Healthy Indoors Magazine

HI Jan 2019

Healthy Indoors Magazine

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46 | January 2019 may have to be cleaned/remediated, and then the relative humidity more adequately controlled in the future. Mold growth on a basement beam May Indoor Air Investigations LLC Office chair that acquired mold growth in damp basement May Indoor Air Investigations LLC The garage: In a larger building with an underground garage, combustion products and soot particles can travel T he air in any home can become polluted with allergens, irritants and other contam- inants, but apartments and condominiums in a multi-unit building can develop their own particular air-quality problems. Here are some tips to help you keep the air in your home within a multi-unit building as allergen free and contaminant free as possible. Heating/cooling: If your unit has univents that suppling heat and cooling, be sure they are serviced on the recom- mended schedule, and that they have pleated-media filters that are airtight at the perimeter so that no air can bypass the filter. There should not be any visible dust at the interior of the univent. If your unit has baseboard convectors (with fin tubing), there should be no dust on the fins. The fin tubing can be HEPA vacuumed first and then blasted with steam from a steam-vapor machine. Common areas: Hallways: You may not think of the hallway outside your apartment as your space, but you walk down the hallway to get to your own front door. This means that you are ex- posed to any hallway contaminants or allergens, especially if there is carpeting. And if there is a space under your front door, hallway air can flow into your apartment. If you see any conditions in the hallway that concern you, report these conditions to your Association or to the Property Manager/ maintenance personnel. The basement: We've received a number of complaints from people who live in both smaller and larger multi-unit condominium buildings. Their Association is all in favor of taking good care of the common hallways and the exterior, including the landscaping, but what about the basement? And what about those goods stored in the moldy base- ment? In smaller buildings such as wood-frame 2-family to 6-family buildings, conditions in the basement can have a significant impact on first-floor units (due to air flows around pipes, ducts, etc.). If the basement in your building smells musty or you see visible mold growth, report the condition to the Association or Property Manager/maintenance personnel. The space Indoor Air Quality in a Multi-Unit Building ©2018 Jeffrey C. May

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