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Moisture

4 Ways To Limit Moisture In The Kitchen

steam on pot in kitchenIn our last blog, we pointed out a few ways that you can reduce the presence of moisture in the bathroom. Naturally, this isn’t an easy feat. Of course, moisture is bound to exist in the bathroom. However, limiting the amount of condensation we produce can go a long way in warding off the presence of mould in our homes. However, bathrooms aren’t the only rooms in the home where a lot of moisture occurs.

Our kitchens are havens for the presence of moisture. Are there greater contrasts between hot and cold than in the kitchen? Condensation, as we explained last time, is produced when warm air hits cold surfaces. Between all the cooking and freezing that takes place within the kitchen, condensation is bound to occur. So how can we minimize its presence in the kitchen in an effort to keep our homes mould-free?

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the kitchen:

1. Cover your pots and pans while cooking. Due to the heat that is produced by stove tops while cooking, there is bound to be a lot of steam emanating from our pots and pans. Covering them with their lids will help to reduce the amount of steam in the air. As explained by CriticalCactus.com, “while cooking, try to cover your food… Oven and stove-top cooking produce more moisture. Slow cookers contribute less to indoor humidity.”

2. Use the exhaust fans. Steam is bound to escape your pots and pans when the lids come off. So using the exhaust fans to capture the steam will help to reduce the moisture in the air. “Ensure that you have opened a window or you are using an extractor fan if you have one fitted,” advises EnviroVent.com, “Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking – leave it open for 15-20 minutes afterwards to clear the air.”

3. Keep a window open. Not all kitchens have windows. But, if your kitchen has one, keeping it open while cooking is a great way to let moisture escape your home. “Adequate ventilation is essential to allow the moisture to escape from a property before it turns into condensation,” insists EnviroVent.com. CriticalCactus.com agrees that “if you do not have exhaust fans or a ventilation system, you can crack a window for a few minutes to dry the air out.”

4. Wipe up spills quickly. The kitchen is most likely the number one room for spills in the home. And while we tend to clean up these spills with wet paper towels, we forget to dry the “clean” left over water when we finish wiping up. Leaving water droplets on surfaces allows for mould to find adequate breeding grounds. The key is to keep the kitchen clean, of course. But, it’s also important to clean it dry!

“Make sure that you wipe down the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that has settled on the surface,” says EnviroVent.com, “This excess moisture that sits on the surface will quickly turn to mould which is difficult to completely remove.” Using disinfectant wipes for your final wipe down is likely the best bet, since they tend to kill bacteria.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are only too happy to help with your home’s moisture issues. We offer Moisture Monitoring Services that accurately locate your home’s moisture sources. The less moisture in your home, the safer it is from developing a major mould problem. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Limit Moisture In The Bathroom

Water drops on metallic tapWith moisture being a chief factor in the development of mould in the home, one would think that keeping moisture to a minimum would be a good idea, right? But, how is this possible when one can’t live without the presence of moisture? After all, we all need water to live! Reducing moisture in the home can be challenging. And this is especially true in the rooms of our home where eliminating the presence of moisture is impossible.

Take the bathroom, for example. Between the sink, toilet and shower – all of which dispense water – how can moisture be limited? Well, the truth is that it would be nonsensical to suggest that moisture be eliminated altogether. It’s important to remember that moisture isn’t exactly a problem unless it is found in excess. For example, the pooling of water without being wiped up after shower may present a future mould problem.

As well, bathroom condensation is hard to avoid. This takes place when warm air is cooled by cold surfaces. Our mirrors, windows and walls will often showcase condensation in the form of tiny water droplets following most showers. This is especially the case after an exceptionally hot shower is taken. And while no one is suggesting that you stop taking showers, a few measures should be taken to limit the amount of condensation they produce.

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the bathroom:

1. Keep it ventilated. If you live on your own, there really isn’t much of a reason to lock the bathroom door when you’re taking a shower. Believe it or not, making “open door showers” a habit will help keep your bathroom ventilated in order to reduce the amount of left behind moisture once bathing is finished. If there is a window in your bathroom, you may want to crack it open during showers as well. And don’t forget to keep that ceiling exhaust fan running.

2. Use anti-condensation paint on your bathroom walls. According to Mary Cockrill on SFGate.com, “this paint helps to insulate the ceilings and walls, thus raising their surface temperatures. A fungicide is often added to these paint formulas to help protect against potential mould growth. Prepare your painting surfaces by removing any existing mould or mildew with a fungicidal solution, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.”

