How to Remove Dampness from Wall & Revive Home Interiors

There are plenty of ways to give our apartment a ravishing makeover. But we prefer taking advantage of the largest open space we have-the walls. The wall almost serves as a blank canvas on which we let our imagination play. We paint it, wallpaper it, handprint it, hang murals, paintings, and photo frames on it, and even mount lights, furniture pieces, and air conditioners on it to make it look unique in every possible way. Again, the décor of the walls differ with the room type. Our living room wall looks completely different from our bedroom wall, and in each case, the wall décor reflects the person who we are- our taste, our preferences and even our mood we are mostly in. However, a statement wall loses its beauty when dampness attacks it. Soon ugly patches of moulds/ peeling/ paint popping/ deterioration begin to appear on it and it is no more capable of holding anything.

Have you ever cared to check the health of your walls? Don’t let dampness on a wall to spreading of moisture in the whole home.

You never know, the damp problems that you are encountering just on the walls have actually gotten deep inside the entire structure of your home! Until and unless you resolve the problem from its root you will not be able to remove dampness from the wall and decorate it once again. Seek the help of a home inspection service provider and get your home assessed for damp (www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/damp-seepage-assessment-with-solutions-through-thermal-imaging-technology). It is highly important to find the cause and resolve the main sources of damp /seepage before embarking on a treatment for repair and prevention.

Basically, Damp/ seepage can happen due to moisture intrusion in your home. This can occur due to following key reasons:

  • Seepage from the wet area
  • Leakage from plumbing lines
  • Seepage from cracks and gaps on external wall/ windows, etc
  • AC drain pipe & condensation
  • Others – Paint & finishing issue or entrapped moisture

Do you know, most of the time, you misinterpret clear signs of damp on your walls?

Yes, unfortunately, most of the time, you tend to misinterpret the signs of damp on your walls no matter how explicit they are. Here are some instances:

  • You notice popping off paint in one corner of the wall and you think it must be due to the poor quality of the paint.
  • A wet patch on the wall invariably makes you think it is due to a localized leakage/ seepage the origin of which lies at the immediate back side of it. You visually scan the other side of the wall. If it is luckily shared by another room of your own apartment, you feel sorted. If by chance it is shared by a neighbour’s apartment, tension begins to build up.
  • You even hold direct sunlight entering your home guilty for making your wall paint chip.
  • Peeling wallpaper and loose wall racks make you think that it is due to mounting or installation defect.

What do you do to repair your visually defective wall?

You look for a quick fix to remove dampness from the wall which you think is a localized problem and in most certainty, a temporary one.

  • You give a call to your home painting service provider and get a quick repaint job done on the wall showing popping paint. You may also consider getting a localized waterproofing done not knowing to what extent it is actually needed.
  • You re-fix the wallpaper or use a fresh one and re-mount all racks and appliances on the wall.
  • You wait for dry summer to come and make your wall’s watery marks disappear.

Do these attempts to remove dampness from walls give you desired results? No. Not Long Term.

You soon figure out that this was much ado about almost nothing. The watermark on the masonry remains as is, the damp patches do not seem to dry out ever or even if they fade, make a comeback after every monsoon; and a musty smell permanently fills the air inside your home. Before long, the more serious effects of dampness begin to make your life miserable.

Effects of severe damp on your wall

Aesthetics of your walls go for a toss when dampness becomes severe and you are unable to control the moisture content of your home.

  • The damp patches turn darker and more watery as there is seepage in the wall
  • The paint fades and starts to peel off at multiple places
  • The wallpaper, if any, refuses to stay on the wall
  • The tiles on the wall (in the bathroom and kitchen) start to bulge out
  • Woodwork mounted on the walls deteriorate
  • Termite tubes grow on the wall
  • Brown to black patches of moulds appear on the wall

Talking about moulds, they are quite a hazard to your home. They not only make your beautiful walls look ugly but also pose a serious threat to your family’s health. Moulds are proven allergens and breathing in mould spores can lead to severe respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

There are many other health risks of high indoor humidity which you should aware of. However, moulds being the most serious of them, you must take extra care to remove them as soon as you notice a small speck on the wall. Remember, even a small spot of mould on the wall can be a sign of a larger infestation.

