Moisture can have a devastating impact on a building. Not only can water damage the appearance of your building, but it can also lead to the deterioration of plaster, promotion of timber decay, and the creation of unhealthy living conditions for occupants. Not everyone understands how to keep moisture out of their building, and some inappropriate treatments can even cause more harm.
Let’s discover 3 practical tips to keep a building free from moisture.
1. Use an Air Barrier
One of the most important steps you can take to keep moisture out of your building is to use an air barrier. An air barrier is essentially a system of materials that encases the shell of a building to protect it from the effects of airflow and leakage. Air barrier systems can be found within the building enclosure, either within the exterior surface, interior surface, or any other location between. There are a variety of different air barrier types to meet the unique needs of your building. For example, a fluid-applied air barrier has been specifically designed to act as air, vapor, and liquid moisture barrier.
In essence, an air barrier prevents moisture from diffusing through the building fabric to the stage where temperatures can be low enough to reach dew point. It is understood that prolonged exposure between water vapor and the wall system can lead to moisture issues like rotting and mold. Consequently, proper air sealing reduces the risk of water vapor moving into the wall system. Above all, installing air barriers can potentially prevent structural problems within the building that can be expensive to fix.
2. Roof Repairs
Faulty roofs provide a prime entrance for moisture to make its way into your building. For this reason, it is crucial that the roof of your building is in good working order. Start by replacing any dislodged or missing slates and tiles, as this can lead to damage occurring to roof timbers and plaster ceilings. Likewise, any moss should be brushed off as this can block gutters and retain moisture which can damage roof coverings during a frost.
Additionally, gutters and rainwater pipes should be cleared regularly. Buildings surrounded by trees or perched on by birds are also more likely to succumb to moisture, so take time to remove leaves, twigs and any other debris from the roof that can accumulate rainwater or snow. Accordingly, all roofs should have a clear path for water to exit, especially if they are flat, and flashings should also be installed to ensure that water flows away from the building.
3. Keep Things Ventilated
Ventilation is key to keeping unwanted moisture out of buildings. This is particularly necessary once a building is occupied but perhaps even more so during the construction phase. While building works are ongoing, whenever possible, doors and windows should be kept open to allow for natural drying of joint compound, tile grout, and paint. Although it can sometimes be tempting to use portable heaters to speed up the drying process, this can, in fact, introduce more moisture into the air.
Floorcoverings should not be installed over concrete until the floor has dried sufficiently as uncured concrete can introduce gallons of moisture into a new building. Once occupied, lavatories, and shower facilities need extra care and attention to prevent moisture build-up. Furthermore,mold-resistant materials, as well as regular use of vent pipes and ducts, can all help to keep bathrooms clean and dry.
To minimize the risk of future problems associated with moisture, it is vital that you take action to waterproof your building. Ultimately, any moisture issues should be identified sooner rather than later, so that repair works can be completed promptly. Finally, as with anything building related, if you notice any recurring moisture in your property, do not be afraid to reach out to a professional for expert advice and guidance.
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