Why we were called to carry out an assessment of Indoor Air Quality
Bedfordshire was home to our next project, a two storey detached residential property. The property was constructed as part of a new residential development so is surrounded by properties of similar construction and use. The building consists of a kitchen, toilet, storage cupboard and a living room on the ground floor. At the time of our assessment the building was currently occupied, and had been for the past two years, by the owner. Our client contacted us as they had noticed staining to the living room carpet. This area of the carpet is usually covered by a decorative rug. Our client had not noticed any other signs of visible mould in the property. It was our job to thoroughly inspect the property and assess whether poor indoor air quality was the cause of the staining in the living room.
Is poor Indoor Air Quality to blame?
Our surveyor conducted the assessment by means of a visual inspection of the property,collecting samples of airborne moulds and by using a process called Moisture mapping. When inspecting the living room, our surveyor could not find any evidence of fungal contamination or elevated moisture in any of the construction materials in this room. All the areas in the room showed normal moisture content and there were no signs of visible staining or water damage. However there was the matter of the slight grey staining to the centre of the living room carpet. When investigated further this area did not show signs of elevated moisture therefore was considered normal.
Microscopic examination of the affected carpet (see image above) confirmed that the staining to the carpet is not caused by moisture and fungal growth. The stain on the carpet is caused by the accumulation of dirt particles on the surface of the fibres. Based on this our surveyor believes that the most likely cause of the staining could be from the transferal of pigments from the underside of the decorative rug to the surface of the carpet by the action of feet.
We can conclude that the overall Indoor Air Quality is not affected by fungal spores. Therefore the occupants of the building are not considered to be at an increased risk to health as the exposure to fungal elements is very low.