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3 Steps To Improving Indoor Air Quality This Summer

Door to new world. Colourful, bright, great quality.Summer is on the way! And, for most of us, it’s the most exciting time of the year. Canadians know, all too well, that long winters can be a drag. So when the sun is out and the warmth is in the air, it only makes sense to enjoy it as much as possible. With warmer air comes the popular need to open the windows of our homes. Of course, this is a good idea because it allows the sometimes stale and stagnant air inside your home to circulate with the air outside.

Then again, there are pollutants that exist in the air outside. So how much “fresh air” is actually fresh? One thing is for sure. It’s important to take steps to improve our indoor air quality no matter what time of year it is. But, naturally, the summertime provides us with opportunities to “clear the air” a bit differently. With the official start of summer now under a month away, what are some of the things that we can do to improve our indoor air quality?
Here are three steps to improving indoor air quality this summer:

1. Keep the moisture under control. With the opening up of our windows comes the entering of warm air into our homes. Remember, though, that humid air brings moisture into the home as well. And that allows for the perfect conditions for mould growth. AdvantaClean.com points out that the four most common places for mould growth are basements, bathrooms/showers, attics and crawl spaces – so keep an eye on those.

“Moisture control is KEY. Keep areas clean and dry,” says the website, which insists that moisture control is the most important indoor air quality tip that can be provided. Therefore, it will be especially important to monitor the areas of your home that our most susceptible to mould growth during the most humid days of the year. Be mindful of condensation and work to keep surfaces as dry as you can.

2. Clean out your air conditioner filters. While you’re doing your best to limit moisture, you’ll also want to rid your home of any dust that has accumulated over the winter and spring months. Since you may be using an air conditioner to beat the heat this summer, be sure to check the filters before turning them on. On RodalesOrganicLife.com, Emily Main reminds us that they tend to “trap a lot of the junk that comes in from the outside – pollen, smoke, smog, and dirt.”

It’s especially important to rid your home of dust so as to not invite an infestation of dust mites. While these microscopic creatures are virtually impossible to avoid, limiting their presence can significantly improve indoor air quality. Dust mites are known to produce allergens that can negatively affect our breathing. Asthmatics will especially want to keep their homes as dust free as possible.

3. Hire professionals to assess your IAQ. “Mould, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust accumulate in your home’s ductwork,” says AdvantaClean.com, “Removing these contaminants from the HVAC system and your air ducts should be considered as a key component to improve indoor air quality.” At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we couldn’t agree more!

We are quite confident that we are the professionals you need! We offer Air Quality Services that involve inspection processes to locate all areas of concern in your home. With the summer coming up, the chances to let more fresh air into your home will be many. But it’s still important to ensure that your indoor air quality is at its best. For more information about our Air Quality Services, call 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. May 10, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Great article! Having your air ducts steam cleaned can also help!

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3 Ways To Stop Mould Problems In Your Basement

Depositphotos_19967309_xsBasements sometimes get a bad rap as the “forgotten” part of the household. In many households, basements are frequently used to entertain guests, workout and even sleep in. But, in many other households, basements are no more than large storage spaces. If something is no longer useful, it isn’t always thrown out. It’s often stuck in the basement. As a result, basements often become crowded with old items that pile up over the years.

Unfortunately, this transforms a basement into the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only does mould like to grow in dark and dank places, but overcrowded spaces give mould excellent hiding locations. This allows mould to grow undetected for long lengths of time. When mould spores go airborne, they create health hazards that home owners may never even know about. Clearly, this is a problem. So how does one stop a mould problem after it has started?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Start a “toss and clean”. It pretty much is what it sounds like. This term (we’re going to go ahead and say that we coined it!) refers to throwing out any items that have mould growing on them. This is one easy way to rid your basement of mould. And, for the mould growing on your floors, walls and ceilings, it’s time to break out the cleaning products in order to remove it as best as possible.

