Recent Articles

Meth Contamination and Clean Up

Painting over Meth Contamination: Another serious issue for property owners


Paint over jobs will come back with some level of contamination. Renovations are a great way to increase the rental price or sale price of a property for minimal investment, however there are downsides to this in relation to meth testing and contamination within the dwelling.


Why is painting over meth a problem?

The reason that painting over methamphetamine is not an effective means of treatment is because meth bleeds through the paint layers over an extended period and becomes detectable on the surface. 


How does it affect buyers?

No one wants to feel as though they have put their family in harm’s way by purchasing a “newly renovated property” that has not had a meth screening test completed before the changes took place. If a meth test is taken on top of renovations and receives a positive detection, most buyers will immediately become suspicious of the vendor who has “covered up the meth” whether it be true or not. The risk for the buyers is that they purchase a house, that increases in meth concentrations over their period of ownership and affects the sale of the property in the future, or increases to a significant extent that vulnerable persons such as children could be compromised.


How does it affect land lords and tenants?

In consideration of rental properties, a negative or low meth test at the beginning of the tenancy can easily turn into a considerably higher concentration at the end of the tenancy, even though no meth has been introduced to the property when painted over. If no meth test is done before the renovations, the tenant can have a meth test done which shows an unacceptable amount at any time during the tenancy to which the landlord will be held responsible. Cleaning up meth contamination under the paint – Not a cheap endeavour.

If meth is suspected under the paint, the clean up can be extremely expensive. Because there is no certain way to reduce meth under the paint, the only way to deal with such contamination with any certainty is to remove and replace painted surfaces material.

Because the waste is potentially hazardous, dumping will be expensive requiring the property waste is crushed and bury and will not be reused. Replacement costs for all removed surfaces for the entire dwelling including repainting of the surfaces can end up in the tens of thousands of dollars on average for even small concentrations of methamphetamine. Seattle area waste will burn all Meth waste.


Always test before you paint a property..

Frogman Restoration recommends always test meth before renovations begin. If a positive result is returned, they can then direct you in your renovations and cleaning to mitigate risk of a positive result in the future. Many options are available for helping to fix the problem and the costs aren’t always as high as people think. However, these options are only available before painting of the property.

Water Damage Restoration

Mold Water Restoration Process IICRC S500 

The IICRC-approved Applied Structural Drying (ASD) courses have been describing four classes of water for some time. However, the term is new to the S500. It is the “initial amount of water and the likely or anticipated rate of evaporation based upon the quantity and type of wet materials in the affected space.”

How Bad Is it? Really.

The four classes of water are:

  • Class 1 (least amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.
  • Class 2 (large amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad). Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete. substructure soil).
  • Class 3 (greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
  • Class 4 (Specialty drying situations): These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (e.g., hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light weight concrete and stone). These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

Importance to perform an inspection and develop a preliminary determination as to the category of water that has caused the flooding issue. The preliminary determination is that the category of water is “1.” As part of the inspection we would also want to establish our drying goal and a written scope of work. In the S500, we have a “dry standard” and a “drying goal.” The dry standard is determined by taking moisture content (MC) readings from known dry materials in an undamaged area of structure (referred to as normal EMC). From the dry standard this can help establish the drying goal needed for a speedy revovery. We clarify a target moisture level within an acceptable proximity of the dry standard along with air samples in all areas of work. We also perform control samples to establish air quaility issues prio to loss.

Section it states: “…then properly dry exposed wood framing to within four percentage points of normal EMC. At a minimum, wood framing materials should be below 16% MC before installing new drywall.”

In order for drying to take place expeditiously, “It is recommended that consideration be given to whether demolishing or removing structural materials is appropriate in setting up the initial drying system.…Unrestorable structural components removed. Remove materials that slow down the drying process. (e.g., vinyl plank flooring, cabinets that cover wet drywall, carpet and padding over flooring).”

Excess water must be extracted, and the un-restorable materials removed. Category 1 water uses a closed drying system (i.e., not using outside air) and dehumidification. The most common class of water damage is Class 2. If there is contamination present, the drying environment requires further modification.

The IICRC S500 defines Category 2 water damage incidents as water that “contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.” We feel this is the most appropriate way to describe most property damage derived from water.

The IICRC S500 defines Category 3 water damage as water that is “grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed.” Examples of Category 3 water damage can include:

  • Sewage & wastewater line backup

  • Seawater

  • Rain from storms

Category 1. "Clean Water" is from a source that poses no substantial harm to people. Water that overflowed while running your bath water, leaking from a supply line for an ice maker, dishwasher or clothes washer are good examples. This assumes that the surfaces being flooded are reasonably clean. Flooding from clean water is usually treated by extracting standing water. Air movers are set up to create evaporation and dehumidifier's to remove the moisture from the air.  After 48 hours, a Category 1 can become a Category 2.

Category 2. "Grey Water" poses health risks due to significant levels of contamination of bacteria, mold and/or chemicals. This includes dirty water from washing machines, dishwashers, as well as leaks from water beds, broken aquariums and urine. The water restoration technician should wear some personal protection equipment (PPE). The carpet padding is usually removed and replaced because its sponge-like structure offers the perfect environment for bacterial and mold growth. Due to rampant bacterial breeding and mold growth, Category 2 becomes a Category 3 situation if left untreated for 2 days or more.

Category 3. "Black Water" contains disease-causing organisms, toxins, and is grossly unsanitary. Typical black water conditions occur from a sewer back flow, a broken toilet bowl containing feces, and rising flood waters. (Rising flood water is considered Category three because of the possibility of chemicals and organisms found in lawn chemicals, fertilizers, animal feces, decaying ground debris, and over filled sewer and septic systems.)
Tetanus and other serious diseases are likely to be present in rising flood waters. The water restoration technician must wear personal protection equipment. Affected objects such as carpet, padding, and Sheetrock must be removed and disposed. A biocide must be applied to kill micro-organisms on site.

Air Mover Use

Stop The Mold..Dry it Out! We install one air mover for each 10 to 16 linear feet of wall, with the outlet of each air mover pointing in the same direction. With the air mover almost touching the wall, aiming its outlet at the wall at a 12-to-45-degree angle. Also placing at least one air mover for each small bathroom, closet or other offset.

Example:  12-by-12-foot room (48 linear feet of wall space), it may be appropriate to use from 4 to 5 air movers (4 walls and a closet), depending on response time; the materials present; amount of water exposure; and atmospheric conditions. 

