Air Quality Testing
Why Air Quality Testing
Are you concerned about the indoor air quality of your home or workplace? Then you’ve come to the right place! AWP Home Inspections, LLC is a trusted air quality testing company in West Central and Central Indiana, and we’ve performed hundreds of air quality tests during our decade in business. Our inspectors are true professionals, so you can expect highly accurate testing and clearly communicated results. Our number one goal is to help you improve the comfort and safety of your home or business!
You can breathe easy again with air quality testing by AWP Home Inspections, LLC. Call us today at (765) 421-2828 to learn more about our services!
We often work with clients who tell us they are experiencing symptoms while they’re in the building, but feel much better shortly after they leave the building.
Here are some of the top symptoms of poor indoor air quality:
Sneezing, congestion, and runny nose
Feeling tired all the time
Indoor air quality plays a huge role in your everyday health and wellness. We take air quality testing seriously. Our inspectors will put their advanced training and cutting-edge tools to the test to determine what’s causing your indoor air quality issues.
How do we perform air quality testing?
We perform a thorough assessment of your property to determine what contaminants might be present in the air. The process begins with a consultation phone call. We’ll listen to your concerns and ask you about symptoms the building occupants are experiencing. We may also about the history of the building to help gauge what the issues may be.
Our inspector will do a visual analysis of the property. We’ll evaluate both the interior and exterior of the property in our investigation for what’s causing the air quality issues in your building.
Here are just a few of the many visual cues we will keep an eye out for:
- Moisture stains on the ceiling or walls
- Condensation on the windows
- Signs of mold or mildew growth
- Standing water on the roof
- Plumbing leaks
- Proper venting from appliances
After we finish our visual inspection, we will take samples from inside and outside the building.
Once we complete the air quality test, we’ll send your samples to our certified lab for analysis and compilation of a report to best determine the cause of your indoor air quality issues. Our report is detailed and accurate, so you can feel free to share it with remodeling experts who can help you resolve the issues we uncover.
test your home for mold
WHAT IS MOLD?
Molds are a form of fungi that grow naturally and play a key role in decomposition outdoors. Molds are typically found in soil, plants, and dead or decaying matter. Molds survive by absorbing whatever material they are growing on. Indoors, however, molds can pose a potential threat to your home or building and your health. Much like a plant spreads its seeds, molds give off spores to reproduce. These spores land on moist areas indoors and outdoors and begin to thrive. Molds have the potential to harm the structures they live on and the persons residing in them. An evaluation of the areas and moisture control, along with proper remediation, is essential to protecting your health and your home.
WHERE IS MOLD COMMONLY FOUND?
Even if you can’t see it, you may suspect mold by a musty odor. You may also suspect hidden mold if you know there has been a water problem in the building and its occupants are reporting health problems. Mold can grow anywhere when the moisture conditions permit.
Mold can occur due to many types of leaks; leaking roofs, leaking or condensing water pipes, especially pipes inside wall cavities or pipe chases, leaking fire-protection sprinkler systems, landscaping, gutters, and downspouts that direct water into or under a building. High humidity (> 60% relative humidity) can also be a culprit, such as unvented combustion appliances like clothes dryers vented into a garage. Some moisture problems are not easy to see. For example, the inside of the walls where pipes and wires are run are common mold growth sites.
Mold is frequently found on walls in cold corners behind furniture where condensation forms. Other possible locations of hidden moisture, resulting in hidden mold growth are: poorly draining condensate drain pans inside air handling units, porous thermal or acoustic liners inside ductwork, roof materials above ceiling tiles, the backside of drywall (also known as gypsum board, wallboard, or sheetrock, paneling and wallpaper and the underside of carpets and pads.
How Can Mold Be Harmful and Dangerous?
Mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Some molds grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials. All molds have the potential to cause health problems. Once molds begin to grow indoors, a musty odor is observed, followed by various symptoms such as headaches, breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, skin irritation, or elevated asthma. All of these are dependent on the person, the type of mold, and the building itself.
You can prevent damage to buildings and building contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
INSPECTION & TESTING
A mold inspection can be preventative or needed due to a problem, such as a water leak, visual mold findings, or health concerns. Inspection of the affected areas may help locate the mold contamination source, identify some of the mold species present, and differentiate between mold and soot or dirt. Our inspection includes all the laboratory fees for the samples taken, a full report, which includes the visual inspector’s assessment/recommendations to remediate any areas found to have fungal contamination.
Mold testing involves a series of steps for proper handling of the conditions and to inhibit future problems:
- Initial Consultation: The inhabitants’ perspective of the home or building condition is the first step. Most observations start with a musty odor and/or a series of health issues.
