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Mould

3 Safe And Effective Ways To Rid Bathrooms Of Black Mould

Preparation for the removal of mold and yellow gloves against the mold on wall.It’s so annoying, isn’t it? Even the neatest of neat freaks notice that irritating black mould that always seems to find its way to grow in the tiles of our shower stalls. Even with regular weekly cleanings, they won’t disappear. Some of us get used to it and seem content to just leave it as it is. After all, it’s been there for so long, it’s practically part of the decor! But then, there are those of us who simply need to eliminate black mould from our lives.

There are many solutions to the black mould problem, but not all of them appear to be worthwhile. Bleach, for example, is highly heralded as a mould killer. However, while it is effective in killing mould in non-porous materials such as tiles, bathtubs, glass and countertops, it cannot penetrate into porous materials. This means that mould growing beneath the surface of such materials as wood and drywall cannot be removed.

So what are the safest and most effective ways to rid our bathrooms of black mould? Here are three suggestions:

1. Borax. This white, powdered product easily dissolves in water to become and effective black mould remover. According to Cleanipedia.com, your best bet is to mix a cup of borax with a gallon of water and transfer the solution to a clean spray bottle. Spray the black mould, leave it for a few minutes and then wipe it away. The end result should be a clean, shiny, mould-free surface.

As Blackmold.Awardspace.com informs us, “there are many advantages to using borax to kill mould. For starters, borax is a natural cleaning product and although it is toxic if you swallow it, borax does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like some other mould killers…Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains…You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.”

2. Vinegar. Household vinegar is often championed as an effective cleanser. And it just so happens that it is also a reliable remover of black mould. Cleanipedia.com also advises that you spray white distilled vinegar on to the affected area of your bathroom. A few hours later, says the website, both the noticeable smell of the vinegar and the black mould you wish to remove should disappear.

Blackmold.Awardspace.com agrees that vinegar is both a safe and effective mould killer. “Vinegar is a mild acid which can kill 82% of mould species,” reports the website, “However it also has the advantages of being natural and safe. Vinegar is non-toxic and doesn’t give off dangerous fumes like bleach does.” The site also recommends that vinegar be regularly used to clean surfaces in order to keep surfaces mould-free.

3. Baking soda. Baking soda is also often used as a natural and safe household cleaner. Many people use it as a deodorizer as well. Baking soda, however, is a known mould killer. Without any harsh chemicals, it can be trusted to clean your home without causing any health hazards. Blackmold.Awardspace.com informs that, in conjunction with vinegar, baking soda make a very effective mould remover.

“You’ll need one teaspoon of washing up liquid, one cup of baking soda, and a few drops of something fragrant (we recommend lavender or citrus oil),” advises Cleanipedia.com, “Then add water and mix until the solution becomes a viscous paste and you’re done – a natural black mould remover.” The one problem, however, that these cleansers can’t solve is removing mould that you can’t see!

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. we offer Mould Assessment Services which include techniques that allow us to assess, analyze and report on any mould found in your home or other property. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Eliminate A Condensation Problem In Your Home

Drops of rain on the window (glass). Shallow DOF.With the end of February coming up, we’re getting closer to the end of winter. But as Canadians are well aware, there’s no reason to pull out the swim trunks just yet. We have a number of cold weeks still ahead. With that said, it’s important to note that the frigid outdoor temperatures stand to create an indoor air quality hazard in the form of condensation. Condensation occurs when the warm air in your home comes into contact with a cold surface, such as your windows.

What indoor air quality problems can condensation cause? As British Columbia’s Homeowner Protection Office explains it, “condensation can cause serious damage to the interior and structural elements of your home or building…Drywall and wood finishes around windows are two examples of materials in your home that can readily absorb moisture and become damaged if they remain wet for a sustained period of time.”

They go on to point out that when left unchecked, condensation can create crumbling or soft spots in drywall, decay in wood framing or corrosion of steel framing, peeling paint, damage to the insulation inside the walls and mould and mildew problems in your home. With respect to the mould and mildew issue, this is where your indoor air quality is significantly impacted. Mould spores are well known for causing respiratory problems.