How to fight damp?

Damp spreads over the inner layer of your wall silently but fast ruining your most precious physical asset. To check whether your home is in danger, you must consult a home inspection company. Their team of professionals will visit your home, scan every part and component of it using thermal imaging technology tools and generate image-based reports showing exact areas of damp. Based on the reports, you can take the necessary actions.

Following is how you can control damp in your home:

  • Ventilating your house more often. Ensuring ventilation at home will provide a route for moisture to escape from your home.
  • Checking for leaking pipes and getting all plumbing failures repaired as soon as possible.
  • Check grouting around floor drain outlet of wet areas. If they are not done properly, can be a pathway for moisture intrusion.
  • In Bathrooms and kitchens, check the tile joint filling. If they are deteriorated, get it repaired as soon as possible to avoid future moisture spreading in adjacent/ associated areas. To understand more, how gap at tile joints can create a path of moisture along with its solution read our knowledge series post – www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/do-you-know-from-where-the-moisture-monster-seepage-is-coming.
  • Check the gaps at the external wall and window frame are filled properly or not. If not, get it rectified as soon as possible to avoid entrance of external rain water through the gaps.

How to remove dampness from walls?

There are many remedial waterproofing methods by which water barrier in your walls can be successfully restored. This is only applicable to the positive side of water like bathroom/kitchen side; not in the bedroom or living room side. The leading waterproofing contractors/materials manufacturers in India are Dr Fixit, Fosroc, Dura, MasterSeal, Krytonite, BASF, Newcoat, Proofex, Sika, CICO Technologies, etc.

To know more about it. Read a blog of common floor – www.commonfloor.com/guide/how-to-remove-dampness-of-walls-in-your-apartment-1681.html

How to renovate a wall post-damp removal?

Once you have been able to remove damp problems successfully from your walls, your next job is to reconstruct it. Do the following to ensure further safety for your walls:

Apply waterproof coating on the walls

The exterior walls of your home face the brunt of the weather. So, it is not enough to just paint them with normal pigmented solutions. You must apply a waterproof coating on the walls to avoid seepage and/or leakage. For interior walls, waterproofing primers are available which prevent moisture from showing up on the painted surfaces. Check the product portfolios of renowned paint brands like Asian Paints, Nerolac, and Berger Paints for the right waterproofing paint solution for your home exterior and interior. To Know about what is waterproofing, you can read our blog – www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/what-is-waterproofing-a-raincoat-for-your-home.

Prevent grout corrosion and adhesion problems on tiles

Already mentioned above in brief about checking tile joints in how to control damp in your home. Let’s discuss it more, Tile joints should be filled with epoxy based products up to at least 10mm depth to check the corrosion of grout due to household cleaners. High-quality tile adhesive should also be used to prevent tile slippage or de-bonding. Tiling errors can lead to seepage; so, must be repaired without delay.

Use a dehumidifier inside home

A dehumidifier is like a vacuum cleaner which sucks in air from the interior of your home; takes the moisture out of it; and blows it back out into the room. The moisture collected drips through into a collection basin that is emptied from time to time. By investing in a dehumidifier you can reduce the humidity level of your home and prevent mould from affecting your walls in the future.

Once you have done the basics, proceed to beautify the walls as per your choice.

There is a strong connection between beauty and health. If you are not healthy, then your beauty is of no use. The same goes for your home. You must check its health regularly to maintain its good looks & life for years. Get a professional damp/ seepage assessment done and keep decorating your damp-free walls following the latest interior designing trends.

