IntroductionDampness has become a major concern in most areas where Timber Framed constructions have been erected. Dampness has led to destruction of most buildings which would otherwise have had a long life. Building owners have filed lawsuits against constructors for the losses incurred when building get destroyed by dampness yet the constructors had taken no prior precaution (Balchin and Rhoden 1998 pg. 49). Dampness has been known to cause serious health problems to those that occupy buildings that suffer from dampness. Dampness in buildings has been known to cause molds and fungus which is a common phenomenon in old buildings and buildings that have not used damp proof compound.
Presence of molds and fungus which has led to closure of most schools that experience the problems has led to serious health risks of those individuals that are prone to the conditions. The most common known health risks that are associated with the fungi presence include; hypersensitivity reactions, various infections, irritant reaction, toxic reactions and in extreme cases the cases can lead to death of the victim (Barry 2001 pg 55). Dampness problem seriousness has led emphasis of damp proofing in buildings in Europe and America.
Damp proofing compound is found in most shops across Europe and America. Laws have made to protect innocent parties from suffering due to negligence of other parties or individuals. For example the 1989 legislation on Health and safety applies to all farmers so that they ensure that electrical installation is inspected and maintained by competent electricians to ensure that the fittings are dust and damp proof. This is emphasized to ensure public safety and avoid possible losses that are incurred by failure to comply. Dampness is especially a concern to countries that are in cold areas where dampness is inevitable.
Poverty has been seen as a major contributor dampness problem in building. Most peasant farmers who wish to put up buildings yet do not have enough funds fail to comply with building and construction requirements of Timber Framed constructions. Most peasant farmers believe owning a house irrespective of the condition is a privilege since they will avoid the heavy house rents charged by landlords. Most compounds that are used as a protective measure for dampness seem to cause serious health problems to those that apply them.
Among the known health risks suffered by construction operators that are concerned in applying damp proofing compound include serious respiratory effects, skin and eye irritation, burns, asthma problems and stress related to depression due to working in the environment (Gyula, 1998 57). HypothesisHypothesis IVictims of dampness condition mostly comprise of women and children. Hypothesis IIOld buildings are prone to dampness problemHypothesis IIIThe cost of damp proof compound is very high and cannot be afforded by most individuals that wish to put up a construction. Hypothesis IVThe problem of destruction of buildings by dampness can be attributed to weak legislative laws concerning Health and safety. Statement of the problemDampness in buildings has been a major concern to most governments since 19th century.
Dampness has led to higher government expenditure allocation to public health due to the illnesses that are associated by dampness in buildings. American government report indicates that most victims of the dampness conditions are poor and cannot afford the rent of those buildings that have met building standards.
Dampness has contributed to the 15% deaths that occur in America annually. The government focuses on ways of reducing deaths that are associated with dampness by 25% annually (Institute of Medicine 2004 pg 79).