Indoor Air Quality Testing
The air we breathe in our homes is not always as clean as we would like it to be. Indoor air quality testing is a good way to figure out what might be going on and determine how best to fix it.
Why Get Indoor Air Quality Testing?
There are a number of reasons we get called out to do indoor air quality testing.
- Locate the source of unpleasant or musty smells in the home
- Rule out a home’s exposure to radon or lead
- Investigate the cause for residents who report ongoing and unexplained respiratory symptoms, fatigue, and headaches
- Evaluate airborne biological contaminants like mold as a result of a leak or flooding
What Affects Indoor Air Quality?
Many of us have central air and heat to keep the temperature indoors relatively stable and comfortable year-round. Your central air and heating system is also charged with proper ventilation and airflow. Good ventilation fixes most, but not all air quality concerns.
Indoor humidity should be between 30% and 50% to feel comfortable indoors. If the humidity is consistently higher, it can cause condensation to build up and increase the risk of mold. If the humidity is too low, it can result in dry skin and nasal passages that are more susceptible to colds and viruses, and uncomfortable static electricity.
The most common biological pollutant that most people are interested in exploring is mold. If a home has been affected by a flood due to a storm or from an unaddressed leak inside the home, mold and mildew can develop very quickly. Mold can cause an array of health concerns, which is why prompt remediation is so critical.
Appliances in your home that rely on combustion for heat can malfunction and cause carbon monoxide to build up. Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms are good extra protection. An inspection can determine if a chimney or fireplace, furnace or boiler, gas stove, or hot water heater may be in need of replacement.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
These substances are present in many common building materials, flooring, and even home furnishings. A build up of many of these, such as formaldehyde can be dangerous. Improved ventilation is often the answer.
In dwellings built before 1978, there is a risk of exposure to lead through lead paint and through lead water pipes. Separate inspections for that specific pollutant may be warranted.
Radon gas is a naturally-occurring, radioactive element that can build up in a home. If left untreated, radon gas can cause lung cancer. The EPA and Surgeon General recommend that every home get tested for the presence of radon, especially when a home is bought or sold. Separate testing for this element is also available.
Shore Inspection Services, LLC Can Help Improve Your Indoor Air
The first step to better health and peace of mind is an inspection of your indoor air quality. Managing humidity, evaluating airborne pollutants, and ordering any other specialty evaluations that might be indicated can help inform plans for cleaning your air and keeping your family healthy. Call Chad Sims 410-476-8144, home inspector and owner of Shore Inspection Services, LLC, to schedule your indoor air quality inspection today. Find out more about frequently asked questions and all the places we serve along Maryland’s Eastern Shore.