BUILDING PATHOLOGY- HOW IMPORTANT IS IT?
“Building pathology” is not a commonly used or recognized term, but it relates to the quality of life in your home or workplace, much the same way as medical pathology. An average family spends 60% of their time in their home and 30% in their workplace.
Like medical pathology, building pathology aims to identify and understand the origin, progress and causes of a building’s “disease,” which is often chronic, undetected and unknown.
A building’s disease would be any failure or construction problem, whether caused by systems, materials, technology, design, execution, improper maintenance, or a combination of several contributing causes.
Difficult problems deserve specialized attention
When a construction problem is experienced, accurate, reliable and precise diagnostic information from experienced professionals is critical to your decision-making process. A building pathologist will present documented findings that must include occurrence, cause, effect and remedial solutions.
The most commonly claimed building failure today is water intrusion and moisture, yet it continues to be the most misdiagnosed and mistreated building issue, which causes the problem(s) to magnify and multiply. The tendency is to terminate the investigation at the symptom, and not discover the cause.
Identifying the source (cause) of moisture to determine if external, internal or environmental conditions exist is essential in establishing a cost-efficient solution. It must be understood how moisture is entering a building before any remedy can be sought.
The use of proper, deliberately-prescribed equipment is essential in the discovery process. Non-invasive thermal imaging thermography and electronic hygrometers are but two valuable tools of this professional.
Fix it right the first time
A prevalent tendency in the repair of building problems seems to be to pay a little now and pay much more later. Moisture and many construction problems are only simple on the surface and require specialists. Utilizing an inexperienced repair person could expose you to other liability.
For example, when you sell the property, you must, by Florida law, disclose what you know about the property. A “repaired” moisture problem that surfaces as not properly documented, repaired and revealed to the new owner could have serious consequences. You might want to consult your attorney on this matter.
While many specialists will choose to not get involved in small routine projects today, some do agree to provide a second opinion, which could be valuable in the final resolve.
Having just one person who reports some health side-effect could be a definitive indication that the indoor air quality is being compromised. Ignoring or minimizing this experience does not mean a problem does not exist or will go away. Water intrusion causes do not repair themselves; they only worsen.