History of long term mould
An owner of a respectable dental firm contacted us and requested us to carry out a mould investigation at their Newark branch. The building has a long term mould problem in the attic, our client tasked us with evaluating the extent of the mould contamination and using the results to recommend the suitable remediation measures.
The site is a three storey town building situated in Newark town centre and is surrounded by buildings of similar type and construction. The property was a formal residential property before being converted into a dental practice in recent years. The building has been extended and refurbished extensively over the years with the historic part of the building positioned to the front and relatively modern extensions towards the back. The ground floor of the practice consists of four dental surgeries, two waiting rooms, an office, decontamination room, toilet, open plan reception area and two storage cupboards. On the first floor there is a further five dental surgeries, staff room, office, OPG room, four cupboards and two toilets. The building extension on the first floor situated towards the front of the building houses a large staff room, kitchenette and a meeting room. The attic of the property is accessible via a staircase on the first floor and is currently used for storage of documents.
Conclusion of our mould survey
We begun our assessment in the loft of the property as we know it suffers with mould growth. The attic is open plan and currently used for the storage of patients’ records in cardboard boxes. When inspecting the loft area our surveyor found evidence of mould to the ceiling and gable walls. The plaster walls and ceiling contained normal moisture levels across all surfaces and there was no evidence of any water penetration through the roof structure. The pattern of the mould distribution was indicative of condensation on cold, poorly insulated walls and ceiling in the attic. The total extent of fungal contamination in the loft was approximately 100m2.
The only other area of concern throughout moisture mapping was the ground floor corridor as there was evidence of rising damp to the bottom of the external wall. However there were no signs of water damage to the decorative finishes or fungal contamination.
Remediation measures recommended
Once the mould survey was complete our surveyor was then able to recommend the suitable remediation measures. We strongly recommended the removal of all existing fungal contamination from the wall surfaces. Fungal contamination should be removed under controlled conditions in order to prevent cross contamination. In order to prevent the reoccurrence of fungal growth an antifungal treatment should be used when cleaning.
To prevent the development of further fungal contamination we recommended our client to insulate the ceiling and gable walls in the attic. It is also recommended to install ventilation vents in the attic windows to encourage ventilation and drying. Until these remediation measures have been completed, access to the loft should be restricted.