Protect your home and family with detailed services from our dedicated professionals. Eco Logic Environmental’s environmental experts offer many kinds of inspections to help make your home safer for your family. Contact us today for more details about how we can ensure the longevity and safety of your home.
Eco Logic’s technician will arrive on site and locate the fill pipe. The technician will then check for product and water measurements as well as the depth of the tank, using an oil measuring stick. The technician will then mark out the dimensions of the tank using a magnetometer (metal detector). The technician will then visually check the curb line for utilities, including water, sewer, gas, phone, cable, and electric. Using a thin metal probe, the technician will then confirm the tank size by probing the soil to confirm the location of the ends of the tank. Next, the technician will use a sledge hammer and construction bar to start a pilot hole on three sides of the tank. A slide hammer and soil extraction tool will be used to auger down to the base of the tank. Soil samples will be collected from 0-6 inches below the base of the tank. Using a Photo Ionization Detector (PID) meter, the samples will be field screened for hydrocarbons. The samples will then be combined in equal amounts into one jar and transported to Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories and analyzed for EPH Cat 1 (Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons).
If the tank is located beneath blacktop or concrete, a Bosch 1123 EVS SDS Max Hammer Drill will be utilized to start a 1.250 inch pilot hole. All holes will be closed utilizing concrete or blacktop patching.
Tank Tightness Test
Eco Logic’s technician will arrive on site to evaluate an underground storage tank. The technician will locate the fill pipe. The technician will then check for product and water measurements as well as the depth of the tank, using an oil measuring stick. Eco Logic will shut down the heat, block the vent pipe, and begin testing. The testing will take approximately 30 minutes. The technician will utilize an Estabrook EZY 3 Locator Plus Acoustic Non-Volumetric Tank Tightness Test (vacuum) which is capable of detecting a leak rate of 0.1 gph with a 100% probability of detection and a 1.6% probability of false alarm. This test meets or exceeds the U.S. EPA protocol, 40 CFR Part 280, Subpart D, for Non volumetric tank tightness testing. The Estabrook EZY 3 Locator Plus is capable of determining whether there is leak in the ullage (dry portion) or the wetted (product filled) sections of the tank. The EZY 3 Locator Plus is designed purposely so not do damage on any old or weak tanks. The technician will then turn the heat back on and run the heat for approximately 5 minutes to ensure proper operation was restored.
Corrosion testing will be performed by using a copper sulfite electrode to take a tank to earth potential reading. That reading will be matched up against Steel Tank Institute (STI) and National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) criteria for buried steel tanks to determine the corrosion rate. Eco Logic will determine if the tank has extreme or stray currents, medium to moderate corrosion, acceptable corrosion, or is cathodically protected. This test is not a stand-alone test and must be done in conjunction with tank tightness testing.
Tank Location Service
Eco Logic’s technician will arrive on site. The technician will enter the basement or furnace area of the dwelling. The technician will be looking for patchwork in the foundation walls which is consistent with tank removal. The technician will search for abandoned piping or copper lines in the wall or floor. If any lines are found, Eco Logic will connect a transmitter to the line and return outside with a receiver to locate the exact area. If no lines are present, Eco Logic will return outside and thoroughly inspect the foundation for any oil vent or fill pipes. If a pipe is found, again, a transmitter will be connected and Eco Logic will trace the piping with a receiver. If no pipes are found, Eco Logic will scan a 30 foot radius around the structure to a depth of 8 feet searching for any large metallic objects which are consistent with the size and shape of an underground storage tank.
Ground Penetrating Radar
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a geophysical method that uses radar pulses to image the subsurface. This nondestructive method uses electromagnetic radiation in the microwave band (UHF/VHF frequencies) of the radio spectrum, and detects the reflected signals from subsurface structures. GPR can have applications in a variety of media, including rock, soil, ice, fresh water, pavements and structures. In the right conditions, practitioners can use GPR to detect subsurface objects, changes in material properties, and voids and cracks.
GPR uses high-frequency (usually polarized) radio waves, usually in the range 10 MHz to 2.6 GHz. A GPR transmitter emits electromagnetic energy into the ground. When the energy encounters a buried object or a boundary between materials having different permittivities, it may be reflected or refracted or scattered back to the surface. A receiving antenna can then record the variations in the return signal. The principles involved are similar to seismology, except GPR methods implement electromagnetic energy rather than acoustic energy, and energy may be reflected at boundaries where subsurface electrical properties change rather than subsurface mechanical properties as is the case with seismic energy.
The electrical conductivity of the ground, the transmitted center frequency, and the radiated power all may limit the effective depth range of GPR investigation. Increases in electrical conductivity attenuate the introduced electromagnetic wave, and thus the penetration depth decreases. Because of frequency-dependent attenuation mechanisms, higher frequencies do not penetrate as far as lower frequencies. However, higher frequencies may provide improved resolution. Thus operating frequency is always a trade-off between resolution and penetration. Optimal depth of subsurface penetration is achieved in ice where the depth of penetration can achieve several thousand metres (to bedrock in Greenland) at low GPR frequencies. Dry sandy soils or massive dry materials such as granite, limestone, and concrete tend to be resistive rather than conductive, and the depth of penetration could be up to 15-metre (49 ft). In moist and/or clay-laden soils and materials with high electrical conductivity, penetration may be as little as a few centimetres.
