Garden Grove, CA, August 7th, 2014
Earlier this month, wildfires raging across drought-ridden California caused Governor Jerry Brown to declare a State of Emergency. Parched conditions and high temperatures have made fighting these fires a challenge. The wildfires have already resulted in numerous mandatory evacuations and have destroyed or damaged a number of homes and businesses.
When evacuated property owners are allowed to return to their homes, some find only the foundation and a few burnt belongings. Due to the efforts of firefighters, others are fortunate to return to intact structures. Although these properties may not have been directly touched by flames, many face varying degrees of smoke damage.
Wildfires produce a tremendous amount of smoke that can be carried for many miles by the prevalent winds. This smoke is made up of a number of combustion by-products that may include ash, soot, char and other materials. These materials can infiltrate a structure and leave behind odors and residues while causing corrosion, etching and discoloration within the property.
“This damage can cause indoor air and environmental quality concerns that could impact people’s health and even lower property values,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “Property insurance may cover this damage, but it is sometimes left to the property owner to provide proof of damages. Although the presence of visible damage can be obvious, other times it may require testing services to prove the presence of residues, odors and other damage that may not be readily apparent.”
LA Testing offers surface and air testing services that can be used to prove the presence of smoke residues and odors. The laboratory also recently sponsored an online video about wildfire smoke damage that can be seen at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0ksscTorHI.
To learn more about testing for smoke damage, char, carbon black, soot and other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental issues, please visit www.SmokeDamageTestingLab.com or www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.