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Disaster recovery and restoration can be veiled in mystery to the many who have not undertaken specific training. This glossary explains technical terms to assist both report writing and the understanding of those technical terms so often misunderstood.


The Disaster Advice Glossary and its contents are the protected copyright of Disaster Advice

Laboured Breathing

The condition starts with an increase in the breathing rate. Breathing then becomes laboured and more rapid. Going to an outside fresh air source and sitting down may aid you in regaining your breath. Health Note The cause of laboured breathing most likely is a result of poor health lack of exercise or smoking. In the mitigation and restoration industry it can be due to the type of the work and amount of exertion resulting in exhaustion and heat stress. Laboured breathing by technicians can be due to the inhalation of airborne contaminates from not wearing a respirator or wearing the appropriate respirator having the wrong filters on the respirator or wearing the respirator improperly. See Occupational Related Respiratory Diseases


Laminar Air Flow

Streamlined airflow in which the entire body of air within a designated space moves with uniform velocity in one direction along parallel flow lines.


Laminar Flow

The smooth non-turbulent flow of air through supply air ventilation ducts into a building air space.



A word that describes the term to join and bond together.


Laminated Material

A material such as wood that is bonded together in composite layers. Education Note Plywood is a laminate whereas each layer is cross-laid over itself with adhesives and glues increasing the structural stability and strength of the composite plywood laminated material.


Latent Damage

Material damage that is not yet apparent but which may become obvious at some future time. See Latent Period Secondary Damage


Latent Heat

In HVAC the heat required to change the state of a substance as in changing water to steam.


Latent Period

The time between exposures and response to an exposure. The time between exposure to a dangerous substance and the development of disease or infection. c In water damaged buildings the latent time between an exposure from a flood and material damage caused as a result of the flood events direct relationship with water resulting in swelling or water resulting in fungi growth.



Related to carpets latex is described as the rubbery-like liquid that is found between the primary and secondary backing of a carpet. Education Note With water damage carpets watery-base latex may breakdown resulting in the repair or replacement of some carpets.


Latex Paint

A description of a water or oil-base paint that is used on walls and ceilings materials to protect them from exposure. Education Note Most exposure are associated with humidity in bathrooms and showers where the excess humidity is on the painted surface side and kitchens where oils and grease are on the painted side. Restorative Drying Note In water damage mitigation latex paint inhibits wall and ceiling drying trapping in the humidity and high vapor pressure inside wall and ceiling cavities. All cove and corner base must be removed from latex-base painted walls and dehumidification and drying methods must be implemented to assist in drying behind the latex paint before the walls start growing fungi and mould.



Individuals partnerships and corporations who are licensed and practice to state and sometimes federal rules laws and regulations. Some lawyers are specialists in environmental tort law. During a dispute between two or more parties about environmental related problems it is important to retain the best environmental lawyer to plead your case. Some lawyers are specialists in construction defect claims they should be retained for construction related defect claim cases.



The ability of a material to dissolve out soluble parts such as running water slowly across and through contaminated soil.



The suspended solids and liquids that are able to be removed from a contaminated material.


Leachate Collection System

An engineered system of pipes and reservoirs in land which is designed to accumulate and remove water that migrates through waste


Leachate Contamination

Sewage water and effluents which has somehow escaped and migrated from their disposal site into fields property and buildings. The suspended sewage fluids that contain dissolved liquids and solids which have passed through the sewer system and which has caused damaged to property.


Lead-Base Paint

A painted material surface that contains lead-base paint. Homes and business buildings pre-1978 are all suspect of having and containing lead-base paint. Mitigation and Safety Note Under new EPA regulations TSCA 406B no home or business can be sold or rented without disclosure of lead-base paint. No renovations in dwellings and businesses older than 1978 can be completed without testing the painted surfaces for lead. If lead-base paint is detected the paint and paint dust can be a health concern. If you or your client has questions call 800/424-LEAD.


Legionella Pneumonphila

The bacterium that causes legionnaire disease resulting in a form of debilitating pneumonia. Legionella pneumonphila infection occurs by inhaling vaporized contaminated water droplets in air usually from poorly maintained air-conditioning systems. The Legionella bacteria has been found in shower heads and in jacuzzi which have resulted in sickness and death.


Lethal Dose

An absorbed amount of chemical toxin or other agent sufficient enough to cause and result in premature death.



A popular manufacturer of window blinds and other types of widow coverings. For more information and the purchase of repair kits contact Levolor at 1-800-LEVOLOR or www.levolor.com.


Licensed Public Adjusters

Licensed public adjusters are licensed and registered in the states they work in. Licensed public adjusters do not work for the insurer licensed public adjusters work directly for the insured on a contract basis.



