Mar 182010

We’ve joined the Web 2.0 movement! Follow us on twitter to get updates on what we’re working on and great tips for home inspections, mold inspections and ozonation cleaning.

Visit: twitter.com/ivinspect

Mar 182010

This is our 1st testimonial from a very happy customer, don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in the same level of great service from our staff.

“I had never heard of the ozonation process and it’s benefits so I thought I’d try it inside my car. What a difference it made! It was fast and left my car smelling much better having the musty smell removed. I’d recommend anyone who struggles with asthma and allergies like myself to try this out – you’ll be amazed with the difference”. SK – Kitchener, ON

Mar 082010

Iron View Inspections is committed to continuing education, professional development and dialogue concerning Air Quality, Home and Property Inspections.

Ozone is a natural occurring element of fresh air. It exists in the protective ozone layer created by ultraviolet rays of the sun reacting with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. It can also be created artificially with an ozone generator. The ozone molecule contains O3 atoms rendering it more volatile than the oxygen atom that contains 2. As a stronger acting oxidizer it is more reactive and unstable, however it has a short half-life reverting quickly to oxygen. Ozone is proven to oxidize all bacteria, mould and yeast spores, organic material and viruses.

Ozone was originally recognized as beneficial in industry as far back as the American Aboriginal peoples. Fishing was one of their main industries. They noticed a more successful catch occurred after an electric storm when a strange odor was released by the action of lightning. The Greeks also noticed the odor, they named “ozein”, and they preferred fishing after a storm and still do today.  “The explanation for this natural phenomenon is that after an electric storm the upper layer of water in lakes is enriched with diluted oxygen and therefore naturally ozonated. The positive influence of ozone on the digestive system of different species of fish has been scientifically documented.” (www.ozonelab.com/articles/011.htm) Today fish-farming or aqua-culture is only possible because of ozone’s ability to destroy viruses that are responsible for many diseases in fish culture.

Besides Aqua-culture, ozone water treatment for drinking water has become very popular. Nice, France is known as the birthplace of ozonated water. It is not only used to bottle water but also juice and other beverages like wine. It is also used in the bottling industry to sterilize and clean equipment and barrels. There are hundreds more applications for ozone use and many more are developing. It has been used in agriculture as an alternative to pesticide use and it leaves no chemical residue behind on plants. It is used in cooling towers of nuclear power plants to transfer heat more effectively and reduce chemical usage. The medical and sanitation fields use ozonation to disinfect and sterilize environments, as well as tools and equipment since it is the strongest oxidant known that decomposes to oxygen, leaving no harmful residues. The food industry and farming industry uses ozone to sanitize fruit and vegetables also to aid in the chilling process and disinfect equipment. Besides produce it has also been used in soil remediation and water waste. Water waste may be the most innovative use as in the laundry industry. Ozone application reduces the use of hot water and recycles wash water for reuse resulting in monumental savings for hotels and hospitals, not to mention the lack of consumption, which is always good for a more sustainable environment.

Ozone is used in alternative medical therapies as well. It was first discovered by a homeopath Joseph Lloyd Martin, and 16 years later, in 1856, used for the first time to disinfect operating rooms and sterilize surgical instruments. Doctors used ozone for its bacterial and virus destroying properties applying it to infected wounds in WWI. They also found it had hemo-dynamic and anti-inflammatory properties. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_therapy#Methods_of_administration) By the 1990’s the Food and Drug Act approved of ozone use as a disinfectant in food processing industry.

As of July 1, 1998 Health Canada has issued warnings to consumers not to use an ozone generator marked as “air cleaner” or “pollution control device” in their occupied homes. The regular over the counter generators and door to door sales of air purifiers that generate ozone into inhabited environments, seem to be posing respiratory irritations. This warning does not apply to ozone generators used to disinfect air by use of a trained individual, in an unoccupied space.

