Moisture Intrusion

Moisture intrusion can be a problem all year. A simple definition of moisture intrusion is that excessive moisture can cause damage to buildings, accidents, and the growth of mold.

Water damage restoration specialists are often busy during winter with calls from customers who have suffered flooding in their homes and businesses. Restoration experts know that winter weather can cause moisture intrusion, which is not surprising for these customers.

It is crucial to locate the source of the moisture intrusion so that restoration projects can be completed without further flooding. As you find the source of moisture, extensive moisture testing is necessary throughout the structure. You can make your moisture intrusion inspection a lot easier by starting with winter’s most likely sources.

Sources of Moisture Intrusion

A burst water line is one of the main sources of moisture intrusion during winter. Water expands when it freezes. The ice that forms in water pipes has no other place to go and fills them completely, causing water flow problems. The pipe becomes plugged and causes an excessive pressure.

It is often simple to locate burst pipes with just a little effort. Burst pipes are most likely to burst if they are exposed to the elements without insulation. This makes them easier to spot unaided. Burst pipes that are hidden under floors or within walls can be difficult to locate. These signs include discolored walls and floors, standing water puddles, musty odors, and mold growth.

How to Deal With Moisture Intrusion

A good place to start is inspecting the blueprints of the building for pipes and using moisture meters along with floors and walls where pipes run.

The roof or attic of a structure is another source of moisture intrusion during winter. The roof of a structure is often covered in snow during winter. There are many ways this can lead to water flooding.

A discoloration in the ceiling or walls high up on the roof is one way to tell if moisture intrusion has occurred. The attic space insulation can be tested to determine if moisture intrusion is occurring in that area.

Flooding from snow accumulations near doors should be treated as a matter of course. A water removal system should be used to remove standing water puddles and a water circulation system should be set up to move the moist air out.

The doorframe seals should be regularly inspected and repaired to prevent moisture intrusion. It is important that the building owner be reminded to remove large snowfalls from the structure as soon as possible.

It can take time and resources to repair a roof or attic leak. The roof must be replaced if it is damaged. In winter, when water can get under or into the seals and freeze, patches may not be sufficient.

Also, insulation between the roof of the building and the roof may need to be removed or replaced. Water trapped in insulation can lead to mold and bacterial growth, which could pose a threat to the structure of the building and/or present respiratory dangers for the occupants.

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