Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of the air and environment inside buildings, based on pollutant concentrations and conditions that can affect the health, comfort, and performance of occupants. Factors affecting air quality include:

  • Temperature
  • Relative humidity
  • Light
  • Sound
  • Office space design
  • Occupancy load
  • Heat generating equipment

Mold and bacteria growth indoors is a major contributor to “Sick building Syndrome” (SBS), which is identified as a wave of chronic illness among building inhabitants. Components of your building system such as your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and building envelope can also have a negative impact on air quality.

Mold and Bacteria

All mold testing and inspection services are carried out by ACM Environmental’s certified and experienced professionals. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with services tailored to their specific requirements. Our clients range from homeowners to property managers to universities and hospitals. We offer simple visual inspections to full scale indoor air quality investigations which take into account mold as well as other air quality problems. Please contact our office at (604) 873-8599 and take advantage of our free phone consultation.

Things to Consider on Whether a Mold Inspection is Right for You

Health: Molds inside a home or workplace can cause health problems. They release spores as well as chemicals, and both can affect people.

Health experts say the effects of mold can range from being insignificant to causing allergic reactions and illness. Their effect depends on the type of mold, the amount and degree of exposure and the general health of the occupants.

Mold can trigger an allergic reaction and/or asthma in sensitized individuals (repeated exposure to mold or mold spores sometimes causes previously non-sensitive individuals to become sensitized). The most common reactions are flu-like symptoms and asthma. Those with chronic lung or immune problems are at risk for more serious reactions such as fever, lung infections and pneumonia-like illness.

Some toxic molds such as Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, and Trichoderma produce mycotoxins capable of causing severe health problems.

High Risk Occupants: Pregnant women, infants, the elderly and people with respiratory disease or weakened immune systems are more at risk when exposed to mold. If you believe that you or someone in your family is at risk, consult your family physician.

Real Estate Transactions: Regular home inspections may not detect mold growth behind walls, ceilings and insulation.

Former Flooding or Possibility of Previous Marijuana Grow Operation: Many houses with these types of issues, although not showing visible signs, may have elevated toxic mold levels. Mold growth behind walls, ceilings and insulation can continually release spores into the air.

Visible Mold: Depending on size and amount of damage, recommendations for professional clean up may be required.

What is Mold?

Molds are microscopic fungi. They are part of the same family as yeasts, toadstools and mushrooms. Fungi grow and reproduce rapidly, producing spores — specialized reproductive cells and mycelia — fine, white filaments or threads as they grow. Molds are undesirable when they grow in the places we live or work in. Researchers have identified more than 270 species of mold living in Canadian homes.

What Makes Molds Grow?

Molds will only grow when moisture and nutrients are available. In dry conditions, molds will not grow. High moisture levels can be the result of water coming in from the outside, through the floor, walls, roof or from plumbing leaks — when there is a weakness or failure in the structure. High moisture can also result when there is not enough ventilation to expel moisture produced by occupants’ daily activities like bathing, washing clothes or cooking. Various kinds of molds grow on different materials. Certain kinds of molds prefer an extremely wet environment while other kinds may be growing even if no water can be seen. Dampness inside a material can be enough to allow mold to grow.

Professional Mold Testing

Testing is provided by ACM Environmental’s mold inspector using specialized equipment for visual inspection, surface sampling and air testing. Samples are sent to an accredited laboratory for incubation and analysis. ACM’s mold inspector will interpret and develop a mold report detailing mold levels in your home (elevated or normal), the type of mold present and the need for corrective measures (if any).

Should you feel that you or your family is at risk due to mold contamination, please call (604) 873-8599 for professional mold testing services in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

Air Quality Investigations

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of the air and environment inside buildings, based on pollutant concentrations and conditions that can affect the health, comfort and performance of occupants — including temperature, relative humidity, light, sound and other factors. Good IAQ is an essential component of your building and a key factor in increasing your employees’ performance. Factors that could negatively impact your IAQ include mold and bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemical fumes. Poor air quality resulting in chronic sickness is sometimes referred to as “Sick Building Syndrome”, or SBS.

Our certified professionals offer you the following indoor air quality services:

  • Initial investigation
  • Testing and sampling
  • Analysis of testing and sampling results
  • Recommendations
  • Reporting

In addition to helping you achieve your air quality goals hands on, ACM also offers training to building professionals on IAQ solutions and a full range of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning services.