Indoor Air Quality Testing Charlotte NC
CDA offers indoor air quality testing that investigates the common indoor air quality (IAQ) problems associated with commercial and residential structures. The common problems include radon gas, mold (fungal growth), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), moisture intrusion (condensation, dew point), particulates, sewer gas intrusion, carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. CDA also screens bathroom components for sewer gas intrusion. Additionally, CDA can verify HVAC systems are providing the appropriate amount of fresh air per ASHREA guidelines and make sure filters are operating efficiently. CDA can also tailor the assessment to building specific problems to include mold inspection, radon testing, lead paint testing, asbestos testing, thermal imaging inspections, or in conjunction with a home energy audit.
Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell. or taste. Its presence in a building can pose a danger to the occupant’s health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and claims approximately 20,000 lives annually. Radon can be coming into buildings from the soils underneath the structure or it can be emanating from building materials. The only way to know if you have high levels of radon is to test.
Mold is a fungus that can grow on virtually any organic substance as long as the moisture and oxygen conditions are met. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, especially if the moisture source remains unaddressed. Although mold can never truly be eliminated, it can be maintained indoors by controlling moisture levels.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are quick drying substances that are used in many common cleaning solvents, building materials, and paints. The release of these VOCs into the air is referred to as “Off gassing”. The severity of the offgassing depends on a variety of issues including indoor air temperatures, type off VOC, and age of the material. Individuals with compromised immune systems or sensitivity to chemicals can suffer a variety of symptoms with exposed to even small amounts of VOCs.
Particulates or Particulate Matter
Particulates are tiny pieces of solid or liquid matter suspended in the indoor air. The particulates are too small to be filtered out of the indoor air by normal HVAC filtration. The particulates come from a variety of sources including smoke (fire places), pet dander, pest excrement, and building materials. These particulates can adversely affect individual with allergies and can be a trigger for asthma.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is the results of incomplete combustion and interferes with the delivery of oxygen throughout the body. Elevated levels of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and even death.
Sewer Gas Intrusion
Sewer gas is a mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases produced from the collection sewage. Sewer gases can include ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. The sewer gases are usually prevented from entering a building with the use of plumbing traps, seals, and vents. Sewer gases can cause adverse health effects and odors as well as present a potential to create a fire or explosion.
Due to amount of time the average person spends indoors, fresh air has become primary factor in maintaining healthy indoor air. Fresh air helps indoor air quality by diluting the pollutants within the structure. While many older buildings get the required amount of fresh air through leaks in the building envelope, newer buildings get much less fresh air because they have tighter building envelope due to the development of energy efficient building materials and practices. The American Society for Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineer (ASHRAE) has developed industry standards (62.1 & 62.2) used to calculate fresh air requirements based on the volume of the structure.