Air-moving devices inherently tend to aerosolize soils and contaminants. Restorers can install one or more air filtration devices, or AFDs, as air scrubbers, depending on the AFD’s size and obstructions within the structure. AFDs provide additional airflow, while simultaneously removing aerosolized soils or contaminants from the air within a room.

Our Movers save the day!

  • 1/5 hp, Energy Efficient Thermally Protected Motor with Powerful 1400 CFM ( not the cheap Home Store Models )
  • GFCI Protected for Fire Prevention

As air moves across a wet surface, evaporation of moisture into a drier air mass occurs. As this air becomes more humid, evaporation (drying) slows and secondary damage becomes a concern. It is also necessary to remove the added moisture from the interior air space.


Dehumidification is the removal of moisture from the air. Initially, effective drying of structural materials requires that air in a structure should be exchanged based on the dehumidifier’s ability to remove a specific number of pints per day. On-going equipment use is based on psychrometric calculations to verify adequate and safe drying.

Calculate the cubic footage of the room or area to be dried.

For example:

30’ x 50’ = 1500 sf x 8’ = 12,000 cf
12,000 cf divided by 50 (LGR/Class 2) = 240 pints at AHAM
If you are using LGRs rated at 65 pints = 4
If you are using LGRs rated at 140 pints = 2

We use SLGR Microchannel Technology is a revolutionary and innovative technology. The use of microchannel condenser technology can improve the 50% dispersion effect of the condenser, 30% of heat exchange area and 50% of the refrigerant quantity. When the SLGR microchannel is combined, the efficiency of the industrial dehumidifier can be increased by 30-50%.

Following and Exceeding The Standard

The IICRC S520 Standard describes the procedures to be followed and the precautions to be taken when performing mold remediation in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings, and the systems and personal property contents of those structures. The ANSI/IICRC S520 is a procedural standard for the remediation of mold damaged structures and contents. The ANSI/IICRC S520 is based on reliable remediation and restoration principles, research and practical experience, and attempts to combine essential academic principles with practical elements of water damage restoration for technicians facing “real-life” mold remediation challenges. 

The damaged structure is monitored starting with the initial loss assessment and evaluation and continuing throughout the restoration process. Technicians establish a moisture content or drying goal for affected building materials and contents items that is in the written scope of work.

Psychrometric conditions and MC measurements is recorded daily. Relevant moisture measurements include temperature and relative humidity both inside and outside of affected and unaffected areas, and at dehumidifier outlets. Section 12.1.25 of the Standard states that, “If moisture measurements do not confirm satisfactory drying, restorers should adjust drying procedures and equipment placement, or possibly add or change equipment to increase drying capability.”

The S500 does provide additional information on variety of related water-damage restoration subjects involving all categories and classes of water. The use of open drying systems and hot air drying systems are also discussed.

For more information, contact the IICRC at


Water Damage and Mold in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, Kent & Issaquah. Work with us! We are local Water Mold Restoration Co. not National Insurance Work Chasers! 425.608.9553

Radon Testing Mitigation in Washington State

Radon In Washington State

Yes! Washington has areas with High Radon Levels!

Radon gas is indiscriminate. It’ll affect every man, woman, child, baby, dog and cat in any household. Every living, breathing thing is at risk from radioactive radon gas. A radon measurement of only 2 pCi/l is the same as smoking 4 cigarettes a day. Can you imagine the long term effects on a baby in that environment? The majority of radon-induced lung cancers are caused by low and moderate radon concentrations rather than by high radon concentrations because in general fewer people are exposed to high indoor radon concentrations.

We recently tested a Yelm home that had a radon reading of 24 pCi/l. That’s like smoking over two packs of cigarettes a day. Everyday.

Seattle area apartment tested over 4 pCi/l

Issaquah Home over 7 pCi/l

Kirkland Commercial Business over 8 pCi/l

You can’t see, smell or taste radon gas but it’s everywhere. Including your home. The question is “How much?” You may already know that radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer… Yes, right behind smoking.

Pacific Northwest Inspections Group uses the most Advanced CRM Monitor on the Market

A continuous radon monitor (CRM) falls under the active radon monitor group. Here are some of the benefits of using a continuous radon monitor:

  • A high-end continuous radon monitor device comes with a test, analysis, and reporting applications. You do not have to manually monitor and record the radon level. The preparation of reports especially for government compliance becomes easier and more accurate. 
  • Usually, it has a built-in digital readout that you can use to display the current radon level. Some high-end continuous radon monitors would be able to retain historical radon levels for a long period which you can send to laboratories for further analysis. 
  • Other models of continuous radon monitors are equipped with miscellaneous environmental sensors that can measure ambient temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity. You can use these additional sensors information to draw an association between the radon level and other factors that would allow you to make a better decision as to when to get radon mitigation.

Got Radon?

Radon is a toxic radioactive gas that’s formed in the earth’s crust.  It will follow the path of least resistance to the surface.  The systems we install prevents radon from releasing into your home. Call Us Today!

EPA recommends you begin with a short term test for more immediate results. If your result is 4 pCi/L or higher, take a follow up test to be sure. WA State EPA maps are OUTDATED! Get a TEST today!

Depending on the results of your first test, follow up with either a long-term test or a second short term test. If your first test results are 4 to 8 pCi/L follow up with a long-term test. If your first test results are 8 pCi/L or above, follow up with another short-term test. If the average of your two short-term tests is 4 pCi/L or above, or the result of your long-term test was 4 pCi/L or above, fix your home. To learn more about how to fix your home, visit About Radon Mitigation.

If your test results are below the action level of 4.0 pCi/L, you may want to re-test in two to five years. You should test again if anything is done to the house that may change the air pressure like home renovation or the installation of new heating or air conditioning systems.

Radon Mitigation Systems

Radon mitigation is any process or system used to reduce radon concentrations in buildings. The goal of the radon mitigation system is to reduce the indoor radon level as low as reasonably achievable. All systems should reduce radon below the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L (picocuries of radon per liter of air). A quality radon mitigation system may reduce year-round levels to below 2 pCi/L.

A home's foundation type helps determine the radon mitigation system that will work best. A PNWIG radon mitigation professional should determine the type of mitigation system to install and may conduct some diagnostic testing to help guide where to place the mitigation system.

Radon mitigation systems use a fan to continuously pull air from the soil and vent it outdoors through a pipe that ends above the edge of the roof. The pipe can either run inside or outside the home and vents outside, away from windows and openings. In addition, cracks and openings in the foundation are sealed. Sealing limits the flow of radon and makes the radon mitigation system more efficient.

Three of the most common types of radon mitigation systems

  1. Sub-slab suction - Pulls radon directly beneath the home's foundation and vents it outside.
  2. Drain tile suction - Pipe penetrates into the drain tile and vents the soil gases outside. Covers are placed on the sump baskets.
  3. Sub-membrane - Used in crawl spaces, a plastic sheet covers exposed dirt on the floor, extends up onto the wall and is sealed. A radon pipe penetrates the plastic sheeting, pulls the soil gas from the crawl space, and vents it outside.

Cost of a radon mitigation system?

The cost can depend on many factors including the type of radon system to be installed and how your building was built. In general, costs can range from $1,800 to $3000 for a 2000sf building. 

We install a properly balanced system! Save thousands with a properly installed Radon System. Call Us 425.608.9553


Water Restoration Work Gone Bad

Serv@ro Job Gone Bad. Real Bad.

We cant say it enough, how important a third party inspection is needed on water restoration work. So many jobs with so many issues.


  1. No Asbestos report posted on job site ( REQUIRED BY LAW )
  2. Building materials still wet when material reinstalled
  3. Improper Job Site Containment
  4. Root Cause of Issue Not Corrected
  5. Contaminated Materials Left In Place
  6. Inadequate Treatment for Mold
  7. No Written Scope of Work
  8. No Clearance testing Performed by Third Party Testing Company Prior to Reinstall
  9. Containment removed Prior to Passing Clearance Test
  10. Removal of Negative Air Machines Prior to Clearance Test

Recent job done by Serv@ro for a client with concerns, and yes we found issue after issue. Was this job done just to satisfy insurance payout? Is that what it is all about? Root cause of water intrusion issue was not even discussed with client and to think insurance will pay out and have to have this job done again in future is sad. Insurance Companies CALL US! Yes, Call us for a inspection before your nightmare happens all over again!

Who is to blame?

The water restortion company claimed the job was done and the damage came back after repairs were done based on what the insurance adjusted said caused the damage? Point the finger.

water restoration mold service


We performed many air samples and tape lifts on this job after high moisture levles were reported and black mold was visible all over. The containment was broken and all equipment removed from job site exposing work zone to all areas of home. 

Did we find Toxic Mold?!

Stay tuned for the lab results. 

Results in! Yes TOXIC mold was found! After job cantainment was removed and signed off as complete!

These are just our Top 10 list, there are many more! Call us Today 425.608.9553


EPA Water Sampling Testing, Lead, Well Testing

Lead in Water

In 1986, Congress passed a law that banned the use of lead in making pipes or solder used in any plumbing materials. At that time, however, the definition of “lead-free” meant that pipes could still contain 8% lead. Two more laws passed in 1996 and 2011 refined the terms of this law to drop this limit from 8% to 0.2% for any plumbing materials providing water for human consumption.

Homes built before 1986 with original plumbing fixtures are likely to still have lead in their plumbing fixtures. 

Standard Test


Total Coliform, Fecal E. coli, and Total Bacteria Count

Metals and Minerals:

Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Cadmium, Calcium, Cerium, Chromium (Total), Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Thallium, Tin, Titanium, Uranium, Vanadium, and Zinc


Chloride, Fluoride, Nitrate (as N), Nitrite and Sulfate


Alkalinity (as CaCO3), Ammonia, Color, Conductivity, Hardness, Odor, pH, Sediment, Silica, Tannins, Total Dissolved Solids and Turbidity

Radioactive Chemical Element:


Comprehensive Test


Total Coliform, Fecal E. coli, and Total Bacteria Count

Metals and Minerals:

Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Cadmium, Calcium, Cerium, Chromium (Total), Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Thallium, Tin, Titanium, Uranium, Vanadium, and Zinc


Chloride, Fluoride, Nitrate (as N), Nitrite, and Sulfate


Alkalinity (as CaCO3), Ammonia, Color, Conductivity, Hardness, Odor, pH, Sediment, Silica, Tannins, Total Dissolved Solids, and Turbidity

Radioactive Chemical Element:


Industrial & Cancer-causing Chemicals:

Benzene, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, n-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Carbon-Tetrachloride, Dibromochloromethane, Chloroethane, Chloroform, Chloromethane, 1,2-Chlorotoluene, 1,4-Chlorotoluene, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane, Dibromomethane, 1,2-Dibromoethane, 1,3-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichlorobenzene, 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, Dichlorodifluoromethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,3-Dichloropropene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Ethylbenzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropyl benzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Methyl-t-Butyl Ether (MTBE), Methylene Chloride, Monochlorobenzene, Naphthalene, n-Propylbenzene, Styrene, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, Vinyl Chloride, o-Xylene, m+p Xylenes

Ultimate Test


Total Coliform, Fecal E. coli, Total Bacteria Count, and Fungi Count

Metals and Minerals:

Aluminum, Antimony, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Cadmium, Calcium, Cerium, Chromium (Total), Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Lead, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Mercury, Molybdenum, Nickel, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silver, Sodium, Strontium, Thallium, Tin, Titanium, Uranium, Vanadium, and Zinc


Chloride, Fluoride, Nitrate (as N), Nitrite, and Sulfate


Alkalinity (as CaCO3), Ammonia, Color, Conductivity, Hardness, Odor, pH, Sediment, Silica, Tannins, Total Dissolved Solids and Turbidity

Radioactive Chemical Element:


Industrial & Cancer-causing Chemicals:

Benzene, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, n-Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, tert-Butylbenzene, Carbon-Tetrachloride, Dibromochloromethane, Chloroethane, Chloroform, Chloromethane, 1,2-Chlorotoluene, 1,4-Chlorotoluene, 1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane, Dibromomethane, 1,2-Dibromoethane, 1,3-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichlorobenzene, 1,4-Dichlorobenzene, Dichlorodifluoromethane, 1,1-Dichloroethane, 1,2-Dichloroethane, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethene, 1,2-Dichloropropane, 1,3-Dichloropropane, 2,2-Dichloropropane, 1,1-Dichloropropene, 1,3-Dichloropropene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Ethylbenzene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Hexachlorobutadiene, Isopropyl benzene, p-Isopropyltoluene, Methyl-t-Butyl Ether (MTBE), Methylene Chloride, Monochlorobenzene, Naphthalene, n-Propylbenzene, Styrene, 1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, 1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, Vinyl Chloride, o-Xylene, m+p Xylenes

Semi-volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs):

