Avoiding Moisture Barrier Problems
With all of the different risks and dangers that come with building commercial structures, moisture problems often get overlooked until it’s too late. While it’s possible to fix problems with the moisture barrier once construction is completed, it’s always better to prevent these problems from happening in the first place.
Moisture Barrier Problems in Commercial Buildings
Moisture From Outside the Building
Moisture is everywhere, from muggy summer days to rain storms and melting snow. In order to control moisture inside the building, it’s important to make sure that none of this exterior moisture comes inside (or at least as little of it as possible.). This means making sure that vents and windows are integrated into the air barrier system and that there are no leaks where unwanted wetness might enter into the building. As well, it means that the building should be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that the building envelope is still intact and that there isn’t a mold colony growing somewhere out of sight when you thought the attic crawl spaces were secure.
One of the most-overlooked problems when it comes to moisture control in any building is temperature. Heating and air conditioning can keep the building at a certain heat or cold level, but when the temperature inside interacts with the outside temperature, it can cause moisture. Whether it’s condensation on the windows or beading in the walls, this moisture can lead in short order to mildew, rot, mold, and a slew of other nasty situations that can be expensive to clean up.
Water Vapor Diffusion
Water vapor exists in buildings, and failing to plan for it is a big problem according to this source. People generate water vapor just by existing, and it can result from dozens of other normal activities ranging from hot showers to simple maintenance. Preventing water vapor is impossible, but putting methods in place to shepherd it into certain areas and to deal with it as it occurs (such as the use of vapor permeable water barriers behind the cladding) can ensure that problems like mold and mildew don’t become an issue.
Avoiding moisture barrier problems can be best accomplished by designing the right system for each building. Attention must also be paid to specifying the right materials with the proper installation techniques.