You may not think water intrusion affects indoor air quality, but it does. When water enters the building undetected it creates an ideal environment for mold to grow and thrive. It also allows outside contaminants into the building. This impacts the health of building occupants both at home and in the workplace. Therefore, building managers and homeowners must guard against excess moisture indoors.
Water Intrusion Affects IAQ
The threat of water intrusion keeps facilities managers up at night. Sometimes the problem is difficult to detect and an issue isn’t discovered until a problem arises. When water intrusion affects IAQ in the form of mold, this triggers allergy symptoms in building occupants. Long-term mold exposure leads to serious health problems such as asthma and respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, and eczema. Dampness also attracts insects and rodents and could release VOCs in building materials.
Causes of Water Intrusion
Water intrusion occurs for several reasons. For example, leaks around windows and doors create problems. Roof leaks and cracks in the building’s foundation also allow moisture into the building. Pooling water from burst or leaky pipes poses risks that are difficult to detect behind baseboards and drywall. Flooding from recent storms contributes to the problem as well.
Detecting Water Intrusion
Water stains on the ceiling or walls indicate moisture, of course. Rotting wood around window and door frames is another indicator. The presence of mold is also a sign of excess moisture. If fungus is present, mold remediation is required. Regular inspections for water intrusion guard against future IAQ issues. IAQ monitoring is another way to keep a close eye on humidity levels. Regular inspection and cleaning of HVAC systems are also recommended. Dirty coils and blowers contribute to higher humidity levels and must be monitored.
Prevent Water Intrusion From Affecting IAQ
The following tips help prevent excess moisture and mold:
- Clean up spills and repair leaks immediately
- After cleaning carpets, completely dry within 24 hours
- Cleaning bathrooms and kitchens frequently
- Inspect caulking around sinks, tubs, and showers
- Keep furniture away from return air vents
- Avoid overwatering plants
- Inspect plumbing and HVAC system for leakage
Of course, the best way to prevent water intrusion from affecting IAQ is by securing the building envelope. This may require replacing old door and window frames as well as performing roof and foundation repairs. HVAC inspections help pinpoint issues as well. Once the detection of a problem occurs, remediation follows.
Pure Air Control’s Building Sciences
Pure Air Control has several services and methods for detecting and controlling water intrusion so it won’t affect IAQ. These services also improve energy efficiency and lower operating costs. Our Building Health Check includes mold assessments and allergen and dust screenings. We also conduct contaminant source and risk assessments, test wall and floor moisture, and perform tests using infrared thermography as well as log temperature and humidity levels.
An HVAC Hygiene Assessment
The HVAC Hygiene Assessment lets you know how water intrusion affects IAQ. To do this we first conduct a visual inspection of the AHU as well as the evaporator coils, drain pan, blower, and ductwork. The samples we collect undergo performance testing to gauge the effect of pressure and airflow across the coils. Collected data is logged and sent along with samples to our environmental diagnostic laboratory. The EDLab tests samples for the presence of mold and bacteria. A detailed report follows. A building airtightness test also determines the integrity of the building. Based on the results, necessary repairs prevent water intrusion from affecting IAQ and the health of building occupants.
IAQ remote monitoring keeps indoor air quality safe and prevents water intrusion from affecting IAQ. The monitoring of building conditions in real-time leads to a quick response in addressing issues. Our IAQ Guard 2.0 uses smart technology to connect to other WIFI-enabled products such as air purifiers. A remote team at the EDLab watches for any changes in building conditions that affect IAQ, such as water intrusion that impacts humidity and moisture levels.
Learn More About How Water Intrusion Affects IAQ
Call Pure Air Control Services to learn how we prevent water intrusion from affecting IAQ. Get in touch today by calling 1-800-422-7873. Email us here.