Maybe you haven’t been feeling well and neither you nor your physician can figure out why. Or maybe you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle and simply want to know if the level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in your home or workplace is acceptable.
For many, the thought of having poor indoor air quality or mold in your home or workplace is just scary.
But if you’re seeing the signs or have any doubts, it’s important to take the next—and safest—step: schedule an indoor air quality test, and use a trained professional to do it. They’ll help you understand whether you have a problem with VOCs or mold or any other toxic substance, and tell you what you can do about it.
You might be wondering, how much time will the test take, or what can they test for, or if you’ll get a definitive answer, or if the process is safe?
Robert Weitz, a certified microbial investigator and Principal at RTK Environmental Group, says that knowledge is key. “A big part of our investigation is education. We help our clients understand what we’re doing and why we’re doing it,” he explains. “Our inspectors, all well educated and trained, understand how homes are built and how indoor air quality and mold can affect a home. And they are eager to share that information with you.”
Weitz, who notes that he and his team perform independent testing services and not remediation or repair, assures there’s never a conflict of interest.
“Unbiased information is really important,” Weitz says. “When there’s no conflict of interest, we’re potentially saving homeowners thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs.”
TIP: Watch out for companies that perform indoor air quality tests and then have a solution or air purification system to sell you at the ready – It’s a clear conflict of interest.
How long does an indoor air quality test take?
It will depend on how many areas you want to assess, but typically 1 – 2 hours.
What is involved in an indoor air quality test?
We do a visual assessment; take humidity readings, and our expert inspector looks for anything that could be a red flag. We collect air samples for VOCs, and air and surface samples for mold in areas of concern. Our tests are very case specific, and we tailor them to your specific scenario and symptoms.
What do you test for?
Most IAQ issues stem from mold or VOCs, but we can also test for radon and asbestos in the air. Our analysis covers almost 100 common VOCs and tens of thousands of types of mold.
Will I get a definitive answer?
You will receive a report with a summary of the inspection, lab results, and professional recommendations, if needed. We can either determine that you have elevated levels of these VOCs or molds or rule them out as a possible cause of your symptoms.
What kind of results should I expect from an indoor air quality test?
As long as it’s part of our analysis, you can expect to find out what compounds are there (or are not there) and the types of mold present. We can usually pinpoint the source or cause.
Read more about what’s actually involved in an indoor air quality investigation in Part 2 of our blog.