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Mould

5 More Ways To Keep Your Kitchen Mould-Free

Mouldy sliced bread loaf, over white background.In our last blog, we tackled the topic of mould growth in the kitchen. As you can imagine, the kitchen is a natural place for mould to grow. After all, there are plenty of organic materials kept in the kitchen. This is where mould thrives. Not to mention, the kitchen is a high-moisture area. Between the constant cooking and cleaning, there are always spots where mould can develop. As you may already know, mould just loves moisture and humidity.

As a result, it’s important to be mindful of the ways in which we keep our kitchens. Obviously, the cleaner our kitchens are kept, the better. But, as we mentioned last time, it’s not just a clean kitchen that keeps mould at bay. How we both keep and dispose of our food is very important. Sometimes, we forget that throwing our food in the garbage doesn’t actually make it go away. And we also sometimes forget that keeping food in the fridge doesn’t keep it fresh forever!

Here are five more ways to keep your kitchen mould-free:

1. Keep an eye on your produce. Not all food is kept in the fridge, of course. And while many people like to keep their fruits and vegetables cool, many prefer to leave apples, oranges, potatoes, avocados and the like out in the open. Fruit and potatoes, it should be noted, are mould havens. As WikiHow.com describes it, “fruit and potatoes are two types of food where mould thrives”, so it’s important to check on them daily, especially if they are not being refrigerated.

2. Vacuum and dust regularly. When we think of cleaning our kitchens, we tend to think about sponges, mops and disinfectant wipes before we think of vacuums and dusters. BlackMold.AwardSpace.com reminds us that you should still “dust and vacuum often, ideally with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtered vacuum cleaner to remove dust and other substances that mold can grow off of. It has been found that 80% of mould grows on dust.”

3. Clean the refrigerator drip tray a couple of times a year. Do you know what your fridge’s drip tray is? WikiHow.com informs us that the drip tray is “a tray that catches water that condenses and overflows (and) is usually under the front part of the refrigerator.” The site recommends that you not only clean this drip tray to ward off mould growth, but that you also clean the moisture that accumulates on the walls around your refrigerator and kitchen range.

4. Clean cutting boards with vinegar. Remember that mould requires organic materials to grow. Often, we use cutting boards to cut up our meat and produce. Rinsing them off after use isn’t good enough to ensure that no mould forms. WikiHow.com insists that you wash your cutting board every week with vinegar. The site notes that this will reduce mould growth as cutting boards are prime locations for mould growth.

5. Use your exhaust fans. In previous blogs, we have championed the use of exhaust fans in the bathroom. Clearly, bathrooms are high-moisture locations. Those fans are there for a reason. Limiting moisture is key in the prevention of mould growth. While cooking in the kitchen, the same rules apply. “Turn on exhaust fans and vents when cooking or working in the kitchen to prevent humid air in your kitchen,” advises WikiHow.com.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we know how important it is for you to keep your home mould-free. As you may know, the kitchen and the bathroom are not the only locations where mould can form. Our Mould Assessment Services ensure that all sources of mould growth in your home are found so that your family is protected from its harmful effects. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Ways To Keep Mould Out Of Your Kitchen

Mouldy fruit on bright background.When most of us think of mould, we often think about food that has been left out for too long. The “green stuff” on bread or fruit is generally the immediate image that our minds conjure up when thinking about mould. It’s true that mould can often be found on food, as it requires organic materials to feed on. That, and moisture, are what provide mould with the most opportunities to grow. Therefore, it’s important to take measures to keep our food mould-free.

And that means cleaning up in the kitchen! With food being a top choice for mould growth, the better we do at keeping our food fresh and our kitchens clean, the better we will be at keeping mould at bay. As a reminder, this is important because when mould spores become airborne, they can have adverse effects on our health. The bottom line is the less mould you have in your home, the better your health will be.

Here are five ways to keep mould out of your kitchen:

1. Empty the trash often. Sometimes, we forget that when we are throwing out pieces of food left on our dinner plates, they are not being sent off to some magical place where they won’t have any impact. Obviously, garbage cans are not refrigerated. With a dark and moist place to call home, thrown out food can develop mould quickly. “Use a garbage can that holds about one day’s worth of garbage and empty it daily to prevent growth of mould,” insists WikiHow.com.

