History of long term damp
Our most recent project brought us to Pembrokeshire in Wales, where our client owns a dental practice. The dental practice operates from a three storey town building which had been suffering with long term damp issues. These damp issues appear to originate on the external corner of the building in the customer’s toilet and the corresponding wall on the first and second floors. The damp in these areas have caused deterioration of the decorative finishes. When the damp issue was first identified 18 months ago, it was inspected and the root cause was identified as water penetration through the roof of the building. The external wall and roof of the building were repaired immediately. Our client asked us to carry out a damp survey and an assessment of the indoor air quality to see whether the building was still suffering from damp issues.
Inspecting the building for evidence of damp
When conducting a damp survey and making an assessment of indoor air quality, we require the use of specialist equipment designed to locate and reveal the extent of moisture content within the construction materials and furnishings in the building. Today we attended the site with a Hydromette HB30 moisture meter and a Tramex moisture encounter plus as these would assist us when carrying out a process called Moisture mapping. We also brought along a High flow 1600 sampling pump which we used in order to collect samples for airborne moulds onto Vesta spore trap cassettes.
Our surveyor begun the assessment in the toilet on the ground floor where he found evidence of elevated moisture on the back wall of the toilet, to the full height of the wall. He investigated this further as he was aware that the building had a history of damp on this wall and the corresponding walls on the other two floors. As predicted the elevated moisture found on the back wall on the ground floor was also present to the back walls on the first and second floors. Although moisture levels were elevated in these areas there was no evidence of mould contamination or water damage to the decorative finishes at the time of our assessment
What remediation measures were needed?
As a result of our indoor air quality assessment we can conclude that the indoor air quality is not affected by an elevated number of fungal spores. The composition of the fungal general identified in the air was indicative of normal conditions therefore the overall risk to health from exposure to fungal elements is likely to be low. In terms of the indoor air quality in the building, no further remediation measures are required.
After completing moisture mapping we are able to conclude that the property was still suffering with elevated moisture on the back wall of the property however no active service leaks were detected at the time of our assessment. We recommend that the elevated moisture on the back walls are closely monitored and redecorated as necessary.