The rainy season is upon us. Excess moisture in the built environment not only causes physical damage deleterious to buildings it can lead to adverse health effects and compromised indoor air quality (IAQ) because it may lead to fungal growth if not dealt with immediately and properly. Whether the cause of water intrusion is a catastrophic event or an on-going maintenance issue, a proper response can save time and money.
Moisture sources which can impact buildings can be divided broadly into two broad categories, internal and external. Internal sources of moisture include building related systems such as plumbing and mechanical systems. External sources of moisture intrusion typically involve water or moisture entering the built environment through the building envelope such as penetrations through the roof, expansion joints , sub-slab, windows, doors etc. Some sources of water intrusion may be attributed to construction or material defects may have legal implications.
Regardless of the cause of the intrusion, the resulting damage to building materials following a water intrusion event are costly. Complications such as mold growth resulting from a delayed or deferred response only exacerbate the matter. Costs related to delayed or deferred remediation include expensive mold remediation, extended impact to operations, lost goodwill of employees/tenants/clients, lost time and potential workers compensation claims.
By taking preventative steps and developing a plan for responding to moisture intrusions you can mitigate or even prevent a significant impact to your operation.
Prevention and Planning
Here are some quick steps that can be taken to help minimize the chances of a failure in your building envelope:
Have a plan to respond to water intrusions which is scalable. Large and complicated water intrusions are best left to professionals. Smaller intrusions may be handled in-house with properly trained personnel with the appropriate equipment. Here are some important considerations:
Responding to a Water Intrusion
It’s generally accepted that if nutrient rich building materials (wallboard, carpeting, and other porous materials become wetted, there is a window of 24-48 hours to dry the materials before mold growth can occur. Rapidly responding by initiating an immediate effort to either dry and/or remove impacted building materials is paramount to insuring that irreversible damage to building materials and subsequent mold growth does not occur.
In the event that you fall victim to water intrusion, act quickly as time is truly not on your side. In order to mitigate additional damage to the material and subsequent mold growth here are a few steps to follow:
Prevention, planning and proactive immediate responses to moisture intrusions impacted the built environment can prevent or significantly mitigate costs associated with unplanned events. Contact David Schack, Vice President for more information at David.Schack@altaenviron.com.