Indoor Air Quality Testing Dayton Ohio

For home inspection services such as indoor air quality testing Dayton Ohio, look to Accutech Home Inspections. Call us today at (937) 490-9154 for immediate service. Click here to take advantage of our online scheduling for your convenience.

Indoor Air Quality Testing Dayton Ohio CRMIAccutech Home Inspections Lead Inspector is a Council-certified Residential Mold Inspector (CRMI), certified by the American Council for Accredited Certification (formally called the Indoor Air Quality Council) (cert #0606007).

We can perform air sampling, bulk sampling and surface sampling.

Sampling is necessary where:

Health care concerns are a problem
Litigation is involved
The source(s) of the mold contamination is unclear

Sampling allows us to:

Locate the source of mold contamination
Identify some of the mold species present
Differentiate between mold and soot or dirt

Quick Facts:

Indoor air quality can be worse than that of outdoor air.

Problems can arise from moisture, insects, pets, appliances, radon, materials used in household products and furnishings, smoke and other sources.

Effects range from minor annoyances to major health risks.

Remedies include ventilation, cleaning, moisture control, inspections, and following manufacturers’ directions when using appliances and products.

Research has shown that the quality of indoor air can be worse than that of outdoor air. Many homes are built or remodeled more tightly, without regard to the factors that assure fresh and healthy indoor air. Our homes today contain many furnishings, appliances and products that can affect indoor air quality.

Signs of indoor air quality problems include:

Unusual and noticeable odors

Stale or stuffy air

Noticeable lack of air movement

Dirty or faulty central heating or air conditioning equipment

Damaged flue pipes or chimneys

Unvented combustion air sources for fossil fuel appliances

Excessive humidity

Presence of molds and mildewIndoor Air Quality Testing Dayton Ohio Bathroom Toilet

Health reaction after remodeling, weatherizing, using new furniture, using household and hobby products, or moving into a new home

Feeling noticeably healthier outside

Common sources of air quality problems

Poor indoor air can arise from many sources. At least some of the following contaminants can be found in almost any home:

Moisture and biological pollutants such as molds, mildew, dust mites, animal dander and cockroaches from 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 backdrafting from furnaces and water heaters.

Formaldehyde from durable press draperies and other textiles, particle board products such as cabinets and furniture framing, and adhesives.

Radon, a radioactive gas from soil and rock beneath and around the home’s foundation, groundwater wells and some building materials.

Household products and furnishings such as paints, solvents, air fresheners, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture which can release volatile organic compounds.

Asbestos found in most homes more than 20 years old. Sources include deteriorating, damaged or disturbed pipe insulation, fire retardant, acoustical material and floor tiles.

Lead from lead-based paint dust created when removing paint by sanding, scraping or burning.

Particulates from dust and pollen, fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and unvented gas space heaters.

Tobacco smoke, which produces particulates, combustion products and formaldehyde.

Introduction to molds:

Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.

Ten things you should know about mold:

  1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and dehumidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Mold is covered in the IAQ Coordinator’s Guide under Appendix H – Mold and Moisture

Asthma and Mold:

Molds can trigger asthma episodes in sensitive individuals with asthma. People with asthma should avoid contact with or exposure to molds.

EPA’s Asthma web site
EPA’s Asthma Brochure
EPA’s Mold page from Asthma web site

Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AAN/MA): (800) 878-4403; http://www.aanma.org
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI): http://www.aaaai.org
American Lung Association: 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872); http://www.lungusa.org
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: (800) 7ASTHMA; http://www.aafa.org
Canada Mortgage and Housing CorporationFighting Mold — The Homeowners’ Guide
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: http://www.niaid.nih.gov
National Jewish Medical and Research Center: (800) 222-LUNG (5864); http://www.njc.org

Health and Mold:

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people, such as those with serious allergies to molds, may have more severe reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs.

EPA’s publication, Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals , assists health professionals (especially the primary care physician) in diagnosis of patient symptoms that could be related to an indoor air pollution problem. It addresses the health problems that may be caused by contaminants encountered daily in the home and office. Organized according to pollutant or pollutant groups such as environmental tobacco smoke, VOCs, biological pollutants, and sick building syndrome, this booklet lists key signs and symptoms from exposure to these pollutants, provides a diagnostic checklist and quick reference summary, and includes suggestions for remedial action. Also includes references for information contained in each section. This booklet was developed by the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the EPA. EPA Document Reference Number 402-R-94-007, 1994.

Allergic Reactions – excerpted from Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals section on: Animal Dander, Molds, Dust Mites, Other Biologicals.

