There are only a couple of days left in summer. But, here in Alberta, it appears as if the summer is already long gone. Unfortunately, the colder temperatures always seem to arrive early in our neck of the woods. And, as a result, we are forced to don winter clothing before the fall season even begins. In addition, Albertans have to take early precautions to prevent moisture build-up and the potential for mould growth in our homes.
If you’re like most Albertans, you likely have already cranked up the heat in your home. And who can blame you? Saying that “it’s been a little chilly as of late” is an understatement! The problem with heating our homes is that condensation can occur when the warm air inside your home makes contact with cold surfaces such as your windows.
“If you live in a climate where you need to heat your home frequently, mould can start growing in the winter on your home’s inside walls, especially on the surfaces closest to the outside of your home,” explains RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Moisture that travels through the air from your basement, bathrooms, or kitchen may condense when it comes in contact with a cold wall. One thing you can do to prevent mould growth is make sure your walls are well-insulated.”
In addition to having well-insulated walls, it’s important to manage the humidity levels inside your home. The website recommends that you keep your indoor humidity level below 40 percent. You’ll also want to limit the amount of humidity caused by any of your humidifiers.
Humidity is most commonly found in our kitchens and bathrooms. There is a reason that both rooms are equipped with exhaust fans. The heat produced by cooking and the steam produced by hot showers often create easily visible condensation. Always turning the exhaust fans on when either room is in use is an important mould prevention technique.
“In the bathroom and kitchen, use exhaust fans or open windows when producing moisture, such as taking a hot shower,” advises RestorationMasterFinder.com, “Exhaust fans should be vented to the outdoors and not to an attic or crawl space.”
Letting the fresh air from outside circulate with the stale air from inside is an important way to purify your home’s indoor air quality. But the ventilation technique will also help to lower humidity levels in the home, lowering your chances of having mould develop throughout.
“Ventilation is key for proper mould prevention,” writes John Ward on BustMold.com, “Each morning when you get up, open all the windows in your bedroom and leave them open for at least five minutes. Not only will that decrease the level of humidity, but it will ensure that fresh air replaces the stale ‘night air’.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re pretty keen on helping Albertans to improve the indoor air quality of their homes. And we’d be happy to provide a professional inspection of the air in your home! For information about our Moisture Monitoring Services or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a funny little stereotype that seems to be unavoidable for bathroom exhaust fans. “Make sure you turn on the fan!” is a comment often hurled at an individual who plans on using a bathroom. The idea, most often, is that the exhaust fan will help to rid the bathroom of the unpleasant odours left behind by its last user.
“One of the largest reasons for having an exhaust fan is for odour control,” confirms Stewart Unsdorfer of Ohio-based Central Heating & Air Conditioning, “If an unpleasant odour occurs in the bathroom, it can easily be drawn out with the help of an exhaust fan. As a result, the ventilation system will enable you to keep your bathroom well maintained, while offering a clean atmosphere for the next person who enters.”
It is true that exhaust fans do help for odours, air pollutants and smoke to be removed from bathroom environments. But it’s important to note that they have an arguably more importance purpose. And that is to minimize moisture as best as possible. Believe it or not, it’s wise to turn on your bathroom’s exhaust fan anytime you’re using the bathroom.
In fact, we’d argue that the main purpose for having an exhaust fan is to remove moisture and lower the humidity in a bathroom. Quite obviously, moisture and humidity levels significantly increase during hot showers. And, let’s be honest, which one of us doesn’t enjoy taking a hot shower? A hot shower without the use of an exhaust fan, however, can create health hazards in your bathroom.
“Reducing the humidity in a bathroom is vital for its upkeep,” writes Unsdorfer, “Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on bathroom walls by causing paint and wallpaper to peel. In extreme cases it can even cause doors to warp! Most importantly, the humidity can cause mould to accumulate. These spores can grow rapidly and can be difficult to get rid of. Therefore, t is crucial to have bathroom exhaust fans to prevent this from happening.”
Mould spores are major culprits for triggering asthma and allergy symptoms. Anyone with respiratory issues should stay clear of mould. In fact, mould isn’t good for anyone’s health. It’s imperative that it be cleaned away immediately if detected in your bathroom or any other room of the house, for that matter. On TheConversation.com, Jeroen Douwes explains further.
“Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings,” he informs, “Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness can reduce lung function and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have more severe symptoms when exposed.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide Mould Assessment Services that include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
We’ve often discussed the problems associated with mould and mildew on the DF Technical & Consulting Ltd. Blog. And each time we address the issue, we highlight some of the obvious steps towards eliminating mould and mildew in the home. They include maintaining adequate ventilation, wiping up spills and keeping an overall neat and tidy home. Mould loves to grow in dark and dank places. The cleaner and the less cluttered your home is, the less likely it will be to have a mould problem.
