Garden Grove, CA, January 13th, 2015
Last month, the Daily Press published a report about an apartment fire in Victorville that displaced several families. According to the article, firefighters rescued multiple people and at least four apartments were damaged in the fire.
Fortunately, the fire was contained to just one apartment, but smoke and water damage can easily cause problems in surrounding units. Water damage can destroy building materials and personal belongings. It can also allow for the growth of mold in as short as 24 to 48 hours. Once mold begins to grow, it can impact the indoor air quality (IAQ) for anyone in the building. Exposure to mold can cause allergies, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), trigger asthma in some people and some types of mold can even cause infections in people with a weakened immune system.
Smoke damage can also often be found in surrounding units and buildings. Smoke infiltrating a structure can leave behind unpleasant odors and residues which can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration within the property.
In units that do need to be repaired or remediated, there are also other potential hazards that could be encountered. Many older properties still contain materials with asbestos and lead-based paints. Repairing damaged buildings can aerosolize these hazardous materials for anyone involved in these activities and even potentially remain a threat for future building occupants.
“It’s important that people realize that smoke can impact the indoor environmental quality for anyone nearby, even when a property is not directly touched by flames,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “For properties directly impacted by flames, heavy smoke damage, mold due to water used to extinguish the flames, and the presence of lead and asbestos are all real potential threats. At LA Testing, we offer sampling supplies and testing services to identify smoke residues, mold, asbestos, lead and many other hazards that may be present following a structural fire.”
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
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for food testing and 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.