Dental practice suffering from water damage
Newcastle was home to our next project, a dental practice which was suffering from water damage and damp. We were called in to assess the extent of the water damage, identify the root cause of the damp and recommend suitable remediation measures.
The dental practice we were assessing, was a three storey former residential building situated in a residential area of Wallsend. The ground floor of the building consisted of three dental surgeries, a waiting room, reception area, two store rooms, a kitchen, decontamination room and customers’ toilet. On the second floor there are a further four dental surgeries, an OPG room, a Practice managers office, staff toilet and a changing room. The second floor consisted of a large staff room and two store rooms.
What does a damp survey consist of?
Our lead surveyor begun his assessment by visually inspecting the property. He was looking for evidence of water damage, moisture and fungal contamination. In order to reveal the true extent of the water damage, our surveyor required the assistance of specialist equipment called a Hydromette HB30 moisture meter and a Tramex moisture encounter plus. This equipment measures the moisture content in building materials and furnishings and gives an accurate reading which allows us to calculate the full extent of the water damage.
On the second floor, our surveyor found evidence of condensation mould to the window (see image below) and the wooden window frame to the extent of approximately 25cm2. It is in our opinion that the root cause of this contamination is water condensation on a single pane window. There was no evidence of water damage to the surrounding plaster, woodwork and decorative finishes in the rest of the room. All other rooms on the second and first floors were inspected however our surveyor could not find any evidence of elevated moisture levels in materials, water damage or fungal contamination.
On the ground floor there was evidence of rising damp on the bottom parts of the internal wall in the entrance foyer, surgery 3 and in the cleaning stock room. Although there was no damage to the decorative finishes or evidence of fungal contamination to these areas.
However this was a different story in the decontamination room as our surveyor found evidence of elevated moisture in the floor next to the sink units (see image below). This moisture content appears to diminish with distance away from the sinks. We inspected the accessible pipework and the area below and behind the sink units which appeared to be in a good condition and there was no evidence of an ongoing leak. However there was evidence of a historic leak to the floor which we identified by staining on the plywood. Although the moisture content was high in this area, there was no damage to decorative finishes or evidence of fungal contamination.
Our recommendations based on moisture mapping
Once the damp survey had been completed our surveyor was able to make recommendations for our client based on the results above. We recommended that the condensation mould around the window frame, in the second floor store room, is cleaned regularly in order to prevent a build up of fungal contamination. The rising damp in the entrance foyer, surgery 3 and the cleaner’s stock room should be monitored and redecorated if necessary. Finally we recommended that the elevated moisture in the floor of the decontamination room, most likely related to a resolved leak, should be monitored.