So what can you do to eliminate a condensation problem in your home? Here are four ways:

1. Open the windows for ventilation. This tip may appear odd given that we are still enduring a chilly Canadian winter. But it’s still worth allowing some of the humid air in your home to circulate with the fresh air from outside. On CanadianWorkshop.com, Steve Maxwell points out that “this approach is about as easy as they come. Yes, opening windows will cost you a bit more in heating, but it still may be the cheapest way to solve your moisture problem.”

2. Minimize humidity in the home by regulating temperatures. The more humid it is inside your home, the more likely you are to promote condensation on your cold windows. The Homeowner Protection Office suggests that you follow a “rule of thumb” as it relates to your home’s temperature. “Interior air temperatures should generally be maintained between 18°C and 24°C with relative humidity falling between 35% and 60%,” they report.

3. Use the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen. The majority of moisture in the home is generally present in the bathrooms and kitchen. Whenever you take a hot shower or fire up the stove, you add to the humidity that promotes condensation. “Bathroom exhaust fans, in particular, should be used during every shower or bath and for at least 15 minutes afterwards,” advises Maxwell.

4. Install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). HRV’s are known for eliminating the condensation problem. However, Maxwell admits that having one installed is a bit pricey. Nevertheless, “it will also retain most of the heat that you’d normally lose through open windows and out of exhaust fans. In fact, HRVs are so effective and energy efficient that they’re now required by code for new houses in some jurisdictions.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we highly recommend that you have your home evaluated for moisture sources. We offer Moisture Monitoring Services that locate envelop failures, leaking issues and occupant-based moisture sources that could be causing an indoor air quality problem in 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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Winning The Battle Against Mould

woman scrubbing soap scum from a dirty shower floor with scour padAs Canadians, we arguably do battle with winters better than anyone else in the world. But, sometimes, the measures we take to stay warm can cause other problems we didn’t expect to have to take on. Take, for example, the need for us to keep our homes airtight throughout the winter months. Sure, this makes sense when you consider the fact that we don’t want to freeze when we’re inside. But there’s a ramification to keeping ourselves all cooped up.

With little no ventilation, we can create warm and humid spots in our homes which make the perfect breeding grounds for mould. As Michelle Roberts makes clear on BobVila.com, “mould typically grows where there’s excessive moisture, like in a damp cabinet under the sink or around a leaky window, so it’s important to ventilate these areas and prevent moisture from accumulating.”

So what are the health risks associated with mould? The Government of Canada lists them as eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and mucous (phlegm) build-up, wheezing and shortness of breath, worsening of asthma symptoms and other allergic reactions. “Some airborne moulds can cause severe lung infections in people with very weakened immune systems (like those with leukemia or AIDS, or transplant recipients),” they reveal on the Healthy Canadians website.

Are some people more vulnerable to the effects of mould than others? Yes, certainly. As we alluded to earlier, those who suffer from asthma and severe allergies are more likely to experience breathing difficulties when coming into contact with mould spores. The Healthy Canadians site also acknowledges that children and seniors are more likely to be more sensitive to the effect of mould than others. There is no “safe” limit of exposure, the site warns us.

Where does mould grow? According to Roberts, mould can form on literally any surface. “Even flat and smooth surfaces like glass, fibreglass, and steel are mould-susceptible,” she informs, “As long as mould spores (which are always in the air), moisture, and particulate matter (like dust) are prevalent, mould can grow. The only effective strategy to control mould is to control moisture, like installing dehumidifiers and fans in basements and kitchens.”

What can be done to prevent mould? Limiting moisture is definitely important. Now, of course, there is moisture in all homes. And it is most prevalent in kitchens and bathrooms. This is why both rooms are equipped with exhaust fans. It is highly recommended that they be used any time either room is in use for their intended purposes. In other words, when you are cooking and bathing, turn your fans on.

