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Understanding Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Indoor Air Quality is a science that has been receiving much publicity in the mass media. According to Health Canada, we Canadians, we spend almost 90% of our time in indoor environments and for the most part, we are unaware of the effects that poor indoor air quality can have on their health.

Indoor air quality is a multi-faceted problem, where more than one issue can contribute to the deterioration of the air in a home or office. Terms like Sick Building Syndrome or Toxic Building Syndrome have often been used to describe this problem

“Indoor Air Quality” involves exposure to many types of biological factors including dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, dust mites, roaches, rodents, mould or fungus, along with their decomposed parts; gases such as radon gas, ozone ( from electrostatic air cleaners), carbon dioxide (CO2), tobacco smoke, even incense.

Other factors that could impact the air quality are those man made products that contain semi-volatile or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as new carpets, paints varnishes, press board furniture, room air fresheners, cleaning products and formaldehyde from wet or decaying building materials or pesticides.

Poor ventilation in a home or work place can contribute to a number of health related problems. Contributing factors focus on natural links to the air-tightness of building envelopes, air movement in buildings and thermal comfort.

The medical aspects of poor ventilation and indoor air quality are well documented on reliable web sites such as the The Lung Association, Health Canada, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and The Asthma Society of Canada.

Finding a Solution to Indoor Air Quality Problems

In some cases, where visible mould is present, the obvious starting place would be to have the mould removed, either yourself or professionally. If the area involved is less that 3 square meters,then in most cases, this can be done as a do-it yourself project. ** Please remember that even small areas of mould are potentially harmful, and face masks, gloves and eye protection should be worn.

If the area is greater than 3 square meters, or if you have cleaned the mould and the mould has come back, then a full environmental assessment should be conducted.

In cases where there is no obvious signs of mould, but there is a persistent odour, or if there have been incidents of water intrusion, flooding or previous renovations, a full environmental inspection will be required to determine the source or sources of the problem.

Based on the evidence found during the inspection, options for solving the problem can be provided. The plan could recommend abatement (cleaning and mould removal) or remediation, as a first step.
Other solutions generally involve fixing the cause of the air quality problem such as repair or replacement of damaged structural components, replacing or installing air filters, dehumidification, ventilation and the control of moisture.


If you are looking for answers for solving Air Quality issues in your home, Ryan at ( 778-829-0044 and 250-217-6119 ) . We will be able to advise you on the best method to determine the cause of the problem and recommend practical solutions.

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