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Building Moisture Intrusion / Sick Building Syndrome

Moisture intrusion problems can be as simple as leaks from a damaged roof or aging plumbing fixtures. Alternatively, they can be as complex as an air conditioning system which creates negative pressure and draws moisture through a porous building envelope, uncaulked wall openings, fractures in a stucco application, or cracks in the floor slab. Beyond that, the cladding for a new or renovated building may admit and retain enough moisture to deteriorate wooden structural members and drywall, creating an ideal condition for rapid mold growth.

Of course, there are many different types of mold, and only a few are toxic. However, the media and the public have put mold in the spotlight, and it has become an emotionallycharged issue. The potential health and economic impact of toxic mold in a building is severe for property owners and building occupants. It is a problem everyone dreads.

The building occupants may be affected by mold-induced allergies or adult-onset asthma. They may present the building owner with a class-action lawsuit related to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and irreversible upper respiratory illness.

WHI has a professional staff that has worked to resolve building defects, water intrusion, moisture damage, ventilation, and IAQ problems for public buildings, offices, schools, private residences, and medical facilities. For decades, we have worked with attorneys, contractors, developers, manufacturers, and building owners regarding these issues.

We know that building owners may try to solve moisture intrusion problems by replacing the roof or cladding of a building, or by calling in a mechanical engineer to evaluate and adjust the ventilation system. We are familiar with building systems such as EIFS and hardboard siding, which are most often associated with moisture intrusion problems. Building owners often "wait and see if it works" and, in the process, run the risk of compromising the useful life of the building and endangering the health of the building occupants.

At WHI, we have both the expertise and the experience in using the latest technologies and testing protocols. Working in conjunction with certified independent test labs, WHI assures that accurate determinations of the problems and their causes are promptly made. Testing procedures used by WHI during a typical moisture intrusion investigation may include:

visual inspection
infrared spectroscopy
instrument moisture readings; and
mold, bacterial, and particulate studies

If you have any questions about moisture damages, EIFS, or occupant health, or would like more information about WHI's experience and or expert consulting staff, please feel free to contact us.

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