A registered document filed with the county or state that says in brief ...the contractor has a legal claim to the property they are providing services at... based on contract provisions and state regulations. See Lien Release


Lien Release

A legal document as per State Codes which spells out the release of a lien on a property. In addition no employer is allowed to sign away an employees rights to a Mechanic Lien if the employee has not been paid by the employer. Legal Note In California under the Labor Code 206.5 no employer shall require the execution of any release of any claim or right on account of wages due or to become due or made as an advance on wages to be earned unless payment of such wages has been made. Any release required or executed in violation of the provisions of this section shall be null and void as between the employer and the employee and the violation of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor. See Conditional Waiver %u0026 Lien Release Non-Payment of Insurance Claim Debt Unconditional Waiver %u0026 Lien Release



In restorative drying of wet carpets lift is a term used to describe the ballooning of a wet carpet as it dries from the back side up through the face fibres with dryer and some times dehumidified air.


Light Cleaning

The surface removal of loose debris found on flat surfaces where normal dust dirt and lint filter down onto.


Light Wind

A term used in carpet cleaning and water extraction as a light aluminum wand compared to a heavier cleaning and extraction wand which is usually made with stainless steel.


Lighting and Illumination Protection

The appropriate lighting and illumination necessary for the work site. 29 CFR 1926.56.



A polymer contained in the structure of wood along with cellulose that forms the essential part of the woody tissue making up the greater part of the weight of dry wood. Mitigation Note Natural biodegradation of lignin is slow and it takes place only in aerobic environments. Increased biodegradation and decomposition of wood is a result of fungi infestation. See Bound Water Poria Wood Rot


Like Kind and Quality

An insurance term used to describe a replacement of a damaged item with a similar item having comparable value. Like kind and quality has the acronym of LKQ.



A solid to a white powder compound made from calcium carbonate. Dolomite lime is a mined mineral. Mitigation Note Lime is used in many building materials from drywall to mortar. Bagged lime can be used as a topical disinfectant on sewage damaged ground. It must be mulched and turned in the soil so that no lime remains visible. c Lime is also a good soil stabilizer in contaminated or soft soil. Health and Safety Note Lime can cause acute and severe health concerns to workers and occupants in building if lime is broadcast sprayed or allowed to aerosolize. Lime in the presence of moisture has a dry state PH of 8 and in the presence of high humidity and moisture lime has PH of about 12.5.



A chemical degreaser and cleaning agent having a lemon/lime citrus fragrance. Liability and Health and Safety Note Limonene and D Limonene have a citrus fragrance that appears to smell fresh once applied and yet for some persons who have chemical sensitivities Limonene is known to suppress or heighten some persons senses causing them to experience headaches vomiting to skin rashes. Caution Note No Limonene product should be used as a decontamination chemical cleaning or sanitizing cleanser without the building owner prior approval. See Citrus Cleaning Heightened Awareness



A flooring material that is produced as floor tiles or sheet goods. Linoleum wear layer and backing are the same materials unlike vinyl flooring which have different primary backing and finishing materials.


Linoleum Roller

A heavy installation tool used to roll-out adhesive under the linoleum. A linoleum roller can be used in water damage mitigation to remove large amounts of saturated water in glue-down carpet or carpet with pad.



The amount of solid debris soil or water that can be safely loaded and transported in a container. The heavily impacted area having and supporting the most contamination. c The forces placed on a building by its weight. d The power delivered to an electrical devise through wiring. e The amount of pollutants or contaminates in an air space.


Load-Bearing Wall

Any wall that supports the weight of vertical building components including other walls ceilings floors and roof.


Localised Containment and Correction

In water damage and fungal mitigation local or localized containment becomes an isolated localized area of contamination. Properly completed containment and correction can be removed relatively easily with little danger to a trained practitioner while avoiding spread of the fungi contaminate throughout a larger area. In fungi remediation localized surface contamination may be achieved by washing and sanitizing a surface followed by immediate towel drying. Health and Safety Note In fungi remediation if the fungal contaminate reappears on a surface over a relatively short period of time this most likely means the fungi is not just a surface contaminate but it is growing from within the matrix of a wood drywall or cellulosic building material. Opening up a localized or isolated fungi contaminated building material area must be completed with extreme care since the proliferation of fungi spores and toxins can be larger in mass from behind the material and it can be dangerous to the health of the mitigation practitioner and other building occupants. Mitigation Note Using proper industry standards of care during the removal of a localized fungi contaminated building material. The trained mitigation practitioner must 1 set in place loose plastic and tape off the area having localized fungi. 2 the practitioner is to cut a hole in the plastic sufficient enough to place the head of the HEPA vacuum brush in the plastic while maintaining negative air pressure between the surface and plastic sheeting. 3 the practitioner is to vacuum all loose surface visible fungi and spores. 4 only after HEPA vacuuming of the moldy surface should the material be carefully cut out. 5 the mold contaminated building material is to be carefully plastic bagged preferably in two bags consisting of 6-mil plastic and the bags are to be closed and tied shut. 6 the remaining building materials including open wall or ceiling cavity is to be HEPA vacuumed of all dust and spores whether they are visible or not. If there is insulation behind the material removed the insulation may be a source of contamination and it too may require careful removal. 7 after HEPA vacuuming the interior wall cavity or material is to be damp wiped preferably with a bleach solution to remove adherent microscopic dusts spores and fungal hyphae. The mitigation practitioner must be careful to not over wet the area avoiding residual microbial contamination growth. 8 attempt a thorough investigation of the wall or ceiling cavity or other building material to ascertain why the fungi occurred in the first place. 9 if identification of a defect is present the causation for the fungi must be corrected. 10 only after correction and careful inspection of the clean mold free and dry building materials should new insulation and other material surfaces be installed. See Full-scale Containment and Correction


