Guide to Building Leaks & Moisture Diagnosis & Cure
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS - home CONTENTS: Guide to Sources of Building Leaks & Moisture Problems: causes & cures. How to identify causes of high indoor moisture. How to eliminate sources of un-wanted moisture & condensation indoors. Recommendations for use of dehumidifiers. Insulation & Heat Loss Inspection Guide; Insulation R-values, Types, & other characteristics. Attic, basement, & crawl space condensation - mold problems, mold solutions. Ventilation of building attics, crawl spaces, & other
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Building leaks & moisture problem diagnosis & cure:
This article series discusses how to inspect, diagnose problems in, and install or repair building insulation & ventilation systems including heat loss, moisture, & interior stains. Here we provide a complete list of articles describing how to find and fix various causes of water leaks or high moisture problems in buildings.
Guide to Sources of Building Leaks & Moisture Problems: causes & cures
Our page top photo shows that a leaky building foundation can form a major source of indoor building moisture problems.
The building dampness & moisture control and moisture-related building and indoor environmental contamination articles listed here explain the sources of unwanted building moisture or high humidity as well as the effect of high indoor moisture levels on indoor air quality and on buildings, such as indoor air quality and mold contamination.
HOW TO CHOOSE AN AIR CONDITIONER - BTU Chart useful when buying or replacing an air conditioner, this chart helps select the proper sized air conditioning unit - improperly sized A/C means inadequate dehumidification or moisture removal in buildings.
LOG HOME WALL INSULATION VALUES - discusses the insulation value of solid log wall homes compared with other structures, and it explains the principal errors people make when evaluating the cause of chilly log cabins.
LP OR NATURAL GAS PRESSURES & BTUH PER CUBIC FOOT how to properly install, inspect, and test gas piping and gas installations. LP or natural gas burning appliances are often sources of high indoor moisture levels. Burning gas fuels produces a lot of moisture.
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS [PDF], (2013) U.S. EPA, retrieved 2017/12/06, original source: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/moisture-control.pdf Excerpts: This document was developed by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor
Environments Division. It provides practical guidance
on how to control moisture in buildings.1 It is not a
textbook, code or standard.
Chapter 1 focuses on principles of moisture control:
how water moves into and within a building and
why the movement of water should be controlled or
Chapters 2, 3 and 4 provide professionspecific
guidance for the design, construction and
maintenance phases of a building’s life.
how core concepts and principles relate to each stage
of a building’s life, each guidance chapter contains
hyperlinks to relevant principles described in Chapter
1 and other related material throughout the text.
guidance chapter also includes methods for verifying
the appropriate implementation of the moisture
control recommendations and a reference section
that identifies additional related resources for readers
interested in more detailed information.
This guide can be used by anyone who designs,
builds, operates or maintains buildings and heating,
ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. ... the epidemiologic
evidence shows an association between exposure to
damp indoor environments and adverse health effects,
Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms.
Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with
The committee also determined that there is limited
or suggestive evidence of an association between
exposure to damp indoor environments and:
Dyspnea (shortness of breath).
Lower respiratory illness in otherwise healthy
In addition to causing health problems, moisture
can damage building materials and components.
The document continues to cite colonization of building materials and HVAC systems by mold, bacteria, insects, chemical reactions with building materials causing damage, and other forms of building damage.
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(May 10, 2014) Anonymous said:
I noticed thermal stains on ceiling heared garage radiant floor more so when started washing cars in winter months
Anon your comment makes some sense if you figure you've increased the moisture level in the area.
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"Damp Indoor Spaces and Health", Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 24 May 2004. - Web Search 6/23/2010 - original source: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2004/Damp-Indoor-Spaces-and-Health.aspx Damp Indoor Spaces and Health - executive summary - Quoting: Almost all homes, apartments, and commercial buildings will experience leaks, flooding, or other forms of excessive indoor dampness at some point. Not only is excessive dampness a health problem by itself, it also contributes to several other potentially problematic types of situations. Molds and other microbial agents favor damp indoor environments, and excess moisture may initiate the release of chemical emissions from damaged building materials and furnishings. This new book from the Institute of Medicine examines the health impact of exposures resulting from damp indoor environments and offers recommendations for public health interventions. "Damp Indoor Spaces and Health" covers a broad range of topics. The book not only examines the relationship between damp or moldy indoor environments and adverse health outcomes but also discusses how and where buildings get wet, how dampness influences microbial growth and chemical emissions, ways to prevent and remediate dampness, and elements of a public health response to the issues. A comprehensive literature review finds sufficient evidence of an association between damp indoor environments and some upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, wheezing, and asthma symptoms in sensitized persons. This important book will be of interest to a wide-ranging audience of science, health, engineering, and building professionals, government officials, and members of the public.