“If the mould is growing on removable items such as drywall or boxes stacked on the floor, much of it is removed simply by discarding contaminated objects and replacing them with fresh material,” offers Karie Fay on RealEstate.com, “Then, scrubbing the surroundings with detergent and water or a natural product removes the mould residue. It’s cheaper than commercial fungicides and doesn’t burn your eyes, lungs and skin like bleach.”

2. Use bleach, if necessary. Water is one of mould’s top necessities for growth. If your basement has become flooded, you’re bound to experience a mould problem after it has been drained. If so, you may need to use bleach in order to minimize the harmful bacteria that develop as a result of mould growth. Fay provides some instructions for those who are in the process of ridding their previously-flooded basements of mould.

“If your basement flooded, it’s still a good idea to use bleach to sanitize it,” she advises, “Bleach reduces the mold count – it doesn’t completely kill it – and neutralizes harmful bacteria. Mix chlorine bleach with warm water in a bucket at a ratio of one cup (8 ounces) of bleach per gallon of water. As you use the bleach water and it becomes dirty, flush the remainder and mix fresh solution.”

3. Set up new walls. Yes, this sounds like a major undertaking. But, in some cases, the cleaning of a basement isn’t enough to save the walls, floors and ceilings. To completely rid your basement of mould, sometimes starting over is the answer. That way, the remaining mould-induced damage can be covered up with new walls and prevented from becoming the foundation for new mould growth.

“I feel the only way to stop the mould from growing is to clean the walls really well, get them dry and then immediately frame the new walls,” reports TimCarter on AskTheBuilder.com, “Create a 1-inch air space between the back of the wall and the basement wall. Caulk the bottom wall plate so no air can get behind the wall. Insulate the wall and install a continuous high-quality cross laminated vapour barrier on the wall before you install the drywall.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you get started with the removal of mould from anywhere in your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Addressing Asbestos Exposure For Child Safety

Group Of Children Playing In ParkIf there is one thing that bonds all parents, it’s that the health and safety of their children are top priorities. Obviously, our children depend on us to keep them safe from harm. And, as parents, all we can do is our very best to protect them. However, we don’t always have the ability to protect them against everything in the world that can cause illness or injury. And, in the case of asbestos, this is especially true.

Many people have been affected by asbestos without even knowing it. And with the respiratory systems of young children being so vulnerable, they are more susceptible to encountering the negative effects of asbestos exposure. As HealthyChildren.org informs us, asbestos “does not pose health risks unless it deteriorates and becomes crumbly, when it can release microscopic asbestos fibres into the air.”

The site notes, however, that this fibre was commonly used for the purposes of insulation and soundproofing in schools between the 1940s and 1970s. Many of these schools, of course, are still standing today. When various changes via renovations take place in schools, a cause for concern about asbestos exposure is more than reasonable. Again, how can parents protect their children from such an occurrence?

“Today, schools are mandated by law to either remove asbestos or otherwise ensure that children are not exposed to it,” HealthChildren.org reports, “However, it is still in some older homes, especially as insulation around pipes, stoves, and furnaces, as well as in walls and ceilings.” Asbestos can also be located in many of our workplaces. As a result, children have been known to be at risk of “secondary exposure” to asbestos.

“In asbestos-heavy work environments, certain activities can expel toxic fibres into the air,” explains Joey Rosenburg on Asbestos.com, “This occurs when asbestos products are cut, sawed, sanded, ground or otherwise disturbed. Aside from the obvious risks of firsthand exposure, suspended asbestos fibres can get distributed through ventilation ducts. They also often penetrate into workers’ clothing.”

Rosenburg notes how important it is for such workers to change out of their contaminated clothes before returning home from work. That way, they can eliminate the possibility of polluting their homes with asbestos fibres which can put their families in harm’s way. Thankfully, he does also note that asbestos cancer in children and young adults is very rare. Only 2 to 5 percent of all cases are found in this age grouping.