Why Excess Moisture is a Threat to Your Home

Your home may not be as healthy as it looks from outside. Just like the human body, it is a multi-layered structure and there are a number of factors that determine its health. According to Jeffrey Toh (www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB_DC24966.pdf), a building materials and construction research scholar, all buildings start to deteriorate right from the moment they are completed. The most damaging of all the elements that lead to this deterioration is dampness, moisture, and humidity.

Moisture when contacts a cold surface condenses into water droplets. We may not be very conscious about the fact but all types of household activity- cooking, dishwashing, bathing, mopping, or washing clothes and drying them add moisture to the air filling our home. Even breathing, exhalation to be specific, by every living entity of the house adds moisture to the air! Now, the quantity of moisture that air can hold depends on its temperature. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. During monsoon or winter, when the walls, doors, and windows become cold, the indoor moisture comes up against them and condenses into water droplets.

You may say, “How is it possible that such minuscule amount of moisture added into the air through our everyday activities cause our home to deteriorate?

Well, things wouldn’t have been this complicated had above elements been the only sources of moisture in our house. But there are many other sources which eventually increase the moisture content above its normal level. It is this excess moisture that leads to the dampness of the house.

The other sources of moisture in a house include:

  • External/ environmental:
    • Humid air from outside condensing into water droplets on coming in contact with cold surfaces in a building
    • Rainwater making its way through cracks and crevices on the walls and roofs of buildings
    • Groundwater
  • Infrastructural:
    • Mostly happens due to plumbing failure. For example, leakage in water pipes and drainage pipes, etc.

How does moisture lead to dampness?

As the moisture content inside the building structure rises, it accelerates the conditions for the chemical degradation of the concrete. Soon, the walls become porous and permeable to water, a condition known as damp.

Faulty construction practices and failed waterproofing are the main reasons behind moisture getting inside the fabric of a building and deteriorating it over the years.

While you can visibly check the external leakage and cracks, you cannot have an idea about the hidden construction faults. So, most of the time, your attempts to repair leakage or damp-affected areas either go in vain or leave the problem only half-solved. Therefore, going by the saying, “prevention is better than cure,” it is crucial to identify the main moisture generating places in your home. Once you have identified, you must try to reduce the amount of moisture generated there and check the condensation that happens thereafter.

Bathroom: The den of moisture in a house

The Bathroom is one of the most frequently used spaces of the house and undoubtedly, one of the most important ones too. Yet, humidity due to condensation makes it a villain of sort for causing dampness all over the house. Even a quick shower in the bathroom releases moisture into the air.

The problem becomes bigger whenever you take a hot shower because there is a lot of steam rising from the water. The steam mists up mirrors and glass panels or condenses on the walls. This keeps happening every day and that too, multiple times a day! If the place is not ventilated properly, or the wet surfaces are not wiped dry after each shower or wash, and/or there is no exhaust fan in the bathroom, this regular addition of moisture into the air can lead to severe dampness. The situation becomes worse if there is any of the below problems:

  • Loose bathroom faucet knob/handle
  • Dripping water tap
  • Leakage in the bathroom basin pipe
  • Poorly sealed joints between water taps and the walls
  • Internal leakage in the building water system
  • Damage geyser part/leaky pipe
  • Leaking hand-held shower hose/toilet jet spray
  • Damaged toilet flush valve
  • Water seepage

The continuous water loss from these damaged bathroom fittings adds to the moisture content of the house. Soon, signs of damp start showing up on the walls and ceilings in the form of dark, mouldy patches, flaky wall paint, and popped-up tiles. And this does not happen inside the bathroom only; the other parts of the building are affected too in varying intensity.

Why excess moisture is a threat?

It is not only the aesthetics of a building that is compromised due to damp. Left unresolved, it exposes us to bigger risks such as:

  • Extensive leakage & internal flooding leading to permanent dampness
  • Crumbling plaster & detachment from the lath
  • Compromised structural integrity of the building
  • Electrocution in the concealed electrical wiring system

Health risks of high indoor humidity

Experts opine that the optimal relative humidity level conducive to healthy living is between 35 and 60 percent. Beyond 60 percent, a place becomes excessively humid and a favourite breeding ground of harmful microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. Staying in such a place for long hours can expose you to potential health risks.

