Damp is a silent, but deadly, condition which can wreak havoc in your workplace. Once spotted, it is vital that you embark on a course of treatments straight away to get this pest under control from day one. Not getting the upper hand can lead to spreading and an even more severe issue later down the line.
Obviously, damp can lead to mould and other hazards to your employee’s health. So it is important to keep on top of it at all times to maintain optimum conditions. Being able to spot the different types of damp in your workplace if the first step towards this:
This is often the biggest cause of damp – both at home and in the workplace – it is also something which you can deal with quite easily. Signs of condensation are straightforward; steamed-up windows, puddles, damp patches, water running down walls, mildew patches and peeling paper or paint on your walls.
In the home, condensation obviously builds up in badly ventilated kitchens and bathrooms. But, this is also a danger in the workplace. Especially in steam treatment rooms in some types of factories. Condensation can also build up under your floorboards, where it is trapped, and cause dry rot. So it both a problem for the domestic and commercial sectors.
Treatment: ventilation and well-heated rooms during all seasons.
This is a form of damp which is not always obvious at first, especially as it can develop more under the floor than above it. Although it can sometimes be seen rising up walls if it is allowed to get to a worse state. Luckily, you can often smell damp even if you can’t see it and so you should have ample warning before any damage to brick, concrete or wood occurs.
Treatment: rising damp is a more complicated issue to treat than most damp. You will need to have a damp-proof course either installed or replaced, so you will need professional advice on this matter.
Blotchy patches on the wall and large spots of damp are typical indicators of this, as well as wet or crumbling walls, fungus or mildew, and in more severe cases water found on the surface. This can occur due to a number of reasons: missing roof segments, badly fitted windows or doors, faulty roofs and bad wall flashing.
Treatment: Regular repair and maintenance of the outside of your home should remove this an issue. So long as damp cannot penetrate your business premises due to an external issue, then you should be safe from penetrating damp. If some damp does penetrate, then use a space heater to keep the areas as dry as possible whilst the external issue is fixed.
Leaks that are obvious can be quickly spotted and dealt with in the workplace. But, small and unnoticeable leaks can slowly grow over time and cause damp problems. Drips, puddles or patches of water where they shouldn’t need to be watched for in order to ensure no hidden leaks exist.
This could be a result of cracks in pipework, ageing rubber on pipework bindings, bad tiling or even porous grout. If you have a wet area in your workplace, then always check the sealings of the space or room regularly to avoid these small but damaging leaks.
Treatment: the cause of the leak needs to be found and dealt with. Always be on the lookout for any problems and ensure that all of your sealants are as effective as possible. If a problem does occur, then fix it as soon as humanly possible.
Of course, not all of these are preventable. No one can predict a leaking pipe, after all. But you can prevent most of these issues by having good air quality in your work environment. Which comes from having a comprehensive ventilation system installed in order to ensure you have the best working conditions possible.