Moisture control is fundamental to the proper functioning of any building
Controlling moisture is critical to protect occupants from adverse health effects and to protect the building, its mechanical systems and its contents from physical or chemical damage. Yet, moisture problems are becoming so common in buildings, that many people consider them inevitable.
Excessive moisture accumulation plagues buildings throughout the United States regardless of climate. From hot humid regions such as tropical Hawaii and the Gulf Coast to hot, dry desert regions such as Arizona or New Mexico – and to cold regions like Minnesota and even arctic Alaska – are all affected.
Between 1994 and 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building Assessment Survey and Evaluation (BASE) study collected information about the indoor air quality of 100 randomly selected public and private office buildings in the 10 U.S. climatic regions. The BASE study found that 85 percent of the buildings had been damaged by water at some time and 45 percent had leaks at the time the data were collected.
Moisture causes problems for building owners, maintenance personnel, and occupants
Many common moisture problems can be traced to poor decisions in design, construction or maintenance. More often than not, the more serious problems are caused by decisions made by members of any of a number of different professions including developers, building owners, builders, architects, engineers and specialized contractors. However, such problems can be avoided with techniques that are based on a solid understanding of how water behaves in buildings.
Read this document to learn more
The EPA has produced a document which is very informative and I recommend it highly for professionals and other involved in the building industry. Building owners and homeowners who choose to be well educated to protect their investments may also find the information helpful.
Generally, history suggests that public agencies underestimate the dangers of environmental toxins such as mold or heavy metals, until the data defining the danger is overwhelming, so always consider the most conservative recommendations as well as your own research and common sense.
The document is called “Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction and Maintenance“. It is specifically created for professionals but there are many individual homeowners/researchers who can use this information to share and also for use in choosing and guiding the professionals they hire.
Learn even more about how mold starts and how moisture affects our buildings in my mini-course “Moisture Basics”!
Get your questions answered!
Cheryl Ciecko, AIA, ALA, LEED AP, is a licensed architect who helps homeowners and building professionals create safe homes through online education to prevent mold, water damage, and poor indoor air quality. You can find her video masterclasses, online programs, and education subscription options at https://avoidingmold.com/education .
For detailed answers on your specific situation or building project, schedule your appointment for an individual consultation.
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The information contained in this presentation is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any disease, ailment or injury to the body. It is not medical advice. FDA regulations prohibit the use of medical claims in conjunction with the sale of any product not approved by the FDA. Statements made herein have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Any products, techniques, and/or personal usage tips referred to are not suggested as a replacement for proper treatment from a licensed health care professional. I am not a licensed health care professional and the decision to use or not to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the listener and/or reader. Everyone is an individual with different body types, different blood types, different body chemistries, and it is important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another person.