3. Isolate the tiled wall from the actual exterior wall with an air space. If you’re thinking of renovating your bathroom, you may want to consider this tip provided by Marilou Cheple and Pat Huelman of Home Energy Magazine. “This prevents water from moving in through capillary action, and instead provides a space into which the tiles can dry out,” they write, “Vapour from the drying tiles can get back into the bathroom by diffusing through the tile grout or through the paint at the top of the wall.”

4. Turn up the heat. As mentioned, condensation takes place when warm air is cooled by cold surfaces. The warmer the surfaces are, the less condensation will occur. “You can also use an electric towel rail or 120-watt tubular heater to warm your bathroom during the winter,” suggests Cockrill, “These can help to keep your bathroom windows and walls above condensation temperature, are inexpensive to operate, and can be left on 24 hours a day.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that work to evaluate your property for moisture sources. They include building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that may be the cause of mould development in the home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Limit The Presence Of Moisture In The Home

Damage caused by damp and moisture on a ceilingWith the summer fast approaching, many of us are looking forward to times when we can be outside in the warm sun. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will begin to practically live outdoors. Naturally, there is still much living to do in each of our homes. With that said, things change a bit inside the home when the weather changes outside. For example, it’s a lot more likely that we’ll be opening our windows to let the warm fresh air from outside in.

This is a great way to improve indoor air quality as it allows for the stale and stagnant air in your home to circulate with the fresh air from outside. However, with warm weather often comes humidity. And when warm days transform into cool nights, there exists the possibility that moisture can accumulate on the surfaces inside our homes. Condensation is most likely to occur when warm air hits a cold surface.

In the Ottawa Citizen, Mike Holmes of the HGTV show, “Holmes Makes It Right” writes that “condensation occurs for a few reasons. Sometimes there’s too much moisture in the home, or not enough ventilation. Or, a humidifier might be set too high. Drop it down about 10% and see if the condensation persists.” So, as you can see, there are numerous ways for moisture to develop inside your home.

So what’s the problem with moisture in our homes? The leading issue is the presence of mould. Mould growth requires moisture. Therefore, the more moisture in the home, the better the chances are that you will be developing areas of mould growth. When mould spores are released into the air, they have very negative impacts on our respiratory systems. Make no mistake about it. There is a direct correlation between moisture, mould growth and ill health.

How can mould growth affect our health? Health Canada reveals that the potential health risks of mould include eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath, symptoms of asthma and allergic reactions. Obviously, it pays to limit moisture in the home. One way to do this is always have the exhaust fans on in the bathroom during bathing and the kitchen during cooking.

What else can be done to prevent too much moisture in the home? Holmes insists that you ensure that your windows are installed properly. Cracks could lead to leaks that allow water into your home to pool in certain areas. “With bad windows, warm air meets cold and that creates condensation,” he writes, “It can happen in winter or summer: During winter warm air inside the house hits the cold surface of a single-pane window; in summer, cool air inside the house hits glass that’s warm thanks to higher outdoor temperatures.”

Fresh air inside of the home is also a necessity if you want to keep moisture at bay. You don’t want to keep your homes airtight all of the time. As Holmes puts it, “homes have to breathe. If air can’t get in, moisture also can’t get out, and that moisture can get inside walls and eat away at structure, leading to rot and mould. One of the first signs is condensation on windows and bubbling paint.”

Holmes admits that it’s not possible to have a home completely void of moisture. It’s bound to happen. “We do all kinds of things inside our homes that create moisture and condensation – cooking, taking a shower, even breathing,” he writes, “If you want your home to be healthy, you must get rid of excess moisture.” At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we can help you with that! For information about our Moisture Monitoring Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Battling The Problem-Causing Presence Of Moisture

Damp moistureThe word “moisture” doesn’t generally carry with it much of an ominous aura. In fact, we usually use the word “moist” in a pleasant way – when describing the texture of a cake, for example. But in the world of indoor air quality, moisture is definitely a villain. The cause for many a problem with our breathing air, moisture needs to be kept to a minimum. The main reason is because of its allowance of mould growth.

It’s nearly impossible for us to avoid the presence of moisture in our homes. After all, we cook, shower, bathe, do the laundry, wash dishes and clean numerous times throughout each week. But when moisture accumulates, it can not only present a danger to your home’s structure and foundation, but it can also lead to the growth of mould. This can severely impact our breathing air, creating significant health problems.

