Garden Grove, CA, November 7, 2013
Both structural fires and wildfires can produce an enormous amount of smoke that can often infiltrate homes and buildings not directly touched by flames. This smoke is filled with combustion by-products that include soot (black carbon), ash and char.
Odors, discoloration and ghosting effects can result when these combustion byproducts are deposited in buildings on surfaces and belongings. Following a fire, it can often be found on carpets, walls, plastic objects and other materials, and are often noted around ventilation grilles and electrical outlets. The culprit for this "ghosting" phenomenon is often caused by residues from smoke infiltration.
Soot, also known as black carbon, is a fine-grained solid residue that results from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. In addition to fires, other common sources that can cause property damage include candles, fuels such as oil, propane and natural gas used in gas appliances and gas log fireplaces, and firewood burned in a fireplace or a wood-burning stove. Even printer cartridges can produce a manufactured carbon black that is nearly identical to black carbon.
“LA Testing provides expert analysis of smoke damage and fire residues which is crucial for not only identifying indoor issues, but also for settling insurance claims for property damage,” reported Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility, a leading soot and smoke testing provider. “Soot and smoke residues can lower property values due to discoloration, tarnishing and lingering odors. Smoke residues can also result in corrosion and etching of materials. LA Testing offers a combination of analytical techniques to provide the answers our clients need to resolve their toughest soot questions.”
To help educate people about soot and soot testing services, LA Testing recently published a new website full of information. To view the new website, please visit: www.SootTestingLab.com.
To learn more about testing for smoke damage, char, carbon black, soot, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental issues, please visit the new website or 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.