Home environment tests
You want to create the best possible home environment for you and your family – one that is comfortable, enjoyable and above all, safe. Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as it may once have seemed. In recent years, a number of concerns regarding the safety of home environments have come to light. Everything from water to soil to indoor air quality has been questioned, and pollutants such as mold and lead are more common than we'd like to think.
There is a way for you to protect yourself and those you love. Home testing has become a popular procedure, and a variety of products and services are now available to the concerned homeowner.
Environmental Testing Services
A simple Internet search or glance in the Yellow Pages will reveal numerous companies dedicated to testing the safety of your home environment. Some such companies offer a range of testing services, while others specialize in a specific type of testing (indoor air quality testing, mold testing, etc.). Prices will vary depending on the type and size of the problem, but in general, professional home testing is fairly expensive. On the other hand, it's hard to put a price on your family's safety.
Home Testing Products
For those who prefer the do-it-yourself approach, many home improvement stores carry a line of home testing kits. These may be cheaper than hiring a professional testing company, but many require that you mail samples to a professional facility, which can increase cost and decrease convenience. Browse the options carefully, and make sure that you choose a test that's accurate, affordable and easy to use.
Soil testing kits are a must for every backyard gardener who intends to eat what he or she grows. Not only will testing the soil content and pH level help ensure that what you grow is safe for consumption, but it will also help you figure out what will grow best and what methods will work best in that environment.
With concerns about drinking water pollution growing, water testing kits are becoming increasingly popular for all homeowners, not just those with wells. Kits vary from test strips to vial-and-droplet models (similar to pool testing kits) to send-away varieties, and test for everything from pH level to hardness to heavy metal content and other contamination.
Radon is a particular concern these days. Often, radon testing kits must be purchased separately. Most experts recommend testing twice for the most accurate results. An average measurement of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or greater should be addressed by a professional.
Lead is poisonous to humans and animals. Its consumption can cause brain damage, physical problems, behavioral issues and even death. Unfortunately, these findings came after the period in which lead was a common household material found in everything from pipes to paint.
If you have an older home, and particularly if you have pets or young children, testing for lead is essential. The longer an individual is exposed, the greater the risk of harm.
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