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Wildfire Smoke Damage Testing

Category Press Release
Publish Date 7/28/2013
Author Paul Cochrane
Title LA Testing Provides 4 Levels of Analysis for Victims of Wildfire Smoke Damage
Introduction Testing services from LA Testing identify issues and help to settle insurance claims for properties damaged by wildfire smoke residues.

LA Testing Provides 4 Levels of Analysis for Victims of Wildfire Smoke Damage

Testing services from LA Testing identify issues and help to settle insurance claims for properties damaged by wildfire smoke residues.

Garden Grove, CA, July 12th, 2013

California has seen its share of destructive wildfires so far in 2013.  Just last month, Los Angeles County’s Fire Chief reported in a news conference it could be the worst fire season in the area in 100 years.

Large areas have already succumbed to wildfires and numerous homes and businesses have been impacted.  Although people realize wildfires can destroy properties and buildings with their flames, far fewer recognize the damage that can be caused by the large amounts of smoke that can travel extensive distances and cause problems in homes, schools and businesses. 

“Smoke released by a wildfire is filled with combustion by-products that include soot, ash and char,” reported Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility, a leading smoke damage testing provider. “Odors, discoloration and ghosting effects can result when these combustion byproducts from wildfires are deposited in buildings.  LA Testing provides expert analysis of smoke damage and fire debris which is crucial for not only identifying indoor issues caused by smoke residues, but also for settling insurance claims for property damage,” he continued.

Smoke residues left behind and not addressed can lower property values due to discoloration, tarnishing and lingering odors.  Odors can at times be neutralized and then sealed on some types of materials. Smoke residues can also result in corrosion and etching of materials.   Some building materials and household belongings can be cleaned and restored, but others may need to be replaced.

LA Testing offers a diverse combination of analytical levels depending on the complexity of the methods utilized to meet the client's specific needs. The analytical complexity level and the overall value of the packages increases from level 1 to 4.  They include:

  • Level 1: Char + Soot (presumptive) + Ash
  • Level 2: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash
  • Level 3: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash + common components of environmental dust (such as fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite)
  • Level 4: Char + Soot (confirmation level) + Ash + common components of environmental dust (fibrous glass, biological material, cellulose, synthetic fibers, pollen, quartz, calcite) + Elemental composition of soot, char, and ash by SEM/EDX + pH (to determine overall corrosivity of the dust)

To learn more about testing for smoke damage, char, carbon black, soot, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.

LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.