Copies of Damp Indoor Spaces and Health [buy at Amazon] are also available from the National Academies Press,
500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313
(in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. The full text of this
report is available at http://www.nap.edu.
- Quoting: The Institute of Medicine serves as adviser to the nation to improve health.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.
Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Nearly 150 years later, the National Academy of Sciences has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM.
IOM Phone (202) 334-2352 IOM Email: email@example.com
Sampling and Analysis of Indoor Microorganisms, Chin S. Yang, Wiley-Interscience; (March 5, 2007), ISBN-10: 0471730939, ISBN-13: 978-0471730934 Investigation techniques and analytical methodologies for addressing microbial contamination indoors Microbial contamination indoors is a significant environmental and occupational health and safety problem. This book provides fundamental background information on fungal and bacterial growth indoors as well as in-depth, practical approaches to analyzing and remedying problems. The information helps investigators, laboratory managers, and environmental health professionals properly use state-of-the-science methods and correctly interpret the results. With chapters by expert microbiologists, mycologists, environmental professionals, and industrial hygienists, Sampling and Analysis of Indoor Microorganisms is a multidisciplinary, comprehensive reference on advanced approaches, covering:
Microbiological problems in a water-damaged environment
Indoor construction techniques and materials that impact environmental microbiology
Microbial ecology indoors, airborne bacteria, genetic-based analytical methods, and statistical tools for microorganism analysis
Microbiological sampling approaches
Mold removal principles and methods, including specialized microbial remediation techniques for HVAC systems, legionellas and biofilms, and sewage contamination
A forensic approach toward the assessment of fungal growth in the indoor environment
A must-have guide for practicing professionals, including environmental health and safety personnel, public health officials, and building and construction engineers and architects, this is also a valuable reference for attorneys, home inspectors, water restoration personnel, mold remediation contractors, insurance adjusters, and others.
WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould (World Health Organization Europe), WHO Regional Office for Europe, ISBN-10: 9289041684, ISBN-13: 978-9289041683 When sufficient moisture is available, hundreds of species of bacteria and fungi -- particularly mold -- pollute indoor air. The most important effects of exposure to these pollutants are the increased prevalence of respiratory symptoms, allergies and asthma as well as disturbance of the immune system. Preventing (or minimizing) persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and building structures is the most important means of avoiding harmful effects on health.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific evidence on the health problems associated with this ubiquitous pollution and provides WHO guidelines to protect public health. It also describes the conditions that determine the presence of mould and provides measures to control its growth indoors.
Olalekan F. Osanyintola, Carey J. Simonson, Moisture buffering capacity of hygroscopic building materials: Experimental facilities and energy impact, article within Energy and Buildings,
Research into dynamic moisture storage in hygroscopic building materials has renewed interest in the moisture buffering capacity of building materials and shown the potential for these materials to improve indoor humidity, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in buildings. This paper complements previous research by estimating the effect of hygroscopic materials on energy consumptions in buildings. The results show that it may be possible to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by up to 5% and 30%, respectively, when applying hygroscopic materials with well-controlled HVAC systems. The paper also describes two different experimental facilities that can be used to measure accurately the moisture buffering capacity of hygroscopic building materials. These facilities provide different convective transfer coefficients between the hygroscopic material and ambient air, ranging from natural convection in small, sealed jars to fully developed laminar and turbulent forced convection. The paper presents a numerical model and property data for spruce plywood which will be used in a companion paper [O.F. Osanyintola, P. Talukdar, C.J. Simonson, Effect of initial conditions, boundary conditions and thickness on the moisture buffering capacity of spruce plywood, Energy and Buildings (2006), doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2006.03.024.] to provide additional insight into the design of an experiment to measure the moisture buffering capacity of hygroscopic materials.
