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Author Topic: How Prevalent are Moisture Issues & Water Damage in Buildings?  (Read 327 times)

JasonYost

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How Prevalent are Moisture Issues & Water Damage in Buildings?
« on: December 20, 2017, 02:01:28 PM »
      As many of you know, water-damages and moisture issues in buildings is common, and these issues can lead to secondary contamination (water being the first), like mold, increased off-gassing, insect infestations, and more, as well as lead to building erosion and cost restoration.  But how prevalent are these water-damage and moisture issues?

      According to research by the National Institutes of Health and others, these issues are wide-spread and more common than you may expect.  In North America, cross-sectional questionnaire studies have found that 27 - 36 percent (%) of of homes have mold contamination; and, studies that included indoor air quality assessments showed that number to be much higher: 42 - 56%.  Interestingly enough, signs of present or previous moisture related defects were discovered in 80% of these buildings.


      Improper weatherization led to this issue in an Indiana home.

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      So, if so many buildings have this issue, why don't we see it more often?

      Mold is a microorganism.  Growth isn't visible until it colonizes.  So, it is possible to have mold contamination without visible evidence of the colonization.  For example, some Aspergillus species will grow in hours after exposure, but colonization takes two-to-three days.  So, while you cannot see the growth, it is impacting the environment to a degree unknown without an assessment.

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      So, if we have a moisture issue, can we just fix that and the mold go away?

      No.  And, I wouldn't recommend that without an assessment.  There are safety and health issues with handling moisture-damaged environments that could impact workers and other occupants if left unaddressed.  And, the first part of addressing something is clarifying its presence and the risk associated with that presence.  How else are you to remedy things safely if you neglect the assessment?

      On this point of hazards and risks and assessments, I encourage you to read my article that touches on these things and why they're an important part of keeping everyone safe, as well as compliant with laws: http://restorationboard.com/indoor-air-quality-occupant-safety-27/when-do-i-need-a-respirator-respiratory-protection/

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      sandiegowaterdamagesd

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      Re: How Prevalent are Moisture Issues & Water Damage in Buildings?
      « Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 03:13:43 AM »
          Moisture problems can cause serious damage to building components and moisture-sensitive materials. Excess moisture can cause some building materials to corrode and rust.
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          JasonYost

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          Re: How Prevalent are Moisture Issues & Water Damage in Buildings?
          « Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 03:52:06 PM »
              Yes, @sandiegowaterdamagesd that is true.  It can also cause environmental hazards that create other liabilities to the building occupants, workers, etc.  For example, did you know that unnatural moisture activity can increase the off-gassing of building materials, increasing the gases in the atmosphere?  Or, pest infestation is known to increase when moisture issues are left unattended, and that these can, also, cause allergic or asthma like symptoms or worse?  Assuming the environment and its needs is dangerous for all materially interested.  When we consider the numbers in my first installment, one should seriously consider having their building assessed.
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              Re: How Prevalent are Moisture Issues & Water Damage in Buildings?
              « Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 03:52:06 PM »
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