Huntington Beach, California, December 14, 2022
A significant percentage of homes and buildings in California have been built in areas that are prone to flooding events that may only occur every few decades. The California Department of Water Resources reports that all 58 counties have experienced at least 1 significant flooding event in the past 25 year. The agency goes on to share that these floods have resulted in the loss of life and billions of dollars in damages.
Flood damage can be the result of heavy rains, overflowing rivers, or because of hurricanes and tropical storms. For those that may encounter floodwaters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides the following suggestions to prepare a home:
- Make sure to secure or protect any hazards in the home before the flood strikes.
- Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before evacuating. Also turn off gas and water supplies before evacuating and secure structurally unstable building materials.
- Buy a fire extinguisher if there isn’t already one in the home. Make sure the family knows where it is and how to use it.
- Buy and install sump pumps with back-up power.
- Have a licensed electrician raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12″ above the home’s projected flood elevation.
- For drains, toilets and other sewer connections, install backflow valves or plugs to prevent floodwaters from entering.
- Anchor fuel tanks which can contaminate the basement if torn free. An unanchored tank outside can be swept downstream and damage other houses.
- Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside or tie them down securely.
“Anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal with a flooded home or business should be aware of potential environmental hazards they are likely to encountered when the water recedes,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Water damage or excessive humidity allows for the rapid growth of mold and it’s also common for floodwaters to contain sewage and chemicals. Even cleanup and repair activities could aerosolize lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials.”
Available to help property owners, renters and property managers identify exposure risks to mold, lead, asbestos, sewage, chemicals and other potential dangers associated with flood damage are the scientists at LA Testing. With multiple laboratories in California, LA Testing offers laboratory services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, building inspection tools, air monitoring instruments and personal protective equipment (PPE). They have even sponsored an educational video discussing the CDC’s flood preparation suggestions that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/b5PwYehgQAs
To learn more about flood damage and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing services and supplies, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of mold, asbestos, 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, CDC Elite, 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, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.