Air Quality & Your Health
Inspection procedures regarding a prospective homeowner, real estate professional, lender, insurer, builder or landlord are also discussed during a telephone interview. The primary reason for the inspection is also discussed along with any special concerns the customer may have regarding IAQ & Mold.
Carpeting is an area of the home that can be at risk for mold growth. In orderfor mold to grow, mold needs 1-moisture, 2-oxygen, and a 3-food source. Mold spores are found naturally floating in the *air and if those spores land on a *damp and/or wet area on the carpet that contains *dust for them to feed on, mold growth will begin usually within 24-48 hours. Wall-to-wall carpeting, as well as area rugs, can provide a fertile breeding ground for mold if the conditions listed above are right. Carpeting located below ground level, such as in basements, are especially at high risk for mold growth. Carpet that has been wet for any period of time should be cleaned and dryed quickly. Area rugs should be removed and cleaned, with the surface underneath properly cared for.
Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Research has shown that the quality of indoor air can be worse than outdoor air. Our homes today contain many furnishings, appliances and products that can affect air quality.
- unusual and noticeable musty odors.
- stale air.
- a lack of air movement within the space.
- damaged or dirty central heating or air-conditioning equipment;
- damaged chimneys or ductless fireplace units can produce high levels of moisture.
- excessive humidity.
- Excessive moisture from plumbing leaks, unvented bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
- the presence of molds and mildew;
- health problems after remodeling, weatherizing, new furniture, use of household products,
- moving into a new home.
- In both the above , feeling noticeably better outside.
Poor indoor air quality can arise from any contaminants found in almost any home:moisture and biological pollutants, such as molds, mildew, dust mites, animal dander, and cockroaches.
- high humidity levels, inadequate ventilation, and poorly maintained humidifiers and air conditioners.
- combustion products, including carbon monoxide, from unvented fossil-fuel space heaters, unvented gas stoves and ovens, and back-drafting from furnaces and water heaters.
- formaldehyde from draperies and other textiles, particleboard products, such as cabinets and furniture framing, and many types of adhesives.
- radon, which is a radioactive gas from the break-down of soil and rock beneath and around the home's foundation, groundwater wells.
- household products and furnishings, such as paints, solvents, air fresheners, dry-cleaning, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- asbestos, which is found in older homes more than 20 years old. Source includes deteriorating, damaged or disturbed pipe insulation, ceiling tiles and floor tile, ductwork and in some cases used as a fire retarder.
- lead found in older homes, commercial finishes and some toys. Lead-based paint dust, which is created when removing paint by sanding, scraping and burning.
- allergens, from dust and pollen, fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and unvented gas space heaters; and
- tobacco smoke, which produces particulates of formaldehyde.