A LEADING mould campaigner in Thurrock says she is shocked at the results of a new investigation into mould in her home.
Deirdre Lodge from Stifford Road, Aveley is suffering from an incurable lung condition. For the past few years, Deirdre has been campaigning to see improvements in homes that have mould, so as to prevent other residents seeing their health deteriorate.
Her campaigning has seen a number of politicians back her campaign. But the bottom line is: Is her home still infected with mould?
Deirdre has had a number of inspections at her home but recently Deirdre asked Jeff Charlton from Building Forensics to assess the state of her council house.
Jeff visited and conducted a detailed inspection of the property.
The report concluded:
“The property has a slightly elevated specific humidity which will, through poor insulation most likely result in biological activity and mould growth. The cleaning and maintenance regime undertaken by the occupants has reduced the risk of visible mould growth substantially.
Unfortunately the visible contamination is not considered to be the main issue as interstitial dew point issues within the walls/ceiling of the bedroom are most likely to result in contamination and the risk is high due to the hours the occupants may spend in the vicinity.
The air condition unit is another risk factor too as is secondary aerosolisation of historic possible contamination which has never been removed.
Biological contamination and inhalation risk has never been addressed and the property despite having a history of biological activity and high risk occupants has never been decontaminated.
The airborne debris loading identified from sampling in almost still air confirms a high presence of debris which must be a considered a serious inhalation risk to Deirdre.
The loft insulation and cross flow ventilation though soffits or eves should be investigated
The presence of mould to ceiling and wall intersection should be investigated and removed with engineering controls installed.
The Fujitsu air condition unit should be cleaned and a maintenance programme initiated and adequate insulation installed surrounding this unit.
Due to the risk/cost benefit analysis of medical care and well being of occupants a Heat Recovery Ventilator should be considered for installation to service the bedroom and lounge as a minimum to reduce inhalation risk and reduce exposure by dilution.
The source of moisture generation should be assessed and confirmed or rejected as:
Dew Point condensation through poor insulation Lifestyle issues Moisture ingress Poor ventilation
These issues can to some extent be economically assessed by data loggers
The effects of uncontrolled moisture within a building may result in unnecessary and repeated maintenance and decay of structural materials shortening the life cycle of the building a point confirmed by the presence of wood rot fungi identified from lab analysis.
YT asked Dee for her reaction. Dee said: “It was an absolute pleasure meeting Jeff, at last someone I could speak to who knows what they are talking about.
“As I have always tried to tell Thurrock Borough Council, mould growth must be risked assessed properly and not just done visually as one “inspector” recently did in my home.
“I have had contact with Jackie Doyle Price she asked me how well was the council doing with dealing with residents problems with mould. I have nothing to come back with apart from housing managers and officers congratulating themselves with regard to the Flowers Estate.
In my opinion, they have a lot to learn and until they start to listen people’s lives are at risk.
As Jeff Charlton has stated: the heat recovery units will reduce the moisture from the air but will not get rid of the mould.
“I have often complained, even at full council, that Thurrock Borough Council Environmental Officers are not qualified to assess the properties with mould, some even downgrade it to a 3 or 4.
“As an expert on living with mould, I thought I had got rid of it because I could not see it. Guess what: I still have high contamination in my home.
“If the council want to get to grips with the mould issues, as I believe Barbara Brownlie does, they need to work with the experts and not rely on their own resources.”
For further details on Mr Charlton’s work, go to: