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The 10 Most Common Home Inspection Concerns: with Michael Shain of New York Indoor Air Quality Solutions

By Michael Shain

Please describe a little bit about your company and its foundation.

The owner, Michael Shain currently teaches a course for NY State on mold and recently been approved to teach a continuing education course on mold to the local realtors who are members of the Long Island Board of Realtors (LIBOR).

Since Hurricane Irene and Sandy and most recently following the past few extreme rain events, the public is much more aware of how your home or business can make you sick. The telltale is what is referred to as the "canary in the mine" theory where when you are home you exhibit specific health concerns/symptoms and when you leave that environment your symptoms subside. This simple observation tells us that something is remiss in that environment. Since the late 70's, the rate of asthma among our children has almost tripled. It is no coincidence that this follows the oil embargo and our push to insulate our homes to as close to airtight as possible thus creating what I refer to as the incubator effect. Mold grows in stagnant humid basements. The stack effect allows the air to rise and contaminate our living spaces. When your basement or crawl-space gives off that musty mildew odor, that is actually the mycotoxins volatile organic compounds mold off-gasses as it is reproducing. NY Indoor Air Quality Solutions has over 14 years of experience in indoor environmental investigations that target air quality complaints.

Thirteen common contributors to poor indoor air quality and elevated mold:

  1. Elevated humidity levels in the residence due to no dehumidifiers in the basements, lack of effective air conditioning in the main living spaces and poorly maintained homes or businesses. Mold will grow at humidity levels of 60% and above.
  2. Lack of proper ventilation in attics.
  3. Ineffective gutters (clogged or deteriorated) and leaders diverting rainwater at least 6 feet away from the perimeter of the property. High water tables and lack of sump pumps or ineffective internal French drains.
  4. Negative pitch of the property where the property slopes toward the foundation instead of away from the foundation facilitating the rain water to travel away from the residence.
  5. Not using or lack of bathroom and range top fans.
  6. Poorly maintained heating and cooling systems. Ineffective or cheap fiberglass filters in your heating and air conditioning units and not changing the filters regularly.
  7. Humidifiers built into the ductwork of heating systems thus contributing to biological growth in the ductwork.
  8. Not drying any water intrusion event within the first 48 hours.
  9. Poor housekeeping and excessive clutter. Taking shoes off at the door, washing bedding regularly, changing pillows once a year and using allergen proof covers.
  10. Excessive use of toxic cleaning chemicals. Storage of hobby materials which ca
  11. n off-gas.
  12. Smoking Indoors.
  13. Particulate magnets such as carpets and fabric furniture that are not properly maintained.
  14. Construction defects.

What services do you offer?

  • Mold Testing and Remediation
  • Formaldehyde
  • Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC's)
  • Carbon Monoxide CO ppm
  • Carbon Dioxide CO2 ppm
  • SO2 ppm Sulfur Dioxide
  • NO2 ppm Nitrogen Dioxide
  • O3 ppm Ozone
  • PH3 ppm Phosphine Gas
  • H2S ppm Hydrogen Sulfide
  • NH3 ppm Ammonia
  • CL2 ppm Chlorine
  • Laser Particle Analysis 0.3 - 10.0 um
  • IAQ consultations and expert witness

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

If you have any questions or concerns about the air quality in your home or business please visit our web site at www.nyiaqsolutions.com or email us at info@nyiaqsolutions.com.

Direct #: 631-275-5999.

My credentials are:

  • MBA Health Care Administration Dowling College
  • Bachelor Science Industrial Engineer Buffalo State University
  • NY State Home Inspector Instructor? course subject "Mold"
  • Suffolk County Academy of Medicine Faculty Member for Continuing Education
  • NY State Licensed Home Inspector? License # 16000001670
  • Certified Mold Technician? Pro Labs. AIHA Accreditation Lab ID # 163230
  • International Restoration Institute (IRI) Mold Remediation Certificate ID# 18573
  • Licensed and Insured Home Improvement Contractor? License #'s Suffolk 50910 Nassau H0450110000 NY City 1472795
  • DEC Licensed Pesticide Applicator? License # C1860946
  • EPA Lead Safe Certified Renovator
  • Consultant to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
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Phone: 631-275-5999

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