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Air Pollution and Air Quality Testing

Posted in Air Quality, on November 15, 2016

We receive a lot of calls from people who are unsure of what to do about their indoor air quality concerns.  They know something is not quite right with their indoor air quality, they are just unsure what it could be. In some cases they smell odours that are of concern.  These odours could be just in one room, or they could be in several areas or throughout the home. 

Most odours reported are usually in basement and bathrooms.  Air quality issues in basements can affect the entire home.  Air can travel from the lowest level of the home to the 2nd floor through what is termed stack effect.  This is one of the reasons air quality testing should be performed on all floors of the home and not just in one area. In other cases we get calls because people are not feeling well or are having allergic reactions and fear that their indoor air may be polluted.  These symptoms can vary from anything like a cold like reaction or flu to skin rashes, hives, nose bleeds, nasal or sinus infections, stomach upset and more serious health issues.  The pollution source could vary and may not necessarily be just one simple source.  This is why when we perform and air quality test, we test for a variety of potential pollution sources.

Some clients also call because they have identified and actual source for their indoor air quality concern.  This could be mould growth from a past water event.  These can range from small appliance mishaps to actual water damage from a plumbing issue such as a drain or sewer back up.  Also, water penetration from rain through the roof structure, windows or foundation can also lead to indoor mould growth and indoor air pollution.  The resulting mould growth could be visible on wall or ceiling surfaces or could be hidden behind or inside a wall cavity. So you can see there can be a variety of reasons for our clients to be calling for indoor air quality testing.  Here is our suggested solution. It is very important to assess and inspect the entire home. 

Some clients just want the basement or a certain room tested.  However, a pollutant source may be in one room and could affect other areas of the home. The first step is a thorough and competent visual assessment of the building.  Here we would look for obvious signs of mould growth or water damage and evidence of condensation issues, past water events and even the presence of rodents.  Anything that can lead to an odour.

The second step is to use instrumentation for air quality pollution in each room of the home.  Here we would look for temperature, humidity, gases, sewer gases, chemical off gassing or VOC’s, airborne dust and particulates.

The third step is to use thermal imaging and moisture meters to ensure all interior surfaces are dry.

The final step is laboratory sampling for airborne mould spores.  Here we determine if there could be a hidden source for mould in a certain area of the home.

The key to any indoor air pollution is the indoor air quality testing report.  Our reports state in detail what we tested for, what your air quality results were and now what is the recommended fix or solution. Call us today and we will help you battle indoor air quality pollution through our one of a kind air quality testing programs.

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