2. Let the sunlight in. Does your kitchen have a window? If so, you are in a better position to ward off the growth of mould. As mentioned, mould thrives in dark areas. The more sunlight the kitchen gets, the better its chances are of being mould-free. According to BlackMold.AwardSpace.com, “allowing sunlight in will reduce the chances of mould growing so open the curtains in rooms during the day to let natural light in.”

3. Take old food out of the fridge. As most of you know, even refrigeration can’t keep mould at bay forever. All types of food have expiration dates. Not only is it more healthful to eat it while it’s fresh, but it will help ward of mould growth if it’s not kept for too long. “If you think you’ll never eat the food, throw it out immediately,” advises WikiHow.com, “Check the refrigerator thoroughly at least once and dispose of old food.”

4. Keep it cool. With the spring now here and summer around the corner, things are bound to heat up. Remember that mould loves the warmth. So if you are keeping your home cool, you’ll be doing your part in preventing mould from forming. “Mould generally does not grow in cold environments,” explains BlackMold.AwardSpace.com, “Most moulds need temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or more to grow.”

5. Empty compost containers regularly. Canadians are known as pretty good recyclers. And, that’s a good thing, of course. But remember that when you are separating organic materials for compost, you are creating mould-inviting environments in your compost containers. According to WikiHow.com, “compost buckets are the one of the worst sources of mould”, so be sure to keep them covered and emptied on a daily basis.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we have many years of experience detecting mould in homes. We’re very well aware that it can develop in many different areas of the home – not just the kitchen. To ensure the best possible indoor air quality of your home, we highly recommend our Mould Assessment 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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Limiting Mould Growth In The Bathroom

Dirty Bath IVIn a number of our past blogs, we have stressed the importance of eliminating mould from your household’s environment. One of the key factors in mould growth, that we continue to point out, is the presence of moisture. For that reason, we’ve recommended limiting moisture in the home by inspecting for leaks, using exhaust fans and keeping surfaces dry. But, in some cases, this is easier said than done.

To be more specific, in some rooms, pulling off these moisture-limiting activities isn’t all that easy. Sure, we can hopefully remember to turn on the fans in our kitchens and bathrooms each time we are either cooking or bathing. But bathing, after all, requires the use of a great deal of water. Of course, no one is recommending that you avoid water. That would be laughable, as it is impossible to live without it!

It is, however, all about upkeep. In other words, once a shower is completed, it’s important to dry wet surfaces in the bathroom. But how many of us have time for that? This is the reason that black mould is so often found in the tiles of our showers and sometimes on bathroom floors. Keeping moisture at bay in bathrooms is not an easy feat. So there must be some things that we can do to limit mould growth, right?

Don’t ignore the various bathroom accessories. In other words, to limit mould growth as much as possible, you can’t just focus on the surfaces of your bathroom. We expect mould to accumulate in the tiles. But there are numerous objects that often reside in your bathroom that need to be tended to in order to limit the number of places that mould can hide. On HouseLogic.com, Deborah R. Huso provides some sound advice in this regard.

“Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently,” she recommends, “Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mould to grow and hide.” If this provides an inconvenient solution to storing such items, try to be mindful of wiping them down if they become wet during your showers. “Wash your bathroom rugs frequently,” Huso adds.

Inspect hidden areas. To reiterate an important point about mould, it loves to hide in inconspicuous places. It’s not always so easy to detect if you’re not looking for it. So in addition to removing or drying your damp products, you’ll want check the less obvious locations for mould growth. “Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms,” advises Huso.

Make use of mould killers. Bathrooms are places that most of us clean on a regular basis. For obvious reasons, bathrooms should be cleaned often. But some of us forget that wet surfaces, even when clean, can be an issue. Huso reminds us to use “mould-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.” As well, you should, “open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mould.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services that assess, analyze and report on your home, office or building. Our comprehensive assessments include visual inspections for sources of mould, an analytical sampling for source and health impact potential from spore exposure, a 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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6 Effective Ways To Keep Mould Growth At Bay

Moldy orangeFor most of us, when we think of mould, we usually drum up pictures of food that has gone bad. The green, mossy-looking growth on our food usually means that it’s time to throw it away. Logically, it makes sense to avoid eating foods that have grown mould. But what most people may not realize is that mould spores can impact our breathing air. And mould can certainly develop in places in the home other than the refrigerator.

