Zimmetry Environmental

Tropical Storm Isaias Causes Flooding and Property Damage in Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Zimmetry Environmental

This week, heavy rains and wind from Tropical Storm Isaias lashed parts of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. The storm knocked out power to almost 450,000 homes and businesses and dropped enough rain to cause serious flooding in parts Puerto Rico. The water damage not only destroyed property, in many cases, it also left behind exposure concerns.

Whenever water enters a building, no matter the source, it’s important to have it safely removed as quickly as possible. Even water damage due to clean water, known as Category 1 Water, can result in mold growth in as short as 24 to 48 hours.

Category 2 Water, also known as Grey Water, typically contains a significant amount of biological or physical contaminants that can cause sickness when humans are exposed or if it is accidently consumed. Examples include toilet water with no feces, sump pump failures and water discharged from a dishwashers or washing machine. Category 2 Water, that is not promptly removed or has remained stagnant for 48–72 hours, may at times be reclassified as Category 3 Water.   

Category 3 Water, also known as Black Water, is grossly contaminated. It may contain harmful pathogens, microbes and chemicals that could cause illness. Sources include sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water.

“It’s also important to remember that during the drying process other materials that are already in the building could create health hazards,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Materials in many buildings, such as asbestos-containing materials or lead-based paints, may become aerosolized during the drying process or due to repair activities. If not handled properly, dust and debris from these materials could spread throughout a property.”

The environmental and building science experts at Zimmetry Environmental are available to help facility managers and property owners respond to the damage. Their professionals provide testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks due to water damage, mold, bacteria, sewage, asbestos, lead and chemical hazards. These services help to ensure that buildings can be quickly and safely repaired without risking the health and safety of building occupants, workers and families. Zimmetry has also sponsored an educational video about tropical storms and indoor air quality concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/sZjLtuBmu08

To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their building science, indoor environmental quality, compliance and consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email info@zimmetry.com. 

About Zimmetry Environmental

Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.