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Indoor Environmental Quality Issues Caused by Lightning Strikes in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides inspection and testing services following a lightning strike to identify potential indoor environmental quality hazards.


Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Puerto Rico’s tropical climate means year-round warm weather and the frequent possibility of lightning storms for residents of the islands.

Puerto Rico’s tropical climate means year-round warm weather and the frequent possibility of lightning storms for residents of the islands. As lightning passes through the air it can heat the air to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun according to the National Weather Service.
 
As lightening makes contact with the ground or through a building, a massive electrical discharge occurs. All of this energy can kill or injure people and cause serious damage to property. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reports that as recently as 2014 there were almost 100,000 paid homeowners insurance claims for insured losses totaling almost ¾ of a billion dollars for lightning damage in the United States alone.
 
“A great deal of the property damage from lightning strikes is associated with fires,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “If lightning causes a fire in a home or building there is typically obvious damage due to flames, but even a small fire that is quickly extinguished can cause extensive smoke damage. In addition to smoke odors, the corrosive effect of smoke residues can begin to cause etching, corrosion and discoloration on indoor surfaces as time passes. Smoke residues can also harm or destroy sensitive electronics.”
 
When lightning strikes it can also result in water damage if the building’s roof or siding is damaged due to a direct hit or from a tree that was hit and falls on a structure. Most wet building materials and belongings can support the growth of mold is as short as 48 hours if they remain wet. The presence of elevated levels of mold can cause indoor air quality (IAQ) issues and health concerns for building occupants as well as increase repair costs.
 
Older buildings that must undergo repairs due to a lightning strike could also present exposure hazards due to the possible presence of lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. These materials are still commonly found in many residential and commercial buildings. 
 
Individuals and businesses in Puerto Rico who encounter property damage due to lightning damage can turn to the building science experts at Zimmetry Environmental. Their experts can identify smoke damage and residues as well as water damage and mold growth. If repairs are needed, they can test for lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials. Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about lightning strikes, property damage and indoor environmental quality concerns that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/_IXww8FnrTs
 
To learn more about Zimmetry’s building science and indoor environmental quality testing or other consulting and compliance 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.
 


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 Puerto Rico
 Lightning Damage
 Fire Damage
 Water Damage
 Air Testing


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