DAMP is an Enemy to Buildings!

When performing your Spring Healthy Building Check-Up be on the lookout for indications of dampness.  Dampness provides an environment for mold to grow and pests to water.  Dampness is also the fuel for deterioration to attack building components.

Dampness and interior humidity levels at 60% or more should raise the question: “What is the source?”  The source should be remedied prior to cleaning up the area of concern or repairing damaged components.  Without addressing the source, the problems caused by the dampness will resurface.

Common types of dampness in a building include:

  • Condensation
  • Ground water absorption
  • Water intrusions
  • High humidity

Condensation typically occurs when moist air is prevented from escaping the property due to poor ventilation.  Signs of condensation issues include water droplets on windows or walls, peeling or stained building components, musty odors, or mold growth.  Condensation can be remedied through proper ventilation or control of humidity levels.

Ground water absorption tends to occur when moisture barriers fail or the ground water levels increase in the soil surrounding the foundation of the building.  Signs of ground water absorption include an efflorescent layer on building materials (looks like salt), dark patches or stains on concrete or brick walls, musty smells, rotting building components.

The source of ground water absorption and water intrusions should be identified.  Check landscaping to confirm that water is taken away from the building.  Check gutters and downspouts to confirm they are not in need of repair and confirm they take the water away from the building.  If all sources of possible water intrusion have been identified and remedied, a water-control system may need to be considered.

A dehumidifier in rooms that tend to have humidity levels over 50% can be an occupant’s best friend.  Today’s dehumidifiers can be set to come on automatically at 40 or 45%, keeping the humidity at levels conducive to the health of the building and its occupants.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

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