It’s been a hot and muggy summer so far, for many cities across Canada. And, in many cases, hot weather brings about humidity. The more humid it gets, the more moisture that exists. And when it comes to moisture in the home, the more of it that there is, the better your chances are of having a mould problem. Of course, this negatively impacts your indoor air quality. So how can we battle the impending growth of mould during the summer’s hot months?
Here are five ways to minimize mould during the summer:
1. Kill it! One of the best ways to get rid of mould is to naturally destroy it. This means using a product that is free of harmful chemicals which would only serve to worsen your home’s indoor air quality. On TakePart.com, Marie Stegner reveals that when you pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, you’ve created an ideal mould killing machine. Simply spray the vinegar on the mouldy areas of your home and let it set without rinsing, she advises.
2. Conduct a late spring clean. If you didn’t get around to doing any spring cleaning a few months back, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get started on tidying things up. On HouseLogic.com, Karin Beuerlein advises that you eliminate clutter. “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air,” she writes, “Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation.”
She goes on to note that all of that added moisture in the home creates “microclimates…that welcome and feed mould growth.” Stegner also recommends that you keep things clean and tidy in order to avoid such a problem. Proper storage of winter apparel comes highly recommended. “Put away collectibles and winter clothes in plastic storage bags to prevent mould growth on clothes and other household items not in regular use,” she advises.
3. Keep things dry. If you want to minimize moisture, one easy way to do that is to clean up spills immediately to prevent them from pooling. You’ll also want to find ways to prevent it from becoming too humid in your home. Stegner recommends that you “keep the humidity level in your home between 40 to 60 percent. Use a dehumidifier during humid summer months and especially in damp spaces, like basements.”
4. Choose between air conditioning or opening the windows. Don’t do both. If it’s cool enough outside, you may as well let some fresh air in your home. However, if it’s hot and humid, go with the A/C. “When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler home,” warns Beuerlein, “This causes condensation, which mould loves. So keep doors and windows shut when the A/C is humming.”
5. Maintain good ventilation. Keep the air moving throughout your home. Don’t let things get too stale or stagnant. As mentioned, this will involve some opening of the windows during the right times of the day. However, according to Stegner, you’ll also want to “double-check the ventilation throughout the home. Use exhaust fans that vent outside the home in the kitchen and bathroom. Ensure clothes dryers vent outdoors as well.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we consider ourselves mould’s arch enemy! If there is mould hiding in your home, we will ensure that it is found so that it can be removed. The absence of mould in the home is imperative for top-notch indoor air quality. 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.
With the summertime comes heat. And with heat often comes humidity. And with humidity comes moisture. And with moisture often comes mould. Do you see the connection here? We’re not saying that the growth of mould in your home is definitely more likely to occur during the summer. But we’re certainly not saying that it’s not a distinct possibility. The more you protect your home from excess moisture, the better you’ll do at keeping mould at bay.
How do we reduce humidity levels in the home throughout the summer? It begins with keeping our homes at comfortable temperatures that don’t promote moisture. According to Westaway Restorations, “temperatures above 23°C, as well as poorly lit rooms and unmoving air, can actually create more mould. Keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. This will help reduce toxic mould.”
In other words, keep your eyes on your thermostat and be sure to open up the windows often enough that you’re allowing fresh air to circulate through each room. Stale and stagnant air doesn’t make for a mould-free home. On days when it’s particularly humid outside, you’ll want to take measures to keep the air inside of your home cool without keeping the windows open. In other words, there will be times when you need A/C.
How does air conditioning help? On HGTV.com, Dwight Barnett points out that “in the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home…If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.” This is especially true for vacant houses. So, don’t skimp on the A/C if you’re planning a move.
The last thing you want is for your old house’s new inhabitants to complain that you left them with a mould-invested environment. “Moulds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent,” informs Barnett, “Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to ‘On.’” You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve done some proper cleaning to remove any signs of mould.
What other ways can we avoid mould during the summer? Ensure that you’re repairing any leaks that may be occurring in your home. “If you find any moisture leaks, clean them up with a dry towel immediately and find the source of the leak,” advises Westaway Restorations, “Consider hiring a professional if the leak does not stop or if you are dealing with a plumbing issue…Controlling moisture leaks in your home or place of work will reduce the mould’s ability to thrive.”
How can our clothing encourage mould growth? Naturally, we have to wash our clothes. So they are bound to encounter moisture quite often. The key is to ensure that they are dried adequately. Don’t hang clothes in your closet that is still damp from the wash. Westaway Restorations also points out that leather shoes are excellent food sources for mould! Be sure to keep them clean and free of moisture.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide both Mould Assessment Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. We make it our mission to properly evaluate your property for moisture sources that may be causing the development of mould. Such sources may include envelop failures or leakage issues. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a window condensation problem? You know when the windows of your home get all fogged up and covered in wet droplets? It looks like the glass is “sweating” and doesn’t make for the tidiest of environments. What’s worse is that all of that extra moisture in your home can be bad for your health. As we pointed out in our last blog, it’s important to try to reduce the amount of humidity in your home.