“Health Canada is concerned about the use of ozone generators in occupied spaces where the public may be exposed to ozone gas. Health Canada’s warning does not apply to ozone generators intended for use in unoccupied spaces by trained individuals who are following appropriate occupational health and safety requirements.” http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/house-domes/electron/cleaners-air-purificateurs-eng.php#a6

One Wikipedia source indicates that ozone will kill bacteria, vermin and mold, however in the case of mold the dead spores that remain can cause respiratory problems.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:High-ozone_shock_treatment. It is always recommended by Iron View Inspections to have a mold remediation expert deal with mold once its discovery is verified.

Our senior Inspector is our ‘Ozonator’ at Iron View Inspections. He has training in Ozonation application for unoccupied buildings and areas within buildings. We ozonate vehicles as well, to help eliminate foul odours caused by bacteria, and other air-bourne additives.  We use a generator that is covered by the FDA (Food and Drug Act) and PCPA (Pest Control Products Act) and passes regulations of the CSA (Canadian Standards Association). It is required that the premises to be treated is evacuated of all persons, animals and living plants, during the process and for some time after the treatment, to allow for ozone to safely revert back to a healthier fresher form of oxygen.

When safely applied, Ozonation is the most natural, non-chemical way of sanitizing your environment, freshening and improving your air quality.

Below is one testimonial of a client who had been complaining about the odours in her car that were aggravating her respiratory conditions every time she got in to drive. She is very thankful to have learned of the process offered by Iron View Inspections.

“ I had never heard of the ozonation process and its benefits before meeting Jim from Iron View Inspections. So…I thought I would try it inside my car. What a difference it made. It was fast and left my car smelling much better having the musty smell removed. I’d recommend anyone who struggles with asthma and allergies like myself to try this out.”         S.K. ( Waterloo Region)

~ Be As Fully Informed As You Can Be~

Sources: InterNACHI, Inspect4U, Ozone Lab, Health Canada, Wikipedia,

Mar 052010

Indoor Air Quality Continued

Mold! It’s everywhere, lying dormant, waiting for a little dampness to grow and spread. It’s getting lots of attention in the media these first few months in 2010. Mold is a problem when it is allowed to grow indoors. Our current real estate market puts demands on the construction of a more tightly sealed indoor environment. The tighter envelope with higher humidity levels and ventilation control has generated more interest in dialogue on the topics of  indoor humidity, mold and its effects on indoor air quality. The construction of homes takes place quickly and the materials are exposed to the outside elements. Building materials may not always dry out before the construction process is complete.

Health Canada recommends controlling the level of moisture in our indoor environments as the best and easiest way to improve indoor air & protect our health. That means keeping things as dry as possible and providing ample ventilation without compromising heat loss. Tackling mold problems requires, mopping up spills immediately, repairing leaks from pipes, gutters, roofs, making sure drains and duct work are not backed up, heating all indoor spaces and using ventilating fans to remove or minimize humidity caused by; body heat, showers, bathing, cooking, and cleaning. This government web site indicates that the effect of mold on our health can range from symptoms as simple as minor eye, nose or throat irritations, to persistent coughing due to over production of phlegm, to shortness of breath. Studies have not proven that mold causes respiratory problems like asthma however they are sure it will “worsen” the symptoms of allergies including asthma.

CMHC along with Health Canada recommends dealing with underlying water or humidity problems. Just cleaning mold is not a remedy. Both agencies indicate that stains or discolouration on floors and walls, windows, fabric or carpet and other indoor surfaces could mean a mold problem. This is why they recommend contacting a trained Indoor Air Quality Inspector who will perform a visual inspection to identify concerns and make recommendations. Mold however is not always visible on surfaces. It could be growing behind concealed areas like walls, ceilings or underneath insulation.

One of the most interesting articles we’ve come across at Iron View Inspections can be found at  www.growopsolutions.ca, referred reading by our trainers at Inspect4U. The site educates us on everything we need to know about Grow Ops and the effects on dwellings. It also exposes how infrared thermo-graphic cameras are rendered ineffective if the surfaces have been masked with military type ceramic insulating paints. In these instances it is beneficial to hire a Mold Inspector who can take air and swab samples to be assessed by a lab.

