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 email@example.com.
For most people, enjoying the summer means spending as much time out and about in the sun as possible. And, for others, it means taking the opportunity to relax and unwind at home. For those who enjoy the comforts of their own homes, it’s important to note that the quality of the air you breathe should be kept at the highest level possible all summer.
Here are three ways to do that:
Canadians have an interesting problem and an even more interesting way of dealing with it. The winters are too cold. So we shut the windows and turn up the heat. Our summers tend to get pretty hot. So we shut the windows and turn on the air conditioner. No matter the season, to better your indoor air quality, it’s best to crack open those windows and allow the air from outside to circulate with the air from inside.
New Jersey’s Air Group explains just how important it is to ventilate your home. “Most HVAC systems do not automatically bring fresh air in, so remember to crack a window or invest in a filtration systems,” advises their website, “Try to never use any chemical household products in spaces without ventilation. For instance, if you’re cleaning the bathroom, if you can’t open a window, at least turn on the fan.”
When it gets hot and humid, it can certainly make for uncomfortable conditions. However, humidity can also present your home with some mould and mildew issues. Remember that the presence of humidity involves the presence of moisture. When moisture accumulates on the surfaces within your home, it can create breeding grounds for mould and mildew. Be sure to check the humidity levels in your area each day.
“The most humid parts of most homes are the basements, attics, crawlspaces, and closets,” warns Minnesota’s Blue Ox Heating & Air, “Check these parts of your home for signs of humidity like condensation, mould growth, dust accumulation, and wet air. The best way to quickly protect against humidity is by fixing cracks and gaps in your home’s insulation and investing in a dehumidifier.”
This is a tip we’ve provided on numerous occasions throughout the history of our blog. We’re willing to bet this won’t be the last time we offer it, as well. Cleaning products with fresh scents are all the rage. But they shouldn’t be. We know that a pleasant smell usually connotes cleanliness. But it doesn’t. Such products are riddled with volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. They can cause numerous health issues including headaches and nausea.
“Keep in mind; those lemon or pine scented sprays that we use to clean the kitchen and bathroom smell nice but they are spraying chemicals into the air,” informs Lorry on EBlogin.com, “Examples of these products are fabric softeners, laundry detergents, dryer sheets and air fresheners. Chemicals in these products have been known to cause a variety of health concerns in humans when they are inhaled.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re committed to helping you enjoy high indoor air quality in your home all summer. 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.
Earlier this week, a colleague of ours informed us of a mould problem he had in his master bedroom’s bathroom a year ago. He explained that his shower cartridge had started leaking, unbeknownst to him. What he did notice was that the carpet in his bedroom’s walk-in closet was wet. After removing everything from the closet, he realized that his baseboards were infested with moult.
Unfortunately, our colleague had to endure several weeks of repairs to both his closet’s walls and the bathroom. After the mould was removed and the leak was repaired, he had to have his shower’s tiles completely replaced as they were all mould-ridden. Our team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. would have loved to have helped our colleague detect this mould before it had done that damage it did.
Don’t let this happen to you! Contact us today to learn more about our Mould Assessment Services. And while you’re at it, consider these three key ways to eliminate mould growth in your home:
This will be an important job of yours this summer. With the warmth that is commonplace during the season, your home is bound to get hotter. However, as Moldpedia.com points out, if the humidity in your home rises above 55 percent, certain types of mould can begin to grow.
“The best way to keep humidity low in your home is through ventilation,” informs the website, “Open the windows during the day, especially when it’s hot since this is when humidity is usually the lowest outside. Close your windows when it’s raining outside though. It’s especially important to ventilate the rooms where steam and moisture builds up, like the kitchen and bathroom.”
Basements are well-known havens for mould growth because they are so often dark and damp – those are two main ingredients for a mould infestation. This is especially the case in laundry rooms where there is a lot of moisture. In these rooms, water leaks can occur, leading to the presence of mould in cracks and crevices that you may not be paying attention to.
