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4 Ways To Limit Moisture In The Kitchen

steam on pot in kitchenIn our last blog, we pointed out a few ways that you can reduce the presence of moisture in the bathroom. Naturally, this isn’t an easy feat. Of course, moisture is bound to exist in the bathroom. However, limiting the amount of condensation we produce can go a long way in warding off the presence of mould in our homes. However, bathrooms aren’t the only rooms in the home where a lot of moisture occurs.

Our kitchens are havens for the presence of moisture. Are there greater contrasts between hot and cold than in the kitchen? Condensation, as we explained last time, is produced when warm air hits cold surfaces. Between all the cooking and freezing that takes place within the kitchen, condensation is bound to occur. So how can we minimize its presence in the kitchen in an effort to keep our homes mould-free?

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the kitchen:

1. Cover your pots and pans while cooking. Due to the heat that is produced by stove tops while cooking, there is bound to be a lot of steam emanating from our pots and pans. Covering them with their lids will help to reduce the amount of steam in the air. As explained by CriticalCactus.com, “while cooking, try to cover your food… Oven and stove-top cooking produce more moisture. Slow cookers contribute less to indoor humidity.”

2. Use the exhaust fans. Steam is bound to escape your pots and pans when the lids come off. So using the exhaust fans to capture the steam will help to reduce the moisture in the air. “Ensure that you have opened a window or you are using an extractor fan if you have one fitted,” advises EnviroVent.com, “Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking – leave it open for 15-20 minutes afterwards to clear the air.”

3. Keep a window open. Not all kitchens have windows. But, if your kitchen has one, keeping it open while cooking is a great way to let moisture escape your home. “Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation,” insists EnviroVent.com. CriticalCactus.com agrees that “if you do not have exhaust fans or a ventilation system, you can crack a window for a few minutes to dry the air out.”

4. Wipe up spills quickly. The kitchen is most likely the number one room for spills in the home. And while we tend to clean up these spills with wet paper towels, we forget to dry the “clean” left over water when we finish wiping up. Leaving water droplets on surfaces allows for mould to find adequate breeding grounds. The key is to keep the kitchen clean, of course. But, it’s also important to clean it dry!

“Make sure that you wipe down the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that has settled on the surface,” says EnviroVent.com, “This excess moisture that sits on the surface will quickly turn to mould which is difficult to completely remove.” Using disinfectant wipes for your final wipe down is likely the best bet, since they tend to kill bacteria.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are only too happy to help with your home’s moisture issues. We offer Moisture Monitoring Services that accurately locate your home’s moisture sources. The less moisture in your home, the safer it is from developing a major mould problem. 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 Limit Moisture In The Bathroom

Water drops on metallic tapWith moisture being a chief factor in the development of mould in the home, one would think that keeping moisture to a minimum would be a good idea, right? But, how is this possible when one can’t live without the presence of moisture? After all, we all need water to live! Reducing moisture in the home can be challenging. And this is especially true in the rooms of our home where eliminating the presence of moisture is impossible.

Take the bathroom, for example. Between the sink, toilet and shower – all of which dispense water – how can moisture be limited? Well, the truth is that it would be nonsensical to suggest that moisture be eliminated altogether. It’s important to remember that moisture isn’t exactly a problem unless it is found in excess. For example, the pooling of water without being wiped up after shower may present a future mould problem.

As well, bathroom condensation is hard to avoid. This takes place when warm air is cooled by cold surfaces. Our mirrors, windows and walls will often showcase condensation in the form of tiny water droplets following most showers. This is especially the case after an exceptionally hot shower is taken. And while no one is suggesting that you stop taking showers, a few measures should be taken to limit the amount of condensation they produce.

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the bathroom:

1. Keep it ventilated. If you live on your own, there really isn’t much of a reason to lock the bathroom door when you’re taking a shower. Believe it or not, making “open door showers” a habit will help keep your bathroom ventilated in order to reduce the amount of left behind moisture once bathing is finished. If there is a window in your bathroom, you may want to crack it open during showers as well. And don’t forget to keep that ceiling exhaust fan running.

