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Mould

Mould: A Major Health Problem Caused By Flooding

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.”

A reminder of the Alberta floods.

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.

Mould makes flooding all the more dangerous.

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.

How can you help 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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How To Safely Remove That Nasty Black Mould From Your Shower

Icky. Yucky. Gross. Yes, these are words commonly uttered by four year-olds. But, nonetheless, they make for the perfect descriptions of the black mould that impacts the bathtubs and shower stalls of far too many Canadians. Many of us are left with no choice but to endure unsightly black mould in our bathrooms. But it doesn’t mean we have to live with it forever. There is a way to win the battle against black mould. And it can be done in a safe way!

Use a baking soda and water solution.

Thankfully, the use of harsh chemicals isn’t necessary to remove black mould from your shower. By mixing household baking soda and water, you’ve concocted a safe and effective black mould remover. As recommended by HowToRemoveBlackMold.com, simply use a quart-sized bottle containing this solution. “This will minimize the number of mould spores from being released into your airspace and spreading throughout your home,” says the site.

Spray the solution everywhere that you see the mould and allow it to sit and work its magic for approximately five to ten minutes. Then grab a brushing utensil – even an old toothbrush should help you to do the trick. Scrub away at the mould with the brush and you should see it begin to disappear. It will be easier to clean some areas more than others. A little elbow grease is all that’s needed for a full and thorough clean.

Once you’ve completed the scrubbing routine, wipe away any excess mould and rinse the area. You may need to repeat the process for especially stubborn stains. Don’t forget to wipe the entire area down once you’ve completed your cleaning. Remember that mould develops in warm and moist areas. The drier you keep your bathroom environment when it is not in use, the less likely mould will develop and grow.

Practice mould removal maintenance.

On CleanMySpace.com, Melissa Maker also champions the use of baking soda and water for black mould removal. She points out that, in some cases, you may need to let the solution set on the mould for up to an hour or two. She agrees, however, that a decent scrubbing should eventually do the job. However, Maker notes that black mould doesn’t just stay away because you’ve gone through the motions of one cleaning. Much like tooth health, mould removal requires constant care.

“If your bathroom is not properly maintained between cleanings, it does not take long for mould to come back,” informs Maker, “In fact, think of mould prevention like oral care—we have to maintain our teeth to keep plaque away. Like a dentist, I am going to suggest some preventative maintenance for you to keep mould out of your bathroom. It only takes seconds to do and is much easier than what the dentist tells you!”

It’s important to remember that all of the mould in your home isn’t always visible. It could be hiding underneath tiles and flooring and stuck between cracks. Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Inc. to learn more about how our Mould Assessment Services can help you to prevent the health risks associated with mould. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Finding Ways To Minimize Humidity In The Home All Summer Long

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?

Crack the windows and turn on the exhaust fans.

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.”

Invest in some moisture-absorbing houseplants.

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.

Limit your laundry loads.

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!

Thinking your home may be too humid?

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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Beauty Of Opening The Windows In The Summertime

Most Canadians can admit that they spend far too much time indoors. Then again, it’s hard to blame those of us who choose to stay inside for the majority of the coldest months of the year. Summertime, however, offers us many amazing opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The warmth and sunshine make spending time outside as inviting as it gets!

Of course, there will be plenty of time spent indoors during the summer as well. After all, we do have to hit the hay at some point, right? It wise, then, to invite some of the outdoors inside by keeping the windows open. Yes, we’ve recommended this practice during the wintertime in order to get the air in your homes circulating and renewing itself with the fresh air from outside. But, opening the windows in the winter should only be done for short intervals of time.

Clearing out the “nasties”.

During the summer, however, the warm temperatures practically give us no excuse to not keep the windows wide open all day long. As you may have guessed, the health benefits are many. One of the most obvious is the release of air pollutants. On PhantomScreens.com, Esther de Wolde reminds us that much of our indoor activities can produce air pollutants. This includes the acts of dusting, cleaning and painting.

“Some paints contain VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) which can be harmful to health,” she explains, “And other delightful things like dust mites can cause asthma. So it may be a bit obvious but opening your home to the outside can clear out the nasties.”

Strengthening the “human microbiome”.

On MindBodyGreen.com, James Maskell agrees that keeping the windows open is a healthful practice. He advocates the open window policy, however, for a pretty unique reason. Maskell explains that the human microbiome (the bugs that live inside us that aid in digestion, metabolism and immunity) is important for our overall health. Opening windows, he argues, helps to build the human microbiome.

