Naturally, we talk a lot about indoor air quality on our blog. It’s a huge responsibility of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team to assist its clients through services that work to better their indoor air quality. Why? Well, think about it. What’s more important than the air we breathe? We clearly need to breathe to live. And since we’re breathing 24/7 (and many of those hours are spent at home), it’s imperative that we put efforts into purifying the air in our homes.
Believe it or not, there is a fairly simple solution to bettering our indoor air quality. And that’s to eliminate the dust and dirt from our homes. And as simple as this solution may be, it’s not always the easiest task to pull off. After all, dust and dirt is all around us all the time. So how do we serve it with an eviction notice?
Here are three top practices for evicting dirt and dust from your home:
Most of the dirt that appears in our homes was tracked in on our shoes. Therefore, one certified way to keep dirt at bay is to remove our shoes before we enter our homes. To be perfectly honest, we can’t understand why anyone would want to wear the same shoes they wear outside inside their living spaces. In winter, it’s especially obvious that different footwear should be worn in the house.
“There are always people who balk at the thought of a No Shoe Policy,” writes Katie Berry on HousewifeHowTos.com, “If they realized that up to 80 percent of the household dust enters on the bottom of peoples’ shoes, they’d probably rethink their reluctance. One solution: keep a basket of washable slipper socks near the door for guests’ use.”
Vacuuming is a chief way of evicting dirt from your home. It’s probably the most obvious solution as well. However, if you have one of those bagless vacuums, your removal of the canister, after vacuuming, often undoes the work you’ve just done. Often, dust escapes the canister and re-enters the atmosphere. Naturally, this is no good for your respiratory system. Try emptying your vacuum canisters outdoors to avoid the detriment to your indoor air quality.
“Once you’ve sucked up the dirt that did make its way into your home, make sure you ditch it for good,” advises Lauren Piro on GoodHousekeeping.com, “The particles can travel back into the air if you empty the canister inside.”
Berry is also a big proponent for welcome mats. They give visitors to your home opportunities to wipe their feet before stepping inside. That way, even though they will be removing those shoes inside the home, those shoes will contain a lot less dirt. “Shake the mats outside or clean them with a hand-vac every couple of days and you’ll notice a definite reduction of dust,” Berry instructs.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we would love to help you evict dirt and dust from your home! For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Yes, we’re well aware that the winter season doesn’t become official until the 21st of December. But, let’s be honest. We live and work in Alberta – a province known for snowfalls long before the winter season hits. With that said, it’s likely you’re already in “keep warm” mode, which is pretty much a pastime for all Canadians, at this time of year. However, when winter hits, it’s important we be mindful of the problems the season can create for our indoor air quality.
Naturally, we keep our homes sealed all winter long. Everyone loves the warm and cozy feeling that comes with staying indoors. But we have to keep in mind that when the doors and windows are shut, the air inside the home can’t escape. That can lead to some health issues. So what should we do so that we don’t worsen indoor air quality when winter hits?
This may sound like a strange piece of advice, during the winter, but it’s one we’ve given before and one we’re sure to give again. Crack those windows open! Yes, we know that it’s cold outside, but you need to ventilate your home in order to avoid the health issues that can occur due to breathing stale and stagnant air. As HappyHiller.com points out, the secret to healthy indoor air quality is a delicate balance of insulation and ventilation.
“If your home is too tight, then air gets stuck in the home and gets more and more polluted, with very little introduction of fresh air from outside,” reads the website, “Modern homes and improved renovation practices have made homes more airtight, which is great for reducing energy bills, but not so great from improving air quality. When indoor air becomes trapped, it gets more and more contaminated every day.”
The more you stay inside, the more likely you will be to shed your hair and skin all over your home. This may sound odd, but it’s true. And when you shed those skin cells of yours, you invite dust mites to take residence in your domicile. Especially in your bedding, these dust mites like to eat skin cells and leave behind allergy-inducing waste. Therefore, it is best you launder your bedding more regularly than normal during the winter.
“Because more time is spent indoors during the winter, the concentration of dust mite food – shed human skin cells – increases, as do dust mite populations,” affirms AchooAllergy.com, “Dust mites are present wherever there is dust, including household surfaces, upholstered furniture, draperies, carpets, and especially bedding.”
To be specific, it’s wise to stop cleaning your home by spraying those VOC-heavy products all over the place. You know the ones we mean – air fresheners and disinfectants with strong scents. These products contain volatile organic compounds which are among the main contributors to unhealthy indoor air. To keep your home clean, smelling sweet and a healthy environment all at once, use natural cleansers instead.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d love to help you not worsen your indoor air quality when winter hits. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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:
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.”
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.”
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.”
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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!”
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.”
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!
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.”
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allow us to tell you a little story. Earlier this week, one of our colleagues decided to regale us with stories about his vacuuming practices. He works from home and uses an old desk chair each and every day. As of late, this desk chair has been shedding. In other words, the vinyl covering that encapsulates the seat and the backing is coming undone. As a result, there are small black pieces of ripped vinyl all over his home office floor.
“I have to vacuum every single day,” our colleague informed us, “I basically just keep the vacuum in the office now. It’s so annoying. It never fails. Every single day, I have to vacuum the floor to pick up all of these ripped up pieces of chair covering. If I didn’t see the mess my chair was making, I likely wouldn’t be vacuuming that much at all.”
We found our colleague’s final comment to be a very interesting one. It’s true, isn’t it? We don’t tend to clean unless we can visually see messes. However, dust accumulates on our floors and surfaces each and every day. For many people who don’t vacuum regularly, the risk of respiratory illnesses increases. An accumulation of dust generally means the presence of dust mites – miniscule creatures that feed on dead skin and leave behind asthma-inducing waste.
