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PBI Services: Building Inspections - Thermal Imaging - Indoor Environmental Consulting

Indoor Environmental Consulting

 - Contact PBI for more information: Phone 516-295-2581 or 631-474-1534 or 212-789-9066

Odors of Unknown Origin

Professional Building Inspectors provides odors of unknown origin testing in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester, New York City, the Bronx, and parts of Connecticut. We are open 7 days a week.

We often receive phone calls from clients asking for help with an unknown smell coming from part of their home or workplace. This can be a particularly frustrating problem because the cause is not obvious, the smell may be intermittent and the client has usually tried many ways to find the source, but remained unsuccessful. At Professional Building Inspectors, we follow a logical step by step approach to determine the cause of indoor air quality problems, including elusive odors.

Phase 1

Phase 1 consists of a site visit to thoroughly inspect the inside and outside of the building including the surrounding property. This inspection will include a look at the H.V.A.C. (air conditioning system). Following the walk through of the building our staff has at its disposal various equipment to further assess the conditions onsite. Although each project is unique, we often measure indoor air quality parameters such as:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Ozone
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Total volatile organic compounds
  • Air borne particulate
  • Bacteria
  • Mold

In our experience phase 1 is successful in either identifying the source of the odor or ruling out common contaminants approximately 85% of the time. We therefore can save our client time and money and avoid unnecessary testing. If phase 1 fails to identify a source of the odor, Phase 2 testing will be performed.

Phase 2

Phase 2 involves more comprehensive testing of the building and a search of government databases for known environmental records.

Often times we begin Phase 2 with the use of a suma canister for a "low level" EPA T.O.-15 test. This 6 hour test is extremely sensitive and is capable of identifying over 160,000 known chemical compounds by their chemical footprint.

Additionally we may utilize thermal imaging for any signs of water intrusion or other building defect with our FLIR B20 HS infra red camera.

Our environmentalists are certified by the American Council for Accredited Certification (ACAC) and, where regulations apply, they are licensed by the EPA. They hold the highest level of certification offered by the ACAC, that of Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant, C.I.E.C.

All laboratory samples will be sent under chain of custody to our EMLAP and ELAP certified facility for analysis. Upon completion of all inspections we will provide you with a written report of our findings including pictures, lab results and graphics as necessary.

Please contact us at our Nassau (516) 295-2581 or Suffolk (631) 474-1534 offices if you have questions regarding odors of unknown origin or would like to schedule an appointment.