What is Mould?
While moulds are a member of the Fungi Kingdom and are found almost everywhere, they can be a nuisance and even deadly. Because Fungi cannot produce food, they get their nutrients from surrounding elements, such as cellulose and other organic material. As a result, indoor fungi are commonly referred to as ‘mould’; however, there are many other types of fungi present such as yeasts, basidiomycetes, rust and smuts.
Indoor fungal growth is highly dependent on the availability of moisture, ‘food’ sources and time. So, when a mould spore finds a source of food and there is enough moisture available, growth will occur. Therefore, the key to controlling mould growth inside a building is to control moisture build-up.
Causes of moisture accumulation inside buildings include:
- Flooding events
- Elevated relative humidity
- Pipe breaks or leaks from plumbing systems or appliances
- Roof leaks and/or building envelope deficiencies
- Toilet and sewer backups
- Site drainage problems
Most noteworthy, SCS’ industrial hygienists have over 12 years of experience in mould testing. This includes assessing the built environment for sources of moisture, fungal growth and fungal remediation solutions.
Professional testing services include:
- Bulk and/or Tape-Lift Sampling
- Viable and Non-Viable Fungal Spore Air Sampling
- Laboratory Analysis
- Risk Assessment
- Scope of Work Development
- Remediation Inspection Services
- Post-Remediation Air/Surface Sampling Confirmation
The Testing Process
Furthermore, bulk, tape-lift and air samples are submitted to Environmental Microbiology Proficiency Analytical Testing (EMPAT) accredited laboratories for analysis of fungal spores to genus for non-viable samples and to species for viable air samples.
In conclusion, based on the findings of sampling and onsite assessment during mould testing, SCS will help develop and implement appropriate and cost-effective control measures. In addition, all fungal assessments will be conducted in accordance with the Alberta Jobs, Skills, Labour and Training Best Practices – Mould at the Work Site (July 2009) guideline document.