A major concern associated with exposure to biological pollutants is allergic reactions, which range from rhinitis, nasal congestion, conjunctival inflammation, and urticaria to asthma. Notable triggers for these diseases are allergens derived from house dust mites; other arthropods, including cockroaches; pets (cats, dogs, birds, rodents); molds; and protein-containing furnishings, including feathers, kapok, etc. In occupational settings, more unusual allergens (e.g., bacterial enzymes, algae) have caused asthma epidemics. Probably most proteins of non-human origin can cause asthma in a subset of any appropriately exposed population.

Consult the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website:

CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) has a toll-free telephone number for information, including a list of publications: NCEH Health Line 1-888-232-6789.
CDC’s Molds in the Environment
CDC’s Questions and Answers on Stachybotrys chartarum and other molds

Homes and Mold:

The EPA publication, A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home, is available here in HTML formats. This Guide provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth. A printed version will be available soon.

An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality: Biological Pollutants
Biological contaminants include bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander and cat saliva, house dust mites, cockroaches, and pollen.

Indoor Air Quality: An Introduction to Indoor Air Quality
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes.

The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality
This document provides information on indoor air quality issues.

Indoor Air Facts #4 (revised): Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) 02-10-2006
This document provides information about Sick Building Syndrome.

A site with a very useful resource list with links to many state air quality departments is Pro-Lab Environmental Testing

Moisture Control:

The key to mold control is moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, clean up the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles and carpet) that become moldy may have to be replaced.

Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (for example, drops of water form on the inside of a window). This moisture can encourage biological pollutants to grow.

There are many ways to control moisture in your home:Indoor Air Quality Testing Dayton Ohio Wooden Moisture Gate

  • Fix leaks and seepage. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing. (The ground should slope away from the house.) Water in the basement can result from the lack of gutters or a water flow toward the house. Water leaks in pipes or around tubs and sinks can provide a place for biological pollutants to grow.
  • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well-ventilated.
  • Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic). Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.
  • Turn off certain appliances (such as humidifiers or kerosene heaters) if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air, but be sure that the appliances themselves don’t become sources of biological pollutants.
  • Raise the temperature of cold surfaces where moisture condenses. Use insulation or storm windows. (A storm window installed on the inside works better than one installed on the outside.) Open doors between rooms (especially doors to closets which may be colder than the rooms) to increase circulation. Circulation carries heat to the cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners to promote air and heat circulation. Be sure that your house has a source of fresh air and can expel excessive moisture from the home.
  • Pay special attention to carpet on concrete floors. Carpet can absorb moisture and serve as a place for biological pollutants to grow. Use area rugs which can be taken up and washed often. In certain climates, if carpet is to be installed over a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) over the concrete and cover that with sub-flooring (insulation covered with plywood) to prevent a moisture problem.
  • Moisture problems and their solutions differ from one climate to another. The Northeast is cold and wet; the Southwest is hot and dry; the South is hot and wet; and the Western Mountain states are cold and dry. All of these regions can have moisture problems. For example, evaporative coolers used in the Southwest can encourage the growth of biological pollutants. In other hot regions, the use of air conditioners which cool the air too quickly may prevent the air conditioners from running long enough to remove excess moisture from the air. The types of construction and weatherization for the different climates can lead to different problems and solutions.

Moisture On Windows:

Your humidistat is set too high if excessive moisture collects on windows and other cold surfaces. Excess humidity for a prolonged time can damage walls especially when outdoor air temperatures are very low. Excess moisture condenses on window glass because the glass is cold. Other sources of excess moisture besides overuse of a humidifier may be long showers, running water for other uses, boiling or steaming in cooking, plants, and drying clothes indoors. A tight, energy efficient house holds more moisture inside; you may need to run a kitchen or bath ventilating fan sometimes, or open a window briefly. Storm windows and caulking around windows keep the interior glass warmer and reduce condensation of moisture there.

Humidifiers are not recommended for use in buildings without proper vapor barriers because of potential damage from moisture buildup. Consult a building contractor to determine the adequacy of the vapor barrier in your house. Use a humidity indicator to measure the relative humidity in your house.

The American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommend that indoor humidity levels be maintained between 15% and 35% based in part on the outside temperature. Their site American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)will have more information if you would be interested.

Studies of personal comfort have shown that relative humidity ranges between 30% and 65-70% can be considered ‘comfortable’ depending on activity. However, from the standpoint of indoor air quality, upper ranges should be maintained below 50% (dust mite populations increase rapidly at relative humidity levels above 50% and fungal amplification occurs above 65%). The EPA recommends maintaining indoor humidity low. “If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30% and 50%) relative humidity.” Reference A BRIEF GUIDE TO MOLD, MOISTURE, AND YOUR HOME.

Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers ( http://www.aham.org).
Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?

The following is an excerpt on duct cleaning and mold. You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:

There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

  • Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
  • You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
  • If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
  • If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.

Be sure to read our thoughts on Moisture Scans! Learn more about indoor air quality testing with Dayton Home Inspection.

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