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Are You A Cigarette Smoker Looking For Ways To Quit?

By today’s standards, the warning “smoking is bad for you” is a mundane statement of the obvious. However, it’s as important as it ever was to stress the importance of eliminating all cigarette smoking from your life. By that we mean that even if you aren’t a smoker yourself, you should take all measures to avoid cigarette smoke at all costs. Simply put, it’s deadly. And it should have no place in your home – ever!

Secondhand smoke is as hazardous to the health of a non-smoker as firsthand smoke is to a smoker. As Statistics Canada explains, secondhand smoke is a combination of smoke exhaled by smokers and the smoke that is released into the air from burning cigarettes, pipes and cigars. Exposure to such smoke can result in a long list of fatal diseases. Among them are lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, middle-ear infections and pneumonia.

If you’re still a cigarette smoker looking for ways to quit, don’t worry – help is certainly available to you.

Nicotine replacement therapy is an option.

Understandably, quitting smoking is easier said than done. It is an addiction. And beating an addiction takes a lot of hard work and dedication. There are, however, some scientifically-proven ways to help smokers quit their nasty habits. Among them is nicotine replacement therapy. As explained by Joe Brownstein on LiveScience.com, this can come in the form of a nicotine patch or nicotine gum.

Glen Morgan is the program director in the Behavioral Research Program at the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He contributes to Brownstein’s article by noting that some people may not like the taste of the gum and instead, consider the patch more convenient. Others don’t like the continuous delivery of the patch and instead, prefer chewing the gum. Some, however, combine the two to combat intense urges.

Will power is essential.

No matter what scientific methods of assistance you may employ, it’s important to be dedicated to your mission to quit smoking. In some cases, that entails significantly limiting your access to cigarettes. Do you tend to buy cartons? If so, start buying cigarettes in smaller quantities. This will hopefully help you to use them a lot less. At least, this is what is believed by Debra L. Gordon and Dr. David L. Katz.

On the Reader’s Digest website, they suggest that you change your cigarette buying habits. “As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes,” Gordon and Katz advise, “Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes.”

Cigarette smoke in the home makes for a very hazardous living environment.

Even if no one smokes inside its four walls, the remnants of cigarette smoke on the clothes, skin and hair of the smokers in your household can create some ill health effects. Perhaps, it’s time for a home inspection. For more information about the Air Quality Services offered by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Methods Of Improving Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality This Spring

Ah, the springtime! Now that we’re a little over a week into the new spring season, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new approach to improving your home’s indoor air quality. Although the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has been advocating the opening of windows all winter long, we’re sure that most Canadians kept them shut for the majority of these past frigid months.

Now that spring is here, there are some new methods of improving our indoor air quality that we should all practice. Here are just three:

1. Keeping the windows open.

Okay, now we’re not just recommending that you crack the windows open the way we did during the winter. During some of the milder forthcoming days of spring, we recommend that you open the windows and keep them open for the majority of the day. Consider how much stale and stagnant the air in your home became over the winter. It’s time to let it all out of the house in exchange for fresher, cleaner air.

“Open a window to air out harmful chemicals and let cleaner, healthier air in!” advises NaturallySavvy.com, “Even if it’s for a few minutes a day, it’s one of the simplest (and most affordable) things you can do to improve your home air quality. You can also turn on a ceiling or portable fan while windows are open to recirculate household air and push out stale air.”

2. Getting your air conditioner cleaned.

Sure, we’re not experiencing any hot temperatures yet. But the days of summer will be here before you know it. Chances are that you’ll be cranking up the A/C on hot days. But without having your air conditioners properly cleaned, you’ll likely be circulating a lot of accumulated dust and other pollutants throughout your home.

“One of the best things you can do is to clean your air conditioner inside and out on a regular basis,” insists R&R Heating and Air Conditioning, “A properly maintained AC will not only help keep your air clean (and you healthy), but the system will also function more efficiently and last longer, thus saving you money.”

3. Doing a thorough spring cleaning – without harmful products!

Naturally, it’s the time of year when most Canadians engage in spring cleaning activities. However, far too many of us use products that contain toxic chemicals that only serve to irritate our respiratory systems. Many household cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds which only worsen our homes’ indoor air quality. This year, do your spring cleaning with natural cleansers.

