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5 Ways To Minimize The Effects Of Pet Dander

Girl owner is grooming the fur of retriever puppy after showerIn our last blog, we pointed out an unfortunate truth about being a pet owner. In many cases, it can negatively impact your health to own an animal with feathers or fur. As we mentioned, it’s not the feathers or fur that’s the problem. It’s that these bodily coatings often carry allergens that eventually become airborne. As a result, the air that we breathe becomes affected. This is especially a problem for those with asthma and allergies.

According to the American Lung Association, “animals with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, like dust, but the fur itself is generally not a trigger. For that reason, short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat.” So how can pet owners protect themselves?

Here are five ways to minimize the effects of pet dander:

1. Give away your pet. We’ve decided to list the most obvious solution first. However, we also recognize that it’s not one that most pet owners are likely to follow, no matter how bad their allergies may be. The American Lung Association notes, however, that “pet allergens may stay in the home for months after the pet is gone because the allergens remain in house dust. Allergy and asthma symptoms may take weeks or even months to improve.”

2. Become a consummate cleaner. Okay, so there’s no way you’re going to give up your familial bond with Fido or Fluffy. We get it. In that case, you’ll need to pay extra special attention to the cleaning routines of your home. As you may have guessed, removing pet dander will take a little bit of extra effort than your regular clean. FreeDrinkingWater.com advises that you regularly vacuum your carpets, furniture, and upholstery with HEPA filters.

3. Pay greater attention to personal hygiene. Pet owners – especially very loving and affectionate ones – need to be mindful of how often they come into contact with their pets. After every interaction, it’s wise to wash your hands thoroughly. FreeDrinkingWater.com also recommends that you wear gloves and a mask when you are grooming your pets. It’s also best to keep your pets out of your bedroom so that they are not impacting the area where you sleep.

4. Regularly change and wash bedding materials. To further the last point made, it’s important to consider just how much time you spend sleeping. There’s a lot of breathing going on at night. And you don’t want it impacted by pet dander. FreeDrinkingWater.com advises that you both wash your pets and their bedding often, but also try to use allergen-protecting bedding encasements for yourself.

5. Find love with a furless animal. To reiterate an earlier-made point, we know that it’s not easy parting with a beloved pet. But, in worst case scenarios when you are suffering severely from symptoms associated with pet dander, it is in your best interest to consider another type of pet. Perhaps, setting up a fish tank is in order? FreeDrinkingWater.com highly suggests that you “get pets without feathers or fur (such as fish), if possible.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we believe in providing our clients with the means to enjoy the purest indoor air quality possible. If you feel that pet dander may be negatively affecting your health, it’s important to locate all areas of the problem in your home. We offer Air Quality Services that provide such thorough inspections. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Are Your Pets Affecting Your Health?

Cute gray kitten with owner on floor at homeAre you a pet owner? Many Canadians are. Dogs and cats are most popularly considered members of many families all across this great country of ours. Animal lovers make up a huge part of our population. According to Tracy Hanes of The Globe and Mail, “pet owners represent $6.5-billion a year business opportunity”. So, it should go without saying that pets are quite a big deal in Canada.

But can having a pet affect our health? It certainly depends on the types of allergies pet owners may have. This is because pet dander has the ability to impact the air that we breathe. As the American Lung Association explains it, “pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.”

Are there other allergy triggers that come from our pets? Apparently, it isn’t just flecks of skin from our beloved animals that can affect the indoor air quality of our homes. The American Lung Association points out that “proteins found in saliva, urine and feces from cats, dogs and other pets can cause allergic reactions in some people.” And some animals happen to impact those with allergies worse than others.

Which animals tend to impact those with allergies the most? The American Lung Association points out that animals with fur are most likely to carry allergens, although the fur itself is not considered a trigger. They note, however, that “roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats when compared to dogs. Research also indicates that male cats produce less Fel d I allergen than female cats, although the reason is not clear.”

