Air Quality Inspection in Toronto
Posted in Air Quality, on March 22, 2019
They say that health is wealth - and when it comes to having an air quality inspection in Toronto, ensuring that your indoor environment is safe for you and your family can make even the most humble home into a glittering castle. Indoor air quality is a growing concern for families across the province - difficult to detect by the nose or sense alone, indoor air quality problems like mold, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants could be affecting your work, education, and family time.
Can you test air quality in your home? While there are many gadgets and tools that can help you assess the air in your home for signs like elevated humidity, it’s always a better idea to have a professional assess your home. That’s because companies like SafeAir have sophisticated tools to take precise readings on mold, lead based paints, asbestos, smoke, VOCs, dust mites, and other air quality problems. We work with third party labs that provide objective results to help us to work together with you to provide the best solutions to your indoor air quality needs.
When it comes to having an air quality inspection, the team at SafeAir can help keep your family safe. The long term effect of exposures to various VOCs can be mild to severe, but a growing body of research by scientists and indoor air specialists agree that the effect of poor air quality is detrimental to all stages of life, and can even cause (and certainly worsen) some types of chronic conditions. Keeping your family safe is the most important thing you can do - and the SafeAir team is here to help.
How can I Improve the Air Quality in My Home?
There are many different steps you can take to improve the indoor air quality of your home before and after an air quality inspection in Toronto.
- Avoid aerosol-based sprays: Cleaning sprays, polishes, and perfumes powered by aerosol not only have a detrimental effect on the planet, but can cause serious eye, nose, throat, skin, and respiratory problems.
- Ventilate: Having good air flow in your house doesn’t mean drafts or cold spots - it means having air move around. Air flow helps keep your home fresh, and it also prevents problematic air with moisture, VOCs, or other gasses, from settling and lingering.
- Stop smoking indoors: This one isn’t news - research on how detrimental indoor smoking is to you, your family, and your guests (and even pets!) has been around for decades. This includes smoking marijuana indoors! Take your smoke outside and away from enclosed areas or intake fans.
- Grow fresh air: After NASA did a study in the 1980’s about the indoor air freshening properties of plants, it’s never been cooler (or more healthy) to have plants indoors. NASA found that a handful of plants were actually able to scrub indoor toxins like formaldehyde from indoor air. Wow!
- Elbow grease: Believe it or not, good old fashioned cleaning is still one of the best ways to keep your indoor air quality at a high level. Regular vacuuming, especially using one with a HEPA filter, can help reduce allergens, toxins, and other air pollutants - and following it with a mop can help even more.
- Rugs: There’s a reason we put a welcome mat at our front door - it helps to catch pollutants entering on our boots, shoes, and paws. Shake out your rug, vacuum, and, if possible, give it a wash frequently.
- Keep your humidity down: Warm, moisture laden air is one of the biggest problems when it comes to indoor air quality. Not only is it a major player when it comes to mold growth, but it also makes indoor living and sleeping uncomfortable, and can exacerbate allergies. Aim for an indoor humidity around 50%, and get an inexpensive humidity detector from the hardware store to monitor for any changes.
- Natural freshness: Thanks to decades of marketing, we’ve been conditioned to associate smells like lemon with freshness and cleanliness in our home. But the cleaning and sanitizing products that we find this scent in aren’t necessarily doing a great job of cleaning our homes - they are often actually releasing VOCs and other toxic chemicals in our indoor air quality, including chemicals that have been listed as hazardous or carcinogenic. Choose scentless products and read the fine print on products labelled ‘green.’
- Replace filters on fans, furnaces, and air conditioners: One of your best tools to improve your indoor air quality is actually your existing HVAC equipment. Designed to push air around your home, these appliances are usually fitted with a filter close to the fan, so that any air needs to pass through the filter before it emerges from your vents. Replacing or washing these filters often is key to keeping them working effectively and efficiently.
- Renovate naturally: If you’re planning on renovating or repainting your home, consider using low-VOC or other green products. Cut down on glues that can off-gas harmful chemicals, and choose paints that are labelled low or zero VOCs. Growing concern about these toxic chemicals means that there’s lots of options on the market if this is something you’re interested in!
Does an Air Quality Test Detect Mold?
Yes, an air quality test will help you detect mold in your home. There are two common tests concerned homeowners will request if they think mold is present - a mold test or an indoor air quality test. When it comes to detecting mold, both will do the job, but an air quality inspection in Toronto will give you a more in-depth look at your indoor air quality, and will help us determine what strains and how much mold is present, while a mold test will only give you a yes or no answer.
Common Air Pollutants in Your Home
There are a number of places in your home that you can look for evidence of air polluting products and problems. Knowing what problems to keep an eye out for can help you determine whether or not you want to take the next step and have an air quality inspection.
A lot of what we use to ‘clean’ our homes actually does the exact opposite! While it may sanitize and remove surface dirt and grease (which is a good thing), most home cleaning supplies and chemicals are highly scented and contain products that have a huge effect on your health and wellbeing. Even products marked as green can still contain chemicals and VOCs that affect your respiratory system, skin, eyes, and central nervous system. Store all household chemicals safely and make sure you read the labels to determine which products you’d like to bring into your home.
As one of the most common organisms on the planet, mold is found on every continent but Antartica - but when it grows inside our homes, mold can cause serious health problems, respiratory issues, and other skin, eye, and nasal irritation. Mold grows on organic materials in your home, and thrives in environments with high-humidity; water is key to its growth, so you should pay particular attention to spaces with taps or pipes. Mold often comes with a tell-tale musty odour, and can look like a brown, black, blue, red, or orange stain, or growth, on surfaces. But it can also easily grow out of sight behind walls or underneath flooring, which makes an air quality inspection in Toronto one of the best ways to detect hidden problems that could be affecting your health and wellbeing.
Many of the older homes in Toronto and the GTA were constructed in an earlier time when asbestos was known as the ‘miracle mineral.’ Now we know that long term exposure to even small amounts of asbestos cause cancer, lung problems, and a rare and fatal disease called mesothelioma. Asbestos can be found in many products used to make our homes: in insulation, in pipe wraps, and in floor and ceiling tiles. The tiny particles that come off old or flaking asbestos are so dangerous they’re considered hazardous waste.
Why Pick SafeAir for your Air Quality Inspection in Toronto
When it comes to having contractors or workers visit your home, we know that professionalism, courtesy, and respect are the most important things that you look for. When we perform an air quality inspection in Toronto, the team at SafeAir is looking to providing you with a friendly, stress-free visit that gives you confidence to make informed decisions about the safety of your home.
With many years of experience helping families live more comfortably in their home, we’re one of the leading companies offering air testing services in the GTA. Good indoor air quality isn’t just something for families that can afford fancy air filtration systems - working with a professional team like SafeAir can help you identify problem areas in your home and make changes that will have positive long term outcomes and effects. Our guaranteed services and third-party testing can help give you results that you can bring to insurance agents or other contractors. For air quality inspection in Toronto, SafeAir is one of the most trusted names in the GTA. Visit https://www.safeair.ca/home-air-quality-testing for more information about the specialized services we do, or call us at 416-414-5690 to speak with one of our representatives.