Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality:
Inadequate ventilation can be a source of poor air quality. We tests home air infiltration rates in all homes to assure that they are above the minimum ventilation rates and recommends solutions if they are not.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that is the byproduct of incomplete combustion. Whenever we tests a home having combustion appliances, we check whether all are within safe carbon monoxide limits. And we check a worst-case scenario to assure that normal home operation can’t cause these appliances to back draft their combustion gases back into the house. If any of your appliances are unsafe or operating inefficiently, we can refer you to appropriate heating or appliance repair contractors to correct these problems.
Moisture and Mildew
Mold spores are everywhere, allowing mold and mildew to thrive whenever the moisture and temperature levels are appropriate. Unfortunately, poor construction techniques, plumbing problems, and incorrectly sized HVAC systems can all contribute to excess moisture and make your home conducive to mold growth. For some people mold and spore particles can lead to allergic and respiratory reactions. More rarely, mold can be of a strain which produces toxins that can cause severe health problems. If you suspect or smell mold tell our technician, who will pay special attention to tracking down the source. The solution depends on the source and the material affected, but removing the source of moisture is always a first step, followed by cleaning or removing the affected materials. Our home analysis routinely looks for moisture problems and will recommend solutions to any we find. Beyond that, we may recommend changes to your ventilation or HVAC system to help keep your home in a humidity range that is not conducive to mold.
Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas formed by the breakdown of naturally occurring radium in the soil. It is considered the second largest cause of lung cancer after smoking. While outdoor levels are usually low, radon becomes concentrated inside of closed buildings after seeping in through joints and cracks near ground level. Although Alachua County is considered to have a moderate potential for elevated radon levels, radon levels vary greatly from place to place. The only way to know for sure if your home has elevated levels is to test. Fortunately, inexpensive, reliable detection kits are readily available. These kits usually include the laboratory analysis and interpretation of the results as part of the price. If you require further testing or corrective action for a radon concern you should contact a Florida certified radon testing or mitigation service.
Modern construction materials use increasing amounts of chemical binders and adhesives which can out gas as the materials age, leading to respiratory problems in some people. Urea formaldehyde is one of the most common of these chemicals and can be found in carpet backing, cabinetry, floor, wall and roof sheathing and insulation. For those who are sensitive to it, its effects can include watery eyes, burning sensations in the throat and eyes, wheezing, nausea or triggering attacks in people with asthma. It is a proven carcinogen in animals and considered a probable carcinogen in humans by the USEPA. It is the reason the FEMA trailers from the Katrina response were to be destroyed. Levels can range from well below 0.10 ppm in older homes to above 0.3 ppm in newer homes with significant pressed wood. If you suspect that formaldehyde could be a source of air problems in your home let us know and we can assist you with having an analysis done.