Residential Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

  • YOU TAKE OVER 20,000 BREATHS EACH DAY (18,000 OF THOSE BREATHS ARE TAKEN INDOORS)
  • COMMON ISSUES THAT CAN NEGATIVELY IMPACT RESIDENTIAL INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (IEQ)

Outdoor environmental quality

  • What is outdoors can come indoors
  • Naturally occurring contaminants in air and soil
  • Pollution-related contaminants in air and soils

IEQ

Naturally occurring contaminants in air and soil

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Valley fever
  • Radon

IEQ

Pollution-related contaminants in air and soils

  • Ground-level ozone
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Sulfur and nitrogen oxides
  • Soil chemical vapor intrusion (think Love Canal)

IEQ

Who regulates my home’s environmental quality?

  • Exterior maintenance
    • Roof
    • Windows
  • Landscaping
    • Irrigation
    • Pesticides
    • Pruning trees and shrubs
    • Animals

IEQ

Roof Maintenance

  • Remove detritus from roof
  • Keep roof drains clear
  • Direct draining water away from house
  • Check roof penetration mastics for cracking and deterioration

IEQ

Window Maintenance

  • Check caulking around windows and doors.
  • Replace broken glazing
 

IEQ

Landscaping

  • Irrigation
    • Do not over water
    • Prevent sprinkler from spraying on house
    • Do not put planters against house
    • Slope of landscaping away from house
    • Keep hose bibs in good repair don’t let water drip down side of house
  • Prune trees and shrubs away from house
  • Clean up after animals, both pets and pests
  • Use caution with pesticides
  • Do not plant vines to grow up the side of your house
  • Some vines can actually grow through the mortar of brick/block homes

Nuisance birds pose a health threatIEQ

  • Pigeons, starlings, crows, etc.
  • Over 60 diseases are attributed to birds
  • Routes of exposure include:
    • Food and water
    • Inhalation of contaminated dust
    • Transference by parasites (fleas, ticks, mites & other ectoparasites). Direct contact with feces.

IEQ

Garage

  • Don’t store gasoline indoors, or near pilot lights
  • Annually inspect water sources
    • water heater
    • softener
  • Do not block garage passive vents
  • Use caution with storage of cleaning chemicals, paint, and other VOC’s in garage

IEQ

Water heater

  • Gas water heaters should be elevated off the ground
  • Make sure the gas water heater exhaust system is in place and unobstructed.
  • Check electric water heaters heating elements

IEQ

Kitchen

  • Inspect water sources
  • Fridge ice maker
  • Under sinks
  • Dish washer
  • RO system
  • Repair water leaks immediately!
  • Do not keep a bucket under leak
  • Run your exhaust fan while in the kitchen
  • Do not put food items in your trash compactor
  • Enclose food that gets moldy, such as an orange in the bottom of the fruit bowl

Infrared camera

WHAT IS WET?

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WHAT IS WET?

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WHAT IS WET?

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IEQ

Bathroom

  • Inspect water sources:
    • Under sinks
    • Tubs
    • Toilets
    • Water supply line
    • Wax ring
  • Don’t carpet your bathroom, particularly at the sink, tub, and shower.
  • Run the water periodically in unused drains.
  • Use caution with storage of cleaning chemicals, paint, and other VOC’s in garage

IEQ

Bedroom

  • Dust mites live in pillows, mattresses
  • Burning candles
    • Increase particulates in air
    • Scented candles can increase VOCs
    • Candles can cause “ghosting”

IEQ

Living rooms

  • Carpet and pressed wood furniture
    • VOCs and formaldehyde
  • Keep it clean

IEQ

Vacuuming

  • Vacuum with High Efficiency Filters (True HEPA is best technology)
  • Central Vacuum is better when it exhausts outdoors (also a hearing conservation bonus)

IEQ

Laundry room

  • Inspect water sources:
    • behind wash machine
    • behind dryer
    • under utility sink
  • Run your exhaust fan
  • Secure the washing machine drain line so it will not jump out of the drain.
  • Do not exhaust dryer vents into the garage or the attic
  • Make sure vent is free of lint build-up
  • Do not block or cover vent

IEQ

Heating and air conditioning

  • HVAC
    • Keep air handlers clean and free of debris build-up
    • Replace filters
    • Make sure filters are right size
    • Check condensate pans and drains
    • Don’t let water pool beneath drain
  • Don’t let water run down side of house

IEQ

HVAC Ducts

  • Confirm ducts are connected
 

IEQ

HVAC Compressors

  • Do not block heat exchangers (compressors)
 

What to do you do if you done all the maintenance and a mystery odor occurs?

  • Clean out pet water bowl
  • Check for shrimp left in cupboards
  • Cracks and leaks in sewer lines

Kids have constant runny noses

  • Wash their stuffed animals and pillows in hot, hot water and dry in heated dryer.
  • These harbor dust mites and other allergens
  • Clean home to remove pet dander

IEQ

Asbestos

  • When you eat it or breath it, asbestos is bad.
  • When you eat it, you can get diseases like gastrointestinal cancer.
  • When you breath it, you can get diseases like asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer
  • Popcorn ceiling
  • Asbestos containing duct tape
  • Drywall & joint compound
  • Plaster & stucco
  • Vinyl floor tiles, floor sheeting & adhesives

IEQ

Lead-based paint

  • If a home was built before 1978, then assume there is lead-based paint.
  • Use caution remodeling.

IEQ

Light Chronic Lead Exposure

  • Anemia
  • Impotence
  • Nervous system damage
  • Hearing impairment
  • Impaired mental function
  • Appetite loss
  • Abdominal pain Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Renal (Kidney) failure
  • Miscarriages & stillbirth

IEQ

When should you call a professional?

  • Potentially dealing with a regulated material:
    • Asbestos
    • Lead
    • Meth lab
  • When you need issues documented as well as questions answered
    • Seller’s disclosure statements
    • Potential health exposures

IEQ

When you call professionals

  • They may use personal protection equipment when in your home
  • Don’t freak out when you see him/her putting on a respirator, disposable coveralls and gloves.

CONTACT US

For over 20 years, Clark Seif Clark’s highly qualified Team has been providing a broad range of hazardous materials and health & safety compliance professional services to resolve complex environmental issues.  The cornerstone of our ability to meet client goals and objectives is our commitment to Value Engineering.  Our staff is highly motivated and successful at providing the most cost-effective approach when conducting environmental surveys; performing hazard assessments; preparing remediation and abatement work plans; and representing our client’s  best interests when providing field oversight of third-party contractors to ensure the quality of their work and conducting negotiations with regulatory authorities.

Contact us to learn how we can identify the best solution to your environmental concerns.

800-807-1118

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