Huntington Beach, CA, December 18th, 2018
Recently, a three-alarm fire in Vallejo, California displaced 40 residents from their apartment homes. The fire began in a 2nd floor apartment where it was contained, but extensive smoke damage reportedly occurred in the 2nd and 3rd floors. In addition, fire suppression efforts and the sprinkler system caused water damage on all three floors.
While some parts of the apartment complex will require extensive rebuilding due to direct flame damage, other areas will need to be remediated due to smoke residues and the water used to put out the fire. Even some nearby homes and businesses, not directly touched by flames, may have sustained varying degrees of property damage. This is due to the fact that building fires produce a tremendous amount of heat and smoke that can impact neighboring properties.
The smoke from building fires is made up of a number of combustion by-products that may include ash, soot, char and other materials. As it spreads throughout a building, it leaves behind odors and residues. These residues can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration within the property. It can also cause extensive damage to any electronic devices.
“The complex owners and tenants with property or renters insurance may have coverage for smoke and water damage, but it is often left to the policyholder to provide proof of smoke damage as it is not always immediately evident,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Mold can also become an issue indoors following a building fire if water and moisture issues are not addressed in a timely manner. In fact, mold can begin to grow in under 48 hours on most wet building materials, furnishing and personal belongings. In older apartments, lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials are a common hazard during cleanup and rebuilding activities."
The indoor environmental quality (IEQ) scientists from LA Testing help property owners and tenants following a structural fire. They offer analytical services, all of the sampling supplies necessary, and even easy-to-use test kits to identify everything from smoke residues and odors to mold, lead, asbestos and other contaminants often associated with fire damage.
LA Testing has also sponsored an educational video about smoke damage that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/1Ei8z-uJTn0.
To learn more about testing a property for smoke and water damage, mold, asbestos, lead or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to test kits, 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 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.