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Dust Mites

Detailing The Benefits Of De-cluttering

Depositphotos_47311931_s-2015The back-to-school season is upon us. And, while classrooms aren’t quite ready to be filled just yet – don’t worry kids, you still have a few more weeks to go! – it’s that time of year when parents and students alike are preparing for the transition. In many cases, this transition requires the purchasing of new clothing and supplies. And, as a result, many people feel the need to go through their wardrobes and belongings to get rid of some no-longer-in-use items.

It can be argued that back-to-school preparations are summer’s version of spring cleaning time. Really, there is no bad time to clean up around the house. And this is especially true if your cleaning routines involve the de-cluttering of your home. Clutter, as you may know, is a big-time opponent of good indoor air quality. The more clutter you have, the more opportunities you give for dust to collect.

The more dust that collects, the more dust mites you allow into your home. These known allergens can cause a lot of havoc for those with allergies and asthma symptoms. Clutter also disables homeowners from identifying moisture spots. Especially when hidden, areas of moisture in the home can also allow for the development of mould. As you likely also know, mould also promotes an unhealthy breathing environment.

De-cluttering, however, is often looked upon as an arduous task. In truth, it can take a lot of time and effort. Of course, this all depends on the amount of clutter that exists in your home. Worst case scenario hoarding is obviously representative of the most severe types of clutter that exist. In the hopes that you haven’t quite got a hoarding problem, rest assure that you can get through all that soon-to-be-tossed-away junk.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Reduce the amount of clutter in your home or office as best you can by asking for help from friends, family or a professional,” advises Sara Bereika of SelfGrowth.com, “For many this can be easier said than done. But if you or your family has acquired several colds and illnesses, it is time to make a change. It’s true the clutter may not be the leading cause of illness, but it isn’t helping you or your family to stay healthy either.”

It’s also important to remember that, in addition to improving the quality of air in your home, de-cluttering will help you to enjoy your living space a lot more. “What percentage of your home is used for clutter storage?” asks Gregory Go of Unclutterer.com, “You may be shocked to learn the percentage of your rent or mortgage payments being used to store that old TV, extra couch, and broken coffee maker.”

Not only will you be able to enjoy more of your home, but you’ll be able to spend your time more wisely. Think about it. Going forward, you’ll have a lot less to clean and tidy, right? This gives you more time to do with your life as you please. “If you have less stuff and less to do, you will automatically gain more time,” reminds Paris Parsa of The Green Minimalist blog. “Time the the most valuable possessions we all have. Don’t replace it with stuff. Don’t waste it. Life is short.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are big proponents for de-cluttered homes. Knowing the importance of your home’s indoor air quality, it only makes sense for you to give yourself as great a chance as possible of minimizing dust mites, mould and other detriments to the air that you breathe. We highly recommend our Air Quality Services at the completion of your de-cluttering job. For more information, 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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2 Important Ways To Do Away With Dust Mites

The illustration of a prohibition sign for house dust mitesIf you were asked how many living organisms live in your home, what you say? Chances are that you would mention the members of your family or any other residents of your home. Clearly, the question is posed in a pretty specific way. So you would also likely include your pets, if you have any. The truth is, however, that you would never know the true answer to the question. And that’s because of dust mites!

Sure, there are other living organisms in your home. The odd fly or other insect is bound to make its way into your living space. Dust mites, on the other hand, exist in uncountable numbers. They are so tiny and basically invisible to the naked eye that you could never prevent them from being among your home’s inhabitants. So what’s the big deal, right? Well, the truth is that dust mites can impact the quality of your air.

They are known for being allergens, especially to asthmatics. Therefore, reducing the amount of dust in your home is incredibly important. Yes, regular vacuuming can help. But you’ll want to be sure to take some measures that can improve your home’s overall indoor air quality on a long-term basis. This is especially important if you have small children or elderly people in your home, as they are more susceptible to allergens.

Here are two important ways to do away with dust mites:

1. Give dust mites less places to live. Try to limit the number of places where dust often accumulates. As WebMD.com points out, this includes carpet, upholstered furniture, and heavy drapes that collect dust. “Avoid furniture covered with fabrics,” insists the website, “Use pillow and mattress covers made from a tight-weave fabric that keeps out dust and mites.” You’ll also want to remove rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting and opt for hardwood floors instead.

If you wish to include carpeting in your home, it’s best to use smaller rugs that you can easily wash. WebMD.com admits that this can be tough for some people to accept. “Talk with your family about this and about how this will affect family life,” the site recommends, “If you cannot or do not want to remove carpeting throughout the home, consider removing it only in the bedroom.”

