Lic # 719286
By: Stephen Huff
Sick Building Syndrome

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Used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building, but no specific illness or cause has been identified.


Indicators of Sick Building Syndrome

Building occupants complain of symptoms associated with acute discomfort, e.g., headache; eye, nose, or throat irritation; dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors. The cause of the symptoms is not known. Most of the people who complained, reported relief soon after leaving the building.


Solving the Problem (Locating the Source)

While investigating remember, that mold generally needs a moisture source and a food source to survive. Poorly configured landscape irrigation or inadequate drainage outside the building can result in moisture inside the building. This can lead to subsequent mold growth.

  • Carpets can get moldy - check them out.
  • Plastic "carpet savers" can lock in moisture, where other areas have a chance to dry out.
  • Plants and moss in plants can be a good location for mold to grow.
  • Check anywhere there's been a pipe burst or water leak - even long after it's been repaired
  • The air conditioning. systems may be contaminated with mold. This can be a result of various conditions, such as overflowing drain pans, condensation blowing off the coild onto internal insulation or water incursion into the ducts (leaking rooftop ducts) to name a few.
  • The filters in the HVAC system do't fit correctly, leaving gaps and allowing contaminants into the system.
  • The outside air intake for the HVAC system s located near a bathroom exhaust or other undesirable locations. Not enough outside (fresh) air. Fresh air is needed to dilute the contaminants typically found within a building.
  • HVAC system not balance, e.g. too much or not enough air being delivered to a specific location.
  • HVAC system has been contaminated. This can be a result of outside sources or conditions within the system

If you have any further questions call our indoor air quality expert

Stephen Huff at 1 800 358-3828