Indoor Environmental History with Irv

The history of a house has a lot of impact on the indoor environment. Being knowledgeable about your homes past is key to making sure that you're living in a environmentally happy home!

Prior to conducting an environmental inspection of a property, it is essential that the investigator document the property’s history. Like a physician that asks their patients questions about their symptoms and medical history, understanding the history of the property often provides important clues that may focus the inspection and lead to source identification.


The history of a property includes (not limited to), prior leaks or water intrusion issues. Structural damages that may have occurred due to a storm. The presence of new or used furniture, the type of flooring(carpeting, tile, wood or laminate), the age of the HVAC system. Why these examples are important are related to various environmental contaminants that may include molds or bacteria from poorly maintained HVAC systems that are introduced into the indoor environment every time the unit is operating. Mold, bacteria and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) from carpeting, laminate flooring and furniture and the presence of legacy molds and bacteria from historic water intrusion issues.


Carpeting for example due to its fibers is like an old sponge in a sink. It holds current and historic organisms and defies common vacuuming. For individuals with CIRS or any environmental illness, carpeting provides an environmental challenge to a clean indoor environment and is generally not recommended.


Laminate flooring is an example of a possible source of Formaldehyde (VOC) that could off-gas and impact the health of occupants. While most laminate flooring is fine, there are many cases where the flooring either got wet or had heavy formaldehyde within the adhesives used to glue the synthetic flooring during manufacturing.


New furniture is another possible source of VOC’s due to the presence of fire-retardant foam found in couches and chairs. While these are rare occurrences, it is important to document all possible sources of environmental contaminants as source identification is critical.

Structural damages due to storm damage could allow for a breach of the building envelope that could allow for moisture intrusion and consequential microbial growth. Cracks in stucco, block walls, the roof membrane and windows are examples. Any area where moisture could have or is occurring is an important factor that requires investigation.


The HVAC system (the lungs of the home) is the most common of all sources of environmental contamination if the system and the ducts are contaminated. Thus, the age of the system, its maintenance, the condition of the filters must be considered.


Finally, what allergies the occupants have is important as some individuals have specific allergies to common products and materials. In one case, an individual had an allergy to Latex and as such was allergic to her mattress. Each individual is unique and the investigation should ask these important questions to lead to the successful identification the sources or sources of adverse indoor environmental conditions.

Ready to Take Action?

The Mold Pro’s are here to help you live a happy healthy lifestyle.

Click below to schedule a Consultation with one of our Mold Professionals.

Get Started