You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t let water pool or accumulate anywhere. “Homeowners can easily prevent water intrusion by staying vigilant of any leaks around the house, especially in bathroom faucets, showers and toilets,” adds Roberts, “Building experts urge homeowners to stay alert for signs of mould, including dampness, odours, discolouration, peeling paint, condensation, compacted insulation and actual mould outbreaks.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services that analyze, assess and report on 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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How Do Live Christmas Trees Impact Indoor Air Quality?

Family decorating beautiful live Christmas tree.It’s that time of year again! The holidays are well on the way. And you know what that means for people all over the world – it’s time to put up the decorations! Canadians seem to especially love this time of year. With winter imagery so directly associated with Christmas, it’s quite enjoyable to “deck the halls” with as many seasonal decorations as possible. After all, Canada is certainly known for its winters. And most Canadians see the end-of-year holiday season as the best part of winter.

Of course, it’s important to be take precautions when bringing the winter indoors. Most people choose to decorate their homes with store-bought materials that are safe, for the most part. But there are still some traditionalists who like to include live evergreen trees as part of their Christmas decor. Is bringing the outside in all that dangerous? Can it present a problem for our health?

Do live Christmas trees negatively impact indoor air quality? As far as Brian Bussey of Bussey Environmental Inc. is concerned, the answer is yes. “Live Christmas trees can carry pathogenic mould spores that proliferate rapidly in the cozy warmth of your living room,” he writes, “One study showed that indoor mould counts went from 800 to 5,000 spores per cubic meter by the fourteenth day a Christmas tree had been kept indoors.”

Just how bad is the increase of indoor mould due to live Christmas trees? Honestly, it’s pretty bad. In fact, Bussey refers to it as “an explosion of mould growth”. This is because the average healthy home tests at about 600 mould spores per cubic metre. This information was discovered at the conclusion of a study by researchers, John Santilli, M.D. of St. Vincent Medical Center in Connecticut and Rebecca Gruchalla, M.D. of University of Texas.

What symptoms can live Christmas trees trigger? If you’re an asthmatic, you know the symptoms all too well. Wheezing and a shortness of breath have been known to be caused by having live trees inside the home. Of course, these symptoms are common among allergy sufferers who are exposed to mould spores. So, it should go without saying that such individuals should stick to the plastic variety of Christmas trees each holiday season.

But what makes live Christmas trees so prone to the development of mould? It has a lot to do with how they are stored prior to sale, says Patricia Kirk on WebMD.com. She too, writes of the study conducted by Santilli and Gruchalla and comments upon the relationship between live Christmas trees and a rise in indoor mould spores.

According to Kirk, Gruchalla says that “the relationship between live Christmas trees and a rise in indoor mould spores comes as no surprise, particularly since most Christmas trees are cut well in advance of the holidays and stored in a moist environment before being placed on a lot for sale. Then they’re then taken home and placed in water too.” She goes on to note that such trees collect dust while in storage and should be shaken out prior to being brought inside, if you insist on them.

So how do you plan on decorating your home for the upcoming holidays? At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we certainly recommend that you do in the safest way possible. Promoting good indoor air quality while beautifying your home for Christmas should be your priority. For more information on our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Remove Mould From Your Bathroom

Black mold growing on shower tiles in bathroomMost of us clean our homes on a regular basis. But, sometimes, it seems that no matter how hard you clean, there are still areas that can’t exactly be categorized as spotless. This is especially true for our bathrooms, isn’t it? That ugly green and black mould is often found in our shower tiles and even though we attempt to spray it with cleaner and wipe it away, it often will stubbornly remain. Sound like a problem, you have? If so, you’re not alone.

Mould requires dark, warm and moist environments in order to thrive. Ironically, the cleaner we get, the dirtier our bathrooms become. Quite obviously, showering introduces a lot of moisture to your bathroom. Especially when the shower is hot – and most are – both the water itself and the steam that arises from it is bound to keep the tiles warm and wet for quite some time after the shower is completed.

