Your family is your most precious asset and ensuring that you are providing them a healthy and safe home is important to you. Your home is most likely your largest investment. Whether you are purchasing your future new home, renting, or concerned about conditions in your existing home, ALPHA can guide you through our residential environmental testing services to determine a practical cost efficient assessment. With all the news about lead based paint poisoning our children, asbestos in the walls, toxic mold growing in damp places, drinking water quality, indoor air quality, or old abandoned oil tanks left unattended, sampling for such hazards by our trained professionals can provide answers and solutions.
ALPHA professionals are certified to conduct home inspections, take samples of suspected material, and assess its condition. We then produce a report that summarizes the findings and advises about what corrections are needed. We will also advise you on who is qualified to make these corrections. Often these reports are needed for securing a residential renovation or demolition permit.
Identifying and properly handling lead-based paints is of major concern among Public Housing Authorities (PHA) and the entire real estate market. According to HUD, about 25% of the nation’s housing stock (some 24 million homes) contain a significant amount of lead-based paint hazards (i.e. deteriorating lead paint or lead-contaminated dust). As with asbestos, locating and properly managing lead-based paint in a building is the most logical answer to reducing the health threat posed by lead.
Alpha Environmental Sciences has the most current state-of-the-art equipment and expertise to properly survey buildings. Our staff is licensed and trained to use the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Detector in conducting lead-based paint inspections. Along with the survey, we will recommend proper management of lead-based paints and/or control measures as needed. Alpha Environmental Services, Inc., is accredited as a lead-based paint activities firm by the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. In addition, EPA Region 4 has certified AES as a lead-based paint activities firm in the state of South Carolina, as a state program is not currently in place. Our employees of AES are certified to perform Lead-Based Paint Activities in the disciplines of inspector and project designer for the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Our Residential Lead Paint Services include Lead Surveys, Risk Assessments, Development of Management Plans, Design of Abatement and Abatement Air Monitoring.
Molds produce tiny spores to reproduce that waft through indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp surface they begin digesting that material in order to survive. Molds can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. ALPHA’s experienced staff of certified indoor air environmentalists and trained technicians can perform testing for evaluating health exposures in your home, apartment or condo. Our mold services include investigations of mold levels and types, possible sources for mold growth, and recommendations for mold remediation.
ALPHA provides comprehensive Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessments for private residences such as homes, apartments and condominiums. Our experienced staff of industrial hygienists, certified indoor air specialists, engineers, and chemists can evaluate home health exposures from VOCs from building materials, stale air, chemicals, toxins, odors, and other substances. Our team of professionals will initially perform an indoor air quality (IAQ) survey and then recommend cost effective control measures to maintain healthy and comfortable indoor air quality. The selection of sampling and analytical methods, evaluation of results, and recommendations for control of identified air contaminants is performed in accordance with standards and protocol established by AIHA, OSHA, NIOSH, and ASHRAE.
WATER WELL TESTING
ALPHA’s environmental specialists can provide sampling and analysis of water wells and drinking water sources followed by a report of our findings together with recommended corrective measures.
Most drinking water wells have never been inspected or tested for more than bacteria, even when state and local agencies knew of contaminated sites nearby. State and county health departments, as well as, most community interest groups recommend testing a well for (at a minimum) fecal coliform, arsenic, lead, zinc, nitrates and nitrites. A full water test would also include: barium, cadmium, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, manganese, mercury, selenium, silver, sodium and pH.
UNDERGROUND HEATING OIL TANK SERVICES
The experienced and knowledgeable professionals at ALPHA will test the soils surrounding an underground tank for evidence of leaks. We perform this for sellers wanting to show the condition of the tank, and for buyers seeking to fulfill their financial institutions due diligence requirements, or satisfy their own need to know. We will also remove tanks and contaminated soils, if any, and provide a report of the clean-up activities.
FOUNDATION FAILURE INSPECTION & REPAIR
Foundation damage and failure can occur as a result of expansive soils, settlement, frost or other forces, and the problem usually seems to be worse than it actually is. The experts as ALPHA will identify cost effective design solutions to avoid demolishing or rebuilding a foundation that is failing or in need of repair. ALPHA can perform foundation inspections, determine the cause of the damage and design a simple, permanent repair solution. Even in the case of severely damage foundations, we can often avoid the need to rebuild.
SITE SUITABILITY EVALUATION
As part of our geotechnical services, ALPHA provides detailed geotechnical evaluation of a sites soil and general conditions for its suitability for a residential structure. We will assess the depth to suitable load bearing soils, existence of rock formations, groundwater levels and other important factors related to storm water, surface drainage, and other site conditions and make recommendations for the type of foundation, retaining walls, slope grading, etc. that will be needed for the site.
Additionally, many counties and cities have established ordinances to regulate development in areas of steep slope. The ordinances require that the average natural slope be calculated on an area of interest based on vector contour lines. See more detail in the following section.
SLOPE STABILITY ASSESSMENTS & CERTIFICATIONS
ALPHA performs slope stability and steep slope certification for construction on a property that will be subject to the slope development provisions of the Buncombe County Zoning Ordinance, or other similar county ordinance in western North Carolina. Most ordinances state that consultation with a Geotechnical Engineer is required and an investigation into colluvial deposits shall be made with the findings of the geotechnical investigation submitted along with the permit application. The reports ALPHA’s Geotechnical Engineer prepares also documents that the engineering recommendations provided in the site assessment were followed during construction. These reports are needed prior to final approval and issuance of a projects Certificate of Occupancy.