Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Building Science Experts in Puerto Rico Identify Smoke Damage and Other Indoor Environmental Quality Issues Following Structure Fires

Source: Cochrane & Associates, LLC

Zimmetry Environmental provides air and surface testing services to identify smoke residues, odors, water damage and mold following building fires throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico, August 27th, 2019 -- According to the National Fire Protection Agency, every 24 seconds a fire department responds to a fire in the United States and as recently as 2017, there were 499,000 structure fires in the country. The cost of this property damage averages in the billions each year and for 2017, was estimated at a staggering $23 billion.

 

While the majority of structure fires take place in homes (72% in 2017), they also cause damage to countless schools, hospitals and other institutional, commercial and industrial facilities. Even a small fire in a single structure or multi-tenant building can be devastating, including in areas not directly touched by flames. This damage is often due to smoke and water that can cause issues throughout a home or building.

 

Smoke can easily infiltrate an entire structure leaving behind residues that damage surfaces and equipment, cause odors and other indoor air quality (IAQ) problems. Water damage from sprinklers and fire suppression efforts, which can be clearly visible at times or can also occur out of sight behind walls, ceilings and under floors, is also a major concern after most fires. Moisture that remains for more than 48 hours often results in the growth of mold. Once mold begins to grow, even when it grows in areas that are not visible, it can impact the IAQ of the building and damage materials. Exposure to elevated levels of mold can trigger asthma in some people with the condition; result in allergies and respiratory issues; and some types of mold can even result in opportunistic infections in people with a weakened or suppressed immune system.

 

“If smoke, residues, water damage and mold aren’t enough, many buildings in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean still contain materials with asbestos and lead-based paints,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “After the fire, during demolition, repair and rebuilding efforts, these materials can be easily aerosolize if the proper safety precautions are not taken.”

 

Helping building owners, managers and tenants in these types of situations are the building science and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. Their experts provide post-fire environmental testing and inspections. These critical services identify smoke and water damage, mold growth, lead-based paints, asbestos-containing materials and other potential hazards to protect workers and building occupants, and to keep companies and institutions in regulatory compliance.  

 

To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their building science, indoor air quality, environmental, and compliance testing 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.