How Water Intrusion Affects Paint

Victoria Bryant
May 16, 2022

What is water intrusion? How does it affect your paint? Water intrusion can cause several problems for commercial buildings, including paint deterioration, damage to structural components, and can lead to the growth of dangerous mold. When it comes to commercial buildings, it is imperative that you catch water intrusion before these potential risks become a reality.

Water intrusion is the unwanted movement of water or vapor into a building which can cause damage to the building, including structural damage, that could be costly to repair. One of the main causes of water intrusion is a leak in your roof, but it can also come from flooding in your basement and plumbing leaks. Water intrusion can also occur due to existing structural damage or using the wrong type of paint. A thorough inspection performed on a routine basis can help to detect water intrusion early and should be a part of any building’s maintenance plan.

There are several signs of water intrusion that can be observed on both the interior and exterior of your building. The most common sign of water intrusion is leaking, as you can usually hear or see the leak. Unfortunately, by the time the leak becomes apparent to you, it could have already caused a lot of damage, which is why keeping your eyes open for other evidence of water intrusion, such as paint discoloration, cracking, swelling, a musty damp smell, or mold growth, can help determine intruding water that is not immediately noticeable. This can allow you to correct an issue before it has a chance to spread or worsen and could potentially save you a significant amount of time and money on the needed repairs. While water intrusion effect on structural components to your building is important we want to focus on the damage it can do to your paint and how you can identify them.

Paint damage can vary significantly, as there are many potential causes. When looking for damage caused by water intrusion, the most common symptoms are blistering, efflorescence, or mold and mildew. Blistering paint looks similar to skin blisters and would seem like bubbles forming underneath the paint. This is often caused from a water leak beneath the building’s walls. Efflorescence is another problem that can occur from water intrusion. Efflorescence often makes its presence known with a white, crusty, or fuzzy residue on a wall’s surface. It is caused by water passing through a concrete wall and evaporating. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind salt deposits, ruining a once beautifully painted wall surface. You’ll likely be able to spot the next common paint damage problem easily. Mold and mildew are most likely to show up in bathrooms and kitchens. These living organisms are fungi that love damp environments. They appear as fuzzy or slimy dark spots on your wall and give the room a musty odor.

As all these items can affect your paint investment, it is important to get to the root of the problem causing these damages to ensure the appearance of your commercial building creates an atmosphere your patrons desire to revisit time and time again.

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