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 past Monday, most of the world celebrated Earth Day. As we pointed out in last week’s blog, the annual celebration is a reminder that we can all put more efforts into protecting our environment. Of course, it’s also wise to protect the environments within which we spend most of our time – our homes!
Do you wish to live in a healthy environment? Who wouldn’t? Here are three easy steps to living in a healthier home:
You won’t be surprised to see this piece of advice on today’s list of tips. It’s one we’ve championed several times over. With warmer weather now here, it’s a good idea to keep your windows open more frequently. There’s likely to be a lot of stale air that has been cooped up in your home all winter long. Let it out! And be sure to have the fresh air from outside circulate with the stagnant air from inside a lot more often throughout the spring and summer.
According to BoneStructure.ca, “even if your indoor air is clean and free of irritants, your home requires a steady flow of fresh air in, stale air out. Today’s new houses are tightly sealed for energy efficiency, but while innovations like triple-pane windows are excellent at preventing drafts and lowering utility bills, they can also prevent a healthy exchange of indoor air with new air from outside.”
Radon is a colourless, odourless gas. Because of that, it can’t be detected by sight or smell. Nevertheless, when it is found in high concentrations, it can be incredibly hazardous to our health. It comes from the ground outside and can seep into your home through its various cracks. In the outdoors, radon is relatively harmless. But, as mentioned, when trapped in tight spaces, it can be dangerous.
Testing for radon is vital to protecting the health of everyone in your home. “Radon tests are important when it comes to protecting your home and improving the air,” agrees Rinkesh on the Conserve Energy Future Blog, “Certain parts of the country have more problems with radon than others. Basements are popular spaces where radon is found. Detectors can be purchased to ensure the air is safe.”
Mould is gross. Whether of the green or black variety, it is unsightly as it is bad for your health. When mould spores become airborne, they can significantly impact asthma sufferers as well as those who don’t even have respiratory issues. And as BoneStructure.ca points out, microscopic mould spores can multiply rapidly with the presence of moisture and can grow on certain building materials.
“Too much mould in indoor air can mean upper respiratory symptoms like coughing and wheezing in healthy people, and more severe respiratory symptoms, eye irritation and skin reactions for those who are sensitive or allergic to mould,” the website reveals, “If moisture gets trapped in the walls of your house it creates an inviting home for mould—and once this unwelcome guest takes root, it’s difficult to remove without structural work.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., our many health-promoting services include Radon Services and Mould Assessment Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
As a Canadian, you’re most likely quite used to a few annual winter traditions. They include shovelling your driveway, scraping ice from your car windows and cranking up the heat of your home. And while every Canadian expects a fairly chilly winter each and every year, it doesn’t stop most of us from complaining about it when it arrives.
Complaining about the cold is as much part of the Canadian winter tradition as all of the above mentioned activities. That’s why the suggestion to crack open the windows, during the winter, is usually met with raised eyebrows. Maintaining top-of-the-line indoor air quality is a year-round requirement. And with the cold air outside encouraging us to keep our homes sealed shut, we leave ourselves susceptible to breathing stagnant, stale and polluted air more often.
Indoor air pollution is created in a number of ways and without ventilating the air in your home, it can actually lead to a number of health problems. On Glamour.com, Sarah Jio explains that opening your windows during the winter is a great way to both enjoy fresh air and avoid ill health.
“Health experts have longed warned of the dangers of ‘indoor air pollution,’ and for good reason,” she writes, “From mould spores to chemical off-gassing from paint, carpet, new furniture and cleaning products, sometimes the air in our homes and offices is many times more polluted than the air circulating outside.”
Consider some of the actions you may be taking that lead to the pollution of the air in your home. Cleaning products that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) may leave behind fresh scents, but they can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. Cracking the windows during your cleaning routines is one way to promote high indoor air quality during the winter.
Jio reveals that her favourite time to crack open the windows on chilly days is when she is cleaning and tidying up. “I feel warmer anyway, since I’m moving around, and I don’t mind a cool breeze flowing in,” she notes, “Plus, when I’m cleaning my house, I love the feeling of cleaning the air a bit too. Try it!”
As you may have guessed, keeping the windows open for prolonged periods of time will end up being counterproductive. Not only will it make your home cold, but it will waste a lot of the energy (and money) being used to keep your home warm. Crack open different windows in the home during different portions of the day for short periods of time. That way, each room will get its own special dose of freshness.
“You don’t have to leave windows open for hours on end,” WindowsCanada.com assures us, “Just cracking them for 15-20 minutes a day can vastly improve the air quality inside your home. Even though it’s cold outside, your health and the health of your family will be in much better shape with some fresh air.”
The DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would love to work with you on keeping the air inside your home as pure as possible this winter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about such services as our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many Canadian families that already have their Christmas trees up. Of course, there are many others who are still in the process of picking out the right trees to grace their homes this holiday season. For those who choose to put up artificial trees, the decision can be made at any time. A live tree, however, requires watering and other care, so timing is important. Obviously, you don’t want to unwrap presents under a dead, wilted tree on Christmas morning.
There is, however, another concern when it comes to live Christmas trees. For those who suffer with allergies, live trees can create major problems. In most cases, bringing plants inside the home is advisable for the improving of indoor air quality. There are numerous houseplants that have detoxifying effects. However, with certain trees, the opposite is true.
On BabyCenter.com, it is explained that particular holiday trees, such as juniper and cedar can bring pollen into your home and contribute to allergies. In addition, such trees can create a mould problem. “Freshly cut trees can breed mould spores,” informs the site, “The spores grow all over the tree, and when they’re released into the air, inhaling them into the nose and lungs can trigger allergy symptoms.”
The website goes on to report that “researchers at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, found that a room containing a fresh Christmas tree for two weeks had mould levels that were five times the normal level. Other studies have shown that levels this high can cause allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms, says the study’s coauthor, allergist and immunologist Philip Hemmers.”
BabyCenter.com recommends that you use a leaf blower to blow as much potentially harmful debris off of the tree as possible before bringing it into your home. It also suggests rinsing the tree down with a garden hose and letting it dry before setting it up inside. Wiping down the tree trunk with bleach is another cleaning solution, says the site. Now, if each of these cleaning methods sound like too much trouble – or even seem unrealistic – you’re not alone!
We can’t imagine that all of the pre-set up maintenance is worth it. Chances are that you will not have guaranteed yourself or your family members an allergy-free holiday season even if you do employ the above mentioned cleaning methods. On VeryWellHealth.com, Jeanette Bradley proposes an alternative solution.
“If pine pollen is a major allergy trigger for you, a fir, spruce, or cypress Christmas tree may be a better bet,” she advises, “The Leyland Cypress is a sterile hybrid tree, which means it does not produce any pollen. To find a Leyland Cypress Christmas tree, you may need to bypass the Christmas tree lots and big box stores and instead go direct to the source: a local Christmas tree farm.”
No matter which tree you decide to display in your home this holiday season, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. team would like to offer you the gift of cleaner air inside your home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us in order to learn more about our Air Quality Services and Mould Assessment Services. Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email email@example.com.
Now that we’re a week into November, it’s pretty safe to say that the holiday shopping season is here. Many Canadians have already filled out their holiday shopping lists and are making plans to hit the malls in order to locate specially selected items. Of course, the official start of the holidays is still many weeks away. But you can never start your holiday shopping too early.
Be sure to include a special someone on your list. To be more accurate, it’s a special “something”. Your home deserves all the love you can give it! The more you take care of your home, the happier and healthier your family will be. This forthcoming holiday season, be sure to pick up some gifts that will make your home healthier.
Who doesn’t love a pleasant smelling home? The problem, for most of us, is that keeping our homes smelling sweet often involves the spraying of air fresheners. These products commonly contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) which are detrimental to our health. To prevent wreaking havoc on our respiratory systems, opt for natural products that emit sweet smells. On Bustle.com, Carina Wolff recommends soy candles.
“Scented candles can make your home smell nice, but they come at a risk,” she explains, “Petroleum-based paraffin wax candles emit potentially hazardous chemicals that can lead to health risks such as cancer, common allergies, and asthma, according to a study from South Carolina State University. Vegetable-based options such as 100 percent soy candles don’t produce those harmful chemicals, so opt for those instead.”
Keeping your home’s humidity at a safe level is also imperative to its overall health. High levels of humidity promote breeding grounds for mould. And when mould spores become airborne, they turn into major irritants to our respiratory systems, especially for those of us with asthma and allergies. Best Health Magazine highly recommends that you buy a moisture meter for your home.
“Nothing helps mould to flourish like high humidity, so do all you can to get household moisture under control,” notes their website, “Obviously, that means keeping an eye out for roof leaks and drip-drip-dripping faucets…You might want to pick up a moisture meter (hygrometer) at a hardware store. If the indoor humidity in your home regularly exceeds 50 percent, a dehumidifier should solve your problem.”
Do you find you’re using the same sheets and pillowcases over and over again? Do you get lazy and just leave the same ones on your bed for weeks on end? To prevent an onslaught of dust mites, which provide major triggers of our asthma symptoms and other allergies, it’s important to remove your bed sheets and wash them in hot water at least once a week. To help with the bedding rotation, you may want to pick up a new bed set.
“Chronic exposure of dust mites can cause allergies and asthma, according to the American Lung Association, so be sure to vacuum frequently, change your bedding and pillowcases often, and reduce the humidity in your house,” advises Wolff.
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d argue that an inspection of your home’s indoor air quality is the best holiday gift you could give it! For information about our Air Quality Services and/or our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.