What is a pet allergen exactly? Similar to dust mites, pet allergens are microscopic in size. However, the American Lung Association notes that they tend to stay in the air for much longer periods of time. Their “jagged shape” allows them to “stick to furniture, bedding, fabrics and many items carried into and out of the home. Animal dander is easily spread through the home and out to public places like schools and hospitals.”

What are the symptoms of having allergies to pets? Unfortunately, they can be quite severe, in some cases. According to FreeDrinkingWater.com, “some of the symptoms to watch out for include coughing, dizziness, lethargy, fever, watery eyes, sneezing, shortness of breath, and digestive problems. The people most susceptible are children, older folks, and persons with general allergies or breathing problems and diseases.”

So what can be done to minimize pet dander-related allergies? The answer is not what an animal lover wants to hear. Unfortunately, the only surefire way to prevent such breathing issues is to not have pets. Either that, or stick with pets that don’t have any fur or feathers. “The best possible solution is the removal of pets (although it may take months to get rid of the effects of the lingering dander),” admits FreeDrinkingWater.com.

Is there an alternative way to get help? At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware that the majority of pet owners don’t have any plans of excluding their beloved pets from their families – even if they are presenting health issues. It is important, however, to have your home inspected for all sources that present indoor air quality issues. For more information about our Air Quality Services, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Ways To Minimize Mould During The Summer

Depositphotos_64844439_s-2015It’s been a hot and muggy summer so far, for many cities across Canada. And, in many cases, hot weather brings about humidity. The more humid it gets, the more moisture that exists. And when it comes to moisture in the home, the more of it that there is, the better your chances are of having a mould problem. Of course, this negatively impacts your indoor air quality. So how can we battle the impending growth of mould during the summer’s hot months?

Here are five ways to minimize mould during the summer:

1. Kill it! One of the best ways to get rid of mould is to naturally destroy it. This means using a product that is free of harmful chemicals which would only serve to worsen your home’s indoor air quality. On TakePart.com, Marie Stegner reveals that when you pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, you’ve created an ideal mould killing machine. Simply spray the vinegar on the mouldy areas of your home and let it set without rinsing, she advises.

2. Conduct a late spring clean. If you didn’t get around to doing any spring cleaning a few months back, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get started on tidying things up. On HouseLogic.com, Karin Beuerlein advises that you eliminate clutter. “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air,” she writes, “Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation.”

She goes on to note that all of that added moisture in the home creates “microclimates…that welcome and feed mould growth.” Stegner also recommends that you keep things clean and tidy in order to avoid such a problem. Proper storage of winter apparel comes highly recommended. “Put away collectibles and winter clothes in plastic storage bags to prevent mould growth on clothes and other household items not in regular use,” she advises.

3. Keep things dry. If you want to minimize moisture, one easy way to do that is to clean up spills immediately to prevent them from pooling. You’ll also want to find ways to prevent it from becoming too humid in your home. Stegner recommends that you “keep the humidity level in your home between 40 to 60 percent. Use a dehumidifier during humid summer months and especially in damp spaces, like basements.”

4. Choose between air conditioning or opening the windows. Don’t do both. If it’s cool enough outside, you may as well let some fresh air in your home. However, if it’s hot and humid, go with the A/C. “When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler home,” warns Beuerlein, “This causes condensation, which mould loves. So keep doors and windows shut when the A/C is humming.”

5. Maintain good ventilation. Keep the air moving throughout your home. Don’t let things get too stale or stagnant. As mentioned, this will involve some opening of the windows during the right times of the day. However, according to Stegner, you’ll also want to “double-check the ventilation throughout the home. Use exhaust fans that vent outside the home in the kitchen and bathroom. Ensure clothes dryers vent outdoors as well.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we consider ourselves mould’s arch enemy! If there is mould hiding in your home, we will ensure that it is found so that it can be removed. The absence of mould in the home is imperative for top-notch indoor air quality. For more information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Vacuuming Tips For Eliminating Dust In The Home

vacuum cleaner on the floor showing house cleaning conceptIn our last blog, we revisited the importance of dusting your home – and dusting it properly – in an effort to keep dust mites at bay. As you’re likely aware, dust mites are allergens that negatively impact the air that we breathe. So naturally, it pays to keep our homes as clean and tidy as possible. Obviously, dusting is not the only household chore that helps to minimize dust. Vacuuming is also a popular activity in the home.