“Your home is not a science experiment,” insists NaturallySavvy.com, “Rather than spend money on household cleaning products, look no further than your pantry for ingredients that possess natural cleaning prowess. Ingredients such as baking soda, white distilled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, tea tree oil, hot water, coarse salt, and castile soap all do a bang-up job without spewing harmful chemicals in your home.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality this spring! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about our Air Quality Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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Is It Possible You May Have A Radon Problem?

In all likelihood, we all breathe in a little bit of radon each day. At low levels, you’re not bound to experience any symptoms or endure any long-term health effects. However, at high levels, radon exposure can be deadly. As a result, it’s a must that we all do our part to minimize our exposure to radon as much as possible.

What exactly is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced outdoors by the breaking down of uranium, thorium and radium in soil, rock and water. However, radon exposure, at its worst, occurs indoors. When we are outside in wide open spaces, radon has little to no impact on us. However, because radon is odourless, tasteless and invisible, it’s impossible to detect it when it enters our homes.

Radon tends to seep through the cracks of the foundations of our homes. When it builds up in poorly ventilated areas, it can be very dangerous to our health. The problem is that without testing for radon, you’re not likely to ever be aware that it is in your home. The importance of radon testing cannot be understated. When people are exposed to high concentrations of radon, it can have disastrous effects.

Radon poisoning is known to cause lung cancer.

According to Statistics Canada, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada, after cigarette smoking. It accounts for 16 percent of lung cancer deaths, or 3,200 deaths every year. Healthline.com reports that radon gas is responsible for approximately 21,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the United States.

As mentioned, detecting radon can only be done through tests. But there are early signs and symptoms of lung cancer to watch for that may have been caused by radon exposure. Healthline.com lists them as persistent coughing, coughing up blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, chest pain (especially when coughing or even laughing) and frequent infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue may also occur over time.

Canada requires greater radon awareness.

“In 2015, the Households and the Environment Survey found that 55% of all Canadian households indicated that they had heard of radon, up from 45% in 2013,” reports Statistics Canada. While it is promising that the percentage of knowledgeable Canadians is rising, it’s clear that more awareness is necessary.

By today’s standards, everyone knows how deadly cigarette smoking is. With radon being the second leading cause of lung cancer, it should be considered unacceptable that only 59 percent of Canadians surveyed could correctly identify what radon was when presented with a list of possible descriptions.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Radon Services that are designed to determine the exact levels of radon in your homes and offices and whether or not they are safe. Testing for radon can literally mean the difference between life and death. It is recommended that radon tests be conducted at least every two years.

For more information about our Radon Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131. You can also email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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24 Sussex Drive Becoming Known As An Asbestos Haven

Last month, our blog reported on the fact that Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is one of the few leaders of our country to avoid living at 24 Sussex Drive. Traditionally known as the home of the sitting Prime Minister, the Ottawa-based mansion appears to be in ruins. Requiring millions of dollars in renovations, the property is now becoming known as a very high health hazard.

There is more asbestos inside 24 Sussex Drive than originally thought.

As Catharine Tunney reports today for CBC News, 24 Sussex Drive has more asbestos contained within it than previously thought. Who can blame Trudeau for ditching the residence for nearby Rideau Cottage? Of course, as the son of Pierre Trudeau, our current Prime Minister spent time living at 24 Sussex Drive as a child. He is unlikely to ever return thanks to the presence of asbestos.

“Asbestos has been condemned by the World Health Organization as a health threat and the once-common fireproofing material is now banned in some 50 countries around the world,” Tunney explains, “Canada was once a leading world supplier of the carcinogenic mineral. It’s linked to mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that can develop in the lining of the lungs as a result of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres.”

She goes on to reveal that in 2015, an engineering firm called Exp Services Inc. investigated the main building, the pool house and the neighbouring RCMP building at 24 Sussex. They surveyed for hazardous materials including asbestos and lead paint. Previously, they had received reports that the plaster contained within the walls was asbestos-free. However, their investigation discovered that wasn’t the case.

