Huntington Beach, CA, July 9th, 2020
Throughout California, homes and buildings are typically built on either a slab, above a crawl space or over a basement. Depending on the type of foundation used to construct the building, it can allow for various scenarios that could impact the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the overlying structure.
Homes and buildings with crawl spaces and basements can sometimes suffer from moisture problems and quite often one of the first tell-tale signs is a musty odor. These and any other damp areas within a home can allow for the growth of mold which may cause respiratory and other health concerns for building occupants. These range from triggering asthma in asthmatics to causing allergies and even infections in some people with a weakened immune system.
Radon is another concern in parts of California. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing for radon on the lowest lived-in level of a home as radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into a home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Structures built above areas where there is contaminated soil or groundwater could also suffer from vapor intrusion. This occurs when volatile chemicals emit vapors that migrate through subsurface soils and into indoor air spaces of buildings in ways similar to that of radon gas.
Some basements and crawl spaces also contain combustion appliances. These could include furnaces, hot water heaters and clothes dryers. It is important that these are exhausted properly to outside of the house to prevent dangers associated with carbon monoxide (CO). It is also important that clothes dryers are vented to outside of the home and not into the surrounding area or just into a wall or attic as this can lead to moisture and mold.
“Basements and crawl spaces sometimes even have asbestos insulation or other asbestos containing materials,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “These materials can become a health concern if they have become friable or are disturbed during renovation or remodeling activities. Lead-based paints are another potential hazard in countless properties across the state.”
Helping residents of California identify mold, lead, asbestos, radon and chemicals hazards are the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) experts at LA Testing. Their California facilities offer laboratory testing services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments and tools to detect moisture. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video about basements, crawls spaces and indoor air quality that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/fm_4vfXhdm4.
To learn more about this or other building science, environmental, health and safety testing services and products, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: : AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.