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Mould

Taking Measures To Minimize Mould In The Home

petri dish with developing mold specimen held by a hand in a blue rubber glove and a white lab coatNow that September is here, a lot of us are already planning for the fall. Slowly, but surely the weather is about to cool down and we’ll have to get set for chillier temperatures. For many Canadians, this is horrible news. Many of us can’t get enough of the warmth and sunshine. And for many others, the advent of autumn is a great time of year. With less heat, there is often less humidity. And with less humidity, there is less of a risk for mould to develop in our homes.

So what’s the big deal if mould grows in our homes? Well, firstly, it’s pretty unsightly. But secondly, and more importantly, it’s a health hazard. “Mould can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can’t see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles,” explains Heidi Hill of the Mother Nature Network.

She goes to explain that removing mould from the home can be both difficult and expensive. What’s worse is that the allergens produced by mould can impact your health. This is especially true for people with asthma and allergies. Studies have shown that those who suffer from respiratory issues are most likely to feel the effects of airborne mould spores. But they are not alone. They can impact anyone’s health negatively.

What negative impacts can mould have on our health? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that a 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study “found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mould with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.”

So what can be done to prevent mould growth? As we alluded to earlier, an excess of moisture provides the perfect breeding ground for mould development. So, it’s important to keep moisture in the home to minimum. Of course, moisture cannot be completely avoided. After all, everyone has to eat, clean and bathe. And all of these daily activities require the use of moisture-causing heat and water in some way.

So how do we limit moisture? According to Better Homes and Gardens, the first step involves checking areas in your home, such as damp basements and crawl spaces, where there is high humidity. “Mildew and mould can grow on wood products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wallpaper, carpets, drywall, fabric, plants, foods, and insulation,” explains their website, “These growths can begin to develop on a damp surface within 24 and 48 hours and produce spores that travel through the air.”

It’s also important to keep the surfaces in your home as dry as possible. That includes wiping up spills immediately and not allowing liquid to accumulate and pool anywhere. “Mould can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away,” advises Hill, “Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours.”

You can also enlist the services of DF Technical & Consulting Serviced Ltd. to ensure that any traces of mould in your home are properly located. We provide Mould Assessment Services that seek to analyze and report on any problem areas of your home or office through a number of comprehensive assessments. 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 Steps To De-cluttering Your Home

Depositphotos_46720083_s-2015In our last blog, we touched upon the topic of de-cluttering your home and detailed the benefits that come as a result. As explained, your home’s indoor air quality will vastly improve when it is void of unnecessary boxes, packages and other items that serve no purpose other than to take up space. Minimizing the chances of mould growth and dust mites will go a long way in improving your home’s indoor air quality.

But, as we also pointed out in our last blog, the entire de-cluttering process can be a long and arduous one. Many people who have homes filled with clutter want to start cleaning it all up but can’t begin to fathom how they will complete their jobs. As a result, they don’t begin any de-cluttering at all! In today’s blog, we’ll go through some steps that will assist you in de-cluttering your home.

Here are three:

1. Try to move all of your clutter to one location. Perhaps, the most overwhelming thing about starting the clean-up process is where to place all of that clutter taking up space throughout your home. If so, let’s focus on first things first. Instead of worrying about the cleaning process, let’s just start moving some things around. Choose a specific spot to place all of the things you’re considering getting rid of and place them there.

“If the amount of clutter in your home is overwhelming and you want a quick fix, do what you can to keep the clutter in one area in your home or rent a storage unit,” recommends Sara Bereika of SelfGrowth.com, “This should never be considered a permanent fix but you will at least be able to clean the majority of your home thoroughly. This will help you increase the quality of the air in your home and it will keep hallways and doorways hazard free.”

2. Donate items you no longer have use for. If you’re of the mind that placing all of your clutter in one location will only exacerbate the problem, we understand. After all, perhaps looking at the grand total of all of your junk will send you into a negative tailspin. And the last thing we want to do is discourage your clean-up. Instead of creating a new stockpile, get rid of items you no longer want. But remember that someone else may find uses for them.

“Why horde that second blender when your college-bound nephew could use it for mixing margaritas?” asks Gregory Go of Unclutterer.com, “Or how about all those clothes you never wear anymore? The stuff you don’t need anymore might be useful for someone else. Donating your unused stuff is a fine way to up your charitable budget without using cash.” Go also reminds us that that more we give away, the less items that need to be manufactured. And this helps the environment!

3. Consider the money you can make. You don’t necessarily have to donate everything you no longer need. If money is a motivator – and when isn’t it? – you may want to consider how much cash you’re sitting on by not starting your de-cluttering process. “Many of the items that are cluttering our house, can be valuable to someone else,” says Paris Parsa of The Green Minimalist blog.

