Mould Inspection and Mould Testing

The mould problem may be a result of a broken roof tile, leaking water pipe, comprimised waterproofing, lack of ventilation or simply bad building design and / or building materials. Domestic and Commercial HVAC systems may be contributing to the elevated mould concentration levels and these can be assessed and tested.

Ecolibria have been conducting mould inspections in both residential and commercial buildings to ascertain the source of the problem, extent of the problem, mould sampling and providing professional opinion in relation to rectification for over 13 years now.

What is Mould?

Mould is a type of fungus and requires a food source and moisture to germinate. Many standard building materials (eg. Gypsum) provide a perfect food source for mould. Moulds are highly resistant and can remain dormant for years.

Mould can grow on any carbon containing materials. Mildew is also a type of fungus and is mould in its early stages. Some moulds are beneficial and some are harmful. Some mould species contain mycotoxins which have been linked to adverse health effects. There is black mould, red mould, green mould, pink mould as well as blue mould.

Mildew is usually grey or white. Mold and mildew growth starts within 24 – 48 hours of exposure to moisture. It is very important to consider the non-viable (dead) mould as the mycotoxin may still cause adverse health effects even though the mould is not viable (alive).

Potential Health Effects of Mould

Elevated mould exposure has been linked to various health effects like eye, nose and throat irritation / inflammation, wheezing, nasal congestion, sneezing, sinusitis, asthma, recurring colds, headaches, coughing and sore throat, fatigue not eradicated by rest, Candida, rashes and various skin conditions. With prolonged toxic mould exposure the endocrine and nervous system can be affected and this can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, mood changes and memory loss. The primary concern is breathing in toxic mould spores as this may compromise the body’s immune system. This is particularly the case of those with chronic illnesses, the elderly, infants and those with existing respiratory ailments such as asthma.

Some commercial chemical products used to remove mould, are often quite toxic and have the potential to cause adverse health effects and make the indoor mould environment worse. Addressing the cause of the elevated moisture and therefore mould concentration levels is always the priority. Only once the cause of the problem is rectified should remediation be considered and the removal of moisture and mould should be the priority with remediation.

What is involved in having a mould assessment conducted in my home or business?

  • A consultant will personally discuss your specific concerns and requirements.
  • A consultant will visit your site at a time that suits you best.
  • A thorough visual assessment will be conducted that will consider building design, building materials, shading, drainage and condensation potential.
  • A digital moisture meter will be used to measure moisture content in the building materials of the structure and every effort will be made to identify the root cause of the mould growth. Identifying the cause or causes of the elevated mould concentration levels is the number one priority.
  • Air  dry bulb temperature and humidity levels are measured both inside and outside the building.
  • Results will be explained and our professional opinions in relation to rectifications will be provided.
  • If required air and / or  surface mould sampling is conducted and lab reports detailing the genera or species and concentration of mould can be provided.
  • Surface samples via ATP swabs are available to ascertain microbe activity levels. Surface samples via Tape lifts or swabs are also available.
  • Airborne samples are offered and these are analysed and reported on by an independent laboratory.
  • ERMI ( Environmental Relative Moldiness Index ) testing and analysis is also offered. This involves taking dust from the property and having a DNA analysis of the dust conducted by an independent laboratory to determine the concentration and species of mould present.
  • If required a formal written report detailing the observations, results and professional opinions will be provided.

The cost of services vary according to your location as well as the size and complexity of the job so please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your specific requirements.