Condensation is a huge problem in commercial buildings, especially metal buildings. Moisture from warm, perspiring bodies as well as hot equipment can combine with problems with the building or ventilation system, causing a sheet of condensation to form everywhere. Not only is condensation uncomfortable for your employees, it can cause unsafe working conditions. A slick floor surface, for example, can cause someone to slip and fall. Condensation can cause a host of other problems too. Following is a guide that will help you tackle condensation issues in your metal building.
Problems Caused by Condensation
As mentioned, condensation can create unsafe working conditions. It can also increase your maintenance costs. Moisture can corrode your equipment as well as the metal fasteners and walls of your building, resulting in great damage. Mold and mildew thrive in moist conditions, which can make your crew sick more often, resulting in lost productivity. Insect infestations are also common in damp buildings. For every problem you can see, there's likely a problem you can't see. Damp insulation found deep within your walls doesn't work well and can make it harder for you to heat and cool your building.
Diagnosing Condensation Problems
Condensation can have many underlying causes. Problems with the construction of your building, such as an improperly installed vapor barrier, can cause moisture buildup. A problem with your air conditioning unit can cause moisture problems as well. The key to discovering the cause of your condensation problem lies in figuring out when you first noticed the problem. If the condensation is a relatively new phenomenon, you're probably looking at equipment failure rather than structural issues with your building.
Fixing Condensation Problems
To fix condensation issues, you want to lower the relative humidity in your building. There are several ways to do this. First, make sure your building is well insulated and that you have a vapor barrier. Check your building's ventilation system. Can air circulate freely? Is your equipment properly vented outdoors? Check the operation of your AC unit. It should have a dehumidifier component on it that removes excess moisture from the building. If it isn't working or can't handle the job, you will want to hire a technician to fix it and/or install a dehumidifier. Also, try opening doors and windows while running fans during your hours of operation.
The key to fixing a condensation problem is to reduce the humidity in your building. If you're not sure where to start, have a licensed commercial air conditioning contractor check out your building and its components to find potential problems.
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