Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets

April 23rd, 2013 - Posted by Michael Bowers LEED GA under Technical

Water is one of the building blocks of life. However, in terms of your home or building, it is extremely destructive. The sources of water intrusion may be hard to track, but without proper diagnosis and remediation by trained professionals, water damage will pose a serious threat to your most valuable assets: your building, your belongings, and even your loved ones.
Water intrusion can come from any aspect of the building envelope, including – but not limited to – roofs, walls, windows, doors, and even the mechanical systems. The damage can spread quickly, as the water will follow the path of least resistance and travel through your home. As moisture travels, it will cause destruction to drywall, insulation, wood, and metals. These issues may go unnoticed before it is too late, or until severe structural damage occurs.
Aside from the damage to the building itself, water can cause serious physical damage to your belongings, as well. Moisture can cause wooden furniture to warp and crack, carpets to become ruined, and any porous material in the home can be destroyed. Furthermore, if water begins to pond and become stagnant, it will begin to form mold within 24-48 hours. Due to the complexity of water intrusion issues, water may become stagnant and sit for weeks before it is ever noticed. This will cause mold and mildew issues (often exacerbated by mechanical ventilation systems that are not adequately sized) that will cause property damage, as well as serious health concerns.
Water intrusion creates the risk of several Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) contaminants, including mold, concrete/silica dust, and fiberglass hazards. The health effects of mold are well documented, and include allergic reactions, asthma, infection, and even toxic effects if high concentrations are present. Concrete and drywall dust contains crystalline silica and mica, both of which are labeled hazardous materials by OSHA; in fact, silica dust is considered a carcinogen. Exposure to fiberglass particulates can cause coughing, nosebleeds, and other respiratory ailments. OSHA recognizes the threat of fiberglass particulates to be serious enough that it requires the insulation to carry a cancer warning label. The only way to be safe from these IAQ contaminants is to eliminate any source of water intrusion.
Without adequate protection from water intrusion, your home, property, and health can be jeopardized. The threat of water damage is serious, as it can wreak havoc without ever being detected until it is too late. All of your most valuable assets can be devastated if proper precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of your home. A specially trained building envelope and water intrusion expert can quickly and efficiently diagnose any water intrusion problem, establishing the source of the problem and developing the most appropriate solution to keep your most valuable assets safe.

Michael Bowers LEED GA – Graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. LEED Green Associate with 2 years in the HVAC industry. Certified by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in Residential System Design. Has worked closely with design and implementation of several HVAC projects, including multi-story residential buildings, universities, hospitals, and hotels. Mr. Bowers is currently working under the senior principal Chuck Wunder P.E. in preparation of securing his own PE license in the state of Florida, conducting inspection testing and analysis investigations with other principals in the firm and is currently the acting director of engineering and administration for U S Building consultants.

This post was submitted by Michael Bowers LEED GA.

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