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How To Handle A Post-Halloween Clean Up

The big day comes tomorrow! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team, we’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Halloween! Here’s hoping you also experience a Halloween that leaves your place clean. Considering that the yearly occasion is one where pumpkins, candy, makeup and other mess-inducing materials are abound, you may not necessarily escape with the cleanest of homes once Halloween is done.

Let’s take a look at how to handle a post-Halloween clean up!

De-pumpkin your floors.

How much fun was it to carve those pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns with your kids? A staple of Halloween preparations, pumpkin carving can be fun…but messy. Once all of the pumpkin innards have been cleaned up, be sure to check that no stains have been left behind. If so, you may need to break out some dishwashing soap.

“To remove pumpkin stains on fabric and carpets, start by scraping off the excess pumpkin,” advises Maid Brigade, “Add 1 tablespoon dish liquid to 2 cups cold water.  Dip sponge into solution and blot stain until liquid is absorbed.  Once the stain is dry, rinse with cold water.”

Attack the wax.

What goes in jack-o-lanterns? Why, candles, of course! What drips off lit candles? Wax…naturally! Is wax hard to clean? You bet it is! According to Maid Brigade, to attack wax drips on your fabrics, your freezer will come in handy.

“Scrape off excess wax.  For fabrics, place in freezer until wax hardens,” their website instructs, “Scrape off the rest.  For removing candle wax on carpets, scrape off excess wax first.  Next, cover carpet stained area with a clean white cloth.  Use the tip of a warm iron and press into the cloth until the wax is transferred from the carpet to the cloth.”

Get out the leaf blower.

Here’s hoping that you do not have to endure any childish vandalism at the hands of exuberant trick or treaters. For homeowners, an unfortunate Halloween tradition is the toilet papering of trees in front of their houses. If this happens to you, fear not, a leaf blower will help to clean up the mess.

“When it gets wet, toilet paper falls apart and can be difficult to remove, so you may be left with some strips still hanging around,” informs Kathleen Corlett on BobVila.com, “Go out around noon, after the dew has evaporated—sooner if rain is in the forecast—and use a leaf blower to remove the tissue. Bag up the paper and add it to your trash.”

Start the un-egging early.

Another hope-it-doesn’t-happen-to-you ramification of Halloween night is having your house egged. While, like the toilet papering scenario, this isn’t likely to happen to you, should any troublemakers egg your home, it’s vital to get to the mess early so as to not have the eggs stain your home’s exterior.

“Smashed eggs are no good for your exterior, as the yokes can stain and shell shards could scratch the exterior paint,” notes Corlett, “Hose down the wall just below where the eggs hit and then again gently above the mess, so it slides down the siding easily. Scrub any leftovers with a brush dipped in a mixture of warm water and dish soap.”

Here’s hoping you enjoy a clean Halloween! For any questions about how to treat yourself to 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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3 Reminders Of How To Treat Your Home To Better Indoor Air Quality

In just over a week, Halloween will be here! On behalf of the entire DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team, we’d like to wish you all a very happy Halloween! Chances are this forthcoming evening of October 31st will be one when you open your doors to many scarily-dressed kids in order to offer them their annual collection of candies. We can’t help but think about how much good that additional fresh air will do for your home.

Then again, we’re always thinking about how to improve indoor air quality. And since we’re on the topic of trick or treating, we figured we’d offer up some ideas about how you can offer yourself some treats of a different nature.

Here are three reminders of how to treat your home to better indoor air quality:

1. Keep an eye on your home’s humidity levels.

Not only are the little ones going to be donning spooky attire in a little over a week’s time, they’ll also be pretty bundled up. It’s clearly cooler these days than it was in the summer. Having already experienced a snowfall, the Calgary area is one where trick or treaters definitely need to keep warm. We imagine that the need to be warm and cozy is the same when you’re in your home. However, when you turn up the heat, you run the risk of making it too humid. And humidity breeds mould-inducing moisture

“Mould and mites absolutely love a bit of moisture in the home,” Collin Creek Home Air Care warns, “They thrive in it. To prevent them from blooming and lowering your air quality, keep a healthy humidity level within the household to improve your air quality. A dehumidifier can reduce the moisture indoors. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to clean the ducts or use an exhaust fan, too.”