Not only is mould unsightly, but it is also known to present health hazards. Similar to dust, mould spores – when airborne – can enter our lungs. People who suffer from asthma and allergies are especially susceptible to the health risks associated with mould. So cleaning your bathroom is actually a much more important task than you may think. But how can it be cleaned in such a way that the mould actually disappears?

Here are four ways:

1. Create a baking soda and water solution. HowToRemoveBlackMold.com suggests that you place the baking soda solution in a spray bottle and use it to target all the areas where mould is present in your bathroom. Let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes, recommends the website. Then use an old toothbrush to scrub away the mould. After scouring the mould away, wipe away any excess solution and then rinse and repeat the process if necessary.

2. Use a white vinegar spray. If baking soda is unavailable, white vinegar may be a great alternative. On his website, David Suzuki writes that undiluted white vinegar can help to remove mould. He warns, however, that vinegar is a “strong acid” that can potentially etch your tiles or grout. “Use it only on the caulking and rinse off well,” he advises, “it’s always best to do a test patch.”

3. Try liquid oxygen bleach. Suzuki offers liquid oxygen bleach as another mould-removing suggestion. “It’s basically diluted hydrogen peroxide, found in the laundry aisle of your grocery store,” he informs, “Apply it with a spray bottle or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Worst case scenario is if the mould has worked its way behind the caulking. In this case, you may have to re-caulk, and if you do, choose non-toxic, 100 per cent silicone.”

4. Be mindful of your humidity levels. One of the best ways to remove mould from your bathroom is to not let it develop to begin with. Suzuki reminds us that mould prevention is the best way to keep a safe and clean home. “Get a handle on the humidity of your bathroom,” he warns, “Make sure the fan is rated to fit the size of your bathroom and that it’s working properly.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we strongly advocate for mould-free environments. As part of our mandate to have our clients live in homes that promote good health, we offer Mould Assessment Services that seek to locate all areas of the home where mould exists. You may be surprised to discover some of the places where mould may be hiding. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

5 Comments

  1. March 31, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Wow what great advice! You can also use HOT steam to remove mold. That’s what we do here at The Steamers!

  2. Anna Levis-Reply
    September 25, 2016 at 11:04 am

    This is an informative article. I really appreciate your efforts for writing such an amazing post. Showering cause lot of moisture to a bathroom especially when the shower is hot because the steam which arises from it’s bound to keep the tiles warm and wet for sometime after the shower is completed. http://www.floodaz.com/how-to-remove-black-mold-without-killing-the-environment/

    • November 17, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you for the information but I do have one question. Can the mold spread in to your air conditioning duct system ? If so you should have your air ducts cleaned often.

      • Dennis French-Reply
        November 17, 2016 at 4:29 pm

        Hello Anna
        Within your air conditioning duct many things can happen. They can be simply a pathway to move contaminants from one are to another or if the ducts are dirty they can be a food source for biological growth such as mould growing on debris inside ductwork. Ductwork should be cleaned to remove this source. Also Standing moisture in ductwork can also source for other contaminants such as Legionella.

        • December 27, 2016 at 3:04 pm

          Your answer about the air duct cleaning is correct. It is recommended to clean the air ducts every two years to prevents mold growth.

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The Importance Of Removing Mould From Your Home

Mildewed walls with different sorts of mold (close-up shot)Mould is a problem. It’s not just something that appears on old food that can be removed from your home simply by throwing the food out. Mould has a tendency to grow in areas where it can’t be seen. It thrives on moisture and our homes provide plenty of it. Especially in rooms such as the kitchen and the bathroom, the constant presence of moisture allows for mould to find a home. But it’s important to keep it out of your home.

What’s so dangerous about mould? As Joe Cuhaj explains on TodaysHomeowner.com, the presence of mould in the home can lead to a number of negative health effects. He writes that although it often results in minor allergic reactions such as sniffling, watery eyes and sneezing, “some people are more sensitive than others and may experience a stronger reaction that can include difficulty breathing and asthma attacks.”

