"Bloodhounding" an odor is finding the Source
- – TVOC
- – Temperature
- – Relative Humidity
- – Carbon Monoxide
- – Carbon Dioxide
- – Oxygen
- – Ozone
- – Particle Counter (0.3, 0.5, 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 10 µg/m³)
- – Ammonia
- – Sulfur Dioxide
- – Hydrogen Sulfide
- – Formaldehyde
When To Test
Normally, air mapping readings is used to “map” the building for spikes and anomalies to determining potential locations for collecting Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Air Samples.
If there is a known chemical odor or recent installed material that may be emitting toxic fumes, this product may be used on a project.
We often receive inquiries about particulate count services during our California wildfire season. While we certainly can perform this testing if wanted, during that season, normally the most prudent approach is to close all doors and windows and utilize HEPA air purification machines to adequately address the square footage of the indoor space.
Prior our arrival on-site, we would discuss a series of situations and ask certain questions to determine if this type of service might be appropriate for a particular job.
How We Test
The procedure for air mapping involves collecting a series of readings over a specified period of time, per location. This allows us to accurately assess the area with more than one reading.
If any spikes or anomalies are detected, we may recommend further VOC air sampling in specific locations.
If an elevation of a specific contaminant is found through this testing, then an abatement protocol can be developed. The abatement action may be as simple as removing the source (i.e. paint cans in a garage) or can be more in-depth if there has been an application of material onto the building material substrate (i.e. paint applied on walls). That would involve either removal or further action, specifically “structural pasteurization” through the use of heat treatment.
The process of structural pasteurization can be used to help volatilize odors under negative pressure using engineering controls. This interior heat treatment increases the temperature of a structure with the goal of reducing targeted chemical(s) that are referenced in the air mapping readings or VOC air sample results. This heat abatement process usually takes between 2 to 5 days depending on the severity of the chemical off-gassing and the square and cubic footage of coverage area. This typically includes air filtration, temperature control and monitoring, and air pressure control which will provide appropriate air and temperature distribution to the structure. The temperature in the structure is elevated to 105ᴼ-120ᴼF, increasing the vapor pressure of the various volatile chemicals to speed up the process of off-gassing. This off-gassing is then exhausted outside of the building using large HEPA air purification machines. Air filtration will use HEPA filters to capture much of the particulate and may also use carbon filters to capture vapors. In many situations the structure, or portions of the structure, may be heated under negative pressure, allowing both ultrafine and fine particulate to be exhausted along with the target vapors.
There is always a chance that any wood trim, wood floors, or other decorative wood components can become damaged during this process. This should be discussed with the abatement contractor to make sure safeguards are in place with careful monitoring. All furniture should be removed.
Post Abatement Clearance Testing
After abatement is complete, we can return for post-treatment clearance testing to prove that levels have decreased.