CBC News obtained a report through the Access to Information Act that revealed that the grey coarse plaster within the property was indeed asbestos-containing. The report notes that should the plaster go undisturbed, 24 Sussex would be safe for its inhabitants. Any renovations, however, would send asbestos fibres airborne. And, as we pointed out last month, the property is in serious need of renovations.

The asbestos-containing plaster at 24 Sussex can be easily disturbed.

Laura Lozanski is an occupational health and safety officer with the Canadian Association of University Teachers and one of Canada’s most active asbestos educators. In Tunney’s article, she reveals that just rubbing up against the plaster or drilling into it will release toxic asbestos fibres. “Once the fibres are disturbed they go into the air and that’s how we either breathe them in or ingest them,” she is quoted as saying, “So we always have quite serious concerns.”

Since 2011, no asbestos has been removed from 24 Sussex Drive. Of course, should there be any renovations made to the property, construction workers will be placed at risk. Staffers who have already been inside the mansion may already be at risk. “That’s why the Public Service Alliance of Canada has been pushing the federal government to create a national registry of public buildings that contain asbestos,” Tunney writes.

As you’re very likely aware, the team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. takes the matter of asbestos exposure very seriously. As we patiently await the nation’s official implementation of the comprehensive asbestos ban, we continue to work with Canadian home and business owners to keep their properties as safe as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services. Give us a call at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Reduce Your Home’s Dust Mite Population

This may sound like a weird question, but how many living beings do you believe are in your household? We imagine that it would be your first inclination to state the number of actual residents such as yourself, your spouse, your children, and/or your parents. Perhaps, you live alone. As a result, your answer to the question above would be one. You get the picture.

What if we were to tell you that the actual number of living beings in your household is probably a lot closer several million? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? However, the fact is you have millions of dust mites living and feeding inside your bed, carpeting, soft furnishings and even your clothes. And while this sounds gross, it’s more important to highlight the fact that dust mites are an allergy’s sufferer’s nightmare.

Get rid of their homes.

Allergic reactions to dust mite debris and waste include difficulty breathing, coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, itching and even eczema. Especially if you have asthma, dust mites can be among your worst enemies. They tend to live in dark, warm areas of your home where your skin tends to shed. Read: your bed. This is why it’s important to “get rid of their homes”, as AllergyStore.com puts it.

“Get rid of their hiding places and their home, sweet home,” insists the website, “That means giving a heave-ho to rugs and carpets. Small throw rugs that can be washed weekly are acceptable. Get rid of all other fibre-based floor coverings. Replace them with tile, hardwood, laminate, engineered wood, vinyl, or concrete floors. Hard surfaces can be vacuumed and mopped regularly to remove all dust, dust mite feces, and dust mites.”

Weekly washing: make it a habit.

Your dead skin flakes provide an excellent buffet for dust mites. Not only is your bed a warm, dark and humid place (a dust mite’s dream come true), but it’s also a place where you shed most of your dead skin. Your bed (a place where you spend upwards of eight hours every night) arguably deserves the most cleaning attention. Wash the sheets every week in hot water to minimize the presence of dust mites.

“Fortunately, dust mites don’t take too kindly to hot temperatures,” explains Doc Wordinger on Dengarden.com, “Putting your bed sheets through a 140°F (60°C) wash is usually enough to kill them and remove their fecal matter and skin particles. If you have a tumble dryer, put the sheets through a spin-cycle until they are fully dry. The heat from the dryer should take care of any mites that survived the wash.”

Hold off on making the bed.

You may be surprised to know that being a bit on the untidy side can help your dust mite problem. Wordinger reminds us that dust mites prefer moist areas. And since most people make their beds first thing in the morning, they don’t give their beds much opportunity to air out. Doing so “gives the moisture excreted from our bodies time to dry,” he informs, “By reducing moisture and humidity within the bed, we’re making life difficult for (dust mites).”

