SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1999

Case Histories of Building Material Problems Caused by Condensation at an Enclosed Swimming Pool and an Enclosed Ice Rink


Enclosed swimming pools and ice rinks in winter climates have the potential for high indoor relative humidities and cold building materials. These elements can contribute to condensation and premature deterioration of building materials. Case histories are provided for an enclosed swimming pool and an enclosed ice rink with condensation problems.

An evaluation was performed after roof leaks were reported at a recently constructed indoor swimming pool in a Chicago suburb. After a preliminary inspection, it was evident that the reported leaks were related to building moisture problems rather than a roof leak. Exterior brick masonry exhibited heavy efflorescence in the area of the swimming pool, and water streaks were visible on the exterior walls below the eaves. The evaluation included laboratory testing, a visual inspection, field tests and measurements, and analyses for condensation potential. Results of the evaluation indicated the presence of condensed moisture as a direct cause of the observed water stains, and masonry efflorescence. Recommended corrective actions developed.

A 54-year-old enclosed ice rink in New England was under investigation to determine the cause of a deteriorated wood deck roof. The building did not have dehumidification or air handling systems, and was heated only when occupied. The evaluation included visual inspection and analyses for condensation potential. Results of the evaluation indicated condensation within the wood decking and insulation during winter months, and high relative humidities that prohibited drying during the spring, summer, and fall. These conditions, over an extended number of years, resulted in decay of the wood decking.

Author Information

VanGeem, MG
Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc., Skokie, IL
Farahmandpour, K
Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc., Skokie, IL
Gajda, J
Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc., Skokie, IL
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 125–141
DOI: 10.1520/STP13334S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5401-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2607-7