Growth of allergens

According to an Environmental Health Perspectives report, excess indoor moisture also leads to higher levels of dust mites, moulds, and fungi. Moulds begin to grow on wet surfaces in relative humidity levels above 75 percent, in as little as 24 hours. Once the moulds germinate, they begin to flourish rapidly producing spores and mycotoxins. Exposure to these mycotoxins causes allergies and respiratory inflammation in the inmates of the house. Ingesting certain mycotoxins can also lead to severe intestinal complications.

Mould spores are also potential allergens and are very difficult to eliminate. They lie dormant in a place for years and as soon as moisture content of that place rises, they start to flourish. Eliminating mould spores is virtually impossible unless their growing conditions are altered drastically.

Release of airborne chemical contaminants

Micro-organisms and allergens aren’t the only things that proliferate under excess humidity; airborne chemicals also increase as the indoor moisture level goes up.

Everyday indoor décor items like wood furniture pieces and carpets release noxious chemicals like formaldehyde, a process known as “off-gassing.” Exposure to even low levels of these chemicals can make you experience red, itchy skin, eye and throat irritation, and respiratory discomfort. The musty smell that fills the air in a damp house is mostly due to these airborne chemical contaminants.

How to eliminate excess moisture from home?

The first step to eliminating excess moisture is to ensure that the source of it is removed for good, and that is best done through waterproofing or damp-proofing.

By waterproofing or damp-proofing you can seal the unwanted water and prevent its further ingress. Then, with the onset of the dry season, the existing moisture content slowly decreases and your home springs back to life.

There are many advantages of waterproofing. Firstly, it enhances the value of your real estate property. And secondly, it sets the cornerstone on which you and your family can build a better quality of life.

However, detecting leakage or seepage that requires waterproofing isn’t an easy task. It is advisable to rely on professionals /home inspectors to do the job for you. They detect building-structure damps using advanced thermal imaging technology devices. Once detected with precision, you can proceed to do curing/waterproofing of only those areas. Otherwise, you may run the risk of making unnecessary expenses that may go up to as high as Rupees 50,000 to Rs. 100,000 approximately for a standard 1000 sq ft area space.

How to check condensation in the bathroom?

To reduce excess humidity in the house it is also crucial to check condensation in the bathroom because as explained earlier, it is the place where the maximum amount of moisture is generated.

The first step to check condensation in the bathroom is to address all plumbing-related issues. A timely repair of damaged bathroom fittings can save you big money on damp-proofing and/or waterproofing.

Besides, you must also ensure the below conditions to keep your bathroom dry and squeaky clean:

  • 1. Proper ventilation
  • 2. Wiping wet and fogged-up surfaces after each shower
  • 3. Using a dehumidifier
  • 4. Warming up the walls: Installing a bathroom heater can keep your bathroom warm without heating up the rest of your home wastefully.
  • 5. Using exhaust fan
  • 6. Incorporating design changes:
    • Surfaces that normally come in contact with water should be covered with tiles and/or glass so that water from splashing is prevented from being spread onto the adjacent surfaces.
    • The tiled surface on a wall should be high enough to block water from the shower.
    • Concrete walls made of porous material should be left un-tiled only in the upper parts and ceilings.
    • Provision should be kept for roof ventilators/windows to allow natural daylight in.
    • Non-slip tiles should be used to seal the surface below the floor from moisture.
    • The tiles must be grouted properly.
    • Bathroom walls should be coated with anti-condensation paint.

Moulds in the bathroom are difficult to remove. Don’t let this very important space in your home become a large petri dish for growing moulds. Get down to removing it at the very first sign of accumulation. You can use a baking soda-bleach-water solution or vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to clean the mould-affected areas. Regular use of the solution will give you better results.