Moisture buffering capacity;
Indoor air quality;
Convective transfer coefficients;
Olalekan F. Osanyintola, Prabal Talukdar, Carey J. Simonson
Effect of initial conditions, boundary conditions and thickness on the moisture buffering capacity of spruce plywood
Energy and Buildings, Volume 38, Issue 10, October 2006, Pages 1283-1292
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
American Plywood Association, APA, "Portland Manufacturing Company, No. 1, a series of monographs on the history of plywood manufacturing",Plywood Pioneers Association, 31 March, 1967, www.apawood.org
Animal Allergens: Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Cleanup & Prevention Information for Asthmatics and regarding Indoor Air Quality.
Asbestos products and their history and use in various building materials such as asphalt and vinyl flooring includes discussion which draws on ASBESTOS, ITS INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS, ROSATO 1959, D.V. Rosato, engineering consultant, Newton, MA, Reinhold Publishing, 1959 Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 59-12535 (out of print).
Asbestos Identification and Testing References
Asbestos Identification, Walter C.McCrone, McCrone Research Institute, Chicago, IL.1987 ISBN 0-904962-11-3. Dr. McCrone literally "wrote the book" on asbestos identification procedures which formed
the basis for current work by asbestos identification laboratories.
Stanton, .F., et al., National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 506: 143-151
Pott, F., Staub-Reinhalf Luft 38, 486-490 (1978) cited by McCrone
ASHRAE resource on dew point and wall condensation - see the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook, available in many libraries. The following three ASHRAE Handbooks are also available at the InspectAPedia bookstore in the third page of our Insulate-Ventilate section:
2005 ASHRAE Handbook : Fundamentals: Inch-Pound Edition (2005 ASHRAE HANDBOOK : Fundamentals : I-P Edition) (Hardcover), Thomas H. Kuehn (Contributor), R. J. Couvillion (Contributor), John W. Coleman (Contributor), Narasipur Suryanarayana (Contributor), Zahid Ayub (Contributor), Robert Parsons (Author), ISBN-10: 1931862702 or ISBN-13: 978-1931862707
2004 ASHRAE Handbook : Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning: Systems and Equipment : Inch-Pound Edition (2004 ASHRAE Handbook : HVAC Systems and Equipment : I-P Edition) (Hardcover)
by American Society of Heating, ISBN-10: 1931862478 or ISBN-13: 978-1931862479
"2004 ASHRAE Handbook - HVAC Systems and Equipment The 2004 ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment discusses various common systems and the equipment (components or assemblies) that comprise them, and describes features and differences. This information helps system designers and operators in selecting and using equipment. Major sections include Air-Conditioning and Heating Systems (chapters on system analysis and selection, air distribution, in-room terminal systems, centralized and decentralized systems, heat pumps, panel heating and cooling, cogeneration and engine-driven systems, heat recovery, steam and hydronic systems, district systems, small forced-air systems, infrared radiant heating, and water heating); Air-Handling Equipment (chapters on duct construction, air distribution, fans, coils, evaporative air-coolers, humidifiers, mechanical and desiccant dehumidification, air cleaners, industrial gas cleaning and air pollution control); Heating Equipment (chapters on automatic fuel-burning equipment, boilers, furnaces, in-space heaters, chimneys and flue vent systems, unit heaters, makeup air units, radiators, and solar equipment); General Components (chapters on compressors, condensers, cooling towers, liquid coolers, liquid-chilling systems, centrifugal pumps, motors and drives, pipes and fittings, valves, heat exchangers, and energy recovery equipment); and Unitary Equipment (chapters on air conditioners and heat pumps, room air conditioners and packaged terminal equipment, and a new chapter on mechanical dehumidifiers and heat pipes)."
1996 Ashrae Handbook Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning Systems and Equipment: Inch-Pound Edition (Hardcover), ISBN-10: 1883413346 or ISBN-13: 978-1883413347 ,
"The 1996 HVAC Systems and Equipment Handbook is the result of ASHRAE's continuing effort to update, expand and reorganize the Handbook Series. Over a third of the book has been revised and augmented with new chapters on hydronic heating and cooling systems design; fans; unit ventilator; unit heaters; and makeup air units. Extensive changes have been added to chapters on panel heating and cooling; cogeneration systems and engine and turbine drives; applied heat pump and heat recovery systems; humidifiers; desiccant dehumidification and pressure drying equipment, air-heating coils; chimney, gas vent, fireplace systems; cooling towers; centrifugal pumps; and air-to-air energy recovery. Separate I-P and SI editions."
