Water might be pretty essential as far as life itself is concerned, but unfortunately for homeowners it also has the potential to diminish their home’s value. Both commercial properties and residential homes can have trouble with water damage, leading to increased maintenance costs, and if not remedied, a lower property value.
So what’s the best way to protect against water damage? Ideally, you would ensure that essential components of the building envelope - which enclose the property - are waterproof. In addition, you will also want to make sure that excess water is not allowed to accumulate anywhere in the home. Finally, ventilation and plumbing systems need to be kept well-maintained to ensure they are operating efficiently at all times.
Preventing water intrusion
If you’re just moving into a new home, it’s well worth hiring an InterNACHI inspector to check the following crucial elements that will prevent water getting into the home:
Flashing & sealants: the flashing, a thin strip of lead or other metal placed around windows, doors and on the roof, is important as it helps to prevent water getting in where two different building materials join together - for example, brick and wood. It’s necessary to ensure that caulking and sealants are applied correctly to prevent water intrusion in these places, and they should both be kept well maintained.
Ventilation: All of the vents in the home should be kept in good working order, with appropriate hoods and an exhaust to the exterior of the home.
HVAC systems: In commercial buildings, these are usually much more complex. You’ll need to check for leaks in the water supply line, as well as air handlers, pumps and other components of the system. In addition, it’s important to keep drain lines clear of any obstructions, while ductwork should be well insulated so condensation doesn’t appear in the building.
Humidity: For most buildings, relative humidity should be kept at somewhere between 30-50%. Tell tale signs of high relative humidity include wet stains on the walls and ceilings, condensation on windows, and a damp, musty smell.
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