The professionals at Indoor Environmental Consultants (IEC) identify building occupant exposure concerns for businesses and property managers.
Each year, billions of dollars are paid to settle insured commercial property damage claims. Many of these claims are due to water damage, fire damage, and wind and storm damage. While damage from any one of these events is often quite visible, they can also create potential indoor environmental hazards that many business owners and property managers may not immediately recognize. These potential hazards could be due to the actual building damage or result from clean-up and repair activities.
Depending on the type of damage, when the building was constructed, and the materials used to construct and furnish the property, the range of possible indoor environmental issues can be wide-ranging. Buildings with natural gas or propane lines could have leaks, and damage to a building’s HVAC system or boiler equipment could create carbon monoxide concerns. Commercial buildings that contain chemicals used for cleaning or industrial processes may now pose chemical exposure risks.
Buildings that suffer fire damage will often have smoke and soot issues. These residues can cause damage to property through etching and discoloration. In addition, unpleasant odors and particulates can act as a respiratory irritant for building occupants.
Commercial properties that experience water damage due to flooding may now also have microbial contamination issues. Flood waters often contain a host of bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. In some circumstances it may even contain chemical pollutants. Even flooding due to potable water can allow for the growth of fungi (mold) in as short as 48 hours in many circumstances.
In older commercial buildings property damage may aerosolize dusts from lead-based paints and asbestos fibers. These hazardous materials can also become a significant exposure concern during damage clean-up and repair activities.
“It’s important that business owners and property managers understand that what may appear to be a simple property damage issue, could in fact lead to health and safety issues if the situation is not properly handled,” said Hollis L. Horner, President, Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. “At IEC our building science professionals are available to quickly respond and assess indoor environmental issues in commercial properties across Texas and the Gulf Coast. These services protect building occupants and workers from exposure risks and can be instrumental for ensuring that commercial property damage claims take into account indoor environmental issues that may otherwise be overlooked during the claims process.”
About Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc.
IEC began operations in 2001 with some of the nation’s most seasoned professional indoor air quality consultants who already had over 70 years of combined experience. The indoor environmental quality firm specializes in field investigations and assessments of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Their services, related to fungal (mold), chemical, bacterial, asbestos and particulate pollutants, are offered throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast and the Southwest. IEC is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a mold assessment company (ACO0114) and an asbestos consultant agency (100329).