Why Air Quality Testing Is a Must Before Buying a Home
Purchasing a home is likely to be one of the biggest investments that you will make in your lifetime—so you should be absolutely sure that you know about any issues that are present in your new home! This is why scheduling a variety of inspections during the home-buying process is so important. One type of inspection that is commonly overlooked is air quality testing. If you are getting ready to purchase a home and are interested in environmental services in San Francisco , continue reading to find out more about the importance of scheduling an air quality analysis.
There are many things that are invisible to the eye but can affect a home’s air quality. For instance, asbestos may be present in a home and could release dangerous fibers into the air if disturbed. The good news is that asbestos testing can alert you to the presence of this material before you buy a home. Another common issue that can impact air quality is mold growth. Mold may hide behind walls, in ceilings, or in basements, but mold testing using air samples can alert you to the presence of mold spores. Air quality testing can also be performed to detect lead, dangerous chemicals, and bacteria.
Common Air Quality Issues That Homebuyers Run Into
Buying a house is a big step to take, and you might have dreamt about it for much of your life. When you get the chance to make that dream a reality, you should do what you can to make the most of it. One of the benefits of owning your own home is being able to take on home remodeling in San Francisco whenever the need strikes, but you’ll want to take a look at your indoor air quality first. Your heating and cooling appliances also affect your indoor air quality, and so can byproducts of your appliances. Keep reading for a look at some of the common air quality issues that homebuyers run into.
A kitchen or bathroom remodel can help you get the most out of your home as well as increase the resale value of your home if you decide you and your family want to move in the future. However, renovations can be dangerous if you have certain elements contaminating your indoor air quality. Your air quality is crucial for the health and comfort of your home, and tearing down walls that haven’t been opened up in years can bring harmful agents like asbestos or lead into the air. If you’re planning on undergoing a home renovation, be sure to talk to the air quality professionals beforehand.
Your heating and cooling appliances keep your home comfortable throughout the year, but they can take away from your indoor air quality if you’re not careful. Mold spores are extremely light and can travel through the air, which means that your HVAC appliances can easily take them on a tour of your house. Be sure to clean your HVAC air filters on a regular basis so you can keep your air quality in top shape.
Gas and Fumes
Even cooking in your kitchen can impact your indoor air quality, so make sure your home has the ventilation it needs. A proper range hood can ensure that gas and fumes that exist as byproducts of your dinner preparation make their way outside, which keeps the family safe.
What Happens During an Indoor Air Quality Test?
Are you planning to test your home’s air quality in San Francisco? If so, then you may be wondering about the testing process. Indoor air quality, or IAQ, testing can be used to measure several factors that could be affecting your home’s air quality. The following are some of the things that you can expect depending on the type of test being performed.
When a team comes out to your home to test for mold, they will begin the process by taking either a surface or air sample or both. This initial test will provide the IAQ testing team with information about your indoor air environment and if it is conducive to mold growth. Also, the sample will alert the team to discernable levels of mold and their types, if they are present. After this testing process, if mold is identified, then you can proceed to contact a mold remediation company about its removal and abatement from your home. Following the remediation, it can be a smart decision to retest your home for mold to ensure that the removal was successful.
Before you take on any type of home remodel, experts advise that you have you home tested for asbestos if there is any chance that the building’s materials might contain this mineral. Asbestos cannot be identified visually, and testing by a certified professional is required to determine its presence in your home. Material samples will be taken from areas of your home and sent to a lab for testing.
Bacteria testing is often used following plumbing issues that cause sewage contamination. If bacteria testing is part of your upcoming indoor air quality test, then there are several things that you can expect from the process. First, the inspector will perform a visual inspection, and will then take surface samples to verify the absence of bacteria known to be in sewage. If the samples indicate that the sewage remediation was unsuccessful, then you will need to contact the remediator about additional cleaning.
Top Reasons to Schedule IAQ Testing Before Renovating Your Home
Every day, your home’s indoor air quality, or IAQ, can have a significant effect on your family’s comfort and health. However, it is particularly important to consider your IAQ before beginning any renovations. If you are planning a home renovation in San Francisco, then there are several good reasons for you to schedule indoor air quality testing before you get started.
