What’s the big deal about moisture management. Having a damp/wet basement or crawl space can be have some strange odors, but isn’t that normal. Having a small hidden intermittent leak around a window or door that goes undetected reminds me of the good-old-days when grandma used to keep a pot there to collect the water. But what we know now is that moisture intrusion left unchecked is the “water trigger” many biological organisms need to complete their life cycles. And these organisms often have negative impacts on the health of the homes occupants.
Today’s Building Science is advancing at such a pace that Building Codes can’t keep pace with the Science. A good case in point is Moisture Management and the negative effects on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). So if you suspect a water intrusion issue, get it checked immediately. Putting it off will only make the matter worse later on.
Ever-Changing Building Standards
Ever wonder “why do builders build this way?” We do and it’s integral to understanding what is going on in your home. Every Builder follows the appropriate Building Code for their project which unfortunately is only a “minimum Standard. Check your State for your requirements.
Moisture Degrades Building Materials & IAQ
Rehabbing an older home may neglect an underlying moisture intrusion issue and make it worse by trapping moisture in the home with those new windows, better insulation and new roof. Trapped humidity creates a cave-like environment that can lurk inside wall cavities, closets, and places with poor ventilation. The moisture is absorbed by the surrounding building materials and if left untreated will create a micro-climate that stimulates biodeterioration and degrades IAQ. This attracts insects, rodents, and a wide array of biological organisms that need moisture to complete their life cycle. Mold in particular has become quite a nuisance in Built Environments. Learn more about how improved ventilation helps manage damp spaces and improve IAQ.
Where Does One Learn How to Appropriately Address Moisture & IAQ?
First, find an Environmental Contractor well versed in Building Science, Natural Resource Management, and is experienced at correcting moisture management challenges. They will assess your unique situation and point you in the right direction. Then start educating yourself. Here are a few resource links we like:
EPA & Moisture Awareness, IAQ
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/homes/retrofits.html (Check out the EPA Document titled: “Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades” see page 9 for mold/moisture controls)
EPA & Building/Home Ventilation
http://www.epa.gov/indoorairplus/join_now.html (Fed Program to promote better indoor air quality)
Mechanical Ventilation With Energy Star
DOE / NDSU/ Foundation Insulation Effectiveness: Basement Building Science
Still Have Moisture Management Questions
We know, sometimes it just gets boring and complicated. If you watched the above video you know what we mean. But we really dig this stuff and can simplify the science so it makes sense. So send us your detailed question through our website and we will get back to you with some answers before you know it.