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Returning Your Home To Normal With A Post-Halloween Clean Up

On behalf of everyone, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to wish you all a very happy Halloween! We know tonight will be a fun night for the kids. Putting on those spooky costumes and travelling to neighbourhood homes is an exciting annual tradition. It’s one that you should prepare for with plenty of candy…and cleaning products!

Yes, Halloween is a fun yearly event. But let it not be lost on you that following all of those visits from trick-or-treaters, you have a little work to do to get your home back to its spic-and-span state. Here’s hoping, of course, you won’t have any splattered eggs or hung toilet paper to remove from your property. Even still, to return your home to normal, it’s important to engage in a little post-Halloween clean up.

Cleaning up your front porch.

Let’s see – tracked dirt and mud, candy wrappers, knocked over plants and smashed jack-o-lanterns – these are just a few of the things that may be left over on your front porch tomorrow morning. Naturally, Halloween night is one when your home will see more visitors than usual. And while they may not be coming inside, there will still likely be remnants of their visits. Be sure to give your front porch a clean sweep.

“All those grimy pirate boots and well-worn ballet slippers can leave a porch filthy,” writes Lisa Kaplan Gordon on Houselogic.com, “Remove planters and deck furniture, sweep the deck, then spray it down. If your porch is wood, remember that regular deck care protects your favourite place to kick back.”

Removing oil-based makeup from furniture and carpeting.

If you have a home that will be full of little monsters tonight, it is possible their Halloween costumes will leave something behind. This is especially true if makeup, face paint, fake blood and fake skin are used to bring their scary costumes to life. Don’t be surprised if you see some of that leftover material on your furniture and in your carpets.

“Dab a small amount of makeup remover or rubbing alcohol on inside seam to test the fabric for colour-safeness,” instructs Reader’s Digest, “If the colour hasn’t changed after 10 minutes, use a washcloth to dampen the stain with remover or alcohol. Dab the stain with a dry paper towel until it no longer picks up any makeup. Treat with stain remover and wash in warm water. Re-treat and rewash if the stain remains.”

Getting candy cleaned out of your fabrics.

Your clothing, carpeting, furniture and other fabrics may become victim to the annual Halloween tradition of chowing down on chocolates, chips, candies and gums. If so, you’ll want to scrape off as much of the chocolate as possible without making the stain any deeper into the fabric. Then apply stain remover and wash.

For chewing gum, “rub an ice cube over the stain until it freezes and hardens. Scrape off as much of the hardened gum as you can without rubbing it deeper into the fabric. Dab with dry-cleaning solvent if you have some on hand; otherwise, apply stain remover and wash,” advises Reader’s Digest.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re big on keeping homes clean, especially because it improves indoor air quality. 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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Canada Set To Implement Asbestos Ban By Year’s End…Sort Of

For the first half of 2018, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog covered the story of Canada’s proposed asbestos ban quite extensively. It has been nearly two years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that our nation would finally be joining the many others that have outlawed the toxic substance. However, things seemed to come to a standstill this year. As a result, we haven’t blogged about the asbestos ban since the beginning of May.

Originally, the ban was intended to take full effect this year.

However, it appears as if it won’t be fully implemented until the end of the year – to some degree. As The Canadian Press reported last week via Global News, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has announced that the asbestos ban will come into effect by year’s end. However, it won’t apply to residues that have been left over from mining asbestos.

While the ban will prohibit the import, sale and use of processed asbestos fibres and the products that contain them, Quebec towns, where approximately 800 million tonnes of residue exist, will receive an exemption. “As much as 40 per cent of the leftover rock still contains asbestos,” reads The Canadian Press report.

The ban has been “watered down”.

Elizabeth Thompson of CBC News elaborates on the “watered down” regulations regarding the nationwide ban on asbestos. “The final regulations include new exemptions to allow the military, nuclear facilities and chlor-alkali plants to continue using the hazardous substance for several years,” she reveals.

She also offers some insight from Kathleen Ruff, who has long campaigned against asbestos. “They seem to have, if anything, weakened their proposed regulations and succumbed to lobbying by vested interests,” Ruff is quoted as saying, “I would give them huge credit for finally moving to ban asbestos…But I’m troubled by the fact that there are these weaknesses and gaps and, if anything, they seem to have gotten worse.”

McKenna, however, has downplayed the idea that there will be health implications due to the new exemptions. Instead, she stands pat on her belief that the federal government is keeping the promise it made back in 2016. “None of these exemptions will impact on human health,” McKenna insists, “These regulations ban the import, the sale, the use and the export of asbestos and products containing asbestos in Canada, as well as the manufacture of products containing asbestos.”

The impact of asbestos should not be taken lightly.

As we’ve reported in numerous blogs of past, asbestos is the number one cause of workplace death in Canada. “Since 1996, almost 5,000 approved death claims stem from asbestos exposure, making it by far the top source of workplace death in Canada,” reveals Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail. Thompson also highlights the far-reaching and disastrous effects of asbestos exposure on the Canadian public.

“In its regulations, the government estimates that asbestos exposure was responsible for approximately 1,900 lung cancer cases in 2011 and 430 cases of mesothelioma — a cancer that affects a layer of tissue that covers many internal organs,” she reports.

The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team is disappointed to learn of the exceptions made to the nationwide ban of asbestos, but still can’t wait for it to officially come into effect. As always, we remain dedicated to helping Canadians remove asbestos from their homes and places of work. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Treat Your Home To Better Indoor Air Quality

Here we are, now two weeks away from Halloween! We must admit that while we are fans of the annual celebration of all things spooky, the occasion reminds us of how important it is to improve the indoor air quality of our homes. That may sound strange, but just consider how many times the average home is opened up to trick or treaters each Halloween night. This can actually be a good thing considering the benefits of letting fresh air in the home.

The team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. wishes to remind you that there are some important ways to treat your home all year round. Just ahead of Halloween, we thought we’d revisit the concept of improving the indoor air quality of your home.

Here are four ways to treat your home to better indoor air quality:

1. Clean out your air ducts.

As much as we have heralded the act of cracking open the windows to let fresh air in and stagnant air out, we realize that they can’t stay open all the time – nor should they. On especially cold days, it’s important to stay warm. That’s why it’s vital that you clean your air ducts. Pollutants can get trapped in your air ducts, causing the air you breathe to remain contaminated.

“Without good ventilation, the air inside your home becomes stale and contaminated with airborne particles,” explains Roger Grochmal on AtlasCare.ca, “Homeowners should schedule a professional air duct cleaning at least once every three years to keep the ventilation system clear and healthy.”

2. Pay special attention to the bathroom.

It probably goes without saying that the bathroom is a room that requires a good deal of your cleaning attention. Naturally, it’s a room where there is a lot of moisture. This makes it especially susceptible to mould development. And as Sarah D. Young explains on ConsumerAffairs.com, mould and moisture can wreak havoc on indoor air quality.

“To get rid of mildew buildup, give your showers and toilets a good scrub,” she instructs, “Additionally, be sure to fix leaky sinks and faucets and keep bathrooms properly ventilated.”

3. Fill your home with houseplants.

Think of houseplants as Halloween candy for your home. The more plants you place in your home, the happier it will be. Unlike Halloween candy, however, plants are healthy choices. Many of them are well-known for removing contaminants from the air. As Grochmal explains, studies have confirmed this.

“While plants alone cannot clean your air, some species are surprisingly good at absorbing and neutralizing certain volatile organic compounds,” he writes, “NASA made this discovery back in 1989 while looking for ways to clean the air inside space stations — and it works here on Earth, too!”

4. Be a bit of a neat freak.

If only there were such thing as a “neat freak” costume that people could wear for Halloween. We suppose it would include gloves, an apron, mops and a bucket. Nevertheless, you certainly don’t have to wait for Halloween to put on such attire and give your home a good cleaning! This is a routine you should participate in no less than once a week.

“Keep dust mites in-check by vacuuming carpets and washing hard floors on a weekly basis,” advises Grochmal, “Using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter will throw fewer dust mites back into the room as you clean.”

Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. to learn more about how we can better your home’s indoor air quality. 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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Treating Your Home Ahead Of Halloween

We are exactly three weeks away from Halloween! For many of us, it’s an exciting time of year. Halloween is a highlight of the fall season, bringing joy to children of all ages – especially those who partake in the annual tradition of trick or treating. And while you may be planning on opening your doors to trick or treaters in three weeks time, it’s important to remember some other treats you should be doling out – to your own home!

Give it the sock treatment.

