- Building Air Quality
- Excellent communicator able to understand and express the hidden challenges that come with IAQ/IEQ problems, without raising occupant concerns
- Environmental in dealing with local, State and Federal regulatory authorities (USPHS, CDC, City, County and State public health)
- Sick building syndrome, building related illness, biological contamination, thermal imaging, building science, moisture physics
- Identify and eliminate Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) problems in commercial buildings
Travis W. West, the odors that some people refer to as musty, could be reported as mold-like by someone entirely different.
When you smell musty or mold-like odors in a space, that is a good indication that mold is present. What you are smelling is referred to as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). These are created in the metabolic process that mold colonies go through during their lifecycle.
It is entirely possible that what you are smelling indicates the presence of a mold colony located inside the walls, underneath a base plate, on top of a ceiling area or even inside the air conditioning unit or air duct systems. These molds may be growing because they’ve found an active source of moisture somewhere in your home. This source could be from a failed flashing, high water leaking onto slabs, roof leaks in the attic or even a poorly operating air conditioning unit. Even the best of homes can leak during unusually wet periods – which is what many cities have been experiencing this year.
If the odor is caused by construction materials that became wet during construction, as they dry out the molds may go dormant and the odor cease. Unfortunately, elevated levels of relative humidity or even several days of rain may provide enough moisture for the molds to wake up and start producing the odor all over again.
Communicating this kind of problem with the builder early and often until it’s resolved is probably your best recourse at this time. You might also consider hiring a home inspector with experience in identifying these kinds of issues to look at the home. The right inspector may even take the time to explain where the problem is occurring, where moisture may be coming from and how it needs to be fixed. That would allow you to become an educated consumer who should find it much easier to talk with the builder’s representatives.
Air Duct Cleaning
CO (Carbon Monoxide)
Sick Building Syndrome
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
IAQ Problem Solving Center