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Identifying Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Concerns during Residential Property Inspections

As a residential real estate agent, home building contractor, real estate investor or licenced home inspector, we understand that your ultimate goal is to protect your clients’ interests when visiting, assessing, or considering buying, selling or renovating Toronto residential building properties.

The truth is, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) may not be the first thing you think about when touring a home or residential building, but it should be! Indoor air quality can be improved or worsened by the building’s ventilation, air circulation, temperature and humidity levels, unsafe construction materials, or even unexpected sources of air pollution.

Identifying indoor air quality concerns from the outset is important because they, along with any necessary improvements or required remediation, can affect whether your client gets exactly what they think they’re buying (as a buyer) or whether they command the price they expected and require to be satisfied (as a seller).

We have provided some helpful tips to help you and your residential clients identify potential indoor air quality concerns in any building you’re visiting.


Look for evidence of humidity, inadequate ventilation or poor air circulation.

Whether in the bathroom, kitchen or basement, proper ventilation is a must to ensure humidity doesn’t stick around. Humidity helps fuel the growth of mold, mildew and other bacteria, all of which decrease indoor air quality.

As a home building professional, you could try to confirm the existence of adequate ventilation via windows, bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans, and venting of any dryers or heat-producing equipment to the outdoors.

Try to identify and note any plumbing or water leaks as well as potential sources of added moisture such as hot tubs in an inadequately ventilated basement, for example. It’s also never a bad idea to make a note of any pre-existing dehumidifiers, fans or similar equipment, which can offer evidence of existing humidity or circulation problems in the residential building you’re touring.


Perform a visual inspection of mechanical systems.

Mechanical systems involved in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can harbour all sorts of unhealthy organisms like dust, bacterial, mold or fungal growth, outdoor allergens like pollen, or even residue from rusting HVAC system components. These can easily re-circulate throughout your home or office, further decreasing overall indoor air quality!

Home building professionals of all kinds can check furnace filters and review any noted maintenance or servicing. You could also visually inspect any outdoor equipment like fans or air conditioner units if possible and accessible.

At the end of the day, we always recommend a thorough inspection by a professional indoor air quality company in Toronto to ensure not only the safe, non-contaminated condition of the residential equipment, but also to improve its efficiency and duration in the long term.


Look for sources of potential chemical contamination.

Whether indoors or out, old and rusting paint, stains or varnishes, fuel tanks, vehicle exhaust, commercial cleaning agents, potentially unsafe building materials (vermiculite, asbestos, etc.), pesticides, old and new carpeting and flooring, fabrics, and synthetic air fresheners/fragrances can all decrease Indoor Air Quality to varying degrees.

As a real estate or home building professional, you can help point these out to your residential clients and recommend a professional Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) audit to help mitigate any associated environmental, health or other risks.


Now that you know some of the basics to look for when it comes to indoor air quality concerns, what should you do? Contact our GTA-based professional indoor air quality testing company and we’ll be pleased to provide a free quote at your residential, commercial or industrial building to ensure the air you’re breathing is safe for all.

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