And, by popular, we don’t necessarily mean enjoyable. It’s one of those regular tasks that are required of us all in order to keep our homes clean. Without vacuuming, the accumulation of dust is inevitable. But just like with dusting, there are some important techniques that will help you to get the most out of your vacuum. Isn’t this vacuuming stuff supposed to be straight-forward? Well not always, it seems.

Here are five vacuuming tips for eliminating dust in the home:

1. Empty the bag after every use. Some people wait until their vacuum bags or cups are full before emptying them. However, as Carolyn Forte points out on GoodHousekeeping.com, this can be a mistake. “Even though some vacuums have ‘check bag’ indicator lights, check the bag yourself and change it when it’s three-quarters full,” she advises, “This keeps your vacuum’s suction strong. And if you have a bagless vac, don’t forget the dust cup – dirt collects there, too.”

2. Move the furniture around. Some people are lazy. We’re just being honest here. They choose to vacuum around their tables, chairs and other furniture. As a result, there are areas of dust that never even get a once over. “Move any furniture you can out of the room; you don’t need to do this every time, but as part of seasonal cleaning it makes sense to clean the entire area of carpet,” Molly Maid strongly recommends.

3. Use the attachments. They are there for a reason. Some allow for you to vacuum those crevices that exist between the carpet and the walls. Some allow for you to properly dust soft or cushiony furniture. And some allow for you to reach higher places. “They make above-the-floor cleaning much easier, and pick up dust and allergens from areas you might otherwise overlook, like upholstery, light fixtures, baseboards, and lampshades,” reports Forte.

4. Do away with once-overs. In other words, make sure to make multiple passes over your cleaning areas. Even the best vacuums may not suck everything up on the first pass. “Just as you do with mopping, start vacuuming at the end of the room farthest from the door,” suggests Molly Maid, “Work your way backward from left to right, making multiple passes over each area as you go; once pass rarely picks up all dirt and debris.”

5. Cut tangled hair and strings. One of the best ways to make your vacuum lose its effectiveness is to ignore the brush roll. When thread and hair get tangled up in it, it can cease to roll. When this happens, your vacuum becomes an inefficient cleaner. “To prevent this, unwind or snip away any tangles,” offers Forte, “Most vacuums have a brush roll that you can easily remove for more thorough cleaning.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are known for taking things to the next level. Instead of vacuuming, we offer Air Quality Services that work to ensure that your home is as dust-free as possible. Locating all potential causes for your indoor air quality to be negatively impacted, we help to make your home a safer place to live. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. July 30, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Thanks for this great cleaning tips, I now know how to properly use my vacuum. I’m sure cleaning the carpets and the house would be easier because of your good advise.

  2. August 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Going over the same area more than once is great advice. You don’t want to have to start over after vacuuming the entire room so you need to be sure each area is cleaned before moving on. Thanks for sharing!

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3 Excellent House Dusting Tips

Woman dusting windowDusting. It’s one of those “must-do” chores that the majority of people seem to hate. It’s not that dusting is all that physically taxing, for most people. It’s simply time consuming and not all that fun an activity. And the thing is, the larger your home, the more dusting you have to do! And when does it ever end? Well, as long as you have skin – never! And that’s because the majority of dust in your home is made up of your dead skin.

“Dust is definitely not sugar and spice and everything nice,” describes Alonna Friedman on TheNest.com, “The microscopic particles are made up of all sorts of groovy things, but mostly it’s your dead skin that has fallen off.” And doesn’t it seem like dust just accumulates everywhere? This is what makes dusting so difficult for most of us. The hard-to-reach areas and nooks and crannies where dust gets trapped make it virtually impossible to eliminate!

