Humidity in metal buildings is one of those unseen issues that, if left unchecked, can have large — and lasting — repercussions. And with the onset of hot summer conditions, now is the time to make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect both your structures and the folks who work inside them. Read on for helpful humidity insight you can put to good use in the coming months.
Humidity is Unavoidable — But Should Be Kept at a Healthy Level
Although specific numbers will vary based on factors such as geographic location and the type of work your company carries out, the experts at Whirlwind Steel say humidity levels ranging from about 30% to 50% are ideal for a metal building. Indoor spaces with humidity levels any higher risk falling victim to increased condensation. And that moisture? It can lead to everything from mold, to mildew and aggravated allergies. Meanwhile, humidity levels that are too low leave folks at risk of increased transmission of certain airborne viruses, lowered immune system function and other issues.
Metallic Products Tip: Consider keeping a hygrometer on site, so your crew can quickly and easily gauge conditions.
Proper Humidity Control Takes Insulation and Ventilation Working Together
Quality insulation inside a metal building helps keep temperature fluctuations to a minimum — and thereby reduces the likelihood that unwanted condensation will enter the mix. Even so, it’s just part of the puzzle. That insulation needs to be able to breathe, and ventilation accessories such as louvers, roof jacks and ridge vents allow that to happen. Without that added airflow, any moisture buildup becomes trapped, leaving your building vulnerable to the same mold, mildew and allergy concerns noted above.
Metallic Products Tip: Afraid natural ventilation might lead to air leakage? Don’t be. Any quality metal building accessory will include safeguards to keep moisture, dirt and other unwanted elements out.
Humidity Control Needs Will Vary Throughout the Year
Humidity in metal buildings is closely linked to moisture and temperature levels both inside the structure itself — and in the outdoor vicinity. Because those factors will ebb and flow as seasons change and manufacturing or production levels ramp up, your methods of control will need to follow suit. You’ll likely need to increase airflow during hot summer months, or after a heavy rainfall. On the flip side, during days when on-site production is at a minimum, your space might not require as much ventilation assistance as usual.
Metallic Products Tip: Adjustable louvers make it easy to match your building’s airflow to specific circumstances. Many power ventilators also switch on when conditions become warm — and shut off automatically once conditions are where they should be.
Maintaining a healthy level of humidity in metal buildings isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take some forethought. If you have questions about your building’s ventilation needs — or any related issue — feel free to contact Metallic Products. We look forward to hearing from you!