Ground-penetrating radar antennas are generally in contact with the ground for the strongest signal strength; however, GPR air-launched antennas can be used above the ground.
Ultrasonic Thickness Testing
American Petroleum Institute (API) 653
Eco Logic will first visually inspect the tank for overall appearance, levelness, surface corrosion, oil staining and physical damage. The technician will then apply Sonagel to the tester and will start to plot our measurements. Our measurements will start on the top of the tank and will consist of 3 readings. This will allow Eco Logic to determine the tank’s designed thickness. We will collect approximately twelve (12) readings from the belly of the tank to determine whether the tank is fit for continued use. This process takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Open Pit Septic Inspection
Eco Logic will send a Pennsylvania Septic Management Association (PSMA) certified inspector and trained technician to the property. The inspector and technician will locate and open the treatment tank. This tank will be inspected for proper liquid levels, the presence and structure of inlet and outlet baffles, and proper flow of sewage. The conveyance line will be inspected for cracks, blockages, root intrusion, and proper flow. If the system is equipped with a distribution box, it will be checked for physical damage and equal distribution. A d-box with a depth of less than 24 inches from the ground surface will be opened and utilizing a Ridgid See Snake Camera, and the laterals of the disposal bed or trench(es) will be visually inspected for cracks, flaws, root intrusion, and blockages. Approximately 200 gallons of water will be introduced into the system. Probe holes will be made in the absorption area and Eco Logic will monitor for proper flow. The stone layer will be measured to check that at least six inches of dry stone is found. Dye is also introduced into the system to ensure proper flow from the dwelling.
If the system consists of a seepage pit instead of a distribution box and disposal bed or trenches, Eco Logic will dig down to the pit if the depth is less than 24 inches from the ground surface and open the pit. If the depth is greater than 24 inches, the seepage pit will be monitored with the camera.
A hydraulic load test is recommended as per NJDEP and PSMA guidelines for any dwelling that has remained vacant for seven (7) consecutive days or more to more accurately evaluate the functionality of the absorption area. This is a two day test specifically designed to introduce the daily allowance of water (based on the number of bedrooms) to ensure proper absorption. Please note, this test has an additional fee.
Any area that is dug up during the inspection will be restored to the best of the technician’s ability.
The goal of fungal sampling is to help determine whether fungal spores present in a particular environment are affecting or causing irritation in certain individuals. While we are typically surrounded by a wide variety of different microorganisms every day, sampling provides us with a method to establish in a scientific way whether the environment in question contains microorganisms than would normally be present.
Molds are part of the fungi kingdom and all fungi have four basic requirements for growth: suitable temperature, oxygen, food and moisture. Mold spores are literally everywhere. Levels rise and fall with the seasons. Molds grow and produce their spore wherever there is enough moisture and nutrients. They exist in the air we breathe, on surfaces we touch, and flourish within our buildings and homes.
Currently there are no widely accepted protocols or regulations regarding fungal concentrations. The presence or absence of a few spore types in small numbers should not be considered abnormal. In addition to the normal influx of outdoor organisms into a building, additional organisms can grow within our buildings. This occurs when there is just the right combination of factors, including the proper temperature, humidity and material on which the organisms can grow.
Mold testing can be accomplished through Culturable Air Samples, Direct Examination including tape, bulk, swab, and water samples as well as Spore Traps.
Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) Testing & Water Safety and Chemistry Testing:
Clean water is something we often take for granted. In truth, the water we use to drink and bathe can contain a number of unseen contaminants. Even from city water sources, which have to follow mandatory quality standards, water must flow through miles of piping and can pick up dirt, chemicals, and bacteria on its way to your home.
Water contaminants are present in many homes. Some indicators of nuisance issues are white spots on clean dishes, unwanted color or odor to the water, erosion of appliances and plumbing, and dry or brittle skin, hair, and nails. Other potentially harmful contaminants, such as Coliform bacteria, can upset the stomach and cause illness. An estimated 20-40% of wells fail bacteria testing. An estimated 65% of New Jersey residences are serviced by private wells, and the water quality should be tested on a regular basis to monitor any changes in chemistry.
According to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA), private well owners should test their water regularly for bacteria. The U.S. E.P.A. recommends testing your private well every year for bacteria, nitrates, and pH. If you suspect any other contaminants or there are known contaminants in your area, testing for these contaminants is also recommended.
Eco Logic offers many options from basic water safety testing, to analysis for general water chemistry or even specific uncommon contaminants of concern for your area. Call today to speak to a representative that can assist you in selecting a water quality test for your family’s drinking water.
Private Wells & Real Estate
With the recent enactment of the Private Well testing Act (PWTA) in New Jersey, many home owners are finding themselves required to meet regulations they know little about. The PWTA test is mandated for all home sales in the state of New Jersey. During a stressful real estate transaction, allow us to handle your water testing needs. RAdata’s in-house certified laboratory and sampling technicians can assist you with knowledge regarding what needs to be tested, arranging for the test, interpreting your test results, and options for treating a problem, should one exist.
