Roof Leaks Affect IAQ


That leak in the roof of your building seems like a small problem right now. Letting it go unrepaired, however, leads to bigger problems down the line. One major reason for concern is that roof leaks affect IAQ. Taking care of commercial roof leaks early prevents them from developing into health risks for employees. It also improves the overall efficiency of the ventilation system.

Commercial Roof Leaks

With the many challenges facing facilities managers in this age of pandemics and tight budgets, commercial leaks often get moved to the back burner. However, addressing issues that affect the building envelope prevents health hazards from developing. It also lowers energy costs. Since roof leaks affect IAQ in buildings, this adds a sense of urgency to the situation. A leak management program is the best way to protect buildings from damage. It allows building owners to prevent roof issues from developing into major problems. It extends the lifecycle of roofs too.

Commercial Roof Leaks Affect IAQ

Of course, commercial roof leaks cause property damage. Even a small amount of water presents a risk to building materials, furniture, and inventory. Ignoring the problem can lead to the unnecessary expense of replacing carpeting, tiles, and furniture. However, of greater concern is the risk posed to personnel. Several health hazards threaten building occupants. This includes workers in office buildings as well as students in schools and universities. Customers and clients are also at risk from issues that lead to poor IAQ. 

Health Hazards of Commercial Roof Leaks

Commercial roof leaks affect IAQ in several ways. For one, excess moisture combined with humidity creates the ideal environment for mold growth. Mold impacts allergy and asthma sufferers. Toxic mold is even more dangerous. Exposure to these fungi causes symptoms of coughing, wheezing, runny nose, and skin rashes. Once a problem develops, mold remediation is a huge cost. Pools of stagnant water also attract disease-carrying insects. Mosquitoes, for example, spread the West Nile virus. The longer-term health risks of working in buildings with poor IAQ include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and pneumonia. 

Higher Operating Costs Due to Roof Leaks

Cracks in the foundation and commercial roof leaks compromise the integrity of a building. This allows water to get in where it causes structural damage as well as damage to equipment, furniture, and building materials. Building envelope leaks also make HVAC systems run longer. When the ventilation system runs for increased periods this raises energy costs as a result. Improving building performance lowers energy costs while improving IAQ for occupants. Addressing the effects of roof leaks on IAQ is affordable and saves commercial building owners money over time. It also limits the health risks to building occupants.

Addressing IAQ Issues

The Building Sciences services provided by WTI | Pure Air address the IAQ concerns of building managers. It includes testing and risk assessments as a part of our Building Health Check. It involves mold assessments, allergen screenings, moisture testing, and temperature and humidity logging. The collection of air and surface samples allows the technicians at the Laboratory at WTI | Pure Air to test for mold, bacteria, and particulates.

IAQ services also include an HVAC Hygiene Assessment to gauge the impact a building system has on IAQ. The assessment includes both visual inspection and sample testing. It evaluates the impact of pressure across the evaporator coils as well. Additional services include airflow and energy efficiency and building air tightness testing. At the end of the assessment, a detailed report provides facilities managers with the data needed to make improvements.

Lastly, IAQ monitoring ensures the safety and efficiency of buildings. An around-the-clock monitoring system, like IAQ Guard 2.0, alerts facilities managers to issues that threaten IAQ, such as commercial roof leaks. Using a host of sensors placed throughout the building, this service tracks levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature, relative humidity, and volatile organic compounds. The system tracks particulate matter too. Particulate matter, or PM, is a microscopic mix of solid particles and liquid droplets. PM enters the respiratory system where it triggers asthma and allergy symptoms. Left unchecked PMs also pose the risk of lung and heart diseases. Long-term exposure leads to increased blood pressure as well as the risk of chronic bronchitis. IAQ monitoring, however, controls and eliminates the health risks posed by commercial roof leaks.

Learn More

Don’t let a roof leak turn into a major problem. Prevent commercial roof leaks from affecting the IAQ in your buildings today. For more information contact WTI | Pure Air Control.