This post by Don Snell is the third in a series of four examining the relation of moisture building assessments
and building science as a component to design, construction, and commissioning.

lower thermostatThe tenant, in an attempt to achieve more comfortable space conditions, will typically lower the thermostat set-point, causing these spaces to cool further while the relative humidity remains high.

This increases conditions conducive to condensation and mold on cold surfaces in the space. The mold then gives off odors known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which cause the tenant to mask the damp odors with disinfectant.

At this point, the tenant recognizes that it is too damp in the space and attempts to clean the mold and also installs desiccants to help minimize the dampness. The symptoms continue until the tenant has had enough or the problem gets too big to control.

To be continued…

Click here to read our previous post on this topic.

Author Donald B. Snell, PE (Georgia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania), Certified Mechanical Contractor (Florida), and Senior Mechanical Consultant with Liberty Building Forensics Group, has provided moisture and IAQ-related forensic building investigations on more than 200 buildings. For more information, contact Donald B. Snell at