“For most of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature,” he explains, “Yet modern humans spend a whopping 93% of their lives indoors, inside buildings or vehicles. Opening a window and increasing natural airflow has been shown to improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit everyone inside.”

Preventing condensation and mould growth.

Another reason to keep the windows open during the summer: the circulation of air in your home also helps to prevent condensation and mould growth. “Damp window frames, condensation on your windows and worst of all: black mould,” says De Wolde, “Without adequate ventilation your home becomes a steamy box of germs. Nasty. Open the windows and get the air flowing through your home to stop the damp.”

The team, here at DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. supports the act of keeping windows open during the summer. We also are committed to helping improve the quality of air in your home via our Air Quality Services. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Ways To Keep Your Bathrooms Mould-Free

We’ve all encountered mould. The green or brown or sometimes black guck that accumulates in and around our kitchen and bathrooms tiles is pretty unpleasant to look at. But it’s important to note that its unsightliness should be the least of your worries. Mould presents serious health implications – many of which we may not even realize are a result of the presence of mould in our homes.

Nasal and sinus congestion, coughing, sore throat, difficulty breathing, asthma symptoms, nosebleeds, headaches and eye irritations are all potential ramifications of indoor mould exposure. Obviously, preventing mould growth in the home is an important way to minimize or prevent the abovementioned health problems. But since mould thrives on moisture, how can we stop it from developing?

This can be especially tough in the bathroom – a place where we constantly use water. So, here are three ways to keep your bathrooms mould-free:

1. Clean up after you clean up!

Most of us probably just get out of the shower and get ourselves ready for the day each morning. Because we are now clean, we assume that no other cleaning needs to be done. You’re not likely to clean your bathtub right after a shower, however, it’s wise to remember that it does require regular cleaning. On Care2.com, Diane MacEachern suggests that, at the very least, you give your shower and tub a wipe down right after you’ve used them.

“Keep a small squeegee in the shower so it’s convenient; you can get a squeegee very cheaply at a hardware store, home goods retailer, or online,” she recommends, “Or use a hand towel or washcloth to do the job. A cloth is particularly good at getting to the tile grout and in the corners where mould has a tendency to start.”

2. Use a mould-resistant shower curtain.

Those shower curtains of ours endure a lot of moisture on a regular basis. They are practically doused in water on a daily basis. However, unlike our bodies, we don’t dry our shower curtains off after a shower. Water is left to provide mould with the perfect breeding ground. You’ve likely seen your shower curtain become sticky and filmy. Be sure to clean it regularly so that mould doesn’t form. Or, do yourself one better and simply buy a shower curtain that is mould-resistant.

3. Make sure your bathrooms are well-ventilated.

With so much water use in your bathroom, you’re bound to have more than just wet surfaces. With heat comes a lot of steam, as well. Water droplets can form on your ceilings, walls and counters, giving mould ideal spots to grow and develop. By cracking the windows and using the exhaust fans found in your bathrooms, you can promote ventilation to keep excess moisture at bay.

“Crack open a window and start your ceiling fan when you turn on the shower so excess moisture moves out of the room, rather than condenses on the walls and tile,” advises MacEachern, “Keep the fan running and the window cracked open at least 15 minutes after you turn the shower off to let as much moist air escape as possible.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you eliminate the mould problem that may exist in your bathrooms. Our comprehensive assessments 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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3 Liquids You Can Use To Eliminate Household Mould

Mould is nasty! And we’re not just talking about the fact that it looks gross. No one likes to see those black and green clumps accumulating in their bathroom tiles or on their shower curtains. But those aren’t the only places that mould can appear in your household. Mould thrives on the warmth and moisture in your bathroom, but it can also be found in any and all areas of the house where warmth and moisture exist.

And mould isn’t just nasty because of its appearance. It’s known to trigger allergies, invoke asthmas symptoms, create sinus infections and irritate our skin. When it comes to our homes, mould is definitely a villain. So, it’s important that we all fight like superheroes in order to eradicate mould from our home bases. It just so happens that there are some effective secret weapons that can help you!