2. Use anti-condensation paint on your bathroom walls. According to Mary Cockrill on SFGate.com, “this paint helps to insulate the ceilings and walls, thus raising their surface temperatures. A fungicide is often added to these paint formulas to help protect against potential mould growth. Prepare your painting surfaces by removing any existing mould or mildew with a fungicidal solution, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.”

3. Isolate the tiled wall from the actual exterior wall with an air space. If you’re thinking of renovating your bathroom, you may want to consider this tip provided by Marilou Cheple and Pat Huelman of Home Energy Magazine. “This prevents water from moving in through capillary action, and instead provides a space into which the tiles can dry out,” they write, “Vapour from the drying tiles can get back into the bathroom by diffusing through the tile grout or through the paint at the top of the wall.”

4. Turn up the heat. As mentioned, condensation takes place when warm air is cooled by cold surfaces. The warmer the surfaces are, the less condensation will occur. “You can also use an electric towel rail or 120-watt tubular heater to warm your bathroom during the winter,” suggests Cockrill, “These can help to keep your bathroom windows and walls above condensation temperature, are inexpensive to operate, and can be left on 24 hours a day.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that work to evaluate your property for moisture sources. They include building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that may be the cause of mould development in the 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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Sifting Through The Dangers Of Secondhand Smoke

Depositphotos_2427735_xsIn 2015, the dangers of cigarette smoking are so obvious, that they don’t even need to be discussed. Or do they? You would think that with all of the blatant warnings on cigarette cartons and the vast amount of information about the effects of cigarette smoking on our health, no one would even think of lighting up. Sadly, we all know that that isn’t the case. And that means that non-smokers still have a lot to be concerned about.

Yes, for every smoker out there, there are several more non-smokers who need to be mindful of secondhand smoke. The smoke that cigarette smokers exhale after taking puffs is lethal. There’s no nice way to put it. As HealthyChildren.org explains, secondhand smoke “contains about 4,000 chemicals. Many of these chemicals are dangerous; more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Anytime children breathe in secondhand smoke they are exposed to these chemicals.”

Where does secondhand smoke exist? To put it plainly, everywhere! It’s important to remember that even when a smoker has moved on from his or her smoking location, the harmful chemicals of the exhaled smoke can still linger in the air. HealthyChildren.org reminds us that “even if there are no smokers in your home, your children can still be exposed to secondhand smoke.” Cars, buses, schools, restaurants, malls and friend’s homes are the many places it can be found.

What are the health effects of secondhand smoke? They are practically too long to list. But, of course, it’s incredibly important to point them out. Lung disease, heart disease, heart attacks and stroke are only the most major and common ailments that result from secondhand smoke exposure, says the Canadian Cancer Society. As well, chest congestion, coughing, eye irritation and asthma symptoms are all potential results of being exposed to secondhand smoke.

“Even your pets are affected by second-hand smoke,” says the Canadian Cancer Society, “Second-hand smoke has been linked to several types of cancer in dogs, cats and birds. Pets are more likely to develop cancer and other health problems if they live in a home with smokers. Third-hand smoke is dangerous for pets too. Dogs and cats lick third-hand smoke from their fur when they groom themselves.”

How do we avoid secondhand smoke? Since it is everywhere, it makes it pretty difficult to avoid. But it is certainly not impossible. It’s all about insisting upon being in smoke-free environments. HealthyChildren.org insists that you set the example, firstly, by quitting smoking if you are a smoker yourself. You’d not only be improving your own health, but you would be keeping those around you a lot safer from serious illness.

It’s important to keep both your home and car smoke-free. Remember that even long after the smoking has taken place, the harmful effects of secondhand smoke can still remain. The site also highly recommends that you keep yourself and your children away from smokers at all costs. “Choose a babysitter who doesn’t smoke,” it reads, “Even if the babysitter smokes outside, your children are exposed.”

Quite obviously, secondhand smoke greatly impacts indoor air quality. Even if you are a former smoker, the air in your home could still be presenting dangers to your health and others who are inside it. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to locate problem areas in the 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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