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May, 2014

Clearing the Air:

A peek at ARA's Indoor Air Quality Division

Have  you ever wondered what an average day is like for ARA's IAQ Team?  Well, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessments vary greatly from project to project. One day they might be out on a mold assessment in someone’s home, or visiting a school to investigate a strange odor, and the next day they might be doing a full hazardous materials survey at a large building complex!  Our team enjoys the diversity of the business and the chance to work on some really interesting projects.


Our IAQ division helps residential, industrial, commercial and government clients with problems related to mold, asbestos, lead, PCBs, allergens, carbon monoxide, strange odors and more. Since its our most common type of job, let's walk through what a typical mold job might look like at ARA:


  1. The Call to Action!

Most of our clients are referred to us by remediators, our other customers, or they found us online. Almost every mold call (residential or commercial) starts with the caller expressing concern about either musty odors, health issues, a water loss or visible mold. We discuss their concerns over the phone, explain how our process works and schedule a time for one of our consultants to pay a visit to the site.


  1. Initial Assessment

Depending on consultant availability, we usually are able to visit the client within a few days. Once arriving at the home or business, our consultant asks the client to confirm the areas of concern, and then proceeds through the building to perform the assessment. A visual assessment is paramount to a successful IAQ investigation, and our experienced, credentialed staff knows just how to find the mold, as well as what is causing it. Our tool bags are equipped with moisture meters, a thermal imager, smoke tubes, air cassettes, tape sampling supplies and a plethora of other handy tools to get the job done. We don’t leave a site without knowing the source of moisture (causing the mold) and the general extent of the mold contamination. When necessary, samples are collected for lab analysis.


  1. Data Analysis and Report Preparation

Mold samples are submitted to our in-house laboratory for analysis, and upon completion, the report is reviewed by our IAQ consultant, who compares the notes from the site visit and confirms that the data results support the physical findings on site. A report outlining the condition of the building, the findings from the site visit, and a complete scope of work for remediating the problem (if necessary) is sent to the client, usually preceded by a phone call to discuss any concerning issues and questions.


  1. Remediation     

If remediation is necessary, the client now has a complete professionally prepared report that they can hand over to their remediator, who in turn will be able to follow it precisely to resolve the mold contamination. It’s important to note here that the first instruction we give to our mold clients is that any water intrusions must be corrected prior to remediation. It would be a pointless waste of money to remediate a mold problem just to re-introduce water or moisture from the same problem source.


  1. Post Remediation Verification

Many times the client will call us back out to perform a Post Remediation Verification (or clearance assessment) after the remediation is complete. This is to ensure the work prescribed was followed from our initial report, and the areas remediated are free of dust and debris. If the air samples come back at acceptable levels and the physical assessment passed, the project is complete and cleared. If a project fails clearance, we detail in another report our findings, what else needs to be addressed and how to proceed to achieve clearance.



Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-900 =

More Efficient Anion Testing at ARA

In January, Absolute Resource Associates upgraded our previous IC system to a Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-900 Ion Chromatography System. This efficient "autosampler" technology allows us to run more samples, which increases our capabilities and production. The ICS-900 also offers a better, more advanced chromatographic separation of target anions, which reduces interferences present in environmental samples. As always, ARA strives to reduce our impact on the environment across the board, including the instruments we use to run your samples. The ICS-900 runs on fewer pumps, which means the instrument uses less electricity when it is running. Contact ARA today for any anion testing requirements you may have!


Meet the Team!

Jason Muchmore joined ARA in the fall of 2013 as an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Technician. In the past several months, Jason has gained a lot of experience in the field, and has already earned several of his certifications in the IAQ industry. Our customers love Jason's calm and thorough approach to resolving their IAQ concerns.

When he's not "serving our customers and the environment", Jason enjoys the outdoors- everything from surfing and kayaking to hiking and camping. He’s also a great cook, which everyone at ARA enjoys when its Jason's snack day! He is exceptionally talented when it comes to music- he plays guitar, banjo, drums, and other instruments as well! Everyone at ARA is so happy to have Jason on the team- he’s proven to be a great employee and a wonderful co-worker. We look forward to many years of mutual success!


Memorial Day

Everyone here at ARA would like to express a heartfelt thanks to our military members and their families on this Memorial Day weekend. As you enjoy whatever you may have planned this weekend, please take a moment to remember those who have fallen in the name of our freedom.


Thank You Veterans


The Resource Rambler is brought to you by your friends at

Absolute Resource Associates
124 Heritage Ave. Unit #16 Portsmouth, NH 03801










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