Water, Mold, and Radon Testing

In many ways, the quality of our lives is dependent on our homes. They provide us with water to drink and air to breathe. Testing for radon, mold, and water contaminants will allow you to rest easy knowing that your new home is a safe place to be.

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Water Quality Testing

Safe drinking water is essential for life. The big question is how do we define “safe drinking water?” In short, safe (potable) water is water that is free from organic, biological, or chemical contamination whether the sources of these be naturally occurring or manmade. Typically we consider treated water as supplied by municipalities and bottled water companies as “safe” —and with good reason. These suppliers are strictly regulated and the quality of the water they supply must be deemed safe for public use, but recent situations such as those in Flint demonstrate that the system isn’t flawless. Water testing just makes sense at the residential level to ensure that your water is safe to drink and to bathe in. 

Why Test?

Do you know where your water comes from? Municipalities typically get their water from lakes, rivers, reservoirs, or large wells. Then they treat the water before piping it to the residents they serve. So why wouldn’t the water pouring from the tap be safe? There are a number of reasons, but most come down to contamination. Yes, municipal water is tested but is that enough?  What about contamination that may occur in the system. Maybe you suspect a contamination issue in your home’s plumbing. 

What about private wells? Private wells were once thought of as the ultimate source of safe water. Now we realize that they too come with their issues, and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that well water is safe not the government.

Having your water tested is the only way to be sure that it is safe for you and your family. 

 

What Do We Test For?

Typically, we test for Total Coliform, E-coli Bacteria, Nitrates & Nitrites.  These are the most requested tests and for good reason. Coliform bacteria is found in the environment and the intestines of warm-blooded animals. The most noteworthy of these is E-coli, which you’ve probably heard of. The presence of these bacteria demonstrates that water is contaminated. That’s not to say that the source cannot identified, rectified, and the system sanitized. It means that there is a source of contamination that must be dealt with. 

Nitrate/Nitrite is another issue most common to well water. The build up of Nitrites in the human body (also converted from Nitrate) is most problematic in nursing mothers and infants. It can cause a fatal condition called  methemoglobinemia, commonly referred to as “blue baby syndrome.”

Expanded Testing

There are a wide variety of contaminants found in drinking water. We’ve already mentioned a few but others such as lead, copper, fluoride, arsenic, etc. are also of concern. If you would like to have a full panel of testing performed we offer that option. We can sample your water and have the lab perform a full workup. This can be costly, but it is well worth it if you experience environmental sensitivities.

We also offer a City Water test package designed for those who are on municipal water supply. This provides you with the levels of the major compounds that can affect your family. Yes, the city tests for these, but they aren’t testing the water at your tap. It’s better safe than sorry.

Expended testing is a custom offer, so please contact us for more information.

Why Be Concerned About Mold?

In a home, mold can cause structural damage, wood rot, ruin drywall, and most importantly cause health problems. Identifying mold’s presence is key in determining the structural soundness and air quality. 

Mold requires moisture to grow, making mold an indicator of moisture infiltration or an issue with humidity. Molds also pose health risks. We’ve all heard of “Black Mold” and “Toxic Mold”. Though there are some misgivings around these terms the presence of mold can trigger a myriad of health conditions. 

Commonly, mold causes allergic reactions in those who come in contact with mold itself or its spores. Airborne mold spores can cause respiratory issues and asthma. Inhaled spores can cause hay fever type symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Certain molds also produce a toxin called “mycotoxins,” from which the term “toxic mold” is derived. As suggested these types of molds can have grave effects if present. Most often they result in allergic reactions, but in some cases the toxic affects can be pronounced.  

Mold negatively effects the integrity of a structure by decomposing structural components. It consumes cellulose so it eats wood, causing rot effectively weakening your home. Mold is often hidden in the walls, crawlspaces, and attics of homes so testing is the only way to determine if it is present. 

Contact Rich to schedule an inspection today. 

Mold Testing

To begin the mold inspection process UP Home Inspection, LLC completes a through mold inspection. During this inspection we look for signs of both prior and active water intrusion and existing mold in all safely accessible areas. We then proceed with sampling mold like substances. 

Surfaces are sampled using either tape tests or swabs which are sent to the lab for mold identification. Air samples are drawn using a canister, which filters the air collecting mold spores and other allergens. This process takes 1-2 hours and the test results are typically returned within three business days. 

Contact Rich to schedule an inspection today.

Why Test For Radon?

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas

You cannot see, smell or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home.  When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. The Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.  If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

The EPA recommends:

    • If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon. 
    • For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested. 
    • Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. 
    • Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, may be reduced. 
  • Take steps to prevent device interference when conducting a radon test.

The EPA estimates that radon causes thousands of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

 * Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. 

 

 

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