Riverside CA - The 3 Most Important Reasons You Should Test Indoor Air Quality
Most people think of air pollution as an outdoor threat, but it can be even worse inside the buildings where we spend most of our time at home and at work.
The actual causes of indoor air pollution vary from one region to the next. It’s true that some contaminated air penetrates from the outside, but much of it is also produced by common consumer products, construction materials, mold, insects and even pets. Poor ventilation can exacerbate the situation resulting in a problem that often peaks in autumn and winter when our buildings are sealed to maintain heat.
Call now to set up an Indoor Air Quality Testing appointment:
If you're worried about the air inside your home or office, where most people spend most of their time - you should definitely consider hiring a certified indoor air-quality testing specialist. Here’s a look at some of the most common indoor air pollutants and how to detect them.
Fungus is by far the most common indoor air polluter, especially in warm, humid conditions like basements, bathrooms and leaky roofs. Outbreaks often begin in these areas but can then quickly spread to the rest of the building if there is enough moisture. Health effects for the occupants vary depending on the type of mold and the level of sensitivity; symptoms may include breathing problems or even skin irritation. Recent studies have linked indoor black mold exposure to asthma development in children.
The best way to fight mold is to alleviate the damp conditions within the building. Keep the relative humidity indoors below 60 percent and use a dehumidifier or fan to dry out the air if needed. Pockets of mold can be removed from hard surfaces by scrubbing with soap and water, a bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide, but check EPA guidelines for larger-scale cleanups. For extensive mold problems you’ll most likely need to call in professional services.
Most molds cause some kind of health problems especially for the young or the elderly, but sensitivity depends on the individual and there are no federal standards as yet. If you suspect any kind of mold related infestation, it’s highly recommended you contact a professional indoor air quality inspection service provider. They will be able to definitively let you know the extent and type of mold issues you are looking at. It’s extremely important to engage an independent indoor air quality service like ‘A-1 Certified Environmental Services’. The reason for this is that independent air testing services will give you accurate air test results that are not influenced in any way by any potential remediation work that might be required. On the other hand, if you use a mold remediation company, they have a strong incentive to indicate extensive remediation that may not be fully justified. Buyer beware!
2 - Dust and Pet Dander
Mold is not the only biological polluter of indoor air by any means. Many buildings are infected with dust mites and cockroaches, both of whom generate particles that can lead to allergic reactions. In the same way, rodent urine and droppings can cause similar breathing problems, as can pet dander. In addition, your indoor air quality may be affected by pollen and bacteria from outside.
These contaminants often trigger allergic reactions and asthma, and symptoms can grow worse with chronic exposure. The EPA warns that children, elderly people and people with any other kind respiratory issues are especially at risk from biological agents in confined spaces without adequate ventilation.
You should use common sense when identifying any biological infestations, you suspect are being caused by such unwelcome creatures. If you regularly see any rodents, insects or other creatures inside your home, it’s time to get in touch with your local pest control company. They will be able to let you know the best way to remove these unwelcome guests for good.
Although you can’t see dust mites with the naked eye, frequent and thorough dusting will help to mitigate allergies caused by dust mites and pet dander. In other words, good housekeeping and effective ventilation in the home can help keep these allergens from reaching high concentrations.
3 - Volatile Organic Compounds (VOSs)
Unfortunately, VOCs are in many common consumer products such as paints, glues, varnishes, perfume, cleaning agents, lacquers, varnishes, hobby supplies and even computer printers. Concentrations of many of these VOCs are often much higher indoors - up to 5 to 10 times higher than outside air according to the EPA. These chemical substances tend to off-gas a lot of vapor even at room temperature. Many of these vapors cause short-term health issues like headaches and nausea. In a commercial building this might be named sick building syndrome if many of the occupants are affected by these or similar symptoms.
The amount of VOC’s can fluctuate significantly. For example, during a major home remodeling project you may experience VOC levels that are up to 1,000 times the normal outdoor level. If you are applying paints, varnishes or other similar products you need to be very aware of the increased pollution levels while using these consumer products. To avoid these high concentrations of VOCs it’s advisable to make sure you have adequate ventilation while using any of these substances. Ensure a good flow of fresh air through open windows and use electric fans if necessary, to reduce the build-up of these chemical particles.
Some VOCs can be especially hazardous because of their links to cancer. Formaldehyde, which is released by wood products, glues, laminate flooring, gas stoves and even tobacco smoke is an example of such a substance. Although it’s possible to use DIY testing products, in a quote from a study that was conducted by an accredited independent lab in accordance with the NELAC Institute: "In cases where accuracy of results is important, only trained professionals should measure formaldehyde because of the difficulty of obtaining good data and interpreting the results." Once again, you will be well served by hiring a certified indoor air quality specialist.
In addition to Indoor Air Quality Testing and Mold Testing in Riverside, we also provide these services in the surrounding areas, including Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Corona, Ontario, Pomona, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Temecula, Rialto and Chino Hills.