Radon Air Testing:     <top>
 
Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon may be released into your home through the air and/or water, and according to the Surgeon General, radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer.
 
To learn more about radon:  EPA Buyer & Seller Guide Link
 
We offer two different types of short term radon testing. Both must stay in the home for a minimum of 48 hours and both methods are EPA approved.  
 
  • Electret Ion Detector or E-Perm. This test uses two testing devices provided by a local lab that are placed side by side, and after the testing period are sent to the local lab for analysis.  
    • In ME, a registered radon tester must both set and retrieve the test.  
    • In NH & MA, the client has the option of retrieving the test and saving $50.00.
 
  • Continuous Monitor. This is a machine that takes hourly radon air readings and does not have to go to a lab. We are able to print out the results at the time we retrieve the device.   If scheduling permits, the continuous radon monitor may be placed in the home two days prior to a home inspection, allowing us to have results at the inspection.  
 
We follow the EPA standards & protocols for radon air testing:
  • ALL exterior windows and doors on ALL floors must be kept closed from 12 hours prior to testing, and through the 48 hour minimum length of test. (normal entry/exit allowed)
  • TWO short term tests kits placed side-by-side, or one continuous monitor, must be placed in the lowest living level suitable for occupancy, but never in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or hallway.
  • In Maine, the basement does not have to be finished, heated, or have a concrete floor to be considered "livable", but in general, basements with ceilings less than 6 feet are excluded, although exceptions may apply.
  • The test kits or continuous monitor should be placed at least 20 inches off the floor and away from any exterior doors or windows.
  • Avoid testing during high winds.
  • A/C's may be used, but on re-circulation mode only.
  • Avoid using fireplaces or wood burning stoves unless it is your only heat source.
  • Avoid using clothes dryers, kitchen or bathroom fans, or other appliances that move air from inside the home to the outside.
 
To learn more about radon, call your state's radon office:
 
 
Radon Water Testing:          <top>
 
Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon may be released into your home through the air and/or water, and according to the Surgeon General, radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer.
 
The EPA has not yet set a national action level for radon in water, however it has proposed a new national standard of 300 pCi/L for states that do not have a radon program, and 4,000 pCi/L for states that have a radon program (like NH & ME). 
 
Until this EPA national standard is passed, the EPA recommends that you follow your state guidelines.
  • NH       2,000 pCi/L - this is a “get yourself educated” level (recommended by former NH radon dept.- closed on 6/20/2011)
  • ME:     4,000 pCi/L - this is an action level (reduced from 20,000 pCi/L on 1/1/07)
  • MA:    10,000 pCi/L- this is an action level
 
We follow the EPA protocols for Radon Water Testing:
  • Run water long enough to insure that the water sample is coming from the water source (not from the water in pipes & tanks).  This may take 3-5 minutes, or until water turns ice cold.
  • Two glass vials should be used, and the tester must be careful to remove any air bubbles from the sample.  This can be achieved by filling a bucket with water and holding the vials under until all bubbles dissipate.
 
To learn more about radon in water, call your state's radon office:
Results available in 3-5 business days.
 
 
Water Quality Testing:          <top>
 
Well water originates as rain and snow that then filters into the ground.  As it soaks through the soil, the water can dissolve materials that are present on or in the ground, and as a result, the water may become contaminated.
 
Some contaminants are naturally occurring from features found in the rocks and soils of New England, such as bacteria, radon, arsenic, uranium, and other minerals.
 
