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Mould and Moisture Damage

Mar 4, 2024

The investigation, analysis, identification and remediation of environmental health problems caused by mould contaminants, require a multidisciplinary approach.

We combine the skills of experienced building mycologists, pathologists, environmental health scientists and specialists in the environmental monitoring of condensation, moisture and damp in the building fabric.  EBS has experienced, in-house scientists and specialists in all of these fields.

Our specialists have a thorough knowledge of the biology, ecology, physiology and epidemiology of moulds and these skills are essential for an accurate assessment of these complex problems within an indoor environment.

EBS control moulds in buildings by the careful management of the building environment. We carry out a complete mould, mycoflora and environmental investigation using a combination of air samplers and a range of hand held instrumentation devices. This information is then backed up by laboratory analysis to identify and count microbial contaminants.

A technical report is prepared to identify whether the premises are prejudicial to health or not. Detailed recommendations and specifications can be provided for a long-term solution for any of the problems discovered.

EBS has been commissioned to give advice on mould growth in a number of water-logged floors and flood damaged buildings.

Environmental Building Solutions are at the forefront of applying modern innovative techniques and sustainable solutions to architectural conservation.  EBS has pioneered the use of an air sampler to carrying out non-destructive inspections of hidden cavities and voids in both modern and historic buildings.

The sampler is used to extract a known volume of air from a hidden cavity or void, through existing holes in the fabric or through small holes made discreetly.  The collected samples are then analysed; for dry rot, wet rot and mould spores.

Normal background levels of spores indicate a low risk of decay, whereas high levels would indicate a problem in the void.  These finding can be followed up by using an Endoscope and Resistograph decay detection drill, to investigate any hidden infestation and timber decay.

Endoscopy is a highly advanced fibre optic non-destructive inspection technique.  By employing high power fibre optic instruments, the type and extent of fungal decay in concealed cavities and voids can be assessed without extensive exposure of the fabric.  High-density light illuminates the area under inspection through a liquid light guide and a rigid fibre optic eyepiece.  The image can then be photographed.

Fibre optic inspection can reveal infestation, decay and the consequences of water penetration. The correct identification of fungal material is important, as not all fungi are equally destructive.

As the UK braces itself for a US style approach to the adverse health effects of exposure to Toxic Mould and with an upsurge in litigation claims looming on the horizon, EBS has 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.

Over many years, EBS has been providing 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 to use chemicals.

Recent examples of successful case studies using non-destructive technology such as; Mould Air Sampling, Continuous Environmental Monitoring, Data Loggers, Indoor Air Quality Monitoring, Endoscopy and the Resistograph Decay Detection Drill include;

  • Westminster Abbey
  • Windsor Castle
  • The Tate Library
  • The National Gallery
  • Christ Church Oxford
  • Rothschild Archives
  • Shire Hall Cambridge
  • Supreme Courts Edinburgh


EBS also advised on the drying out of flood damage at the National Library of Scotland.

Mould Attack in Roofs

Persistent rain fell during the application of plywood decking to a newly prepared hospital roof.  Once the finishes had be en applied, the moisture was trapped and this provided an ideal environment for mould growth to proliferate.

EBS was asked to inspect and measure the moisture content in the plywood without using undue destructive measures and give advice on the type and potential health effects of the mould.  This was particularly important, as this was in a hospital environment.

After careful assessment, the levels of mould were found to be unacceptable for health, so all the plywood had to be removed and replaced. It was not possible to decontaminate the plywood as the roof finishes covered the upper surfaces.  The internal structure of the plywood was also found to be contaminated with moulds.                                                                                          











 Extensive mould infestation to underside of plywood

Mould and Moisture Damage in Concrete Floors

EBS was asked to investigate perceived health problems in staff at a Special Needs School.  The modern (2 years old) school building was constructed from prefabricated timber board panels.

Poor building specification led to high humidity and dampness in the floor construction, which in turn led to extensive toxic mould growth (Stachybotrys chartarum).

EBS undertook a Borescope inspection of all the cavities and voids in the building to determine the full extent of the mould growth. Following our carefully considered recommendations, extensive repairs to the floor structure of the building are being carried out. EBS also advised on remediation of the toxic mould.

Mould Contamination following Flood damage - Sark Island Hall & School, Sark

Following a major plumbing failure, water saturated the ground floor areas of Sark Island Halland School.  

EBS was instructed to advise on the extent of mould contamination and moisture damage.  We were also asked to propose a mould decontamination and drying regime for the building.  As it is the only school on the island, it was essential to carryout these procedures safely, whilst keeping the school open.

EBS proposed using the existing heating system in the school, together with natural air circulation to dry out the fabric gradually.  This gentle approach should prevent damage to the timber structures and will be less expensive than using dehumidification units, which would also be difficult to bring to the island.

We continuously monitored the whole procedure using mould samplers to determine the viable and non-viable moulds.  Dead moulds are equally dangerous to health, as are live moulds, so it is important to clearly identify both types.  We used data logging devises to monitor the moisture in the concrete floors and Vaisalla probes. The strip-out work was completed whilst schooling continued and the floors were dry by the start of the Autumn Term.The whole project was completed within 12 months.                                                                                                                                       











 Mycoflora Monitoring using a Relative Humidity Temperature meterand a   Mould Sampler


Toxic Mould and Legal Implications – Central London Property

EBS was asked to advise on a mould outbreak & dry rot attack within a central London property. EBS were also asked to advise on the extent of the toxic mould contamination to the building fabric, contents, collections, possible health implications, propose a toxic mould decontamination programme and provide an expert opinion for the court.

The toxic mould (Stachybotrys chartarum) contamination occurred within the property following a chronic leak from a bay window roof and a simultaneous plumbing failure in a toilet.  This in turn resulted in a serious legal case.

Previous expert reports by another company indicated that all the cavities and voids in the building were contaminated by toxic mould and dry rot.  It was therefore concluded that the building posed a real threat to the health of the occupants and this in turn would mean drastic alterations and extremely expensive repairs.

EBS was commissioned to provide a second opinion on the initial findings and carry out a range of independent investigations in order to clarify the exact situation.  EBS used state of the art technologies to sample the cavities and voids.  These further tests included air sampling for viable and non-viable moulds to determine the mould colony forming units per cubic meter.  Contact mould sampling to determine the type, toxicity and pathogenicity of the moulds.

EBS concluded that the toxic mould was localised in two areas of the property and there was no dry rot in the building. Careful environmental monitoring and endoscopic inspection enabled EBS to provide recommendations for a sustainable, long-term, less destructive, conservation solution to the problem.