Canadians are known for removing their shoes at the front door. When entering the home, most of us are well aware that there’s no good reason to track in the dirt on our shoes. This is a practice that doesn’t seem to be as popular south of the border. However, if you’re looking to keep your home clean and its air as pure as possible, leave the outside at the front door. As Envirovent.com recommends, remove your shoes when coming inside.

“When you enter your home, make sure you remove your shoes to avoid bringing in chemicals, pollen, dirt and dust indoors,” the website instructs, “If you have a porch it is a good idea to leave your outdoor footwear here or just inside the front door if you don’t have a porch.”

Give it some ventilation.

It can never be stressed enough that the air in your home needs to circulate with the air outside your home. That way, you can ensure that there is good air circulation as well as good heat flow. The simplest way to make sure that your home is getting the ventilation it needs is to crack open the windows for a short periods of each day.

Canada.ca also advises you to leave your interior doors open so as to not make rooms stuffy; use your bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans; keep your baseboards and heating vents clear of furniture; keep your beds, bedding and furniture away from outside walls to allow enough air and heat to flow around furnishings and use a mechanical HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in your home with a filtration system built into the duct work.

Make it a smoke-free zone.

Arguably, the greatest treat you can give your home is air that is 100% free of cigarette smoke. As we’ve blogged about extensively in the past, cigarette smoke is as deadly as they come. Both secondhand smoke (the air emitted from smokers’ mouths and inhaled by non-smokers) and thirdhand smoke (the residue left behind on clothing, bedding and furniture) can cause major respiratory issues.

“Although fewer people are taking up smoking, it remains a primary cause of dangerous pollutants being breathed in the home,” says Envirovent.com, “If you smoke, try to ensure that you do so outside, even if you don’t have children. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds which build up inside your home when you smoke. This is not only damaging the property, it is damaging your own health and affecting those around you.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would be happy to treat your home to a professional inspection of its air! For more 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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Safeguarding Your Home Against Excess Moisture During The Fall

The fall season is well underway. But, here in Calgary, winter weather conditions are already upon us. With heavy snowfall and below freezing temperatures already here, the month of October is already presenting conditions that will force us all to bundle up when we’re outside and turn up the heat when we’re inside.

The turning up of the heat may be great for undoing the chill in our bones that the weather provides us. But it also makes our homes susceptible to increased moisture. Increased moisture, as you’re likely aware, can be a problem as it leads to the development of mould.

How does the cold weather contribute to moisture production?

The heat in our homes can often be humid. This is especially true in homes that include various portable heaters without any particular modes of ventilation. As Allison Bailes explains on EnergyVanguard.com, condensation appears when surfaces with low temperatures (your windows, for example) are met with warm, humid air (which is found in your home when the heat is turned up).

“In fall, a house in a humid climate is coming off a summer full of humidity,” Bailes elaborates, “Even with air conditioning, moisture gets into the house and many of the sorptive materials in the house will suck up a lot of water. In fall, as cooler, drier air surrounds the outside of the house and gets inside, those materials start giving up their moisture load.”

How can you reduce or eliminate window condensation?

Bailes suggests two methods in particular: Raise the window temperature and reduce the humidity of the air inside the house. She explains that humid air has moisture in it and has a “dew point”. This is the point at which the air meets a surface that is cool enough for it to release liquid. This is what causes condensation on a cold window during the fall.

“Installing more efficient windows or storm windows helps by keeping the temperature of your windows closer to the indoor temperature, making it more likely that they’re above the dew point,” she informs, “Keeping your humidity lower through the summer and fall will help also by lowering the dew point of the air. Making sure you don’t have an oversized air conditioner will help with that.”

How else can you lower humidity levels in the home?

Houseplants provide a natural and healthy resource. As DoItYourself.com explains, different plants offer year-round humidity control for homes. Among the most noteworthy of plants is the small cactus. The site notes that it is great at finding moisture in the ground or through the air to help keep humidity levels comfortable.

DoItYourself.com also heralds the act of cracking open your windows. “In the spring and in the fall, you can regulate your home humidity level by simply opening the windows a few inches,” says the site, “If you open windows that are adjacent to each other, you will have a cross breeze. This breeze not only cools off your home and brings in fresh air, but it also keeps the humidity at an acceptable level.”

Are you having moisture issues in your home?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Moisture Monitoring Services that efficiently evaluate your property’s moisture sources. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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