Here are three liquids you can use to eliminate household mould:

1. Tea Tree Oil.

Tea tree oil is known as a natural, yet powerful fungicide. Unlike many store-bought chemical-based solutions, this effective mould remover provides your home with a sweet scent. Using tea tree oil to eliminate mould is actually pretty easy. All that is required is about ten drops in a spray bottle filled with water. Simply spray the solution on all of the mould-ridden areas of your home and let it sit for a while. You’ll soon be able to wipe away the mould completely.

On NaturalLivingIdeas.com, Janice Taylor heralds tea tree oil as top natural mould removal solution. She offers up some advice on how to maximize its effectiveness. “You’ll still have to scrub a bit, but with repeated use this all-natural cleaner will kill the fungus and help to prevent future growth,” she explains, “Remember: You’ll have to shake this mixture well before each use as the oils will separate.”

2. Vinegar.

Not necessarily the sweetest smelling of all liquid-based mould removers, plain white vinegar is an effective solution nonetheless. Considered one of the world’s best all-natural cleaners in general, vinegar is a naturally antimicrobial solution. As a result, it’s not necessary to mix it with water or any other cleaning products. It kills and dissolves mould and fungus all on its own!

It’s also a very inexpensive solution to your mould problem, Kirsten Hudson points out on OrganicAuthority.com. She goes on to offer some vinegar-based cleaning tips. “Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar straight up. No diluting!” she writes, “Spritz the vinegar directly on the mouldy spots in your home. Let the vinegar sit for a while and then wipe away the vinegar, mould and all. Repeat as needed.”

3. Vodka.

Yes, you read that right! The popular alcoholic drink is good for more than getting the party started. In fact, the most inexpensive versions of vodka make for the best cleaners, says Taylor. This is because they are filtered less, distilled fewer times and therefore, “contain more congeners like acetaldehyde which is exponentially more toxic (about thirty times more so) to unwanted fungus than ethanol.”

Hudson completely agrees. “Pull out that vodka from your liquor cabinet and pour it into a spray bottle,” she advises, “Don’t worry. You don’t need to grab the top-shelf stuff. The cheap kind actually works better for cleaning. Spritz the vodka straight on mold to put it into a drunken stupor. Let the vodka work for a while, and then use a rag or sponge to wipe away the mould.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we proudly offer Mould Assessment Services to help you combat the mould problem that may exist in your household. Our comprehensive assessments 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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How Does Hoarding Impact Indoor Air Quality?

For the past couple of years, the DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. Blog has made it no secret that one of the easiest ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home is to keep it clean. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Dust, vacuum, mop and sweep – these simple tasks can do a lot to ward off allergens that significantly impact our respiratory systems. However, not everyone is a neat freak.

In fact, there are those who are the polar opposite of neat freaks. Hoarders are individuals who pack their homes with so many items that there is barely enough space to move around. And, as you can imagine, these items can get piled up in ways that create near-impossible-to-clean messes. Naturally, this only promotes poor indoor air quality in a variety of ways. And, interestingly, we’ve found that not enough is being said about it.

We were surprised to find that when typing in “hoarding” and “indoor air quality” into a Google search, the first three articles to appear belonged to our website! Admittedly, we’re pretty proud of that. But even we must admit that it’s been couple of years since we’ve revisited this topic. Naturally, we felt it was the right time to shed some light on how dangerous hoarding can be. It negatively impacts indoor air quality in a number of ways.

It promotes mould growth.

Hoarders tend to toss their belongings into random piles that never seem to stop growing. Everything from clothing to food to electronics can be found in various stacks throughout the home, creating nearly no space for walking, eating or sleeping. What this does is give mould countless opportunities to develop and grow. Mould, you see, requires warmth and moisture.

In addition to the various hidden pockets throughout a hoarder’s home that provide warmth and moisture, mould is also never cleaned when hidden from plain sight. With the presence of mould in the home, it enables mould spores to be released into the air. “Mould is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections,” says clinical toxicologist, Rose Ann Gould Soloway on Poison.org, “Some health effects attributed to mould may in fact be caused by bacteria, dust mites, etc., found in mould-colonized environments.”

It diminishes ventilation.

It probably goes without saying that when you hoard, you limit or eliminate the ability to get any ventilation going in your home. Many hoarders have so many items piled on top of each other that they cover windows disallowing any air from the outside to enter. Without allowing air to circulate throughout the home, it enables pollutants to accumulate. Simply put, a hoarder’s home is full of stale and contaminated air.