2. Avoid sweet smelling chemical-based cleansers.

Halloween is certainly the time of year when sweets are plentiful. However, not all sweet smells come in treat form. Those disinfectants, deodorizers, wipes and other cleansers you find in the stores aren’t good for your respiratory system. All of the synthetic scents are indicators that volatile organic compounds are present. Switch them out for natural cleansers to better the air you breathe in your home.

“You may associate that lemony or piney scent with a clean kitchen or clean clothes,” writes Jeanie Lerche Davis on WebMD.com, “But synthetic fragrances in laundry products and air fresheners emit dozens of different chemicals into the air. You won’t find their names on the product labels. Conventional laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and air fresheners in solid, spray, and oil form may all emit such gasses.”

3. Enforce a strict no smoking rule in your home.

You know what’s scarier than any Halloween costume you could imagine? The diseases caused by cigarette smoke – they’re all deadly! As Collin Creek Home Air Care correctly confirms, smoking is often considered the single largest culprit in low air quality within the home.

“Second-hand cigarette smoke clouds the air, causing illness and lowering the quality of life indoors,” notes their website, “Cigarette smoke has a bad habit of getting into the ducts where it festers and coats everything, causing worsening pollutants and mould.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would be happy to treat your home to a professional inspection of its air. 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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Attacking Those Areas Of The Home We Always Forget To Clean

In last week’s blog, we tackled the topic of tackling those oft-neglected areas of the home during your fall cleaning routine. Those areas were your pantry, your upholstery and your windows. But, to be perfectly honest, we think we were only scratching the surface. In this week’s blog, we’d like to expand on this topic by highlighting a few other areas of the home we always forget to clean.

Under the bed.

If on the hit game show, “Family Feud”, host Steve Harvey asked “Where do children love to hide during a game of hide-and-seek?”, we’d bet that “under the bed” would be the number one answer. However, if “under the bed” was provided as an answer by host Alex Trebek on the equally popular game show, “Jeopardy!”, we believe the correct question offered by a contestant would be “What is ‘a place in the home we always forget to clean’?”

“Mostly, we clean the areas that are visible,” admits Jamie on Homelization.com, “What we forget is that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ doesn’t apply to dust. The buildup of dust under the bed can cause respiratory problems and also promote multiplication of dust mites…Knowing that it is worth cleaning under your bed frequently so as not to develop respiratory allergies when asleep. Besides, knowing you are sleeping above a clean surface will give you peace of mind.”

Skirting boards.

You know those boards that line the bottoms of your walls? How often do you clean them? We’re willing to bet that “almost never” is probably what you’re thinking. You’d be surprised how much dirt can come off of those boards with one swipe of a disinfectant wipe. Going forward, don’t neglect them during your regular cleaning routines.

“Next time you do your dusting, get down low,” instructs Stephanie C on ExpertHomeTips.com, “Skirting boards are basically shelves for the dust you clean off higher surfaces PLUS the dust they accumulate alone. Be sure to flick over them with a feather duster or quickly polish over them on a regular basis before hoovering, and you won’t have to worry about doing a time-consuming, deep-clean on all fours.”

Door handles.

How ironic is this? We touch door handles all over our homes every single day. As a result, you could make the argument that these frequently-used knobs require constant cleaning. However – if we’re being honest – we generally neglect our door handles. It’s wise to disinfect them regularly because, as we’ve always been told since we were kids, your hands are full of germs!

“Among the most touched areas in your home are the entrance and exit door handles,” explains Jamie, “While you may take care of the cleanliness of your hands, you cannot take care of everyone else’s hands. You need to disinfect your door handles now and then to prevent spreading germs from one person to another.”

Naturally, keeping a clean home is good for its air. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to do our part in offering your home the chance to provide you with the purest air possible. To receive 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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Tackling Those Oft-Neglected Areas During Your Fall Cleaning

While we were growing up, many of us were often told to not forget to clean behind our ears while we bathed. Why? Because those ear backs of ours are often neglected. We wash our faces and shampoo our hair and just assume that that area of the body will be cleaned. The backs of our ears, however, do require some appropriate scrubbing to maximize their cleanliness.

Many parts of our homes can be considered the proverbial backs of our ears. They are often neglected during our cleaning routines because…well, we just don’t assume they need to be cleaned. With the fall season now in full swing, we thought it best to remind you about some of those areas of the home you may be forgetting about while participating in your fall cleaning routines.

Deep clean your pantry.

