Sunday, January 13, 2013

What to look for in a Home Inspection Company

Home inspection companies are a dime a dozen. So how can you choose the right one? Most inspection companies will perform an inspection just to meet State or Local guidelines. In some States these guidelines may not provide you the best inspector for your investment. Try to find a company that holds certification above and beyond the State requirements, this will help protect your investment. In the State of Washington a home inspector is not required to hold a Structural Pest license which is required to inspect for termites, wood destroying organisms and WDI conducive conditions. This should be a requirement for your home inspector to have. During inspections it is very often that homes in the Seattle are will have some level of mold. State licensed home inspectors do not carry the needed certification for dealing with mold inspections and testing and will need to hold an independent mol;d inspector certification. While not needed it is advised that you hire an inspector with such certification rather than dealing with an inspector that is not certified in the mold field. A non certified inspector may miss or not understand the seriousness of mold issue that are within the home. Some inspectors will recommend in the reported findings that the buyer seeks an specialist mold injector. Is the inspection firm a credible company? Does there website show a physical business address? Are the working out of a PO Box? Are they a full time inspection company? How old are the inspectors? What is the background of the inspectors? Asbestos laws also have changed and become more enforced, having a home inspector that is also State certified for Asbestos is a big help. Even new home built in Bellevue, WA will need to undergo asbestos testing if any remodel work is being considered. When it come to the older home 1978 or prior Lead paint becomes a concern and is outside the SOP of Washington. A firm that holds a Lead Paint Certified also give you more value towards your inspection. For a Home Inspection in Seattle we are aware of only one firm that holds all of recommended certifications, Pacific Northwest Inspections Group,LLC. Before you hire your inspector, do your homework!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mold Testing, Air Quaility

Mold contamination continues to receive increased attention in the media and is a rapidly growing concern for homeowners, property managers, landlords, insurance providers, contractors and restoration companies. Indoor mold
contamination has been identified as a major contributor to allergies and poor indoor air quality. Despite the rapidly growing body of knowledge about mold, it remains the subject of a lot of confusion. We hope that this information will help you to make better decisions.
What is Mold?
  • Mold can grow in as little as 48 hours
  • Molds thrive in moist environments resulting from a flood, a slow leak, a broken pipe, or just high humidity
  • Molds require an organic food source. One common food source is cellulose, which is found in building materials such as wood and drywall. Most comply mold loves drywall.
  • Molds are spread by microscopic airborne particles called “spores” which are released in the air

The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from happening. If the drying of wet building materials is commenced within 24 hours (assuming clean water), the chances of preventing mold growth is excellent. If building materials remain wet, it is inevitable that mold will start to grow. Therefore, addressing and eliminating moisture problems is the critical first step.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mold,Carpet and Indoor Air Quaility

To clean or not to clean... Carpeting is a major investment in any home, and regular cleanings are necessary to keep it looking new. Just as the clothing we wear need regular washing to keep them fresh and hygienic, carpets require periodic cleaning as well. Accumulated soil and grit are major causes of reduced carpet life, and enable destructive and health harmful mites, bacteria and even have VOC issues. Cleaning costs are minimal when compared to the cost of replacing carpets and furnishing, so regular cleaning makes economic sense too. Some newer carpets create high VOC levels and can last for months causing poor indoor air quality issues. If your home has proper ventilation these usually do not cause as many health issues as poorly cleaned older carpets. What the issue is with carpets that are not cleaned properly is poor water extraction. Carpets become filled with organic materials and mold spores deep within the fibers. Add water and boom, a mold issue is created. Usually detected by the odor, which only takes 48 hrs to start the mold growth.
Having your carpets cleaned with the cheap guy may cost you big time. Carpets should be deep steam cleaned only. This process gets deeply embedded soils out of your carpet and removes most of the water during extraction. All carpets should have a high CFM fan place per room until carpeting ad substrate is below 9% moisture. Carpet should feel dry to the touch and you should be able to walk around wearing socks that absorb no moisture. A dry carpet is a mold free carpet.
Always use a good HEPA filter vacuum prior to any cleaning. Also regular dusting and vacuuming should become part of a daily routine!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mold Remediation and Health Risk

Excessive amounts of mold needs to have a professional mold remediation company perform procedures that will eliminate the risk of contamination. More importantly is to have an independent mold inspection done prior to work and after work Is completed. The completed inspection, called a clearance test, will provide the building owner with an air test showing the work was properly performed.
Is you mold remediation being done properly?
Here are the top five steps to a properly performed mold inspection and remediation job.
  1. Independent mold testing / inspection
  2. State Licensed Asbestos inspection "All Jobs Require This!"
  3. State Licensed XRF Lead Paint inspection "All buildings older than 1979"
  4. Remediation Plan
  5. Independent Clearance Test
Before any work has begun the building owner should have clear understanding what the remediation company's clearance standards are in relation to the independent inspections air testing results. What, if any, guidelines are they following?
For more information on any mold related issues in the Seattle,WA area visit our website. We are an independent commercial and residential building inspection company serving all of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Renton, Lynnwood, Medina, Kent and all of Pugent Sound.
Pacific Northwest Inspections Group
13256 NE 20th St
Suite 12
Bellevue,WA 98005

