Cinnaminson, NJ, November 23rd, 2015
Across North America, tens of millions of homes have attached garages. Attached garages provide a major convenience that allows property owners and tenants to keep their vehicles safe and out of the rain, snow and hot summer temperatures. Garages also act as a storage and work area for many people. Some properties even house components of the home’s mechanical system in the garage.
Even though attached garages do provide many benefits, they can also be a source of indoor air quality issues within the rest of the home. In some circumstances, an attached garage could even cause safety concerns.
A major reason for this is any gases, vapors, fumes and particulates that are airborne in the garage can in many circumstances enter the home. One of the major concerns is carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death. It is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned so a vehicle running in the garage or a clothes dryer, hot water heater or furnace in the garage that is powered by natural gas or propane and is not properly vented could create unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide.
If the garage is positively pressured as compared to the house, the garage air will try to make its way into the attached home. This can occur through an improperly sealed door leading into the home, through the HVAC system if it is located in the garage or if there are vents or leaking duct work in the area. It can also occur if there are unsealed, cracked or damaged garage walls and ceilings. Even opening the door to the garage can allow pollutants to enter.
“Another issue is the storage and use of various fuels, paints, cleaning compounds, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “These materials can off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals into the air that could make their way into the home while they are being used or if they not properly stored. A garage that suffers from leaks or elevated humidity levels can even be the source of mold growth.”
To identify these and other pollutants, EMSL offers air testing services, easy-to-use test kits, and real-time air monitoring equipment. These testing services and products can identify particulates, gases, chemicals and microbial pollutants. EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about attached garages and indoor air quality (IAQ) that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/axzby86uf54.
To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. To view EMSL’s complete range of test kits, please visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.