Huntington Beach, CA, December 19th, 2018
For residents of California, having a washing machine and clothes dryer in a house, apartment or condo offers great convenience and increases a property’s appeal and value. In fact, nationwide, over 85% of households have at least a washing machine, so for the estimated 13 million households in California, that equates to over 11 million washing machines being used on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, one of the most common sources of water damage in a residence is due to washing machines. Large volumes of water are used when the machine is in use, if something goes wrong, this water can leak and cause damage. Even worse, if the water supply line ruptures, hundreds of gallons of water per hour could be released. Not only can this water cause extensive damage to building materials and belongings, the moisture can allow for the growth of mold in less than 48 hours if materials remain wet.
In addition to issues associated with washing machines, clothes dryers cause thousands of fires each year that result in millions of dollars in property damage. Even a relatively minor fire that is extinguished quickly can cause extensive and costly smoke damage throughout an entire property. Smoke residues cause odors, discoloration and ghosting effects, and their presence can also result in etching and corrosion on surfaces. These same residues can damage or destroy electronics.
There are simple steps that can be taken to help prevent the risk of water damage, mold growth and fire hazards in laundry rooms. They include the following suggestions:
- Have the washing machine and dryer installed by a qualified professional
- Ensure the units remain level and do not store combustible materials by either machine.
- Consider upgrading standard rubber hoses to the washing machine with braided steel hoses. Many experts also recommend shutting off the water lines to the unit when it is not in use and replacing hoses as they age.
- Check to make sure the drain hose is securely connected to the drain.
- A ceiling exhaust fan or open window in the laundry area can help reduce humidity levels.
- Clean the lint trap in the dryer before each use.
- Don’t place clothing with combustible fluids on them into the dryer.
- Ensure the dryer exhaust connection is in good condition and secured properly. The exhaust air should be vented to the outdoors and not into the attic or other indoor location. Be sure the dryer vent to the outdoors is free of debris and obstructions. Finally, consider having the duct professionally cleaned on a regular basis to remove the buildup of lint and other combustible materials.
“For those who do experience water damage, mold growth or smoke resides due to a mishap in their laundry room, we have tools and tests available to help ensure any issues are handled properly,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “In addition to mold and smoke residue testing services, LA Testing offers asbestos and lead analyses. It’s quite common to encounter one or both of these hazards when cleanup, demolition, repair and rebuilding projects take place in older laundry rooms. Test results can also be instrumental when filing an insurance claim and for after a project is completed to ensure these indoor environmental quality issues have been properly addressed.”
In addition to LA Testing’s indoor environmental testing services, sampling supplies, inspection tools, and easy-to-use test kits, the laboratory specialists have also sponsored a video about laundry rooms and preventing property damage and mold growth that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/N4_VkraH_LI.
To learn more about this or other indoor environmental quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to indoor environmental 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.