Garden Grove, CA, February 10th, 2016
A late January storm pounded southern California with heavy rains and strong winds. Over 100,000 people were without power in Orange and Los Angeles counties due to toppled trees and power lines. The rain and wind also damaged a number of homes and businesses across the region.
This storm was the latest in a series of El Niño-driven storms that have impacted California this winter. Many of these storms are associated with powerful winds that can not only directly damage buildings, but can then also allow water to enter a property. Even minor wind damage may result in water incursions where it can cause damage to building materials and belongings. This moisture will often result in the growth of mold in less than 48 hours if the materials are allowed to remain wet or moist.
To protect against wind and water damage, property owners and managers are advised to inspect the building’s exterior, siding and windows to ensure they are sealed and properly secured. Check chimneys, sky lights and roof exhaust vents to confirm they are sealed. Shingles or roof tiles should also be inspected to make sure they are properly fastened and meet or exceed local building codes. Nearby trees should be trimmed back to prevent damage from broken limbs or uprooted trees and anything stored outdoors or any outbuildings should be properly secured.
“Taking proactive steps to prevent wind damage can also prevent water damage and costly mold issues,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “If moisture does enter a property, be sure to begin thoroughly drying it as soon as it is safe to do so. Mold will grow in visible areas and places that are out of sight, such as wall cavities, attics and crawl spaces. If water damage is severe and requires the removal of building materials, be on the lookout for the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. If they are disturbed they could pose an immediate exposure risk to anyone in the home or building.”
For those faced with wind or water damage, LA Testing provides analytical services to identify mold, lead, asbestos and other materials. They also recently sponsored an educational video about wind damage, moisture and mold that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/jMs2IsyLE9k.
To learn more about mold, lead, asbestos and indoor air quality testing or other environmental, occupational, health and safety issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to consumer-friendly indoor environmental test kits, please visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
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 substances. 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, Sierra Madre, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.