Is Poor Indoor Air Quality to blame for mould growth?

Concerns regarding mould growth

Our next client had occupied a second floor apartment for 15 months and she contacted us as she had concerns regarding mould growth. The apartment has a history of mould growth, this was reported to the developer approximately one month after moving into the property. This mould growth was located in the corner of the wall in the spare bedroom and was patchy in nature. The developer immediately treated the affected wall and it does not appear to have returned. Although this mould growth was treated, the root cause was never identified. Shortly after the development of mould growth, the occupant reported that her asthma symptoms had worsened despite the removal of the mould. 

Is poor indoor air quality to blame for mould growth?

Conducting an indoor air quality assessment and mould investigation

Our surveyor conducted the investigation by means of a visual building inspection, taking physical samples of airborne moulds and using moisture mapping in order to locate elevated levels of moisture within the property. Every accessible room/area in the apartment is thoroughly investigated during the investigation. 

The apartment itself was situated in a newly built large residential complex. The construction of the building was only completed one month before the occupant moved in. The apartment consisted of a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, a spare bedroom, bathroom, a combined living room and kitchen. 

Is poor indoor air quality to blame for mould growth?

 

So what did biological sampling and moisture mapping reveal?

When visually inspecting the apartment our surveyor did not find any evidence of visible mould contamination on the surfaces of the walls, or on any furnishings throughout the apartment.

Our surveyor then looked at the results of the fungal spore trap samples to see if they could shed any light. These revealed that at the time of the assessment the overall concentration of non-culturable airborne fungal spores indoors was statistically similar to the background concentration of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Non-culturable spore trap samples collected in the habitable areas of the property were dominated by a small amount of Penicillium/Aspergillus type spores however these were not at a considerable concentration and are indicative of normal conditions. 

The moisture mapping process revealed that the property was not suffering from any active leaks in any of the indoor areas. The humidity profile in the indoor areas is considered to be at a normal level and well within the comfort range for a residential environment. 

Therefore based on the results of moisture mapping, visual observation and microbiological sampling and identification it is our surveyor’s opinion that the indoor air quality in the property is adequate. The indoor air quality is not compromised by elevated fungal spore levels so is not considered to be the root cause of the occupant’s asthma symptoms worsening. However her asthma does make her sensitive to changes in the environment. 

 

 

 

 

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