“An item seating in the garage for many years, taking room and cluttering our mind and house, could be sold on E-bay or Craigslist. Sometimes a good sum of money can be made. Let those stuff go and try to sell them. This way, you make money and someone else that could use this item, will have a chance to enjoy it. It is a win, win situation.” Here’s hoping these steps will help start the process of having your home become the cleanest it has ever been!

For more information on DF Technical & Consulting Service Ltd.’s Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Detailing The Benefits Of De-cluttering

Depositphotos_47311931_s-2015The back-to-school season is upon us. And, while classrooms aren’t quite ready to be filled just yet – don’t worry kids, you still have a few more weeks to go! – it’s that time of year when parents and students alike are preparing for the transition. In many cases, this transition requires the purchasing of new clothing and supplies. And, as a result, many people feel the need to go through their wardrobes and belongings to get rid of some no-longer-in-use items.

It can be argued that back-to-school preparations are summer’s version of spring cleaning time. Really, there is no bad time to clean up around the house. And this is especially true if your cleaning routines involve the de-cluttering of your home. Clutter, as you may know, is a big-time opponent of good indoor air quality. The more clutter you have, the more opportunities you give for dust to collect.

The more dust that collects, the more dust mites you allow into your home. These known allergens can cause a lot of havoc for those with allergies and asthma symptoms. Clutter also disables homeowners from identifying moisture spots. Especially when hidden, areas of moisture in the home can also allow for the development of mould. As you likely also know, mould also promotes an unhealthy breathing environment.

De-cluttering, however, is often looked upon as an arduous task. In truth, it can take a lot of time and effort. Of course, this all depends on the amount of clutter that exists in your home. Worst case scenario hoarding is obviously representative of the most severe types of clutter that exist. In the hopes that you haven’t quite got a hoarding problem, rest assure that you can get through all that soon-to-be-tossed-away junk.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “Reduce the amount of clutter in your home or office as best you can by asking for help from friends, family or a professional,” advises Sara Bereika of SelfGrowth.com, “For many this can be easier said than done. But if you or your family has acquired several colds and illnesses, it is time to make a change. It’s true the clutter may not be the leading cause of illness, but it isn’t helping you or your family to stay healthy either.”

It’s also important to remember that, in addition to improving the quality of air in your home, de-cluttering will help you to enjoy your living space a lot more. “What percentage of your home is used for clutter storage?” asks Gregory Go of Unclutterer.com, “You may be shocked to learn the percentage of your rent or mortgage payments being used to store that old TV, extra couch, and broken coffee maker.”

Not only will you be able to enjoy more of your home, but you’ll be able to spend your time more wisely. Think about it. Going forward, you’ll have a lot less to clean and tidy, right? This gives you more time to do with your life as you please. “If you have less stuff and less to do, you will automatically gain more time,” reminds Paris Parsa of The Green Minimalist blog. “Time the the most valuable possessions we all have. Don’t replace it with stuff. Don’t waste it. Life is short.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are big proponents for de-cluttered homes. Knowing the importance of your home’s indoor air quality, it only makes sense for you to give yourself as great a chance as possible of minimizing dust mites, mould and other detriments to the air that you breathe. We highly recommend our Air Quality Services at the completion of your de-cluttering job. For more information, call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Ways To Minimize Mould During The Summer

Depositphotos_64844439_s-2015It’s been a hot and muggy summer so far, for many cities across Canada. And, in many cases, hot weather brings about humidity. The more humid it gets, the more moisture that exists. And when it comes to moisture in the home, the more of it that there is, the better your chances are of having a mould problem. Of course, this negatively impacts your indoor air quality. So how can we battle the impending growth of mould during the summer’s hot months?

Here are five ways to minimize mould during the summer:

1. Kill it! One of the best ways to get rid of mould is to naturally destroy it. This means using a product that is free of harmful chemicals which would only serve to worsen your home’s indoor air quality. On TakePart.com, Marie Stegner reveals that when you pour white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle, you’ve created an ideal mould killing machine. Simply spray the vinegar on the mouldy areas of your home and let it set without rinsing, she advises.

2. Conduct a late spring clean. If you didn’t get around to doing any spring cleaning a few months back, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get started on tidying things up. On HouseLogic.com, Karin Beuerlein advises that you eliminate clutter. “Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air,” she writes, “Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation.”

She goes on to note that all of that added moisture in the home creates “microclimates…that welcome and feed mould growth.” Stegner also recommends that you keep things clean and tidy in order to avoid such a problem. Proper storage of winter apparel comes highly recommended. “Put away collectibles and winter clothes in plastic storage bags to prevent mould growth on clothes and other household items not in regular use,” she advises.

