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Monitoring Fire and Flood Damaged Buildings - Updated April 2020

Oct 27, 2015

Monitoring Fire and Flood Damaged Buildings


Following these important procedures, we carefully manage and monitor the drying out process to minimise any additional damage to the building.  The knowledge gained from major fire and flood damaged projects over the past 33 years including Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Guys Hospital, Oakleaf Properties in Jersey and Marlborough House in Hastings was extremely valuable in developing environmentally sustainable solutions to these problems.


Marlborough House, Hastings

EBS Ltd was involved in monitoring the drying out of a fire damaged six storey building in Hastings. Marlborough House was occupied on the Ground and First floors by a doctor surgery, pharmacy, hair salon and the upper floors were flats. The building was ravaged by fire and remained without a roof during a cold and wet winter. This exposure, combined with the water used to douse the fire, led to complete saturation of the building fabric. 

A new roof was installed to prevent further water penetration but during this time the perishable materials within the building deteriorated with extensive mould growth. In particular, saturated plasterboard in the building was heavily contaminated with a range of moulds, including toxic mould.  This could become a health hazard, so all the mould contaminated materials had to be removed from the building before drying was able to commence. This action aided the drying process and helped to de-contaminate the building.

A considerable amount of heat energy was required to dry the structure because the concrete floors had absorbed and retained a substantial amount of moisture. This locked in moisture (residual moisture) took 3 months of intensive heating and dehumidification to dry out. The level of mould contamination and drying out of building fabric was continuously monitored by EBS Ltd until the building had been signed off and confirmed to be dry. EBS Ltd carried out a final mould test to determine if the building was safe for refurbishment and ultimately, occupancy as a care home and doctor’s surgery.


Mould and Health following fire damage


As the UK braces itself for a US and Europe style approach to the adverse health effects of exposure to Toxic Mould and with an upsurge in litigation claims looming on the horizon, we have noted a dramatic increase in enquiries on this topic. 


Although there remain uncertainties regarding the exact nature of any direct adverse health effects from exposure to moulds, those with existing conditions such as asthma and other respiratory condition are at particular risk of exacerbating their symptoms.


EBS Ltd can advise on all aspects of mould testing, identification, contamination, including building fabric, collections, books, archives, painting, objects and artefacts and the health effects in fire damaged and all damp buildings.


Over many years, EBS Ltd has provided a full diagnostic and remedial advisory service to those who have concerns of this type by providing cost effective solutions to clients without the need for extensive exposure works and the use of toxic chemicals.


Below are some of the fire and flood damaged buildings we have previously been commissioned to carry out mould analysis, environmental monitoring, forensic investigations, hazardous materials assessment and drying out;

  • Guys Hospital
  • St Cecilia Jersey
  • Apartment Block, Jersey
  • Oak Leaf properties, Jersey
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Two four storey apartment blocks in Dublin 
  • Jordan’s Meeting Room
  • A range of public houses and historic buildings 


Other properties EBS staff have been involved with monitoring the drying out, mould risk assessment and health issues include.

  • Hampton Court Palace & Windsor Castle 
  • The National Gallery & The Tate
  • The National Library of Scotland & Lambeth Palace Library
  • Seven storey blocks of flats in Greenwich
  • Rothschild Archives & Mercers Archives
  • Grangegorman, Dublin 
  • Google headquarters in Dublin
  • Four storey blocks of flats in Addlestone
  • A range of projects in Europe and worldwide including public & private houses and historic buildings 


Copyright: Environmental Building Solutions Ltd April 2020