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Archive for October, 2018

How to Clean Walls with Stain Resistant Paint?

The question to ask yourself first and foremost is whether your paint is really washable. If, and only if, you’re sure that you have stain resistant paint, you’ll be able to clean your walls easily. The washing of the walls can be part of a big cleaning carried out from time to time or at each change of the seasons to freshen up and sanitize your interior.

The paints that can be washed are those that are designed to be resistant to moisture:

  • Gloss paint
  • Semi-gloss paint
  • 100% acrylic paint
  • Matte-finish paint
  • Moisture-resistant paint
  • Latex paint

Wash your walls yourself

To wash your walls yourself, you’ll need sponges, two buckets, a soft cloth, hot water, a tarp, a feather duster, and soda crystals or detergent suitable for walls. To start, place the tarp on the ground, put on gloves, and dust the walls with your feather duster. Then, begin the washing by making a mixture of one glass of crystals per litre of water. The best way to clean your wall is to always work from the bottom to the top of the wall, climbing little by little with circular movements. Once you’ve finished doing that, rinse your walls immediately. To do that, just moisten a large vegetable sponge in hot water, then wring it out, which will let you easily remove the product from the walls. Perform this operation as you move along the walls with the detergent or soda crystals. Then, dry the damp walls with a soft, clean cloth. If excess grease is present on your walls, you can also apply a mixture of baking soda and water to degrease the walls thoroughly and make the traces disappear.

Rely on a professional cleaning company

If your walls are very dirty, if they’re high, or if you need to have your ceilings and your whole interior cleaned for a big seasonal cleaning, you can also rely on a specialized cleaning company. Indeed, some manoeuvres can be complex to perform due to a lack of professional equipment and may even be dangerous, especially when it comes to cleaning jobs at height, which require safety equipment. A cleaning company can do a big spring cleaning of your house quickly with professional equipment and products that will offer you outstanding quality and lasting results.

Non-stain resistant paint

If your paint isn’t washable and you therefore can’t get it wet or scrub your walls, then you’ll need to opt for alternative solutions to preserve your paint. In particular, you can try to use a magic anti-mark sponge that lets you remove stains and marks. You can also try to scrub the stains on your paint with a potato cut in two, because the starch contained in potatoes is known to remove stains. If you opt for this solution, remember to wipe the wall after scrubbing it with the potato.

In conclusion, consider washing your walls after touching them up and applying new coats of paint to them to keep the paint looking fresh for as long as possible. Finally, if you’re about to choose a type of paint to renovate your walls, consider stain resistant paint types so that you can carry out a regular cleaning of your interior from the walls to the ceiling and so that you don’t have to worry about stains and splashes anymore.

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6 Chronic Respiratory Diseases That Can Be Caused by Contaminated Ducts

The presence of mould and bacteria in indoor spaces has become a major concern in Canada, as it carries serious risks for the health of the occupants of a place. The inhalation of the particles and mould spores retained in the ducts of household appliances causes many respiratory illnesses. Here are 6 respiratory diseases that can be caused by contaminated ducts.

Contaminated ducts and respiratory illnesses

The ducts of your household appliances, such as those of poorly maintained washers and dryers, can quickly get clogged with mould and dust that then spread through the air, especially due to the venting of hot and contaminated air inside a home. Mould related to moisture in the ducts of household appliances proliferates and colonizes the unit and quickly finds itself in the ambient air.

Many of these mould spores produce mycotoxins, which are metabolites or by-products of mould. These particles are recognized as being highly toxic to both humans and animals. Indeed, over time, these toxins will weaken the immune system and lead to sudden allergies as well as trouble breathing.

The most common symptoms of diseases related to the contamination of the ducts of household equipment are the following:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
  • Strong, dry cough
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Trouble concentrating

When it comes to breathing problems in particular, the mould spores, dust, and germs that contaminate ducts may also increase allergy symptoms such as wheezing, trouble breathing, and shortness of breath. Children, the elderly, people with immunosuppression, and people who recently had surgery are usually the most likely to experience health problems caused by mould spores. If the mould problem isn’t treated at its source, over time, the contaminated ducts can lead to certain serious conditions such as:

  • Rhinitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Allergic alveolitis
  • Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis

Getting rid of the mould in your ducts

If you have one or more symptoms of a respiratory illness, in addition to consulting a doctor as soon as possible, you absolutely must try to determine the cause of your health problems so as not to make the situation worse. The cause of the presence of mould can be found in the ducts of your appliances and may be due in particular to the presence of moisture. Once the presence of mould in your ducts has been noted, it’s recommended to do a big cleaning according to the recommendations of professionals and to replace – if possible – any items that are overly contaminated with infected material or likely to reproduce the same problem. Avoid producing any dust during the cleaning, and clean your filters and ducts using good disinfectant products that are safe for your health.

The recommended cleaning method varies according to the extent of the contamination and the severity of the damage caused to the ducts by the mould. Before starting any cleaning of a contaminated duct, it’s necessary to take a few precautions; in particular, make sure that you can ensure your respiratory protection. To tackle mould problems without risking infecting yourself again, it may be necessary to rely on a company that specializes in cleaning these types of elements, that is familiar with the problems related to humidity and mould, and that has items to protect themselves as well as the appropriate equipment for long-term decontamination.

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Our Cleaning Tips for Confined Spaces

The most confined spaces of a house or a building hosting professional spaces are real hiding places for germs. Unfortunately, they are also more or less enclosed spaces that are very hard to access for a truly effective cleaning. Here are our most effective cleaning tips for getting rid of germs and making the confined spaces of your home as clean and healthy as possible:

Clean your vacuum cleaner: Because the vacuum cleaner sucks up dirt but also expels air, it moves the germs and bacteria present all over the house when you use it hoping to clean your interior. To prevent the germs from spreading everywhere, or a little less, you should regularly throw away the dust bag and clean the filter as often as possible. Vacuum cleaners and their accessories are great nests for bacteria. However, you should be aware that some modern vacuum cleaners are equipped with a system that only expels clean air.

Give your interior a big spring cleaning: Once or twice a year, and especially when the seasons change, it’s a good idea to give your interior a big spring cleaning to get rid of the germs and bacteria that may be hidden in the confined spaces. A big spring cleaning lets you:

  • Purify the air in your house
  • Make your interior shine
  • Clean all the surfaces
  • Eliminate any trace of dirt
  • Regain total well-being
  • Put your things in order

Choose your disinfectants well: In confined spaces, there’s a tendency to clean and disinfect the space too much using extremely aggressive chemical detergents to reassure yourself that you’ve eliminated the germs. However, you should know that these products have an impact on the environment, the air you breathe, and therefore the health of the occupants. These products can be much more harmful than some germs! So consider using the most neutral detergents possible. Generally speaking, the longer a product’s list of ingredients, the more harmful it is! It’s best to use scent-free cleaning products with a plant-based cleansing base.

Regularly air out confined spaces: When we allow the air to renew itself by opening the windows for a few hours or even a few minutes a day, the results are there: the germs and bacteria fly away. If a space is confined, you’ll have to find some way to create ventilation, such as by installing a hatch that lets the air pass through it and renew itself regularly.

Opt for high-pressure cleaning: Depending on the type of confined space that you want to clean without the risk of damaging it, you can opt for high-pressure cleaning using a special machine. Whether it’s for industrial cleaning or cleaning a rather confined space, the high pressure lets you powerfully clean the hardest areas to clean by hand, as well as furniture. High-pressure cleaning lets you clean even the dirtiest areas quickly and efficiently.

If the confined space that you need to clean to sanitize your interior is too full of embedded dirt and grime, don’t hesitate to call on cleaning professionals who have the experience to get rid of everything that’s unbearable for you to clean. A company that specializes in cleaning has the high-pressure equipment you need and will do a thorough cleaning with products that respect your health as well as the environment.

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Dryer Vent Hose: How to Choose Between Aluminum and Plastic

Did you know that the poor maintenance of dryers and dryer vent hoses carries a high risk of fire in your home? Some types of dryer vent hoses are more likely to cause fires. You should therefore make the right choice between aluminum and plastic.

Our precautions to take

  • It’s best to have your dryer installed and maintained by a professional capable of taking precautions against fires.
  • It’s best to choose a material such as rigid metal for your dryer vent hose, which is much less flammable than plastic or aluminum.
  • If you install your dryer yourself, follow the instructions from the manufacturer before installing the dryer vent hose. Run your hose along the most direct possible route to the outside to prevent the accumulation of lint in the curves and bends of the hose.
  • Using rigid or flexible metal vent hoses is the best alternative. Plastic hoses are more likely to warp, sag, and get crushed, which encourages the accumulation of lint. Plastic hoses are also much more likely to melt and catch on fire.
  • For better removal of the hot air, choose the shortest and straightest possible exhaust air hose.
  • Dryers installed in a closet or a confined space in a small apartment, for example, must have an air intake sufficient for their proper functioning.
  • Avoid the formation of condensation and the accumulation of lint as much as possible from the very beginning of your machine’s operation. Don’t wait for it to get clogged.
  • Insulate your hose if it runs through an unheated area such as a basement.