It goes without saying, however, that bathrooms are places where a lot of moisture exists. This is especially true for those used by lovers of hot showers. All of that condensation on the mirror after a long hot shower is the equivalent of the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only is it wise to lower the heat of your water during showering, it’s important to run those exhaust fans while you’re in there!
“Few rooms in the home see as much moisture and humidity as the bathroom,” Better Homes & Gardens reminds us, “Be sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated. An exhaust fan will help circulate the air and remove moisture more quickly. These additional actions will help keep your bathroom fresh and mould-free.”
Their website goes on to offer some tips for keeping your bathroom as mould-free as possible. They include spreading out towels after use so that they can dry more quickly, minimizing containers left in the shower for cleaning ease and better circulations, wiping down the shower with a clean towel or squeegee after its last daily use and choosing shower curtains that dry and clean easily to help avoid residue which fosters mould.
While the bathroom is a place where wet areas are the norm, it’s important to remember that spills can happen anywhere in the home. As well, because of the warm weather during the summer, the cooler temperatures of the surfaces in your home are especially susceptible to condensation. So, here’s the bottom line: Wipe up wherever you see moisture!
“Mould can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away,” advises Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network, “Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried.”
Hill goes on to highlight the importance of drying the floors and walls after your shower but also to be mindful of your clothes during laundry time. “Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mould can spread quickly,” she instructs, “Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’re dedicated to helping our clients to keep their homes as mould-free as possible. Our Mould Assessment Services includes visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re now less than a couple of days away from the beginning of June. And for people all throughout Canada, it’s a very exciting time of year. Just 21 days into June, summer will officially get underway. Most Canadians long for summer. Having to endear seemingly endless months of cold, blistery weather conditions, the summer season is one that most of us really enjoy! We stress the words “most of us”.
Especially on days when the humidity is high, the usually-simple act of breathing becomes difficult. Asthmatics know of this all too well. Not to mention, high humidity levels are often a culprit from mould growth in the home. The presence of mould, it needs to be highlighted, is a major health hazard.
As Canada.ca points out, “damp conditions and mould growth in homes increases the risk of respiratory allergy symptoms and exacerbate asthma in mould-sensitive individuals. It is important to know how to identify, address and prevent moisture and mould in your home.” The Government of Canada’s site goes on to list a number of symptoms associated with mould growth in the home.
Among them are eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath and the worsening of asthma symptoms. “The level of concern depends on the extent of mould, how long it has been present and the sensitivity and overall health of the residents,” says the site, “Some people are more susceptible than others.”
Because mould thrives in dark and damp locations, it’s best to keep a close eye on areas of the home where the build up of moisture is most likely. The kitchen and the bathroom are two places that quickly come to mind. That’s why they are both usually equipped with exhaust fans. One of the first steps to preventing mould growth in the home is to use those exhaust fans any time you are in either of those rooms.
In a special to The Toronto Star, Steve Maxwell writes that mould is mostly likely to be found in three locations: “frames on windows that get wet each winter from condensation; drywall and wooden wall frames that get wet periodically in basements and bathrooms; underneath basement carpets; and any area that stays wet because of flooding or leaks.”
In a separate article for The Ottawa Citizen, Maxwell reveals that his favourite mould killer is a Canadian product called Concrobium Mold Control. “It’s an odourless liquid that’s non-toxic,” he informs, “So how can something non-toxic kill anything? It works by mechanically crushing mould and mould spores as it dries, and that’s why it offers residual killing action that goes beyond the old standby, bleach.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend an inspection of your home to ensure that it is mould-free. Our Mould Assessment Services includes visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
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.
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.”
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re only five days away from Christmas! It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year already. From everyone here, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. we’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! We’d also like to wish everyone a very Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa as well! Our great nation of Canada is home to many different people all celebrating various special occasions at this time of year. We hope they are all joyous for everyone.
Our team would also like to thank each and every one of our clients. With your help, we enjoyed a great 2017 and we look forward to an even better 2018. In order to make that happen, we need to work on getting you all healthier! In other words, our business simply isn’t successful if our clients aren’t enjoying better lives thanks to improved indoor air quality in their homes and places of business.
We offer numerous services that work to detect air pollutants in the places where you live and work so that you can breathe cleaner air. Just one of those services is our Mould Assessment Services. They include visual inspections for sources of mould, analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.
It’s important to be on the lookout for signs that you may have a mould problem. They include the onset of such symptoms as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash or itching, flu-like symptoms, asthma attacks, memory problems, constant headaches and possible fever. To prevent mould from growing in your home or place of business, it’s important to limit the amount of moisture and humidity contained within.
