Excessive Moisture in Buildings Can Be Costly to Health and Business
Once excessive moisture is introduced into an indoor building environment, there is a high possibility for the growth of bacteria or fungi that can pose adverse health effects to tenants, employees and laborers. The California Department of Public Health has concluded that the presence of “water damage, dampness, visible mold or mold odor” in all buildings and indoor environments is unhealthy. Some of the symptoms and adverse health effects associated with excessive indoor moisture and microbial agents (bacteria and fungi) include:
- Upper respiratory symptoms
- Exasperated asthma symptoms in people with asthma
- Shortness of breath
- Asthma development
- Lower respiratory illness in children
Building owners and tenants bear the majority of costs associated with problems caused by excessive moisture in buildings and impacted building materials. This could include:
- Absenteeism due to illnesses
- Workmen’s compensation cost
- Increased insurance risk
- Repair and replacement costs associated with damaged building materials, furniture, products and supplies
- Loss of use of building spaces after damage and during repairs
- Increased insurance and litigation costs related to moisture damage claims
Additionally, excessive indoor moisture degrades the quality of the building and could make restoration costly if it isn’t handled promptly. Possible items that may require repairs include:
- Poor adhesion of floor coverings,
- Other building materials or components such as drywall, ceiling systems, light fixtures, other electrical items, carpeting, and carpet padding.
However, moisture damage to building materials can be prevented or minimized if moisture testing is conducted very soon after a moisture intrusion incident and implementation of measures to prevent or minimize the growth of microbial agents.
For more information about mold and moisture, see Omega’s previous blog post.
Omega Environmental Services, Inc. has qualified and certified professionals (Certified Industrial Hygienists, Professional Engineers, Geologists, Certified Asbestos Consultants, Certified Lead Professionals, Toxicologists) that have the expertise to assist businesses in assessing and managing their hazardous materials.
Statement on Building Dampness, Mold and Health. – California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration – Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification