Mould doesn’t just look awful (the ugly blotches and dark stains that can cover whole walls are often the result of excess moisture caused either by high humidity levels, thermal bridges, poor insulation, cold walls or water damage).
And it doesn’t just smell awful (who could ever forget that biting stench that hits you when you enter a room where mould has been festering unnoticed for some time in concealed corners or cavities or behind tiles, panelling or dry walls or ceilings?).
And it doesn’t just cause you to catch your breath when you are unwittingly confronted with the dank, earthy odour that causes your eyes to sting and your senses to reel.
Mould is dangerous. It can not only cause wood, for example furniture and even the structure of buildings to rot and decay, it can also cause paper and leather to stain and weaken and it can damage goods, books, fabrics and prized possessions beyond repair.
But worse still it can trigger allergic reactions, cause severe skin, respiratory and other health problems – and it can kill.
This is why some countries, particularly the UK, the US, Canada and Germany, have taken a new approach to tackling this widespread problem and have started to use so-called sniffer dogs, dogs that have been specially trained to not only sniff out drug caches, explosives, contraband and stashed away cash, but also to sniff out mould!
The reason is quite simple. Dogs, as we all know, have a keen sense of smell – so keen in fact that they rely more on their sense of smell to understand the world around them than they do on their sight. Which is not surprising really considering that some of man’s best friends have as many as 250 million to 300 million smell receptors – in contrast to a human being’s paltry 5 million – and that the part of their brain that is devoted to their sense of smell is up to 40 times larger than that of their masters. What the dogs actually smell when they are called to seek out mould is the products of the metabolism of mould which occurs as it flourishes and spreads.
The training the dogs undergo is very intensive – and very expensive – which is probably one of the reasons why it can easily cost as much as six or seven hundred pounds, plus a call out charge, to secure the services of such a canine sleuth. And the dog obviously does not come alone. The man or woman who brings the dog is more than just a dog handler. As a rule, he or she is an expert who has also been specially trained to not only read the signs which point to mould manifestation, but also to spot any possible changes in the dog’s behaviour which an untrained observer could interpret to mean that the dog has located the mould source when in fact the dog is indicating that there is a piece of food which may have fallen onto the floor and rolled under a fridge or cupboard. Once the real source has been located, the expert may also decide to take a sample which can then later be examined more closely in a laboratory.
So why even risk having to go through such strife and having to pay for such a service? And why risk having to pay bill that could easily run into hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds to rectify the damage which has been caused by mould?
The BL30 climate data logger from Trotec is designed to log indoor climate data like air temperature and relative humidity efficiently and reliably. The discreet and inconspicuous logger can save as many as 32,000 measuring values which you, the user, are able to determine by entering both the measuring cycle and the points in time when you would like the climate data to be recorded. And because you yourself also configure the data logger via your computer – and because it comes with a lockable wall mount – it is virtually tamperproof and therefore ideal as a simple yet extremely reliable means for documenting climate conditions in rented accommodation, storerooms and small warehouses or archives and for proof of due diligence. The data which the BL30 has accumulated can then be transferred to your computer and analysed using the software included in the scope of delivery. The information you obtain shows you without a shred of doubt whether the indoor climate is within the permissible threshold values or whether the air is too moist and whether it could therefore potentially provide mould with the breeding ground it needs to thrive and flourish.
So although we are sure that you are just as interested and intrigued as we were to learn what such sniffer dogs are capable of, we are also sure that you would hate to have to experience the dogs’ feats first hand and would sooner take the necessary precautions rather than fork out a tidy sum not only for the services of the dog but also for any damage, not only to the building itself, but also to the building’s contents.
There is, after all, an alternative…
Trotec. It’s not only the nose that knows.