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Basements & Crawl Spaces Can Impact a Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

In most areas, homes are either built on a slab, above a crawl space or over a basement.  Depending on the type of foundation used to build a home, it can create various situations that could impact the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the overlying property.
Some homes with crawl spaces and basements suffer from moisture problems and often one of the first tell-tale signs is a musty odor.  These and any other damp areas within a home can promote the growth of mold, which can cause health concerns for people by triggering asthma to causing allergies and even infections in some people.
Radon is another concern.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing for radon on the lowest lived-in level of a home as radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into a home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.
Many basements and some crawl spaces also contain combustion appliances.  These may include furnaces, hot water heaters and clothes dryers.  It is important that these are exhausted properly to outside of the house to prevent dangers associated with carbon monoxide.  It is also important that clothes dryers are vented to outside of the home and not into the surrounding area or just into a wall or attic.
In older homes, basements and crawl spaces may also have asbestos insulation or other asbestos-containing materials.  These materials can become a health concern if they have become friable or are disturbed during renovation or remodeling activities.  Lead-based paints are another potential hazard in older properties.  
In some areas, homes may be built where there is contaminated soil or ground water present.  Volatile chemicals can emit vapors that may migrate through subsurface soils and into indoor air spaces of buildings in ways similar to that of radon gas. This process is known as vapor intrusion.
“Many basements and some crawl spaces are also used to store cleaning chemicals, pesticides, paints, solvents, fuels and other materials,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Off-gassing from any of these could create indoor air quality issues.  At EMSL, we offer air quality testing services for fungal, bacterial, radiological and chemical pollutants.  We also offer test kits along with sampling equipment and supplies to help identify IAQ problems involving basements and crawl spaces.”
EMSL recently sponsored a video about basements, crawls spaces and indoor air quality that can be seen at:
To learn more about EMSL’s IAQ testing services, sampling products and field testing equipment, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.

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