“Look for damp spots in your house,” advises Canada.ca on its list of prevention tips, “Check basements, closets, window sills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes. Fix damp spots right away. Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flood. Use fans. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or showering. Let the fan run for a few minutes after you are done.”
In 2018, Canada will finally implement its nationwide ban on the toxic material. However, a lot of work will still need to be done to protect Canadians from its harmful effects. Properties built before 1990 used asbestos for insulation purposes in walls, ceilings, floors and attics. It was also used for wrapping materials for ducts, furnaces, pipes and electrical wiring.
Sadly, asbestos is a known killer, causing the most occupational deaths in Canada each year. No province is immune. As Jeff Cottrill informs us on OHSCanada.com, “asbestos-related disease remains the top cause of occupational fatalities in British Columbia, with 584 workers in the province having lost their lives to asbestos-related illness from 2006 to 2015, according to WorkSafeBC, which launched an asbestos awareness campaign last fall.”
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!
We’re going to be completely honest here. We know carpets are comfy. They’re soft, warm and quite cozy to lie down on. We understand those who feel that their homes are much more comfortable places to live if they incorporate wall-to-wall carpeting. But, if we’re going to be completely honest, we have to say – it just isn’t worth it. The health hazards presented by carpeting are too many to keep it installed all over the house.
The first and, perhaps, most obvious reason to remove the carpeting in your home is to help allergy sufferers run much lower risks of experiencing their symptoms. It’s likely no surprise to you that carpets are havens for dust and other allergens. Simply take a look at your vacuum cleaner canister or bag, if you don’t believe us. Columbus, Ohio-based Scott Hall Remodeling explains that removing carpet is a to-do list topper for those with allergies.
“This can be especially true in the basement area,” they note on their website, “Carpets can often collect allergens that you can’t see, along with those you can, such as pet hair. If anyone in your family has allergies, this may be a good reason to remove the carpets in your basement. This is especially true if that person spends a good amount of time in the basement.”
Not surprisingly, the older your carpets are, the more likely they are to contain allergens. Naturally, one of the top reasons to replace or remove your carpeting is because it’s simply too old. “Often, older carpets catch and retain more allergens and particulate matter, which may cause your allergies to act up,” says Lacey Nix on AngiesList.com, “If you notice an increase in allergies, one source may be your older carpet.”
Carpets don’t just impact the health of allergy sufferers because of the dust, crumbs, pet dander and other particles that may fall onto it and get trapped. Carpets are also known for holding in moisture. As a result, mould can form in the floor underneath the carpet without you being able to detect it. Mould spores, of course, are also hazardous to our health. And those with respiratory issues are the first to notice.
This is why Scott Hall Remodeling advocates for the removal of wall-to-wall carpeting in the basement. The basement, they point out, is susceptible to more moisture than the rest of the house. “While this isn’t always the case, it’s something to look into,” reads their site, “Excess moisture can cause water damage and mould buildup in carpets and you may not readily see it on the surface.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are dedicated to helping you avoid the many health hazards that come with having carpet in your home. We offer Air Quality Services, Moisture Monitoring Services and Mould Assessment Services, among many others, to ensure that you enjoy the best possible indoor air quality.
For more information about any and all of our services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Just keep your home dry. That way, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of having any mould or mildew growth. It really isn’t all that simple though, is it? When you really think about it, we all require the presence of moisture in our daily lives. We cook, we clean, we drink, we bathe – our daily routines demand the presence of water. So how can we reasonably keep things dry?
As Better Homes & Gardens explains, mould and mildew can quickly grow anywhere there is moisture. “They serve an important purpose in our environment by helping to destroy organic materials such as leaves, thereby enriching the soil,” explains the site, “But that same attribute can cause a serious health issue for people living in a mouldy home: respiratory problems; sinus congestion; eye, nose, or throat irritation; and headaches.”
The site goes on to reveal that infants, children, pregnant women, elderly individuals and people who have existing respiratory conditions are at the highest risk of experiencing the symptoms associated with mould and mildew presence. Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network seconds the call for wet areas to be dried up immediately. She points out that without paying attention to the moist areas of the home, mould can appear.
“Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours,” writes Hill, “If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower.”
Hills goes on to mention that even the simplest of acts like leaving wet clothes in the washing machine can promote mould growth that can spread quickly. “Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation,” she advises.
Naturally, the bathroom is an area of the home where moisture is always present. Keeping things dry in there is especially important if you want to prevent mould from growing. As a result, it’s important to keep your bathroom well ventilated. If you’re home alone, shower with the bathroom door open. If you want to guarantee privacy and keep the door closed, be sure to run the exhaust fan.
Better Homes & Gardens also offers the following tips to keep your bathroom mould-free:
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is to keep your home mould-free. It’s imperative for promoting optimum health for everyone who dwells within it. 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.