Consult a home inspection expert for a long-term solution

Not all moisture related problems are DIY types. Some require complex solutions and hence, expert intervention.

Seek the help of a home inspection service provider like MACJ – A Buyers Choice. They will thoroughly diagnose your home using advanced, non-destructive testing methods and pinpoint the source of areas affected by excess moisture or damp. Based on their detailed report and suggestions, you can plan your next line of action.

Moisture is an important component of home atmosphere but when present in excess, it can severely hamper the quality of life. Don’t let the moisture take over your happiness. Get your home checked professionally the moment you smell it and live a healthy life in a damp-free house for the years to come.

Additional Notes for Information

Types of damp:

  • Construction damp: Happens due to poor construction practices. Sometimes, excess water that is added to the concrete mixture during construction bleeds out leaving behind capillary tracts in the wall. Water from the environment then makes its way through these tracts resulting in dampness.
  • Shrinkage is another commonly encountered problem in every cement-based construction. After completion, loss of moisture leads to the contraction in the total mass of a building leaving behind gaps. Later on, water from outside penetrates into these gaps resulting in (penetrating) damp.
  • Another form of penetration damp results when rain penetrates through the masonry due to poorly installed tiles or cracks on the wall.
  • Rising damp: Happens when moisture level rises up from the ground through the masonry to the height of about one metre of the building.
  • Condensation dampness: Results when a property is unable to deal with its normal moisture content due to the lack of proper insulation, ventilation or heating, or a combination of all of these things.

What is Waterproofing? | A Raincoat for your Home

Water infiltration into a home / building causes major problems to the structure. Water damages a building first cosmetically then structurally, results in building failure and most importantly the health of the residents. It is important to realize that by the time a stain shows up on the interior of your wall most likely irreversible damage is already caused to the exterior.

Before we get into the technicalities, allow us to explain you one simple thing. We wear a raincoat to protect ourselves from rain or water from wetting or drenching us, right? Waterproofing is the raincoat for a house.

Waterproofing is a system which prevents water (damp / water leakage / seepage / moisture) from penetrating into your house. As a raincoat keeps us dry, waterproofing / damp proofing is very important to keep our homes dry. It helps to reduce humidity inside the house and thereby protects things inside your house from damage caused due to humidity or water exposure. Waterproofing preserves the strength and the durability of concrete surfaces in a building.

Why is Waterproofing / Damp proof course (DPC) necessary?

Waterproofing increases your home’s value. It is one of the most critical, yet neglected concerns. Most of the time it is considered an inconvenience rather than a serious matter. Avoiding it will increase the problem & leave your wall damped.

1. Protects the Interiors from Water Damage

The inner part of your home is usually exposed to many unpredictable weather elements like sun rays and rains. This includes walls, floors, ceilings, etc. How much ever you try to get your walls sealed by using steel, concrete, etc., during the construction, they do crack and get rusted.

Water leakage / seepage or more categorically moisture intrusion in buildings results into damp, uncomfortable internal environments; deterioration of internal finishes (including mould growth); unsightly damp areas on wall and ceiling surfaces and increased concentrations of harmful pollutants affecting occupant’s health. The exclusion of moisture from buildings is therefore not only desirable, but an utmost concern to the residents of the buildings.

Waterproofing or damp proofing in buildings makes the structure water-resistant and helps in formation of a solid barrier over surfaces of foundations, roofs, walls and other structural members of building to prevent water penetrations through these surfaces. It helps in reducing the humidity inside the building, minimizing the damage done to structure, furniture, human health and alike.

2. Prevents Onset of Health Problems

Damp is a Silent Killer. Moisture and Humidity are the uninvited as well as unwanted guests which cause significant damage to your home and the ones living in it. When moisture finds its way to enter your walls and ceilings, it leads to the growth of mold and mildew. This creates spores, which leads to many health problems. Spores get projected into the air, and when you breathe in, they will straight away travel to your lungs that can cause health problems. Common health hazards include Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms, Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with Asthma, Cough, Wheeze, Allergies, Skin Diseases, etc. It is always preferable to have waterproofing done to your home at the right time (usually at the time of construction / renovation / interior design), to keep you and your family away from such unexpected health problems.

