Indoor air quality is the depiction of concentrations of pollutants and thermal conditions that can negatively affect a persons health, performance, comfort and overall well being while inside a building. Indoor contaminate sources that release gases or particles into the indoor air are the primary cause of poor indoor air quality and negative health effects. Improper ventilation can also increase indoor contaminate and pollutant levels by not allowing enough fresh air to dilute the emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air contaminates out of the home. High humidity levels and temperature can also increase the concentrations of some pollutants inside the home or building.

The Environmental Protection Agency states, A good way to judge whether your home has or could develop indoor air problems is to identify potential sources of indoor air pollution. Although the presence of such sources does not necessarily mean that you have an indoor air quality problem, being aware of the type and number of potential sources is an important step toward assessing the air quality in your home.

The first step to assessing your indoor air quality is to look for signs of problems with the ventilation in your home. Typical signs that can indicate your home may not have the proper ventilation include:

– Condensation and moisture on windows, walls and ceilings

– A musty moldy odour

– Stuffy air or stagnant air

– Dirty HVAC system or if the central heating and air conditioning equipment has not been cleaned

– Old and clogged furnace filters

– Areas within the home where mold has started to grow

To help detect odours in your home, take a step outside for 5 minutes and then when you reenter your home, determine whether there are significant odours or a change in air quality.

Negative health effects can soon start to show after exposure to a single contaminate or multiple pollutants causing a variety of symptoms such as eye irritation, sore throat, runny nose, respiratory troubles, dizziness, fatigue and headaches. The immediate reactions to poor indoor air quality depends on several factors including age, preexisting medical conditions, and can vary greatly from one person to the next. Individuals that are immune compromised, have allergies or a mold intolerance can all be effected severely. If the indoor air contaminate is identified immediately and remediated quickly the symptoms will dissipate on their own. On the other hand if long term exposure to poor indoor air quality persists symptoms could develop into long lasting effects and could seriously jeopardize an individuals overall health and lifespan.

Some long-term effects and conditions attributed to years of poor indoor air quality could be severe asthma and other respiratory diseases, heart issues and cancer. It is extremely important to properly identify and treat the indoor contaminates immediately. If the symptoms fade or go away when the individual is away from the suspected area, an effort should be made to identify the indoor air quality issue and have it remediated as soon as possible. Some effects and symptoms may be made worse by inadequate fresh outdoor air coming inside the building from the heating, cooling or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.

Common indoor air quality contaminates that contribute to negative indoor air quality are:

– Secondhand Tobacco Smoke

– Radon

– Molds

– Fungi

– Pet Dander

– Pollen

– Silica

– VOC’s (volatile organic compounds)

– Indoor Combustion

– Carbon Dioxide

– Dust

– Bacteria and Pathogens

If you have a suspicion you may have a mold problem in your home or business and you want to ensure your indoor air quality is not making you, your family or employees sick, Coastal Pure Air can help.

Coastal Pure Air will conduct an indoor air quality test which involves a thorough examination of the home or business to determine if a moisture issue is occurring that could foster mold growth or if mold is already present.

We will inspect the following areas of the home or business that know to be common point of moisture entry:

– Exterior areas of the building

– HVAC system and ductwork

– Bathrooms and Kitchens plumbing systems

– Attic and Crawl spaces

– Appliances with water hookups

– Beneath cabinets and shelving

Coastal Pure Air will collect air samples from the inside of the home as well as outside to be tested for mold spores that could be contributing to poor indoor air quality. The outdoor air sample will be compared to the indoor air quality samples to determine if the indoor air quality is that of the outdoor level. The air quality test will be immediately sent to an independent third party laboratory for comprehensive analysis. In 4 – 5 business days a detailed air quality report will be emailed directly to the client indicating the quantities and types of mold present in the home. If potentially toxic molds are discovered, Coastal Pure Air can remediate the mold issue or provide a protocol for hiring a mold remediator.

At Coastal Pure Air, we work our way from the outside in, first identifying potential issues at the exterior of the home that could be causing poor indoor air quality within the home. Our mold inspections and air quality sampling tests are accurate, timely and a true asset for Vancouver Island home owners. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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