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Does carpet even belong in basements? If so, what are qualities you should look for and which brands? Some doubt carpet's ability to recover from moisture. They note that even the least amount of moisture causes mold growth, leading to health problems. Others insist that carpeting is one of the best materials when basement moisture is prevalent. Best Carpet Qualities for Basements Before discussing specific brand recommendations, following are basic qualities that make a carpet best-suited for basements: Low Pile. High-pile (thick) carpet takes a longer time to dry out, should it get wet. The lower the pile, the faster the drying process. Cut-Pile. Carpet is usually made of fiber loops that can be left "as-is," cut, or combined loop and pile. Cut pile carpeting tends to be more durable and easier to extract water from, should the need arise. Pad-Less. While most people installing carpeting in basements are reluctant to give up the padding (it has the advantage of making the floor warmer), padding also acts as a sponge and traps water within and underneath it. How To Make Your Home Feel CozierMan-Made Materials. Carpet derived from organic materials (for instance, wool) will not stand up to moisture as effectively as man-made materials. Nylon, Olefin (polypropylene), and polyester are the most popular types of man-made carpet fibers. Sectioned. If you buy wall-to-wall carpeting and part of it gets so soaks that removal is necessary, the entire carpet must come out. But if you buy carpet squares, you can excise the water-logged part of the carpet with surgical precision. Not only that, carpet squares are a DIY-friendly install. Waterproof: Some carpets are considered waterproof because they have special backings that prevent moisture from passing through. Best Brands of Carpeting For Basements 1. Shaw LifeGuard While it may be a publicity stunt, it is a stunt that works. Shaw constructed a 25,000 gallon swimming pool lined with its LifeGuard carpet to demonstrate how well it stands up to water. Result: no leakage. Shaw LifeGuard is a 100% waterproof carpet, which means that water may reside on its surface but it will not leak underneath it. This allows you to have a higher pile than you might ordinarily have, since in the event of water leakage you only need to draw water off the surface, not surface and underneath. 2. Tigressa H2O Similar to Shaw LifeGuard, Tigeress H2O has a unique backing that prevents all liquids from passing through. This way, you can be assured that moisture will not find its way to your padding. Where Basement Moisture Comes From Basement moisture ranges the spectrum of woes. At one end of the scale, in certain climates, it can be seen as a fact of life that must be managed. At the other end, basement moisture can be a very huge issue indeed and a real estate deal-breaker. Tracking down moisture in the basement prior to installation of flooring is a tricky business. The source often seems like a shifting target. But you can narrow down the sources of moisture in your basement into three categories: Leaks: Water leaks can come from cracks in the foundation wall, up through cracks in the floor, down through air-vents in the side of the foundation, etc. You are not always so "lucky" as to catch an active water leak in process. But even dried-up leaks can be identified by remnants such as calcium deposits and other trailings that are left behind. Moisture in Air: Even above-grade rooms have moisture in the air. Moisture-laden air inhabits many basements. Often, the source is easier and less invasive than you might fear. A displaced dryer vent hose spewing exhaust into the basement will spike basement humidity levels. Dehumidifiers are always a great idea in basements, even ones that appear to be dry. Moisture Through the Floor: Sure, a crack in the concrete floor will emit moisture. But did you know that even a stable, intact concrete floor can wick moisture? Carpeting in Basements vs. Hard Flooring Looking at two sides of the carpeting vs. no carpeting issue: Carpeting Allowable The "pro-carpet" side says that carpeting can be installed in the basement and will fare no worse than other types of flooring materials such an engineered wood or laminate. This argument runs that carpet has a "breathabiity" factor greater than other types, and that even light moisture can be mitigated with dehumidifiers. Additionally, in the event of large water leaks, carpeting can be dried out quickly enough before mold/mildew develop. However, this job must be taken on by professional water extraction companies. No Carpeting, Hard Surfaces Only The "anti-carpet" camp says that there are far more durable basement flooring options than carpet. Straight concrete (stained or painted) and ceramic or natural stone tile are practically impervious to water leaks or condensation--with tile and sheet vinyl running a close second. Not only does carpet get water-soaked but its pad does, too. The argument extends to the mold and mildew that can develop in carpeting material, turning the basement into an unsafe environment. The main point is that water in carpeting can never be fully extracted, even if done by professionals. @madihakhan [Mod Note: Advertising link removed.]
