When Kent Baake isn't scaling rock formations in Yosemite or shooting for another world record in roadskating, the Metro Gutter & Home Services, Inc. founder can often be found devising energy-efficient ways to protect clients' rooftops, doing everything from sealing leaks to repairing gutters. Baake began the company in 1989, taking on each gutter job with only one truck and one ladder. His crew has since expanded, and the trucks have hatched eggs of their own, resulting in a fleet that carries the exterior specialists to counties throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC. While restoring damaged home exteriors or preparing houses for harsh seasons, the team cleans, repairs, and replaces roofing, gutters, siding, windows, and doors. They also offer attic ventilation and insulation, as well as home energy audits, weatherization, and solar design services.
A properly functioning chimney leads to a warmer, more energy efficient home. Thanks to their familiarity with a wide range of chimney types?including residential and commercial structures?the technicians of Complete Chimney & Fireplace, Inc. are equipped to help homeowners remove soot and coal tar buildups that can cause fires or dangerous accumulations of gases. The team of experts includes skilled masons who are capable of repairing damage to brick, concrete, or stone mantelpieces, and they can even work with homeowners to design and install new chimneys in homes or upscale birdhouses. Additionally, the technicians also protect houses' air quality with a range of services intended to keep air ducts and dryer vents in peak condition.
When it comes to keeping your home clean, there's only so much you can do alone. After the sinks have been scrubbed and the pile of laundry has been conquered, there may still be dust lurking somewhere sinister—in the vents that run through your home. Thankfully, that's where All Services Pro comes in. The family-owned company's licensed technicians have an average of 10 years of experience, so they know exactly what to do when they come across dust, mold, and ghostly apparitions. Their job only just begins inside the walls, though. After they're done removing allergens and particles, they can head outside to pressure-wash the exterior, clean the chimney, and remove leaves from gutters.
BB & Co. Construction takes all the cons out of construction with its fully licensed staff of insured contractors. Clients can solicit BB for interior or exterior painting or request more complicated tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, or sneaking a 6-foot party sub into a movie theater. When not rehabbing homes, BB contributes its materials and services to such charitable organizations as Toys for Tots and Children's Hospital.
Whether you're resting in a mountain cabin, traveling through a city, or being vented out an airlock into outer space, dust is all around you. Microscopic particles—usually a combination of soil, pollen, skin cells, and minerals—can pile up quickly indoors. The problem is exacerbated by tiny creatures called dust mites, which gather in groups of 100 to 500 per gram of dust to devour flakes of human skin while multiplying in number, excreting waste, and probably chittering away. No matter where you are on Earth, a mote of dust is presently traveling straight toward your eye, thanks to the persistent creation of dust in almost any climate humans inhabit.
Even beyond our planet, dust is ubiquitous: astronomers face the universe's untidiness every time they peer through a telescope and find formations of cosmic dust, which absorb the visible light around them. Although it comes from exploding stars rather than flaky humans, space dust isn't so different from the domestic variety: a 2007 paper published in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science explored the similarities between the formation of dust bunnies under beds and the coagulation of space dust into planets.