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Understanding And Preventing Condensation In Metal Buildings & Roof
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Have you ever been under a metal roof and experienced the condensation water falling over you? While it can simply be annoying to you, it can prove damaging to the contents lying below in case the roof is over a shop, storage unit barn or any other such place. Metal roof condensation is a very common problem in areas of high humidity and temperature fluctuations. Let us understand the term and its prevention methods.
Why does condensation happen to metal roofs?
Let us understand how condensation happens in the first place. The air always has some moisture content which varies on a normal level. When this moisture gets heavy in the air sometimes, and this heavy air meets the cold surface of metal roofs, it condenses back to water droplets which start getting accumulated on the underside of the metal shed roof. Likewise, the difference in the external temperature and the internal temperature of the house causes condensation of the internal air as well.
Types of metal condensation
There are majorly two types of condensation. They are –
Visible condensation - This is manifested on surfaces like water, frost, and ice. One can witness it on insulation vapor retarders, cold water pipes, skylights, cooling ducts, etc.
Concealed condensation - A more damaging and challenging form, it occurs when the moisture enters the building’s interior and condenses on surfaces having the temperature at or below the dew point. The moisture can enter the building due to various reasons like improper vapor retarder selection or its improper installation, improper insulation installation, roof leaks, lack of structural air barrier, water infiltration through penetrations and finally incorrect water vapor. This type of condensation is best identified as damp spots, stains, mildews and molds on the walls or ceilings.
Problems arising out of condensation
Condensation can cause numerous problems which can be hazardous and risky as well. Some of the problems that can arise are –
Even treated metal surfaces can show corrosion. The exposed metal walls and fasteners will oxidize and weaken the inherent structure of a building, thereby shortening its life.
It can seriously hamper the effectiveness of insulation.
It encourages mold and mildew growth which leads to an unpleasant odor as well and can cause health risks. This can be especially detrimental to people suffering from allergies or asthma.
It can promote insect infestations.
Ways to reduce and eliminate condensation
The best way to reduce and eliminate condensation is by maintaining an indoor relative humidity between 30% and 50%. Number of precautionary steps can be taken for it like –
Insulating the metal building with a good Vinyl-backed insulation on the roof and wall of the building is terrific in preventing condensation. This layer of insulation proves to a barrier and prevents the warm humid air to come in contact with the cool and dry metal panels thereby stopping the condensation process.
Using fans inside the house with partially open windows circulates the air and encourages evaporation.
Proper ventilation also keeps the humidity down.
It is always advisable to vent any oil or gas heaters directly outside. Ceiling vents work terrific to help the warm moist air of the house to escape outside and thus keep the humidity down.
A dehumidifier can be used inside the house to keep the humidity level low.
On the exterior, one is strongly recommended to use a vapor retarder along with the insulation. This is because they reduce the amount of warm, moist air entering into the inner areas of the roof or wall systems. Their effectiveness is measured as perm rating. A lower perm rating implies higher effectivity of the vapor retarder in keeping moisture out. These are always installed on the warm side of all insulating material. There are various types of vapor retarders available like
Membranes of polyethylene film, paint, saturated building paper etc.
Structural membranes of impregnable materials like steel sheets, zinc alloy, vinyl siding, etc.
Coating membranes of paint, epoxy, troweled-on bituminous coatings, urethane foams, etc.
Whether you are faced with any roofing or insulation problems or are looking to reduce your heating bills; look no further than Ecotite. Specializing as metal roof condensation, the company is hallmarked by providing the right service from start to finish along with exemplary customer service and above par quality at the most economical rates.
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