Wherever there is moisture, there is the opportunity for mould to grow. “No matter how clean you keep your home, having some mould is inevitable, especially if you live in a humid climate,” writes Krisha McCoy on EverydayHealth.com, “If you have mould inside your home, though, you can take steps to reduce its growth — which is especially important for people who are allergic to the fungal spores that are released by mould.”

Here are six effective ways to keep mould growth at bay:

1. Keep things as dry as possible. To reiterate, mould needs moisture to develop and grow. The drier you keep your living environment, the better you will be at keeping mould at bay. “Mould spores move constantly through the air, both inside and outside the home,” writes McCoy, “Once they find a damp spot, they claim it. That damp spot could be on paper, food, wood, plaster, and carpets. Since mould loves anything wet, the way to control its spread is to keep everything as dry as possible.”

2. Disinfect surfaces that often get wet. Because mould enjoys damp places to grow, it’s important to keep them as clean as possible. Sinks, kitchen and bathroom floors, shower tiles and the like are surfaces where you will often find mould. That is, of course, unless you are keeping them disinfected. “Luckily these are typically non porous surfaces (tile, stone, laminate) which makes them ideal for disinfectants and other cleaners,” writes Joslyn from the MoldBlogger Team, “Once finished cleaning, make sure no moisture remains.”

3. Check for standing water and leaks. The tricky thing about springing a leak is that you may not even know it has happened until you notice the damage that it causes. Faulty plumbing or even an old roof can lead to leaks that may show up as water marks on your ceilings and walls. “Promptly repair any leaks that you detect,” advises McCoy, who also urges us to “regularly wipe up any puddles of water that may accumulate in your kitchen and bathrooms.”

4. Store clothes when they are dry and clean. Have you ever left your clothes in the washing machine too long after the cycle has been completed? Have you ever taken clothes out of the dryer to find that they are still a little damp? Both situations offer mould a place to live. “It is best to keep used clothes dry,” insists Joslyn, “Better yet, wet clothes should be hung to dry. Try to put them outside or in places where there is air circulating.”

5. Clear the clutter. While mould loves damp environments, it’s also pretty good at playing “hide and seek”. The more clutter you have in your home, the more places that mould can hide from you. You’ll want to either throw out unnecessary items or store them outside of your home. “Old books, newspapers, clothing, and bedding that are no longer used can promote the growth of mould, so clear these items out of your house,” recommends McCoy.

6. Prevent condensation. Remember that mould will take advantage of any opportunity it can get to locate moisture in your home. As a result, it’s important to be mindful of condensation existing on surfaces within the home. But how do you prevent it? “Insulating walls and installing storm or thermal pane windows keeps walls warm and limits condensation,” offers Joslyn. There is, however, one more effective way to keep mould growth at bay.

Contact DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd. for more information about our Mould Assessment Services today! Call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Battling Asthma Triggers By Improving Indoor Air Quality

Woman having asthma using the asthma inhaler for being healthyIn what is easily one of the biggest understatements that can ever be made, having asthma is no fun at all. An inability to breathe freely is clearly a deterrent to optimum health. And yet, there are millions of us who are affected by asthma, which is described as “recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing” by the World Health Organization. “This condition is due to inflammation of the air passages in the lungs and affects the sensitivity of the nerve endings in the airways so they become easily irritated,” they explain.

It’s important for asthmatics to steer clear of the common irritants of the disease. And they tend to vary depending on the person. For many asthmatics, excessive activity can lead to having difficulty breathing. For others, milk and other dairy products have been known as enemies to the respiratory system. But for nearly everyone who suffers from asthma, smoke and other pollutants to the air are chief causes of asthma attacks. Needless to say, good air quality is mandatory for the minimizing of asthma symptoms.