However, Rosenburg does reveal that “researchers claim that childhood exposure to asbestos may increase the risk for mesothelioma, but the time between initial asbestos exposure and a diagnosis, known as the latency period, is often lengthy. In one study describing five patients indirectly exposed to asbestos during childhood, the average latency period was 25.2 years, and the average age at diagnosis was 32 years old.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we firmly believe that it is imperative that you check for asbestos in your home. This is especially important if you plan on doing any renovating that may potentially disturb asbestos fibres and make them airborne. Needless to say, the health and safety of our children come first. For more information about our Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) Services, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance of Vacuuming For Optimum Indoor Air Quality

Close up a young man vacuuming at homeNeat freaks rejoice! You’ll be happy to know that there’s no harm in dusting and vacuuming. That is, of course, unless you are consistently using scented cleaning products which contain VOCs. As explained by Cambria Bold on ApartmentTherapy.com, “Volatile Organic Compounds (are) a variety of organic chemicals that are released as gases from certain solids or liquids. They’re widely found in household products, including paints and varnishes, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, building materials and furnishings.”

And while it’s important to choose your household cleaning products wisely, it’s just as important to use a strong vacuum. Believe it or not, your indoor air quality is not only significantly affected by what is sprayed in your home. You can’t always rely on smelling pollutants to know that they are there. Eliminating dust is incredibly important in maintaining the cleanest breathing air in your home and office possible.

This is why Bold highly recommends that you “invest in a very good vacuum with strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter, which traps smaller particles and allergens that regular vacuums miss.” The presence of dust, as you might know, encourages an infestation of dust mites. And although they are so tiny, they practically can’t be seen by the naked eye, they are known to severely impact indoor air quality.

On CleanLink.com, Bob Croft explains that “dust generated inside the building includes soot, bacteria, allergens, paper dust, mould and dust mite droppings.” He goes on to explain that dust mite droppings along with spores, pollen and bacteria are some of the most common allergens found in our homes. They range in size from about 10 microns in diameter down to a micron, he explains, noting that standard paper vacuum cleaner bags don’t always filter them out.

What’s so bad about dust mites? Well, you may be happy to know that these tiny little creatures don’t bite or sting. However, their feces and body fragments (it’s already sounding gross, isn’t it?) are often found on our pillows, bed sheets and carpets. And they have been widely known to trigger respiratory problems. Because dust mites are nearly everywhere, it’s important to be very diligent with your vacuuming habits.

“They are a major cause of asthma and allergies; especially in vulnerable individuals, such as children and the elderly,” reports Environment, Health and Safety Online, “According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, approximately 10 percent of Americans exhibit allergic sensitivity to dust mites.” And because humans tend to shed dead skin daily, we continually feed these dust mites on a regular basis without even knowing it!

So what’s the best way to vacuum? According to Croft, “a vacuuming strategy designed to catch the dust before it migrates throughout the building, involving aggressive vacuuming of entry mats and the carpet near entrances (“cross-hatch” those areas), moderate vacuuming of traffic paths (probably nightly), and as/needed detail vacuuming (perhaps once or twice per week). Using a backpack vacuum allows janitors to easily reach corners, edges and under furniture.”

The importance of improving your indoor air quality cannot be understated. It goes without saying that we need to breathe to live. So it makes sense to take measures to ensure that the air that we are breathing is as clean as it can be, doesn’t it? At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our Air Quality Services provide clients with the means to ensure the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Steps To Maintaining A Pollutant-Free Working Environment

Young woman washing windowsIn our last blog, we introduced a few easy ways to improve the indoor air quality of your workplace. As we pointed out, it isn’t as easy to keep the air at work free of pollutants as it is at home. After all, there are less people living in your home – we would imagine – than there are at your place of work. How can you control what all of your employees and co-workers are doing on a daily basis to impact the indoor air quality of the office?

You can’t. As a result, taking certain measures such as investing in large doormats is important. Adam Soreff of UniFirst.com states that “when utilizing scraper and walk off mats as part of a ‘system,’ the combination can trap up to 80% of the dirt coming in from foot traffic.” Of course, there are other measures that can be taken to improve indoor air quality while on the job. It can be argued that it’s your most important job of all!

