Checking The Air Quality Of Your Rental Property Before Leasing It To Tenants
Whether you’ve found your first rental home and are preparing to rent it out for the first time, or you’re scheduling property maintenance for your rental property, the chances are you will be busy arranging a property inspection. Before renting a property, a home inspection is critical. It assures you that your property is up to code with health and safety regulations – and protects you as a landlord in the eyes of the law. As for what should be on your home inspection checklist, real estate experts recommend including the foundation, roof and plumbing. Many also suggest asking your home inspector for additional checks like the issue of mold and the air quality in your new home. Why should buyers make testing the air quality a priority on their home inspection list? Well, with landlord-tenant laws, state laws, and housing codes focusing on IAQ issues in rental properties in the last few years, landlords are under more pressure to ensure their properties – and the indoor air – is safe.
Scheduling An Air Quality Analysis
There are several ways to test the air quality in your rental home. One of them is a standard home mold test, which you can schedule using a home mold removal company. Since mold thrives on moisture and humidity, signs of water leaks or moisture problems are normally the first indicators that you need to test for mold. Professionals leave a petri dish with potato dextrose on a flat surface for one hour in the home mold test. The dish is then covered and monitored for 48 hours for any signs of growth.
Homeowners can also buy at-home mold testing kits, but would need to send off the sample for identification. Also, it may be easier and more reliable to get a professional mold inspection. Professional air quality testing companies also test for carbon dioxide and radon levels in the indoor air. Radon testing is useful since you cannot see or smell radon, but prolonged exposure can cause lung cancer. Therefore, having a professional air testing company analyze the air can help you understand the gases in the interior atmosphere of your rental home, and the potential hazards if there are any. The American Lung Association recommends that every home is tested for radon levels.
Finding An Air Quality Testing Professional
A simple online search can help you find the best air quality specialists in your city. If you want to be sure of top quality testing and service, environmental websites like Accuweather regularly publish rankings of top air quality testing companies for the major U.S. cities like Maypole Environmental Inspections LLC in New York City and Brooklyn. There is also AdvantaClean, which offers radon and mold testing. They are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. For Los Angeles, there is Envirotech Restoration, and Mold Test Company, amongst many others.
As for the cost of getting a professional air quality test, HomeAdvisor estimates that it can cost between $286 and $561. The final cost will depend on the size of your rental home and the extent of testing you want to be done. HomeAdvisor also has a handy Air Quality Testing Cost Calculator, which can help you budget for the costs more accurately using your zip code. For instance, homes in Brooklyn with a zip code of 11201 average $505 for professional air quality testing.
What To Look For In An Air Quality Analysis Results
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our indoor environment can be two to five times more toxic than the outdoor environment, and with the average age of homes hovering at 40 years, the air indoors can be up to 100 times more polluted. This is precisely why testing the air quality of a home before you rent it to tenants is a good move.
Ideally, you are looking for the presence of humidity, high temperatures, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in your air quality test. The EPA has also set out acceptable standards for particulate matter (PM 2.5) levels. The EPA’s standards for air quality particle pollution focuses on reducing the health effects of prolonged exposure to high PM levels, such as respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. At least five states, including California, have also enacted state legislation requiring landlords to act to prevent and address mold contamination. The California State Housing Law was also amended in 2015 to include mold, radon, and a duty to repair any such condition.
Los Angeles County remains one of the most polluted cities today in the country. Therefore, if you are a landlord in the area, checking the air quality of your rental home is even more important. The good news is that checking the air quality is easier than you think. With a wide range of at-home test kits and a long list of air quality testing companies to choose from, there’s no reason why you need to delay testing the air quality at your new property. This way, you can ensure that the home you’re renting out is a safe one.