“Identify any problem areas in your basement,” insists Aer Industries, “These areas are commonly laundry rooms, bathrooms, and windows. Since basements are typically cold and damp to begin with, these may not be the only areas to look out for. Be sure to repair and replace any areas with water damage immediately, and mould can grow in these areas, and then spread to areas surrounding the damage.”
This may not be feasible for everyone. However, one of the main causes for mould-inviting moisture issues is wet clothes. Moldpedia.com highly recommends that you dry your clothes immediately after washing them. A wet pile of clothes is a top breeding ground for mould.
“It’s best to dry your clothes outside on a clothes line if you can,” the site recommends, “Hanging them inside on a clothes horse or indoor clothes line will not dry them as quickly and the moisture from your clothes will evaporate into the air, raising the humidity.”
Let’s work together on eliminating mould growth from your home! For more information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
This year, Earth Day falls on Monday, April 22nd. The annual celebration of our planet is a reminder that we can all do more to protect our environment. And while it’s vital we all do our part to reduce waste, re-use certain items and recycle others, it’s also important to remember to cut down on pollution. Opting for public transit over driving your own car from time to time is helpful in that regard.
At home, Earth Day should be every day. Consider your home your own little planet and think of the ways you can make it a healthier place to live. For the most part, very simple changes to your daily routines can mean the difference between constantly breathing in air pollutants and living in a healthy environment.
During the colder months of the year, we tend to turn the heat way up. Thankfully, with summer on the way, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, where there is heat, there is often humidity. And where there is humidity, there is moisture. So, with that said, it’s wise to keep tabs on the humidity level in your home. Why? Moisture can create mould and mould can wreak havoc on those with asthma and allergies.
“It is important to have a balance of humidity in living spaces,” insists Rinkesh on the Conserve Energy Future Blog, “This means a healthy humidity level of 30-50%. Mould and dust mites grow in areas where there is too much humidity. It is important to monitor this in both homes and businesses to improve indoor air quality.”
We know. We want our homes to smell as fresh as you do yours. But, trust us, using scented cleaning products and air fresheners is not the way to go. Those fresh scents are often indications that you’re breathing in volatile organic compounds. Also known as VOCs, they are harmful gases that are known to cause headaches and nausea as well as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat.
“Long-term exposure can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, and has been linked to cancer,” reports BoneStructure.ca, “These gases, which usually are released in the greatest amounts when a building is new and slowly dissipate over time, are likely the culprit behind ‘new house allergy syndrome’ – the phenomenon in which people experience allergy-like symptoms in a newly constructed home.”
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve recommended house plants on our blog. And it’s not likely to be the last. In many of our past blogs, we’ve highlighted the fact that NASA studies have found house plants to be excellent pollutant removers. Adding house plants to your home will help to purify the air you breathe.
As Rinkesh puts it, “house plants serve more than one goal in this environment. These plants actually work to improve air quality. You can place plants in various rooms of the home to achieve this goal. Studies have shown that they help produce fresher air, as well.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we like to think of ourselves as year-long Earth Day celebrators! For information about our many health-promoting services which include Air Quality Services and Moisture Monitoring Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations Canada! We’re almost there. In exactly two weeks, the spring season will officially be upon us. And while it’s true that winter-like weather conditions may persist well into April, there’s no question that we’re a lot closer to experiencing a return to warmer days. When the spring finally arrives, expect there to be a lot more people venturing outdoors. But what will that mean for the air inside our homes?
According to 1Source Safety and Health, Inc., people with allergies quite often have their symptoms triggered when the spring arrives. In their report entitled “Impact of Outdoor Seasonal Changes on Indoor Air Quality”, they note that outdoor contaminants are at their lowest levels during the winter. That’s because the frozen snow-covered ground combined with relatively low humidity levels tend to keep mould spores and other air pollutants at bay.
However, “dust, mould, temperature and humidity begin to increase during the spring months (March, April, and May),” reads the report, “ As pollen, mould and dust concentrations increase, so do the associated symptoms. Interestingly, these symptoms, which also occur outside of the workplace, carry over into an employee’s work shift and are often incorrectly associated with exposure within the workplace.”
