An investigation into damp found in a Dental Practice

Buildings history of damp

Our next project was a dental practice situated in Kings Lynn. We visited the property in order to carry out an indoor air quality assessment. The dental practice is an end-terrace two storey town building situated in King’s Lynn town centre. The ground floor of the dental practice consists of four dental surgeries, a decontamination room, an office, an OPG room, customer’s toilet, a staff changing room and a staff kitchen. The second floor consists of two meeting rooms, an office, a kitchenette and two toilets. The attic is open plan with timber floor and walls and was out of use at the time of our visit. The property has a history of being affected by damp in the staff kitchen and penetrating damp on the upper floor of the building. At the time of our surveyors visit none of the members of the staff complained from adverse health symptoms which could be attributed to the working environment.

Evidence of damp

Carrying out a damp survey 

In order to carry out the damp survey our surveyor had to collect samples of airborne moulds onto Vesta Spore Trap cassettes using a High flow 1600 air sampling pump. We also carried out Moisture mapping using a Hydromette HB30 moisture meter and a Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus. The Wind speed was also measured with a Rotating Vane Anemometer LCA301.

Mould contamination on window

Recommendations for rising and penetrating damp 

Moisture mapping and investigation showed that the property is suffering from penetrative and rising damp in several of the indoor areas. No active service leaks were detected in the property. Although in Surgery 4 there was evidence of a leaking drain pipe in the corner sink unit causing staining and fungal contamination in the cabinet. The drain pipe had been sealed previously but is leaking occasionally, this is indicated by high moisture content of the wood in the cabinet. The staff room was affected by condensation damp to the window frame (shown in the image above), our surveyor recommended for our client to install a ventilation fan to control the water vapour in the room and to regularly clean the metal window frame. In Surgery 4 it is recommended to seal the secondary sink drain pipe to prevent occasional drip and water damage to the cabinet. We also recommended our client to monitor the rising damp in the reception and to monitor the penetrating damp in the central staircase and adjacent first floor kitchenette and store room. The air quality assessment indicated that the indoor air is not affected by an elevated number of fungal spores.

Link through to Sysco - Nationwide specialists in hazard exposure monitoring
Hi, I have been working in my job as an Indoor Air Quality Investigator for a number of years and decided to share my experience with you. You can find lot of related information on my website toxic black mould
Leave a comment