The last home I inspected yesterday was an eye opening experience, to say the least. 6200 square feet of refinished hardwood flooring that was assumed to be offgassing enough formaldehyde to cause severe health issues with the homeowner. She had professional IAQ testing that showed formaldehyde levels at the critical level (83ppb average throughout the home). I ended up testing 25 individual surfaces of the home and determined that the wood flooring was completely harmless. $45,000 worth of flooring removal and replacement saved. Turns out the dozen or so area rugs throughout the home were releasing formaldehyde at levels of 100-350 ppb. Saved them tens of thousands of dollars as well as months of agony and mess.
This story is becoming all too common. Luckily, this is a household that had the means to root out the problem whatever the cost could have been. Imagine what the average consumer would be going through. Then imagine what the potential would be if we could make this test readily available by trained IAQ professionals all over North America.
Let me introduce you to the NTE-3100 Flux Monitor that uses the Formaldehyde Release Attenuation Test sensors. This system pinpoints the exact surfaces of space that releases formaldehyde and is accurate down to 1 ppb. This test is done in the home without disrupting the surfaces and the results are available in 30 minutes for immediate view and action. In my example above, by the time I got home, the rugs were removed and that family was already feeling the effects of a vastly improved indoor environment.
I’ve been using this system for about 4 years as an internal method to determine the effectiveness of our specialty coatings to seal chemical offgassing. It has been invaluable to show how the AFM Safecoat sealers can block formaldehyde 100% in many cases. However, the potential this has as an in-field tool in the hands of trained professionals is where our current focus is. We believe that this system can and will shift our industry away from doing air sampling and guessing of the source, to pinpointing the exact location and SOLVING THE PROBLEM.
In the next couple weeks we’re looking to make this technology available for the average home owner.
Keep your eyes peeled, because Green Design Center has some amazing news for homeowners who want to test themselves!