Acenaphthylene, Acenapthene, Alachlor, Aldrin., Ametryn, Anthracene, Atraton, Atrazine, Benz (A) Anthracene, Benzo (B) Fluoranthene, Benzo (K) Fluoranthene, Benzo (A) Pyrene, Benzo (G,H,I,) Perylene, Bromacil, Butachlor, Butylate, Butyl Benzyl Phthalate, Carboxin, Alpha Chlordane, Gamma Chlordane, Trans Nonachlor, Chlorneb, Chlorobenzilate, Chlorpropam, Chlorothalonil, Chloropyrifos, 2-Chlorobiphenyl, Chrysene, Cyanazine, Cycloate, DCPA, DDD, 4,4'-, DDE, 4,4'-, DDT, 4,4'-, Diazinon, Dibenz (A,H) Anthracene, Di-N-Butyl Phthalate, 2,3-Dichlorobiphenyl, Dichlorvos, Dieldrin., Diethyl Phthalate, Di (2-Ethylhexyl) Adipate, Di (2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate, Dimethyl Phthalate, 2,4-Dinitrotoluene, 2,6-Dinitrotoluene, Diphenamid, Disulfoton, Endosulfan I, Endosulfan II, Endosulfan Sulfate, Endrin., Endrin Aldehyde, EPTC, Ethoprpo, Etridiazole, Fenamiphos, Fenarimol, Fluorene, Fluridone, Heptachlor., Heptachlor Epoxide, 2,2',3,3',4,4'6-HeptachloroBiphenyl, Hexachlorobenzene, 2,2',4,4',5,6'-HexachloroBiphenyl, Alpha Hexachlorocyclohexane, Beta Hexachlorocyclohexane, Delta Hexachlorocyclohexane, Hexachlorocyclohexane, Hexazinone, Indeno (1,2,3-CD) Pyrene, Isophorone, Lindane, Merphos, Methoxychlor., Methyl Paraoxon, Metolachlor, Metribuzin, Mevinphos, MGK 264, Molinate, Napropamide, Napthalene., Norflurazon, 2,2',3,3',4,5',6,6'-OctachloroBiphenyl, Pebulate, 2,2',3',4,6-Pentachlorobiphenyl, Pentachlorophenol, Phenanthrene, Permethrin, Cis, Permethrin, Trans, Prometron, Prometryn, Pronamide, Propachlor, Propazine, Pyrene, Simazine, Simetryn, Stifros, Terbuthiuron, Terbacil, Terbufos, Terbutryn, 2,2',4,4'-Tetrachlorobiphenyl, Triademefon, 2,4,5-Trichlorobiphenyl, Tricyclazole, Trifluralin, Vernolate, PCB Screen, Toxaphene Screen, Technical Chloradane

Herbicides and Pesticides:

2,4-D, 2,4,5-TP, 2,4,5-T, Aldrin, A-BHC, B-BHC, C-BHC, D-BHC, Chlordane, 4,4'-DDD, 4,4'-DDE, 4,4'-DDT, Dieldrin, Endosulfan I, Endosulfan II, Endosulfan Sulfate, Endrin, Endrin Aldehyde, Heptachlor, Heptachlor Epoxide, Methoxychlor, Toxaphene


Examples of Contaminants:

  • Nitrate is naturally found in many types of food. However, high levels of nitrate in drinking water can make people sick. Nitrate in your well water can come from animal waste, private septic systems, wastewater, flooded sewers, polluted stormwater runoff, fertilizers, agricultural runoff, and decaying plants. The presence of nitrate in well water also depends on the geology of the land around your well. A nitrate test is recommended for all wells. If the nitrate level in your water is higher than the EPA standards, you should look for other sources of water or ways to treat your water.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)VOCs are industrial and fuel-related chemicals that may cause bad health effects at certain levels. Which VOCs to test for depends on where you live. Contact your local health or environmental department, or the EPA to find out if any VOCs are a problem in your region. Some VOCs to ask about testing for are benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene, trichloroethylene, and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Other germs or harmful chemicals that you should test for will depend on where your well is located on your property, which State you live in, and whether you live in an urban or rural area. These tests could include testing for lead, arsenic, mercury, radium, atrazine, and other pesticides. You should check with your local health or environmental department, or the EPA to find out if any of these contaminants are a problem in your region.

Please remember that if your test results say that there are germs or chemicals in your water, you should contact your local health or environmental department for guidance in interpreting the test.

Pacific Northwest Inspections Group performs Private water well testing as well as public Commercial and Residential water sampling.

Call us Today for Water Testing! 425.608.9553

Black Soot Carbon Testing


Burning candles, smoking, vaping and fireplaces are the main causes of indoor black stains and ghosting.

Finding black spots during a property safety inspection is never fun – if you can rub it and it stains, it may be carbon black or soot. Either way, this will merit further analysis by a laboratory, as both of these materials are harmful to people’s health. Many people don’t expect to find either one of these on a property or construction site, as these types of materials are usually associated with cars and truck pollutants. If you notice these stains on carpets, around wall outlets, or near ventilation gates, carbon black or soot may be a problem.

Testing for Carbon Black

Carbon Black is a black-colored residue that is commonly found in UV lights, used as a conductive agent, and some other household products as a pigment, like inks, paints, plastics, and coatings.

It is known as a carcinogen, with most agencies identifying carbon black as harmful if inhaled, especially consistently. In fact, the World Health Organization - WHO 2012 found that over 4 million deaths in the USA can be attributed to long-term illnesses stemming from repeated inhalation of particulate matter, including carbon black and soot (as well as nitrates, ammonia, and sodium chloride).

Carbon black can only be identified through sampling and testing. Testing is required by most insurance companies for this pollutant. The sample will be subjected to a streak test, polarized light analysis, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and volatiles analysis.

What is the Difference Between Soot and Carbon Black?

The two are often grouped together, but they are very different materials. Soot is the unwanted byproduct of the combustion of carbon-based materials exposed to heat, for purposes like energy, heat, or waste disposal. Soot is also harmful if inhaled, with tiny microscopic particles that contribute to short and long-term respiratory diseases. The inhalation of soot can also cause birth defects in pregnant women. The dire health effects make it necessary to test any commercial area regularly for soot and carbon black.

In addition to being harmful to human health, scientists believe that soot directly contributes to the global warming process by absorbing radiation into the atmosphere. That radiation then forms clouds, dispensing black soot back into the earth in the form of rain.

Carbon Black and Soot Analysis

Although both substances are different, they have similar components and can be easily tested by the experts at PNWIG. In order to complete all necessary environmental testing for health or insurance purposes, call us at 804-897-0070. The ASTM D6602 testing process is the “Standard Practice for Sampling and Testing of Possible Carbon Black Fugitive Emissions or Other Environmental Particulate,” and the results are official and accurate. We can help you identify what types of testing need to be done for your particular property and provide free overnight shipping for the necessary sampling supplies. For more information, feel free to call us and talk to any of our friendly experts 425.608.9553.