Maintaining good air quality isn’t always that easy to do, however. As Dory Cerny reports on AllergicLiving.com, “studies in recent years have found that the air quality inside the average home is up to five times worse than that outside. And North Americans spend about 90 per cent of their time indoors during the winter.” In addition to cleaning product fumes, pet dander and cigarette smoke, dust mites and mould are listed as the top culprits for asthma triggers.

So how do we put a stop to them?

Battling dust mites. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas, advises Asthma.ca, noting that dust mites can’t live in dry environments. The site explains that “the excretions and body parts of these tiny, spider-like creatures can be a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms. Dust mites congregate in soft-surfaced places where there is an abundant food supply. Dust mites feed off shed human skin and are thus found in bedding, mattresses, pillows, sofas and carpets.”

Other ways to minimize dust mites are to remove carpets, if possible. This is especially important in bedrooms where we do our sleeping. As well, Asthma.ca recommends that you launder your bed linens in very hot water that is about 55 degrees Celsius and to use mite-allergen impermeable encasings for your pillows, mattresses and box springs. By the way, it’s also important to not leave food and water out, so as to avoid inviting cockroaches – another asthma trigger – into your home.

Battling moulds. “Make sure your home is well ventilated,” advises Asthma.ca. Poor ventilation is often highlighted as a common cause for the growth of mould. “Moulds are fungus that can be found just about anywhere it’s damp and where air flow is minimal, like basements and bathrooms,” reports the site, “Their airborne spores can trigger asthma symptoms, but there are many ways to avoid them. The best way is to keep your home dry and clean.”

Other methods of staving off mould is to use anti-mould cleaners such as vinegar or chlorine-bleach solutions, using bathroom and kitchen fans, reducing the number of your household plants and ensuring that you have proper drainage around your house. Remember that moisture is a must for mould growth. The less humid and moist your surroundings are, the better your chances are of keeping mould at bay.

Ensuring the high quality of your indoor breathing air is incredibly important to the health of those who suffer from asthma. The disease can seriously impact one’s overall wellness. Considering how many asthma triggers occur within the home – a place we all spend most of our time – it’s integral that we keep the air in our homes pure. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services to ensure this. 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 Hoarding Can Affect Your Breathing Air

Depositphotos_64855481_xsHave you ever seen the A&E documentary-based television show, “Hoarders”? Perhaps, you don’t even need to watch an episode of the show to know what hoarding is all about. But, just in case, the program documents the lives of people who are stricken with unshakable urges to stuff as many belongings into their homes as possible. To say that their living areas are “messes” is a major understatement. And that’s no April Fools’ joke!

As mentioned, some don’t need to see hoarding on TV, as they experience such lifestyles themselves. According to eMentalHealth.ca, “current estimates are that hoarding occurs in 5% of the population (Samuels, 2008), generally in individuals in their 50’s. Nonetheless, it is hard to estimate how many people have problems with hoarding as many of them are able to keep their hoarding secret.”

When people develop an inability to throw things out, the process of hoarding has begun. As you can imagine, the packing of items on top of each other makes it hard for individuals to even exist in comfortable living spaces. It’s near impossible to manoeuvre around a home when it is inhabited by a hoarder. What’s worse is that hoarding makes for the perfect breeding ground for mould and other air pollutants.

As John Ward of Mold Busters writes, “hoarding can contribute to poor indoor air quality (IAQ), which leads to several health issues.” Among them are worsened asthma, shortness of breath, headaches, irritation in the eyes, nose and throat and chronic fatigue. Ward goes on to reveal that the top three ways that hoarding contributes to poor indoor air quality is mould-riddled household items, poor ventilation and hidden problems.

Mouldy items. Of course, with so many items stacked on top of each other in the home of a hoarder, it’s practically impossible to determine where mould may be lingering. Ward notes that, many hoarders can’t help but hold on to things that most people would deem as garbage. And this greatly contributes to mould growth. “If there’s a mouldy item in your home, mould spores are released into the indoor air and make their way throughout it,” he writes, “It doesn’t matter if you’ve boxed the item and stored it; you’re still at risk of inhaling hazardous mould spores.”

