Air quality testing can be both reactive and proactive. It can be valuable when trying to improve indoor air quality, but can also be of value for those who intend to buy or sell a property. For homeowners and business owners dealing with poor indoor air quality, professional air quality testing in Toronto can isolate the cause and extent of a specific problem.
Reasons for poor indoor air quality in your home or building
Decreased air quality in the home can occur for a number of reasons and even every day fixtures and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products can be greatly affecting the health of the residents. Some typical indoor pollutants are:
- Carbon dioxide from cigarette smoking, perfume and personal hygiene challenges
- Dust and offset gasses from fiberglass, asbestos and other common building materials
- Volatile organic compounds and poisonous vapors from cleaners and disinfectants
- Dust mites from carpets and chair cushions
- Bacteria and airborne spores released by unchecked and undiscovered mold
- Ozone from chemicals used in photocopiers, products that come in aerosol cans
Volatile Organic Compounds in your home are one of the reasons for poor indoor air quality
Studies have shown that indoor air quality is substantially lower than the air quality outside the home and one of the bigger contributors to decreased air quality are Volatile Organic Compounds. VOC’s, as they are known, are gases that are offset by everyday products found around most residential homes. VOC’s greatly reduce air quality and constant exposure to this hazardous air can create a host of health problems for the residents of the home. VOC’s will quickly build up in the air of homes with poor or inefficient air circulation. Residents who experience any negative changes to health or well-being should immediately perform an air quality check.
Mold is a health hazard and diminishes the home's indoor air quality
The biggest challenge for homeowners is controlling and dispersing moisture inside the property. Excessive humidity and lack of proper air flow will create prime breeding grounds for the various types of mold. Aside from being able to quickly spread and multiply unchecked and unrepaired mold areas will continue to contaminate the air by releasing airborne bacteria and mold spores. Allergic reactions and respiratory issues are common symptoms among people living with mold in the home. Improper air circulation will allow mold spores and bacteria to build up in the air and causing adverse health side effects including respiratory issues and fatigue.
The importance of airflow for combustion gasses and byproducts
Common residential HVAC equipment such as gas furnaces and gas powered hot water tanks create pollutants in their standard cycle of operation. Burning any type of fuel will create a chemical exhaust that must be flushed outside of the home once created. Exhaust gases such as carbon and nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are very poisonous and can have short term and long term effects and can even cause death. Furnaces, hot water tanks, fireplaces and stoves that are not regularly maintained or are in a state of disrepair may be greatly affecting the quality of air in the home and in turn, negatively affects the health of the people living inside. Exposure to carbon and nitrogen dioxide can cause nausea, chronic headaches, respiratory issues and create a feeling of general fatigue and lack of motivation. On the more severe side, breathing in carbon monoxide contaminated air can lead to headaches, unconsciousness and even death if exposed for too long. These types of pollutants have a far a greater effect on the health of the occupants and air quality testing should begin immediately to determine the source and plan out repairs and upgrades to correct the problem.
Checking the air quality we breathe in our Toronto homes
One of the more neglected features of a residential property is the air inside. Visuals and design are giving more priority to the core element that affects everything living inside the property. Declining air quality can be caused by many different factors and can result in a lower standard of living for residents. Harmful pollutants and foreign microbes could be breathed in every single day if left unchecked and thorough air quality testing in Toronto area homes can provide assurance to owners and offer potential solutions to correct lower quality air problems.
Essential quality checks for older homes in the GTA
Toronto is a large established city and many of the structures and homes have been standing for more than 50 years. Older residential properties that were built using inferior materials and inefficient building codes are prime candidates for air quality issues. Core home elements such as wall insulation and furnaces will become much less effective and efficient over time and have a direct impact on the level of pollutants in the home’s air. Upgrades to natural gas hot water tanks are dependent on venting and municipal standards change from year to year. Many older homes may not have the proper set up for venting which may cause a dangerous air quality situation. Air quality testing in Toronto should be the first step for homeowners when problems are suspected.
Performing a complete inspection when buying or selling a home
Home inspections have become a normal requirement when buying an existing home. These inspections give the buyer an understanding of the structural condition of the property and any major repairs that might be on the horizon. But standard home inspections do not cover the inside air of the property which will greatly affect daily life in the home. Separate air quality testing in Toronto should be part of any local home inspection package so buyers can be made aware of any potential or hazardous situations regarding the inside environment. Air quality can be greatly reduced by many different factors and full disclosure of problems will make the buying and selling process much less stressful. Current owners who are including a home inspection with the listing should include an air quality report to complete the information presented.
Upgrading and renovating can create air quality issues
Renovations and upgrading of older homes in the GTA is in high demand and sometimes these tear down projects are on a massive scale. Dust and debris from old and broken material such as drywall is a major cause of bad inside air and even the most precise removal of fiberglass insulation will result in micro fibers being released into the air. Replacing kitchen cabinets, flooring and carpeting will also result in contaminants flying through the air and recirculating through the property. After any type of renovation or removal, air quality testing in Toronto should be part of the clean-up checklist at the end of the job.
Quality of life and the air we breath
Modern interior design is common among many of the older homes in the GTA but many renovation projects are missing a key job which directly affects the quality of life in the home. Residents that are constantly exposed to lower quality or even dangerous air inside the home could experience health related issues that may affect their overall lifestyle. The home’s air quality may be reduced for a number of reasons and common symptoms of bad air are:
- Shortness of breath and other breathing issues
- Constant tiredness and lethargy from reduced and poor sleep patterns
- Increased viruses and infections among residents
- Hay fever type symptoms such as irritated eyes, itchy skin and nasal congestion
- Headaches and body pain due to lower oxygen levels
GTA homeowners who experience any of these issues or any abnormalities in daily living should have the home’s air assessed immediately and contact a professional for air quality testing in Toronto.
Factors in the home that reduce air quality
Older GTA homes are prime candidates for air quality issues and there are many components within the residence that can contribute to reduced air quality. One of the more likely causes for bad air is old and faulty wall insulation that either greatly restricts air flow or allows too much airflow out. Airborne microfibers could also be released into the airstream by non-functioning fiberglass insulation. Lack of proper air circulation and restricted airflow will most likely cause a buildup of pollutants inside the home. Other major factors for property owners to consider are:
- Debris and material in air ducts and registers
- Old and improperly maintained HVAC systems and piping
- Incorrect or missing venting of natural gas powered appliances such as hot water tanks
- Dirty and blocked air filters for furnace boxes, humidifiers and air management systems
- Central vacuum filters and piping especially new installations
- Release of spores from water damaged areas that have mold
- Faulty and improperly installed fiberglass type insulation
- Outside elements such as flooding, sewer backups and animal interactions
- Airborne gasses from newly installed marble and granite countertops and vanities
Expertly performed air quality testing in Toronto is essential for older GTA homes that may be susceptible to air quality issues due to age and inefficiencies. Homeowners can gauge air quality through a professional inspection
Homeowners that are unsure of the air quality status inside the home should trust a company like Inch by Inch for detailed air quality testing in Toronto. Inch by Inch will combine the latest testing technology with their extensive experience to check the air focusing on these key areas:
- Furnace areas and laundry rooms
- Attics, below grade storage areas and basements
- Bedrooms, living rooms and other high traffic areas
- Along ductwork in unfinished areas and intake registers
- Exhaust piping areas for gas appliances
Air quality testing in Toronto should be professionally handled
Whatever the circumstances, air quality testing in Toronto should be professionally managed. At Inch by Inch Inspections, in-house inspectors are industry certified, and reporting is impartial. Objective reporting allows the homeowner, management firm, or business owner to make astute decisions going forward. It all makes for a smart and effective action plan.
Air quality testing in Toronto should be comprehensive. This is not the time for a cursory review. There should be specific emphasis on asbestos, mold, allergens, VOC’s and general air pollutants. In fact, a good air quality test will go further than the industry norm. Inch by Inch Inspections undertakes testing with the latest high-tech equipment and in-depth analysis.
Air quality testing focuses on pollutants that can be harmful
Inch by Inch Inspections provides clients with an impartial approach to air quality testing and reporting. This approach allows clients, both residential and commercial, to fully understand the nature of their specific air quality issue. But whatever the source or cause of an air quality issue, it’s important to accurately identify the health risks.
Air sampling is usually the first step in ascertaining air quality issues. And since contamination varies from premises to premises, sampling and testing will also vary. For instance, mold is not an uncommon cause of poor air quality in a residential home. For that matter, poor air circulation could also be the cause of substandard air quality.
Air quality solutions from Inch by Inch Inspections
Comprehensive air quality testing is designed to identify and evaluate the nature of problem. Inch by Inch Inspections assesses the exterior and interior of a building structure, providing the most accurate assessment possible. Of course, the main priority with any inspection is to identify any potential health risks.
For homeowners and business owners, it’s important to understand assessment results. As such, a final report must be straightforward and easy to comprehend. With Inch by Inch Inspections, viable solutions are also offered. This is especially relevant for property owners who plan to buy, sell, or leasing a property.
When testing and analysis has been completed, recommendations from Inch by Inch Inspections will set the stage for resolving outstanding issues. Clearly, it’s vital to focus on the health and well being of residents and occupants, which is why repairs and retrofits are so important in resolving issues most effectively.
For air quality testing in Toronto, and throughout the GTA, Inch by Inch Inspections provides trusted, reliable service that clients can depend on. Inch by Inch follows the industry's most comprehensive Standards of Practice, and subscribes to InterNACHI's established Code of Ethics. To arrange for an assessment, contact the professionals at Inch by Inch at 416-826-7172 or visit the company website at www.inchbyinchinspections.com .