Our hearts go out to the people of Houston, Texas. On behalf of the entire team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to express our sorrow and concern while wishing for a speedy return to safety for all residents of the city that has been devastated by Hurricane Harvey in recent days. Now a tropical storm, Harvey is expected to continue to batter Houston and its surrounding areas in the days to come.
“The Category Four storm rolled in on Friday, battering Corpus Christi before plowing towards Houston the following day,” reports Laura Mallonee on Wired.com, “It dumped 12 trillion gallons of rain on south Texas, forcing some 30,000 people to flee their homes and leaving at least nine dead. With Harvey predicted to drop 20 more inches in the next few days, the hurricane could be the biggest rain-producing storm to pummel the US in more than a century.”
While we haven’t exactly experienced a hurricane, here in the Calgary, Alberta area, we can’t help but be reminded of the Alberta floods that took place in June and July of 2013. Much of our city was under water thanks to several days of heavy rainfall. Until the Fort McMurray wildfire of 2016, the Alberta floods were the costliest disaster in Canadian history. Damages totalled about $1.7 million.
But let’s forget about the money for a second. At times like this, we’re strongly reminded that people’s lives matter the most. Even when the recovery process is able to begin, it can take years before victims of natural disasters are able to get their lives back in order. However, at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we can’t help but be mindful of the fact that flooding causes major property damage – which leads to major health issues.
It should come as no surprise to you that mould is a more than likely result of experiencing flooding in your home. Mould thrives on warmth and moisture. Flooding, of course, provides plenty of moisture. And, as Moldpedia.com points out, the excess moisture caused by flooding can lead to mould growth very quickly.
“Mould can start to grow after just a day or two so it’s important to act as quickly as possible if your home has been flooded,” warns the site, “Make sure you only enter your home once it’s safe though. If you’re going to perform the flood clean up yourself then you should begin my moving things outside that didn’t get wet. This is to protect them while you clean up the rest of the house.”
We can only imagine just how irreparable much of the property in Houston must be. We suspect that many homes will be beyond repair and have to be rebuilt from scratch. Especially because of the flooding and the mould it causes, this is likely the wisest choice. A mould-infested home is safe for no one. We sincerely hope that relief efforts will make the transition back to normalcy as speedy as possible for the people of Houston.
The Canadian Red Cross is accepting online donations to aid with the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Let’s show what Canada is all about and help out as much as we all can!
For information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Humidity represents the amount of water vapour in the air around you. And, as we all know, the summertime is generally when the air around us is the most humid. During the summer, the air holds more moisture. That’s what gives us that “sticky” feeling that the dry and cold winter air never provides. And while we shouldn’t really complain about the heat (winter is long enough, isn’t it?), it’s important for Canadians to find ways to limit the humidity in their homes.
Since humid air is filled with moisture, it is bound to cause some concerns within our households – not the least of which is mould growth. With mould present in the home, it leaves individuals who live within it susceptible to respiratory problems. This is especially true for people with asthma and other allergies. So what can you do to minimize the humidity in your home all summer long?
Just last week, we blogged about the beauty of keeping the windows open in the summertime. Allow us to reiterate the importance of allowing the air from outside to circulate with the air from inside. Now, you may be wondering – “if the air from outside is hot and humid, how does letting it inside reduce humidity?”
When warm air is “trapped” within the home, it ends up attaching itself to colder surfaces creating condensation – perfect breeding grounds for mould. This is why it’s also important to always turn the exhaust fans on in your bathrooms during bathing and kitchens during cooking. Ventilation is the key to reducing moisture. In addition, believe it or not, a closed up home can become more humid simply by virtue of the people inside it breathing.
“Mathematically speaking, it only takes between four and six pints of water to raise the humidity level inside of 1,000 square feet from a mere 15% to 60%,” says CriticalCactus.com, “The amount of people within the home can affect how much humidity is in the air as well. One person breathing produces about ¼ cup of water within an hour’s time.”
In keeping with the concept of bringing the outside inside in order to minimize moisture in the home, it’s a good idea to have houseplants throughout your home. But, it’s important to know which plants add moisture to the air and which ones absorb moisture.
As CriticalCactus.com points out, some houseplants are particularly adept at reducing moisture in the air. “Tropical plants called epiphytes such as English Ivy, Peace Lily, Reed Palm, Boston ferns and Tillandsia are plants that get all their water from the air instead through roots,” says the site.
With all of that extra sweating in your clothes that you’re doing this summer, you’re likely to have more loads of laundry than normal. However, it’s important to only do the laundry when you have full loads to wash. That way, you can limit how often you use the washing machine and dryer. Both machines produce a lot of humidity. In fact, you may want to consider drying your clothes outdoors. This saves you money as well!
Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. to learn more about how our Moisture Monitoring Services can help you! Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.