Here are four steps to maintaining a pollutant-free working environment:

1. Don’t allow spills to linger. Have you ever noticed ring stains from coffee mugs or droplets of dried beverage left behind on countertops and desks throughout your office? If so, you’re not alone! Although these remnants of uncleaned spills make for a messy working environment, they also make for the breeding ground of mould and mildew. “Clean up moisture and other spills immediately to reduce the chances of mould and mildew growth,” insists Shannon Harvey of GoGreenPlus.org.

2. Make use of HEPA filters. Vacuuming is great. It obviously helps to diminish the amount of dust, dirt and other contaminants that are present in the working environment. But UniFirst.com points out that vacuuming with HEPA filters helps to “eliminate common allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.” The site also notes that “Dr. David Lang of the Cleveland Clinic notes that dander, for example, clings to clothing and can be easily spread.” HEPA filters help to purify the air to avoid this.

3. Install a carbon monoxide detector. What works for your home can work for your office. Remember that carbon monoxide in invisible and has no smell or taste. Detecting it is crucial to everyone’s safety. Detectors “are usually required in new construction, but are a good safety investment for all structures,” informs Harvey, “Especially consider installing these if you have fuel-burning devices in the building, such as gas stoves, water heaters, and space heaters.”

4. Keep moisture to a minimum. As mentioned, practicing some of your home-based routines at work can work wonders. As you know, moisture provides breeding grounds for mould. To keep it at a minimum, UniFirst.com recommends that you “use a dehumidifier and an air conditioner to keep indoor humidity in the 30-50% range – a level that helps keep mould, dust mites, and other allergens at bay.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we insist upon providing our clients with services that guarantee them the best indoor air quality possible. Our Air Quality Services seek to locate problems areas in the home or workplace in order to eliminate them, making the location a much safer place to be. To improve the indoor air quality at your home or workplace, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Indoor Air Quality At Work

Depositphotos_64829129_xsIndividually, we can all take measures to improve the indoor air quality of our homes. We have the freedom to choose hardwood floors over carpet in an effort to minimize the presence of dust mites. We have the ability to use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in an effort to keep mould at bay. We can also insist on a strict “no smoking” policy so that the air in our homes is as free from pollutants as possible.

But do we have the same power at work? Even if you run your own business, it’s not all that easy to get an entire staff of workers on board with your “keeping the air clean” objectives. After all, different people have different tendencies and habits. We can’t all be neat freaks! So how can one ensure that his or her workplace is promoting a healthy breathing environment? It all starts with a little dedication to some very important steps.

Here are three easy ways to improve indoor air quality at work:

1. Invest in some large doormats. It may sound like a strange request, but it’s one that will serve to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter your workspace. The trick is to minimize the amount of muck that is tracked in by the footwear being worn by your employees and co-workers. The cleaner your office floors, the purer your breathing air will be. In essence, you’re getting your team to help you keep the air clean without them even knowing it!

“Place large doormats outside and inside at entrances,” advises Shannon Harvey of GoGreenPlus.org, “Dust, pesticides, trace amounts of lead, and a host of other contaminants are carried inside on people’s shoes. While you can request that people take off their shoes at the front door of your home, you’re unlikely to want to do this at your place of business. Large doormats, however, trap a surprising amount of these particles, and can later be cleaned.”

2. Get out the mop. Surely, your large doormats won’t be able to eliminate all dirt from entering your workplace. This will be especially true on rainy days and most days in the winter. As a result, you’ll have to ensure that your cleaning staff is mopping the floors. Standard sweeping or vacuuming just won’t do. That way, you’ll be able to remove any contaminants that are likely to be left behind.

UniFirst.com champions the practice of microfiber mopping to improve indoor air quality. “Technologically advanced microfiber mops and dusting cloths, in particular, can capture more soiling than traditional cotton products…and without the use of potentially harmful cleaning solutions,” the website reveals, “An EPA study conducted for the healthcare industry found that microfiber cleaning can remove up to 98% of contaminants from surfaces using only water.”

