On this occasion, we have carried out a mould survey at our client’s premises in the town centre of Norwich. Our client has a two storey commercial surgery consisting of four dental surgeries, store rooms, offices and an open place reception area. The building is situated in the heart of the town centre and is being persistently affected by high humidity and bad condensation on all of the internal windows.
Time for a thorough examination! We made our way to the first floor to being with, using our experience and knowledge to spot any tell-tale signs. After checking the area in detail, we had not discovered any water damage or mould contamination in any of the surgeries upstairs, although both are affected by condensation on the windows. It came to light after inspection that the windows have recently been painted and are stuck shut, resulting in the rooms’ not having any ventilation or fresh air supply.
Satisfied with the first floor, we embarked downstairs to continue our mould survey, and, on examination of the ground floor, we could see physical evidence of condensation mould to external walls, right where the store cupboard is located. We could see that there were four water distillers present in this room and that the vapour emitted by these machines is currently being controlled by relying on the ventilation given from the windows. Unfortunately, this is only partly effective and the water vapour from the distillers and lack of available ventilation in the room is having a detrimental effect on the building and the quality of air circulating around it. This is most definitely the root cause of the mould contamination in the cupboard!
We took samples of airborne moulds, accordance with the Sysco Environmental Ltd procedures manual. The collected mould samples were analysed in accordance with ISO 1600-20 standards for Indoor Air, Determination and Enumeration of Moulds.
There are no current regulations for airborne mould concentrations within an indoor environment, although there are various guidelines regarding what is an acceptable concentration of airborne mould. To come to a conclusion, a comparison is required between the indoor and outdoor mould concentrations. If the concentration of mould is consistently higher than the concentrations outside of the building, then there is a strong indication that the source of mould spores is indoors.
We have found a small amount of mould contamination but the indoor air quality in the staff room particularly was described as poor due to the high mould spore levels.
We have recommended that the mould contamination should be removed using suitable methods and that the external wall in the cupboard should be insulated. To assist in the improvement of air flow around the surgeries, we advised of an installation of fresh air supply to control any humidity which was caused by the sterilisation equipment.