As you can imagine, there are many other ways to reduce the dust mite population in your home. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly recommend having the indoor air quality of your home tested to help you along the way. 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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Australia Still Battling Effects Of Asbestos 15 Years After Ban

Back in December of 2016, the Government of Canada finally announced its plan to implement a nationwide ban of asbestos, set to take effect this year. As we’ve been highlighting in numerous blogs since then, the comprehensive ban of the toxic material can’t come soon enough. Among the many deadly diseases caused by asbestos exposure is mesothelioma. And sadly, it’s something that is bound to continue to threaten the lives of Canadians long after the ban is in place.

This is evidenced by the fact that Australia continues to be haunted by health hazards that have been brought on by its legacy of asbestos mining. As reported by Alex Strauss on SurvivingMesothelioma.com, the ‘land from down under’ banned all forms of asbestos nearly fifteen years ago. However, a new report reveals that mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to affect the lives of Australians.

Mesothelioma affects thousands of Australians.

The report, authored by researchers at the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, explains that while mesothelioma cases have levelled off over the past decade, more than 16,000 Australians were diagnosed with the disease between 1982 and 2016.

Strauss notes that the country’s status as the top user of asbestos in the world between the 1960s and 1970s has a lot to do with its high rates of pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Evidently, Australia took too long to ban asbestos even though there were growing concerns about the toxic mineral all those decades ago. Asbestos was not officially banned in Australia until 2003.

Dr. Matthew Soeberg of the University of Sydney is the first author of the new report. He believes that Australia is headed in the right direction but, along with his colleagues, believes that a greater focus must be placed on “preventing the devastating effects of avoidable asbestos-related diseases.”

Who is still most at risk of asbestos exposure?

Individuals who attempt to take on home renovation projects on their own are putting themselves in danger. If their buildings contain asbestos, they are at a high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. This is true in both Australia and the United States.

“In the US, virtually every home and public building constructed before 1980 is presumed to contain some amount of asbestos,” writes Strauss, “To minimize the risk for pleural mesothelioma, homeowners are urged to seek professional guidance before starting a remodelling project that could disturb asbestos.

He goes on to point out that Australia is one of 55 countries that have official asbestos bans in place. Both the United States and Canada are excluded from that list. Of course, we continue to wait, somewhat impatiently, for Canada’s asbestos ban to officially take effect. But even when the ban is in place, measures will still need to be taken in order to limit asbestos exposure and significantly diminish the number of future asbestos-related disease diagnoses.

Australia has proven that we still have a long road ahead of us.

But, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are certainly willing to do our part! For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Get An Early Start On Your Spring Cleaning Routine

Believe it or not, spring is almost here! The frigid temperatures outside don’t make it appear as if the warming up of the weather will soon be upon us, but as of March 20th, the seasons will officially change over. There’s no promise that you’ll be able to put the winter boots and coats away in little under a month. But that’s no reason to not get into the spring spirit. And we all know what one of the most popular spring pastimes is – cleaning!

Why not get your spring cleaning started early?

There’s never really a bad time to clean your home and improve its indoor air quality. Any chance you get to remove dust, mould, pet dander and the remnants of smoke is a chance you should take. It’s important to note that to really get a good clean, you need to take things a bit further than the standard dusting, sweeping and mopping of the floors. On Oprah.com, Lynn Andriani advises us to vacuum and wipe the walls and ceilings as well.

“If you clear them annually of the almost imperceptible grime that builds up, then you won’t have to deal with the impossible-to-remove kind that can accumulate if they’re left untouched for a few years,” she writes, “Vacuum first, using the brush attachment. Then, wipe them with all-purpose cleaner, which is fine for painted walls. Don’t forget the wall that’s behind you every morning when you do your hair and makeup; it could be coated in hairspray, perfume or other beauty products.”

Andriani makes an interesting point. All too often, we forget the areas of the home where there may be unwanted build-up. And that’s because we usually can’t see the build-up. As a result, we assume there’s nothing to clean. But our noses tell us a different story. Earlier, we mentioned the need to rid your home of the remnants of smoke. If you live with a cigarette smoker, you’re likely enduring the ramifications of thirdhand smoke.

What is thirdhand smoke and why is it so important to remove it from your home?