Meeting Bathroom Ventilation Requirements

New Construction Homes

Did your builder provide CFM testing for bathroom and laundry ventilation systems? Did they pass the required 50cfm?

I doubt you can answer those questions because most builders do not test these for code requirements. But don't fear we can handle this for you.

 We offer complete exhaust CFM verification for both new construction and pre-existing Residential and Commercial buildings. Without proper ventilation, your home can develop mold issues. Testing your exhaust systems is a must to insure your home has proper ventilation.

home energy auditBathroom vent fans are required by the NEC (National Electrical Code) and local building codes for any bathroom that doesn't have a window that can be opened to provide ventilation. In some jurisdictions, they are required even if windows are present.

A vent fan does two important things:

It removes hot, moist air, and it can remove odors. Moist air leads to mold growth, and odors lead to general unpleasantness.

But installing a weak, undersized fan is almost not worth the effort, even if the fan meets the minimum requirements. It's important to understand how vent fans are sized and how to choose one with the proper capacity for your space. Testing the fan after installation is needed to ensure it is actually providing the needed cfms. When sizing a vent fan, a factor to consider is duct size and length. Most 50 CFM fans will run well with a 4-inch round duct. But as you get up into the higher CFM fans, duct size will have to be increased to 5- or 6-inch round duct. The length of run, as well as the number of fittings, elbows, etc., will also affect the amount of air your duct can effectively carry.

Bathroom Size Minimum Ventilation (CFM) Required*
Less than 50 sq. feet 50 CFM
50-100 sq. feet 1 CFM per square foot of floor space
More than 100 sq. feet Add the CFM requirement for each fixture:
Toilet 50 CFM
Shower 50 CFM
Bathtub 50 CFM
Jetted tub 100 CFM

*Note that these rates represent a minimum requirement. Higher ventilation rates are also acceptable and will have a minimal energy impact.

Other ventilation considerations include:

  • An enclosed toilet should have its own exhaust fan.
  • Fans approved for installation in wet areas should be located over (or very near) the shower or tub when possible.
  • Bathroom doors should have at least ¾" clearance to the floor to allow for proper entry of makeup air.
  • Bathrooms with greater than an 8' ceiling may require additional ventilation.

Call us today at 425.608.9553bathroom ventilation

Understanding your Mold Air Quality Report


The following governmental and industry organizations were asked if mold testing is necessary, and this is what they had to say.

  • American Industrial Hygiene Association, AIHA There are no standards for “acceptable” levels of mold in the indoor environment.
  • US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Since no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Administration, OSHA  Your first step should be to inspect for any evidence of water damage and visible mold growth. 
  • U.S. Department of Labor There are no standards for acceptable levels of mold in buildings, and the lack of a definitive correlation between exposure levels and health effects makes interpreting the data difficult, if not impossible. 

Is air testing worthless? Some will say air testing is never needed nor recommended, but with years of testing for the State Board of Health, Government Agencies, and Large corporations the data speaks differently. Just last week a water-damaged water heater produced 23,000 spore count in the Laundry room. Without air testing our client would never know what spores are present nor where containment should end and if the completed job was successful at returning the home back to low levels.


We occasionally get calls from clients who have been told by their remediation company NOT to have a post-remediation verification inspection done. The mold remediation companies typically say it is a waste of money.  These unscrupulous companies don’t want anyone to review their work because in our experience even the best companies often miss things. THEY ALL DO! You can imagine what might be missed by companies who like to cut corners! In our experience, we found something that was missed in about 50% of all post-remediation verifications. This can range from small areas of missed growth or a slight elevation of airborne fungal levels to large issues like major moisture problems and mold-damaged materials remaining in place.

The key goal of a mold remediation project is to return the affected areas to a “pre-loss state” Category I. This can help avoid future issues from a problem you thought was already addressed.  One of the most compelling reasons to have PRV testing done is to provide a “clearance letter”. This is a document you can share with the future purchaser of your home when disclosing the past mold problem. Having an independent evaluation determines that the project was successful and can put everyone’s mind at ease. For all these reasons, we strongly recommend having a post-remediation verification (PRV) assessment done.

Radon in Washington Bellevue & Seattle,WA

Radon Testing

Radon testing is the only way to know whether your home has high levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer over time. Here's what you need to know about radon testing and reducing radon levels in your home. Bellevue | Seattle | Kirkland | Redmond | Issaquah | Renton | Kent | Federal Way | Tacoma

Why is radon a problem?

The problem occurs when radon gas enters your home and gets trapped. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that lung cancer caused by radon exposure kills about 21,000 Americans every year. (This may be how this woman got lung cancer at 31-years-old—without ever smoking a cigarette.)

High levels recently tested in Seattle, Kirkland, and Issaquah this year. Realtors are telling buyers Washington State does not have Radon, well guess what we indeed do and Testing is HIGHLY recommended by the EPA. Testing takes only 48hrs within a closed condition home.

Radon Is a Cancer‑Causing, Radioactive Gas You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high risk.

Call us for a Radon test at 425.608.9553

What every Homeowner needs to know about Furnace Filters

Air Filter Maintenance Guide

Keep Your Air Filter Working Like New with Advice from Our Experts

Forced-air heating is the most popular method in the United States for keeping a home warm. An essential component of forced-air heating is the air filter. Originally, the purpose of air filters was to keep large dust particles from damaging the heating and cooling equipment. Today, however, air filters have tighter weaves designed to trap much smaller contaminants. The result is cleaner indoor air, fewer allergy issues, and healthier occupants.

Change the Filter Regularly

For optimal system health, remember to change your filter regularly. If you have central air conditioning, keep in mind that the same blower motor and ductwork circulate air in the summer, meaning you need to remember to change the air filter all year round. Usually, that means checking the filter monthly and changing it every six months or when the seasons change. Pet owners may also see a need to change the filter more frequent.

When choosing a filter your best bet is to pick a mid-range filter no higher than MERV 8, which can trap particles as small as 3 microns—such as hair spray, pudding mix, dusting aids, and mold spores. Remember though, if your furnace came with a MERV 1 to 4 filter, the equipment may require some modifications to perform well with a higher efficiency filter. Only a licensed HVAC contractor should perform such modifications.

Filter Efficiency

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) established a standardized method for testing air filter efficiency back in 1987 called Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). All air conditioning and heater filters today are given a rating on the MERV scale, which ranges from 1 to 16. Technically, filters can also rate 17-20, but these are High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and are not designed for use in residential heater and air conditioning systems.