So how can we properly remove dust from our homes? Well, it’s certainly going to take a bit of effort. Actually, a lot of effort! But it’s certainly not impossible to minimize the presence of dust in our homes. And, as you should be aware, dust removal is important in order to keep dust mites at bay. These microscopic creatures are well known for impacting indoor air quality and making life difficult for those who suffer with asthma and allergies.

Here are three excellent house dusting tips:

1. Be careful with your electronics. As Heloise points out on GoodHousekeeping.com, “computers, TVs, DVD players, stereos, and printers are notorious dust magnets.” But, the thing is, these devices are electrical and can’t be cleaned the way you would your average piece of furniture. Therefore, it’s important to always unplug the equipment before cleaning them. “A gentle swipe with a microfiber cloth usually does the job,” says Heloise.

2. Target your children’s stuffed toys. We often think of easily wiping away dust from the furniture and appliances in our homes. But don’t forget that there is often a lot of dust accumulating in spots that you might not notice. Your children’s soft toys are perfect examples. Heloise insists that you pay special attention to such toys. They can’t be dusted the traditional way either.

Instead, a unique cleaning regimen is recommended to keep toys dust-free. “Put beanbag critters, teddy bears, or fabric dolls into a large plastic bag with a cup of baking soda,” she instructs, “Secure the top, then take outside and shake well. The baking soda and static will draw out the soil and dust. Remove items one at a time, shake off the clumps of baking soda, and vacuum the rest using a brush attachment.”

3. Don’t ignore the vents. Have you ever noticed how much dust accumulates in the vents in your bathrooms and laundry room? There’s a reason for that. While they’re sucking the dust out of the air for you, it’s important for you to suck the dust out of them! “Remove heavy dust from ceiling, floor, or appliance vents with a soft-brush vacuum attachment or electrostatic mop, then dampen a microfiber cloth and wipe the surface,” advises Heloise.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to taking things a step further for our clients. We provide Air Quality Services to ensure that the indoor air quality of their homes is top-notch. You spend a lot of time in your home. Its air should be as pure as you can possibly make it. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Interesting Ways To Avoid Secondhand Smoke

non smoking woman askying his partner to stop smokingSmoking kills. Just in case you haven’t paid too close attention to our last two blogs, we figured we’d throw a bit more of the obvious your way. What may still not be so obvious, however, is the following fact: smoking kills non-smokers! And while most of us know the dangers of secondhand smoke, we don’t always know what to do to avoid it. Sure, we can wave it away with our hands, but is that really doing the trick?

By now, you know that cigarette smoke is packed with deadly toxins. So, it should go without saying that it’s horrible for the quality of the air you breathe. But even when the smoke has cleared, it doesn’t necessarily make the air that has been left behind safe for your health. At the end of the day, it’s important to avoid cigarette smoke at all costs. And there are some unique ways to go about doing it.

Here are three interesting ways to avoid secondhand smoke:

1. Create a “smoke-free zone” at your home. Some people may be afraid to ask guests of their homes to “butt out”. But there’s an easy and fun way to go about it. No-Smoke.org suggests that you post a sign on your front door. “Visitors appreciate knowing in advance that your home is a smokefree zone,” says the website, “In the rare case that a visitor lights up, politely request they smoke outside.”

The Canadian Cancer Society certainly supports this idea. “Because Canadians spend most of their time indoors, air quality in the home is important,” reports their website, “Think about how to make your home smoke-free. Talk about it with family and friends, and politely ask them to smoke outside. Let them know you are rejecting their smoking, not them.” This will go a long way in improving your home’s indoor air quality.

2. Support quitters. It is often said that “quitters never prosper”. But, in the world of cigarette smoking, the complete opposite is true. If you know someone who is attempting to smoke his or her last cigarette, do your part in supporting the cause. Remove the ashtrays from his or her home. Offer your friend sticks of gum to cure the cravings. Encourage the smoker each day with words of support. Every little bit will help.

