The Impact of Poor Waterproofing on Indoor Air Quality and Health. The health and well-being of ourselves and those around us are essential. Whether it’s at home with our family, at school, or the office. One of the most overlooked aspects of our health and well-being is the measure of air quality.
The lack of care to ensure we breathe clean, fresh air is shocking. We should live in the air, free from microscopic debris and contaminants. This quick blog post will cover the impact of poor Waterproofing on indoor air quality. And the knock-on effects this has on our health and well-being.
When we talk about waterproofing, we generally refer to how airtight a particular indoor space is. Airtight doesn’t mean that air cannot get in or out. Just that there are no cracks and crevices in the walls and windows are correctly fitted. Waterproofing measures such as sealing cracks and joints are just some ways to ensure an indoor space is waterproof.
Fittings around window and door frames are prone to allowing moisture to seep in gradually. Many people think waterproofing is something that takes place entirely on the outside of the building. The logic is understandable; that’s where the water (rain) comes from. But a large amount of Waterproofing needs to be inside.
An excellent example is a building with a basement or a crawlspace. You will need to apply a waterproof coating to prevent moisture from makings its way up or down into your living/work space. The simplest method is calking the gaps around windows and doors. Proper ventilation is one of the most underrated ways of controlling the quality of the air we breathe.
Ventilation helps prevent dampness by allowing fresh air to circulate and remove excess moisture. This also prevents it from settling on walls and other surfaces, leading to mold growth. Proper ventilation requires the use of vents or extractor fans. You can also open windows, which often aggravates the dampness problem. Maintaining good ventilation is vital for maintaining a healthy indoor environment.
The biggest way waterproofing affects air quality is by removing as much moisture from the air as possible. We will get into why moisture in the air is evil in the next section; let’s just run with the assumption that it’s terrible for you. Water and humidity make it much easier to get into a building than out.
Once condensation takes hold in the walls and ceilings, and in severe cases even the furniture, it can be tough to remove it again. Moisture in the air can lead to other nasty side effects, such as encouraging the growth of mold and dust mites.
Just like ourselves, mold and mites require water to thrive. And unfortunately, slightly damp and humid conditions are perfect for them spread like wildfire. Moisture in the air can additionally support the growth of bacteria and viruses. Which is not ideal and something we should all strive to avoid.
Further, water in the air can bring out compounds within building materials. Combinations that would otherwise have lay dormant. These Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) exist in all sorts of places. Such as cleaning products, furnishings, and building materials like timber and plasterboard.
The connections between moisture in the air and the impact it has on our health are linear. For example, if we consider the increased growth of mold and mites, it is obvious where the adverse effects are coming from. Mold can be toxic to us and those that share a living/work space with us. The increased growth of bacteria and viruses means that illness and disease will spread faster and be more contagious.
Furthermore, respiratory issues like pneumonia stem from moisture in the air. The best way to remove water in the air is to ensure an indoor space is adequately ventilated and waterproofed. This means every window, door, crack, and crevice is sealed up, and proper air-flow vents have been installed. If dampness has already made its way in, the same applies, but you will need to constantly run dehumidifiers for a while to dry the air out.
Hopefully, you now understand the importance of good air quality. And how poor air quality negatively affects our health and well-being.