Poor ventilation. Obviously, having boxes and other belongings piled on top of each other, a hoarder doesn’t allow for much air circulation in his or her home. Furthermore, there is little to no ability to open a window when it’s being blocked by so many items. “It’s not only inconvenient and a hindrance if there’s ever a fire, but these boxes also block air vents and windows inside the home, leading to a lack of ventilation and, consequently, poor IAQ,” Ward reports.

Hidden problems. Perhaps, the scariest problems related to hoarding are the ones you can’t see. When you don’t realize that a problem exists, you do nothing to fix it. This means that you can be causing increased damage to your respiratory system without even knowing it. Ward uses the example of a leaky window that goes unnoticed. After just 24 to 48 hours, the moisture could develop a breeding ground for mould.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we are dedicated to helping individuals who have problems with hoarding to change their lives. In addition, we offer Air Quality Services that seek to address the long term effects on your health that poor indoor air quality can have. For more information on these and any other services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Battling The Problem-Causing Presence Of Moisture

Damp moistureThe word “moisture” doesn’t generally carry with it much of an ominous aura. In fact, we usually use the word “moist” in a pleasant way – when describing the texture of a cake, for example. But in the world of indoor air quality, moisture is definitely a villain. The cause for many a problem with our breathing air, moisture needs to be kept to a minimum. The main reason is because of its allowance of mould growth.

It’s nearly impossible for us to avoid the presence of moisture in our homes. After all, we cook, shower, bathe, do the laundry, wash dishes and clean numerous times throughout each week. But when moisture accumulates, it can not only present a danger to your home’s structure and foundation, but it can also lead to the growth of mould. This can severely impact our breathing air, creating significant health problems.

How exactly can mould affect us? “For people sensitive to mould, inhaling or touching mould spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash,” explains WebMD.com, “People with serious mould allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath. In people with asthma who are allergic to mould, breathing in spores can also cause asthma attacks.”

So what can we do to reduce the moisture in our homes and keep mould at bay? According to Health Canada, there are a number of measures that should be taken. And they begin with addressing some of the daily activities that we all partake in. Firstly, it’s important to use our exhaust fans whenever we are showering, bathing, washing clothes or cooking. This will help for moisture to not accumulate on surfaces giving mould ideal breeding grounds.

Secondly, it’s important to look for leaks and cracks in our windows, floors and ceilings. Obviously, leaks can lead to the pooling of water which won’t help in your mould-prevention practices. It’s especially important to look for leaks during this time of year as the advent of spring often entails the melting of a lot of snow. Beware of flooding due to weather conditions, Health Canada warns us. You will also want to be mindful of the presence of condensation on cold surfaces in the home.

What else can be done to prevent moisture problems? “Ensure rain, irrigation water and snowmelt drain away from the house by sloping the grade away from the building,” advises Health Canada, “Keep eavestroughs and downspouts clean of debris and ensure that the outflow runs away from the house and not into neighbouring foundations.” They also recommend using “moisture tolerant materials” in areas that are likely to get wet, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Can moisture be completely eliminated from the home? Certainly not. But as WebMD.com reminds us, “because mould spores can’t grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mould growth. If there is already mould growing in your home, it’s important to clean up the mould and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mould but don’t fix the problem, the mould will most likely return.”

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Moisture Monitoring Services that include the use of moisture meters, thermal scanning, hygrometer or related humidity monitoring as well as Mould Assessment Services. We look for leakage issues, construction failures and other occupant-based moisture sources to determine exact causes of mould growth in the home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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5 Ways To Prevent Mould Growth In Your Home

Interior decayUnfortunately, our respiratory systems have many enemies. And among all of the various pollutants of our breathing air that exist, mould is arguably the most prevalent. It’s probably safe to say that the fact that mould is dangerous to our health falls in the category of “common knowledge”. However, what is not so common is the direct attention that we all need to pay to keeping the growth of mould at bay in our homes.

