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Keeping That Bathroom Of Yours Mould-Free

We’ve often discussed the problems associated with mould and mildew on the DF Technical & Consulting Ltd. Blog. And each time we address the issue, we highlight some of the obvious steps towards eliminating mould and mildew in the home. They include maintaining adequate ventilation, wiping up spills and keeping an overall neat and tidy home. Mould loves to grow in dark and dank places. The cleaner and the less cluttered your home is, the less likely it will be to have a mould problem.

It goes without saying, however, that bathrooms are places where a lot of moisture exists. This is especially true for those used by lovers of hot showers. All of that condensation on the mirror after a long hot shower is the equivalent of the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only is it wise to lower the heat of your water during showering, it’s important to run those exhaust fans while you’re in there!

Ventilate! Ventilate! Ventilate!

“Few rooms in the home see as much moisture and humidity as the bathroom,” Better Homes & Gardens reminds us, “Be sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated. An exhaust fan will help circulate the air and remove moisture more quickly. These additional actions will help keep your bathroom fresh and mould-free.”

Their website goes on to offer some tips for keeping your bathroom as mould-free as possible. They include spreading out towels after use so that they can dry more quickly, minimizing containers left in the shower for cleaning ease and better circulations, wiping down the shower with a clean towel or squeegee after its last daily use and choosing shower curtains that dry and clean easily to help avoid residue which fosters mould.

Dry wet areas right away!

While the bathroom is a place where wet areas are the norm, it’s important to remember that spills can happen anywhere in the home. As well, because of the warm weather during the summer, the cooler temperatures of the surfaces in your home are especially susceptible to condensation. So, here’s the bottom line: Wipe up wherever you see moisture!

“Mould can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away,” advises Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network, “Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried.”

Hill goes on to highlight the importance of drying the floors and walls after your shower but also to be mindful of your clothes during laundry time. “Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mould can spread quickly,” she instructs, “Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.”

Let’s work together on keeping your home mould-free!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re dedicated to helping our clients to keep their homes as mould-free as possible. Our Mould Assessment Services includes visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Can Houseplants Really Purify The Air In Your Home?

Throughout the history of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, we have contributed a large number of tips for improving indoor air quality. After all, our Air Quality Services are among our specialties. Inspecting homes and office buildings for airborne health hazards is all part of our commitment to making Canadians healthier.

As mentioned, there are numerous ways to improve the quality of air in your homes and places of work. But there is one, in particular, that is cost-conscious, incredibly effective and entirely effortless to perform on a daily basis: having houseplants. There are many types of plants that are known for cleansing the air of its pollutants and offering us cleaner, breathable oxygen-enriched air in their place.

NASA discovered the impact of houseplants on air quality.

“One famous NASA experiment, published in 1989, found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene,” informs Markham Heid on Time.com, “(Those NASA researchers were looking for ways to effectively detoxify the air of space station environments.) Later research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants also play a part in cleaning indoor air.”

It should be noted that plants have natural ways of cleaning air that man-made air purifiers cannot duplicate. Plants are known for producing cleaner air within indoor spaces that mimic the fresh air from outside. This isn’t too surprising considering that houseplants effectively bring some of the outdoors inside. MatterOfTrust.org explains further.

Plants have incomparable ways of restoring air quality.

“Plants can absorb pollutants while providing oxygen,” confirms the website, “Ventilation systems can imitate this effect by providing a constant supply of fresh air and exhausting indoor air, but strictly speaking the air in the building is not purified. Only plants are capable of restoring the air already inside a building to the state in which it is found in nature.”

The site goes on to reiterate a point we made earlier. After a plant is purchased, it costs next to nothing to maintain. All plants need in order to live are soil, water, sunlight and cleaning. Man-made filters, on the other hand, are not only costly to purchase, but they require regular cleaning, maintenance and repair.

Which plants are the best air purifiers?

MatterOfTrust.org lists a number of air purifying houseplants but highlights the Chrysanthemum, Dracaena, Peace Lily, Flamingo Lily and Snake Plant. The website also cites a 2008 study published by the Government of India that focused on the Areca Palm, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue and Money Plant as natural air purifying sources.

A total of 1,200 plants of the three species were planted and the findings included 34 percent less respiratory ailments, 52 percent less eye irritations and 24 percent less headaches. Among the particular respiratory ailments that were decreased, MatterOfTrust.org details, lung impairments were reduced by 12 percent and asthma by percent.

