Protect Your Family from Harmful VOCs

It’s a fact, even though the weather is great, we are all spending more time at home. Because of COVID working from home has become the norm. Our kids are studying at home, and we aren’t even going out for entertainment as much. Is it possible that spending all that time at home can be causing a potential health hazard?

We are all aware of the mental health risks associated with the effects of being cooped up and not getting enough social stimulation ( see CDC report ), but what about other dangers?

Families are staying home more due to COVID.

In this article we will discuss what VOCs are and how to protect you and your family from them.


Invisible Dangers

According to experts[1], air quality in your home could be 2 to 5 times worse than outside. In some cases, it could be much worse. In addition, according to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety,[2] the potential health risks associated with “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS) and can lead to severe illnesses like Legionnaires Disease.

As is so common, it is the most vulnerable among us, children, the elderly and those with underlying health problems that are most at risk when it comes to poor indoor air quality.


Poor indoor air quality caused by harmful VOCs affect the more vulnerable members of our families.

Since this is a serious problem for you and your family, we at Mose Home Inspection Services would like to keep you informed about what you can do to protect your home and loved ones.

Learn how VOCs can be harmful and what you can do to protect your family.

What are the causes of poor indoor air quality?

In countries like Canada, where we have to seal up our homes to keep warm, we face a greater risk of having poor indoor air quality. The reason is that in our attempts to stay warm and conserve energy (especially in homes constructed during the energy crisis), we built them too air-tight. Because these “air-tight” houses don’t breathe properly, they hold in pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality. These pollutants are commonly called VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds.

Most houses in Canada are built to keep cold air out. Unfortunately this prevents them from ventilating properly.

Common Causes of VOCs

Here are some of the more common causes of poor indoor air quality caused by VOCs;

  • moisture and biological pollutants, such as moulds, mildew, dust mites, animal dander, and cockroaches
  • high humidity levels, inadequate ventilation, and poorly maintained humidifiers and air conditioners
  • combustion products, including carbon monoxide, from unvented fossil-fuel space heaters, unvented gas stoves and ovens, and back-drafting from furnaces and water heaters
  • formaldehyde from durable-press draperies and other textiles, particleboard products, such as cabinets and furniture framing, and adhesives
  • radon, which is a radioactive gas from the soil and rock beneath and around the home’s foundation, groundwater wells, and some building materials
  • household products and furnishings, such as paints, solvents, air fresheners, hobby supplies, dry-cleaned clothing, aerosol sprays, adhesives, and fabric additives used in carpeting and furniture, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • asbestos, which is found in most homes more than 20 years old. Sources include deteriorating, damaged and disturbed pipe insulation, fire retardant, acoustical material (such as ceiling tiles) and floor tiles
  • lead, from lead-based paint, is created when removing paint by sanding, scraping and burning
  • particulates from dust and pollen, fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and unvented gas space heaters and
  • tobacco smoke, which produces particulates, combustion products and formaldehyde.

What Are the Danger Signs?

Here are a few signs that you may have an indoor air quality problems;

  • Dryness and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hypersensitivity and allergies
  • Sinus congestion
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Take Action – Reduce the Risks Signs?

Here are a few signs that you may have an iHere are some steps you can take to reduce VOCs in your home:

  1. Choose your paint wisely.
    When redecorating, consider choosing paints with low VOCs as shown through labels that are designated ‘low VOC’, ‘No VOC’, ‘Zero VOC’ etc.
  2. Keep your environment dry.
    Consider a good dehumidifier in wet basements. If there has been water damage to carpets or furniture, consider removing them. Check air-conditioners and vents for water build up that will promote mould activation.
  3. Furniture, cabinets & carpets.
    The chemicals used in manufacturing kitchen cabinets, carpets and much of the furniture we buy emit gasses (off-gassing) that contribute to poor air quality. Select products that meet current standards.
  4. Cleaning products.
    Despite efforts to regulate them problems persist. The cleaning products which you should watch out for most include detergents, air fresheners, furniture polish, oven cleaner, carpet cleaner and other varnishes.
  5. Proper storage.
    Keeping chemicals, cleaning products and paints in an unattached garage or shed is recommended. Wash or dispose of any contaminated clothing, rags or open containers immediately.
  6. Properly ventilate.
    The biggest factor to consider when reducing VOC exposure is the off-gassing process. Increasing ventilation through opening windows, clearing air vents, installing under door vents, are each small changes that can help combat high levels.

If you feel there is a risk of invisible and undetectable VOCs causing poor indoor air quality in your home, please get in touch with us at Mose Home Inspection Services.

Our trained technicians use the latest testing equipment that analyses the air in your home and tests for over 400 VOCs (volatile organic compounds, such as:

Alcohol, Aldehydes, Aromatics, Freons, Ketones, Esters, Ethers and Hydrocarbons, and much more.

Common sources of these compounds are:

Active mould, Building materials, Heating oil, Gasoline, Mothballs, Odorants (air fresheners), Paint

Solvents, Varnish, among many others.


Click here for more information about “Indoor Air Quality” and what is involved in booking an assessment for your home. To speak directly with a member of our customer service team call toll-free 1-855-426-1095 and we will guide you through the process.

At Mose Home Inspection Services, we care about you and the health of your family. Remember, when it comes to home inspections, nobody knows your home like Mose knows!

*Please note that other health issues can cause these symptoms. Therefore, please seek the advice of a licensed medical professional for advice.

Click the button below to get your quote and book a convenient time for your inspection using our online booking tool. Any time day or night.

We can serve out clients in:

English, French, Mandarin, Greek, Russian and Italian

(514) 426-1095 or 1-855-426-1095

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Anna Lising
00:07 16 Oct 21
Carol was easy going and made us feel at ease from the first second we met. She is knowledgeable. We appreciate the... little tips and tricks she gave us. Would definitely recommend 👌🏽 Thank you Carol!read more
Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
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