VOCs in New Construction – Buying New

New construction homes and commercial buildings are often viewed as a safer bet to avoid the headaches of older properties. The rationale is that newer properties have fewer problems. While this may be true for some aspects, it is worth considering the negative effects of VOCs in new construction.

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Can you test for Mycotoxins?

If you do an internet search for mold, you are bound to find numerous links about “toxic black mold” and anecdotes about the health effects from these toxins. You may be curious to know if there are any of these toxins inside your home and seek professional testing. So, can you test for mycotoxins in

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Basics of Vapor Intrusion

Many assume that indoor air quality problems originate from within a property, such as mold growth from a burst pipe or asbestos-containing materials getting disturbed. However, some problems can originate from outside a property. One such problem that arises from the exterior is vapor intrusion. In this blog post, I will cover what is vapor intrusion and some of the common sources.

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Mold – What is it good for?

Typically our blog posts focus on the dark side of mold. How mold is hazardous, problematic, and a general headache when it is found inside a home or building. While all of those posts are very informative, it is also worth mentioning the beneficial qualities of mold. This post will shed some light on mold’s critical role in the environment and its impact on the food industry.

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Cigarette Smoke Testing

How Can You Test For Cigarette Smoke? Cigarette smoke can be one of the most frustrating odor issues in a multi-family building. Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) secondhand smoke (smoke exhaled into the surrounding air from a smoker, or the smoke from the end of a lit cigarette) and thirdhand smoke (the stale cigarette odor that

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National Radon Action Month

Happy National Radon Action Month!!  Granted, this is not meet with the level of excitement that one might reserve for Christmas or New Years, but it does serve an important function: radon awareness!  Why do we feel its important to do radon testing and spread the word about radon gas? Let us count the ways.

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A Renter’s Guide to Mold

Renters have unique challenges because they are limited in the types of repairs and changes they can make to their home.  If you are renting and are concerned about mold, what should you do? This post can serve as a general guide for renters on what to do, but keep in mind that every situation is different and the severity of the mold problem plays a huge factor.

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Indoor Air Quality Holiday Gifts

It’s the holiday season and the malls are filled with shoppers looking for the perfect gifts for family and loved ones.  If you are like me, I have a difficult time finding the best gifts. However, when giving a gift to someone who wants to improve indoor air quality, it’s important that the gift will

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How Illinois Mold Saved the World

Gather ‘round the computer screen, as I recite a tale of yore. Way off in a dark and mysterious land known as “Peoria, Illinois” (my hometown) comes the legend of Moldy Mary, and how her magic spoiled fruit helped save millions of lives. This may sound like the talk of storybooks and tall tales… you aren’t likely to see her name in history books.

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Can Pesticides Linger After Application?

Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill different types of organisms including fungi, bacteria, and insects.  These chemicals are typically sprayed onto fields or in homes where pests may be lurking. When using pesticides, we often only think about it’s intended effect which is to eliminate the pest.  However, we rarely consider the effects on air quality after pesticides are sprayed. In this blog post, I will provide some information on pesticides and testing for these chemicals.

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Can you inspect for mold behind a wall?

Superman has x-ray vision, mold inspectors do not. So unless your inspector gains superpowers, how can they inspect obscured areas like inside of wall cavities for mold growth? We have a number of different options on how we can check the inside of wall cavities during mold inspections, ranging from totally noninvasive measures up to destructive methods.

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Ventilation Helps Reduce Flu Transmission

The days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping.  As an added bonus, we have flu season to contend with. Every year we are encouraged by medical professionals to get a flu shot and take basic precautions like basic hand hygiene and avoiding close contact with sick individuals.  Let’s add another weapon in your arsenal to protect yourself against the flu by improving the ventilation of your home.

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Can Asbestos Be In New Homes?

Most people assume a property built after the late 1970s won’t have any asbestos present. While this is the most likely scenario, it is still possible to have asbestos in a home built after that time period. Many will be stunned by this revelation because they assume that asbestos was fully “banned” in the United

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Radon – What are acceptable levels?

For many real estate professionals and the public at large, the answer to what constitutes an acceptable level of radon seems easy.  Anything at 4.0 pCi/L or above warrants mitigation.  Any number under 4.0 is considered safe. Or is it? EPA’s Action Level for Radon One of the first things that we need to straighten

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Essential Oils are NOT Essential

Essential oils are used in many fragrances, cleaners, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. They are often sold as a natural alternative to industrial chemicals. Although they are “natural”, are they safe? How do they impact indoor air quality? A recent study published in the Journal of Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health found significant volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

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IAQ Testing – What Does It Mean?

IAQ Testing We often get calls from clients asking for indoor air quality (IAQ) testing, and when asking if they have specific concerns they will often reply with “I want to test for everything”. The problem is, air quality is a huge field! Similar to the phrase “medical testing”, it would be impossible for your

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The Importance of Having a Written Mold Remediation Plan

When you discover a large mold problem, your top priority is getting it remediated ASAP. In that haste, you may neglect to write out mold remediation plan.  This blog post is intended to shed some light on the importance of having a written mold remediation plan when fixing a mold issue. This article will show how a remediation plan is both beneficial to the owner and the remediation contractor.

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Asbestos Testing During Mold Remediation

After mold has been discovered, the primary concern of the property owner is to have remediation. One potential hazard that is often overlooked is the presence of asbestos in the materials that are being remediated. While the EPA has created the RRP Rule (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) to educate contractors about accidentally disturbing lead paint, there is no such rule in regards to asbestos.

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How often should I test for radon?

In conversations that I have with clients, I find that there is some surprise when I advise them that they should consider testing again in the future, regardless of whether the property fails the radon guideline or not.    Why do we need to retest our property again for radon if the property was below

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Testing Buildings after a Fire

If there is a fire in a kitchen, to what degree will the adjacent room be impacted by fire-related particles? What about a room on an entirely different floor? Testing for contaminants after a structural fire can be a key step in determining the scope of cleanup and restoration. Due to the length of time

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