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Case Study #102

VOCs and Mold Testing in an Oakland Apt.

Adviro tests for indoor air pollution in an apartment that has an unusual odor.

VOCs and mold testing conducted by Adviro helps detect potential issues in an Oakland apartment.

Adviro was hired to perform a mold testing screening at a 13-unit apartment building in Oakland, CA. The property manager, wanted to check into an issue that the new tenants had with the apartment. After moving in, the new tenants had gotten sick and said there was a bad smell in the air. On the other hand, the owner of the building didn’t smell anything. But to remedy the situation, he decided that the apartment should be tested for indoor air pollution.

So the property manager took the next step. She researched several SF Bay Area environmental testing companies on Yelp and chose to call Adviro. She talked to the company’s accounts manager, Emily Lam, who helped her throughout the whole testing process by explaining the steps along the way. Emily was able to get an appointment set for the apartment within two days, which made the client very happy. “Emily was amazing to work with,” the property manager said.

The apartment that had the issues was on a top floor corner unit. There were a few leak marks on the ceiling and in the hallways of the building which the owner was in the process of remedying with a new roof. The unit had also been recently painted, and new vinyl windows had just been installed. The challenge was to determine whether any of these factors or something else was the cause of the problem.

The first environmental test was for VOCs. Adviro sampling technician, Michael Sanchez, conducted the testing. According to the property manager, Michael was “very polite and accommodating.” She added that Michael just went in and did what he needed to do, and the whole process took only about 1 ½ hours.

The second test was for mold. Adviro sampling technician, Darren Nguyen, and Frank Valerga, Adviro environmental consultant, conducted the testing.

All tests were sent to an independent lab to certify the results.

The results for the tests were as follows:

For the VOCs test, the results were primarily fine. One result showed an above moderate level of potential VOCs, which could be attributed to the following: either the usage of personal hygiene products or a close grouping of cleaning products stored together—which is nothing out of the ordinary. This situation could be resolved by opening the windows and airing out the apartment.

For the mold test, the results came back positive with mold as a “moderate” hazard. The lab’s report phrased their conclusion as follows: “Moderate – Potential development of a high mold hazard. Remediation action recommended.”

Since Adviro only does testing and consulting, the property manager was advised to talk to a remediation company. In the meantime, Adviro suggested opening the apartment windows to circulate fresh air into the rooms.


    • VOCs Testing Screening
    • Mold Testing Screening
5 Gold Stars


“I’d be happy to give Adviro 5 Stars. I was impressed by how quickly they responded. Their communication and follow-through were great. The sampling technician, Michael was very polite and accommodating. The results came quickly and Emily was amazing to work with. They were right on it!” I would definitely use Adviro again.”
– Anne S., Property Manager