How to Test Home Air Quality
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It is essential to remember mold resulting from water damage or a lack of proper ventilation is progressive. That is why “Timely” action must be taken by homeowners when the water damage occurs or mold is first noticed. The longer water flows or wet, damp, dark conditions exist, mold will colonize and absorb into building materials, resulting in a greater recovery problem. Merely stopping the source of the incoming water does not stop further water damage and often causes secondary damage which may be excluded on most typical homeowner insurance policies.
How to Test Home Air Quality
By Kate McFarlin, eHow Contributor
If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, unexplained respiratory problems or if you just want to make sure that your home air is safe, there are several methods that can be used to test home air quality. Mold, dust, radon, mildew and airborne pathogens are actually quite plentiful and can adversely affect your health. It is vital to make sure that your home’s air is safe to breath.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector. This is important in any home and may be responsible for saving lives. These small detection devices are installed by plugging them into an outlet. If they detect a change in the levels of carbon monoxide in your home, an alarm will sound. Since this is a tasteless and odorless gas, these detectors are very beneficial when it comes to testing home air quality.
- Use a radon detection kit. If you live in an area where there are high concentrations of uranium in the soil, you are running the risk of having radon gas present in your home. There are special kits that you can use to test your home air for radon gases. These kits must be left open and undisturbed for three days. At the end of those three days, you can pack it up and ship it to a lab to get your results.
- Use a mold and mildew test kit. These kits will help determine if there is any mold or mildew present in your home. This is a problem for those who suffer not only from mold allergies but also sinusitis. The kits are very easy to use and will allow you to accurately test the air quality in your home. Once again, you’ll be sending the kit to a lab for analysis.
- Test for dust mites. While these little mites are very common, some homes may have them in larger concentrations that can be almost toxic. A test kit will include a small vial where you can place a sample inside. You’ll need to mail this sample off for testing.
- Solve any issues. If any of your home air quality tests come back positive, you will need to take action to remedy the problem. For radon and mold issues, there are mitigation companies located in most cities that can assist you in removing these harmful gases and mold spores. For dust mites, you will need to install special filters on your vacuum and you may want to consider using dust mite proof bedding and curtains. If your home has carbon monoxide, immediately contact a furnace or appliance specialist to determine where the leak is and to get it fixed.
Tips & Warnings
- Check your local yellow pages to find mold and radon mitigation companies
- If you are not comfortable testing your home air quality on your own, there are typically inspection companies in most areas that can perform these tests for you.
- Carbon Monoxide, Radon and Mold can be deadly. Every home should be tested at least once a year to determine if the air quality inside the home is safe.