3. Saves Your Money

Waterproofing your home might seem like a daunting task & a blow to your budget. But, prevention is always better than cure. It is best to think of it as a long term investment that will reap benefits in the building’s lifetime.

Few other Reasons why waterproofing is required for homeowners / property owners:

  • Prevents Frequent Leakages
  • Enhances the Durability of the Structure
  • Prevents hassles of repetitive Repairs
  • Minimizes Reoccurring Repairs & Maintenance Expenses
  • Puts an end to damaging of interiors
  • Avoids serious health issues arising out of dampness

Where should Waterproofing be done in a building?

Some homes include only basic waterproofing, which at times is only restricted to roofs, but it is imperative to have proper waterproofing done at all the water entry areas to make the home leak-free home.The home will be protected adequately only when all the possible water entry areas are waterproofed. The five key surfaces that are crucial for waterproofing are:

  1. Roof / Terrace
  2. Exterior Walls
  3. Internal Wet Areas (bathroom, kitchens, balconies)
  4. Concrete Water Tanks
  5. Structural components(Below and around ground structures)

Waterproofing Solutions & Materials

Water barrier of external walls is normally achieved by providing desired wall thickness, adequate designing at construction joints and surface rendering and finishes which serve as barrier against water seepage / moisture intrusion. But normally no attention is paid towards critical areas like separation gaps, honeycomb areas, damp proof courses and so on. This results in significant leakages through external walls and damages to expensive internal structure, furniture & equipment.

The leading waterproofing contractors / service providers / materials manufacturers in India include Dr Fixit, Fosroc, Dura, MasterSeal, Krytonite, BASF, Newcoat, Proofex, Sika, CICO Technologies, etc. There are some paint companies like Asian Paints, Berger Paints, Nerolac Paints, etc which also provide waterproofing solutions.

Conclusion

Water enters the building and can have immediate and long term undesired effects. Apart from damage to the building contents, structural damage is unavoidable if the problem persists. Further this can have serious adverse effect to human health.

The goal of building waterproofing is to prevent as much water as possible from penetrating into the house, and to provide outlets and drainage so that if water does get inside, it is not allowed to remain. Many designers while designing simply forget that there is going to be water.

”Sukanta Mallik, VP – R&D, CICO Technologies Ltd, says, “We do not suffer any lack of advanced system or materials, but mainly waterproofing problems plague us due to increasing complexity of construction, blatant disregard to most of the waterproofing principles, and also, inability to co-ordinate interfacing between the multitudes of construction systems involved in a single building.”

If you are still not convinced and you are a huge admirer of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan then kindly watch…… www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-2rKW1gRCQ

For more information on the subject and long term solutions, please also read our blog…… www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/damp-seepage-assessment-with-solutions-through-thermal-imaging-technology

Moisture / Damp / Seepage – The Invisible Silent Killer : Unsuspecting Criminal

Moisture is an important concern to building designers since it is the single most important agent of building deterioration. Moisture control is fundamental to the proper functioning of any building and hence it is important to protect occupants from adverse health effects and to protect the building and its contents from physical damage. Moisture is also the prime reason for electronics getting damaged. There are ways to combat this invisible demon from wreaking havoc on your home and health. We need to catch this unsuspecting criminal red handed before it carries out its dastardly acts.

