Environmental
An Objective Assessment
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The Building Knowledge Environmental Assessment is an environmental evaluation of your home, free from influence of associations with general contractors or remediation specialists. We perform an objective, specialized technical analysis of your residential environment to assist you in identifying factors and health condition triggers that may exist within your home.

Professional, Experienced
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The Environmental Assessment is a specialized service available from Building Knowledge LLC, one of the oldest and most respected building inspection and environmental testing firms in the country. Originally certified in 1991 as an EPA radon testing firm, we are also certified lead and infrared camera professionals. Our trained and experienced assessors subscribe to the most currently accepted protocols, and collaborate with a state and federally certified environmental laboratory, Analytical Environment Services.

Protecting Your Family's Health
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If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint and more likely to have pipe, fixtures or solder containing lead. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer use of lead-containing paint. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.

Asbestos, used extensively in home construction from the early 1940s through the 1970s, is commonly found in homes built prior to 1976 and can be found in a myriad of household materials. The presence of disturbed asbestos is a serious health hazard.

Family

Why Assess? Protecting You & Your Family’s Health

Nothing else matters when your health is compromised. Poor indoor home environment can often trigger headaches, fatigue, asthma, allergies and serious chronic health issues – and you may not even realize it. Some common environmental hazards that may be making you sick include: surface or airborne mold exposure, lead poisoning, asbestos exposure, radon and more. Your family spends about 70% of their day inside the home, doesn't it make sense to assure that your home is healthy and safe?

When do you need an Environmental Assessment?

We recommend that homeowners assess every three to five years. Additionally, there are specific life cycle events when having a Checkup would provide peace of mind.

Consider an assessment when:

  • Birth of a child or the presence of young children
  • Member of the household treated for an existing health issue or illness (asthma, allergies)
  • Member of the household having physical limitations or a handicap
  • Member of the household having mobility issues or a disabled person moving into the home
  • Elderly resident wishing to age in place or elderly family member coming to live with adult children
  • Following completion of extensive home remodeling and renovation projects
  • Recovery after an event causing major structural damage (fire, flooding, windstorm)
  • Listing a home for sale or rent
  • Purchase or rental of a home
What you don’t know can be hurting you.

A “healthy home” shelters its occupants, supporting and their health and safety. Scientists, physicians and health workers now understand that certain environmental issues within our homes can cause or exacerbate chronic health issues.

Many American homes have moisture and ventilation problems; asthma and allergy triggers; chemical and toxic exposures; and a variety of system related hazards. Occasionally, poor construction or deferred maintenance is at fault. More often, popular construction materials used in years past have proven to pose challenges to occupants’ health and safety.

Radon

Radon is a gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. Radon is naturally formed when radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater and exposure comes from breathing radon in buildings and homes. Because radon comes naturally from the earth, people are always exposed to it.

Radon and Your Health

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General's office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.

Over time, when you breathe in radon, radioactive particles can get trapped in your lungs increasing the risk of lung cancer. It may take years before health problems appear.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon

Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are exposed to high levels of radon. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends ALL homes be tested for radon gas.

Mold

Exposure to mold in the environment may cause a variety of health effects. For sensitive people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions.

Studies show evidence linking indoor exposure to mold with respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children and suggest a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children.

Some mold is everywhere and is present in nearly every home - in the air and on many surfaces, growing wherever there is moisture.

Toxic black mold, more dangerous than ordinary molds, can cause skin blistering, nosebleeds, asthma symptoms, or chest pains, among other things. In extreme situations, they can even cause shock and death. To be safe and to protect your family, hire a mold specialist professional to locate and identify the mold in your home.

When should I test for mold?
  • If people or pets are experiencing persistent allergy-like symptoms
  • If you smell or suspect mold but do not see any visible mold growth
  • Whenever you find a leak that has been present for more than 24 hours
  • After any flooding or water damage event
  • If unusual stains appear on furniture or building material
  • If purchasing any home, especially if home was vacant or "as-is"

Lead

Today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. (CDC September 2016)

The effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. No level of lead in the blood of children is currently thought to be safe and even low levels of lead have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement.

Studies have shown that adults with only a fifth the 'high' level of lead in their blood are more likely to die of heart attack or stroke.

How are we exposed to lead?

All houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. It is the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem. Approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. Lead hazards in a the home environment must be identified, controlled or removed safely to prevent lead exposure to children before they are harmed

Who is at risk?

Children and pregnant women should not be present in homes built before 1978 that are undergoing renovation. They should not participate in activities that disturb old paint or in cleaning up paint debris after the work is completed.

Additionally, children under the age of 6 years old are at higher risk because of their rapid growth and their tendency to put their hands or other lead dust contaminated objects into their mouths.

Asbestos

Prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber can lead to lung disease. When disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are easily inhaled, which damages lung tissue and can cause cancer.

Asbestos was a common material used extensively in home construction from the early 1940s through the 1970s, and asbestos contaminated insulation, was used primarily between 1955 and 1990. While manufacturing was discontinued in 1984, material still remains on the market. If you have a home built or insulated during this time, chances are good that it contains asbestos.

Before doing any renovations or demolition on a home built before 1980, be safe and use a BKenvironmental assessor to test for asbestos. Only a trained professional can examine materials without the risk of releasing fibers into the air.

The mere presence of asbestos in your home is not hazardous. Generally, material in good condition will not release fibers, but disturbing it may create a health hazard where none existed before.

Safety

Injuries at home and at play are not accidents, they can be prevented.

By creating awareness of the leading causes of injury, a Building Knowledge Environment Assessment can ensure that you have a safer and healthier place to play and relax. Easily overlooked; once identified, common home safety hazards are most often simple, inexpensive fixes.

Accidents (unintentional injuries) are the leading cause of death among children and teens, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. They account for 1 of every 4 people treated in emergency room visits. Falls in the home are serious and costly, accounting for hospitalization of over 800,000 persons a year. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors present in the home, the greater the possibility of injury.

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