Look-Out/Tag-Out Protection

The methods and procedures necessary to stop and eliminate electrical hazards including electrocution and adverting mechanical equipment to be started. Lock-Out/Tag-Out requirements incorporate the use of specific types of lock size color coding and special lock-out devises including a lock-out/tag-out log. 29 CFR 1910.147


Loss Mitigation

In insurance terms Loss mitigation are the services necessary to reduce or stop property damage.


Loss of Rents

If a covered property loss makes that part of the residence premises rented to others or held for rental by the insured the insurance policy may cover loss of rents less any expense that does continue during the loss period. The insurance policy may pay for the shortest time needed to repair or replace the damaged property or permanently relocate but in no event for more than 12 months. Insurance Note If there is coverage for 1 and 2 above the time period is not typically limited by expiration of the policy.


Loss of Use

A term in emergency services meaning the temporary or long-term loss of use of an area property or facility. In insurance policies loss of use is a type of insurance policy or an addendum to an existing policy which covers the loss of use of a property because of an insurable event consequence or damage.


Loss Payment

The partial or total settlement agreement for a covered loss minus the deductible which is made payable to the insured in the form of a draft unless another payee is named on the policy.


Loss Settlement

Loss settlements under the policy are settled either by 1Actual Cash Value which are the current market value for an item or property minus deduction and/or depreciation which are limited to the insurance applying to the damaged or destroyed property. 2 Replacement Cost which are paid without deduction or depreciation as outlined in the declarations of the policy.


Loss to a Pair or Set

In insurance terminology the insurance company may elect to repair or replace any part of the pair or set to restore it to its value before the loss or the insurance company may decide to pay the difference between the actual cash value of the property before and after the loss. A loss to a part may not mean a total loss of the pair or set.


Losses Not Typically Insured

In insurance terms loss not typically insured include 1 Earth Movement acts or omissions of persons can cause contribute to or aggravate earth movement. Earth movement can occur naturally to cause loss or combine with acts or omissions of persons to cause loss. Whenever earth movement occurs the resulting loss is most always excluded under the policy however caused except the policy may cover direct loss by fire or explosion resulting from earth movement. 2 Water Damage acts or omissions of persons which can cause contribute to or aggravate water damage. Water damage can occur naturally to cause or combine with acts of omissions or persons to cause loss. Whenever water damage occurs the resulting loss is most always excluded under a policy however caused except the policy may cover direct loss by fire or explosion resulting from water damage. 3 Other Acts or Omissions of persons include Nuclear hazard Faulty inadequate or defective planning zoning or development Enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction Interruption of power or other utility Neglect of an insured War including undeclared war Freezing and discharge of water while the dwelling is vacant Theft in a building under construction is vacant for more than 30 days and other losses which are described in the policy.


Low-Level Hazardous Work Environments

A work environment that can pose some risk or hazard to life or health including slips trips and falls and electrocution which are known to be associated with water and fire damaged buildings and areas having limited waste exposure. If it is determined that hazards exist and they are not removed the work site may change from being a low-level hazard to a moderate or high hazardous work environment until the hazard can be controlled or eliminated. See High-Hazardous Level Work Environment Moderate-Level Hazardous Work Environment.


Lumber Yard Mould

Ceratocystis ophiostoma a common fungi found on cut green pine wood wet wood in lumber yards and new wood in buildings. Lumber yard fungi when viable living produces a bluish color staining and when dormant or dead becomes black in color. Ceratocystis ophiostoma grows on the vascular surface of cut wood but this fungi does not damage or cause deterioration to the lignins of the wood.



The flux on one square foot of a sphere having a one foot radius with a light source of one foot-candle at the center that radiates equally and uniformly in all directions.


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