One would assume that having the indoor air quality of their home or office tested for impurities and contaminates would be sound practice, but the reality is that there are no appropriate standards when it comes to testing, thus it isn’t typically recommended unless there has been some sort of preceding disaster remediation or cleanup. If that’s the case, the testing would be done to ascertain whether or not toxic levels have dropped by a standard set by the cleanup crew, thereby opening the opportunity for residents or employees to move back in.
It is exceedingly difficult to interpret the results of the tests, thus becoming a very tricky business due to the lack of proper guidelines. More often than not, rather than providing answers, testing typically raises more questions. Basically, don’t order indoor air quality testing to be performed as a knee jerk reaction to someone raising concern within the property. Rather, it is a good idea to use your own senses as you do a thorough walk-through of the building in order to spot potential problems. Spend more time in areas that are carpeted or have more porous construction materials, as they are much more susceptible to mold growth. Ask yourself how often is it cleaned, shampooed, vacuumed, etc.
Another area that requires extra attention and focus are any ventilation equipment. Are they working properly, and is airflow undisturbed? Has it rained heavily recently? If so, could there be leaks somewhere? Perhaps water is pooling around the foundation and seeping in that way. If there are any leaks, fix them as soon as possible. Only once you’ve taken the time to do a detailed walk-through and physical examination would air quality testing be feasible. It should be implied by now that air testing is most useful when a problem area has already been identified, and more narrow focus and attention can be placed on said area. It would never be recommended on it’s own.
Steps for Improving Air Quality
1.) Maintain a consistent humidity level. The best way to do this, especially in more humid climates such as Florida and Hawaii, is with a dehumidifier. We recommend keeping humidity levels at 50% or less to prevent mold growth from becoming a problem.
2.) Keep the floor clean. Mop, vacuum, scrub even when they don’t appear to be dirty.
3.) Don’t smoke inside. This is one of the biggest culprits of compromised air quality. It’s also not a good idea to use too much aerosol products throughout the house. Even though many people assume that air that smells fresh from aerosols must actually be fresher, the truth is quite the opposite. Aerosols are a huge pollutant and can cause a range of respiratory problems when overused.
4.) Make sure you smoke detector is checked regularly and has fresh batteries, and keep a carbon monoxide level monitor plugged into an outlet somewhere within the property. Carbon monoxide has no scent, so humans don’t realize there is a problem until it is too late.
5.) Change your air conditioner filter at least every 6 months. This is a huge source of allergens in a household.
If at the end of the day you have determined that an indoor air quality (IAQ) test is necessary, give us a call and we can schedule a time to come out to your home or office immediately.
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