California Foreclosures and Potential Indoor Environmental Quality Issues
Foreclosure rates have been steadily decreasing in most parts of the country. According to recent media reports, even with this trend, California still has one of the highest number of completed foreclosure rates in the country. Approximately 29,000 properties completed the foreclosure process in California from the middle of 2014 through the middle of this year.
For many of California’s real estate investors and first-time home buyers, foreclosures represent an opportunity to potentially purchase property at below market rates. However, these properties do come with potential risks. Many of them have been vacated for some time and others have not been maintained. This can lead to potential problems and buyers should be aware of indoor environmental hazards that may be present in some of these properties. Indoor environmental issues may include the following:
• Mold can begin to grow in wet or high humidity environments in as short as 24 to 48 hours on many common materials used to build and furnish properties.
• Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and other products found in and around older homes and other properties.
• Asbestos was used widely in the past in a variety of building construction materials due to its fiber strength and heat-resistant properties.
• Some neglected properties with sewage damage can present concerns over infectious diseases and microbial pathogens, including E. coli.
• Vapor intrusion can occur when there is a migration of volatile chemicals from contaminated groundwater or soil into an overlying building.
• Radon in properties is believed to be responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
• Properties that have been recently renovated may have high levels of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to off-gassing of new materials.
• If a property was ever used as clandestine drug laboratory, it may contain toxic chemical residues.
“Whether you are an investor or a first-time home buyer, knowing if there are hazards in a property is essential for the health and wellbeing of future building occupants and for its future resale value,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “At LA Testing, we offer sampling supplies and analytical services for property investors and the general public so they can make an informed buying decision and understand any exposure risks that may exist in a foreclosed property.”
LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about possible indoor environmental risks that could be found in some foreclosure properties. It can be seen at: https://youtu.be/BIi7tkq3osg.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for 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 ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, CDC ELITE, 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, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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- LA Testing
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