Keys to a Healthy Home


At DriTek Solutions, we believe that our homes should be our havens. Everyone deserves a healthy home in which to live and love. There are 8 principles or essentials of a healthy home. Ideally, a healthy home is:

  • Dry
  • Pest-free
  • Clean
  • Contaminant free
  • Well-ventilated
  • Temperature-controlled
  • Safe
  • Maintained

FACTORS THAT MUST BE CONTROLLED FOR A HEALTHY HOME

To address the 8 principles for a healthy home, the design, construction, renovation and maintenance of a house must control the following factors:

  • WATER
    • Rainwater control
    • Groundwater control
    • Indoor humidity
    • Plumbing
  • AIR
    • Big holes and building boundaries
    • Cold surfaces
    • Indoor humidity
    • Airborne pollutants
    • Pressure changes
  • COMBUSTION
    • Combustion appliances
    • Garages
    • Smoke
  • DUST
    • Entry control
    • Lead dust control
    • Cleanable surfaces
    • Filtration
  • CREATURES
    • Keeping them out
    • Reducing food and water

RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONTROL SOME OF THE ABOVE FACTORS

At DriTek Solutions, we can help you control many of the principles for a healthy home. One of the main concerns for every house is water. Water is a precondition for mold, insects, rodents, and dust mites. And it is arguably the single most important factor in the design and construction of a healthy home. Water is the most important factor affecting the durability of a home and the most important factor affecting maintenance costs.

If you control water, you have fewer biological pollutants, increased building durability, and lower maintenance costs on your home. The most important exterior sources of water requiring control are:

  • Rainwater control
  • Groundwater control
  • Humidity
  • Plumbing

One of the key elements to controlling water is the concept of drying. It is common sense to accept that things will get wet. The problem is not that homes get wet; it’s how long they stay wet and how well they dry. Homes should be designed to dry.


RAINWATER CONTROL

The main principle of rainwater control is to shed water from the house by layering materials in such a way that water is directed downwards and outwards from or away from the building. This principle applies to walls, roofs and foundations.

proper building site drainage dritek solutions

FIGURE 1: Proper Drainage of Site

Layering materials to shed water applies to the building as a whole (see Figure 1). Overhangs can be used to keep water away from walls. Canopies can be used to keep water away from windows, and site grading can be used to keep water away from foundation perimeters. Drainage is the key to rainwater control. In order for drainage to work properly, it must drain the building site or land properly (Figure 1) and drain off and from the building properly (Figure 2).

proper building drainage dritek solutions

FIGURE 2: Proper Drainage of Building

Successfully executing strategies to control bulk water and water vapor for foundations is critical for the durability of the house, increased indoor air quality, and creating acceptable conditions and/or living spaces within the foundation space.

IN SUMMARY:

  • Ground water must be managed: in order to prevent water entry into the foundation, it is necessary to prevent water accumulation against the foundation walls and/or under the slab (or ground cover). Water accumulation results in hydrostatic head pressure, which will push water through any available joints, imperfections, or cracks in the foundation. Accumulation is prevented by the use of drainage. Figure 1.
  • Surface water must be managed: the roof surfaces must be waterproof and concentrate rainfall at points around the perimeter of the building; this water must be shed off and away from the foundation. This is typically done with gutters and downspouts that are directed away from the foundation, correctly grading the site away from the foundation, and reducing the water permeability of the surface around the foundation. The goal is to saturate the soils around the foundation with as little additional water as possible. Figure 2.

COMMON SIGNS OF A MOISTURE PROBLEM

Most foundation and below-grade walls are constructed from poured concrete or concrete masonry block. Concrete products are porous and, unless treated, are not waterproof, allowing water to migrate into the building.

Common signs of moisture problems in existing foundations can be seen as visible water or puddles, visible staining of interior finishes, mold growth, and efflorescence (water-borne white mineral salt deposits). Interior finishes or insulation may conceal the presence of bulk water issues for extended periods of time, and problems may not be evident until damage is extensive.

At DriTek Solutions, we believe everyone deserves a healthy home. We can help you in your quest to provide a healthy house for yourself and your family. We are experts at foundation waterproofing, drainage solutions, foundation repair, and crawl space encapsulation.

If you’re interested in getting a firm quote from experienced and trustworthy experts, contact us here or call us at 770-963-9393.


LEARN MORE about basement leaks here.

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