Identifying and solving building problems environmentally without the use of chemicals

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Latest News

Damp & Moisture Problems in Buildings Part Two

Apr 5, 2017

 

Risk Assessment, Damp, Moisture & Mould in Concrete Floors

 

Non-destructive Testing, Environmental Monitoring and Cost Effective Solutions

Moisture trapped in concrete floors due to a failure in building services such as, plumbing, under floor heating, flooding or fire fighting, can lead to disastrous consequences.  Both for the occupants of the building, the building fabric, services, finishes, contents and collections.

This news update provides you with information on some of EBS Ltd successful case studies.

 

Luxury Apartments and Shops in Guernsey, Chanel Islands

A serious plumbing leak in an apartment block and shopping arcade in Guernsey led to extensive water penetration to the concrete floors.

The insurance company was notified and it was recommended by another consultant to remove the screed and to subject the slab to forced drying.  

This option may have solved the problem but it was destructive, extremely expensive and if carried out, would have caused considerable environmental impact.  It would also have been necessary for the occupants to move out of the premises whilst the works were undertaken, resulting in a major upheaval and loss of revenue to the shops.

 

Environmental Building Solutions Ltd can help the Client, Loss Adjusters and Insurers.

After considering the costs involved,we were appointed by the client’s loss adjuster and insurers, to give a second opinion and to carry out an independent, non-destructive inspection.  This included a risk assessment of damp, residual moisture and resulting mould infestation.

We used state of the art technologies, including thermal imaging, tracer dyes, endoscopy and a range of surface and depth measuring moisture meters, to determine the extent of moisture damage and moisture mapping throughout the shops and apartments.  

EBS Ltdalso carried out risk assessments for moulds in the ambient indoor environment, floor voids and wall voids for levels of mould.  Our in house scientists took samples from the under floor insulation material to determine the type, extent, toxicity, pathogenicity and level of mould contamination due to the moisture ingress.

Based on our site investigations, observations, results and careful analysis, we recommended leaving the floor screed in-situ and over a period of time, to monitor the moisture and mould infestation levels.

Our further monitoring and testing revealed that the moisture and mould levels had reduced to acceptable levels and this cancelled the need to remove the floor screed throughout the shops and apartments. 

This study is an excellent example of why you should only employ an independent company such as EBS Ltd,who have no vested interest in hiring out drying equipment.  We also have a proven track record of solving tricky building problems by avoiding destructive, inconvenient and exceptionally expensive solutions.

 

Top End Luxury Apartment, Kensington, London

EBS Ltd was asked to give independent advice on the extent of damage and propose a drying regime for a building that had been damaged by a plumbing failure.  The new build, a Ten-story block of apartments, had recently been fully occupied when a leak in the underfloor heating occurred at 4th floor level.

Initially it was thought that water had not saturated the concrete floor beneath the under floor heating screed membrane but after a thorough examination, it was found that the slab was saturated and it would therefore be essential to dry out the concrete.

Unfortunately it could not be dried properly with the screed in place, as the moisture was trapped under the damp proof membrane and access to the flats below was not possible. There was a risk that any trapped moisture would gradually evaporate at the perimeters of the rooms and damage the high quality wall finishes.

Unlike the Guernsey property the moisture was trapped and there was unfortunately no alternative but to remove the screed and under floor heating to expose the slab.  Dehumidifiers were then used to dry out the exposed concrete slab. The drying was monitored in accordance with British Standards using VAISALA plugs and humidity measurements.

As a direct result of our input, an anticipated drying time of 3 months was achieved in only 2 months, resulting in a considerable time and cost saving to our client.

Currently we are advising on the drying out process and mould monitoring at a number of water damaged properties in Guernsey, Jersey and throughout UK.

EBS Ltd successfully completed drying out, environmental monitoring and risk assessment for moulds at the National Library of Scotland; Marlborough House, Hastings; Pier House, West London; Sark Hall and School, Sark.  We are currently advising two sports halls in the south east of England and a new block of apartments in Greenwich.

Showing high relative humidity reading in floor slab.