DIY Air Quality Tests vs Professional Air Quality Testing

If you have the equipment and  know-how to do the work and repairs around the house on your own, you are probably saving a lot of money. Expertise is often expensive and a lot of minor issues in home can be dealt with without professional help, just with the right skills. Nowadays it is very easy to learn those skills, considering that the internet provides such abundance of knowledge and countless fast-forwarded videos which show production/repair processes of every item you can think of. However, some repairs are just too complicated, or impossible to perform without expensive equipment, and that is when expert’s help is needed.

Considering that professional services can be very expensive, many people tend to look for cheaper alternatives before asking for help of an expert. Indoor air quality in homes is a complex issue, affected by numerous factors which are not always easy to determine. In spite of that, there are many widely available air quality testing kits, which provide a cheap, easy DIY method for determining indoor air quality at your home, as opposed to hiring a professional service. But are those tests really worth your money? To find out, let’s look at the both sides and compare the aforementioned air quality testing methods.

DIY Air Quality Testing

Most indoor air quality kits have a price range between 40 and 100 dollars, which is significantly cheaper than a professional air quality testing. However, very few available commercial kits include a comprehensive test for all particles that affect indoor air quality. Moisture meters are very affordable and can help significantly to prevent mould, but they are only able to detect moisture levels, not the presence of mould spores or other substances. Some kits don’t include tests for certain air pollutants, or only detect their presence in the air, but not their levels as well (e.g. mould spores). If you are willing to spend more money, there are certain available home testing kits that include detection of an impressive variety of air pollutants (VOCs, pollen, formaldehyde, surface and mineral dust, building pollution, insects, and both active mould and mould spores). However, these kits usually cost more than 450 dollars and are intended for single use. Considering that this type of air quality test is time sensitive and most commonly performed by a non-experienced person, there is a risk of improper use which can lead to incorrect results.

Professional Air Quality Testing

If you add a bit more money to the price of the most comprehensive air quality testing kit, you can hire a professional air quality inspectors who will not only take samples for the lab, but also analyse your home, find possible sources of pollutants (both obvious and hidden ones), and provide evaluation on the extent of the damage. Professional air quality inspection includes testing for:

  • Asbestos
  • Formaldehyde
  • Moulds and mildews
  • Bacteria
  • Humidity levels
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Allergens (e.g. pollen, dust)
  • CO2 and CO pollution
  • Ozone
  • Chemicals, solvents, cleaning products
  • Resins
  • Insulation fibers and other possible pollutants from building materials

After the inspection and testing, you will get a detailed report which includes all information gathered during the testing, results of the lab analysis and professional advice on how to tackle possible issues. 

Summary

Although it is true that probably most issues can be resolved without turning to a professional, there are certain cases where it is necessary to ask for expert’s help in order to fix the problem properly. Air quality testing falls into that category, considering it requires professional gear, safety equipment, solid knowledge of building materials, sensitive tests, hours of first-hand experience, and most importantly, a good eye. Because air quality testing and remediation require a particular set of skills, they cannot be performed properly or efficiently without previous training.

Sources of air pollution are also not always as obvious as they initially seem, and even some everyday items can decrease the air quality in your home (e.g. hobby materials like paints, glue, markers, correction fluids, etc.). Commercial home testing kits can show whether the harmful pollutants are present, but often cannot point to their source or provide a good advice on how to prevent or deal with possible air quality issues.

To get the best cost-quality ratio, reach out to professional air quality inspectors. Inch By Inch Inspections’ staff includes air quality professionals that offer their services in Toronto and the GTA. If you are looking for a professional air quality testing, high-quality service, friendly staff and an honest expert’s opinion, call Inch by Inch today and schedule your air quality test.

Call Now: 416-568-9702
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