Integrating Building Construction and Mould Prevention
Avoiding water damage and prevention of indoor fungal growth begins prior to the construction process itself. Architects, engineers and contractors need to work together in an integrated fashion where each professional contributes their expertise to ensure a finished product that meets specifications precisely. Small errors and omissions can result in significant problems leading to additional expense, health impacts, associated delays and potentially far-reaching legal repercussions.
Once construction begins, the need to ensure that systems are designed and installed properly, from the ground up becomes crucial. Drainage systems need to be properly built, including Surface Drainage, Subsurface Drainage and Slope Drainage systems. Additionally, downspouts and gutter systems must also be properly utilized where applicable. Addressing water issues during all phases of construction, before excess moisture becomes a problem, is key to preventing water damage and resultant fungal growth.
Proper storage and protection of building materials is an important priority during all phases of construction. Wooden/Porous building materials should be stored off the ground and should remain covered and protected until they are used. Failure to do so can result in water damage and fungal impacted building materials being installed at new construction sites. If utilized in a wet, untreated condition, significant fungal growth can result which can be difficult to locate once finish materials (like gyprock or flooring, etc.) have made locating them difficult.
Plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems must be professionally installed and balanced to prevent water damage and fungal growth. Leakage can lead to extensive damage, lost time and avoidable expenses. Electrical deficiencies can lead to injury and fire, and an unbalanced HVAC system can create building wide moisture related problems.
Structural deficiencies can have serious consequences, but smaller, less obvious problems can also be difficult and costly to repair. The exterior building envelope is crucial to preventing water incursion and resultant fungal growth. Low slope and flat roofing systems are common throughout industrial, commercial, and residential construction. Due to the nature of the chosen roofing technique itself, deficiencies can lead to costly water incursion and resultant fungal growth issues. Roofing systems must prevent water from accumulating and challenging the integrity of the roofing system itself. Slope, roof drains, scuppers, downspouts and eaves must be properly designed and built to function properly to fully protect the building.
To that end, Teknicon has expanded our professional services by integrating an Abatement and Consulting Services group into the services we offer. We specialize in issues pertaining to Biological Contamination (mould and invasive pests [pigeons, rodents, etc.]) and hazardous building materials (asbestos, lead, mercury, refrigerants, UFFI and others). At Teknicon, we bring these skills together and take a cooperative professional approach throughout all our projects. We bring all these skills and more whenever required to identify, track, and repair water related fungal growth issues.
At Teknicon, we deliver integrated, professional results, not excuses.
Teknicon currently utilizes two main techniques to sample various fungal organisms: Mould Air Sampling and Mould Bulk Sampling.
Mould Air Sampling is the most efficient way to quickly ascertain if a fungal organism is becoming an “airborne fungal organism.” Airborne fungal organisms may pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of our clients workers, occupants and users of their properties. Mould air sampling can establish urgency and can significantly impact how the project moves forward. Protecting the health and safety of our clients and those that utilize or occupy their properties is the purpose of what we do. Our preferred mould air sample is called a Total Fungal Particulate (TFP) air sample. TFP samples are quick and efficient, the cost of which is determined by the turnaround time the client requests not what shows up on the sample. TFP samples are inclusive, meaning that they capture both living (viable) and non-living or dead fungi (dead fungi can also impact the health and safety of exposed persons). TFP samples are fast, reliable and provide a more complete picture of what is in the air we sample, and the air our clients breathe.
Mould Bulk Sampling is the technique of identifying fungal organisms that have been visually located and identified within a property. Teknicon describes a visually identified fungal growth as being a “Suspect Fungal Growth.” There are different types of bulk sampling available to us including Tape Lift (TL) sampling and swab sampling. Both have an application that may be required depending on the conditions we find when looking at a fungal growth issue. Tape Lift sampling is a method which involves taking a clean 10 cm length of a clear Scotch Tape or a Biotape and pressing it once against a suspected fungal growth. The TL sample is then applied to a clear plastic baggy or a microscope slide and transported to an approved laboratory for mycological analysis. Data obtained in this manner does not identify the exact species of mould but rather the fungi is identified to the Genera or grouping level. This technique is utilized primarily to prove that a fungal growth is present on the building material in question.
There are many other things that Teknicon can do for you, your staff and your clients but all our activities have the same goal. That goal is Health and Safety and better working and living conditions.
TEKNICON DELIVERS RESULTS, NOT EXCUSES
Hidden Fungal Growth
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Teknicon can provide the various professional trade services, inspections, reporting and remediation efforts your projects warrant: all conducted by our experienced and qualified personnel. Teknicon regularly assists our clients with projects from start to finish involving hazardous building materials or biological contamination projects. Please feel free to contact Teknicon at 780-915-7203 with any questions you might have or to initiate a project.