Chances are, the windows of your home are bound to be open a lot more often during the spring than they were in the winter. With the warmer weather enabling pollen and dust to better enter our air space, it’s inevitable that some of it will enter our homes. Cincinnati’s Hader Solutions warns that it’s best to keep windows shut or not open too wide when there is a pollen alert. Your local weather station should be able to inform you if one is in effect.
As well, their website details how winter is the season of dust accumulation in the home, while spring enables it all to become airborne. “Because of improper ventilation during the colder months, dust can settle into vents, registers, and eventually ductwork, making it close to impossible to rid your home of these irritating pollutants,” says Hader Solutions.
What’s one of the biggest differences between winter and spring? Snowfall! All of the snow that winter brings ends up melting during the spring. And melted snow on your rooftop can lead to water leaking into your home. As you’re likely aware, water is the main culprit in the development of mould. It’s important to prevent any leak sources in your home.
“Prevent water from entering your home by making sure there are no cracks or gaps on your roof or foundation where water could easily enter,” Hader Solutions advises, “Standing water in your home can cause mould, which can be detrimental to indoor air quality. If you suspect any mould in your home, call an expert immediately to remove it.”
The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to help you ensure that your home enjoys the best possible indoor air quality this spring. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Mould is gross. For most people, the very sight of mould is an indication of a dirty, unkempt location. However, mould is more than just unsightly. It’s potentially hazardous to your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “some people are sensitive to moulds. For these people, moulds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.”
Mould forms when heat and moisture are present. This is why mould so often rears its ugly head in the bathroom. Although the kitchen can give the bathroom a run for its money, there is no room in the house where heat and moisture appear more often. Every one of your hot showers provides an opportunity for mould to form. So, the first step to doing away with mould is to ventilate the bathroom as best as possible.
Make it a habit to flick on the fan every time you’re in the bathroom. Not only does it do its part in ridding the room of foul odours, it also helps with ventilation. When all of that hot steam emanating from your shower is sucked up into the fan, it reduces the possibility of mould forming in your tiles and on other surfaces. On HouseLogic.com, Stacy Freed explains that, in addition to running your exhaust fan, you should clean your shower walls after taking a shower.
“After a shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe down shower walls,” she advises, “Open the shower curtain to let it dry. Mop any water spills on the floor and counters. Avoid piling in too many shampoo and body wash bottles. They’re a perfect place for moisture and mould spores to hide.”
If mould does happen to appear in your bathroom, utilizing natural cleaning methods is your best bet. Vinegar, for example, is not only a health-conscious choice, but it is also known for being one of mould’s arch enemies. According to Signature Maids, the non-toxic agent has been found to kill 82 percent of mould species.
“Pour mild white vinegar into a spray bottle, do not dilute with water,” instructs their website, “Vinegar’s acidic qualities make it quite deadly to mould, that’s why you don’t want to water it down. Spray affected surface areas with straight vinegar solution and then wait one hour. If your bathroom has windows, open them up and let it air out during this time. After an hour passes, use hot water and a clean towel to wipe the area.”
Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Alternaria are among them. All types of mould can create health concerns. Mould can also cause structure hazards throughout a home, office or building. Moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture problems may contribute to mould development within a building.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are intent on helping Albertans to live mould-free! We offer professional home inspections courtesy of our Mould Assessment Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Christmas Day now less than a week away, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that this holiday season will be your most joyous one yet. As well, we hope that the new year will be your healthiest one ever! Of course, if there’s anything we can do to help with that, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
As you’re well aware, the DF Technical &Consulting Services Ltd. is committed to restoring the purity of the air in your home or office space. Through the many different services we provide, we make it our mission to provide our clients with the absolute highest of indoor air quality. The quality of the air you breathe should never be taken for granted. Naturally, we need air to live. And breathing in pollutant filled-air is no way to live.
“In Canada, 3.8 million people over the age of one are living with asthma and 2.0 million are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which can impact a person’s ability to breathe,” reports the Government of Canada, “Individuals living with asthma or COPD may experience impaired participation in daily life, school, work, and social activities.”