How exactly can mould affect us? “For people sensitive to mould, inhaling or touching mould spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash,” explains WebMD.com, “People with serious mould allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mould, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.”

So what can we do to reduce the moisture in our homes and keep mould at bay? According to Health Canada, there are a number of measures that should be taken. And they begin with addressing some of the daily activities that we all partake in. Firstly, it’s important to use our exhaust fans whenever we are showering, bathing, washing clothes or cooking. This will help for moisture to not accumulate on surfaces giving mould ideal breeding grounds.

Secondly, it’s important to look for leaks and cracks in our windows, floors and ceilings. Obviously, leaks can lead to the pooling of water which won’t help in your mould-prevention practices. It’s especially important to look for leaks during this time of year as the advent of spring often entails the melting of a lot of snow. Beware of flooding due to weather conditions, Health Canada warns us. You will also want to be mindful of the presence of condensation on cold surfaces in the home.

What else can be done to prevent moisture problems? “Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building,” advises Health Canada, “Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.” They also recommend using “moisture tolerant materials” in areas that are likely to get wet, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Can moisture be completely eliminated from the home? Certainly not. But as WebMD.com reminds us, “because mould spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mould growth. If there is already mould growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mould and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mould but don’t fix the problem, the mould will most likely return.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that include the use of moisture meters, thermal scanning, hygrometer or related humidity monitoring as well as Mould Assessment Services. We look for leakage issues, construction failures and other occupant-based moisture sources to determine exact causes of mould growth in the home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Examining Air Quality Problems Due To Moisture

Blue Tiles in Swimming PoolWhen looking for a new home or office space, there are a number of obvious things that we often consider. Ample space, good lighting and a sense of overall comfort generally come to mind as necessities. But it’s also incredibly important to be mindful of the air quality of your new property. Is there anything truly more important than the quality of the air we breathe? Perhaps, we sometimes forget about this, considering we don’t generally see air.

It’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing when it comes to our breathing air, isn’t it? And that’s why it’s so important to get professionals to test your property’s breathing air before settling on it. This is especially true considering that there are factors that are often difficult to detect with the naked eye. Take moisture, for example. You may be surprised to know just how damaging the presence of moisture can be on air quality.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “moisture is continually being released inside your home: 10 to 50 litres (2 to 10 gallons) every day…A cord of wood stored in your home, for example, can release more than 270 litres of moisture. Excess moisture can result in moisture problems, which can lead to air quality problems.” So what are some of the biggest air quality problems caused by moisture?

The development of mould. The growth of mould in your home or office is often a direct result of there being too much moisture. Mould simply thrives in environments where humidity is high. This is often a result of there being little to no exchange of air between the outdoors and the indoors. As the CMHC points out, “mould growing in your home can release mould spores, toxins from mould, and mouldy odours.” And this can lead to severe health problems.

According to Health Canada, there are number of health issues that can result from breathing in mould spores. Among them are eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up and wheezing and shortness of breath. They also reveal that those with asthma, severe allergies and sensitive immune systems are most deeply affected by the presence of mould in their breathing air.

Structural damage due to condensation. “Condensation” is a term most often associated with the wetness found on the outside of a glass when cold liquid is poured into it. This is because “when warm, moist air comes into contact with a surface that is too cold, moisture condenses,” explains the CMHC. But when condensation occurs in your property, it can lead to a fair bit of damage. The structure of the building itself can become weaker.

In addition, the possessions contained within the property can experience damage. The CMHC reveals that excess condensation can be formed due to inappropriate use of humidifiers as well as evaporation from showers, washing dishes and clothes, cooking, aquariums, standing water, people, pets and plants. One solution is to “discontinue use of humidifiers and use a dehumidifier in the basement during fall, spring and summer.”

To reduce the amount of condensation in your home or place of business, it is recommended that you keep the surfaces inside your property warm. To do this, the CMHC suggests that you upgrade your windows so that they are more energy-efficient, install adequate insulation so as to keep your walls and ceilings warm and provide sufficient heat to all of the indoor areas of your property.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the air quality of your home or office very seriously. Our Moisture Monitoring Services evaluate your building for moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture sources. Locating and eliminating such sources will help to prevent mould and other air quality problems. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

One Comment

  1. John M.-Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    These articles are great! Keep up the good work. It’s nice to know that the Mould fighters are on our side!

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