.InshAllah. posted a topic in Philosophy, Atheism/Theism & Other Interfaith DialogueHumanity is cosmically special. Here’s how we know. A sunrise from the vantage point of the International Space Station. (Scott Kelly/NASA via Associated Press) By Howard A. Smith November 25 Howard A. Smith is a lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. As we give thanks for our many obvious blessings, let’s reflect on a blessing that is less well known, a gift from modern astronomy: how we view ourselves. There was a time, back when astronomy put Earth at the center of the universe, that we thought we were special. But after Copernicus kicked Earth off its pedestal, we decided we were cosmically inconsequential, partly because the universe is vast and about the same everywhere. Astronomer Carl Sagan put it this way: “We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star.” Stephen Hawking was even blunter: “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet.” An objective look, however, at just two of the most dramatic discoveries of astronomy — big bang cosmology and planets around other stars (exoplanets) — suggests the opposite. We seem to be cosmically special, perhaps even unique — at least as far as we are likely to know for eons. The first result — the anthropic principle — has been accepted by physicists for 43 years. The universe, far from being a collection of random accidents, appears to be stupendously perfect and fine-tuned for life. The strengths of the four forces that operate in the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear interactions (the latter two dominate only at the level of atoms) — for example, have values critically suited for life, and were they even a few percent different, we would not be here. The most extreme example is the big bang creation: Even an infinitesimal change to its explosive expansion value would preclude life. The frequent response from physicists offers a speculative solution: an infinite number of universes — we are just living in the one with the right value. But modern philosophers such as Thomas Nagel and pioneering quantum physicists such as John Wheeler have argued instead that intelligent beings must somehow be the directed goal of such a curiously fine-tuned cosmos. There is, moreover, a well-known constraint: the finite speed of light, which ensures that even over thousands of years we will only be able to communicate with the comparatively few stars (tens of millions) in our cosmic neighborhood. If the combined astronomical, biological and evolutionary chances for life to form and evolve to intelligence are only 1 in 10 million, then we probably have no one to talk to. The discovery of exoplanets was dramatic but not unexpected: Since the Greeks, we have imagined planets were common. Textbooks even taught that our solar system was typical. But the exotic diversity of exoplanets came as a surprise. Many have highly elliptical orbits around unstable stars, making evolution over billions of years difficult if not impossible; other systems contain giant planets that may have drifted inward, disrupting orbits; and there are many other unanticipated properties. These unexpected discoveries are helping scientists unravel Earth’s complex history. The bottom line for extraterrestrial intelligence is that it is probably rarer than previously imagined, a conclusion called the misanthropic principle. For all intents and purposes, we could be alone in our cosmic neighborhood, and if we expand the volume of our search we will have to wait even longer to find out. Life might be common in the very distant universe — or it might not be — and we are unlikely to know. We are probably rare — and it seems likely we will be alone for eons. This is the second piece of new evidence that we are not ordinary. Some of my colleagues strongly reject this notion. They would echo Hawking: “I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.” Yes, we all have beliefs — but beliefs are not proof. Hawking’s belief presumes that we are nothing but ordinary, a “chemical scum.” All the observations so far, however, are consistent with the idea that humanity is not mediocre at all and that we won’t know otherwise for a long time. It seems we might even serve some cosmic role. So this season let us be grateful for the amazing gifts of life and awareness, and acknowledge the compelling evidence to date that humanity and our home planet, Earth, are rare and cosmically precious. And may we act accordingly https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/humanity-is-cosmically-special-heres-how-we-know/2016/11/25/cd327520-b0cc-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html?utm_term=.a041d911ceaa
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