Our job as your professional home inspection company is to alert you, to the extent possible, to unknown problems and potential environmental hazards in your current or potential house. We offer inspection and testing services for mold, radon and carbon monoxide.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Allergic reactions to mold are common and include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soils, rock, and water throughout the U.S. Radon is a threat to health because it tends to collect in homes, sometimes to very high concentrations. Almost all risk from radon comes from breathing air with radon and its decay products. Radon decay products cause lung cancer.
You cannot see, feel, smell, or taste radon. Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing for radon in all rooms below the third floor.
Carbon Monoxide Testing
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. A faulty or dirty burner combined with a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace is a common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide test is normally performed on the air coming from your furnace's supply vents.
Carbon Monoxide can be deadly. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning. At moderate levels, you or your family can get severe headaches, become dizzy, mentally confused, nauseated, or faint. You can even die if these levels persist for a long time. Low levels can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea, and mild headaches, and may have longer term effects on your health. Since many of these symptoms are similar to those of the flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses, you may not think that CO poisoning could be the cause.