Thirdhand smoke refers to the residual nicotine and other chemicals that are left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. You are exposed to these harsh and toxic chemicals whenever you’re breathing anywhere near them. As well, when you touch the contaminated surfaces, you take on health risks. To avoid the effects of thirdhand smoke, it’s wise to wash any bedding, rugs, curtains and parts of your home’s decor that can be uninstalled and thrown in the washing machine.

Reader’s Digest lists the “curtain call” as one of its top ways to spring clean like a pro. “Don’t forget the curtains,” their website reminds us, “If you don’t clean them thoroughly at least once a year they will rot. Dry-clean velvet, tapestries, brocades, chenille, and interlined curtains. Cotton and similar textiles can be washed. Just remember to remove any hooks.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc., we’d love to help you get started with your spring cleaning! Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our Air Quality Services can assist you in vastly improving your home’s indoor air quality this spring. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email us at info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Show Your Home Some Love

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To couples everywhere, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to wish you a very happy and exciting day! However, we’d also like to send our best wishes to everyone out there whether they are in romantic relationships or not. After all, we’re all deserving of love, aren’t we? This is especially true if you live in a home with a large number of people.

Sharing a living space can be tough. And one of the toughest things about having many others live in your home with you is keeping it clean. A clean home, by the way, is one of the top ways you can show your family members and other housemates that you love them. As we often say, a healthy home is a happy home. And happy homes are ones that have high-ranking levels of indoor air quality.

What can you do show your home some love? Here are three ways:

1. Fill it with houseplants.

Most of us are well aware that we humans expel carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen while plants do the opposite. So it stands to reason that filling a home with both humans and houseplants is a wise thing to do. However, it’s important to know that numerous houseplants provide many other pollutant-ridding qualities that can vastly improve the overall indoor air quality of a home.

One of those houseplants is Spathiphyllum, which is better known as the Peace Lily. “NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants revealed that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene,” explains Jeff Flowers on AllergyAndAir.com, “Simply put it in a dark corner, give it water once a week and this little plant will help purify the air around that general area.”

2. Give it a natural clean.

As mentioned earlier, keeping your home clean is a great way to keep it a healthy environment. That is, unless you’re using cleansers that contain harsh and toxic chemicals. Those volatile organic compounds we just mentioned are found in most common household cleaners. It’s important to beware of ingredients that can cause more harm than good. Opt for natural cleansers instead. Among them are white vinegar, baking soda, club soda, salt and lemons.

“Dilute some lemon juice with water to clean stains on cutting boards and kill germs,” instructs Reynard Loki on AlterNet.org, “Dip an old toothbrush in lemon juice to remove grout. Add some salt and you’ve got an effective cleaner for metal grills and a polisher for chrome. Soak plastic food containers in lemon juice overnight to remove smells. Put diluted lemon juice in a spray bottle to keep your kitchen countertops clean and smelling great.”

3. Get an air quality inspection.

You can never be too safe. It’s certainly worthwhile to get a professional assessment of your home’s indoor air quality to ensure the optimum health of all those who dwell within it. Of course, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would be happy to help with that! 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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Asbestos A Factor In Keeping The Prime Minister Out Of 24 Sussex Drive

The White House in Washington, D.C. is world famous for being the residence of the sitting President of the United States. Known to a lesser degree, but widely recognized throughout Canada, is 24 Sussex Drive – the Ottawa, Ontario residence of Canada’s Prime Minister. That is, of course, until now. Reports have described the 19th century structure as one that is practically uninhabitable.

24 Sussex Drive is “deteriorating, mouse-infested (and) hydro-draining”.

As Catharine Tunney of CBC reports, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was raised at 24 Sussex Drive during his father Pierre’s tenure as Prime Minister in the early 1980s, isn’t likely to return to the “deteriorating, mouse-infested, hydro-draining and oft-spoofed official residence of Canada’s head of government”.

Originally named Gorffwysfa, which is Welsh for “place of peace”, the stone mansion which sits at 24 Sussex Drive is in desperate need of renovations. However, the Prime Minister is of the mind that taxpayer money shouldn’t go to the upkeep of the home of its nation’s leader.