What is it about mould that causes breathing difficulty? “Several types of mould release toxic substances called mycotoxins,” explains Cuhaj, “Exposure to high concentrations of mycotoxins from Stachybotrys (a greenish-black green mould that grows on cellulose material such as wallpaper, cardboard, and wallboard) or Chaetomium (a white to gray colored mold found on decaying wood and water damaged drywall) may lead to more severe health issues including chronic bronchitis, heart problems, and bleeding lungs.”

So what can be done about preventing mould growth? The first step would be to control the amount of moisture that is present in your home. As we alluded to earlier, it’s practically impossible to avoid moisture altogether as cooking and bathing – two very common daily routines – require the use of water. Controlling moisture, however, includes looking for damage in your home that may be leading to leaks.

The absence of leak sources will be very helpful in keeping mould at bay. But to control moisture, it’s important to monitor your home’s humidity levels as well. According to Gerri Willis on CNN.com, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “recommend keeping the humidity level in your house below 50 percent.” She goes on to suggest that you “use an air conditioner during humid months.”

What else can be done to control humidity in the home? “Make sure to check the ventilation in the kitchen and the bathroom,” advises Willis, “Open a window or turn on a fan when showering. Do not carpet bathrooms and consider using mould inhibitors that can be added to paints. If you see moisture building up, act quickly and dry the area. If you have any water leaks, whether it is coming in through the roof, or from a pipe or the ground, patch it up immediately.”

How can mould be cleaned up? It all depends on the amount of mould and the size of the area that needs to be cleaned. “If the mould is limited to an area of less than 10 square feet, then you might be able to clean it up yourself,” informs Cuhaj, “Areas larger than that should be handled by a professional. If you decide to enlist a professional, make sure they are trained and experienced in mould cleanup.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we couldn’t agree more. Our Mould Assessment Services provide very thorough examinations of your living space to detect any presence of mould. It’s our job to help you to minimize the risk of any negative health effects that may arise due to mould in 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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Limiting Household Moisture In The Wintertime

A view out a cabin window with condensation overlooking a snowy mountain landscapeHumidity and moisture go hand in hand. When we think of humidity, we often think of the sweaty and sticky state that it generally leaves us in. With summer now behind us, most of us are likely thinking that we don’t have worry about humidity until next year. But that doesn’t mean that the presence of moisture has disappeared. In fact, with winter coming in a couple of months, we’ll soon be experiencing more moisture than we’ll know what to do with!

The first reason is because, we Canadians tend to turn up the heat in our homes when it’s cold outside. Can you blame us? Canadian winters don’t exactly provide the warmest temperatures. As well, we also generally keep all of our doors and windows shut so as to not let out any heat. The warmer we are, the better, right? Well, as Tiffany Wild of Paragon Certified Restoration points out, closing up our homes and turning up the heat during the winter can cause some problems.

“You may think this would be a good thing since this would limit the amount of heat that escapes, but this can also lead to the buildup of moisture which can cause mould and mildew inside of the home,” she informs us. Wild goes on to note that mould-inducing moisture problems, during the winter, are generally the direct result of one of two problems: moisture in the air and moisture from actual liquid.

What problems are caused by moisture in the air? Keeping in mind that we much prefer warmer air in our homes during the winter, it presents a vast difference between it and the air outside. With much colder air hitting the outsides of our windows, condensation builds up. Wild writes that “the relative humidity on the surface of the window is 100%.” And, as you may have guessed, this humidity provides the breeding ground for mould and mildew.

“You may also notice some moisture on the window sill or on the window casing (the frame that goes around the window.),” Wild writes, “When this happens, mould and mildew can start developing in these areas. You may also notice mould or mildew forming on the insides of exterior walls, or on clothes or shoes that are located in closets where the temperature is lower than the adjoining room.”

What problems are caused by moisture from actual liquid? Quite obviously, the falling of snow is a telltale sign that winter has arrived. Here, in Calgary, we sometimes don’t even need for the official start of winter to begin seeing the fluffy white stuff fall from the sky. And as Wild points out, the accumulation of snow on our homes can lead to plumbing and roofing issues – the worst being “ice dams”.