Quite obviously, it’s important that we all take steps to ensure the air we’re breathing is as pure as possible. This involves simple steps like cracking the windows open for a bit each day. That way, we circulate the stagnant and stale air from inside with the fresher air from outside. And yes, as we’ve pointed out in many past blogs, this is something that should be done in the wintertime.
“Tobacco smoking, including second hand or passive exposure, is the single largest threat to lung health in Canada,” the Government of Canada reveals, “However, it is one of the most modifiable risk factors…According to the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS), smoking rates are at their lowest ever. The proportion of Canadians who are current smokers is down from 21.7% in 2001 to 14.6% in 2013.”
Unquestionably, you can vastly improve your home’s indoor air quality by completely removing any possibility of cigarette smoke existing within it. As we’ve also addressed in numerous blogs of past, cigarette smoke can have fatal consequences for anyone who is exposed to it –non-smokers included.
As mentioned, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re very proud to offer an array of services that all work to improve the air you breathe. They include Air Quality Services which maximize the inspection process to target areas of concern, Moisture Monitoring Services which evaluate buildings for moisture sources and Radon Services which help to detect traces of the colourless, odourless gas.
For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com. Happy Holidays!
Here we are, now two weeks away from Halloween! We must admit that while we are fans of the annual celebration of all things spooky, the occasion reminds us of how important it is to improve the indoor air quality of our homes. That may sound strange, but just consider how many times the average home is opened up to trick or treaters each Halloween night. This can actually be a good thing considering the benefits of letting fresh air in the home.
The team at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. wishes to remind you that there are some important ways to treat your home all year round. Just ahead of Halloween, we thought we’d revisit the concept of improving the indoor air quality of your home.
Here are four ways to treat your home to better indoor air quality:
As much as we have heralded the act of cracking open the windows to let fresh air in and stagnant air out, we realize that they can’t stay open all the time – nor should they. On especially cold days, it’s important to stay warm. That’s why it’s vital that you clean your air ducts. Pollutants can get trapped in your air ducts, causing the air you breathe to remain contaminated.
“Without good ventilation, the air inside your home becomes stale and contaminated with airborne particles,” explains Roger Grochmal on AtlasCare.ca, “Homeowners should schedule a professional air duct cleaning at least once every three years to keep the ventilation system clear and healthy.”
It probably goes without saying that the bathroom is a room that requires a good deal of your cleaning attention. Naturally, it’s a room where there is a lot of moisture. This makes it especially susceptible to mould development. And as Sarah D. Young explains on ConsumerAffairs.com, mould and moisture can wreak havoc on indoor air quality.
“To get rid of mildew buildup, give your showers and toilets a good scrub,” she instructs, “Additionally, be sure to fix leaky sinks and faucets and keep bathrooms properly ventilated.”
Think of houseplants as Halloween candy for your home. The more plants you place in your home, the happier it will be. Unlike Halloween candy, however, plants are healthy choices. Many of them are well-known for removing contaminants from the air. As Grochmal explains, studies have confirmed this.
“While plants alone cannot clean your air, some species are surprisingly good at absorbing and neutralizing certain volatile organic compounds,” he writes, “NASA made this discovery back in 1989 while looking for ways to clean the air inside space stations — and it works here on Earth, too!”
If only there were such thing as a “neat freak” costume that people could wear for Halloween. We suppose it would include gloves, an apron, mops and a bucket. Nevertheless, you certainly don’t have to wait for Halloween to put on such attire and give your home a good cleaning! This is a routine you should participate in no less than once a week.
“Keep dust mites in-check by vacuuming carpets and washing hard floors on a weekly basis,” advises Grochmal, “Using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter will throw fewer dust mites back into the room as you clean.”
Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. to learn more about how we can better your home’s indoor air quality. 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 fall season is well underway. But, here in Calgary, winter weather conditions are already upon us. With heavy snowfall and below freezing temperatures already here, the month of October is already presenting conditions that will force us all to bundle up when we’re outside and turn up the heat when we’re inside.