Friday, October 7, 2011

Toxic Mold Testing Inspection - Bellevue and Seattle

Mold air testing inspection process:
Accurate Diagnostic Independent mold inspection - Visual examination of all the rooms inside your property, paying special attention to places we know are prone to mold growth.
Moisture measurement - on walls and ceiling surfaces using moisture meter. If the moisture level is high, the possibility for mold increases.
Fiber optic Boroscope usage: this tool has a high-resolution lens which provides us a visual image of or water stains in places that are not reachable.
Infrared camera usage - a valuable diagnostic tool which gives us the ability to detect water leaks behind walls, in ceiling, or under floors without the need for any destruction. In addition, it can identify dew points, which indicates areas of potential mold growth.
Professional written analysis. Servicing Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond,Bothell,Renton,Kent and the Greater Seattle Area.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Air testing for Mold and VOCs in the Home and Office

You need an indoor air quality testing not only the outside might cause problems in your health but the inside gases and particles released by construction activities, perfumes cigarette smoke, microbial growth, insects and much more. There are more factors that might produce issues in your health such as ventilation levels, humidity and indoor temperature. It is very important to make an indoor air quality testing as soon as possible in your office or home if any health symptoms are present. An indoor air quality testing will help you prevent the presence of pollutants. It can also remove the source of pollution or reduce the emissions right away. Adjusting gas stoves and asbestos sources, the pollutants will be reduced. This is the most effective way of removing molds and other pollutants, by removing their source. A ventilation improvement is important as well. The more fresh air entering the room the better. Opening the windows or using an air conditioner with the vent control open you can reduce the amount of pollutants in the air. The use of exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom is good if you want to remove pollutants. These devices are very important if you are engaged in painting, cooking or welding. A VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) is a compound that contains carbon and that is easily vaporized. Among the common VOCs we can mention: methylene chloride, formaldehyde and benzene. VOCs have many health risks but we have found them out recently. They can be found in a lot of products that we use every day: fuels, coatings, polish removers, etc. Products with strong chemical smell probably have a lot of VOCs inside them. Office workers are more prone to suffer from VOCs because they work in sealed environments full of devices that emit VOCs. They might suffer from nausea and dizziness. Proper ventilation of your house will reduce the VOCs. Reading the recommendations of the manufacturer about storage is important as well. Any opened paint can might be very dangerous for your health and please leave it well away from others. If you do not bulk buy VOC containing products you will avoid many problems with your health in the future. Throwing away old paints, stripper and polish removers is a good idea. Please stay away from cigarette smoke, aerosol spray paints, furniture varnishes and adhesives. If you reduce the amount of allergens present in your environment, you will be able to manage allergy symptoms. If you suffer from airborne allergens, the use of an air purifier is great for you. There are many air purifiers that contain ozone and this might damage your health. These types of devices might produce skin or lung cancer. If you are exposed to large amount of ozone, many asthma symptoms can be worsened. You also need to clean off the plates once per week in any air conditioner. Many air purifiers will reduce the amount dust and smoke in your room. There are many types of air purifiers and the one you choose will depend on the size of your room. Air purifiers with a HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air) filter can trap the particles that are in the air permanently. Some air purifiers will need to be replaced within 1 or 2 years while other will last up to 10 years. A good air purifier will be quite enough that you do not even notice its activity. Molds can grow on papers, woods, etc. They can cause a lot of problems to your health, especially the toxic ones. But those with respiratory conditions, children, women and the elderly are more prone to suffer from molds. Before removing the mold, you should take a sample to find out whether or not the mold is toxic. The use of a mold test kit is important but you should consult your doctor if you are not sure about what to do. Your health might be in danger if you do not perform an indoor air quality testing. This is very important because today there are many pollutants. Please stay away from VOC containing products, cigarette smoke, etc. The use of an air purifier with a HEPA filter is very important as well.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

XRF Lead Paint Testing

Now testing for HUD and section 8 lead risk assessments. EPA and the State have really tightened down on the requirements. They are enforcing the laws with fines and a no tolerance policy. So before you decide on getting your property ready for Section 8 Id get your lead inspection done first.
We also perform buyer inspections with our instant and non destructive XRF lead testing equipment. Serving all of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, Bothell and Woodinville. Commercial clients contact us for contractors pricing.Call 425.608.9553 or online Lead Testing Seattle.