Mould is a fungi and is created and reproduced through tiny spores that travel through the air and attach themselves to wet and damp surfaces. It likes warm, moist environments and usually needs some organic matter (such as wood and dirt on surfaces – which are porous) to survive on. The fungi can also digest synthetic materials like paint or other types of adhesives.
Usually indoor mould growth is obvious and visible. However, it is commonly found that the mould could be growing behind walls and hidden cavities. To make a determination on whether the hidden mould growth is extensive; mould and moisture inspection procedures and testing maybe be required. Testing may include air monitoring to assess the spore concentration indoors compared to your normal environment outdoors or moisture mapping of your building materials to identify the problem. Where there is visible mould, property owners often feel they need to get it tested to determine what type of mould it is.
Once you see visible mould, knowing what type of mould is usually irrelevant because at this point, a qualified mould technician will be required to treat the mould. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately treated. Sampling for mould should be conducted by occupational hygienists or qualified technicians who are experienced in mould sampling protocols, methods, and interpreting analytical results.
Things to consider when mould testing?
- Wet building materials can become mould-infested within 48 hours if not dried fully or removed.
- Mould grows rapidly on large household items such as wall and ceiling linings, soft furniture and carpets, as well as smaller items such as toys, clothes and books.
- Airborne pathogens can also lurk in computer keyboards and other electronic items requiring specialist cleaning even if they didn’t come into direct contact with water.
- Flood water from ground level and below is termed “black water” as it contains sewage.
- Removing materials to save it from mould growth or to release trapped water could uncover hidden asbestos.
- Unsupervised removal or repair work on water-damaged buildings can expose you to unknown dangers, even after the water has subsided.
If you would like to speak with a consultant regarding any indoor environment concerns that you may have, please contact us here.