The turning up of the heat may be great for undoing the chill in our bones that the weather provides us. But it also makes our homes susceptible to increased moisture. Increased moisture, as you’re likely aware, can be a problem as it leads to the development of mould.
The heat in our homes can often be humid. This is especially true in homes that include various portable heaters without any particular modes of ventilation. As Allison Bailes explains on EnergyVanguard.com, condensation appears when surfaces with low temperatures (your windows, for example) are met with warm, humid air (which is found in your home when the heat is turned up).
“In fall, a house in a humid climate is coming off a summer full of humidity,” Bailes elaborates, “Even with air conditioning, moisture gets into the house and many of the sorptive materials in the house will suck up a lot of water. In fall, as cooler, drier air surrounds the outside of the house and gets inside, those materials start giving up their moisture load.”
Bailes suggests two methods in particular: Raise the window temperature and reduce the humidity of the air inside the house. She explains that humid air has moisture in it and has a “dew point”. This is the point at which the air meets a surface that is cool enough for it to release liquid. This is what causes condensation on a cold window during the fall.
“Installing more efficient windows or storm windows helps by keeping the temperature of your windows closer to the indoor temperature, making it more likely that they’re above the dew point,” she informs, “Keeping your humidity lower through the summer and fall will help also by lowering the dew point of the air. Making sure you don’t have an oversized air conditioner will help with that.”
Houseplants provide a natural and healthy resource. As DoItYourself.com explains, different plants offer year-round humidity control for homes. Among the most noteworthy of plants is the small cactus. The site notes that it is great at finding moisture in the ground or through the air to help keep humidity levels comfortable.
DoItYourself.com also heralds the act of cracking open your windows. “In the spring and in the fall, you can regulate your home humidity level by simply opening the windows a few inches,” says the site, “If you open windows that are adjacent to each other, you will have a cross breeze. This breeze not only cools off your home and brings in fresh air, but it also keeps the humidity at an acceptable level.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Moisture Monitoring Services that efficiently evaluate your property’s moisture sources. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Here’s some advice we’ve provided before: Crack open your windows when it’s cold outside! Even though we’ve offered this piece of advice in the past, it’s worth repeating considering that much colder days are ahead. At first glance, the tip may seem like a strange one. Isn’t the whole point of keeping the windows shut when it’s cold outside to prevent it from being cold inside the home? Yes, of course. But keeping the windows shut also prevents pollutants from escaping your living space.
As Mike Holmes explains in a special to National Post, there are numerous toxins inside your home. They build up over time and require open windows in order to escape. He lists volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mould spores, dust, smoke, radon, viruses and bacteria as some of the most prevalent pollutants in the home.
“Breathing these in over an extended period of time isn’t good for your health,” asserts Holmes, “It can make you feel sick, tired and drowsy, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, and can irritate your eyes, nose and throat. It can even lead to building-related illness, or BRI. Symptoms of BRI include fevers, coughing, muscle aches and tightness in your chest.”
Don’t assume that you need to freeze yourself in order to freshen up the air in your home. Naturally, you’ll be inclined to keep your home as warm as possible during the coldest days of the year. No one is recommending that you slide your windows open during a blizzard. However, it needs to be reiterated that keeping windows shut 24/7 isn’t a healthy practice.
“15 to 20 minutes is enough to make a difference,” informs Holmes, “It’s also a good solution for homes that don’t have forced air. Yes, you will be losing some energy, but the health benefits you get from bringing fresh air into your home can offset this energy loss.”
MindBodyGreen.com agrees that throwing open a window is the simplest way to better indoor air quality during the colder months of the year. “Even when it’s chilly outside, you should open a window for at least five minutes a day to significantly decrease the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home,” the site advises, “Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Manual is the way to go.”
Holmes also points out that keeping windows shut causes condensation inside the house. Condensation occurs when warm air hits cool surfaces. The problem with condensation in the home is that it appears as small droplets of water and this moisture is known for causing mould development. Mould spores in the air create major irritants for our respiratory systems.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the issue of indoor air quality very seriously. To ensure the healthy status of your home, we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of its air. For more information about 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.