“Support smokers who decide they’re going to quit,” advises No-Smoke.org, “Chances are they feel badly enough about their habit and wish they could quit. If you live with a smoker, be gentle, but firm in your request that they smoke only outside. Keep in mind that even if they only smoke outside, secondhand smoke clings to clothing and skin. Toxins are still off-gassed (released back into the air) when someone who has been exposed, returns indoors.”

3. Install special seals. “Second-hand smoke can get into an apartment or condominium unit through shared vents and openings,” reports the Canadian Cancer Society, “It can also drift under doors and through cracks and air leaks around electrical outlets, plumbing and windows. You can help reduce second-hand smoke in your apartment or condo by installing special seals in electrical outlets. These are available at hardware stores.”

It cannot be stressed enough that staying away from cigarette smoke is an important part of living a healthy life. Keeping it out of your home is an excellent way to improve its indoor air quality. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Air Quality Services to maximize your chances of breathing clean air at 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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Casinos: The Definition Of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Depositphotos_31844663_s-2015In our last blog, we revisited the concept of cigarette smoking and its incredibly harmful effects on air quality. We listed a few ways that can help for smokers to quit the habit. Not only is it important to quit smoking in an effort to protect one’s own health, but it makes for a much safer environment for all of those around the smoker. Secondhand smoke, as you’re likely aware, is deadly. This is why so many public places ban smoking.

But is there a place that hasn’t seem to jump on the “no smoking” train yet? Sadly, there sure is. And it’s a place that many people may enjoy visiting this summer. Do you enjoy going to casinos? If so, you are most likely putting yourself in a position to experience the worst type of indoor air quality possible. Many casinos claim to have excellent filtration and ventilation systems. But are they enough?

Are casino ventilation systems doing the job? Not according to a 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report. No-Smoke.org reveals that the report “concluded that 100% smokefree workplace policies are the only effective way to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure in the workplace. Even sophisticated ventilation systems do not eliminate the health hazards of secondhand smoke.” The site goes on to note that casino workers are at great risk of damaging their health as a result.

What are the risks to casino workers? According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) report, “casino workers are exposed to hazardous levels of toxic secondhand smoke at work, including tobacco-specific carcinogens that increased in the body as the shift went on.” In addition, “Casino workers are at greater risk for lung and heart disease because of secondhand smoke exposure.” Who knew it was such a dangerous job to run a game of blackjack?

If you’re not a casino worker, you may think that you don’t have much to worry about. After all, visitors of casinos don’t generally spend all day within their confines. Or do they? Casinos are pretty exhilarating places. They are loud, colourful and vibrant locations that encourage drinking and gambling. In many cases, this can make for a fun time – depending on your luck, of course. However, there are health implications to every visit.

What are the health implications of a casino visit? According to the NIOSH, “the average level of cotinine (metabolized nicotine) among nonsmokers increased by 456% and the average levels of the carcinogen NNAL increased by 112% after four hours of exposure to secondhand smoke in a smoke-filled casino with a ‘sophisticated’ ventilation system.” As if that didn’t sound scary enough, the report connotes that casinos can be argued as the most dangerous places to breathe!

“Smoke-filled casinos have up to 50 times more cancer-causing particles in the air than highways and city streets clogged with diesel trucks in rush hour traffic,” finds the NIOSH, “After going smokefree, indoor air pollution virtually disappears in the same environments.” Perhaps, it really doesn’t pay to visit a casino after all – no matter how much money you may win. The point, of course, is that cigarette smoking is horrible for indoor air quality.

This is why it’s so important to investigate your home for pollutants if cigarette smoking has even been done within its walls. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that work to ensure that the air you breathe in your home contributes to your overall health. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. July 19, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    The harmful effects of smoking is clearly stated here. The casino ventilation cannot eliminate the harmful effects of second hand smoke in the air. The casino workers and vistors are of great risk and the implications of getting a heart and lung disease is very high.

