Kemp Home Inspections is a local allergen testing company based out of Germantown, Maryland. If you are concerned about allergen sources in the home you are buying, consider getting allergen testing.
Allergen exposure in the home is a major risk factor for the development of illnesses such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Allergens can trigger an asthma attack in people with asthma. The presence of allergens in a home is determined by measuring major allergens in dust samples. The most common allergens tested include cockroach allergens, dust mites, and animal allergens.
Cockroach allergens are proteins found in the insect’s feces, saliva, eggs and shed cuticles. The proteins can trigger allergic reactions when they are inhaled. If found, cockroach allergens can be reduced by extermination, followed by thorough cleaning. Adjacent dwellings should also be included in the extermination program. In order to reduce the likelihood of further infestations, leaky pipes and faucets, wall penetrations and other entry points should be sealed. Other measures also can help such as reducing the availability of food sources that attract cockroaches, cleaning up immediately after cooking, avoiding open food containers, and sealing trash cans.
Dust mites live in the dust that accumulates in most homes, especially within fabrics. Favorite habitats for dust mites include carpets, furniture, stuffed toys, and bedding materials. Dust mites prefer warm and humid environments and their presence can be controlled by keeping the relative humidity below 50 percent. This level of humidity, however, is not always easy to achieve. If found, dust mite allergens can be reduced by cleaning bed linens regularly. Sometimes carpeting must be removed, particularly from sleeping areas.
Household pets produce proteins that are known allergens. The proteins can become airborne and pose a hazard to some individuals. Aggressive cleaning may help to reduce the presence of the allergen, as well as installation of HEPA or electrostatic filters. Unfortunately, the solution is sometimes finding the pet a new home.
At Kemp Home Inspections, an inspector will collect dust samples from three or four sites in the home, including mattresses, bedding, bedroom or living room carpet, and other areas. The dust sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Based on the test results, corrective action can be taken to reduce occupant exposure to the allergens.