History of water damage in the property
Our next project took us to Exeter, where our client instructed us to carry out a damp and mould survey in one of his dental practices. The purpose of our investigation would be to evaluate the extent of the water damage in the property, identify the root cause of the damp and to recommend the most suitable remediation measures.
The property in which the dental practice runs from, is a two-storey detached property. The ground floor of the property consists of a reception, waiting area, OPG room, one dental surgery, staff changing room, staff room and a toilet. The second floor of the property consists of four dental surgeries and a decontamination room. The property has a history of water damage caused by a historic leak which had been solved prior to our assessment.
Investigating the extent of the water damage
Armed with a Hydromette HB30 Moisture Meter and a Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus, our surveyor worked his way around the building conducting moisture mapping. The investigation begun on the ground floor where evidence of rising/penetrating damp was apparent to the bottom of the bay window wall (see image above) in surgery 1 and reception. There was also minor damage to the decorative finishes in these areas but no evidence of fungal contamination. Our surveyor believes that the root cause of this water damage is plant growth and root penetration to the external wall. In the staff toilet there was once again evidence of rising damp to the bottom parts of the walls, with minor damage to decorative finishes but no evidence of fungal contamination. The rising damp was believed to be partially caused by plant growth in the yard. No further evidence of water damage, elevated moisture levels or fungal contamination were identified in the other rooms on the ground floor.
Our surveyor then turned his attention to the first floor where there was evidence of a historic water stain on the ceiling. He inspected the loft however there were no signs of a current leak. The staining was believed to be caused by an overflowing water tank. There was no further visible damage to decorative finishes nor any evidence of fungal contamination in the room. All other rooms on the first floor were thoroughly inspected but there was no further evidence of any water damage, elevated moisture levels or fungal contamination.
How to prevent fungal contamination
To conclude this project we made our client one recommendation based on the results of our mould investigation. We strongly recommended that all the plants growing in close proximity to the perimeter wall, particularly in front of surgery 1, reception (see image above) and in the courtyard are removed. This is due to them being the root cause of the penetrating damp in these areas. The damaged wall should also be treated with antifungal treatment in order to decontaminate the area and prevent the occurrence of mould growth in the future. The wall can then be redecorated but must be monitored for a while.