Contractors and architects are spending more of their time not just designing new buildings for construction, but also trying to factor in the long list of criteria that may have a negative impact on buildings once construction is complete. This new emphasis on fine-tuned construction places a top priority on sustainability, condition and performance of the building itself.
That’s why many crews work to prevent common problems from occurring during the process, such as mold buildup. ACHRNews noted it’s difficult for contractors to know how well certain materials and equipment will perform until construction has already finished, which by then, it’s too late to turn back and try to correct any issues.
Companies are now stressing the importance of air barriers as a way to work in cooperation with HVAC systems to keep pressure levels inside buildings within optimal ranges, according to ACHRNews. Because HVAC systems work to keep high- and low-end pressure levels inside the unit consistent, the performance and efficiency of these units is critical. And when under duress, HVAC systems may not be able to properly manage pressure or temperature controls.
Using air barriers
As a result, leaks, mold, mildew and microbial buildup can occur inside the HVAC unit and the walls and ceilings of the building. This of course causes indoor air quality issues and can potentially lead to respiratory problems in workers down the line.
But, by installing air barriers in conjunction with efficient HVAC units, buildings are more insulated against these types of issues.
“Building tightness is extremely important in increasing the drying potential of a wall,” said Vice President of Liberty Building Forensics Group Richard Scott, ACHRNews reported. “A well-constructed building with a good air barrier helps the HVAC systems pressurize the building with conditioned air, which increases its drying effectiveness. HVAC systems in warm, humid climates need to pressurize properly, and a proper, continuous air barrier is necessary to accomplish this. After all, you can’t pressurize a box with one side open.”
By keeping buildings dry at all times, the conditions for mold to reproduce are limited. Dampness, leaks and excess moisture allow mold to form, for which air barriers and HVAC systems work in tandem to prevent.
While contractors and building managers grapple with mold issues, the most immediate thing building owners can do is to optimize their HVAC systems. By replacing poor-performing HVAC equipment with new, efficient parts, mold is much less likely to thrive.
Further, Facilities.net indicated filters, air-return systems, ducts and drain pans should also be evaluated to ensure they are not contributing to mold growth.
One of the key sources for potential mold buildup is within the HVAC unit itself, for which HVAC coils may be aiding the proliferation of mold. As a result, air quality suffers and original plans to create a sustainable building are rendered ineffective. That’s why companies should always be mindful of the performance of their HVAC coils so to prevent mold.
Companies can outfit HVAC replacement coils into their units, complete with coil coating services. This process will immediately improve air quality and help protect coils from encountering further issues in the future.
Mold prevention should be a critical tenet of every architect’s design for a building. As such, the companies that move into the structure will be better positioned to save money on energy costs as well as any maintenance or repair expenses to remove mold. This makes businesses more efficient, which can aid in their goals to become larger players in their chosen industries.
Rahn Industries has a full lineup of spray and immersion (dip)/ Bake protective coatings to meet your needs.