Asbestos is a family of six naturally occurring minerals (hydrated silicates) that in the past has been mined, processed and used as a raw ingredient in various types of construction materials. Many types of thermal insulation contain asbestos fibers. Asbestos was also commonly added to cement, plasters, vinyl composite materials, textiles, adhesives, gaskets and other materials to enhance their fire rating and strength.
Today, asbestos is a known human carcinogen and is banned as construction material in all but a few select products. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) that are damaged and friable (having the ability to be pulverized by hand pressure) release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air, where inhalation by individuals is the main route of entry of the Carcinogenic fibers. Long-term inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer, asbestosis (scarring of the lung tissues) and mesothelioma (cancer of the pleural lining).
Asbestos testing can be accomplished through analysis of air, water, soil, rock and bulk.
Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM) is widely used for the analysis of fibers in ambient and outdoor environments. This test is useful in determining if the air has an increased number of fibers.
Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) is used for the determination of asbestos in bulk building materials and other samples such as soil and rock.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is widely used in the analysis of air, water, bulk and other samples for asbestos. It provides a variety of crucial information including local chemistry information.
If fibers smaller than 0.25 microns (um) needs to be identified, and/or fiber type needs to be differentiated, the use of TEM is required.
The current revision of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 7400 is employed for PCM analysis. Proficiency Test is provided for the laboratory through the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) PAT programs, and Seattle Asbestos Test conducts extensive Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) regimens are performed as part of our ongoing certification program.
Sewer Line Inspection
Could unknown costly issues be lurking in your sewer lines?
Cracked or broken pipes?
Blockage and/or pooling?
Potential back-up into your home?
Many first time home buyers know they should have a home inspection preformed, however, sewer inspections are often an after-thought. Yet this is one of the most important inspections a buyer of older homes should conduct as it can turn up a variety of problems. Repairs and or replacements could cost thousands of dollars. The time to find out if a sewer line is faulty, needs repairs or replacement is before you buy, not after the fact. Be aware as to what potential issues could be underground with Eco Logic’s state-of-the-art sewer line inspection.
An Eco Logic technician will insert a video snake camera into the sewer line through the sewer cleanout. The cleanout may be located in the basement, crawlspace or outside where the sewer line exits the home. If no obstructions are encountered, Eco Logic will inspect from the cleanout to the city main. If problems with the sewer line are found, Eco Logic will be able to pinpoint the location of the trouble area and clearly mark the areas. Common sewer line problems are root intrusion, holes, pooling, cracks, and pipe separation. A functioning sewer line may have problems that do not currently affect the performance of the line. However, these problems may cause a future sewer backup leading to an unexpected emergency line repair or replacement.
Gutter and Downspout Inspection
Did you know a few inches of rain falling on the roof of a house can produce several thousand gallons of water runoff? This runoff must be channeled away from the home’s foundation. Otherwise, water running directly up against a foundation wall or crawlspace could lead to moisture issues inside the home, thus causing the potential for mold growth and potential health risks.
Your gutters are more than a channel for water that would ordinarily run off the roof. They are a system which is made up of multiple components that all work together in order to keep rainwater from damaging your home. Gutters that are filled with leaves and other debris allow water to back up on the roof, which can result in water damage to eaves and roofing material. The most important function of gutters and downspouts in homes with basements or crawlspaces, however, is helping to ensure they stay dry. The lifespan of a professionally installed gutter system is approx. 18 to 20 years.
An Eco Logic technician will insert a video snake camera into the gutters and downspouts in order to inspect and identify any pipe damage or obstructions that inhibit flow of rain water. Common problems found within gutter and downspout piping is root intrusion, blockages, corrosion, sagging, cracked, broken or collapsed piping. If problems with the piping are found, we are able to pinpoint the location of the trouble area and will clearly mark the area.
Environmental Site Assessment
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are prepared in accordance with ASTM E-1527-05. Generally, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment investigates historical and current uses of the property to identify recognized environmental conditions which may impact continued use or planned development of a site. Environmental sampling is generally NOT a part of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. If a significant environmental concern is discovered as a part of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, there is generally a recommendation to conduct a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments are conducted if the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment identifies a “Recognized Environmental Condition,” or concerns that require further testing and evaluation. The purpose of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is to perform environmental sampling and data collection that will allow for an objective, specific, and analytical solution(s) to environmental concerns that were identified as a part of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. A typical Phase II Environmental Site Assessment may involve drilling for a subsurface evaluation of potentially contaminated soils or groundwater, or sampling for indoor air quality concerns from suspected vapor intrusion issues at the subject property for potential significant environmental liabilities.
Phase III Environmental Site Assessments are if the lab results from the soil, water or groundwater samples indicate a significant problem, need further delineation or if cleanup is required by an agency or by the responsible party, a site characterization, risk assessment or remediation may be required. The remediation or cleanup typically has to occur until verification samples are less than federal, state or local cleanup standards.