The ideal dryer vent hose:

The ideal dryer vent hose is made of metal, preferably smooth and rigid, and 4 inches in diameter. It is also as short and straight as possible, and its corner connectors are assembled without screws or fasteners that extend inside the device. Finally, it is connected to an exterior element equipped with a valve that opens automatically when the device is working and protected by an insulating sheath if it runs through an unheated space.

Daily precautions:

  • Make sure that your dryer’s connection hose and exhaust duct are always in good condition, not damaged, and well placed.
  • If you have a dryer with a white plastic hose, try to replace it to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Consider inspecting and cleaning your dryer filter after each load of laundry by removing the clumps of material.
  • Clean the inside of your dryer regularly as indicated by the manufacturer.
  • Stop the dryer if you are going out so as never to leave it running unattended.
  • Make sure to never put a flammable object near the dryer while in use to prevent fires.
  • Make sure to have a fire and smoke alarm installed in your home on each floor, especially near the bedrooms.
  • Avoid drying too much laundry at the same time and avoid drying laundry that may have come into contact with flammable chemicals.

To choose a hose for your dryer, follow the advice of professionals and consider having your device maintained by people who specialize in duct cleaning to prevent any risk of fire, whatever material the hose is made of. Relying on a specialized company means avoiding the obligation to replace your dangerous and defective equipment. Indeed, professionals can repair your dryer and give you great advice for better maintenance.

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Dryer Vent Exhaust Inside the House: Why Is It Not Recommended?

As you can imagine, the air in a dryer contains a large amount of dust and fine particles that you don’t want to see build up in the indoor air that you breathe. In addition, for each load of laundry, at least a gallon of water is removed from the dryer vent exhaust inside, which makes the humidity level in a house increase and causes condensation as well as the appearance of mould!

Why shouldn’t you release the air from the dryer inside?

Because a regular dryer filter only traps the biggest fibres, the dust and the finest particles present in the laundry that you’re drying will stay in the exhaust air released inside your house. If you want to release the exhaust air from the dryer in your laundry room to save energy, then you should add a second filter to trap the fine particles and take rigorous maintenance precautions.

 

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the humidity level in your home should not exceed 50% in the winter and should be further reduced to around 30% when the temperature falls below -10 degrees Celsius. An indoor dryer vent exhaust can raise the humidity level and create condensation and mould issues, which are dangerous for your health. So consider closely monitoring the humidity level in your home.

The negative effects of humidity

An excessive humidity level in a home can cause the appearance of mould on the walls and tile joints, the formation of fungi and saltpetre, the rotting of the woodwork, or very bad smells. Moisture can therefore damage the furniture and all the elements of a home very quickly if it’s not controlled.

However, the worst part is the negative effects that moisture can cause to the health of the occupants of a place. It promotes the appearance of various allergies that didn’t exist before, such as allergies to mould and dust mites. If the presence of fungi and dust mites becomes too great, these allergies can then turn into respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma, as well as conditions such as rhinitis and conjunctivitis. In particular, it’s the youngest and the oldest who are most at risk of contracting these diseases, which usually begin with sneezing and a heavy cough.

 

Did you know that many dryer fires are reported each year due to dryer hoses clogged with fibres from clothing? Neglecting the cleaning of your dryer ducts can therefore have serious consequences.

 

To avoid the risks:

  • Empty and clean the lint filter after each use
  • Rinse and wash the filter with soapy water every 6 months
  • Choose metal hoses instead of plastic
  • Don’t run your dryer unattended
  • Don’t run your dryer without the lint filter
  • Have your pipework inspected and maintained by professionals
  • Avoid overfilling your dryer
  • Take care to ventilate the area near your dryer
  • Moderate the use of paper, such as fabric softener sheets

In all cases, to prevent moisture problems, polluted air, and the risk of fire, you should clean up your dryer filter after each use and have a more substantial cleaning carried out regularly by professionals. You can also replace the filter fairly often to prevent the thickness of the compact dust from interfering with the normal operation of your dryer.

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