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Alarm over humidity levels on construction sites

Concern has been raised over spiking humidity levels on building and renovation sites.

This warning has been raised during the National Maintenance Week campaign led by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). The aim of the campaign is to remind the nation of the need to look after its properties, regardless of their age, type or purpose. Specifically, it sets out simple, achievable steps that can be taken to prepare for the worst that winter can bring.

This year temporary energy and temperature solutions company, Aggreko has been campaigning to raise awareness of a growing concern relating to spiking humidity levels on building and renovation sites. The findings are relayed in a recent report, ‘The Hidden Cost of Humidity On Site’.

The report reviews data from World Weather Online to compare mean relative humidity levels in the UK’s construction hotspots, showing an average of around 76% – well above the recommended levels of between 40-60% on a construction site.

Another fact revealed in the report is that companies opting for an electrical heater on hire for six months over a dehumidifier could face an estimated electricity consumption cost differential of approximately £2,395.68. 

Those managing electrical risk during refurbishment work are being alerted to the fact that if the atmosphere on site is not controlled effectively, moisture, in the form of water vapor, can find its way into the smallest areas and spaces of any building components. This in turn can leave corrosive deposits behind that continue to cause damage after drying.

Over the past year the business has seen a sharp increase in enquiries to help solve humidity issues in construction, particularly for luxury residential developments and historic buildings. However, Ryan Stanley, a moisture control expert at Aggreko who is spearheading the campaign, is concerned that a number of misconceptions and incorrect information exists across the market that are causing further damage to sites.

Ryan explains: “Moisture is inevitable in buildings and on construction sites, and its correct removal is a serious challenge. However, many companies tasked with the drying of a site do not make all of the necessary considerations to remove the moisture problem entirely. These incorrect processes can result in irreparable damage and huge costs for all stakeholders, not to mention risking reputations for years to come. What may seem the quickest and easiest solution at the time could cause changes to the composition of materials within a building, resulting in longer term damage and large delays for reparation work.

“National Maintenance Week is a well-intentioned campaign to help protect buildings of all ages. It’s all about putting measures in place to prevent costly damage further down the line – all messages which align closely with our humidity awareness campaign.”

23 November 2020

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