Filters are rated on their ability to trap smaller and smaller particles. Different types of filters have different MERV ratings:

  • Electrostatic filters: MERV 1-4
  • Throwaway filters: MERV 1-8
  • Cartridge filters: MERV 5-8
  • Pleated filters: MERV 5-8
  • Box filters: MERV 9-16
  • Bag filters: MERV 9-16

Air Testing

Your Home and Office, A Breath of fresh air?

Adults breathe in something like 35 gallons of air a day, taking some 20,000 breaths in a 24hr day, most of them in our home. While there are numerous agencies out there attempting to regulate the quality of outdoor air, and to some extent our air in the office, the health of the air in our home has been pretty much left up to the homeowner. Common sources of indoor air pollutants in the home such as dust and mold, but also VOCs-volatile organic compounds-in paints, household cleaners, as well as pesticides, lead dust or asbestos particles in older homes, and any number of other less obvious culprits -- like air fresheners, scented candles and, well, your clothing. Products stored in garages and basements often attribute to higher VOCs.

Seattle Indoor Air Issues Mold issues, Allergies and Asthma

  • About 400,000 Washington adults – one in ten women and one in fourteen men – currently have asthma
  • About 120,000 Washington youth are currently affected by asthma 
  • The percentage of our state population with asthma is steadily increasing - the prevalence of asthma has increased significantly for adults and households with children between 1999 and 2003 
  • Washington’s asthma prevalence has been identified by CDC as one of the highest in the nation – both adult and youth prevalence are significantly greater than national averages  
  • About 9% of adults have asthma, between 7-10% of middle/high school-aged children have asthma, and one in ten households with children of any age have a child with asthma. 

Wood Decay Fungi

Attic Mold Remediation - Use ANSI Standards as a Guide

While there is little regulation of the mold remediation industry in the U.S., keep in mind that there are standards that are based on solid science and are recommended, but they are not required. Many mold professionals say they use these standards, however, it’s important to know these procedural standards before hiring a mold remediation contractor. We find most Mold remediation / Water Restoration companies in Bellevue, WA area don't follow any standards and don't even have a scope of work in place.

Here’s more on that standard, including new changes that are worthwhile to know.

  • Wood Decay Fungi ( wood rot), are filamentous organisms that begin as microscopic spores that land on the surface of the wood and germinate to produce thin strand-like cells called hyphae. Hyphae grow through the wood and secrete enzymes that degrade and weaken the wood.

Decay requires: 

  1. adequate moisture
  2. ambient temperature (32º to 110º)
  3. oxygen
  4. a food source.

Wood moisture levels above 20-30% are considered conducive to wood fungal rot. Damaged wood typically will need to be replaced. Ultimately the source of moisture must be eliminated even if all of the fungal organisms cannot be eliminated.

Common types of wood decay in buildings:

  • Brown rot: This type of decay causes the wood to break down into brown cubes that split against the grain. Advanced stages of brown decay result in dry, powdery wood that is unable to support much weight and crumbles easily.
  • White rot: This type of decay appears whitish, stringy, and mushy, and tends to be more common in hardwoods.
  • Dry rot: A misnomer, this term has been used to describe decayed wood that has since dried and ceased decaying. Some people may erroneously assume that the wood is still in the process of decay. Moisture is required for wood decay to occur, so no literal “dry rot” exists.
  • Wet Rot: The two types of wet rot, brown and white can both be destructive to timber, they have a different effect on the wood depending upon the type. Generally, brown rots cause cuboidal cracking & shrinkage of the timber whilst white rots tend to reduce the timber to a stringy, fibrous texture. 

There are other things associated with wood decay such as mold. Although mold doesn't require moisture levels to be at the levels of decay it still can cause serious repair expenses and health issues. 

This is a concern for Attic moisture. Common issues with roof sheathing are wood rot due to poor building air sealing which contributes to condensation in colder months allowing the roof sheathing to reach dew point and cause mold.

What to ask the Mold Company:

  • Are the Treatment Chemicals EPA Approved?
  • What is expected for the Clearance Test?
  • Was toxic mold present?

What's the 2nd Leading Cause of Lung Cancer in the US?

Smoking rightfully takes the spotlight as the most menacing cause of lung cancer—160,000 Americans die because of it every year. But there's another under-publicized threat that also tragically contributes to the lung cancer death toll. So what's the culprit?

It's radon—a naturally occurring colorless, odorless gas, and it's responsible for 20,000 deaths every year, according to the EPA. It's harder to hate radon: there are no big tobacco companies behind it and no addictive product that creates it. In fact, radon can be found in some hot springs and spring water naturally. And the worst part is that the only way to tell if radon's a problem in your home is to specifically have it tested with a home test kit or by hiring a specialist.

Doing radon tests can reveal whether your home has abnormally high levels, which is important because your house is the primary place where the gas collects. But don't worry? there are proven methods of reducing radon levels in your home. Just check in with the EPA, which has a reliable list of radon resources, and contacts to agencies that can test or fix your home.

Check out the Radon Map for areas with recent testing data.

What is the concern for Stachybotrys and Mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by fungi or mold. They can be toxic for humans when they are eaten, absorbed into the skin, or inhaled. A small amount of mycotoxin can be damaging to human or animal health and even cause death. Poisoning by mycotoxins is called mycotoxicosis. 

Stachybotrys Chartarum (Aka: The Toxic Indoor Black Mold):  A genus of molds which derives from the Greek words “stachy” & “botrys”. “Stachy” (progeny/descendants), “Botrys” (cluster or bunch of grapes). Most famous species of this mold include: S. Chartarum and Chlorochalonata which are also known as “black mold” or “toxic black mold”. These are linked with poor indoor air quality that arises after fungal growth on water-damaged building materials (plywood, wallpaper, drywall & carpet). Stachybotrys has also been associated with “Sick Building Syndrome”. 