This is because mould can occur just about anywhere in our homes. Obviously, we all spend a great deal of time within our respective living spaces. So if there is any location that needs to be free of mould, it’s our homes. But where exactly can mould be found? What are the most common areas for mould to begin to grow? According to Health Canada, basements, closets, window sills, roofs, and around sinks, tubs and pipes definitely require our attention.

Poor ventilation is listed as a major cause of poor indoor air quality thanks to mould. Not to mention, dampness and humidity are major factors in the growth of mould. Clearly, there are particular approaches to maintaining our homes that should be practiced in order to limit or completely eliminate mould growth. Here are five ways to prevent the growth of mould in your home.

1. Look for and repair any leaks. As mentioned, mould needs moisture to grow. Leaky pipes and leaks in your roof are major culprits in the development of mould. Many of these leaks can be occurring inside your walls, so they can be difficult to detect. Keep an eye on your walls and ceilings to detect any signs of water damage. “Repair any water leaks as soon as you notice them. Clean up immediately after any flood,” insists Health Canada.

2. Reduce humidity. When the weather is humid or it has been raining for a while, mould tends to form on surfaces in the home. Health Canada recommends that you “keep humidity low, about 50% in summer and 30% in colder weather. If needed, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce humidity levels. You can use a hygrometer (an inexpensive tool available at most hardware stores) to measure humidity.”

3. Clean up around the house. Consider mould an uninvited house guest that enjoys playing “hide and seek”. And consider yourself someone who doesn’t enjoy playing such a game. The more clutter you have in your home, the more opportunities you give mould to hide from you. Health Canada insists that you throw out your basement clutter since “cardboard boxes and old clothes are great places for mould to grow.”

4. Keep your home well ventilated. In other words, you have to allow your home to breathe. Opening up the windows allows for a circulation of air that prevents pockets of stale or moist air that mould uses to thrive in. Remember that while cooking or taking a shower, there is often steam that arises from the heat. This creates humidity that will keep surfaces wet for longer periods of time than necessary.

5. Use exhaust fans. During the colder days of the year, you’re not going to be able to open those windows, or keep them open for very long if you do. On such days, be sure to make use of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking or showering, recommends Health Canada. You should also allow the fans to keep running for, at least, a few minutes after you are done. Following each of these steps will help to stave off the growth of mould in your home.

As we pointed out, however, you won’t always be able to see the mould that exists in your living space. At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services so that you can know for sure. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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Examining Air Quality Problems Due To Moisture

Blue Tiles in Swimming PoolWhen looking for a new home or office space, there are a number of obvious things that we often consider. Ample space, good lighting and a sense of overall comfort generally come to mind as necessities. But it’s also incredibly important to be mindful of the air quality of your new property. Is there anything truly more important than the quality of the air we breathe? Perhaps, we sometimes forget about this, considering we don’t generally see air.

It’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing when it comes to our breathing air, isn’t it? And that’s why it’s so important to get professionals to test your property’s breathing air before settling on it. This is especially true considering that there are factors that are often difficult to detect with the naked eye. Take moisture, for example. You may be surprised to know just how damaging the presence of moisture can be on air quality.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, “moisture is continually being released inside your home: 10 to 50 litres (2 to 10 gallons) every day…A cord of wood stored in your home, for example, can release more than 270 litres of moisture. Excess moisture can result in moisture problems, which can lead to air quality problems.” So what are some of the biggest air quality problems caused by moisture?

The development of mould. The growth of mould in your home or office is often a direct result of there being too much moisture. Mould simply thrives in environments where humidity is high. This is often a result of there being little to no exchange of air between the outdoors and the indoors. As the CMHC points out, “mould growing in your home can release mould spores, toxins from mould, and mouldy odours.” And this can lead to severe health problems.

According to Health Canada, there are number of health issues that can result from breathing in mould spores. Among them are eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and phlegm build-up and wheezing and shortness of breath. They also reveal that those with asthma, severe allergies and sensitive immune systems are most deeply affected by the presence of mould in their breathing air.

Structural damage due to condensation. “Condensation” is a term most often associated with the wetness found on the outside of a glass when cold liquid is poured into it. This is because “when warm, moist air comes into contact with a surface that is too cold, moisture condenses,” explains the CMHC. But when condensation occurs in your property, it can lead to a fair bit of damage. The structure of the building itself can become weaker.

