Hire a pro to test for mold and allergens

Posted March 11, 2013 at 4:27 PM, Filed Under: Community News, Village Mill

By Wendy Parker
Managing Editor

Chris GilsonIn Virginia, allergy season can extend beyond a few weeks in the spring and fall. In many cases allergens can be a problem year-round and unfortunately, they are not limited to the outdoors.

According to Court Ridge resident Chris Gilson, a certified mold inspector, indoor air quality testing can detect allergens resulting from dust mites, tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, cats, dogs, and cockroaches. Testing can also detect viable and nonviable mold spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Studies have shown that the level of VOCs indoors is generally two to five times higher than the level of VOCs outdoors. VOCs can create health issues for some individuals including short term effects such as eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; nausea and vomiting; dizziness; or worsening of asthma symptoms. High levels of VOCs can cause an increased risk of cancer, liver damage, kidney damage or central nervous system damage.

The most effective way to limit VOCs indoors is to limit the potential sources of VOCs and increase the amount of outdoor fresh air into the area. However, a professional inspector can help identify specific problems with air quality in the home.

Gilson stresses that reliable information is best provided by a third-party mold inspector. “It is very important to know that your mold assessment is accurate and unbiased in order to understand the true extent of the problem so you can properly decide on a course of action,” says Gilson. “The only way to ensure the reliability of a mold inspection is to make sure the inspection company has nothing to gain from the results and does not benefit financially from the mold removal. In other words, do not have your property inspected for mold by the same mold remediation contractor who gets paid to remove the mold.”

Chris Gilson is owner of Re-Freshen, specializing in detecting mold and allergens. For more information, please visit Re-Freshen.com or call 502-3701. VOC information is courtesy of www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/voc.

Is this you?
Examples of VOCs
Building Materials
Carpets and adhesives
Composite wood products
Sealing caulks
Upholstery fabrics
Vinyl floors
Home & personal care products
Air fresheners
Air cleaners that produce ozone
Cleaning & disinfecting chemicals
Fuel oil & gasoline
Moth balls
Vehicle exhaust
Dry cleaning
Non-electric space heaters
Stored paints & chemicals
Wood burning stoves