Where S. Chartarum Occurs Indoors

The spores of S. chartarum are in the soil and are introduced along with flood waters or the dust and dirt entering with the water incursion. Also, building materials at the time of construction can have a coating of dust or dirt that
contains S. chartarum. The fungus is most commonly found in homes or buildings which have sustained flooding or water damage from broken pipes, roof, wall or floor leaks, condensation, etc. Wet conditions are required to initiate and maintain growth. It is most common on the paper covering of gypsum wall board, but can be found on wallpaper, cellulose based ceiling tiles, paper products, carpets with natural fibers, paper covering on insulated pipes, in insulation material, on wood and wood paneling, and on general organic debris. The paper covering on fiberglass insulation is another area for growth. The fungus can be hidden in the ceiling, walls or floors with no or little visible evidence within the interior of the room. The spores, however, can contaminate the interior of the room through holes and cracks in the building materials (aided by negative pressure) or be transported via the air handling system. It can also be found growing in ducts if there is organic debris. Condensation due to poor design or faulty heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems can promote growth of the fungus. The fungus will usually produce large amounts of conidiophores and conidia giving the substrate a black appearance that can be slightly shiny when fresh and powdery when dry. I have observed the fungus growing profusely on the paper covering of gypsum wall board within a week after flood water was drained from a building. 
Health Effects: Mild-Nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing & skin irritation. Severe-Fever, shortness of breath, fungal ling infections. Extreme-Can and do occur to those with immune-mediated conditions.
Please contact your local public health department, the CDC, or the EPA for advice on these related issues.

How Do Mycotoxins Spread?

Typically, mycotoxins indoors are created by the following conditions:

  • Environmental factors 

While different strains of mycotoxins produce varying symptoms in people, many of the main symptoms are the Four D's

  • Difficulty with digestion
  • Difficulty digesting proteins
  • Damage immune system 
  • Damage to the lungs 

It has been found that these symptoms are often worsened by:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Malnutrition and poor diet
  • Underlying conditions or diseases





Aspergillus fumigatus

Gliotoxin, Aflatoxin

A. fumigatus is frequently found in homes and buildings. It is considered to be an opportunistic pathogen, meaning it rarely infects healthy individuals, but is the leading cause of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised individuals such as cancer, HIV or transplant patients .

Aspergillus flavus

Gliotoxin, Aflatoxin

A. flavus is the second leading cause of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised patients. Particularly common clinical syndromes associated with A. flavus include: chronic granulomatous sinusitis, keratitis, cutaneous aspergillosis, wound infections and osteomyelitis following trauma and inoculation. Can cause liver cancer in humans.

Aspergillus terreus

Gliotoxin, Citirin

Inhalation of fungal spores, which travel down along the respiratory tract, cause the typical respiratory infection.

Aspergillus versicolor


A. versicolor is one of the most frequently found molds in water-damaged buildings. A. versicolor is known to produce a mycotoxin called sterigmatocystin a potentially carcinogenic and hepatotoxic mycotoxin. It is primarily toxic to the liver and kidneys.

Aspergillus ochraceus


Ochratoxin has been demonstrated to be Nephrotoxic, Hepatotoxic, and Carcinogenic and is a potent teratogen and immune-suppressant. It has also been associated with urinary tract infections and bladder cancer.

Aspergillus niger

Ochratoxin, Gliotoxin

A. niger produces gliotoxin, which has been identified in the sera of humans and mice with aspergillosis. Causes immunosuppression in patients.

S tachybotrys chartarum

Macrocyclic Trichothecenes

S . chartarum, commonly known as black mold, is highly toxic to humans. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, burning erythema, ataxia, chills, fever, hypotension, hair loss and confusion are symptoms in individuals living or working inside S tachybotrys infested homes and buildings.

Chaetomium globosum


C. globosum is a common indoor fungal contaminant of water damaged homes or buildings. Like S tachybotrys, C. globosum spores are relatively large and due to their mode of release are not as easily airborne as are some other molds.

Fusarium species

Fumonisins; Zearalenone

Fusarium can cause superficial infections such as keratitis or onychomycosis in healthy individuals and disseminated infections in immunocompromised patients.

Candida auris


C. auris can be found in healthcare facilities and can be spread through contact with infected patients and equipment''s. C.auris can cause blood stream infections, wound infections and ear infections.

Penicillium brevicompactum

Ochratoxin A

Producer of the toxin Ochratoxin A. Fungal particles depend on the relative humidity. Can lead to chronic Rhinosinusitis if breathed in high concentrations.

Penicillium chysogenum

Ochratoxin A

Producer of the toxin Ochratoxin A. Fungal particles depend on the relative humidity. Can lead to chronic Rhinosinusitis if breathed in high concentrations. High levels are correlated with the development of sick building syndrome.




Washington State and Mold Laws

Under Washington State Law the landlord must maintain the building 

"Landlords must Maintain the structural components including, but not limited to, the roofs, floors, walls, chimneys, fireplaces, foundations, and all other structural components, in reasonably good repair so as to be usable;"

in the notes, the State says," "The legislature finds that residents of the state face preventable exposures to mold in their homes, apartments, and schools. Exposure to mold, and the toxins they produce have been found to have adverse health effects, including loss of memory and impairment of the ability to think coherently and function in a job, and may cause fatigue, nausea, and headaches."

According to the Tenants Union of Washington State

"Other than a requirement to provide written information (RCW 59.18.060), there are no state laws governing landlords’ responsibilities regarding mold removal. State law does give residential tenants the right to vacate their units and move if the landlord is not making necessary repairs. It will depend on whether the landlord attempts to fix the problem causing the mold to grow. The mold itself may not be cause enough to break the lease, but if the landlord fails to fix the leaky pipe causing the moisture that created the mold growth, then the tenant can follow the repair process to eventually break the lease. Thorough documentation is vital if you’d like to use this legal remedy, and there are some risks associated with this course of action."


Finding—2005 c 465: "The legislature finds that residents of the state face preventable exposures to mold in their homes, apartments, and schools. Exposure to mold and the toxins they produce have been found to have adverse health effects, including loss of memory and impairment of the ability to think coherently and function in a job, and may cause fatigue, nausea, and headaches.
As steps can be taken by landlords and tenants to minimize exposure to indoor mold, and as the reduction of exposure to mold in buildings could reduce the rising number of mold-related claims submitted to insurance companies and increase the availability of coverage, the legislature supports providing tenants and landlords with information designed to minimize the public's exposure to mold."




Pacific Northwest Inspections Group can perform a through building condition survey that will help the tenant understand the extend of the condition which they are exposed to. Our mold experts will map out, sample and report all areas of the tenant's space.

Call us to schedule a Property Conditions Survey 425.608.9553


Tacoma Smelter Plume Soil Sampling in Seattle


King County offers FREE soil testing

Soil testing involves digging small holes in your yard’s soil, removing small amounts of soil, and refilling the holes. It usually takes a few hours. The soil samples will then be sent to a lab for analyzing.

Before we can test the soil, the property owner must sign the Property Access Agreement and Survey form that gives us permission to access the yard and do the work.

If you are a renter and would like free home soil testing of the yard, you must contact your property owner. The property owner must sign the form to give us permission to access the yard and do the work. The form must be returned to us before any testing can be done.

