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    Field Study on Moisture Problems in Exterior Walls of a Masonry Housing Development on the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico

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    Like many other buildings in the warm and humid climate of the Gulf Coast, family quarters at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, have experienced serious moisture and mildew problems. Earlier attempts to correct the situation have not been totally successful.

    Following an exploratory study in the spring of 1982, measurements of temperatures, relative humidities, air infiltration, and water leakage were taken, and other tests were conducted on several dwelling units over the period from September 1982 to May 1983. During the same period, two surveys of individual houses were conducted to determine the extent of the moisture problem and to document occupant practices that might influence or aggravate the problems.

    This report summarizes the individual test and survey results. The results indicate that rainwater penetration through cracks in the masonry walls and at windows is a major source of the moisture observed in the gypsum board and the thermal insulation. Inadequate ventilation, particularly within the bedrooms, and possibly capillary rise of moisture from the foundations may also have contributed to the moisture problem. The report discusses these conclusions and lists possible remedial measures.


    buildings, family housing, hot humid climates, masonry, moisture, moisture problems, thermal insulation

    Author Information:

    Trechsel, HR
    Consultant, H. R. Trechsel Associates, Germantown, MD

    Achenbach, PR
    Consultant, McLean, VA

    Conklin, S
    Architect (retired), Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, Port Hueneme, CA

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.30

    DOI: 10.1520/STP18492S