SESA occupational hygienists perform comprehensive mould inspection, mould testing and mould assessment in commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Depending on the purpose of the mould assessment and investigation the methods for mould inspection and mould testing may vary. The following is an overview of the types of inspections and testing performed by SESA.
Initial Mould Inspection, Testing and Assessment
An initial visual mould inspection is performed to identify localised areas of mould growth to determine the cause and extent of mould contamination on surfaces. During this mould inspection a visual check is performed on building envelope and fittings to find the source of the mould contamination including any water damage and delineate presence or significance of the mould contamination.
If required, during the initial mould inspection, testing of airborne and surface mould is performed with limited number of samples collected and analysed via the use of Mycometer to evaluate the mould contamination based on established Mycometer test evaluation categories.
Detailed Mould Inspections and Mould Testing
Where required, SESA will perform detailed mould inspection and investigation which involves all or some of the following:
- Thorough visual inspection of building envelope and fittings suspected of mould contamination, moisture testing and if required thermal imaging.
- Surface mould sampled using biotape or surface swab and airborne mould sampled using Air-O-Cell, Via-Cell or Agar plates. The samples are analysed by a mycology laboratory for total spores count or total colony forming units with basic mould identification to genera. The airborne mould samples will include outdoor samples. There is a need to collect sufficient number of samples to enable collection of reliable data and the interpretation of results.
- Measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in air, relative humidity, and temperature at the test locations.
Mould Assessment and Evaluation of Inspection Findings
Depending on the type of inspection and testing performed, the mould contamination assessment involves evaluation of inspection findings and tests results by comparison of data collected with available published guidelines. The report presented may be used for the following purposes as established in the scope of the project:
- Identification of problem mould growth, extent of mould contamination, underlying causes and building moisture issues.
- Delineating the cause of mould contamination and the required remedial action
- Identification of mould species in the hazard identification task of the exposure risk assessment. For example, identification of elevated levels of mould genera that are considered unacceptable (atypical fungi) such as certain pathogenic (disease causing), or toxin‐producing (poisonous) micro‐organisms.
- Establish a mould remediation plan to control exposure and cross contamination during mould remediation works.
- Establish procedures for the ongoing management of mould contamination in problem buildings.