“Ice dams usually form on your roof and in your gutters and can cause serious problems and damage if they are not dealt with properly,” she reveals, “Once an ice dam has froze on your roof, water will continue to build up behind it and will eventually run backwards underneath your shingles and into your home. Once you have water leaking into your home from the outside, you have an entirely new and expensive problem that will need to be dealt with.”

DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. is prepared to assist you with your winter preparations. Our Moisture Monitoring Services can locate issues on your property such as sources of leaks and other contributors to the development of mould within the home. Let’s work together in keeping your home mould and mildew free this winter! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Doing Away With The Cold Room

Old cellar or cold room in the basementIn our last blog, we pointed out the importance of limiting the possibilities for mould to grow in your home during the coldest months of the year. For the record, you don’t want mould in your home. Not only does it look gross, but it’s simply bad for your health as well. Breathing in its microscopic spores has been known to severely impact respiratory systems. It’s especially bad for those with asthma and allergies.

As PolygonGroup.com explains it, “mould reproduces by emitting microscopic spores that float through the air. As you can imagine, too much mould in the air can adversely affect humans. Not only is mould is a known allergen, but it is also a cause of asthma and other respiratory conditions. If not properly controlled, mould can cause major problems for your home and its inhabitants.”

Our last blog provided a number of helpful tips for homeowners to implement during the upcoming colder months of the year. The theme that runs throughout each tip is “moisture prevention”. Are you doing your part in limiting moisture in your home? NuSiteGroup.com points out that many Canadians are actually contributing to mould growth thanks to their inability to break an unnecessary habit.

Do you have a cold room in your home? According to the website, such a room is no longer necessary in the modern world, as it can produce more harm than good. It would not be surprising if you grew up with a cold room in your home. Many of our parents used it to store certain foods so that they would remain fresh for longer periods of time. But as NuSiteGroup.com points out, this was before we had adequate means of refrigeration.

So what’s the problem with having a cold room? Simply put, it’s a mould producer! “A cold room may sound like a good idea in theory, but they can easily become a breeding ground for mould, which can extent to other areas of your basement and home if left untreated,” reports the Toronto-based website, “Mould’s needs are simple: these are ambient moisture and an organic, cellulose-based host.”

NuSiteGroup.com firmly states that “cold rooms are by nature moist”. It goes on to highly recommend the shutting down of cold rooms across the country. Before the arrival of modern refrigeration, cold rooms may have been worth the risk of mould growth, given that were no adequate alternatives to keeping meat fresh and vegetables crisp. However, with today’s technology, that certainly isn’t the case.

As far as the site is concerned, inviting mould into your home through the outdated cold room makes no sense. “There could also be better things to do with basement space than wasting it on a cold room which is probably underutilized anyway,” it reads, “You could turn it into a den or an extra bedroom and add real value to your property. If it’s a small cold room, you can create additional storage space, allowing you to do something great with the rest of your basement.”

If you are still utilizing a cold room in your home, it would be wise to check for the presence of mould. It could be affecting your health right now. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services that incorporate a number of inspection techniques to locate all sources of mould in your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

2 Comments

  1. December 12, 2016 at 9:13 am

    great post and informative. Thanks for sharing

  2. January 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Absolutely correct, cold room can bring mold and can effect the air of your home, our wet basement had this issue as it wasn’t waterproofed.

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Learning To Eliminate Household Mould When It’s Cold

bugOkay, the summer is certainly behind us, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to worry about the weather getting too cold just yet. Or is it? October will be upon us by the end of the week. And, as most Canadians will experience, chilly days are soon to become the norm. The leaves outside are already starting to turn colour. Yes, the fall season is here and winter is set to follow closely behind. So what does that mean for our health?

Well, surely it’s important to bundle up when going outside. That goes without saying. But when we’re inside, there are others measures that are important to take when it comes to protection from the cold. Sure, you’ll want to keep warm. But, keep in mind, that your home itself requires protection from the elements too. One of the main reasons for this is because with all of the added precipitation that comes with winter, there is bound to be more moisture entering your homes.

