Indoor Air Quality
While we are often concerned about the outdoor air quality near major cities or industrial areas, you should not overlook the quality of your air indoors. Indoor air quality is essential not only for your health but for your safety as well. To figure out your indoor air quality, you need to conduct an indoor air quality test.
Indoor air quality tests measure the air for things such as allergens, mold, and radon, among others. These tests can show whether the quality of your indoor air is either safe or dangerous. A good test will measure and tell you accurately what is in the air inside your home or office.
Air quality is important for yourself, your pets, your friends, and your family. The only way to know if the air you are breathing indoors is safe and clean is to conduct an indoor air quality test. Bricks to Beams Home Inspection can accurately measure and test your air quality and can interpret the results for you.
How Indoor Air Quality Is Measured
When we conduct an indoor air quality test, there are three types of pollutants we check for:
- Chemical or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
- Combustion Pollutants
The “biological” category measures pollutants such as dander, bacteria, pollen, mold, and dust mites. These are all things that can contaminate the air as a direct result of living things inside. Just because you may not have plants or pets inside your home does not mean you are free from biological pollutants. Many of these pollutants can be carried indoors after having guests or opening your window. Even just being outside can track these pollutants back into your home.
VOCs are chemicals or other non-living substances such as lead, radon, and formaldehyde. Lead is usually found in certain paints and possibly even in your walls, depending on the age of your home. Radon is a naturally forming gas that can move from your home’s foundation to the inside via cracks and fissures. Radon is extremely dangerous, and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. Formaldehyde is present in many different household items and construction materials. These VOCs are dangerous substances that need to exist at the absolute minimum levels possible indoors – preferably not at all.
Combustion pollutants come from things that ignite. Secondhand smoke from cigarettes and carbon monoxide are both combustion pollutants that are deadly in both small amounts and large quantities.
Air quality tests measure the air indoors and calculate how many pollutants in each category are present if any. Not all of the pollutants present are necessarily dangerous, but that does not mean it is acceptable to have higher levels of them inside your home. Some of these pollutants are common, and their presence is normal. However, you should always strive to keep them at a minimum in your home and/or office.
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If you have above average or even high levels of certain pollutants such as lead, mold, pollen, dander, and dust mites, simple household maintenance can take care of these issues. Lead paint can be removed carefully by professionals and keeping the moisture and humidity low in your home can prevent mold from growing. The rest can be taken care of by regularly cleaning your home and making sure it is well ventilated.
Secondhand smoke is dangerous and is, in general, something that you can avoid entirely. Do not smoke inside or near your home. If others smoke, direct them to do so outside and at a distance so the smoke cannot enter your home.
When measuring your indoor air quality test results, you can rely on the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Radon, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde are hazardous to your health and have the potential to kill you or your loved ones with continued exposure.
Indoor Air Quality Tests Are Important
Indoor air quality tests show you the levels of pollutants inside your home, office, or business. While some pollutants may only be mild irritants, it is always a good thing to make sure serious indoor air pollutants are not prevalent inside. It is imperative to know what actions to take to ensure you and your loved ones stay healthy and free from any potential hazards.
Our team at Bricks to Beams Home Inspection can measure your indoor air quality and provide comprehensive testing to make sure that your home and office are safe. The health risks involved with breathing bad air can range from minimal to life-threatening. The only way to know your indoor air quality is to test it. Our technicians can inform you of their indoor air quality testing process and help you take the steps necessary to clean the air you breathe and minimize any potential pollutants.
Testing can be difficult, but our professionals can bring you accurate measurements and provide you with the solutions you need to keep your indoor air clean. Call us at 201-283-8874 to schedule an appointment today.