To Address Moisture
One popular home remodeling option is to convert a basement into a living space. If you are thinking about furnishing your basement, for example, then indoor air quality testing should be considered an essential part of the initial planning process. Basements are areas that are particularly vulnerable to moisture problems. If your basement is affected by high humidity or water leaks, then this can cause mold growth and attract pests into the space. Before you take on any type of remodeling project, have the air tested so that you can address any moisture problems first.
To Add Ventilation
Having a proper ventilation system is crucial for ensuring your family’s comfort and maintaining your indoor air quality. If you are planning to remodel an area of your home, then consider having an IAQ test performed first to determine how well it is ventilated. If the ventilation is lacking, then the remodeling project can provide you with an excellent opportunity to remedy the situation.
To Control Mold
Mold is a common cause of IAQ problems, and it’s not uncommon for it to grow undetected in homes until it starts causing health problems for those who live there or growing into a visible location. While mold can continue to spread on its own without much assistance, a home remodeling project can dislodge spores and allow them to spread the mold throughout your home. To help prevent turning a mold problem into a bigger one and to identify any mold problems that your home already has, consider scheduling IAQ testing before you begin your next home renovation.
The Link Between Renovating and Indoor Air Quality
When planning your home renovation project near San Francisco, you are probably busy looking at paint colors, new appliances, and your future decorating scheme. These are important choices to make, but your indoor air quality is just as important to consider. You may not realize that performing renovations on your home may result in future breathing problems for you or your family. Continue reading to learn more about the link between your indoor air quality and your home renovations .
Updating Outdated or Banned Materials
During your renovation project, you may be updating your bathroom or kitchen with better and newer appliances. However, you must also look to the flooring, painting, and other building materials that were used in addition to your older appliances. Some building materials, such as paint, may contain banned substances, like lead, that could cause significant health problems. If you are updating a bedroom or living room, then consider the age of the flooring. Outdated carpeting may not only be displeasing to the eye, but you may have poor indoor air quality from it too.
Staying Protected While Renovating
While you are doing any sort of home remodeling, you should remain protected at all times. If you are working in an attic or crawlspace, then wear a mask to protect yourself from breathing in dust or other harmful contaminants. In the event you are working with wood or building materials—such as hanging drywall or knocking down walls—then wear a breathing mask to avoid inhaling drywall and wood dust. You must keep yourself protected however possible when performing home renovations.
Testing Air Quality Before Renovating
Proactively testing the indoor air quality before renovations is another smart way to prevent health problems in the future. Professional technicians can test your indoor air quality to locate potentially harmful bacteria, such as mold or asbestos. They can also help you choose the right building materials and products to ensure your home renovations are safe. These services are essential to performing a healthy and safe remodeling project.
A Look at the Five Indoor Air Quality Categories as Defined by the EPA
Home renovations and new constructions are using better and more insulated materials than ever before. However, these same materials could also be causing poorer indoor air quality in San Francisco and around the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. Watch the video for a more in-depth look at five indoor air quality concerns .
- Carbon monoxide, even in low doses, can cause headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Microbial growths, like mold and bacteria, can cause asthma, headaches, and more severe health problems.
- Allergens, such as pollen and dust, can cause allergy symptoms.
- Infectious diseases, like colds or flus, can continually circle through a home’s HVAC system.
- Home remodeling materials, gases, and pesticides all fall under the toxic compounds category.
Homebuilders and renovators should strive for healthier home renovations by using healthier materials. They should also have professional air quality testing performed.
How You Can Benefit from Testing a Home’s Air Quality Before Buying
Your home inspection should include a thorough indoor air quality test before you officially purchase your new home. This home inspection in San Francisco can tell you a number of features you may not know before buying a house , such as if mold is growing and other dangerous air quality issues.
You can locate future problem areas.
Many homes may have certain areas of the house, such as the bathroom, that may be hotspots for the occasional mold growth or bacteria buildup. There may be a ventilation register or section of the HVAC system that has reduced airflow. These are not reasons to back out of buying your dream home. However, they are good traits to know as you go through buying a house, and they can only come with an indoor air quality test. You can then make the decision to remodel those areas after you have purchased the home.
You can back out before purchasing an unsafe home.
On the other hand, there are some houses that have a host of problems, including extensive mold growth, gas leaks, plumbing problems, and many more. Unless you are looking for a fixer-upper house, you should not be pulled into purchasing an unsafe home. A thorough home inspector will test the home’s air quality, plumbing, electricity, and all other utilities to ensure the house is safe for you and your family. If it is deemed unsafe or has too many damages, then you can find out before you move in.