How does condensation occur? According to Tom Feiza on AshiReporter.org, “’Steam’ (condensation) occurs when invisible water vapour in the air condenses on the cool glass. Windows and metal window frames tend to be the coolest surfaces in our homes, so moisture forms there first — just like condensation beads up on the outside of your ice-cold lemonade glass in the summertime.”
So what’s the problem with condensation? RestorationsWindows.com reports that “warm, humid environments encourage the growth of moulds and fungi, which can lead to allergic reactions. Dry environments can irritate sinus linings and can progress to a sinus infection. The best way to combat this is to achieve the appropriate balance of temperature and moisture in your home.” Condensation, of course, indicates the presence of excess moisture.
So how do we resolve the condensation problem? There are many different ways to limit moisture in the home. Among them is doing away with your humidifiers and using dehumidifiers instead. As well, you may want to “limit plants, aquariums, and pets. If you care for a lot of plants, group them in one sunny room and avoid over watering,” says RestorationsWindows.com. You’ll also want to be careful about the types of appliances you use.
Feiza writes that certain types of heaters can not only add moisture to the home, but emit toxic gases as well. Neither of the two is good for your home’s indoor air quality. “Never use unvented fossil fuel-burning devices like kerosene heaters indoors,” he insists, “Burning fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide and water vapour, introducing excessive moisture into your home. It can also create dangerous carbon monoxide.”
RestorationsWindows.com agrees. The website warns that gas appliances require our special attention. “Have your gas appliances checked, if you have not recently,” advises the website, “Malfunctioning gas appliances can deliver excessive water vapour into the air along with more dangerous contaminants. Be sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm.” Other tips include air drying clothes outdoors only, eliminating plumbing leaks and storing firewood outside.
Is there anything else that can be done to limit condensation? As you may have guessed, good ventilation always helps. “Structural ventilation or attic ventilation removes moisture from the structure of your home,” writes Feiza, “Because moisture flows with air leaks and can push through many materials, general structural ventilation is important. Point-source ventilation removes moisture at specific sources.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer both Air Quality Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. Our team of experts work to ensure that all sources that negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality are discovered. Our inspections are designed to provide you with the best quality air possible in your homes. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
For a lot of Canadians, summer is a favourite time of the year. To many, nothing beats warm and sunny days, especially after what always seems to be a long and drawn-out winter. To many others, however, the summer isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When the sun is shining and the air is warm, there is often humidity. And with humidity comes difficulty breathing for those with allergies and asthma.
Sure, we can remain indoors and crank up the A/C. But no one likes staying cooped inside all summer long. What’s the fun in that? It’s important, of course, to control the humidity of our living and working spaces. As Coolray.com informs us, “when the temperatures warm up outside you can experience too much humidity in your home.” So it’s important to find ways to lower the levels of humidity at home.
What’s wrong with humidity in the home? Well, first of all, it doesn’t make for a comfortable living environment. As Theo Etzel points out on ConditionedAir.com, “moist air feels clammy and sticky, and dry air leaves you reaching for hydration. So, your level of comfort is affected by humidity.” He goes on to note that having either too much or too little humidity can also affect the structural damage of your home.
But how does humidity in the home affect our health? Humidity can cause condensation. And this excess moisture in the home can allow for the development of mould. The presence of mould, as you may already know, can send spores into the air that is detrimental to our respiratory systems. This is especially a problem for asthmatics. Coolray.com notes that there are other health hazards to having too much humidity in the home.
“High humidity can be especially dangerous when combined with high temperatures, as it will disrupt the body’s ability to cool itself, which may lead to a heat stroke,” reports the website, “People with heart problems or asthma are advised to be extremely careful during such conditions. Drier air provides comfort at higher temperatures, so homeowners can raise the setting on their central air conditioners thereby reducing their energy use.”
So what can be done to lower the humidity in our homes? Ventilation is the first step. Etzel writes that when homes are “tightly constructed”, they tend to retain more heat and moisture. Therefore, ventilation is especially important in order to minimize humidity levels. “If a home does not have the proper mechanical ventilation, excess water vapour can move through walls and ceilings, causing wet insulation, peeling paint, and mould on walls and woodwork,” he says.
Etzel also strongly recommends that you check your air conditioners to ensure that they are in proper working order. In some cases, you may even want to invest in a whole-house dehumidifier. “It operates in tandem with your central air conditioner to reduce mould and mildew, improve indoor air quality, extend the life of your A/C and help control your energy bills,” he informs us.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend that you take advantage of our Moisture Monitoring Services. We evaluate your property for moisture sources that may be causing the development of mould. Such sources may include envelop failures or leakage issues. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 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 email@example.com.
With 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
With 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 email@example.com.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
When 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 email@example.com.