Huntington Beach, CA, July 10th, 2020
Several media outlets recently published reports about a fire at a California apartment complex. According to the articles, while no one was hurt, over 50 residents that called the complex home were displaced even though the fire was contained to just one unit on the third floor. The residents had to leave because of damage to the building’s electrical system and widespread smoke and water damage.
When there is a fire in a multi-tenant complex there can be a tremendous amount of smoke that travels throughout units and floors. This smoke is made up of a number of combustion by-products that include ash, soot, char and other materials. The smoke leaves behind odors and residues which can cause corrosion, etching and discoloration that can get worse over time.
Water damage from sprinklers and the efforts of firefighters in a building can also impact large areas of the structure. The water will always seek its way to the lowest level causing both visible damage and water in areas that are out of sight, such as behind walls, ceilings and under floors. The moisture often results in the growth of mold in as short as a few days. Once mold begins to grow, even when it is in areas that are not visible, it can impact the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) of the building.
“Another serious concern in many older buildings that have undergone fire, water or smoke damage is the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Efforts to dry out and repair any damage could aerosolize these materials if the proper safety precautions are not taken.”
With multiple laboratories in California, LA Testing offers testing for smoke residues, mold, odors, lead, asbestos and other potentially hazardous materials. LA Testing also provides all of the sampling supplies needed, building inspection tools and easy-to-use IEQ kits. They have even sponsored an educational video about smoke damage that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/1Ei8z-uJTn0.
To learn more about testing for smoke residues, odors, 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 IEQ 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-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), 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, San Diego and Ontario.