ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DAMP AND MOULD
Our damp surveyors can help you correctly diagnose damp problems in your property.
SSG is an established environmental consultancy. The lead surveyor is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Our reports are impartial as we do not undertake any remedial work. We cover West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire.
Damp and mould health effects
There are environmental health implications If you have damp and mould in your home you are more likely to develop respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system. The most vulnerable groups are likely to be affected are as follows:
Babies and children
People with existing respiratory conditions
Those with weakened immune respone.
Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and sometimes toxic substances.
Inhaling mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks.
What does a damp survey involve?
The three types of damp found in a house are rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation damp. It is important damp problems in your house are diagnosed correctly. Our surveyors will typically begin by performing an external inspection and checking the existing damp proof course and the drainage before moving inside to perform an internal inspection. We use a moisture meter, infra-red camera and other equipment to investigate the damp problem.
I think i have rising damp?
Rising damp is the general term that describes the movement of moisture upward through permeable building materials by capillary action. This type of damp is frequently misdiagnosed by surveyors.
After 1875 it became compulsory to install damp proof courses in houses that were constructed. These physical damp proof courses do not readily fail as much as the damp proofing industry may like you to think. Consider an independent survey before contemplating an expensive damp proof course on your building.
What is condensation damp?
Condensation is the most common form of damp. It is caused by high humidity levels and occurs when there is an imbalance between ventilation, insulation and heating. The black mould which forms as a result of high humidity and condensation is harmful to human health.
Children aged 14 years and under are particularly vulnerable. Black mould is allergenic and can exacerbate existing respiratory conditions. There has been a recent well-documented case where black mould resulted in a tragic death of a young child in Rochdale.
Measurement of relative humidity to determine dew point
Our surveyors measure the temperature of the room, internal walls and relative humidity. We also use state of the art thermal imagery to map the rooms affected. We are able to use the data to determine the dew point, this is when water vapour turns to liquid. If the surface temperature is at or below the dew point then condensation is taking place. Surface condensation is not an absolute requirement to support mould formation. If the relative humidity of the room stays at 70% for long periods of time, the external wall surfaces will be sufficiently humid to support the growth of mould.
Root causes of condensation
Naturally, occupants in a building will create moisture through everyday tasks which include bathing, cooking, breathing etc. However, if there is inadequate ventilation the humidity levels will increase and result in condensation in the house. Typical causes of condensation damp include the following:
- Blocked vents
- Inadequate insulation
- Inadequate extract ventilation
- Drying of clothes on radiators
- Unvented tumble dryers
- Not opening windows
- Inadequate heating regime
Condensation damp due to Inadequate Insulation
Thermal bridging, also known as cold bridges accounts for up to 30% heat loss in the home. Cold bridges caused by inadequate insulation result in warm air inside the house cooling down when it comes into contact with cold surfaces. This results in condensation which supports black mould growth.
Damp survey cost?
Our environmental health damp and mould inspection start from £200, the price is dependent on the nature of the problem and the type of property. We will investigate and diagnose the damp problem. Once we have ascertained the root cause of the damp we will be able to give recommendations on the remedial work that is required. If you have other health and safety issues with the property, we can also assess them and provide a comprehensive HHSRS report, this is suitable if the property is rented.
Should the damp and mould problem constitute as a statutory nuisance and be prejudicial to health. We are able to provide an expert environmental health reports to support legal proceedings at the magistrates court. Please note as this is a specialist report contact us to get an accurate price.