Recently, we were called to carry out an assessment of indoor air quality at a small dental laboratory in Stockport. We were informed that the laboratory was having a number of problems with damp, which would need to be monitored in order to help prevent mould growth in future. After assessing the general state of the building through a mixture of visual observation, moisture mapping and microbiological analysis, we identified that the indoor air quality in the building was good. There were several areas of rising damp but there was no visible damage or fungal contamination within the building. In order to take a preventative approach against future mould growth, we recommended that problem areas be monitored and redecorated in future if anything unsightly appears.
Conducting a Mould Inspection
In order to prove that the mould wasn’t a risk to employee health, we needed to conduct a mould inspection to work out what kind of spores were being produced. In most cases, spores aren’t hazardous to health, but it some cases they can be quick problematic with prolonged exposure. To analyze the mould, we tested the spore levels inside and compared them to the spore levels of the environmental background. We found that the concentration of fungal spores was lower in comparison to the existing environmental background. During our Mould inspection, we found the presence of undifferentiated spores, Basidiospores and Pennicillium/Aspergillus type spores inside the premises.
Where were the Mould Spores coming from?
In order to work out the source of the mould we decided to use moisture mapping and conducted a damp inspection. A damp inspection would tell us where the mould was coming from, and how it was being circulated around the building. Through a combination of moisture mapping and damp inspection, we found that the property was suffering from rising damp in several of the indoor areas. Surprisingly, we didn’t find any active service leaks in the property. The rising damp reported around the surgeries and the back corridor did not cause any visible damage to the decorative finishes. However, although the mould was minimal, we recommended that the owners take a preventative attitude towards future mould in case the situation deteriorated over time. We recommended that the problem areas should be monitored and to redecorate if growths became unsightly.
Overall our investigation suggested that the indoor air quality in the Stockport dentistry was good. By using moisture mapping, visual observation and microbiological investigation, we ensured that there was no visible fungal contamination in the practice, and that none of the employees were at risk on account of the mould spores. Similarly, we identified that the overall exposure to fungal elements was low. We also suggested that the owners take a preventative attitude towards future mould growth in order to ensure that the dampness didn’t cause problems over time.