Mould Testing & Workplace Exposure Investigations
WTS is a leading UK air quality and environmental services company offering a full range of environmental solutions including expert workplace exposure investigations, mould testing, indoor air quality assessments and Sick Building Syndrome surveys.
The presence of mould and fungal spores in the workplace, home or office is not just unsightly, it can carry real health risks if left unresolved. Mould inside buildings can often be easily treated to remove it and prevent it returning, but with so many different types of moulds, fungi and bacteria it is often worthwhile considering expert help. Investigating exposure to mould and the spores it produces inside the buildings we live and work in, especially when the health of building occupants is at risk, is an essential step when unexplained mould growth occurs. Having your indoor environment tested by the expert technicians at WTS can help to establish what types of fungal spores, moulds and bacteria are causing a problem, and how best to deal with it.
Our mould testing and exposure investigation services are delivered by specialists who combine their experience with the latest testing and analysis equipment, and laboratory analysis techniques to help identify air quality and other environmental issues to improve the quality of internal workplace environments and the health and well-being of building occupants.
Expert mould testing & exposure investigations
Our expert mould testing, analysis and exposure investigation solutions include:
Full national UK coverage
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained technicians, air quality specialists and consultants WTS can offer cost effective environmental investigation and monitoring solutions throughout the UK and Ireland.
Contact us today to learn how our expert mould testing solutions can help improve workplace health and well-being, employee comfort, attendance and productivity issues. To speak with one of our experts call us on 0330 223 31 31 or simply use the button below to get our full contact details or submit our contact form.
What is mould?
Mould is a simple microscopic organism which grows both indoors and outside. Together with mushrooms and yeasts, moulds are called fungi. Mould will try to break down any organic material it finds and can be found growing on lots of different surfaces including the food we eat, plants, as well as surfaces within our homes and workplaces. As mould grows it releases tiny spores, mycotoxins and other allergens which can cause a range of health issues in humans. The best-known type of mould is black mould, but it can occur in many other forms too.
Typically mould needs warm, damp conditions to grow and flourish. This could result in mould growing on an external wall where there is a problem with rising or penetrating dampness, or more commonly, in poorly-ventilated areas like bathrooms or kitchens where people showering, cooking or drying clothes creates a warm, humid environment. Mould can also be a problem after a property has been flooded, especially if it takes a long time to dry out the walls, floors and other parts of the building fabric.
Health risks from mould spores
Some people can be highly sensitive to exposure to the spores released from mould. They can suffer from a number of conditions including irritation of the eyes, nose and skin; increased respiratory infections, nausea and general malaise.
Of particular concern are children, and people with underlying health conditions and existing allergies who can develop serious medical issues when exposed. Those suffering with chronic lung conditions, such as emphysema, asthma and obstructive lung disease can sometimes develop mould infections in their lungs.
The dangers of toxic black mould
There is growing concern about one particular type of black mould, called Stachybotrys, or toxic black mould. This type of black mould produces mycotoxins, which are invisible particles that float around in the air and can easily be inhaled or even swallowed by people using that space.
Mycotoxins primarily affect the respiratory system, so people living in conditions with lots of black mould and airborne toxins may suffer more breathing difficulties, coughs, asthma and allergic reactions. Until these moulds are treated and removed effectively, the symptoms will persist, and these can be very serious. Remember that the mould you can see on the surface of a wall or inside a cupboard might be just a small percentage of the mould in your office or home, hidden behind ceilings or walls.
Expert mould testing & exposure investigations
If you suspect you might have a problem with mould at work or in your home, then it may be prudent to call the indoor air quality specialists at WTS who can perform specialist testing and analysis procedures.
Our mould experts will first perform a detailed visual inspection of any suspect areas, paying particular attention to locations that are commonly associated with mould growth. They will also use specialist testing equipment such as cameras to inspect parts of the building which are not usually accessible, such as inside cavity walls, floor voids or roof spaces. A detailed inspection will typically involve sample collection techniques and the use of specialist monitoring equipment to measure levels of any airborne mould spores, and moisture levels in the walls and floors of a building to determine whether a damp problem or lack of ventilation might be encouraging the growth of mould. Additional specialist equipment may also be used including microbiological air samplers and particle air testers.
Our indoor air quality specialists are experts in the identification of different types of mould, with years of experience dealing with and treating different mould problems. This means that in many instances full laboratory analysis is often unnecessary; as their expert approach can often interpret and then identify where the problems lie.
Depending on your circumstances you might choose a more detailed analytical approach. In such cases our teams would take samples of the mould found on the surfaces in your property. This is done by carefully taking samples of the mould using special swabs and tape. These samples are then examined in the laboratory and the type of mould confirmed.
Once our investigations are complete we will then make recommendations on any remedial actions required to control exposure levels.
How to treat mould
Once the mould testing stage is complete and the types of mould present are correctly identified, the next step is to deal with it. Often this remediation stage will require a good understanding of what is causing the mould to grow in the first place.
A high performance disinfectant cleaning product might kill the surface mould and clear it off the wall, but if you don’t tackle the underlying issues of poor ventilation or rising damp, the mould will usually start to re-grow on the affected surfaces after a short time.
There are several strategies can be used to tackle underlying mould problems, such as increasing ventilation in problem areas by adding windows, extractor fans or air bricks, dealing with dampness coming in from outside and using products such as anti-fungal paints to try to stop the problem reoccurring.
However, it is important to remember that treating the underlying causes of mould growth can be very costly, especially if the problem is due to dampness. Dehumidifiers can be used to dry out a building which appears to have a persistent problem with a damp and humid environment.
It may also be worth considering installing humidity monitors which can be used in either residential or commercial settings to analyse the relative humidity of the air. Ideally, humidity levels should be between 30% and 60% indoors; any higher than that and further steps may need to be taken to increase ventilation, introduce further dehumidification or remove moisture from the atmosphere in some other way to stop issues with mould returning.
Expert indoor air quality assessment solutions
Contact WTS today to find out more about our expert mould testing, monitoring and workplace exposure investigations and how we can help improve workplace health and well-being, employee comfort, attendance and productivity issues.
With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained technicians, in-field specialists and consultants we can offer professional, cost effective environmental support solutions across the whole of the UK and Ireland.
Contact us today for more information or for your FREE, no obligation quote.
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