There are no state requirements for testing the water quality in PRIVATE wells in NH, ME, or MA, but the NH Department of Environmental Services has prepared a list of suggested contaminants to test for in a standard water test.  NH DES link
 
These contaminants are all included in our water quality test and are listed below along with the EPA's recommended maximum concentration:
  • Arsenic (0.010 mg/L)                    
  • Bacteria (should be absent)
  • Chloride (250 mg/L)
  • Copper (1.300 mg/L)
  • Fluoride (4.0 mg/L)
  • Hardness (no limit)
  • Iron (0.300 mg/L)
  • Lead (0.015 mg/L)
  • Manganese (0.050 mg/L)
  • Nitrate-N (1.0 mg/L)
  • Nitrite-N (10.0 mg/L)
  • pH (6.5 - 8.5 accepted range)
  • Sodium (250 mg/L)
 
 
Well Water Flow Test:          <top>
 
OmniSpect can perform a well water flow test on any private well.  This test will tell you how many gallons of water per minute the house is getting from the well (1-3 is unacceptable, 3-5 is low/poor and over 5 is good).  This service is usually ordered with the water quality test above. 
 
There are two techniques we use to measure the water flow to the home.  One is the traditional way of taking the measurement at the well tank with a bucket and stop watch, and another is to use a special measuring device that instantly reads the water flow at the outside hose faucet.  
 
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a well capacity test.
 
Results are available on-site.
 
 
Mold Sampling:          <top>
 
OmniSpect offers several different options for mold sampling depending on your circumstances and what information you are looking for.  All samples are collected by OmniSpect trained testers and then over-nighted to a certified lab for analysis.
 
Results are normally available in 2-3 business days, but can be available the next business day for an additional fee.
 
For more information on Mold. EPA link 
 
 
Types of Mold Sampling offered by OmniSpect:
 
Mold Air Sampling
(Used if you suspect mold, but you can't see it.)
 
Air samples give you a current snapshot of mold spores in the air.  Air sampling identifies type(s) and quantity of mold spores found.  Air samples are taken by pulling a known amount of air through a collective device with an air pump. 
 
In order to determine if a house or room has a mold problem, a minimum of 2-3 air samples must be taken.
  - 1 interior air sample in the 'suspect' room (required),
  - 1 exterior / baseline air sample (required)
  - 1 interior air sample in a 'non-suspect' room (optional)
 
Since there are no set State or EPA mold spore limits, it is necessary to compare an indoor sample to an outdoor sample.  If the inside levels are higher than the outside levels, the house has a mold problem. 
 
NOTE:  In the winter, when exterior mold is dormant, the baseline sample is taken in a garage or other room that is not suspect for mold.
 
Mold Tape-Lift and Swab Sampling
(Used to identify visible mold.)
 
Tape-Lift and Swab samples are taken on VISIBLE suspect mold surfaces to confirm and identify mold.  They both identify type(s) of mold, but not spore count. These samples are routinely taken to determine if visible mold is common or toxic which may help the client to determine if they clean up the mold themselves, or hire a mold professional for removal.
 
Tape-Lift sampling is used on dry surfaces and Swab sampling is used on moist surfaces.
 
Mold Carpet Sampling:
 
Carpet Sampling reveals mold history.  Like air sampling, carpet sampling identifies type(s) and quantity of mold spores found, but can also identify past mold spores.
 
 
Water VOC Testing (including MtBE):          <top>
 
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) come from man-made sources such as gasoline compounds and industrial solvents and can contaminate drinking water.
 
Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MtBE) is added to gasoline to increase the octane rating and reduce air pollution.  Unfortunately, MtBE can get into water supplies and contaminate your drinking water.
 
For more information on MtBE in water:  EPA link
 
Our VOC water testing tests over 50 compounds, including MtBE.
 
Lab results available in 7-10 business days.
 
 
 
 
Asbestos Sampling:          <top>
 
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant.  Elevated levels can occur in homes where asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed.
 
For more information on Asbestos:  EPA link
 
 
Types of Asbestos Sampling offered by OmniSpect:
 
Bulk Samples
 
A physical sample is taken and sent to a lab for analysis.  
 
Lab results in 5-7 business days.
 
Air Samples
 
An air sample is collected with a device that must stay in the home for 24 hours.  The air cartridge is then sent to the lab for analysis. 
 
Lab results in 4-5 business days.



















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