For our most recent project we attended a dental practice and were instructed to carry out an assessment of indoor air quality in relation to selected biological contaminants. The dental practice is situated in Moffat town centre and is closely surrounded by similar buildings. The property, a two-storey period building with painted stone walls, pitched slate tiled roof with mature vegetation to the back of the building. The practice consists on the ground floor of two dental surgeries, a kitchenette, a reception and a waiting area. On the first floor the building consists of a decontamination room, a staff room, a PM’s office, a toilet and two cupboards.
The building was recently refurbished and undergone further refurbishment in some areas in the previous year due to fire damage. The building has a history of minor damp issues in some of the rooms. At the time of our assessment none of the members of the staff complained about adverse health symptoms which could be attributed to the building environment.
Conclusions and recommendations based on moisture mapping
Moisture mapping and investigation revealed that the property is suffering from several minor penetrative and rising damp issues. Surgery 2 is affected by penetrative damp above the windows causing damage to decorative finish. The room is also affected by rising damp in the external wall and small area of condensation mould in the corner of the room. The external wall appears to be in good condition with no signs of damage or deterioration.
Using the results of the Moisture Mapping our surveyor was then able to make recommendations to the client in order to prevent further issues. It was recommended to monitor the affected areas and redecorate if necessary. The small areas of condensation mould should be cleaned by wiping and small areas of damp should be monitored and redecorated if necessary. It is also recommended to inspect and repair the lead flashing in the roof wall junction above this area. There was evidence of penetrating damp in the first floor stock room, our surveyor concluded that this was the result of plant root damage on the external wall. We recommended the removal of the plants from the corner of the room and to allow drying time and repair any root damage to pointing.
Taking all this into account our surveyor came to the conclusion that the indoor air is not affected by an elevated number of fungal spores. The composition of identified fungal genera is indicative of normal conditions. The assessment of all the relevant exposure factors indicate that at the present the overall risk to health from exposure to fungal elements is likely to be low. It is recommended to carry out the necessary building maintenance and repairs and to remove the existing fungal contamination by wiping.