Some Trigger Points /Warning Signs

  • Flaking of paint/wallpaper/wall
  • Presence of Termite
  • Woodwork deterioration
  • Dark patch in wall / ceiling
  • General odour, musty smell from clothes
  • Soggy paint/wallpaper/wall
  • Visual leak
  • Mold growth
  • Rust
  • Collapsed False ceiling
  • Damaged electronic devices
  • Allergenic or immunological illness, infections, skin irritation in humans

Potential Sources (initially hidden and then gradually spreads)

  • Ceiling, Walls, Floor
  • Doors & Window
  • Roof, Terrace, Basement
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Concealed leak (insulation on Air Conditioner gas pipe, drain pipes)

Potential Issues that may arise

Health Hazards – Too much moisture can negatively affect health

When mold or mildew grows in your home, its airborne spores can travel through your air ducts and be inhaled. These spores can cause allergies, infections, skin irritation, and more. Asthma is also triggered by the sensitization of dust mites accruing humid, wet regions of a structure. Common hazards include:

–    Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms & lower respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children
–    Cough, wheeze
–    Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with asthma
–    Allergies, skin diseases
–    Dyspnoea (shortness of breath)

Mechanical Problems

When humidity settles on toilet tanks, water pipes, HVAC systems, and other mechanical objects, it can slowly cause rust or fungus and lead to failed parts & mechanisms. Failed parts can prevent proper operation & may mean costly fixes.

Electronic problems

Electronics are especially susceptible to damage by condensation. Moisture can corrode contacts inside and lower insulation resistance, which may cause short circuits.

Issues in the External surface

–    Major architectural deterioration like Cracks, popping of plaster, some parts of plaster.
–    Deterioration of structural elements like concrete / steel, reducing the self-life of the building.

Issues in the Internal surface

–    Termite infestation leading to deterioration of wood-works.
–    Molds growth.
–    Efflorescence of walls, tiles, stones.
–    Bleaching and flaking of paint.
–    Deterioration of carpet & furniture.
–    Popping and removal of plaster.
–    Collapsing of ceiling.

Solution

  • Once spotted, one must find the main source of moisture before embarking on a programme of treatment and prevention involving a combination of good ventilation, heat, damp-proof courses and good maintenance.
  • Before initiating any kind of repair, it’s highly important to understand what caused the issue.

Moisture Intrusion Assessment through Thermal Imaging Technology By MACJ – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections

Detecting moisture intrusion problems is an application for thermal imaging. Moisture intrusion may be identified through basic visual inspection if it has led to obvious defects, such as staining or mold growth.  By the time visible evidence has presented itself, however, significant damage may have already been done.  In many cases, moisture or water intrusion may have been developing for a while before obvious signs become apparent.  By employing thermal imaging technology, we can locate moisture / damp issues before they become large problems and lead to serious damage, as well as gather details in cases where moisture intrusion has already become obvious.

Scope of Work

We provide one stop solution in collaboration with a Global MNC using Thermal Imaging Infrared Technology having experienced team:

  • Moisture mapping assessment through inspection and thermal imaging technology.
  • Scanning of the walls, ceiling & floor with Thermal Imaging Technology.
  • Inspection of the related Plumbing systems / Shafts.
  • Identifying the source of seepage, moisture, damp.
  • Step wise solution recommendations.

Result

  • Long Term Solution
  • Mostly non-destructive solution
  • Cost of repair much lower
  • Life of property and humans increases or does not Deteriorate

Our Expertise & Direct relevant experience

  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment of Residential units / Offices / Bungalows.
  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment through thermal imaging of a premium commercial office of one the largest business groups in India.
  • Inspection of untraceable leak in a large banquet hall – water dripping into lower floors.
  • Inspection of Damp / Seepage of basements in buildings (old /new) with premium multiple units
  • Damp / Seepage assessment of roofs of buildings (residential / commercial).
  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment through thermal imaging of a premium office complex and of a premier shopping mall.

Moisture Intrusion

Moisture intrusion can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building’s occupants. We should have at least a basic understanding of how moisture may enter a building, and where problem areas commonly occur.