As we stated earlier, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. team remains committed to helping you improve your home’s indoor air quality. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Simply give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Radon + Cigarettes = A Deadly Combination

There was once a time (that actually wasn’t all that long ago) when Canadians could smoke in restaurants. A common question asked of patrons entering restaurants was “Smoking or non-smoking?” referring to the two separate sections of the establishment available for seating. It sounds crazy, by today’s standards. No one needs to be reminded that cigarette smoking is deadly.

Between the warnings on the cigarette cartons and the countless “no smoking” signs strewn throughout public places all over the country, it has been made abundantly clear that cigarettes are unwelcome. To put a clear stamp on it, they are cancer-causing killers – no question about it. You would think that cigarette smoking couldn’t get any worse. But, believe it or not, when paired with another culprit for lung cancer, it can. That culprit is radon.

What is radon?

“Radon gas is one of the most deadly and overlooked health risks today,” explains Lung Cancer Canada, “Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas created from the decay of uranium in minerals present in rock, soil and water. Radon is present in every indoor environment…Radon is extremely radioactive. It emits alpha radiation as it decays. Once inside the lungs, radon decay products can genetically damage delicate tissues – this can lead to the development of lung cancer.”

The Lung Cancer Canada website goes on to explain that radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. Needless to say, it’s important to minimize exposure to radon as much as possible – whether you’re a smoker or not.

Radon-exposed smokers are at much higher risks of lung cancer.

Cigarette smokers are advised to take extreme precautions. As the Government of Canada reveals, “people who smoke and are exposed to elevated levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.” In fact, the Canada.ca website reveals that “radon exposure is linked to approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths in Canada and is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers.”

How can you minimize radon exposure?

Radon is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas. The only way to detect it, in order to minimize exposure, is to have your home tested. Canada.ca points out that the risk from radon exposure is long term and depends on the level of radon, the length of the exposure and one’s smoking habits. The risks are not to be taken lightly. Lung Cancer Canada reports that approximately 3,200 Canadians die annually from radon exposure.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Radon Services that are designed to determine the precise levels of radon in your home or office to see if they are safe or not. As explained, radon testing can mean the difference between life and death. It is highly recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.

For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Being Clean And Tidy Is Good For Your Health

Some people classify themselves as “neat freaks”. It’s important to them that they have all of their personal possessions kept in neat, organized fashions, their homes are constantly dusted and vacuumed and that their kitchens and bathrooms are kept immaculate. There’s a lot that goes into being a neat freak. Those of us who really have it bad can’t stand the sight of a speck of dust!

However, an argument can be made that those of us who “have it bad” actually have it pretty good. Keeping a neat and tidy home isn’t just pleasant on the eyes, but it’s good for your health as well. It probably goes without saying that the more dust and dirt you eliminate from your home, the lesser your chances are of contracting some sort of bacterial infection. But the benefits of cleanliness extend beyond well that.

A dirty home is likely to trigger asthma symptoms.

Dust, mould and pet dander – these are common household irritants for those who have asthma and allergies. Anyone with respiratory issues knows just how dangerous these seemingly harmless examples of a dirty home can be. On ApartmentTherapy.com, Cambria Bold explains that asthma and allergy triggers are one of three categories of indoor pollutants that have the potential to cause serious health problems.

“Common household triggers include mould, dust mites, pollen, secondhand smoke, and pet dander,” she writes, “At any given time a home may have mould growing on a shower curtain, dust mites in soft textiles like pillows, blankets or stuffed animals, and cat and dog hair on the floor and upholstery.”

Don’t make your home dirtier by cleaning it.

How exactly can you make a home dirtier by cleaning it? Well, it all depends on what you’re using to clean. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Chemical based cleaners only add further irritants to the air, making it difficult for those with asthma and allergies to breathe. A true cleaning of your home involves natural cleansers without all of the harsh chemicals.

As Bold points out, VOCs are widely found in household products, including paints and varnishes, pesticides, craft materials like glues, adhesives and permanent markers, air fresheners and other synthetic fragrances and cleaning and disinfecting supplies. “A few common VOCs are: Acetone, Benzene, Ethylene glycol, Formaldehyde, Methylene chloride, and Perchloroethylene,” she reveals.

Beware of your appliances.

Sometimes, a “dirty” home isn’t visibly dirty at all. The elements contained within it may be polluting the air without anyone even knowing about it. As Bold highlights, homes may contain combustion pollutants such as “gases or particles that come from burning materials, including space heaters, woodstoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers, and fireplaces that are either improperly vented or not vented at all.”

As we always point out, your home’s indoor air quality is extremely important to your overall health. And the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to ensure that you’re breathing the best air possible! For information about 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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