The results will be mailed in approximately two weeks to property owners. For results that are below the yard cleanup levels, we will mail or email sample results and include tips on reducing your contact to lead and arsenic. Learn more about what you can do to protect your family with simple healthy actions.

We will contact you directly if the test results show you have higher levels of arsenic and lead in your soil to provide you with more information.

Learn how to test your own soil at home

Tacoma Smelter contamination is unpredictable from property to property. There is tremendous variation from one property to another, and even across parts of the same property. The only way to know for sure if your property is contaminated is to test the soil.

Whether or not you live outside of the TSP soil safety program service area, you can choose to do your own soil testing.

Attic Mold What every Homeowner needs to know.

Attic ventilation is a critical component to maintaining even temperatures in your attic all year long. In the summer it saves on the life of your shingles by keeping the boards cooler and decreases your cooling costs in the winter weather by diminishing the temperature difference which in turn prevents moisture build up in the form of condensation. Did you know that having a proper amount of attic ventilation is even required to enforce the warranty of most shingle manufacturers?? When it comes to mold the most import ventilation concerns occur in the winter. In the winter during the coldest months as we run our furnaces, hot air escapes into the cold unheated attic space. When the escaping hot air emerges into the cold attic it rises as heat always does. It seeks out the highest portions of the attic where it then coalesces against the cold boards of the roof. This hot- air-mass-meets-cold-surface phenomena results in a condition known as dew point, which creates moisture in the form of water droplets and ice crystals. The nails themselves also will contribute to this moisture problem as iron is a good conductor of temperature and will readily convey the biting chill of cold winter air directly inside the attic. The evidence of this, can be seen in the form of drips and of drip spots underneath the nails themselves.

Bathroom fans vented directly into the attic or Soffit areas rather than straight through the roof are also to blame for exacerbated moisture problems which lead to mold, wood- rot and health problems. The more adults showering in the house and the longer the showers the more moisture will enter an attic. In fact in some families the bathroom fans alone are the sole culprit responsible for major mold infestations! Use your fans for 20min or longer after use!

If you want to eliminate attic mold permanently you NEED to get EQUAL amounts of Intake Air and Exhaust or Out-take Air into your Attic!

Building scientists have proven that using a balanced ventilation system that utilizes equal amounts incoming and out going air. Incoming air comes in from under the eves through vents cut in the underside of the roof overhangs which are called soffets. Proper soffet ventilation is essential to large amounts of incoming air needed for intake. Many attics were originally vented properly but have become packed with insulation along the way by an over-zealous insulation contractor or homeowner, in an attempt to actually stop air from coming in, sadly a common mistake. This mistake was very common in the 80's and 90's. There are two basic types of Soffit vents: either a contiguous vent or a individual vents which come in round and square varieties. I generally prefer to use 6 inch by 12 inch square vents because of the ease of installation and the low material cost. They work surprisingly well and offer a lot of surface area. They can be purchased easily in brown white and silver to match virtually any siding.

Out-take air, exhaust air ventilation can take 4 basic forms: Gable end vents, ridge vents, box/hat vents or power vents. Of the four the ridge vent is to be preferred, due to its location at the highest point of the attic, namely the ridge. Because heat always rises it is passively efficient at exhausting large amounts of heated air without the use of electricity. Be sure to select a ridge vent without a complicated filter which can become clogged; I prefer the simple metal designs for their simplistic efficient design and operation. Box vents while older and more dated can be efficient if there is a sufficient number of them located across the surface. If your attic already has square, can, or box type vents but not enough of them, it can be a less expensive solution to an inadequate exhaust air problem. The reason is simple they are cheap and easy to install and like the square intake vents can be easily purchased in several colors to match any shingle. If you have a hip roof there may be insufficient ridge length to allow for sufficient out-take; box vents can be an ideal solution for this problem. Powered vents work well, but are dependent upon electricity for operation. This both costs money and is subject to wear and tear of moving parts. Additionally in the event of power outages can leave the attic over heated, for these reasons the author does not recommend them.

Beware of mixing two different kinds of ventilation!!!

By far one of the most common, and the most troubling ventilation mistakes is the mixed use of two completely different ventilation systems. For example mixing a ridge vent with a box vent or a previously installed power vent or gable end vents. What goes wrong is this: air always follows the path of least resistance and looks for the nearest opening , often the ridge will draft air from the box vents and short circuit the entire exhaust air systems, eliminating any chance of correcting the water/moisture issues. It can also bring unwanted weather snow debris etc into the attic because box vents and gable end vents were not meant to be intake vents, which can cause tremendous damage! So remember don't mix two ventilation systems pick one and stick with it ensuring there is enough of whatever vent system you choose. Most builder today do not follow this GOLDEN rule!

Is correcting my ventilation a cure for a mold problem in my attic?

NO!! it is not a cure for mold but just for ventilation problems which create moisture issues. No matter who installs your ventilation system in the winter if you are running supplemental heat in your home your attic will be subject to some moisture from time to time during the coldest days. For this reason and several others it is a must to actually treat the mold with a system designed to remove it completely without leaving behind mold or poisonous heavy metals paints and chemicals that can make your family sick. Even dead mold can still affect your health and make your family sick. It is also a good idea to hire a mold contractor with a ventilation expert on staff, because hiring a roofing contractor and a mold contractor is always more expensive

Removing the moisture

Hot air rises. Without air sealing your attic you are allowing warm air to escape from your home carrying with it your hard earned winter heating money.  Most people just add insulation to their attic - this will not stop the escaping warm air. The EPA estimates that the typical American home has enough leaks, holes and gaps to be equal to an open window every day of the year. That is significant. We need to seal the air in our conditioned living space from the unconditioned attic space. Every attic needs proper ventilation. We are not stopping the proper air exchange in the attic - we are only stopping the exchange between the house and the attic.


Before You Begin The Repairs

You get one chance to take indoor air and attic lift samples this needs done before the job starts for correcting issue having a  baseline of air quality lets you understand what is expected on completion if after work your family begins have allergy symptoms there not data show cause may be without control sample test a income blower door duct needs performed. This test will show the tightness of the building envelope and also give the data need to show the work performed was justified.

Did you know most contractors use toxic chemicals to kill mold which may contains carcinogens which are cancer causing agents?

It is best to deal with the mold on the sheathing when the roof needs replaced next. Replacing the sheathing is our only recommended option. Meanwhile until the roof does need replacement, correct all other issues. Attic mold does not pose any indoor conditioned space IAQ issues so it is causing no harm waiting. 


 Contact us for any questions - or 425.608.9553