- Visual Inspection:The technician will visually survey the home and look for mold growth areas, water stains, water intrusion points. A moisture meter and/or thermal imaging camera may be used here to determine humidity levels.
- Samplings:Once the mold content area is found, an air sample can be taken along with an outdoor control sample. If mold is physically found, then a swab sample can be taken as well.
- Reporting and Recommendation: When lab results are obtained, a report will be generated explaining the specific situation, mold content levels, recommendations for remediation, the scope of work, and clean up.
- Removal: The highest priority in remediation is to protect the building occupants’ health and safety. A licensed mold remediation company should complete the removal for proper treatment of the area or areas.
- Final Clearances: Once the problem area is remediated, a clearance inspection is performed using a moisture meter and a thermal imaging camera to ensure that all areas have been dried to industry standards. Also, air samples are typically taken to ensure that the mold was properly removed and that the home is safe for re-occupancy. After remediation, the indoor air quality should be similar to those in the local outdoor air (control). Lab results from final air sampling are the proof and documentation you need to be assured that the infesting mold has been removed properly and completely.
WE OFFER VARIOUS TYPES OF SAMPLING AND CAN ADJUST TO THE NEEDS OF OUR CLIENTS.
- Surface Sampling, which includes swab samples, tape lift, and dust wipe, is commonly used to identify indoor fungi. Surface sampling may be useful in determining if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated.
- Air Sampling is one of the most common methods used to evaluate fungal levels in indoor environments. Air sampling is an adequate representation of airborne spores’ exposure levels since studies show that mold’s health effects are mostly related to the respiratory system.
- Moisture Meters are often used to test humidity levels in suspected areas where mold may be hidden. This device can inform the inspector if unusual humidity levels exist and if some areas are at risk for possible future mold growth.
- Borescope Cameras are used when there is limited visibility to the suspect areas. This tool can bend and maneuver non-invasively behind tight corners or heavy furniture. This aids the inspector in determining the size of the problem area and/or possible leak sources.
- An infrared Thermal Imaging Camera is a leading tool used when the source of a mold problem is a water intrusion. This infrared device can detect hidden leaks and water damage behind any material without damaging it in any way. It can also detect mold growth and water/moisture build-up within walls, floor, or ceiling areas. Infrared thermal imaging tools have proven to be an excellent tool for quickly and reliably providing inspectors and their clients with an accurate analysis for a wide range of property problems. Some of these can be locating areas of poor insulation or structural weakness that are causing limited air retention or looking around the property for areas of concern for moisture and leak detection.
MOLD QUICK FACTS
Mold Grows Quickly:
Mold needs only moisture, temperatures above 40 °F (4 °C), and organic material to survive. Mold can grow in 24-48 hours, preferring areas with no sunlight, limited airflow, and little disruption.
Mold Destroys Your Home:
Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building, its furnishings, and personal belongings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to buildings and building contents, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth.
Cleaning Visible Mold is Not Enough:
Mold can grow in fiberglass insulation, on top of ceiling tiles, inside HVAC systems, behind drywall panels, in wall cavities, and behind wallpaper. Even when it’s visible, it’s often impossible to tell the difference between mold, soot, and dirt without testing. The mold you can see is just the beginning, and some of it is extremely hard to find!
Bleach & Detergent Will Not Eliminate Mold:
Bleach and detergent are useful for removing mold on nonporous surfaces. However, materials such as ceiling tiles, carpeting, and wallboard will have deep mold penetration and may need to be replaced. Removed mold will regrow if all sources of moisture and humidity are not eliminated.
Mold Cleaning is Hazardous:
It only takes 3-5 mold spores to cause an allergic reaction, and some molds contain mycotoxins that are carcinogenic or deadly. Cleaning and air movement will cause mold to release its spores — it’s easy to accidentally knock hundreds of thousands of spores loose from a single patch of mold. Because of this, containment procedures using HEPA filtration is necessary to prevent contaminating the entire house or building.
MOLD INSPECTIONS REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING:
All of our inspections use state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras, moisture meters, borescope cameras, source sampling, and air sampling to assess the conditions currently in the areas of concern accurately.
An infrared inspection can detect:
- Hidden leaks and water damage
- Mold growth within wall, floor, or ceiling areas
- Standing water and moisture within building cavities
- Areas where poor insulation or structural weakness is causing poor air retention, resulting in increased electrical costs to maintain the air heating or cooling systems
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Your Top Choice for Inspection Services in West Central and Central Indiana (TM)
Indianapolis, West Lafayette, Lafayette, Frankfort, Crawfordsville, Brownsburg, Avon, Plainfield, Zionsville, and Greencastle