Now, daily vacuuming may not necessarily be mandatory. But just how often should we vacuum? Our colleague admits that his home office is carpeted and that the outside living area has hardwood flooring. As a result, he tends to vacuum the living room a lot less often than he does his office.
According to Tyler Mears, home experts recommend that carpets and rugs be vacuumed at least twice a week. On the U.K.’s Wales Online website, he writes that high-traffic areas (like our colleague’s home office) should be vacuumed with more frequency. Vacuuming frequency should also greatly increase if you have pets. “If pets are in the home, daily vacuum cleaning is strongly recommended to remove dirt, hair, dander, and the smaller microscopic allergens that are invisible to the naked eye,” informs Mears.
Carol J. Alexander agrees. On FamilyHandyman.com, she insists that people who love their pets love their vacuum cleaners just as much. “Pets shed and drop fleas and dander that can aggravate or cause allergies and disease,” she explains, “Not to mention what they bring in on their paws! No matter what type of floors you have, if you have dogs, cats and/or other furry friends running loose in your home, vacuum every day.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to help you get a much better understanding of how clean your home really is. Assessing its indoor air quality is a great step towards ensuring better health for everyone who lives in it. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
If you’re a regular reader of the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog, you’re well aware that, at the top of our priority list, is the safety and health of our clients. Naturally, the purer the air you breathe in your home, the better your health will be over the long term. This is why we’re so adamant about ensuring high indoor air quality and offering such services as our Air Quality Services to help our clients enjoy better health.
As we’ve pointed out in many blogs of past, keeping a clean home is an excellent way to better your indoor air quality. The regular removal of dust, dirt and grime via dusting, vacuuming and mopping helps to keep air pollutants at bay. Wiping up spills and regularly checking for leaks helps to prevent mould growth.
As reported by Kate Eller of Advocate Health Care, people who keep clean homes tend to be more physically fit than those who don’t clean up all that much. Is it because cleaning is actually a form of exercise? Citing a study done at Indiana University, Eller reveals that there is a correlation between a clean home and physical fitness. “Researchers found participants with cleaner homes exercised more,” she reports.
Eller goes on to note that messy homes tend to exacerbate stress and fatigue. In her article, she quotes Dr. Rian Rowles who is a psychiatrist affiliated with Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. “When you live in a messy home, you are subconsciously reminded of work that needs to be finished and visually, your eyes do not have a place to rest,” says Rowles, “Too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue.”
How often have we highlighted the need for cleanliness in an effort to improve the health of our respiratory symptoms? People with allergies and asthma know all too well how difficult it is to breathe in unkempt homes and buildings. Eller also quotes Dr. Uma Gavani, an allergy and asthma specialist on staff at Christ Medical Center, who points out that dust mites, pet dander and mould can trigger allergic reactions and increase potential asthma problems.
“The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to clean,” Gavani informs, “Messy areas increase the potential for dust, pet dander and mould to accumulate in closets, on surfaces and in crevices.”
Interestingly, Eller points to the kitchen, and not the bathroom, as the room of the home where most germs are bound to be located. Countertops are particularly known as problem areas thanks to the many different foods that are prepared upon them. Especially after raw meats and fish have come into contact with your counter, you should thoroughly sanitize the area.
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gastrointestinal illness can be spread by contaminated food, and food-poisoning is less likely in kitchens that have been properly cleaned and sanitized,” writes Eller.
We know. Fall hasn’t even started yet. But, as all Canadians are aware, winter will be just around the corner in no time. Some Canadians actually believe there are only two seasons in Canada and that they can flip back and forth at any time.
“One day, it’s summer and the next day, it’s winter,” commented one of our colleagues earlier this week, “It all depends on if the day is warm enough to take off your jacket. That’s how I see it!” Needless to say, we all have to prepare for chillier days. And preparation requires a lot more than layering up. The cold and snowy wintertime is time of year when we all need to be concerned about the possibilities of mould growth in our homes.
“If you live in a cold climate, kicking up the heater during winter months doesn’t just keep you warm—it also helps to create a perfect environment for winter mould and mildew,” writes Autumn Yates on Highya.com, “Mould and mildew have a lot of similarities. They’re both likely to grow in moist, warm areas and are adept at surviving on a wide variety of surfaces.”
So what can you do to prevent the growth of mould when the weather gets cold?
With winter comes snow. And with melted snow comes water. If there are any cracks in the walls of your home, it is possible that water can leak through and pool in places that may go unnoticed. Remember that mould and mildew grow in moist and damp areas. So be sure to keep an eye out for any leaks in your home throughout the winter.
“Watch for leaks in common areas such as windows, exterior-to-interior doorways, and the surrounding areas by swamp coolers and skylights,” advises Yates, “Not only should you be on high alert for leaks coming from the outdoors, but don’t forget to check your indoor plumbing as a possible culprit for excess moisture. Check for hidden leaks in areas such as under bathroom and kitchen sinks.”
What happens when you step through the front door of your home all winter long? You bring snow, slush and sleet with you. Sure, you can take off your boots and leave them by the front door. But without regularly cleaning the area, you’re practically inviting pools of water to remain so that mould can find a cozy place to flourish. To help things, Yates suggests the removal of any carpeted areas near your front door way.
“Washable floor surfaces can be especially helpful in entryways (versus carpeting), where constantly tracking in moisture can quickly lead to mould growth,” she writes, “In instances where you do have carpet up to the door and can’t do much about it (such as when renting), take care to vacuum the area regularly, inspecting for signs of any mould near the baseboards or where your carpet meets the wall.”
Let’s work together on eliminating mould growth from your home this winter! For more information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.