3. Forget the air fresheners. When a place smells clean, one can generally assume that it is clean, right? Well, you know what they say about making assumptions. Those air freshener commercials have actually proven that a dirty place can smell fresh. However, those plug-ins, sprays and other scented products only mask the bad smells. Worse, Harvey points out, “they also add problem compounds to the air. VOCs and phthalates are commonly found in the catch-all ingredient ‘fragrance’ in air fresheners.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we don’t work to simply mask poor indoor air quality with pleasant fragrances. Our Air Quality Services involve thorough inspection processes to target areas of concern in your home or workplace to eliminate root causes of the problem. If you feel the need to improve the indoor air quality at your home or workplace, be sure to contact us. We can either call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Limit The Presence Of Moisture In The Home

Damage caused by damp and moisture on a ceilingWith the summer fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to times when we can be outside in the warm sun. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will begin to practically live outdoors. Naturally, there is still much living to do in each of our homes. With that said, things change a bit inside the home when the weather changes outside. For example, it’s a lot more likely that we’ll be opening our windows to let the warm fresh air from outside in.

This is a great way to improve indoor air quality as it allows for the stale and stagnant air in your home to circulate with the fresh air from outside. However, with warm weather often comes humidity. And when warm days transform into cool nights, there exists the possibility that moisture can accumulate on the surfaces inside our homes. Condensation is most likely to occur when warm air hits a cold surface.

In the Ottawa Citizen, Mike Holmes of the HGTV show, “Holmes Makes It Right” writes that “condensation occurs for a few reasons. Sometimes there’s too much moisture in the home, or not enough ventilation. Or, a humidifier might be set too high. Drop it down about 10% and see if the condensation persists.” So, as you can see, there are numerous ways for moisture to develop inside your home.

So what’s the problem with moisture in our homes? The leading issue is the presence of mould. Mould growth requires moisture. Therefore, the more moisture in the home, the better the chances are that you will be developing areas of mould growth. When mould spores are released into the air, they have very negative impacts on our respiratory systems. Make no mistake about it. There is a direct correlation between moisture, mould growth and ill health.

How can mould growth affect our health? Health Canada reveals that the potential health risks of mould include eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath, symptoms of asthma and allergic reactions. Obviously, it pays to limit moisture in the home. One way to do this is always have the exhaust fans on in the bathroom during bathing and the kitchen during cooking.

What else can be done to prevent too much moisture in the home? Holmes insists that you ensure that your windows are installed properly. Cracks could lead to leaks that allow water into your home to pool in certain areas. “With bad windows, warm air meets cold and that creates condensation,” he writes, “It can happen in winter or summer: During winter warm air inside the house hits the cold surface of a single-pane window; in summer, cool air inside the house hits glass that’s warm thanks to higher outdoor temperatures.”

Fresh air inside of the home is also a necessity if you want to keep moisture at bay. You don’t want to keep your homes airtight all of the time. As Holmes puts it, “homes have to breathe. If air can’t get in, moisture also can’t get out, and that moisture can get inside walls and eat away at structure, leading to rot and mould. One of the first signs is condensation on windows and bubbling paint.”

Holmes admits that it’s not possible to have a home completely void of moisture. It’s bound to happen. “We do all kinds of things inside our homes that create moisture and condensation – cooking, taking a shower, even breathing,” he writes, “If you want your home to be healthy, you must get rid of excess moisture.” At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we can help you with that! For information about our Moisture Monitoring Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Stopping The Impact Of Dust Mites On Indoor Air Quality

Open hand raised, Stop Dust Mites sign painted, multi purpose concept - isolated on white backgroundIn all likelihood, you probably never even think about them. And why would you? You can’t see them. You can’t hear them. You can’t smell them. It makes you wonder if they are really even there. The truth is, however, dust mites live in your home. They are so microscopically tiny that you’d never know it. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any effects on your living space. Especially for asthmatics and those with severe allergies, little dust mites are big problems!

