Benjel’s Services for Discovering Fungal Pollutants

Did you know that at Benjel, once the analysis is complete, an expert will look at the results and the notes taken during the visit and offer you suggestions for remediating the problem they find?

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Professional quality services

After the analysis, our expert will provide you with comments, specifications, and recommendations regarding your specific situation. Everything will be included in a complete report indicating the work that will have to be carried out to make your home compliant. Few companies in the field of air quality can provide you with as much quality information and support as the team at Benjel.

Inspection visit

Investigate the building's background (possible history of water leakage, sewage backup, etc.) with client by phone or meeting.

Site inspection: material in poor condition, visible presence of various problems (condensation, mould, cracks).

Measure moisture (air and material), carbon dioxide, and temperature.

Take samples from air and/or surfaces for lab analysis ( type or species, viable and/or non-viable – non-viable mould can still spread mycotoxins.)

Analysis

Assessment of situation with notes gathered from site visit.

Analysis of samples by microbiologist in our AIHA-certified lab (EMPAT Program).

 

Interpretation

Interpretation of results by a chemist of the Ordre des chimistes du Québec (Quebec Order of Chemists) or by a microbiologist with the Quebec Association of Microbiologists.

Issuance of personalized report with recommendations and steps for decontamination, if necessary.


After sales service

Follow-up: explanation of report by phone, practical advice.

A turnkey service!

Our services include a complete report signed by a chemist with the Ordre des chimistes du Québec (Quebec Order of Chemists), indicating methods used, results, as well as comments and recommendations tailored to your needs.

Answers to your questions!

Over the years, our clients have asked us many questions about mould. Here is a list of frequently asked questions and our answers.

  • Why should we do an outdoor air test?

    There is no law that governs the subject of air quality with respect to moulds. Several organizations, such as Health Canada, can provide some information. From experience, we can say that moulds are found everywhere. It is normal to find some moulds indoors. The outdoor air test verifies that the types of moulds found inside are similar to those found outside and that present in comparable or lesser concentrations. In situation like this, there would be no contamination in a residence. On the other hand, if a mold is found in greater quantity indoors than it is outdoors, or if it is not present at all outdoors, this indicates a problem.

     

  • Can Benjel find the source of a problem?

    There is no guarantee that a company will find the source of a problem, which is why Benjel has adopted several methods and precise devices to detect the slightest anomaly that would allow us to better understand the situation and to suggest possible solutions. For example, with the Tramex - Moisture Encounter Plus, it is possible for us to detect that materials are wet in certain places, potentially from a hidden crack, an infiltration zone, etc. With other devices like the Vulcain Safety Palm, it is possible to detect the level of CO2 in a house; if it is particularly high, it can show a lack of air exchange in the house, which can cause different symptoms (fatigue, dizziness, headaches, etc.) or increase the concentration of mould in a home.

    The experience Benjel has acquired since 1984 in the field, has equipped us with a diversity of approaches that allow us to find solutions or sampling strategies. This, in part, is what has built the exemplary reputation and the strength of Benjel Consultant Chemists Inc.

  • Do you know the importance of having air samples analyzed by a certified laboratory?

    There are over 100,000 species of mould, which complicates analysis. Call in a certified laboratory, which has the appropriate knowledge and that is highly rated because of the quality of their work, regularly certify that what is identified on the sample is indeed what is found on-site. For example, Benjel is certified by AIHA (American Industrial Hygiene Association), which offers quarterly verification of the laboratory analytics quality through external reviews (with its EMPAT program). These challenging reviews offer very little flexibility in the number of errors allowed to successfully pass; you have to correctly answer nearly all questions. This is an effective way to test the strength of a company's laboratory.

  • How much should I expect to pay for air quality tests?

    Air quality tests normally cost several hundred dollars. It should be noted that different people work on a file. The expert visit normally lasts between one hour (small files) and three hours (important files), the person on site (technician or professional) will take air samples as well as measurements of humidity, carbon dioxide, relative humidity with advanced material to create a more robust case. They will take photos of the location and even a video to facilitate understanding of the situation. The expert will note any anomalies found, and review the building's background. In the office, the file is processed by the microbiologist and subsequently by the professional. The professional is diligent and normally spends significant time on a report to vulgarize complex science and give you as much useful information as possible before finalizing and signing it.

     

  • How does air sampling work? What are the differences between the various air samples?

    Direct methods or "spore trap" - To check the total spore mould in the air (dead and alive):

    A pump draws in the indoor air. Mould spores are collected on a slide. This sample can be analyzed directly and does not require prolonged cultivation.

    If you want to know the degree of contamination in your air or if you want to check the air after decontamination, it is best because it will show you the total spores found. Likewise, if you wish to check the condition of the premises following past infiltrations which have been corrected, this sample method should be used.

    Cultivation - To check for mould species in the air (live):

    The mould spores are collected on a culture medium. These will grow in an incubator at a precise temperature which will facilitate their identification up to the mould family (7 days of growth) or up to the species (15 days of growth).

    This sample is useful if you are sick and want to check for mould that may be causing your symptoms. This type of sample is more relevant for a doctor trying to make a diagnosis. If you've had recent water damage, this test targets viable moulds which could tell you if there is still active contamination in your home.

  • What are the analysis times? The deadlines for the report?

    The analysis times for air samples vary from type to type. For direct "spore trap" methods, this normally takes five working days of analysis.

    For cultures, if you want to identify families, the results can be available after 7 days of culture, while for species you have to wait 15 days.

    For surface samples which require cultivation (swabs, bulk, dust, etc.) it is necessary to wait 7 to 15 days. With regard to direct debits (“tape”, bulk, etc.), they are normally carried out in 5 working days as well.

    Regarding the timelines for the report, it will take five more working days.

    At an additional cost, results and report can be obtained quickly (48-72 hours) for direct sampling methods ("spore trap"). However, this is not compatible with cultured samples (strips, swabs, etc.).

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