2. Become a consummate cleaner. Dust mites are known to live in our bedding. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? They literally lie with us while we are asleep! Instead of grossing yourself out any further at the thought, be sure to wash all of your bedding and blankets at least once a week in hot water. MedicineNet.com recommends that you use water that is at least 130-140°F in order to kill dust mites.

As well, the site recommends that you use damp mops and rags to remove dust. It’s not enough to simply use a feather duster. That will only spread the dust around. “Never use a dry cloth since this just stirs up mite allergens,” insists MedicineNet.com. It’s also not enough to vacuum with a regular cleaner. “Use a vacuum cleaner with either a double-layered microfilter bag or a HEPA filter to trap allergens that pass through a vacuum’s exhaust,” advises the site.

The quality of the air in your home is incredibly important for some very obvious reasons. While dust mites can’t be seen by the naked eye, they can certainly have an impact on our health. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to ensure that the air you are breathing is as pure as it can be. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Household Cleaning Tips For Asthmatics

rear view of woman with yellow gloves in kitchen doing houseworkAsthmatics have it rough. The simple act of breathing – something most of us take for granted – can be an arduous task for those who suffer with asthma. Obviously, breathing air that is as pollutant-free as possible is important for everyone’s overall health. But, it goes without saying that asthmatics need to take special precautions to breathe the purest air possible. As a result, the indoor air quality of an asthmatic’s home is a top priority.

Most of us have some sort of cleaning regimen when it comes to the home. At least, on a weekly basis, we tend to do the laundry, vacuum the floors, scrub the bathrooms, dust the furniture and wipe down surfaces. Asthmatics, however, should follow some meticulous cleaning practices to ensure that they don’t leave room for triggers of their disease to get the better of them. Reducing the risk of asthma symptoms will play a huge role in their quest for better health.

Here are four household cleaning tips for asthmatics:

1. Keep a spotless kitchen. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, it’s important to ensure that your kitchen is immaculately clean. “Use an exhaust fan on a regular basis to remove cooking fumes and reduce moisture,” they insist, “Place garbage in a can with an insect-proof lid and empty trash daily. Store food—including pet food—in sealed containers, and discard moldy or out-of-date items.”

The AAAA & I also recommends that you mop the floor and wipe the cabinets, countertops backsplashes and appliances down at least once a week. Using a detergent and water solution is advised. As well, it’s important to limit moisture in the kitchen. Checking for plumbing leaks and wiping up all spills and condensation in the refrigerator area will help to ward off the development of mould – a known asthma trigger.

2. Eliminate dust from the bedroom. As we’ve blogged about before, dust mites are also known to trigger asthma symptoms. Significantly limiting their presence in your home will do a long way in keeping asthma attacks at bay. “Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers,” advises the AAAA & I, “Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets weekly in 130o F water. Remove, wash or cover comforters.”

They also suggest that you vacuum your carpets at least once a week with a cleaner that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Don’t forget your area rugs, floor mats and curtains either. They should be washed seasonally, says the AAAA & I. As well, they recommend that you “keep windows closed and use air conditioning during pollen season”. And if you have mould to clean up, be sure to wear a protective mask while doing it.

3. Keep the bathroom dry. This is practically impossible considering what bathrooms are used for. But bear in mind that limiting moisture is a key component to keeping an asthmatic’s home as safe as possible. The AAAA & I advises that you always use your exhaust fans during showers and to towel dry the tub after it has been used. In addition, you should “clean or replace mouldy shower curtains and bathmats (and) quickly repair any leaks.”

4. Don’t ignore the basement. Basements are known for becoming overly cluttered areas. When people stop using things, they often stick them in the basement. Before you know it, it becomes a makeshift junkyard. This presents a breeding ground for dust accumulation and mould growth in the damper areas. The AAAA & I recommends that you always clean wearing gloves and a mask. As well, remove any water-damaged carpeting.

When all else fails, DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. is here to help! For more information on our Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services or Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance of Vacuuming For Optimum Indoor Air Quality

Close up a young man vacuuming at homeNeat freaks rejoice! You’ll be happy to know that there’s no harm in dusting and vacuuming. That is, of course, unless you are consistently using scented cleaning products which contain VOCs. As explained by Cambria Bold on ApartmentTherapy.com, “Volatile Organic Compounds (are) a variety of organic chemicals that are released as gases from certain solids or liquids. They’re widely found in household products, including paints and varnishes, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, building materials and furnishings.”

And while it’s important to choose your household cleaning products wisely, it’s just as important to use a strong vacuum. Believe it or not, your indoor air quality is not only significantly affected by what is sprayed in your home. You can’t always rely on smelling pollutants to know that they are there. Eliminating dust is incredibly important in maintaining the cleanest breathing air in your home and office possible.

