Air Quality Add On (Canada)

Hey everyone! Looking at the possibility of getting into some add on / other services. Air Quality is one that peaks my interest and I see great value in it. I am located up in Canada and just wondering from any other Inspectors also located in Canada, what sort of training they have or needs to be taken, labs they use for it, equipment that is needed and basically any information / advice on how to get started with it. Thanks for any help in advance!

Unless you have a local lab to take the sample to, the results will take too long for a real estate transactions, mailing samples is slow. So that is the first thing you need to research

Good morning Davin!

We are located in California (USA) so your mileage may vary. We do dedicated air quality and add-on testing with our full home inspections. It’s a very nice addon for very little overhead and we push it when there is a foul smell in the home, moisture damage noted, mold, etc. We used to use a lab in Florida, across the country from us and it took 2 days to get there with priority shipping and then next day turn around, so about 4 days to get the results back. MOST people were okay with that unless it was a 3-5 day contingency. We recently moved to a lab in San Francisco, about a 45 minute drive for us, who gets the sample next day and samples usually come back next day, so we’re down to 2 or 3 days now.

I would look around your area for labs and see what they offer and what their turn around times are. It’s been a lucrative add on for us, especially when it gets slower.

How often are you doing these tests and what is your fee? Are you doing simple air capture at different locations in the house?

Good morning Lon!

It depends on the situation. Most of our ‘general’ mold tests/inspections include a visual inspection of normal “hot” areas, such as window channels, under sinks, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Then we pull an indoor air sample and an outdoor control sample (both included in the fee). The indoor is pulled usually in the living room or end of the hallway with the bedrooms depending on the clients preference if we are chasing a smell or stated symptoms. We charge more for additional samples.

Stand alone ‘mold inspection’ for us in california is $399 (swab or air). we charge $20 per additional sample (air or swab). If it is with a full home inspection then we charge $175. We tend to do 2 or 3 a week on average, some more, some less.

Our lab fees, shipping, air cells, etc cost us about $45 so its about a $350 profit for under an hours work.

Again, there are so many variables here based on smells, visual findings of mold, customer complaints/concerns, house, area, symptoms, etc. So take this with a grain of salt. There will also be some keyboard warriors following this up, I’m sure, but this works for us, in our area, and it’s been our best selling add-on. Better than the sewer, asbestos, pool, etc.

Happy to answer more questions. :wink:

I will save you from the “why not”…

Big profits, little overhead, does not sound like you’re serving your client’s best interest very well.
But who cares, your clients asked for it.

Daven, you’re asking all the right questions. There is a big investment in training (such as Building Performance). And if you’re actually trying to determine how your client can mediate the problem, there are significant equipment costs and maintenance. If they have a smell, do they want to know what the smell is, or why it is there so they can fix it? Are they going to just live with the smell if the Lab Test does not indicate a Hazardous Material?

If you do a Blower Door test to find the entry of the stink, are you just going to report the Air Changes per Hour? That is all the lab test does. Nothing about how it got into the house. Your job as a Home Inspector is way more important than a testing technician.

As for income, would you prefer $350 “for less than an hours work”, or $3,500 for 2hrs work?

I’d love to hear how you get away this cheap, and… who provides the Lab Analysis, Shipping method, and brand of the Air Cells… (for TWO samples per inspection minimum).
I use multiple different Labs, and my costs are about double to triple that, through all of them!

$175 with an inspection and $399 for a stand-a-lone, sounds like a good deal and fairly priced to me.

I don’t see it that way. Lord knows it is tough enough to get paid what our services are worth. Hell, I did a simple limited inspection today for $250 (about an hour on site) and saved my client (an investor) at least $20K. He said that was the best $250 he ever spent.

Sign me up. Not sure what home inspection service can get that kind of money, but I am all ears for it.