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Indoor Odors

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IAQ Nuisance Odor Investigation

Leading provider of IAQ nuisance odor investigations in Florida and the Orlando area.

If you've ever had a nuisance odor issue within your home or office you can appreciate the difficultly in identifying the odors, the sources and possibly even responding to questions from your family or employees.


IAQ Nuisance Odor Investigation

Strange and/or nuisance odors can appear in everything from single family homes and multi-family structures to office buildings and industrial complexes. Quite often when the source of these mysterious nuisance odors can’t be identified the services of an indoor air quality (IAQ) professional is required. 

The Nuisance Odor Investigator’s job is to determine

Often nuisance odors are intermittent; they come and go. Sometimes the intermittent timing of the odor can be associated with building related patterns such as the running of mechanical equipment, cleaning, or deliveries.  Often the odors are associated with outdoor events such as wind and rain.

Changing pressure relationships both inside and outside of a building can cause air to flow from unoccupied regions, where nuisance odors are expected, into occupied spaces where they are not supposed to be. These unoccupied regions can be such areas as attics, crawlspaces, interstitial wall spaces and other cavities.  

The easiest and most effective way we know of solving intermittent odor problems is to investigate the problem when the odor is present in areas where it is in not expected or wanted. 

Once the odor has been positively identified and is present, locating the source consists of generally just following it back to the source.


IAQ Solutions Provides Residential & Commercial Nuisance Odor Investigations

Site Odor Investigations - Odor profiling of homes and commercial facilities to define odor types and intensities, define risks of environmental and occupant impact, identify possible sources, and generate options for resolutionIndoor


Air Odor Investigation and Monitoring – Odor profiling of indoor air quality to define odors, assess impact on overall health and comfort, identify possible sources, and generate options for resolution

Investigating Odor Issues: Effective Techniques for Identifying and Resolving Unpleasant Smells

The most difficult assignment for an investigator is to determine the source of an odor that is not there at the time of the investigation and where no positive identification has been made. 

To help identify the cause and origin of a nuisance odor it is helpful to know;
  1.  the accurate description of the odor 
  2.  the conditions during the times the odor is present 
  3.  the specific time and date the odors occurs.

This is best accomplished by using an odor log. Keeping a log of when the odor is present in particular locations and the duration can enable an investigator to trace to the source by determining where it first occurs and to what locations it travels.

The presence of an odor in a home or office is a clear indication that there is a problem that must be resolved. It's important to note that while some odor causing compounds can be simply categorized as being a nuisance others are potential health hazards.

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I Think "It" Smells Like.............

Moldy, Musty, Mildew, Vomit, Cat, Urine, Something Dead, Sewage Fishy, Gym Locker, Earthy, Garbage, Wet Dog, Dirty Socks, Rotten Egg, Sour Milk, Chemical Odor

Spray Foam Insulation


These are all common descriptions of unpleasant and nuisance odors that most people find disturbing or distracting.

People affected seldom care about the source or cause of the odor; they just want it to go away.

Not many companies actually specialize in investigating odor problems. There are no “magic sniffers” that can either determine the constituents, the source or the cause of an odor.

It appears to be the case that the best tool still in tracking down an odor is the trained and sensitive nose.  Add to this tool a thorough knowledge of building science,  a wide variety of odor causes plus factors and driving forces affecting air pathways.

With this specialized knowledge and the common tool (nose) along with chemical smoke tubes, the causes and sources of odor problems can be located and guidance can be provided on steps to take to eliminate them.

The purpose of the chemical smoke is to determine pressure relationships when the odor is present for the purpose of tracking it back to its source.


Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Insulation Odor Investigations

Spray foam insulation is an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass. A two-component mixture composed of isocyanate and polyol resin comes together at the tip of a gun, and forms an expanding foam that is sprayed onto roof tiles, concrete slabs, into wall cavities, or through holes drilled in into a cavity of a finished wall

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an effective insulation and air sealant material; however, exposures to its key ingredient, isocyanates such as "MDI," and other SPF chemicals that may be found in vapors, aerosols, dust or on surfaces during and for a period of time after installation may cause adverse health effects such as asthma. Therefore, steps to control exposures and safety tips should be followed.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Inspection

In the event you have concerns about odors that you believe may be related to the SPF insulation, you could contact your contractor and you may want to discuss the following: potential source(s) of the odor, that proper SPF installation procedures were followed, and a clean-up was completed.

If you have concerns with your installed Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Inspection follow this link to the SPF inspection page for additional information

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