3. Keep things dry. If you want to minimize moisture, one easy way to do that is to clean up spills immediately to prevent them from pooling. You’ll also want to find ways to prevent it from becoming too humid in your home. Stegner recommends that you “keep the humidity level in your home between 40 to 60 percent. Use a dehumidifier during humid summer months and especially in damp spaces, like basements.”

4. Choose between air conditioning or opening the windows. Don’t do both. If it’s cool enough outside, you may as well let some fresh air in your home. However, if it’s hot and humid, go with the A/C. “When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler home,” warns Beuerlein, “This causes condensation, which mould loves. So keep doors and windows shut when the A/C is humming.”

5. Maintain good ventilation. Keep the air moving throughout your home. Don’t let things get too stale or stagnant. As mentioned, this will involve some opening of the windows during the right times of the day. However, according to Stegner, you’ll also want to “double-check the ventilation throughout the home. Use exhaust fans that vent outside the home in the kitchen and bathroom. Ensure clothes dryers vent outdoors as well.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we consider ourselves mould’s arch enemy! If there is mould hiding in your home, we will ensure that it is found so that it can be removed. The absence of mould in the home is imperative for top-notch indoor air quality. For more information about our Mould Assessment Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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The Importance Of Avoiding Mould In The Summertime

Mold in the corner of the white ceiling and pink wall, with white curtain on the left side.With the summertime comes heat. And with heat often comes humidity. And with humidity comes moisture. And with moisture often comes mould. Do you see the connection here? We’re not saying that the growth of mould in your home is definitely more likely to occur during the summer. But we’re certainly not saying that it’s not a distinct possibility. The more you protect your home from excess moisture, the better you’ll do at keeping mould at bay.

How do we reduce humidity levels in the home throughout the summer? It begins with keeping our homes at comfortable temperatures that don’t promote moisture. According to Westaway Restorations, “temperatures above 23°C, as well as poorly lit rooms and unmoving air, can actually create more mould. Keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. This will help reduce toxic mould.”

In other words, keep your eyes on your thermostat and be sure to open up the windows often enough that you’re allowing fresh air to circulate through each room. Stale and stagnant air doesn’t make for a mould-free home. On days when it’s particularly humid outside, you’ll want to take measures to keep the air inside of your home cool without keeping the windows open. In other words, there will be times when you need A/C.

How does air conditioning help? On HGTV.com, Dwight Barnett points out that “in the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home…If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.” This is especially true for vacant houses. So, don’t skimp on the A/C if you’re planning a move.

The last thing you want is for your old house’s new inhabitants to complain that you left them with a mould-invested environment. “Moulds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent,” informs Barnett, “Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to ‘On.’” You’ll also want to ensure that you’ve done some proper cleaning to remove any signs of mould.

What other ways can we avoid mould during the summer? Ensure that you’re repairing any leaks that may be occurring in your home. “If you find any moisture leaks, clean them up with a dry towel immediately and find the source of the leak,” advises Westaway Restorations, “Consider hiring a professional if the leak does not stop or if you are dealing with a plumbing issue…Controlling moisture leaks in your home or place of work will reduce the mould’s ability to thrive.”

How can our clothing encourage mould growth? Naturally, we have to wash our clothes. So they are bound to encounter moisture quite often. The key is to ensure that they are dried adequately. Don’t hang clothes in your closet that is still damp from the wash. Westaway Restorations also points out that leather shoes are excellent food sources for mould! Be sure to keep them clean and free of moisture.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we provide both Mould Assessment Services and Moisture Monitoring Services. We make it our mission to properly evaluate your property for moisture sources that may be causing the development of mould. Such sources may include envelop failures or leakage issues. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Finding Solutions To Rid Your Home Of Mould

Mildewed walls with different sorts of mold (close-up shot)Most of us do our best to keep our homes clean. Of course, it’s not always that easy when you have young children who tend to track mud and dirt into our houses after playing outside. Not to mention, dinner time can result in quite the mess when your children are playing with their food instead of eating. But to be fair, we can’t always blame the kids. How many of us are guilty of leaving dishes in the sink or our clothing on the floors?

Okay, so maybe being neat and tidy all of the time isn’t so easy. However, it needs to be said that keeping a clean home is good for your health. How so? Well consider the fact that when you allow dust to accumulate, you invite allergen-ridden dust mites to infest your home. As well, when you don’t wipe up spills and you allow other food particles to accumulate into messy puddles, you invite mould growth into your living space.

Vacuuming up dust isn’t so hard a task. Especially if you are using a HEPA filter, you are doing yourself quite the favour in maintaining a home with limited dust. But what should be done about that mould problem that you’ve brought on? In some cases, it can be wiped away. And, in others, a major mould problem requires a major cleaning regimen. It’s important to rid your home of mould as it is also known to cause serious health issues.

