I recently received a phone call from a concerned homeowner that interested me. “Rodney can you come and test the air quality in my home? I think there may still be something wrong with it.” I was puzzled because I knew a company had just completed a very expensive and extensive renovation specifically to insure a healthy indoor environment in the house.
I also knew the industrial hygienist who had performed air and building quality testing. Both companies come highly recommended and are known for only the most professional service Their credentials were top notch.
Home performance is often associated with the expense of running a home, and the focus is on insulation types, air sealing, heating and cooling systems, environmental controls and such. But when the focus is on the health of the occupants, we are dealing with physics pure and simple. Hot goes to cold, high pressure goes to low pressure, wet goes to dry. If you only looked at these three conditions you would find just about every problem in a home that affects both the home and the health of the occupants.
The smoking gun is that when you find what is moving, such as air, moisture, pressure or temperature, you can then look for what it is carrying. These movements can carry pollutants, irritants, contaminants, allergens, pesticides, herbicides, and the big daddy of them all, fiberglass. Fiberglass is definitely something you do not want to breathe.
My offer to the caller was to come and review the paperwork from three companies that had tested the air and review the work that had been performed and share my opinion as the health of the home. And I said I would do that at no charge.
I felt that this caller was suffering from fear more than anything and needed a friend with the expertise to evaluate what had been done. My expectation was that everything had been done properly and that some encouragement would go a long way.
When someone has serious health issues in the immediate or extended family, the situation can escalate quickly because of feelings and emotions. It is very important that work of this sort be done by experts and it is very important that the occupants become comfortable with a feeling of security when they move back into the home, often this takes some hand-holding. I recommended another highly qualified inspection company and will wait to see if I am asked for anything further. As a rule, when you do extensive work for your customer be sure to follow up a week later, then a month later and then maybe even 6 months later. They appreciate it, and you of course get referrals for your efforts.