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3 Steps That Will Get You Closer To Quitting Smoking

Human hands breaking up cigaretteIt’s the year 2015. If you don’t know by now that smoking cigarettes is one of the worst possible things that you can do for your health, then you’ve certainly been living under a rock. Or, perhaps to be a bit more fair, if you haven’t yet given up cigarette smoking, it’s likely that your addiction is pretty serious. All jokes aside, you are literally killing yourself. But even worse, you are contributing to killing those around you.

It should be common knowledge that secondhand smoke is a killer. The various toxins that exist in cigarette smoke make for the worst possible breathing conditions. Why do you think that nearly all public places prohibit smoking? It seems like, these days, the only place that a smoker can light up is inside his or her own home. And that presents a huge problem too. Your home is a death trap for its other inhabitants if cigarette smoking occurs within it.

Here are three steps that will get you closer to quitting smoking:

1. Busy yourself within the first few days. People who have quit smoking have admitted that the first few days without cigarettes are the hardest. As a result, it will be important to distract yourself from the cravings. Plan some fun activities with the family or fill your schedule with things that have been on your to-do list for some time. Anything to keep you from your cigarettes is a good idea. And, of course, don’t have a pack on you!

On WebMD.com, Jennifer Nelson writes about the importance of getting through the first few days of your mission to quit cigarette smoking. “Know that the first few days are the toughest,” she writes, “Especially if you’re quitting ‘cold turkey,’ the first few days are the hardest. You’ll probably feel irritable, depressed, slow, and tired. Once you get past those first days, you’ll begin to feel normal (but still have cigarette cravings).”

2. Give your mouth something else to do. It’s true that many people complain of gaining weight once they try to quit smoking. After all, if they’re not using their mouths to inhale smoke, they may as well use it to eat, right? Well, not necessarily. There are many other things you can do to busy your mouth in an effort to keep away from puffing on a cigarette. And even if you do plan on eating, it may be a great opportunity to eat healthfully.

The Mayo Clinic Staff suggests that you “chew on it”. “Give your mouth something to do to fight a tobacco craving,” they advise, “Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy, or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds – something crunchy and satisfying.” As well, there are a number of tobacco craving-reducing products out there in the form of chewing gum. Give one a try and see if it doesn’t help you.

3. Quit as part of a team. When people go to the gym by themselves, they aren’t generally as motivated to work out as they would be with a fitness trainer. The same can be said about your motivation to quit smoking. Chances are that there is someone you know who is also looking to kick the habit. “Try a new hobby with friends who don’t smoke,” suggests Nelson, “This makes success more likely.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are well aware of the damage that cigarette smoke can do to the quality of the air in your home. For the safety and health of both yourself and your family, it is imperative that you have a home that is as pollutant-free as possible. We offer Air Quality Services in an effort to help you to achieve that goal. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. July 19, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    This article will show the smokers the steps they need to take to get them closer to quit smoking. We all know it is bad for their health and by letting them know that there are ways on how to quit it will be very helpful.

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The Importance Of Avoiding Mould In The Summertime

Mold in the corner of the white ceiling and pink wall, with white curtain on the left side.With the summertime comes heat. And with heat often comes humidity. And with humidity comes moisture. And with moisture often comes mould. Do you see the connection here? We’re not saying that the growth of mould in your home is definitely more likely to occur during the summer. But we’re certainly not saying that it’s not a distinct possibility. The more you protect your home from excess moisture, the better you’ll do at keeping mould at bay.

How do we reduce humidity levels in the home throughout the summer? It begins with keeping our homes at comfortable temperatures that don’t promote moisture. According to Westaway Restorations, “temperatures above 23°C, as well as poorly lit rooms and unmoving air, can actually create more mould. Keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. This will help reduce toxic mould.”

In other words, keep your eyes on your thermostat and be sure to open up the windows often enough that you’re allowing fresh air to circulate through each room. Stale and stagnant air doesn’t make for a mould-free home. On days when it’s particularly humid outside, you’ll want to take measures to keep the air inside of your home cool without keeping the windows open. In other words, there will be times when you need A/C.