This is why Bold highly recommends that you “invest in a very good vacuum with strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter, which traps smaller particles and allergens that regular vacuums miss.” The presence of dust, as you might know, encourages an infestation of dust mites. And although they are so tiny, they practically can’t be seen by the naked eye, they are known to severely impact indoor air quality.

On CleanLink.com, Bob Croft explains that “dust generated inside the building includes soot, bacteria, allergens, paper dust, mould and dust mite droppings.” He goes on to explain that dust mite droppings along with spores, pollen and bacteria are some of the most common allergens found in our homes. They range in size from about 10 microns in diameter down to a micron, he explains, noting that standard paper vacuum cleaner bags don’t always filter them out.

What’s so bad about dust mites? Well, you may be happy to know that these tiny little creatures don’t bite or sting. However, their feces and body fragments (it’s already sounding gross, isn’t it?) are often found on our pillows, bed sheets and carpets. And they have been widely known to trigger respiratory problems. Because dust mites are nearly everywhere, it’s important to be very diligent with your vacuuming habits.

“They are a major cause of asthma and allergies; especially in vulnerable individuals, such as children and the elderly,” reports Environment, Health and Safety Online, “According to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, approximately 10 percent of Americans exhibit allergic sensitivity to dust mites.” And because humans tend to shed dead skin daily, we continually feed these dust mites on a regular basis without even knowing it!

So what’s the best way to vacuum? According to Croft, “a vacuuming strategy designed to catch the dust before it migrates throughout the building, involving aggressive vacuuming of entry mats and the carpet near entrances (“cross-hatch” those areas), moderate vacuuming of traffic paths (probably nightly), and as/needed detail vacuuming (perhaps once or twice per week). Using a backpack vacuum allows janitors to easily reach corners, edges and under furniture.”

The importance of improving your indoor air quality cannot be understated. It goes without saying that we need to breathe to live. So it makes sense to take measures to ensure that the air that we are breathing is as clean as it can be, doesn’t it? At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our Air Quality Services provide clients with the means to ensure the best indoor air quality possible. For more information, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Stopping The Impact Of Dust Mites On Indoor Air Quality

Open hand raised, Stop Dust Mites sign painted, multi purpose concept - isolated on white backgroundIn all likelihood, you probably never even think about them. And why would you? You can’t see them. You can’t hear them. You can’t smell them. It makes you wonder if they are really even there. The truth is, however, dust mites live in your home. They are so microscopically tiny that you’d never know it. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any effects on your living space. Especially for asthmatics and those with severe allergies, little dust mites are big problems!

What are dust mites exactly? As AberdeenCarpetCleaning.ca, explains it, “they are distant relations of spiders, and are almost invisible to the naked eye, being only 0.3mm long. Dust mites feed off of pet and human dander (dead skin cells in the air and on surfaces in our homes). Dust mites love warm, humid areas filled with dust. Bed pillows, mattresses, carpets and furniture are great places for them to live.”

As a result, it’s imperative that you keep your home as dust free as possible. Of course, it’s practically impossible to not have a speck of dust in your home. But the importance of regular dusting and vacuuming cannot be understated. Dust mites can affect your health negatively because of their ability to produce “guanine”. The good people at Aberdeen describe it as a “very potent allergen” that can trigger both asthma attacks and bouts with eczema.

Who is affected by dust mites? Although the allergens produced by dust mites can be harmful to everyone’s health, they are especially dangerous for children under the age of five. Aberdeen notes that young children tend to breathe more rapidly, leaving them susceptible to inhaling more of the allergens. The elderly, chronically ill and those with weak immune systems are also at risk of poor health at the hands of dust mite allergens.

What are the symptoms of dust mite allergies? According to AberdeenCarpetCleaning.ca, the symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy nose. Asthmatics can also expect greater bouts with wheezing. The dust mite problem should be of significant importance to Canadians who statistically spend 90% of their time indoors. Evidently, it’s important to find solutions to the dust mite problem.

How can dust mites be prevented? It’s all starts with keeping your home as clean as you possibly can. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, controlling dust mites is one of the top ways to improve indoor air quality. “Keep surfaces in the home clean and uncluttered,” advises their website, “Bare floors and walls are best, particularly in the bedroom where you spend one-third of your time. If you must have carpet, throw rugs that can be washed or low-pile carpets are better.”

They also recommend putting “zippered allergen impermeable or plastic covers on all pillows, mattresses and box springs.” In fact, the AAFA regards this measure as the “single most important method” in keeping dust mites at bay. “Every week, wash bedding, uncovered pillows and stuffed toys in hot water (130 degree F.) to kill mites,” they insist. Vacuuming at least once or twice a week is also advised.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we work to ensure that the homes of our clients enjoy the highest indoor air quality possible. Our Air Quality Services maximize all inspection processes in order to target any areas of concern in your home. We take indoor air quality seriously. And so should you. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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