In addition, the possessions contained within the property can experience damage. The CMHC reveals that excess condensation can be formed due to inappropriate use of humidifiers as well as evaporation from showers, washing dishes and clothes, cooking, aquariums, standing water, people, pets and plants. One solution is to “discontinue use of humidifiers and use a dehumidifier in the basement during fall, spring and summer.”

To reduce the amount of condensation in your home or place of business, it is recommended that you keep the surfaces inside your property warm. To do this, the CMHC suggests that you upgrade your windows so that they are more energy-efficient, install adequate insulation so as to keep your walls and ceilings warm and provide sufficient heat to all of the indoor areas of your property.

At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we take the air quality of your home or office very seriously. Our Moisture Monitoring Services evaluate your building for moisture sources including building envelop failures, leakage issues or occupant-based moisture sources. Locating and eliminating such sources will help to prevent mould and other air quality problems. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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  1. John M.-Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    These articles are great! Keep up the good work. It’s nice to know that the Mould fighters are on our side!

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3 Major Reasons Air Quality Tests Fail

Clean AirAt DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., it is our mission to ensure that the air you’re breathing is clean and pure. Our indoor air quality experts provide top-of-the-line Air Quality, Moisture Monitoring and Mould Assessment Services as just a few of the many ways that we seek to keep your breathing air as pollutant-free as possible. Testing your breathing air is obviously an important step in ensuring the health and safety of your loved ones and co-workers.

Whether it is your home or office, any property that you spend a significant amount of time in should be tested for its air quality. As you’re probably aware, air quality isn’t exactly something you can test with the naked eye – or naked nose for that matter! While odour is often a telltale sign of an unclean airspace, there a number of other factors that contribute to failed air quality tests. Here are three major ones.

1. High humidity. Moisture is one of the top factors in the development of mould and other irritants to our respiratory system. The more humidity found in an area, the greater the chances of there being negative health effects. On CubeSensors.com, Alja Isakovic explains that high humidity can create a feeling of stale air that can make your hair frizzy. “That’s because more humidity in the air means your sweat is not evaporating as fast as it usually does,” she writes.

She goes on to note, however, that a high degree of humidity can have serious side effects. Among them are sleeping problems and the aforementioned development of moulds, as well as harmful bacteria and dust mites. “And moulds are not just an eye sore,” Isakovic reminds us, “They release mould spores into the air you breathe throughout the day. Some of these spores can trigger allergies, asthma attacks, irritate your eyes, nose or throat, and bring on a whole bunch of other respiratory problems.”

2. High carbon dioxide. We all know that we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. And there’s a reason for that. We’re expelling air that the body does not require. If there are high traces of carbon dioxide in your breathing air, it could be a sign that the area is not well ventilated. However, the small concentration that results from our breathing isn’t considered dangerous. Of course, carbon dioxide isn’t only created by the air that we expel into the atmosphere.

“There are both natural and human sources of carbon dioxide emissions,” explains the What’s Your Impact? blog, “Natural sources include decomposition, ocean release and respiration. Human sources come from activities like cement production, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.” If you work in these fields, it is important to monitor the air quality of your working environments as carbon dioxide can be dangerous in high concentrations.

3. High carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide doesn’t need high concentrations to be dangerous. This gas can be deadly within minutes. Because it is odourless, colourless and tasteless, it is practically impossible to detect without a professional inspection. As SilentShadow.org explains it, “once carbon monoxide has been breathed in, it replaces the oxygen in the blood, thus killing off cells and starving vital organs of oxygen.”

Carbon monoxide is arguably the most alarming reason for an air quality test to fail. The presence of this gas in your home or office requires immediate attention. “The great danger of carbon monoxide is its attraction to hemoglobin in the bloodstream,” informs SilentShadow.org, “When breathed in, carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen which cells need to function.” As a result, flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells and confusion can occur.

Let’s ensure the safety of your breathing air. For more information about the Air Quality Services provided by DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email info@dftechnical.ca.

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