The quality of air in your home or building is very important for occupants. Volatile organic compounds and toxic gases such as a carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides can contaminate the air in your home and cause serious health problems. If you suspect the air in your home is contaminated, call us and request for a proper test. As an accredited and fully certified mold and indoor air quality inspection/testing company, we perform Indoor Air Quality Testing and Consulting services for clients in Florida. Our professionals can undertake small or large air quality inspections for home owners and commercial clients.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
The presence of chemicals in your home or building can cause a wide range of problems, ranging from an unpleasant odor to physical symptoms (burning and irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches; nausea; nervous system effects; severe illness; etc.). In some cases, these conditions may make the home unlivable. Anyone with respiratory issues like asthma and allergies, as well as children, the elderly, and pregnant women are more susceptible to poor indoor air quality than healthy individuals. However, at higher VOC levels even healthy individuals are likely to experience ill effects.
Mold Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC)
Molds are fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae that spread to form a network or colony called mycelium. There are thousands of known species of molds, although a much smaller number of mold species are commonly found in indoor environments.
Molds can affect humans and animals in their vicinity in several ways. The most commonly known aspect of molds is the spores they produce as their primary means of reproduction. Spores are released from the mature mold body and spread by air currents and on people, animals, or materials that travel from place to place. These spores can remain viable for a long time until they find a suitable environment and grow to form new colonies. In addition to spores, mycotoxins can also be released under certain situations. Mycotoxins are chemicals that are produced during certain parts of the mold life cycle and can evoke a toxic response (e.g., severe allergic reactions and respiratory irritation and exacerbation of asthma symptoms or other respiratory ailments) in humans and animals. Mycotoxins have low volatility, meaning they have relatively low concentrations in air, so contact or ingestion rather than inhalation is often the main route of exposure for these chemicals.
MOLD VOCs (MVOCs) are produced during the metabolic or digestive processes of molds and therefore can be used as an indicator of actively growing mold. When mold is in an inactive or dormant state it does not produce many MVOCs and so cannot be used as an indicator of inactive mold. There are a number of factors that can affect the production and movement of MVOCs, including but not limited to the genus/ species, ventilation rates, temperature, humidity, growth surfaces, and competition from other molds. These factors make determination of the genus/species of mold very difficult so the presence of MVOCs indicates active mold growth but not the genus/species of the mold.
Since there are so many possible locations that mold can grow, it can be difficult to locate without visual indicators. However, there are some potential locations where molds are often found, as listed here.
- Air conditioning units or drain lines
- Near plumbing leaks
- Near roof or wall leaks
- Water intrusion from surrounding soil
- Any consistently humid area
- Near condensation around windows or any other condensation locations like exterior wall (typically where there is a temperature gradient that allows water to condense)
- Freezer/refrigerator door seals, especially in summer
- Freezer/refrigerator drain line and drip pan (if present)
- Indoor plants
- Sump pumps, especially when the pump does not cycle often
- Stand pipes and traps
- Books, magazines, and newspapers if they have gotten wet or sit for a long time
- Outside mold, especially if the air intake is near the ground and landscaping near the home uses wood chips or mulch
Call 305-910-1171 today and request a Free Estimate today. We’re available for weekday inspections and weekend visit.