Top 3 customer complaints and how to fix them

How do your customers know that the air inside their home is unhealthy? Unlike dirt and dust that they can see, then vacuum or wipe away, it is harder to gauge how “clean” their indoor air is. Experienced contractors hear the complaints regularly and recognize the simple signs that there is a problem. Sharing that information with clients will help them understand the importance of fixing it as soon as possible.

1. What’s that bad smell?

One of the most common complaints is that musty odor. It can start in the basement, infiltrating furniture or clothes stored down there, and end up giving the whole home an unpleasant smell. Sniffing out the source is as simple as following your nose which often leads to the basement or crawlspace.

It’s important for your customers to understand that mold loves to grow in warm, damp, and humid conditions, spreading and reproducing by making spores. During growth and reproduction, mold produces gasses called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). Many of these gasses are odorless, but some have a musty odor and are poisonous mycotoxins that can cause a wide range of medical problems.

Many homeowners try to cover up the moldy smell with air fresheners, scented candles, disinfectant sprays, and household cleaning products, strategies which are not a solution to the problem. This only prolongs their exposure to harmful indoor air that can compromise their health and the health of all the occupants in the home.

They need to know that the only way to get rid of the mold smell is to remove the mold, then take preventative measures to ensure it doesn’t return.

2. Why is there condensation on the windows?

Contractors often hear customers complain about excess water condensation on the inside of their windows and glass doors. This can be a sign that there are damaging levels of moisture in the home or apartment, which can lead to poor indoor air quality. It can be especially evident when the heating is turned on as the weather gets cooler. Warm air hitting the cold windows can lead to ruined window frame finishes and mold growth on windowsills.

In addition, well insulated homes that are sealed against air leakage can lead to reduced natural ventilation to the outdoors. According to the CHMC, after sources of moisture are taken care of, mechanical ventilation can be used to further control moisture conditions and improve indoor air quality.

3. Why am I coughing, sniffling or wheezing?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) warns that being exposed to mold can trigger allergic reactions and asthma symptoms, as well as cause irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs when exposed to airborne mold particles.

If your customers are experiencing any of these symptoms, you can help them track down signs of mold, and let them know how to remedy the situation.

If they still have a problem, it can be well worth hiring a professional who will come to their property and assess the situation. They offer a number of services including inspecting, testing, and remediation. They can measure indoor air quality and identify the presence of pollutants like mold, asbestos, and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

A good contractor can be of great value helping customers understand the importance of clean and healthy indoor air. If your client has big concerns, you can recommend they contact an air quality specialist who can test for specific contaminants and provide a detailed report.

When you help customers get the excess moisture and mold situation under control, you can assure them they will enjoy the benefits all year round and breathe easier knowing that the indoor environment, where they spend the majority of their time, is as healthy as it can be.