Some common moisture-related problems include:

  • High indoor humidity and resulting condensation;
  • Expansive soil, which may crack the foundation through changes in volume, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure;
  • Undermined foundations;
  • Metal corrosion;
  • Mold growth, mold can only grow in the presence of high levels of moisture. People who suffer from the following conditions can be seriously harmed (even fatally) if exposed to elevated levels of airborne mold spores:
    • asthma;
    • allergies;
    • lung disease; and/or
    • compromised immune systems.

Note:  People who do not suffer from these ailments may still be harmed by elevated levels of airborne mold spores.

How does moisture get into the house?

Moisture or water vapour moves into a house in the following ways:

  • Air infiltration, air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapour movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower ones by the easiest path possible, such as a hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Replacement air will infiltrate through the building envelope unless unintended air paths are carefully and permanently sealed;
  • By diffusion through building material, most building materials slow moisture diffusion, to a large degree, although they never stop it completely;
  • Leaks from roof;
  • Plumbing leaks;
  • Flooding, which can be caused by seepage from runoff or rising groundwater; it may be seasonal or catastrophic; and
  • Human activities, including bathing, cooking, dishwashing and washing clothes. Indoor plants, too, may be a significant source of high levels of humidity.

Climate Zones

Moisture vapour problems are driven primarily by high indoor relative humidity levels, combined with low outdoor temperatures during the winter. The problem is largely driven by high outdoor humidity and low indoor temperatures during summer months. Mixed climates are exposed to both conditions and can experience both types of problems. Humid climates, in general, will be more of a problem than dry climates. Wind-driven rain is the main cause of leaks through the building envelope.

Inspectors can check for moisture intrusion in the following areas:

Roofs

A roof leak may lead to the growth of visible mold colonies that can grow unnoticed. Roof penetrations increase the likelihood of water leaks due to failed gaskets, sealants and flashing. The number of roof penetrations may be reduced by a variety of technologies and strategies, including:

  • Parapet wall joints and flashing.
  • Proper slope and adequate drain outlets with proper grouting around.
  • Termination of drain outlet / plumbing pipes in a channelized way.
  • Suitable water proofing course on roof surface.
  • Electrically powered HVAC equipment; and adequate flashing.
  • Oftentimes, inspectors discover missing, incorrectly installed or corroded flashing pipes.

Plumbing

  • Distribution pipes and plumbing fixtures can be the source of large amounts of moisture intrusion. If the wall is moist and/or discoloured, then moisture damage is already in progress. Most plumbing is hidden in the walls, so serious problems can begin unnoticed.
  • One of the most important means of moisture management in the bathroom is the exhaust fan. A non-functioning exhaust fan overloads the bathroom with damp air. If the exhaust fan doesn’t work recommend switching the wiring or switch. The lack of an exhaust fan should be called out in the inspection report. The fan should vent into the exterior.
  • The bathroom sink, in particular, is a common source of moisture intrusion and damage. Although overflow drains can prevent the spillage of water onto the floor, they can become corroded and allow water to enter the cabinet.
  • Use a moisture meter to check for elevated moisture levels in the sub-floor around the toilet and tub.
  • Bathroom windows need to perform properly in a wide range of humidity and temperature conditions. Check to see if there are any obvious breaks in the weather stripping and seals. Are there any stains or flaking on the painted surfaces?
  • Check showers and bathtubs. Is the caulking is cracked, stiff or loose in spots? Are there cracked tiles or missing grout that may channel water to vulnerable areas? If some water remains in the bathtub after draining, it may be a warning sign of possible structural weakening and settlement in the floor beneath the tub.

Foundations

Model building codes typically require damp-proofing of foundation walls. The damp-proofing shall be applied from the top of the footing to the finished grade. Parting of foundation walls should be damp-proofed in one of the following ways:

  • bituminous coating;
  • 3 pounds per square yard of acrylic modified cement;
  • 1/8-inch coat of surface-bonding cement; or
  • any material permitted for water-proofing.
  • Brick pointing and plastering at Tie beam to Plinth level with proper curing.

In summary, moisture can enter a building in a number of different ways. High levels of moisture can cause building defects and health ailments.

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