You can learn more about your future home.
Even though you are likely to receive a lot of history from your realtor or the former owners, there are certain features of a new home that can only be answered with a home inspection. You may find out where there were previous mold problems or if fire and smoke damage had ever occurred. These are just a few of the many benefits you will find when an inspector performs an indoor air quality test.
Tips for Hiring an Indoor Air Quality Testing Company Before Starting Your Remodel
Before your home remodeling in San Francisco begins, it is best to schedule a test of your indoor air quality . Testing air quality, especially before your home is torn up for a remodel, can prevent and address possible problems, such as asbestos and mold. Hiring the right air quality testing company can guarantee you have a safe home remodel process and safe air to breathe. Continue reading for 4 essential tips to help you hire the right air quality testing company.
Tip #1: Ask for recommendations.
It is always best to ask for recommendations no matter what type of service you are want for your home. Just as you would ask friends and family for home remodeling company recommendations, you should also ask about air quality testing companies. Consider asking your remodeling company, before they begin their work, if they have recommendations on trustworthy indoor air quality testing companies.
Tip #2: Request certifications.
When you have a sufficient list of potential air quality companies to call, you can start narrowing it down by asking for certifications. Testing your indoor air quality requires specialized equipment, training, and accredited labs to analyze the results. Your air quality company should have the necessary certifications to perform the job correctly for you.
Tip #3: Investigate turnaround time.
As your home remodel start date looms closer, you need to know that your air quality can be tested quickly and efficiently enough so you can have potential problems addressed. Trusting the right air quality company means getting the results back in a timely and professional manner, with enough time to remediate any problems.
Tip #4: Focus on testing companies.
It is best to look for an air quality testing company that focuses solely on air quality testing. These companies will have no hidden agendas, and they will provide the honest truth about your home’s air quality. If there are no problems with your air quality, then your testing company will be honest with you, because they have nothing to gain from lying.
Exploring the Contaminant Testing Process
Whether you are buying a new house, planning a home renovation, or want to improve the comfort of your home, testing a house’s indoor air quality in San Francisco is a smart decision. These thorough evaluations can alert you to problems that affect the safety of the building’s air, allowing you to address any issues as needed.
When a house is tested for contaminants such as asbestos, lead, and mold, the process usually involves several steps. First, an experienced team arrives at the home and conducts an extensive inspection, during which the members will search for any areas that could harbor contaminants that might affect the house’s indoor air quality.
After evaluating all areas of the building, the team will carefully obtain samples of any suspect materials. Next, the samples are sent to a lab for testing and identification. Finally, the testing company will report the findings to you and discuss any recommended treatment or abatement services to improve the home’s indoor air quality.
Reasons to Talk to Your New Construction Contractor About Air Quality Testing
When planning a home renovation near San Francisco, you have a lot to consider regarding the project’s design. In addition to dimensions, layout, and style, the effect of the remodel on your indoor air quality , or IAQ, should be factored into your decisions. During new construction, there are several reasons why you should talk to your contractor about your home’s air quality.
To Make the Most of Your Home Remodel
Whether your house is new or old, there may be existing materials that are affecting your family’s health. If it is poor, the quality of your indoor air can cause allergic reactions, discomfort, and even illness for anyone residing in the home. A renovation, however, gives you the ideal opportunity to address the construction of your home in a way that improves your IAQ. After having an air quality test performed, talk with your contractor about any areas you’d like to remove or repair to address any IAQ issues.
To Remove Unhealthy Materials from Your Home
Home remodeling gives you the chance to tear out or contain any dated, damaged, or unhealthy materials that may be affecting your IAQ. For older houses, lead and asbestos are common issues that homeowners face during a remodel. Also, bacteria, mold, and mildew can develop in both newer and older homes. Before you begin your renovation, schedule a professional IAQ evaluation for your home to identify any contaminants you are facing. Next, speak with your contractor about the best course of action regarding the removal of problematic construction materials and any need for lead or asbestos removal services.
To Choose Materials that Support Better Indoor Air
In addition to addressing any problematic materials in the construction area, the home remodel allows to you to replace these with new and better options. Today, there are products available that can resist the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew to help protect your home’s IAQ. Also, the VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, found in some construction materials can release vapor into the air that lowers indoor air quality, so speak with your contractor about your low or no-VOC options.
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