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
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)
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
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.
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.
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
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
The number of allergens inside a home can be a major concern for those who suffer from allergies. If you have allergies, you want to be comfortable while indoors and not be bothered by a runny nose, watery eyes, or sneezing fits.
Many of our clients are daunted by the potential presence of asbestos in their home. What makes the process more stressful is the fear of the cost to test and abate asbestos. In this blog post, we will give you a summary of our pricing for asbestos testing services.
We occasionally receive a phone from clients with concerns about indoor air quality affecting pets, especially cats and dogs. I have heard reports that some pets have developed blindness, neurological diseases, lethargy, etc… One client recently found out that his small dog died of lung cancer, and neither the dog nor the owner were smokers! These animals could have developed these diseases naturally, or there could have been a contributing indoor environmental cause.
When we think of the damage left by a structural fire many of us might have a mental image of a home destroyed, with family heirlooms smoldering in the ashes. What about homes that only experience a limited fire and are not a total loss? Is it just as simple as removing some fire-damaged materials
As trained professionals in the mold industry, we often get clients who want to know if they can live in a mold free home. The answer to that question is “It depends on your definition of mold-free.” A home can have no significant mold growth but it will always have a background amount of mold spores.
Are you concerned about lead paint in your home? Perhaps you are in the process of purchasing an older home or are contemplating a renovation. It is imperative to assess if a home has lead paint prior to disturbing it during renovation projects or if the paint is peeling and in poor condition. There are two types of lead paint methods that may be used to uncover lead paint problems: X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Paint Chip Testing. In this blog post, we will discuss both methods and their advantages and disadvantages.
With spring finally making its appearance in Chicago, real estate agents are in full swing and that means radon testing. I’ve heard a peculiar comment from a number of agents. “Radon isn’t high in Chicago,” I am told. “I can’t understand why the buyers are even wasting their money on radon testing.” Please know this
Our company tackles air quality projects in a wide range of properties. Think of a random type of building and we have probably conducted an air quality survey or industrial hygiene monitoring in a building like it. We work in small studio apartments all the way up to an airport. As you can imagine, the
A unique service that we offer is sewage testing after clean-up. This type of testing can be helpful when there was a sewage backup and it is unclear if the clean-up was successful. In this blog post, I will provide some background information on sewage testing.
Let’s say you found an asbestos-containing material and you had it professionally abated. Now you’re left wondering if the contractors really removed the microscopic asbestos fibers or if these carcinogens are still floating in the air. Asbestos air clearance testing refers to the process in which the work area is visually evaluated to ensure that
I can remember like it was yesterday when we took our firstborn home from the hospital. My wife and I spent countless hours getting our daughter’s bedroom ready with new paint, furniture, and decorations. In looking back at those preparations, I think that there was something else that I should have done; I should have made a greater effort in improving the air quality of our home prior to our trip to the hospital.
You may find yourself asking “if no one in my household smokes, why can I smell secondhand smoke inside my apartment?”. The CDC has determined that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and over 2 million nonsmokers have died in the US since 1964 from health problems related to secondhand smoke. The best
In a world filled with several options for expensive, “cutting edge” air purifiers and filters, there are several simple steps that can be taken to improve the indoor air quality naturally. This post will highlight what to do, or what not to do, to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) naturally.
For asbestos air testing, there are two primary sampling methods: PCM (Phase Contrast Microscopy) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy). Both methodologies analyze for fiber concentration through pumping the ambient air into filtered air cassettes. The process usually involves running a number of high volume air pumps depending on the size of the property to achieve a volume of 1,200 liters of air. In this blog post, I will discuss the benefits and drawbacks to each method of testing.
This might be the most common question we receive. Unfortunately, there are no “one size fits all” type answers to this question. Think to yourself “How much does it cost to go to the dentist”? Well if you are just going in for a routine cleaning your cost could be less than $100, but if you need major work done it could be $1000’s. Much like seeing the dentist, each mold situation is so unique pricing can vary. Our mold assessments can cost up to $1000 (and occasionally higher for special projects), but the average cost for a typical residential project is about $600.
I recently attended a conference to expand my knowledge of radon. What I learned was not only informative but also a bit alarming. As we mentioned in previous blogs, radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Because there has been such an emphasis on the smoking aspect of lung cancer, radon’s contribution to this has often been overlooked. This is a shame because testing and mitigation systems can greatly reduce your chances of this major disease. Consider these statistics from the EPA’s website.
In the world of indoor air quality measurements, the turnaround time (TAT) for getting results can vary drastically. While it is possible to give immediate feedback for some indoor air quality parameters, others can take a few days or even a few weeks depending on the type of sampling. The timing is dependant on the type of sample that is taken and consequently the amount of time the laboratory needs to analyze the sample. In this blog post, I’ll cover the turnaround time for our most common mold work.
A common question we receive when clients are concerned about asbestos is “How do you test for asbestos?” In fact, there are many ways asbestos can be sampled. These methods include bulk, air, and dust sampling. In this blog post, I will go over these methods and how to decide which testing is best suited for your situation.