What’s wrong with moisture entering the home? Well, where there is moisture, there is mould. And the last thing you want is to invite opportunities for mould growth into your home during the year’s colder months. Not only does winter bring along snow that can cause flooding when it melts, but it also brings about much colder temperatures that produce condensation when meeting with the warm air inside your home.

What can be done to limit or prevent mould growth? According to PolygonGroup.com, you should remove all signs of mould from your home. However, it will require a lot more than simply cleaning the mould away to be rid of the problem for good. “To effectively rid your home of mould, you must address the source of the moisture,” says the site, “Controlling moisture is the key to controlling mould.”

How can moisture effectively be controlled? “Generally, this is done in one of two ways,” says PolygonGroup.com, “First, effectively dry and fix any leaks, spills, or other unintended instances of moisture. Second, utilize proper ventilation and air circulation in known moisture-prone areas.” This includes the exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchens. They should always be on during bathing and cooking.

There are other ways to ventilate your home, of course. But during the colder months of the year, you may find opening your windows a less than welcome activity. Believe it or not, it’s still recommended. Ted Shoemaker of Home Energy Magazine writes that “people often avoid ventilating rooms during the cold season to avoid loss of heat. But this, the German Energy Agency (dena) warns, brings a big risk with it: mould.”

How can opening the windows during the winter help to limit mould growth? Shoemaker notes that doing so “swiftly exchanges the moist air and minimizes the loss of energy. The wide practice of opening the windows a crack for longer periods only leads to a slow change of the air and increased heating costs.” By allowing moist air to exit the home, there will be fewer opportunities for it to encourage the development of mould.

Mould is a year round problem. But during the winter months, when we are a lot less likely to allow the air from the outdoors to circulate through our homes, there is greater potential for it to be a problem. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are keen on helping our customers to remove it for good. To learn more about our Mould Assessment Services, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Limit Mould Growth In Your Home

strawberry with mold fungus, no longer suitable for consumptionIn our last blog, we revisited the importance of minimizing mould growth in the home. It sounds easier said than done. To be honest, we’ve all likely come across some mould in our homes at some point. Seeing it develop on food that’s been left out too long isn’t all that uncommon. And those bathroom tiles always seem to need a little extra scrubbing, don’t they? Preventing mould might not always be possible. But limiting it is.

Here are four ways to limit mould growth in your home:

1. Get rid of materials that have been soaked. We’re sorry to have to tell you this, but if you’ve experienced a flood in your home, your water-damaged materials are going to have to go. Mould can quickly grow where there is dampness and moisture. And it doesn’t take a flood to make things in your home damp and moist. Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network points this out pretty clearly.

“If you’ve experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can’t be completely dried,” she advises, “Even everyday occurrences need attention: don’t leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mould can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.”

2. Keep your bathrooms as spotless as possible. Keeping your bathroom clean isn’t just good news for your eyes and nose (who doesn’t like a clean looking and fresh smelling bathroom?), but it will work wonders in your quest to limit mould growth. Because bathrooms are where showers take place, they take top spot on the list of household rooms where you’ll find the most moisture.

Better Homes and Gardens highly recommends that you give your bathrooms some special attention. “Few rooms in the home see as much moisture and humidity as the bathroom,” notes their website, “Be sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated. An exhaust fan will help circulate the air and remove moisture more quickly. These additional actions will help keep your bathroom fresh and mould-free.”

3. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate! To piggyback off of one of the final points just made, it’s important to keep all rooms where moisture is bound to occur well ventilated. Your kitchen is no exception. This is why exhaust fans exist above your stove the same way they do in your bathroom. Use them! And whenever possible, be sure to crack open a window to allow fresh air to circulate and moisture to escape.

“It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mould in your home,” says Hill, “Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn’t invite mould by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic).”

4. Contact DF Technical & Consulting Serviced Ltd. Our Mould Assessment Services are your go-to professional method of locating any and all traces of mould in your home. Through a number of comprehensive assessments, we analyze and report on any problem areas of your property. The mould in your home doesn’t stand a chance! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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