Mold is Not the Only Thing You Have to Worry About Polluting Your Home
Your home is your sanctuary. It is the place that you can unwind, relax, and kick back when life tosses more at you than you can handle. Do you know what the quality of your indoor air is and if it is safe for your children? Do you or other family members have health issues or breathing problems that never seem to improve? We go over the dangers of poor air quality and the inaccuracies of DIY mold tests in this article.
Things that cause poor air quality
- Little ventilation or lack of fans
- No venting to the outside
- Too little air circulation in crawlspaces
- No fresh air getting into the home or business
- Leaking roofs, gutters, and soffets
- Contaminant transfer from outdoor sources
- Broken pipes
- Seeping foundations
- Moisture from construction or remodeling projects
- High humidity environments
Particulate testing uses a microscope to determine indoor air quality
Air indoors and outdoors can have contaminants that are not visible to the naked eye. Air quality testing by a reputable agency means that you will get specific results that determine a baseline air pollution level for your property. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA requires that independent particulate testing firms report the ventilation percentages and testing methods along with the results of air quality tests to prove the collection and sampling is correct.
Contaminants found with particulate testing
- Pet dander
- Human dander and hair
- Insulation fibers
- Carbon from things like fireplace soot
- All mold types
- Insect debris and waste
- Drywall particles
- Mica and gypsum - commonly found during remodeling or construction
- Dust mites
- Plant debris
- Carpet beetles
- Fiberglass particles
DIY mold tests are not accurate
Consumer Reports says that while DIY mold tests can help you find out if you have a problem, the measurements are not accurate in most cases. These sampling kits will not tell you what dangers lurk in your home, only whether you have a mold issue. Whether or not you actually have a problem or testing reflects the actual air quality is something that only a professional can determine with certainty.
Strict standards concerning test locations dictate where independent labs take samples
Ceiling tiles and fireproofing materials are two places where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA says that an independent testing firm should sample for contaminants. Other places include surfaces with fresh paint and carpet. These areas are likely to contain or capture the contaminants. Did you know that nine out of ten homes has a high instance of at least one pollutant? That fact means that your home or office has a high probability of indoor air pollution.
Why choose an independent particulate testing firm versus one that tests and offers remediation services?
An independent testing firm will provide accurate results because they are not vying for a clean-up commitment. With a professional, you will find out how the company did the tests and what particulates are in the space. By outsourcing the testing, you know that the collection samples came from a variety of sources giving the most accurate representation of the indoor air quality. Independent firms have the laboratory equipment like microscopes to look carefully at the samples to determine what sources of air pollutants you have in your home or office.
When you need answers, it is best not to rely on DIY methods that can give you false results or an inaccurate representation of the situation. By hiring a separate firm to perform air quality tests and another firm to fix the problems, you ensure that you get an accurate pollution report. Knowing what particulates are highest in your environment can help you find the source of problems. With DIY testing, the most you will know is whether you might have a mold issue or not. Protecting your family is easier when you have an understanding of whether allergies symptoms are from pet dander or a moisture problem in the building.
When you have questions about air quality testing or how an independent testing firm can help you find answers, please call Re-Freshen at 804-502-3701.