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Mold Inspection

Our MOLD inspection is ideal for houses, office buildings and apartment buildings, if the occupants experience chronic symptoms such as recurring sinus infections, asthma, chronic fatigue, headaches, scratchy throat, mental fog, chronic rashes, etc. or for individuals who are generally concerned about how indoor air quality might affect their health.

This survey is also ideal for those who have mold sensitivity and are planning to purchase or lease a new property to check for these issues before committing.

Indoor Enviromental Testing

What is done in a Mold Investigation ?

This process involves scanning walls and ceilings with an infrared camera, a walk-through of the home or office with special attention to areas around plumbing or water appliances (dishwasher, fridge ice maker, showers, vanities, laundry, etc.), an interview with the occupants and maintenance personnel if applicable, and a series of tests to identify the presence and types of molds. Windows and doors should be kept closed for at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of the survey.

With specialized equipment, we will scan walls and suspect areas for damp spots, temperature differentials and particle counts which may hint to potential mold growth. Visual and olfactory observations are also made to detect problem areas. We then use air sampling equipment to collect samples of air inside various rooms. In addition, we may take samples of the particulates found on surfaces throughout the structure for laboratory analysis.

If a carpeted area is suspect, we may take samples of the carpet dust or if the IR Camera indicates a suspicious spot, we may sample the air inside a wall cavity (this requires drilling a small ¼” hole in the bottom of the wall, behind the baseboard).

All the samples are then sent to the lab for microscopic evaluations. It is rarely necessary to incubate the mold samples so results are usually obtained in 2 to 3 working days.

The Mold investigation service includes a follow-up phone consultation to discuss results and remediation efforts if necessary.

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Air Quality Assessment:

20150813_141117Mold+sampling+on+counter– Client interview to  determine areas of focus for survey
– Check for biological contaminants –  ie. molds, bacteria
– Check for particulate levels in various rooms
– Check dust mite levels
– Check for VOC levels (chemical offgassing)
– Check for moisture problems or potential moisture sources
– Check heating/air conditioning system for contamination
– Electronic check of gas appliances for leaks
– Measurement of Carbon  Monoxide & Carbon Dioxide
– Lab Analysis of air samples for allergens, mold counts, mold fragments, and fibers
– Feline, Canine and Mouse allergen tests are available for additional fee
– Testing for Mycotoxins and PCR (DNA testing) also available

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Our Sleeping Area Assessment includes:

– Visual exam for biological contaminants, moisture issues, fungi
– Olfactory air quality assessment
– Measurement of Body Voltage in sleeping area
– Measurement of current on water pipes
– Locate sources of electric and magnetic fields
– Reduction of body voltage by manipulation of electrical distribution system
– Measure bed for disturbed DC magnetic field zones
– Measurement of Electro stress from house wiring & bedroom appliances
– Summary email with findings and recommendations for addressing problem areas

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Laboratory Testing

– Carpet Dust analysis
– Mold Spores in Air
– Mold Spores on Surfaces
– Microbial VOC’s (chemicals emitted by active molds)
– Dust mite, mouse, canine, cockroach and feline allergen
– Bacteria Identification (air or surface)
– Air sampling for Pesticides, VOC’s, Metals
– Fungi (mold) identification and concentration
– Dust Mite Identification & Count
– Household Dust Analysis
– Animal hair & dander concentration
– Soluble pesticide screening
– Presence & concentration of volatile organics such as formaldehyde, benzene, naphtalene & toluene.

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Odor Investigation

Odors can be caused by fungal growth, microbial VOC’s (mold/bacteria), chemical vapors or gases. An odor investigation includes several tests to eliminate possible sources. Odors are usually more perceptible when the temperature and relative humidity rise. If an odor gets worse over time, its likely source is biological or gaseous in nature. If the odor seems to get better over time, it’s more likely to stem from a chemical source, as chemical offgassing dissipates over time. There are exceptions to that however. Chemical odors could get worse if the sun heats up the room or humidity rises. A mold odor can dissipate during dry periods and worsen after rains or during humid weather.

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(VOC) Testing

Water Testing

There are several methods used to test for chemicals or to identify the offending chemical(s). The real-time method involves sophisticated electronic equipment which measures the ppb (parts per billion) or ppm (parts per million) concentration of a specific chemical or gas. This method is used if the offending chemical is known and you wish to know if the quantity is above a threshold (i.e. OSHA, NIOSH limits).

Another method is to collect ambient indoor air for a specific period of time (2 to 3 hours) into a specially prepared glass tube. The tube is then shipped to the lab for analysis via gas chromotography. The lab will provide a report listing the top 10 chemicals found in the air sample and the quantity in Parts per Billion. This method is used for odor investigations or when occupants are symptomatic, to identify which chemical might be causing the odor or the symptoms (or both).

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Pesticide Testing

Pesticide testing is available for surfaces, air and soil. If a building is suspected to be contaminated by pesticide dust, this fact can be confirmed with surface samples. This entails collecting swipes from various horizontal surface areas and sending them to the lab for analysis. Pieces of clothing, carpeting, drapes, etc … can also be analyzed for pesticide content. Pesticides tend to cling to synthetics so these materials are best chosen for the testing. Air sampling for pesticides is also available and involves collecting ambient air samples and having the lab analyze them. Pesticide testing is tricky because labs cannot test for ANY pesticide. You must specify which family of pesticides you suspect (organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethrins …). Soil testing is available as well and would be applicable for areas where children will be known to play.

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Water Testing

Your choice of water testing will depend on whether you need to test city water or well water. There are different issues with each. You may wish to test city water for lead if you suspect the city supply pipe is a lead pipe or you may wish to know the PH of your tap water. Well water should be tested regularly for pesticide runoff, nitrates, coliform bacteria, etc. Water testing simply entails obtaining a collection kit from our lab and filling specific bottles with water from the tap.

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Soil Testing

Soil testing is performed for children play areas for the presence of lead, arsenic and other metals. This type of testing involves the collection of soil samples which are sent to a lab for analysis.

Soil Testing

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Electromagnetic (ElectroPollution) Exposure Testing

This type of testing is provided with specialized instrumentation to determine the level of exposure in certain areas for magnetic fields, electrical fields, Radio Frequencies, Stray Voltage, Current on Water Pipes, etc …Electro Smog has many sources like wi-fi (wireless) modems, smart meters for utilities, cordless phones, Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL’s), Cell Phone Towers, Airport Radar,  and many more. More and more people are experiencing a sensitivity to these fields, much in the same way as more and more people are becoming sensitive to chemicals in the environment. We use European standards and equipment to measure this type of radiation and make recommendations for reduction and/or mitigation with special shielding devices or relocation of desk, beds, chairs, etc.

A full assessment takes 2 to 2.5 hours for a standard 2-3 bedroom home.