Brick Nogging, Historical Investigation and Contemporary Repair, Construction Specifier, April 2006. Historical use of brick in timber-framed buildings, drawing on the investigations of the Kent Tavern in Calais, VT.
"Brick nogging is a European method of construction which was brought to the new world in the early-nineteenth century. It was a common construction method that employed masonry as infill between the vertical uprights of wood framing." -- quoting the web article review.
Building Research Council, BRC, nee Small Homes Council, SHC, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, brc.arch.uiuc.edu. "The Small Homes Council (our original name) was organized in 1944 during the war at the request of the President of the University of Illinois to consider the role of the university in meeting the demand for housing in the United States. Soldiers would be coming home after the war and would be needing good low-cost housing. ... In 1993, the Council became part of the School of Architecture, and since then has been known as the School of Architecture-Building Research Council. ... The Council's researchers answered many critical questions that would affect the quality of the nation's housing stock.
How could homes be designed and built more efficiently?
What kinds of construction and production techniques worked well and which did not?
How did people use different kinds of spaces in their homes?
What roles did community planning, zoning, and interior design play in how neighborhoods worked
Energy Savers: Whole House Systems Approach to Energy Efficient Home Design [copy on file as /interiors/Whole_House_Energy_Efficiency_DOE.pdf ] - U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Whole-House Supply Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Supply_Vent.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11880?print
"Energy Savers: Whole-House Exhaust Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Whole-House_Exhaust.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11870
"Energy Savers: Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Natural Ventilation [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Natural_Ventilation.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Energy_Recovery_Venting.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy energysavers.gov/your_home/insulation_airsealing/index.cfm/mytopic=11900
"Energy Savers: Detecting Air Leaks [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Detect_Air_Leaks.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
"Energy Savers: Air Sealing [copy on file as /interiors/Energy_Savers_Air_Sealing_1.pdf ] - ", U.S. Department of Energy
Fiberglass: Indoor Air Quality Investigations: Health Concerns About Airborne Fiberglass: Fiberglass in Indoor Air from HVAC ducts, and Building Insulation
Humidity: What indoor humidity should we maintain in order to avoid a mold problem?
Ice Dam Leaks in building attics and roof cavities, how to inspect for evidence of leaks, identify causes, and correct bad attic ventilation, improper roof venting, and these causes of attic mold or roof structure damage
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST (nee National Bureau of Standards NBS) is a US government agency - see www.nist.gov
"A Parametric Study of Wall Moisture Contents Using a Revised Variable Indoor Relative Humidity Version of the "Moist" Transient Heat and Moisture Transfer Model [copy on file as/interiors/MOIST_Model_NIST_b95074.pdf ] - ", George Tsongas, Doug Burch, Carolyn Roos, Malcom Cunningham; this paper describes software and the prediction of wall moisture contents. - PDF Document from NIS
Lighting, proper use of: proper aiming of a good flashlight can disclose hard to see but toxic light or white mold colonies on walls.
Manufactured & Modular Homes: Modular Building Systems Association, MBSA, modularhousing.com, is a trade association promoting and providing links to contact modular builders in North America. Also see the Manufactured Home Owners Association, MHOAA, at www.mhoaa.us. The Manufactured Home Owners Association of America is a National Organization dedicated to the protection of the rights of all people living in Manufactured Housing in the United States.
Mold-Resistant Building Practices, advice from an expert on how to prevent mold after a building flood and how to prevent mold growth in buildings by selection of building materials and by anti-mold construction details.
"The Elimination of Unsafe Guardrails, a Progress Report," Elliott O. Stephenson, Building Standards, March-April 1993
"Are Functional Handrails Within Our Grasp" Jake Pauls, Building Standards, January-February 1991
"Weather-Resistive Barriers [copy on file as /interiors/Weather_Resistant_Barriers_DOE.pdf ] - ", how to select and install housewrap and other types of weather resistive barriers, U.S. DOE
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones