This review is an expression of my own opinion, based on true facts, reasonable conclusions, and fair comments resulting from my experience. I believe it to be a matter of public interest for this information to appear on a review.
We had a very negative experience working with Shawn Rankin and Indoor Air Quality Ottawa (IAQ). I called upon IAQ in a state of distress as I was very concerned about air quality in my home. My asthmatic two year old daughter and I had just survived a very rough cold and flu season and I was concerned that we had VOCs in our indoor air, aggravating our airways.
Shawn showed up in my home and immediately gave me a bad vibe. Shawn’s delivery of information and communication style throughout the process, in my experience, felt alarmist, condescending, overwhelming, and confusing. Also, he made several accusations throughout, such as that our home inspector had missed code violations, that our realtor had colluded with the inspector and misled us, that our seller had concealed things from us, and that our home was very poorly built. He spoke very fast, in a rude tone, and used acronyms and terms that I didn’t understand. All in all, his visit was extremely stressful.
Next, Shawn and his team of recommended contractors showed up and cut 5 holes in our walls and caused over $500 of damage in the process of performing visual inspections for mold, without ever sampling the amount or typeof mold spores in our air.
He then provided a final report, which, in my opinion, was extremely long, poorly structured, contained a lot of irrelevant detail, was difficult to consume, was absent actual data on the scale of mold present in our home, and really did not provide a clear or reasonable path forward. It also contained an error that made parts of the report look like a cut and paste of another client’s report, or something that was reused and put together quickly and carelessly.
All said and done, we were charged $1130 for 5 hours of Shawn’s time and did not feel that the cost was even close to commensurate with the value of services provided.
The most concerning part of the experience, however, was the scale and cost of upgrades proposed in the scope of work developed by Shawn, again, absent any actual measurement of mold in our home. He drafted a scope of work costing $20k - $40k to completely gut and rebuild our basement, as well as to action several massively expensive additional upgrades. He also mentioned on site that he would need to be called in several times throughout the recommended work to perform additional tests for Hunta virus, asbestos in the drywall, etc, (all costing $200 an hour) and then come back again to perform clearance testing and sampling to the tune of another $500 plus in additional costs.
In the end, and through engaging others to help us, the root cause of our issue turned out to be plumbing related (fixed for $1k), with the mold clean up being quite isolated and minimal. Future mold prevention didn’t require anything more than simply opening the closet door and allowing our dehumidifier to dry out any condensation forming on the interior walls. We have been left wondering - did Shawn attempt to take advantage of us? Did he really try to help us or did he just see us as an easy target for himself and his network of contractors (2/3 of his recommended contractors disclosed to us that they were his cottage property neighbors) to make money? Did he purposely try to inflame and exacerbate our concerns for the safety and health of our family? Is that ethical? Is this something he does on a regular basis? Based on our experience, we wanted to ensure we shared our story to protect others out there.
Shawn did succeed in educating us a lot on air quality, but through a very stressful, confusing, and frankly, exhausting, roundabout way. He was clear about costs up front, and did deliver everything that he said he would provide. However, I truly wish I had never engaged with IAQ. I would have saved myself a lot of bad vibes, wasted energy, and wasted money (although it could have been worse if I would have trusted his recommendations). We didn’t action any work with anyone he recommended. We would not recommend IAQ to anyone and will not be working with him again.
- Company Response
Thank you for your review. In my 20+ years of experience, when first time home buyers are confronted with pre-existing, unknown deficiencies, and the true cost of proper repairs, buyer’s remorse may develop. Please don’t shoot the messenger.
To set the record straight, you declined mold sampling, therefore mold testing was not performed. We inspected your house in May followed by a meeting with the HVAC contractor, ducting, and remediation contractors at your insistent request. There were numerous signs of moisture incursions in your basement – mold staining, musty odour, 14-40% lumber moisture, silverfish bugs under carpets, recently patched new drywall, and an active foundation leak all noted in our technical report. In your own words, you requested a lifetime solution “tent vs cabin” rebuild options and we provided both a budget-friendly and a high-end, mold-resistant solution, together with a DIY and professional clean-up alternatives. Our report quoted industry standards and federal guidelines to comply with occupant health and safety during the remediation process.
You had four contractors in to price the job, requested extra no-charge site visits, several price reductions, numerous job spec alterations, and then the total rejection of all contractors altogether. You also threatened my staff with negative online reviews when you were contacted for payment, and yet you continued to consult with IAQ Ottawa 5 times for free with lengthy technical inquiries up to the day you posted a negative review. If you don’t have faith in our expertise, why did you continue to consult after receipt of our report? You indicated your plumber fixed the problem! How does a plumber repair a leak in the foundation, or install a forced-air furnace? The dehumidifer you mentioned will help, but it is not the "lifetime solution" you insisted on for your report.
You received a professional inspection from IAQ Ottawa, a comprehensive technical report including energy-saving mechanical, heating and ventilation redesign, with free VOC testing twice ($200). At any rate, you seem to have figured out what you need to improve your air quality, and we wish you good luck to your future endeavours.