What are dust mites exactly? As AberdeenCarpetCleaning.ca, explains it, “they are distant relations of spiders, and are almost invisible to the naked eye, being only 0.3mm long. Dust mites feed off of pet and human dander (dead skin cells in the air and on surfaces in our homes). Dust mites love warm, humid areas filled with dust. Bed pillows, mattresses, carpets and furniture are great places for them to live.”

As a result, it’s imperative that you keep your home as dust free as possible. Of course, it’s practically impossible to not have a speck of dust in your home. But the importance of regular dusting and vacuuming cannot be understated. Dust mites can affect your health negatively because of their ability to produce “guanine”. The good people at Aberdeen describe it as a “very potent allergen” that can trigger both asthma attacks and bouts with eczema.

Who is affected by dust mites? Although the allergens produced by dust mites can be harmful to everyone’s health, they are especially dangerous for children under the age of five. Aberdeen notes that young children tend to breathe more rapidly, leaving them susceptible to inhaling more of the allergens. The elderly, chronically ill and those with weak immune systems are also at risk of poor health at the hands of dust mite allergens.

What are the symptoms of dust mite allergies? According to AberdeenCarpetCleaning.ca, the symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy nose. Asthmatics can also expect greater bouts with wheezing. The dust mite problem should be of significant importance to Canadians who statistically spend 90% of their time indoors. Evidently, it’s important to find solutions to the dust mite problem.

How can dust mites be prevented? It’s all starts with keeping your home as clean as you possibly can. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, controlling dust mites is one of the top ways to improve indoor air quality. “Keep surfaces in the home clean and uncluttered,” advises their website, “Bare floors and walls are best, particularly in the bedroom where you spend one-third of your time. If you must have carpet, throw rugs that can be washed or low-pile carpets are better.”

They also recommend putting “zippered allergen impermeable or plastic covers on all pillows, mattresses and box springs.” In fact, the AAFA regards this measure as the “single most important method” in keeping dust mites at bay. “Every week, wash bedding, uncovered pillows and stuffed toys in hot water (130 degree F.) to kill mites,” they insist. Vacuuming at least once or twice a week is also advised.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we work to ensure that the homes of our clients enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible. Our Air Quality Services maximize all inspection processes in order to target any areas of concern in your home. We take indoor air quality seriously. And so should you. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Stop Carbon Monoxide From Entering Your Home

Depositphotos_54640413_xsThey call it the “silent killer”. Carbon monoxide cannot be smelled, tasted or seen. But it is certainly lethal. Health Canada explains that “CO forms whenever you burn fuel like propane, natural gas, gasoline, oil, coal and wood. It is also contained in second-hand smoke.” So you would think that preventing carbon monoxide poisoning would be easy, right? Simply avoid using any of the above mentioned products.

Not so easy. Especially with the summertime quickly approaching and “barbeque season” about to take off, avoiding such useful BBQ requirements as propane, coal or wood isn’t going to be very likely. Of course, when used correctly and with great caution, these products should be no major cause for concern. Who doesn’t love a good barbeque in the summer? Diligent attention to maintenance, however, can mean the difference between optimum health and death!

Health Canada admits that “while CO can be present in your home or cottage at any time of the year, the risk is greater in cold winter months. That’s because homes in Canada are usually heated by furnaces, water heaters/boilers, wood stoves, and other appliances that run on fuels. If these devices are improperly installed or malfunction, they can release CO into your home.” So what ways can we prevent carbon monoxide from entering our homes during the summer?

Here are four ways:

1. Regularly check your appliances. You may not be using your furnaces and fireplaces all that much during the warmer months of the year. But that doesn’t mean that they should be ignored. Health Canada insists that you “make sure appliances like furnaces, fireplaces, gas stoves, and water heaters are well maintained and inspected by a professional at least once a year.” Don’t forget to check all of your propane and natural gas powered appliances as well.

2. Turn the car off! It sounds like a tip that belongs in the “no-brainer” category. But it should be stressed that when you park your car in your garage, there’s no reason to keep the engine running for any length of time. As Everwell.com explains, a “car exhaust has high levels of carbon monoxide, so never leave your car running in the garage – not even with the door open. It only takes a few minutes for the fumes to move from the garage into the house.”

