How To Choose The Right Company for Air Quality Testing
Posted in Air Quality, on February 21, 2017
The priority with air quality testing is to choose a professional who can competently assess the indoor air quality of a home, while providing options for resolution. Today, knowledge and skill levels vary dramatically amongst those who provide air quality testing.
There are few regulations that govern testing services, except in situations where contaminants like asbestos and radon are involved. There are, however, various professional groups that do maintain certain standards.
For those who suspect an indoor air quality issue, taking the right steps from the start will make a big difference in identifying and assessing issues. What’s important is to engage in a thorough investigation, professionally managed, with meaningful reporting that is solution oriented. This type of approach investigates the entire building structure, inside and out, including everything from moisture intrusion, to HVAC issues, to air movement – it’s extremely comprehensive. The truth is, homeowner experiences and observations will play an important role for any expert who is testing air quality. After all, the homeowner is likely the one with symptoms or concerns, whether it’s from airborne particles, chemical off-gassing, or specific allergens. But whatever the case, a reliable company will undertake testing for a wide range of possibilities - vehicle exhaust; pollen and mold; HVAC air circulation; even carbon monoxide and radon. The idea, of course, is to get an accurate sense of air contaminants and pollutants, and where they potentially derive. In depth air quality tests should also assess air moisture, whether from high levels of humidity, undesirable condensation, or even water damage. Indoor moisture can promote both mold and bacteria, all of which can affect those with sensitivities.
The benefit of professional evaluation is that moisture is often hidden (in walls and ceilings), and here, special instrumentation may be required to locate the source and extent of a problem. A cursory inspection will not suffice. Even if a homeowner could examine the home for various air quality issues, there is no substitute for a professional assessment, with state-of-the-art equipment, and long running expertise.
More than that, it would be imprudent to risk personal health, especially if there were issues like lead, asbestos, or mold. This is where accurate assessment is vital, with rapid response, and expert remediation. Here too, professional diagnosis and precise testing is key to a good outcome. In choosing an air quality professional, homeowners are wise to contract trained, accredited, and experienced service providers.
Small firm or large, customer references are helpful in assuring a level of confidence. Official certification and/or industry accreditation can also ensure a degree of certainty in terms of work performance. One thing to look out for, however, is a company that may have a financial interest in providing the various remedies once an assessment is done. Reliable air quality consultants do a good job in responding to customer need – they are open to questions and concerns; they are flexible depending on the scope of the project; and they are up front when it comes to cost of services. Above all, there should be no extraordinary promises, and no surprises that may entail additional costs or charges. Finally, the better air quality firms will provide reports that are easy to understand, with realistic options for remediation.