How to Identify Indoor Air Quality Problems

People often think about air pollution associated with outdoor environments, but it is also very important to consider the quality of indoor air — especially since we spend so much of our time indoors. Indoor air pollution is characterized by how clean the air is that we breathe at home, schools, stores, workplaces, gyms, and…

Symptoms and Signs of Exposure to Poor IAQ

Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important health and safety concern. Several well-identified diseases and chronic illnesses have been traced to specific IAQ-related problems. Sometimes certain symptoms can be useful indicators of exposure to poor IAQ, especially if onset appears after: moving to a new residence; starting a new job or relocating office spaces;…

Sources of Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air — even in the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Thus, for many people,…

Biological and Chemical Indoor Air Pollutants

Many of the most common types of indoor air pollutants can be categorized as either biological or chemical in nature. Biological pollutants are a living thing or were at least produced by one. The most common biological indoor pollutants include the following agents: molds and mildew; pollen; house dust mites; cockroaches; animal dander, saliva, and…

Indoor Air Quality Basics

Indoor air quality is generally worse than most people believe. Poor indoor air quality can arise in any home or commercial building located in any geographical area. Some Things to Consider: You may regularly come in contact with indoor air quality that is worse than that of outdoor air. You may be more susceptible to…

Mold Remediation Procedures

Mold should not be permitted to grow indoors. Problems associated with mold have been around since recorded history. Solving mold problems still requires fixing the source of moisture and removing any contaminated components. Mold Remediation Procedures A variety of procedures is available to remediate damage to buildings and furnishings caused by moisture-control problems and mold.…

Preventing Mold Growth

Keep the building and furnishings dry. When things get wet, dry them quickly (within 24 to 48 hours). Perform routine cleaning, maintenance and repairs. The key to mold prevention is moisture control. Water intrusion into a building or a building’s crawlspaces should be controlled. If water enters a building through a leaking roof or because…

Building Science and Mold

Building Science in Relation to Moisture and Microbial Growth Micro-organisms can be found in the air inside a building, on a surface inside a building (on the floor, ceiling, walls and furniture), and inside the HVAC system of a building. Many of these microorganisms come indoors from outside. They come from decaying organic matter or…

What Mold Needs to Grow

Most of the mold found indoors comes from the outdoors because mold spores can easily float on gentle air currents. If the spores land on suitable organic material inside a building, mold can begin to grow. But mold needs two things in order to grow and survive: moisture and food. Moisture Mold does not need…

Indoor Air Quality Gallery

Explore the indoor air quality gallery for technical renderings, infographics, and other educational images related to the science and chemistry of indoor air pollutants. The gallery also includes images covering inspection topics, building construction, building science, and IAQ testing and mitigation. You may use the gallery’s images for your website, newsletter, inspection reports, and any…

Negative Health Effects of Mold

Inhalation exposure to mold indoors can cause negative health effects in some people. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Mold does not have to be alive to cause an…

What Is Mold?

Mold Is Fungi Molds are organisms that are found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in our ecological system by breaking down and digesting organic material. Molds are neither plants nor animals. They are part of the kingdom Fungi. The diagram above demonstrates the role of…