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3 Ways To Prevent Mould Growth In Your Home During The Winter

In order for nasty mould to rear its ugly head in your home, it requires a particular set of conditions. A dark and damp location with little to no ventilation will generally do the trick. A warm and humid environment always helps as well. This is why mould growth should be a particular concern of yours during the winter months.

Because it’s so cold outside, we all tend to shut the windows and turn up the heat, right? This presents the warmth necessary for mould to grow. Add the strong possibility of condensation on the windows or leaky roofs to the equation and now you have those all-important wet spots to set the perfect situations for mould to develop.

Looking to avoid seeing any mould in your home this winter? Here are three ways to prevent it from growing:

1. Set your ceiling fans to turn clockwise.

Were you aware that your ceiling fans should be used to circulate the air in your home during both the summer and winter seasons? If so, were you aware that the rotation of the ceiling fan should be different in each season? During the summer, it should turn counter-clockwise, while in the winter, it should turn clockwise.

“If you have all the fans in the house set this way, cold air is pulled up and warm air is drawn downward, which not only keeps your home warmer but keeps the utility bills lower too,” explains ServiceMaster NCR, “Your furnace won’t have to turn on as often, so your budget will thank you. Ceiling fans move air around, which keeps condensation from building up on cold walls and windows, which is another source of mould growth.”

2. Dry all wet areas immediately.

We recently spoke to a colleague who informed us that her roof had some leaks in it. Following a recent snowstorm, the leaks became serious issues. No less than three buckets were necessary to catch the drips on the days following the snowstorm when the white, fluffy stuff was starting to melt. Almost immediately, she noticed brownish stains on the walls and the ceiling. Clearly, the onset of mould doesn’t take very long.

Obviously, it’s pretty important to dry any and all wet areas as soon as you see them. “Many parts of the house—windows, mirrors, plumbing pipes— tend to be chronically damp in winter due to ongoing condensation,” informs Rytech, “Quickly removing moisture with a towel prevents these areas from becoming potential focus points for mould growth.”

3. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.

We admit that this is a year-round tip. But it deserves to be repeated. Don’t take the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms for granted. They’re in there for a reason. Both rooms are prone to have a lot of moisture. Without turning on the fans, the moisture is more susceptible to pooling, providing greater chances for mould to develop.

“Proper air circulation doesn’t allow moisture to build up and feed mould spores because the fans remove it to the outside,” says ServiceMaster NCR, “Cooking and bathing create more steam in winter because there’s a greater temperature contrast between the indoors and outdoors. Be sure to use exhaust fans every time you cook or bathe and consider keeping dehumidifiers in these rooms to help with mould control.”

Let’s work together on preventing mould growth in your home this winter! For 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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How Does Radon Impact Your Health?

We tend to not pay attention to things we can’t see, smell or taste. And why would we? If something is invisible, odourless and tasteless, there’s nothing to pay attention to, is there? Such is not the situation when it comes to radon. The dangerous gas can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, but it certainly requires our attention.

According to the Canadian Lung Association, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. Exposure to the gas is estimated to be the cause of 16 percent of lung cancers. Radon damages our lungs through its radioactive particles. When inhaled, they can damage the cells that line our lungs. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer, especially for those who are cigarette smokers.

How is radon created?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas. When the uranium in the soil, rock and water outside of our homes breaks down, radon is created. The gas isn’t dangerous when it mixes with the air outside of our homes. However, when it seeps into our homes through cracks and other openings, it can become trapped in enclosed spaces. Radon in high concentrations can be harmful. This is just one of the many reasons ventilation in your home is so important.

The lower levels of your home including its main floor and its basement are the areas that are most susceptible to the presence of radon. If you have unfinished floors or cracks in the basement floor or foundation, you may be offering radon entry into your home. As well, radon is known to enter homes through pipes, windows and sump pumps.

How does radon increase the risk of lung cancer?

Radon sits number two on the list behind cigarette smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer. Studies have shown that radon has carcinogenic properties. They are exacerbated by cigarette smoke, which we all know is full of toxic chemicals. As the Government of Canada informs us, an individual’s risk of getting lung cancer from radon depends on three factors: the level of radon, the duration of exposure and his/her smoking habits.

“If inhaled, radon decay products can become deeply lodged in the lungs, where they emit ionizing radiation which can penetrate the cells of mucous membranes, bronchi, and other pulmonary tissues,” they explain on Canada.ca, “The ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial cells is believed to initiate the process of carcinogenesis.”

How important is it to test for radon?

As the Canadian Lung Association explains, radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3). “If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required,” their site notes, “However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.”

Clearly, taking steps to prevent lung cancer is a vitally important task.  The Canadian Lung Association believes that it’s best to test for radon during the winter months, when there is less ventilation in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Radon Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Improve Indoor Air Quality At Work

Happy new year everyone! Even though a week of 2020 is already behind us, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team wanted to pass along our best wishes in our first blog of the new year. As you know, 2020 isn’t just a new year, but it’s the start of a new decade! So, we thought a good way to start it was to take a bit of a different angle with our first blog and focus on how to improve indoor air quality at work as opposed to your home.

Are you a business owner? If so, you have the huge task of ensuring the safety of your employees on a daily basis. Surely, keeping things clean and tidy at work requires a lot more effort than keeping things clean and tidy at home. Naturally, there are more people in your workplace than there are at your house. And where there are people, there is pollution. So what can you do to improve indoor air quality at work?

Locate all sources of air pollution.

Not an easy task, we know. But, in order to ensure the air you breathe at work is as pure as possible, it’s vital that you pinpoint any and all sources of air contamination. As Swiss-based air quality technology company, IQAir advises, you should make notes of any damages or leaks and check for possible air contaminants while walking around the building.

“Also, vacuum carpet frequently and wash hard floors,” their site instructs, “Store cleaning supplies in well-ventilated areas away from employees and schedule housekeeping-type activities after hours. Ban indoor smoking and provide a well-ventilated outdoor area for smokers. After making improvements and corrections, consult with building occupants to see if poor air quality complaints persist or if they’ve improved.”

Properly ventilate the office.

In many of our blogs from the last decade, we championed the act of cracking the windows at home. The importance of ventilation cannot be underestimated. That goes double for the workplace. With so many bodies inhabiting the space, it’s especially important to have the stale air in the office circulate with the fresher air from outside. According to Megan Jones of Corporate Wellness Magazine, you should open the windows to allow outdoor air to enter the building.

“Be sure to keep air vents unblocked,” she continues, “Placing furniture, storage boxes, chairs, or cabinets in front air vents will disrupt air circulation, causing your workplace to feel stuffy. Indoor plants are also a great addition to your office. They are not only refreshing to the eyes but can also help promote your indoor air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the air.”

Conduct regular air tests.

“Performing an indoor air testing will provide you with the right information and insights to make your IAQ improvement plan more directed and efficient,” affirms Jones, “Air quality tests include checking humidity levels, airflow, ventilation, mould growth, odours, and water damage.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would love to work with you on improving the indoor air quality at your place of business. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about such services as our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca today!

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