How often have you opened the drawers in your kitchen only to notice a collection of crumbs accumulating in the corners? How do they get in there? Well with all of the food being prepared in the kitchen, it only makes sense for some of it to escape and find new homes. The thing is we often forget about those drawers and the cupboards where much of the food is kept. Take the time to empty out each drawer and clear each shelf to give your kitchen a proper cleaning.

“Our pantries tend to accumulate a lot of stuff that often goes unused,” notes Justine Harrington of Compact Appliance, “Start by simply removing all the items from your pantry. Next, wipe down your shelves, taking care to get rid of any crumbs or dust that may be hiding in the back. Inspect each item, and if it’s gone unused for months or is long past expired, it’s time to get rid of it!”

Vacuum your upholstery.

What is your vacuum used for? If you said “to clean the floors”, you’re likely in the majority. What we sometimes forget is that the vacuum can be used to clear the walls of cobwebs, the corners of our walls of dirt and our furniture of crumbs. MarthaStewart.com recommends that you vacuum your upholstery weekly.

“Removing dust from furniture will keep it looking its best,” says the site, “Use an upholstery attachment. Protect delicate upholstery by vacuuming through a screen to prevent the fabric from being sucked into the nozzle.”

Wash your windows.

Is that hazy, misty substance on the inside or the outside of your window? It’s time to stop guessing and give your windows a good wipe down. Because we don’t generally touch our windows, other than their edges which are used to open and close them, we assume that they are generally clean. Not necessarily. Between the dust in your home and the condensation that is bound to appear during cold days, your windows accumulate matter that requires attention.

“Have you neglected your windows all summer?” asks Harrington, “That’s what we thought! Take a few minutes to clean your windows, before the wintry weather comes. First, if your windows are pretty dirty, start by dusting or vacuuming up any debris. Next, round up glass cleaner or a simple squirt of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle filled with water, then wipe down your glass panes with a microfiber cloth or cloud.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to offer you and your family the gift of clean air inside your home this fall. 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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Britain’s 20 Year-Old Asbestos Ban Still Not Enough To Save Lives

Canada is just under three months away from celebrating its first anniversary of its nationwide asbestos ban. On December 30, 2018, asbestos was finally outlawed in our country. As of that date, nine months ago, the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations took effect,prohibiting the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos, in Canada.

You’d think the asbestos ban was something to celebrate.

And, to be fair, it is. The toxic substance is Canada’s number one cause of workplace-related death.  Asbestos was once a staple in the construction of office buildings and homes. However, inhaling its fibres is deadly. The material is now known as the cause of such fatal diseases as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Now, while we’re glad that Canada is approaching the one year mark of its nationwide ban, it must be pointed out that the impact of asbestos will undoubtedly continue to impact Canadians for years to come. For far too many of us, the ban didn’t come soon enough. Great Britain, for example, banned asbestos twenty years ago!

Great Britain banned asbestos on August 24, 1999.

As reported by Laurie Kazan-Allen in the U.K.’s The Morning Star several weeks ago, August 24, 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Britain’s ban. She reveals that, in spite of the two-decade old ban, asbestos continues to be the country’s worst-ever occupational epidemic – killing thousands of people every year. Mesothelioma, it should come as no surprise, remains a huge problem in Britain.

As Kazan-Allen explains, “the human cost of the asbestos industry’s profits are measured annually by the Health and Safety Executive which noted in July, 2019, that the number of deaths from the signature cancer caused by asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, were 2,595 (in 2016) and 2,523 (in 2017); when other asbestos-related deaths are added, the total of avoidable asbestos deaths per year were over 5,000.”

There is a fear, in Canada, that our nation’s asbestos ban came much too late.

Sadly, there is an anticipation of many more asbestos-related deaths in the years come. Just like our British counterparts, our country took far too long to recognize the health implications of using asbestos in our homes and offices.

Kazan-Allen points out that “the British legislation had come 100 years after a British Factory inspector had first warned of the ‘evil effects of asbestos dust,’ and decades too late for generations of workers whose lives had been sacrificed for the profits of asbestos companies such as Turner and Newall Ltd., the Cape Asbestos Co. Ltd. and others.”

How can you protect yourself from asbestos exposure?

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are aware that Canada’s asbestos ban can’t automatically protect all Canadians from exposure to the asbestos that already exists in their homes and places of work. So we’d like to help out where we can. 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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