How does air conditioning help? On HGTV.com, Dwight Barnett points out that “in the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home…If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.” This is especially true for vacant houses. So, don’t skimp on the A/C if you’re planning a move.

The last thing you want is for your old house’s new inhabitants to complain that you left them with a mould-invested environment. “Moulds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent,” informs Barnett, “Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to ‘On.’” You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve done some proper cleaning to remove any signs of mould.

What other ways can we avoid mould during the summer? Ensure that you’re repairing any leaks that may be occurring in your home. “If you find any moisture leaks, clean them up with a dry towel immediately and find the source of the leak,” advises Westaway Restorations, “Consider hiring a professional if the leak does not stop or if you are dealing with a plumbing issue…Controlling moisture leaks in your home or place of work will reduce the mould’s ability to thrive.”

How can our clothing encourage mould growth? Naturally, we have to wash our clothes. So they are bound to encounter moisture quite often. The key is to ensure that they are dried adequately. Don’t hang clothes in your closet that is still damp from the wash. Westaway Restorations also points out that leather shoes are excellent food sources for mould! Be sure to keep them clean and free of moisture.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide both Mould Assessment Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. We make it our mission to properly evaluate your property for moisture sources that may be causing the development of mould. Such sources may include envelop failures or leakage issues. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Does Condensation Impact Indoor Air Quality?

water drops on a blue glassDo you have a window condensation problem? You know when the windows of your home get all fogged up and covered in wet droplets? It looks like the glass is “sweating” and doesn’t make for the tidiest of environments. What’s worse is that all of that extra moisture in your home can be bad for your health. As we pointed out in our last blog, it’s important to try to reduce the amount of humidity in your home.

How does condensation occur? According to Tom Feiza on AshiReporter.org, “’Steam’ (condensation) occurs when invisible water vapour in the air condenses on the cool glass. Windows and metal window frames tend to be the coolest surfaces in our homes, so moisture forms there first — just like condensation beads up on the outside of your ice-cold lemonade glass in the summertime.”

So what’s the problem with condensation? RestorationsWindows.com reports that “warm, humid environments encourage the growth of moulds and fungi, which can lead to allergic reactions. Dry environments can irritate sinus linings and can progress to a sinus infection. The best way to combat this is to achieve the appropriate balance of temperature and moisture in your home.” Condensation, of course, indicates the presence of excess moisture.

So how do we resolve the condensation problem? There are many different ways to limit moisture in the home. Among them is doing away with your humidifiers and using dehumidifiers instead. As well, you may want to “limit plants, aquariums, and pets. If you care for a lot of plants, group them in one sunny room and avoid over watering,” says RestorationsWindows.com. You’ll also want to be careful about the types of appliances you use.

Feiza writes that certain types of heaters can not only add moisture to the home, but emit toxic gases as well. Neither of the two is good for your home’s indoor air quality. “Never use unvented fossil fuel-burning devices like kerosene heaters indoors,” he insists, “Burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide and water vapour, introducing excessive moisture into your home. It can also create dangerous carbon monoxide.”

RestorationsWindows.com agrees. The website warns that gas appliances require our special attention. “Have your gas appliances checked, if you have not recently,” advises the website, “Malfunctioning gas appliances can deliver excessive water vapour into the air along with more dangerous contaminants. Be sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm.” Other tips include air drying clothes outdoors only, eliminating plumbing leaks and storing firewood outside.

Is there anything else that can be done to limit condensation? As you may have guessed, good ventilation always helps. “Structural ventilation or attic ventilation removes moisture from the structure of your home,” writes Feiza, “Because moisture flows with air leaks and can push through many materials, general structural ventilation is important. Point-source ventilation removes moisture at specific sources.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer both Air Quality Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. Our team of experts work to ensure that all sources that negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality are discovered. Our inspections are designed to provide you with the best quality air possible in your homes. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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