As outlined by Manitoba Hydro’s handbook on indoor air quality and ventilation: “Ventilation of a home and the exchange of ‘stale’ indoor air with ‘fresh’ outdoor air are essential to keep pollutants from accumulating to levels that pose health and comfort problems.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are committed to helping hoarders reverse the effects of their habits on the air they breathe in their homes. We know that the compulsion to hoard is a complicated one. But it’s important that the quality of air in one’s home isn’t causing any further complications. If you have an issue with hoarding or know a loved one who hoards, you’ll want to contact a professional for help.

You’ll also want to learn more about our Air Quality Services so that we can accurately assess the indoor air quality of your 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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4 Reminders Of How To Eliminate Mould From Your Home

Never let it be lost on you that mould isn’t just unsightly, it’s unhealthy. It’s also important to remember that mould doesn’t just grow in our bathroom tiles and on food that is left out too long. It’s certainly true that where there is moisture, a breeding ground for mould is available. But mould can grow in areas of our home other than our bathrooms and kitchens. So, it’s important to be reminded of how to eliminate it from your home.

Here are four reminders:

1. De-clutter your home. Being a neat freak doesn’t just help to present your home in a tidy fashion. It helps to keep its inhabitants healthy. Sure, freeing your living space of clutter will help to prevent slips and falls. That’s certainly one way to stay safe. But by eliminating clutter, you will also present fewer opportunities for moisture to accumulate and for mould to find places to develop.

As a mould prevention tip, removing clutter is highly recommended by Karin Beuerlein on HouseLogic.com. “Cast a critical eye on household clutter, and pare down your stuff,” she advsies, “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation. All this moisture creates microclimates in your home that welcome and feed mould growth.”

2. Immediately attend to any leaks. The drip, drip, dripping of your faucet is more than just an auditory nuisance. With each drop of water that falls under your sink, the more moisture accumulates in the area. This provides a perfect opportunity for mould to grow. It’s important not to just place a bucket under the drip in order to collect the water, but to repair the source of the leak as soon as possible.

“Even the smallest leak can support mould growth,” informs Tim of All Systems Mechanical, “Water is probably the biggest contributing factor to mould growth in the home so take the time to fix even the smallest leaks. A drop or two here or there under your sink might not seem like much, but after a drop per minute for an entire day, how much water would be there fuelling mould growth?…Fix all of your leaks and make no exceptions and if you don’t know how then choose a good plumber.”

3. Monitor the humidity in your home. It’s important to remember that humidity breeds moisture which breeds mould. During the winter, it’s common for Canadians to keep their windows and doors shut in an effort to keep warm. However, it’s important to ensure that the indoor environment doesn’t become too humid. Opening the windows for short periods of time helps to improve indoor air quality while lowering humidity.

Beuerlein suggests that you invest in an indoor humidity monitor. “An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity; in very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%,” she writes, “But if you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture; above 70% relative humidity, certain species of mould can begin growing.”

4. Call a professional for help. “If you can’t find the moisture problem on your own, or you aren’t sure how to correct a problem you do find, call a home inspector or indoor air quality consultant,” recommends Beuerlein. And we couldn’t agree more! At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we feel that it’s necessary to remind Canadians that mould growth in the home is more prevalent than they may think.

We also feel it necessary to help out when we can. We proudly offer Mould Assessment Services that assess, analyze and report on the findings of mould in your home, office or building. Our comprehensive assessments 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. April 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Hi, what is the process when calling a health inspector to come detect my apartment for mold? I am certain there’s is mold I’m just not sure how much mold is too much mold when it comes to your health while pregnant?

    • Dennis French-Reply
      April 24, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Hello Jessica

      Depending on where you live you simply have to call the local health inspector and they can talk to you about it and whether they will attend your apartment. If they wont, contact me via email to discuss your situation further. dennisf@dftechnical.ca

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3 Ways To Have A Healthier Home In The New Year

Teenager girl throwing pillow into the air, having funMost New Year’s Resolutions focus on self-improvement in some way. Generally, people endeavour to quit smoking, exercise or change their diets to include healthier food choices as ways to better their health. However, most neglect to make resolutions about improving the air they breathe. It goes without saying that the air we breathe is vital to our health. So why not make 2017 the year you make your home the healthiest it has ever been?

