How to confirm the presence of Asbestos during your Home Inspection

Erich Kelter - Friday, March 20, 2015
How to confirm the presence of Asbestos during your Home Inspection

There may come a time that you discover what may be Asbestos in your home or it may have been discovered during your home inspection. Many people tend to panic when they even hear the word, so here is some prudent advice when dealing with a potentially serious matter.

Common Areas of Asbestos Presence in your home

Asbestos is a commonly found product in many home building supplies and materials, chances are if you own a home constructed prior to 1985, it may have building materials with asbestos in it. Asbestos was commonly used in the HVAC industry as heat shielding and insulation and as such this is usually where asbestos comes up in home inspections.

Common areas to potentially see asbestos are around boilers as insulation wrap, heating ducts as insulation and heat shielding, and in attics where vermiculite insulation (not all vermiculite is contaminated with asbestos) is present.

Ways to confirm presence of Asbestos

The only way to confirm the presence of asbestos is to have it tested by a qualified lab. In general, it is accepted that if asbestos is present in a home or material, that it generally does not pose a health threat unless it is disturbed or handled incorrectly. What this means is, if you come across suspected asbestos in your home or during a home inspection, DO NOT disturb it! If encountered you should contact a qualified remediation specialist to remove the material safely and correctly. Some very small jobs may be able to be remediated by a homeowner with the correct PPE and training, but if in doubt you should always contact a professional.

Before getting overly excited about a possible asbestos issue, its best to not touch or disturb the materials in question and seek professional assistance to ensure you can take the correct course of action after testing is completed.


Mould Inspections for Allergies in Barrie

Erich Kelter - Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mould Inspection For Allergies

Some people may notice that whenever they are at home they “feel” different or perhaps ill. These same people may also observe that whenever they leave their home, they feel better or don’t experience symptoms such as fatigue, congestion, difficulty breathing, headaches etc. that they often experience when inside their home. If this is the case, then it may be worth looking into having a mould inspection and mould air sampling performed inside your home.

Mould Issues Are Not Always Obvious

Sometimes mould related problems may not be so obvious. It may take a long period of time for someone to correlate that their health declines each time they enter their home and spend significant time there. In these situations, it may make sense to have a mould inspection performed as well as air sampling to aid in troubleshooting or detecting a mould problem. Sometimes it may be localized in the home, perhaps just the basement has a problem due to moisture leakage, but since the basement is finished and nothing appears out of the ordinary, how can you tell if you have a mould problem without tearing apart the entire finished basement or other part of the home? The answer is simple; have a mould air sampling inspection performed.

Air Quality Testing 

Air sampling is a typical first course of action when dealing with a suspected mould problem. Why? Because it is typically non invasive and non destructive and air sampling can give us our first idea or clues as to what may or may not be a mould problem. If elevated spore counts are observed, then a proper course of remedial action can be taken or alternatively, if no elevated spore counts or abnormalities are observed, then one can move forward and in their evaluation of the home and determine if other possible sources may be the cause for the allergies.

Follow up Mould Remediation Test

If a problem is observed, then it is recommended that a qualified remediation company be contacted to perform abatement. Once the job is completed, a follow up mould air sampling inspection should be performed to ensure a proper and through remediation was performed.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. performs mould inspections and mould air sampling in Barrie and across Simcoe County.

Air Sampling & Mold Inspections

Erich Kelter - Thursday, March 05, 2015

What’s that smell? You smell “something” but you’re not quite sure what it is? It may be described as musty, earthy, damp etc...Usually the telltale sign that you may have a mould growth problem in your home. Is it time for a mold inspection?

3 Things Needed for Mould Inspection To Occur

  • First is temperature, anything above freezing essentially, but room temperature in a house is perfect.
  • Second we need food, pretty much 90% of residential building materials qualify as food for mould.
  • Third, we need water, maybe not physical to the touch, but moisture or high humidity will get the job done.

If you have all three things combined at the same place, you are likely to have mould growth.

Most mould problems in homes are caused by water presence and contact with building materials, be it from a leaking foundation, a plumbing leak or excessive condensation around a window frame. This is why it is very important to dry off any building materials in a home that get wet as soon as possible. Mould growth can start as quickly as 24-48 hrs if conditions are correct.

Sometimes if you have a plumbing leak or foundation leakage problem you may not be aware of, mould growth can accumulate slowly over long periods of time. The mould may not present itself immediately therefore growing unimpeded and creating a possible health situation. Usually the first sign that you may have a hidden mould problem is the smell. A smell may have developed over time even though no physical signs of mould growth or leakage are present. In this situation here, air sampling for mould growth may be your best bet before you go tearing down all of the finishing in a home.

Having a mold inspection and air sampling performed can give you a pretty good picture as to what may be going on within your home. It may also be the first stop in your defense or remediation strategy when trying to troubleshoot or deal with a mould problem.

Above Grade Home Inspections Inc. offers mould inspections and air sampling to help you identify any possible mould growth problems in your home. Our mold inspection report will provide you with professional lab analysis and data to help you move forward with any mold problems or mold growth you may have.