Frequently Asked Questions

AirQuest Frequently Asked Questions

  • My husband and I are purchasing a home that was built in the 1960s. We have 2 small children, and we are concerned about lead-based paint. Home Depot sells a test kit for less than $10.00. How accurate is this test compared to hiring a certified contractor to perform the test which costs so much more?

    While at home testing kits are the more affordable option, there is no guarantee that the homeowner will get accurate results. Often at-home kits are not useful due to false negatives (and sometimes false positives).  Inspectors can identify the sources of the lead, rather than just a positive or negative to lead (as in the at-home testing kits).   Additionally, a lead risk assessor can educate you on managing the lead or areas of concern that you may not have considered  (such as the backyard). 

  • I'm renovating my home, but the county will not give me a permit until I have an asbestos survey. My home was built in 2010. Why do they need an asbestos survey?

    Asbestos surveys are required because of the possibility that asbestos-containing products were purchased and installed from companies outside of the US (Which the Toxic Substances Control Act does not cover).  Single-family homes are usually exempt from the asbestos survey requirement under NESHAPs, the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Emissions Standard for Hazardous Air Pollution.  However, the exemption only applies if the homeowner is doing the work and does not apply to a contractor that must comply with OSHA.  Also, multi-family residences are not exempt from the requirement, and local regulations may have more stringent requirements. 

  • My house smells musty, and my kids are always sneezing and complaining of watery eyes. What can be done to identify the source?

    Musty odors are usually the result of mold growth. Mold growth is always the result of inappropriate moisture. This can come from a plumbing or roof leak, water getting into walls, or high humidity.
    If health issues are a concern, air samples for total fungal spores or culturable samples may be collected to provide data to determine if the indoor environment is unusual when compared to the outside environment.

  • I saw something on the news the other day about Radon Gas. What is Radon, and why is it important to have my home tested?

    Radon gas is a naturally occurring (odorless) gas produced in the soil. The problem occurs when the gas finds its way into the interior of a building.  Radon is a carcinogen, and exposure over long periods of time increases your risk of lung cancer.  Since we spend significant time in our homes, it is important to know if elevated radon levels are present.  If you have your house tested and levels are high, the problem can usually be managed. 

  • There are mold spots in the ceiling of two rooms in my home. What can I do about it? Can I spray it with bleach to make it go away?

    Many commercial products on the market can be used to remove small areas of surface mold. However, it is imperative to determine the underlying cause of the growth. If there is a hidden problem above the ceiling, such as a leaking pipe or sweating of the air conditioning ducts, the mold growth will return. Both issues will result in structural damage to the ceiling if not investigated and the cause corrected.
    A professional should be contacted to determine the cause of the mold growth and provide recommendations for correcting the problem.

  • How long does it take to schedule a job?

    Scheduling a job usually takes a day or two, rarely more than a week. For more information, contact us at

  • What is the difference between environmental consulting and environmental remediation services?

    Environmental consulting involves investigative services to determine the extent of a problem or hazard.

    Remediation services include repairing the problem or hazard.

  • Does it cost money to speak to a consultant?

    AirQuest does not charge for an initial phone call to request basic information about a potential health hazard or environmental issue.
    Please contact us to discuss the approach and costs associated with identifying and eliminating the problem.

  • What is Indoor Environmental Quality?

    Based on the CDC definition, Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) refers to the quality of a building’s environment concerning the health and wellbeing of those who occupy space within it.
    IEQ is determined by many factors, including lighting, air quality, and damp conditions. Numerous potential contaminants can be identified inside a building, including mold, asbestos, lead-based paint, radon gas, volatile organic compounds, etc.

  • How common are Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) problems?

    Currently, indoor air pollution is ranked by the EPA as one of the top five environmental risks to public health.
    Exposure to some contaminants (asbestos and radon gas) over long periods of time can cause cancer and will not cause any perceived symptoms.

  • What are the symptoms of IEQ problems?

    Poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) has been tied to symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
    Specific diseases have also been linked to specific air contaminants or indoor environments, such as asthma in damp indoor environments.

  • What are the most common indoor air pollutants?

    Asbestos, mold, radon gas, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, secondhand smoke are examples of contaminants that degrade indoor air quality.
    For more information, check out

  • Is mold dangerous?

    It can be. Everyone responds differently. Young children, older adults, and those who, for other reasons, have weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable.
    If you think you have a mold problem in your home, you do not need to find out what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same when it comes to health risks and removal. All indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type(s) of mold is present or whether it can produce mycotoxins (aka “Toxic Mold”).

  • How do I identify if I have mold in my home?

    Indoor mold growth can usually be seen or smelled. In most cases, if visible mold growth (for example, water damage) is present, sampling is not needed.

  • What are some associated health problems with mold?

    There is ongoing research on the health effects related to mold exposure. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
    Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. Also, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.

  • Who can test for mold?

    Many states have regulations for mold assessors, and each state’s requirements may differ. A Florida-licensed mold assessor is the only one who can legally charge someone for mold consulting services in the State of Florida.

  • How do I prevent or avoid mold from growing?

    Mold only needs a few things to grow and multiply: Nutrients (food), a suitable place to grow, and moisture.
    It can grow almost anywhere where there is enough moisture or high humidity. Controlling moisture is the key to stopping indoor mold growth because all molds require water to grow.
    Many building materials (such as wood, sheetrock, etc.) provide nutrients, supporting mold growth. Even dust that has settled on these materials or furniture can be a food source for molds.