Indoor air quality (IAQ) is becoming increasingly important, due to a range of diverse factors:
Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Homes and buildings are being more tightly constructed and, therefore, more isolated from the external, fresh-air environment.
Developers, builders and building managers are facing increasing pressure to address how indoor air quality affects home and building occupants.
Plus, greater awareness about viral transmission of airborne diseases has led many people to become more concerned about the conditions of their indoor environments.
All of these factors could very well increase demand for IAQ inspections. If you specialize in these types of indoor assessments, that means your business could get even busier. So, you are going to want use the best tools available for completing and reporting on each inspection in a professional and timely manner.
One Helpful Tool to Consider is a Floor Plan Sketch or Drawing
Floor plans have been used extensively by remodeling and restoration contractors, realtors, appraisers and interior designers for many decades. Yet, a floor plan sketch may not be the first tool that comes to mind when you are planning to complete an IAQ inspection.
Read on to find out five reasons why you should consider sketching floor plans with a mobile app made specifically for that purpose.
1. To Save Time
Initially, it might seem that floor plan sketching could be a tedious, time-consuming process. But when it is done the right way – the modern way – it can actually help you save time.
The secret is to use a mobile floor-plan app that automates the sketching process and has built-in reporting capabilities. With this type of app, you can create a floor plan and convert it into a baseline report document quickly, while you are at a jobsite. And you can present your report and discuss it with your customer before you leave!
Here’s how it works: You begin by connecting a Bluetooth digital tape measure to your floor plan app. Then you start scanning a room with your mobile device’s camera. Essentially, the app will draw a floor plan of each room automatically as you are scanning and collecting measurements. When you have a complete floor plan that is drawn to scale, you can enhance the plan by adding room features and objects, such as furniture and appliances.
Then you can add all sorts of notes and markups to record your inspection details in a speedy fashion. For example: Spell out your broad, overall observations. Mark locations of water sources, heating/cooling systems, exhaust fan, dehumidification appliances, and other notable features. Call out obvious and potential problem areas. Describe the extent of any water or mold damage. Note where you took air and mold-spore samples, or performed radon testing, or executed other types of IAQ testing. Insert additional, useful comments that come to mind.
Whatever you need to record, you can do so easily and instantly as you conduct your indoor air quality assessment.
Read more: Quick Tips and Tricks For Sketch Users
2. To Authenticate Your Findings with Photos
With the right floor plan app, you’ll be able to enhance your inspection report with photos right away. Simply take pictures with your mobile device as you move through your inspection, then import those into your floor plan report. You can even add captions, if necessary, to explain the scenes shown in your pictures.
3. To Plan Any Remediation Work That Needs to Be Done
This is especially helpful if your floor plan app lets you render a sketch in both 2D and 3D aspects. The different perspectives will give you a clear overview of the layout and flow of the property. This overview will be a valuable resource as you draft your remediation recommendations.
4. To Be Able to Communicate Better with Each Customer
The customer will place greater trust in you if you document what you did, justify why you did it, and explain critical findings about their indoor air quality. Fortunately, a proper floor plan app with reporting capabilities is the perfect tool for that purpose.
A high-quality floor plan app will allow you to conclude every inspection by presenting a technical but easy-to-digest report – complete with a floor plan, photos and detailed notes. When done right, this type of report can help the customer comprehend all the key information you need to get across:
- How you conducted your inspection
- What you observed
- Problems you detected (sources of air-quality issues)
- Where and why you collected test samples
- How better indoor air quality can enhance the wellbeing of occupants
- Any corrective measures you recommend to decrease exposure to indoor air contaminants
Of course, you will want to review the report verbally during a conversation with your customer. But the report will serve as a valuable visual aid, and it will provide assurance that you have done your job well.
5. To Help You Guide and Evaluate Remediation Efforts
A detailed report complete with a floor plan and photos can be incredibly useful to a remediation crew. This is true whether the work is managed by you or by a third-party remediation specialist. The report will help the person in charge determine an appropriate timeline and prepare specific work orders.
Also, if you plan to perform follow-up IAQ testing after remediation work is done, your original report will remind you where and how exactly to conduct that testing.
Whenever you are performing an IAQ inspection to evaluate indoor air quality concerns, creating a sketch with a floor plan app can be extremely beneficial. It will help you make better use of your time, support your findings, plan remediation work, communicate with your customers, and guide remediation efforts. It’s a new way of working that is worth considering!