3. Open the windows. It’s generally a good idea to allow the air in your home to circulate with the air outside. And although you can never be too sure about what pollutants exist in the air outside, you can be sure to reduce the levels of the carbon monoxide that may be in your home by allowing some fresh air in. This will be especially important if you are experiencing any of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, nausea and dizziness.

4. Leave it outside! Barbeques and portable fuel-burning camping equipment are meant for outdoor use. They are also meant for outdoor storage. Health Canada warns to never bring such things inside your home, garage, vehicle, camper or tent. As well, “don’t use kerosene or oil space heaters or lamps in enclosed areas unless they’re specifically designed for indoor use,” they report. And as if it wasn’t already obvious, strictly prohibit cigarette smoking indoors.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take indoor air quality very seriously. With “silent killers” like carbon monoxide posing serious threats to your health, it’s important for thorough inspections to be completed in order to ensure the top quality of the air you breathe in your home. For more information on our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 More Ways To Keep Your Kitchen Mould-Free

Mouldy sliced bread loaf, over white background.In our last blog, we tackled the topic of mould growth in the kitchen. As you can imagine, the kitchen is a natural place for mould to grow. After all, there are plenty of organic materials kept in the kitchen. This is where mould thrives. Not to mention, the kitchen is a high-moisture area. Between the constant cooking and cleaning, there are always spots where mould can develop. As you may already know, mould just loves moisture and humidity.

As a result, it’s important to be mindful of the ways in which we keep our kitchens. Obviously, the cleaner our kitchens are kept, the better. But, as we mentioned last time, it’s not just a clean kitchen that keeps mould at bay. How we both keep and dispose of our food is very important. Sometimes, we forget that throwing our food in the garbage doesn’t actually make it go away. And we also sometimes forget that keeping food in the fridge doesn’t keep it fresh forever!

Here are five more ways to keep your kitchen mould-free:

1. Keep an eye on your produce. Not all food is kept in the fridge, of course. And while many people like to keep their fruits and vegetables cool, many prefer to leave apples, oranges, potatoes, avocados and the like out in the open. Fruit and potatoes, it should be noted, are mould havens. As WikiHow.com describes it, “fruit and potatoes are two types of food where mould thrives”, so it’s important to check on them daily, especially if they are not being refrigerated.

2. Vacuum and dust regularly. When we think of cleaning our kitchens, we tend to think about sponges, mops and disinfectant wipes before we think of vacuums and dusters. BlackMold.AwardSpace.com reminds us that you should still “dust and vacuum often, ideally with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered vacuum cleaner to remove dust and other substances that mold can grow off of. It has been found that 80% of mould grows on dust.”

3. Clean the refrigerator drip tray a couple of times a year. Do you know what your fridge’s drip tray is? WikiHow.com informs us that the drip tray is “a tray that catches water that condenses and overflows (and) is usually under the front part of the refrigerator.” The site recommends that you not only clean this drip tray to ward off mould growth, but that you also clean the moisture that accumulates on the walls around your refrigerator and kitchen range.

4. Clean cutting boards with vinegar. Remember that mould requires organic materials to grow. Often, we use cutting boards to cut up our meat and produce. Rinsing them off after use isn’t good enough to ensure that no mould forms. WikiHow.com insists that you wash your cutting board every week with vinegar. The site notes that this will reduce mould growth as cutting boards are prime locations for mould growth.

5. Use your exhaust fans. In previous blogs, we have championed the use of exhaust fans in the bathroom. Clearly, bathrooms are high-moisture locations. Those fans are there for a reason. Limiting moisture is key in the prevention of mould growth. While cooking in the kitchen, the same rules apply. “Turn on exhaust fans and vents when cooking or working in the kitchen to prevent humid air in your kitchen,” advises WikiHow.com.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for you to keep your home mould-free. As you may know, the kitchen and the bathroom are not the only locations where mould can form. Our Mould Assessment Services ensure that all sources of mould growth in your home are found so that your family is protected from its harmful effects. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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