How Condensation Works
Not many consider condensation a danger to the belongings or the actual structure in their home, apartment, or commercial building. After all, a little moisture on surfaces isn’t a big deal and can easily be wiped off.
Right? Maybe, but that’s not the entire picture. Even water in very small quantity can be an issue.
Water comes in several forms, such as gas, liquid, and solid. Condensation is formed when molecules of water vapor combine to become liquid water. This happens when water vapor meets colder air and surfaces.
The danger is when this collects in areas prone to condensation, such as your basement. But this isn’t limited to basements. Condensation can collect on surfaces that can be damaged by moisture in virtually any part of the home or office. Condensation threatens metal items that can rust, natural furnishings, such as those made from wood or fabric, books and papers, and other personal items.
While most often think of rainwater, broken pipes, and leaky basements as sources of water damage, condensation can be a hazard as well, but with the slow effect of it, you don’t notice the damage until it is too late.
Here are a few easy tips to limit the impact of potential condensation.
Dehumidify: A simple household dehumidifier is a great device to remove moisture from the air and reduce condensation. The disadvantage is they use quite a bit of electricity, so purchase one that is efficient.
Insulate: Pipes, especially cold-water pipes, can build up condensation and then drip down onto areas adversely affected by moisture. By wrapping your pipes with insulation, you may stop this from happening.
Ventilation: Monitor the humidity inside and outside your home. You might open windows if the weather permits it and humidity is lower outside, or you could run the HVAC system and keep the humidity down with mechanical methods.
Keep moisture away: Ensure your downspouts are working properly and ground water is directed away from foundations. Water seepage can be insidious and very damaging over time, so proper maintenance is important. Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed and weather stripping has been installed, especially in humid areas.
But when anything happens that involves water intrusion and resulting damage, do the right thing. Call your favorite disaster restoration company. They know what to look for and the best way to protect you and your family from more damage and even potentially toxic issues such as mold. After all, it pays to call a pro!
The Danger of Lightning
When warm weather arrives, most of us are subjected to interesting weather patterns and storms. Some of those can include dangerous lightning storms.
While lightning storms can occur at any time, it is more common in warm, muggy, turbulent months, also known as summer. In the United States, some estimates indicate that there are more than 30 million lightning strikes that reach the ground. These can cause property damage, injuries, and even death for those in the path of a bolt of lightning.
The first consideration for lightning storm activity is safety. Anything outside a building is subject to a lightning strike. Remember, lightning is naturally seeking a path to the ground, and if you are out in the open, you might end up being that path. Some feel that cowering under a tree or similar “protection” is going to help. Lightning is not always predictable. You may be hugging a tree and the tree is the path the lightning chooses to get to ground. That means you are in danger.
It’s always best to get inside. Seek shelter in a building that can protect you. Most of the time, it’s your own home. And besides the possibility of lightning striking you, other dangers, such as wind, rain, and flooding, can be dangerous to you as well.
While inside during a lightning storm, avoid contact with items that can conduct electricity: Pipes, cords, electronics such as televisions and computers, items that you use every day but should avoid when there is a chance of lightning striking your home.
After the storm, it’s time to inspect and test what might have been affected. You may have electronic devices that have suffered from the burst of electricity common to lightning storms. You also may have damage to property from the high winds the storm might have generated. There could be flooding in your basement or other areas of the home. Remember, even a well-built home can have water intrude, especially if it is driven by high winds. Check your sump pump, if you have one, is still operating. If it was affected by an electric surge, it may not work properly.
Any resulting damage should be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, which means repairs should be paid for. Do the right thing. Contact your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!