Here are three ways to have a healthier home in the new year:

1. Focus on improving indoor air quality. This newfound focus will require many tasks – but they shouldn’t be hard to do. Regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping will do away with many of the dust particles that inhibit our air from being at its purest. Buying some houseplants to improve the oxygen content of the air is also advisable. As well, making sure to take your shoes off before entering your home will prevent excess dirt and grime to come in from outside.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we specialize in Air Quality Services. We employ a number of trained individuals who all have strong understandings of the indoor environment. They maximize their inspection processes in order to target all areas of concern in your home or office. The air you breathe in your home can cause health and wellness issues that you can avoid through thorough inspections.

2. Test for asbestos. Our blog has been closely covering our nation’s campaign for a complete ban of asbestos for many months now. Last week, we proudly reported about the federal government’s plan to completely rid Canada of asbestos by 2018. While we haven’t exported asbestos in quite some time, we were still importing it through such products as brake pads. Known for causing lung cancer, mesothelioma and other deadly respiratory diseases, asbestos is definitely a material you do not want in your home.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) Services that involved onsite assessments as well as sampling and analysis of the materials collected. Our team will be able to locate asbestos if it is contained within such areas as your furnace, plumbing, electrical wiring, attics, cinder block walls, flooring and ceilings.

3. Limit the moisture in your home. When you shower – especially when you take those long hot showers during the winter – it’s important that you run your exhaust fan. When you’re cooking in the kitchen, running your exhaust fan is just as important. Limiting moisture in your home will help to prevent the growth of mould. When mould spores are airborne, they can present many health hazards to our respiratory systems. Asthmatics are especially aware of this.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we off Moisture Monitoring Services that evaluate buildings for moisture sources such as building envelop failures, leakage issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be the cause of mould development. We also offer Mould Assessment Services that include inspections involving analytical sampling, moisture analysis and thermal scanning.

Let’s work together on making 2017 your healthiest year yet. For more information on any and all of the above mentioned services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

Happy New Year!

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Preventing Mould Growth In The Home During The Winter

The damp is attacking the wall next to windowMould growth in the home can take place at any time of the year. But during the winter time, our homes are a bit more susceptible to mould infestations. Naturally, with the colder weather, we tend to keep our homes closed up – with the heat on. The warmer we keep our homes, the greater the chances are that we increase its humidity. Mould loves humidity. Dark, damp, warm places throughout your home make for ideal breeding grounds.

As IndoorMould.ca explains, mould “thrives in environments between 60 and 80 degrees and grows wherever there’s humidity or moisture. Mould can be problematic during winter since it can grow in your attic, walls, and other hard-to-reach places.” And because we tend to trap moisture in our homes throughout the winter time, the levels of humidity tend to steadily increase.

“By closing everything and insulating yourself, you actually produce a suitable environment for the fungus,” says IndoorMould.ca, “It’s also likely that you turn the thermostat up, creating a warmer air to combat the winter air. The downside to having your home too encapsulated with insulation is that it prevents warm air from escaping. Moreover, the insulation traps in the humidity and condensation for a longer period during this season because people don’t open their homes to the external environment as much.”

What can be done to prevent mould growth in our homes throughout the winter? Well, firstly, it pays to monitor your humidity levels. According to Luke Armstrong on RestorationMasterFinder.com, indoor humidity levels should be kept below 40 percent. He also advises those who use humidifiers to ensure that they don’t produce excessive amounts of humidity.

Armstrong also recommends that you increase your neat freak tendencies during the winter time. It certainly pays to keep a clean house. He notes that vacuuming and other forms of cleaning can help to remove possible sources of mould growth. The rooms of your home that generate the most moisture should especially be concentrated on. Think your bathroom and your kitchen. One great way to help reduce moisture is to always use the exhaust fans in both rooms.

“Use area rugs or washable floor surfaces rather than wall-to-wall carpeting in areas or rooms that have a moisture issue,” suggests Armstrong, “It’s not usually a great idea to have carpeting in your entryway, for instance, if you live in a cooler, wet climate…Paper, books and clothing are sources of food for mould, so don’t store them in humid parts of your home, such as your basement, especially close to the floor or walls.”

Can maintenance performed outside of the home prevent mould growth within it? It certainly can. Armstrong reminds us to make sure that our gutters and downspouts are clean. The areas underneath the downspouts may need to be extended in order to have water flow away from the foundation. And, if you have a crawl space under the house, you’ll want to cover the soil in that space with waterproof polyethylene plastic.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services that assess, analyze and report on the findings of mould in your home, office or building. Our comprehensive assessments 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 info@dftechnical.ca.

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