes is based on 132 dwellings.
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Search for low-volatile organic compounds

wooden staircase

massive wooden staircase raises suspicion

Benjamin Kramer is looking at his dream house for the second time. A generously cut single-family house from the seventies, solidly built with brickwork and reinforced concrete ceilings. There is not much to complain about. Only the wood in the living and floor area worries him. A massive dark wooden staircase and several ceiling tiles are immediately visible. The attendant expert is feeling the discomfort. After the end of the tour, he therefore proposes that a precautionary analysis of house dust be initiated. Continue reading

Electrified railway line worried young family

Relatively high values directly at the railway line

Relatively high values directly at the railway line

Magnetic alternating fields on the building site

A power line in the vicinity of the construction site can have a significant influence on the selection of the land. In the case of the Herbig family from Bamberg/Germany, the power line supplied the railway track with an alternating current of 16 ⅔ Hz. Sven Herbig had inquired about the power stations and received the corresponding information. When measuring the magnetic alternating fields on the building site, the usual experience values were obtained: the load decreases sharply at a distance from the power line. In this case, despite the increasing distance, the measured value remained on a base of 20 nanotesla. This is reason enough for Sven Herbig to investigate the cause of the measurement results together with the instructed measuring technician.
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Wall heaters require a relatively small area

Wall heater combined with clay

Wall heater combined with clay

Depending on the insulation quality of the house and the height of the flow temperature, a wall heating system needs between 20% and 35% of the living space. However, this is not the only difference to underfloor heating, which generally requires one hundred percent of the living space.
Underfloor heating systems react more slowly to climate changes, require higher flow temperatures and cause dust swirling. As a result of the smaller area requirement, the client saves installation material for wall heating systems, thus lowering the production costs. Wall heaters radiate radiant heat and can be combined with clay or lime. You will find several reasons to deal with this technique in more detail.
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Three reasons for bad smell in a prefabricated house

bad smell in a prefabricated house

bad smell in a prefabricated house

The desire for an affordable property led Henniger family living in Heidelberg (Germany) to an object from the seventies. The floor plan corresponds to the space requirement of the four-headed family and the large garden with the fruit trees invites to play with the children. Jörg Henniger is not blue-eyed. He has read about pollutant problems in this house generation. In this case, however, everything seems different, because a bad smell is not in the air.
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With the headphones on humming search

Mr. Zenkel on humming search

Mr. Zenkel on humming search

Customers are calling building-biologist Oliver Zenkel whenever they hear very quiet sounds. The hum is imperceptible with normal hearing. Particularly disturbing is the monotonous and recurring frequency. The person concerned enters a feeling of helplessness. Mr. Zenkel has adjusted to the soft tones and plugged a headset to the sound level meter as technical reinforcement. How the search for the hum can succeed, describe the following examples.
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Avoid chronic insomnia

avoid chronic insomnia

Seepless at night

Sleep disorders are about twenty percent of the reason to ask a building biologist for advice. This resulted in a recent survey among colleagues of German Baubiologie Regional. Takes the insomnia for more than three months, experts speak of a chronic disorder. Sufferers should at least then seek medical advice. Accompanying the medical treatment the building biologist examines physical, chemical or microbial abnormalities at the sleeping place.
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