Sr. Inspector, Jim Bodnarchuk of Iron View Inspections has been trained to investigate mold in this way. If we can’t smell mold or see it, we may certainly suffer its effects when we inhale it. If mold is suspected and not visible, Jim will upon request perform a Mold Inspection that consists of a full visual Inspection as well as an air test with lift samples that will be sent to labs in the GTA for a 48-hr. report.

The purpose of a Mold Inspection is to competently identify the source of moisture problems and or water penetration and or humidity build-up within the building. At the same time the intrusion may not be located immediately but simply treating the surface mold will not remedy the problem.  It may even be more harmful to try and clean the problem on your own especially using chemicals. Iron View Inspections always recommends a professional mold removal and restoration company, preferably one that does not use chemicals. The goal is to determine the cause for mold growth, so that solutions can be suggested, eliminating the chance for further mold growth.

~Be As Fully Informed As You Can Be~

Sources: Health Canada/CMHC/Inspect4U

Mar 012010

~Be As Fully Informed As You Can Be~

Although the next few blogs are not a part of the Do’s and Don’ts series, we at Iron View think you will want to know about some important issues involving air  quality of  indoor environments that affect health and how an inspector can and should inform.

For the last several decades much attention has been focused on indoor air pollution and its associated heath risk. Since the energy crisis in the 1970’s, changes in building material and new construction techniques have increased levels of pollutants. This has created problems related to indoor air quality. The need to conserve energy and the need for well-ventilated living and working areas is often in direct conflict with each other.

Research, with extensive new studies, tells us that we now spend up to 90% of our time indoors. Recent studies show a worker’s productivity may drop by 50% due to compromised air quality. Inadequate ventilation can raise indoor levels of pollutants and may not bring in enough outdoor air to dilute the indoor air pollutants within the environment. Another cause that will add to indoor air problems, is the temperature and humidity, prevalent in the last decades. Besides mold there are other potential sources that give cause to control and monitor indoor air quality.

  • Asbestos
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Formaldehyde/Pressed Wood Products, Household Cleaning and Maintenance, Personal Care Products
  • Nitrogen Dioxide Pesticides
  • Radon
  • Second Hand Smoke/Environmental Tobacco Smoke
  • Construction Material

In October 2006 Environment Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Transport Canada joined efforts to publish a ‘Notice of Intent’ to develop and implement regulations and other measures to reduce air emissions. The Minister of Health set to developing a priority list of indoor contaminants and health risk assessments that would be used to develop  indoor air quality guidelines.  These guidelines would  aid in regulating products that emit pollutants indoors. (www.hc-sc.gc.ca)

Ventilation

There are numerous mechanical devices and outdoor-vented fans that will remove air from a single room, such as a bathroom or kitchen. The use of air handling systems (fans and duct work) will continuously remove indoor air and bring in filtered, conditioned outdoor air throughout the environment.

The continuous flow of filtered air is known as Air Exchange Rate (AER). AER is the rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air. The industry standards recommend a minimum ventilation rate of 1 cfm per 100-sq. ft. of floor space, plus 7.5 cfm per bedroom.

Better ventilation will always improve  indoor air quality. One of the key ingredients for indoor mold growth is a lack of ventilation which increases the chance of condensation of moisture, especially when temperatures are low or if there is  air or water leakage of any kind.

The Inspectors Goals

Ventilation is a key factor to controlling air quality. The inspector must be clear, concise, and objective in his findings. The inspector should not make health recommendations or claims.  An air quality inspection should be detailed to the conditions of the environment which include ventilation and pipe, roof  or foundation leakage. Reports detailing these issues should be given to the client to help solve poor airflow, air quality and maintain air ventilation without compromising heat loss.

Sources: Inspect 4U, InterNACHI, Health Canada

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