GTA Inspectors were called to make an inspection at a high end villa in Dubai that has been bought as a resale. The new owner decided to do a massive fit out job through a private contractor with very expensive finishing material in every inch of the villa. The videos below give a small part of the miss discovered during the inspection !
The photos above were taken during an inspection completed this week in a residential 10 story building in Al Warqaa, Dubai.
The photos are among many more tat represent a lack of air tightness and a major source of moisture intrusion into the building, where most "through penetrations" found to be missing a proper fire proofing and air seal caulking or devices.
This is where many of the apartments are suffering from wall damages, mold formation, and a major AC condensation issues.
Images from a recent "Indoor Air Quality" inspection performed by GTA Inspectors in the UAE. The test used is called "Blower Door Test".
A blower door is a powerful fan that a trained energy professional temporarily mounts into the frame of an exterior doorway in your home. After calibrating the device, the fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed gaps, cracks and openings such as gaps, cracks, or wiring penetrations, which is checked through a smoke test. These penetrations represents a source of air leak and moisture penetration that causes many issues, including but not limited to damages to walls, ceiling and furniture, mold formation and energy waste
During a high end residential apartment inspection today, our engineer observed and reported on this major defect! On what the owner was thinking that it is water splashes from floors above, the reality was a "broken seal" of the double glazed window panel that is causing water condensation between the two layers of the glass (double glazing). This defect cannot be repaired, and the entire window panel has to be replaced, which is very costly.
#engineer #homeinspection #glazing
When we think of air quality, people mostly think of the outside world, smog from cars and industry or the fresh air of woods. However, 90% of our daily life is spent indoors: our home, workplace, public buildings and schools. Indoor quality is one of the most important components of well-being, feeling comfortable in a room. Besides, bad air quality has implications on your productivity and may even harm your health. The Volatile organic components (VOC) may be the least known.
TVOCS affects the wellbeing, feeling comfortable and healthTVOCs affect your sense off wellbeing and if you feel comfortable inside a building. Some VOC’s are even bad for health. Some VOCs are more harmful than others. If a TVOC is harmful also depend on factors as level of exposure and length of time being exposed. Besides, some people -especially children and elderly people- have a higher sensibility then others. Immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to VOCs are eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders and memory impairment. An example: some people get immediately a headache from being in a room which is just painted. Others may find the smell just uncomfortable.
TVOCs can cause:
What is TVOC?
What is TVOC? TVOC means Total Volatile Organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that become a gas at room temperature. There are thousands of VOCs and a multiple of VOC’s are at the same time present. Therefore, the Total VOC is used at most times: measuring the concentration of the total of VOC’s This is easier and less expensive then measuring individual VOC’s.
Some examples of VOC’s are:
VOC in the outside world Vehicle exhaust and industry pollution may also cause bad indoor air quality when the polluted air can enter the building due to open windows or air condition that doesn’t work properly. Especially when the building stands in congested or industrial areas.
Are all VOC’s harmful? “EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.” (What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?, EPA, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-are-volatile-organic-compounds-vocs)
TVOC can be measured in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of air (or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb)). The table below shows that less than 0.3 mg/m3 are considered low TVOC concentration levels. And levels between 0.3 mg/m3 to 0.5 mg/m3 are acceptable.
TVOC Level mg/m3Level of Concern
Less than 0.3 mg/m3Low
0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3Acceptable
0.5 to 1 mg/m3Marginal
1 to 3 mg/m3High
TVOC Level mg/m3 and Level of ConcernThe ASN Airmex measures the TVOC in your building, for a safe and comfortable indoor air quality
Videos above is taken at a Pre-Handover Inspection of a Luxury Villa in Dubai. Our inspector was able to reveal a loose pipes connection through our proprietary pressurized testing method. Please make sure you get your properties inspected by a professional who know what to look for.
Termite infestation is a major problem and when it start appearing indoors, it means the it is well established in the soil and foundation around the property. It definitely can be treated and there are specialized pest control companies in Dubai that can do that. However, treatment involves drilling holes in the tiles and around the perimeter of the villa, injecting some sorts of pesticides and then filling the holes with cement. This can be successful from first attempt but might also need to be repeated.
The photo below is from a recent inspection of a property. Although it doesn’t conclude that there is structural damage, possible hidden damage may exist. This was very close to the tub and external wall, which is expected as Termite love tub traps.
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