Bayamon, Puerto Rico, September 26th, 2017 -- One of the strongest hurricanes in the history of Puerto Rico made landfall last week. Hurricane Maria brought life-threatening winds, heavy rains, flooding and storm surge that destroyed or damaged countless structures across the islands. Incredibly, this was the second time this month that homes and buildings in Puerto Rico were ravaged by a hurricane.
This latest natural disaster follows Hurricane Irma that took out power to many buildings at the beginning of the month. Hurricane Maria’s damage to the islands’ electrical grid will only add to the misery, property damage and indoor environmental concerns that are now present in so many residential, commercial and institutional properties.
“Properties that suffered water damage and have not had electricity for weeks to enable drying, dehumidification, air conditioning and ventilation can easily become heavily contaminated with mold as stale and humid air accelerates microbial growth,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Without power it’s a challenge, if not impossible, to effectively dry out all of these damp or soaked properties. It is really important for all of us to be aware of the many ways exposure to high levels of mold can impact our health. This is especially for those of us who already suffer from allergies or conditions like asthma or COPD, and for those with a weakened or suppressed immune system. In addition, properties damaged by floodwaters or storm surge could also now contain raw sewage, fuels, chemicals and other hazards that came in with the water.”
Heavily damaged properties that require gutting, demolition and repair activities could even expose workers and building occupants to asbestos and lead in some circumstances. Asbestos fibers and lead dusts are easily aerosolized if the proper safety precautions are not in place.
To help residents and businesses in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Zimmetry Environmental provides comprehensive indoor environmental quality (IEQ) assessments. Their professionals offer testing, monitoring, consulting and remediation oversight for hurricane damaged properties of all types. They also recently sponsored and educational video about storm surge property damage and potential IEQ issues that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/f7kzQViRP90
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 (IAQ), asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.