“There’s a real challenge in this country,” Trudeau is quoted as saying in Tunney’s article, “Anything that a prime minister decides that they can potentially benefit from — that’s one of the reasons that that house has gone into the ground since the time I lived there — is that no prime minister wants to spend a penny of taxpayer dollars on upkeeping that house.” The Trudeau family lives in a nearby Rideau Cottage instead of the traditional home of the Prime Minister.

24 Sussex Drive is in need of “urgent” repairs.

Tunney notes that an auditor’s report from ten years ago reported that a repair bill would run upwards of $10 million. The 35-room residence, in fact, hasn’t had any major renovations since 1951. “It also found the windows, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning in poor to critical condition, and noted the home had no fire sprinklers and contained asbestos,” she reports.

As if this description of the Canadian Prime Minister’s intended home isn’t bad enough, the presence of asbestos in the mansion is yet another reason it has become so undesirable. In fact, there have been calls by former residences of 24 Sussex Drive for it to be torn down and replaced with a structure befitting the leader of a nation.

One such former resident is Maureen McTeer. The wife of former Prime Minister Joe Clark feels that the building isn’t worth saving, especially considering that its 1951 renovations stripped it of all of its original fixtures. In a separate CBC report by John Paul Tasker, McTeer also points out that the presence of asbestos at 24 Sussex Drive simply makes the residence unlivable.

24 Sussex Drive is “an old, crumbling building with asbestos”.

“This residence is much more than just a house — or even a place where prime ministers live while they’re in office — it should represent an idea of Canada,” she is quoted as saying in an interview with Rita Celli on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today, “That’s why an old, crumbling building with asbestos, which we know is poison, really is so lacking of vision, if you will, and [does not reflect] who we are as Canadians.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are definitely of the mind that our nation’s leader deserves a better home. However, we also believe that all Canadians deserve to live in asbestos-free residences. For information about our Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services, please call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Keeping Your Home Mould-Free During The Winter

Believe it or not, winter is the season when preventing mould growth in your home is most difficult. Consider the fact that it’s a very wet time of year. With all of the snow on the ground, we track wet slush into our homes on a frequent basis. However, we Canadians tend to turn up the heat in our homes during the winter. And can you blame us? The frigid outdoor temperatures are enough to keep us hidden indoors for longer periods of time than usual.

This cooped-up-in-our-homes routine is actually one of the top reasons mould becomes such an issue in the winter.

Naturally, we tend to keep our windows closed so as to avoid getting cold. However, this only causes our indoor humidity to rise. You’ll know that it’s too humid in your home when – as Steve Maxwell of the Ottawa Citizen puts it – our windows start to “sweat”.

Of course, he’s referring to the condensation that forms on our windows when the cold air from outside meets surfaces that are warmed from the inside. “Windows ‘sweat’ during winter as indoor air cools against cold window glass and loses its ability to hold moisture,” explains Maxwell, “This excess water has got to come out somewhere, and glass and window frames are excellent places for droplets of condensation to form.”

What can you do to prevent condensation during the winter?

Crack the windows. This is a tip that we’ve recommended numerous times before and we’re not likely to quit listing it. Yes, it’s cold outside. But cracking the windows helps for the stale air from inside to circulate with the fresh air from outside. It also helps to lower humidity levels so that mould-producing moisture doesn’t accumulate throughout the home. You can also reduce moisture by using your home’s exhaust fans.

“The easiest way to boost indoor air quality and reduce window condensation in a tight home is by opening windows a little and running exhaust fans more often in the bathroom and kitchen,” advises Maxwell, “For every cubic foot of stale air pushed outside by fans, another cubic foot of fresh air is drawn in through windows opened a little here and there.”

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for areas of the home that receive little ventilation.

Some rooms have no windows or exhaust fans. We’re thinking of basements and attics here – two places where mould is most likely to form. Make sure that these areas are clean and dry. It’s the best way to prevent mould from forming when increased ventilation isn’t possible.

“Look for areas in the home where air can become trapped,” recommends MouldDog.ca, “A common issue could be lack of ventilation in attics and near roofs. Hot air rises and if it gets trapped it can turn into condensation, which can lead to water and mould issues.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is to keep your home mould-free, not just during the winter, but all year long. For more 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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