Mould growth is most prevalent in areas of the home where a lot of moisture occurs. Your shower stall or bathtub is a perfect example. Do you see those dark green or black spots in between the tiles in your bathroom’s shower? That’s mould. And you may notice that it doesn’t disappear with your run-of-the-mill spray and wipe routine. Don’t despair. There’s still a way to get rid of it.

“Surface moulds grow in just about any damp location, such as the grout lines of a ceramic tiled shower,” says FamilyHandyman.com, “They’re easy to scrub away with a mixture of 1/2 cup bleach, 1 qt. water and a little detergent. The bleach in the cleaning mixture kills the mould, and the detergent helps lift it off the surface so you can rinse it away so it won’t return as fast. You can also buy a mildew cleaner at hardware stores, paint stores and most home centres.”

On HousewifeHowTo.com, Katie Berry writes that painted walls also tend to experience mould development. She offers her solution to cleaning it up. “My personal recommendation is to use the vinegar/borax/water method first and wait two days to see if mould returns,” she advises, “If it does, move on to using the bleach/water approach. (Bleach is very irritating to the lungs, eyes and skin, so I prefer avoiding its use whenever possible.)”

She warns that no matter what type of method you use to remove mould from your home, it’s important to wear rubber gloves. That way, you can protect your skin from coming into contact with the mould. As well, she recommends that you “wear old clothing so you can wash it in HOT water to kill any mould spores that wind up on your clothes, and be sure to ventilate the area well while you’re working so you aren’t inhaling the stuff.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we like to see ourselves as mould’s arch enemy. We offer Mould Assessment Services in order to help you locate problem areas of the home where mould may be developing. It’s imperative to pinpoint these areas in order to prevent potential health problems for your family. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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4 Ways To Limit Moisture In The Kitchen

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

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

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the kitchen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4 Ways To Limit Moisture In The Bathroom

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

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

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

Here are four ways to limit moisture in the bathroom:

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

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

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

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

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

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3 Ways To Stop Mould Problems In Your Basement

Depositphotos_19967309_xsBasements sometimes get a bad rap as the “forgotten” part of the household. In many households, basements are frequently used to entertain guests, workout and even sleep in. But, in many other households, basements are no more than large storage spaces. If something is no longer useful, it isn’t always thrown out. It’s often stuck in the basement. As a result, basements often become crowded with old items that pile up over the years.

Unfortunately, this transforms a basement into the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only does mould like to grow in dark and dank places, but overcrowded spaces give mould excellent hiding locations. This allows mould to grow undetected for long lengths of time. When mould spores go airborne, they create health hazards that home owners may never even know about. Clearly, this is a problem. So how does one stop a mould problem after it has started?

Here are three suggestions:

1. Start a “toss and clean”. It pretty much is what it sounds like. This term (we’re going to go ahead and say that we coined it!) refers to throwing out any items that have mould growing on them. This is one easy way to rid your basement of mould. And, for the mould growing on your floors, walls and ceilings, it’s time to break out the cleaning products in order to remove it as best as possible.

“If the mould is growing on removable items such as drywall or boxes stacked on the floor, much of it is removed simply by discarding contaminated objects and replacing them with fresh material,” offers Karie Fay on RealEstate.com, “Then, scrubbing the surroundings with detergent and water or a natural product removes the mould residue. It’s cheaper than commercial fungicides and doesn’t burn your eyes, lungs and skin like bleach.”

2. Use bleach, if necessary. Water is one of mould’s top necessities for growth. If your basement has become flooded, you’re bound to experience a mould problem after it has been drained. If so, you may need to use bleach in order to minimize the harmful bacteria that develop as a result of mould growth. Fay provides some instructions for those who are in the process of ridding their previously-flooded basements of mould.

“If your basement flooded, it’s still a good idea to use bleach to sanitize it,” she advises, “Bleach reduces the mold count – it doesn’t completely kill it – and neutralizes harmful bacteria. Mix chlorine bleach with warm water in a bucket at a ratio of one cup (8 ounces) of bleach per gallon of water. As you use the bleach water and it becomes dirty, flush the remainder and mix fresh solution.”

3. Set up new walls. Yes, this sounds like a major undertaking. But, in some cases, the cleaning of a basement isn’t enough to save the walls, floors and ceilings. To completely rid your basement of mould, sometimes starting over is the answer. That way, the remaining mould-induced damage can be covered up with new walls and prevented from becoming the foundation for new mould growth.

“I feel the only way to stop the mould from growing is to clean the walls really well, get them dry and then immediately frame the new walls,” reports TimCarter on AskTheBuilder.com, “Create a 1-inch air space between the back of the wall and the basement wall. Caulk the bottom wall plate so no air can get behind the wall. Insulate the wall and install a continuous high-quality cross laminated vapour barrier on the wall before you install the drywall.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you get started with the removal of mould from anywhere 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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How To Limit The Presence Of Moisture In The Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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