Water Entry Prevention and Moisture Control in Buildings Roofing Systems, Exterior Walls, Plaza Decks, Below-Grade Waterproofing

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Course Overview

Water and moisture damage in buildings occurs all too frequently. The results can be disastrous, and corrective measures can be difficult and extremely costly. Moisture and water damage-related building failures can also result in costly construction claims. This course will improve the knowledge and skills of individuals in design, installation, maintenance, and repair of moisture control components and systems for all building types. 

Who Should Attend?

  • Architects 
  • Engineers 
  • Contractors 
  • Facility owners and managers 
  • Building envelope commissioning authorities

Course Outline

The Basics of Building Science and the Fundamentals of Building Moisture Control

  • The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
  • Psychrometreics
  • Water control
  • Airflow control
  • Thermal control
  • Vapor diffusion control
  • Combined heat, air, and moisture transfer
  • Air barriers and vapor retarders
  • Moisture and building materials
  • Condensation control and mold growth prevention
  • Water entry prevention

Moisture Control Guidance for Building Design, Construction, and Maintenance

  • Reasons for concern 
  • Moisture control principles
  • Designing for moisture control
  • Constructing to prevent moisture problems
  • Operating and maintaining moisture controlled environments

Moisture Control in Roofing Systems

  • Low slope roof moisture control guidance
  • Self-drying roofs
  • Steep slope roof moisture control guidance
  • Air barrier requirements
  • Vapor retarder recommendations
  • Attic ventilation
  • Ice dams
  • Unvented, conditioned attics

Overview of the Classic Below-Grade Waterproofing Systems

  • Definitions
  • Perm rating concept
  • Categories of waterproofing

Classic Plaza Waterproofing Systems

  • Pedestal and paver
  • Sand set paver system
  • Split slab concrete topping
  • Earth covered

Foundation Wall Waterproofing Systems

  • Perimeter drainage systems
  • Grade line flashing details
  • Classic wall waterproofing systems
  • Proper layering techniques

Interior Methods of Below-Grade Water Control

  • Chemical grouting technology
  • Water management techniques
  • Interior coatings

Troubleshooting Building Humidity Control Problems

  • The three reasons for humidity control problems
  • Diagnosing a humidity control problem
  • Quantitative tools and troubleshooting techniques
  • Alternatives and solutions available to solve common humidity problems

Preventing and Solving Moisture-Related Problems: Exterior Walls and Openings in New Construction and Existing Facilities

  • Moisture engineering revisited
  • The concept of moisture balance
  • Air movement and vapor diffusion in different climates
  • Moisture control strategies and methods
    • controlling rain and ground water: ensuring effective drainage
    • dealing with hydrostatic pressure
    • placing special emphasis on design and construction of openings: doors and windows
    • effective use of flashings
    • dealing with moisture migration through materials or caused by air flow
    • effective use of vapor retarders: principles, materials, and installation
    • use of materials resistant to moisture damage
    • above- and below-grade insulation  systems and their relationship to potential moisture problems
    • techniques for allowing the building to dry out
  • How to find and analyze moisture problem areas
  • Special requirements for buildings with high humidity levels

The Interaction of Mechanical Systems with the Building Envelope: Addressing Potential and Existing Moisture-Related Problems

  • Understanding the air flow through the building envelope and within the building
  • HVAC systems and moisture control: addressing ventilation, humidity, and air pressure issues
  • Recommendations for identifying and correcting HVAC problems in existing facilities

How to Avoid Moisture-Related Problems when Retrofitting Buildings to Improve Energy Efficiency



Brent Anderson

Brent D. Anderson, PE is principal at BDA Associates, LLC, heading a company that offers numerous services in construction and repair of buildings, with an emphasis on waterproofing. His projects include Los Angeles Subway; Pink Palace Museum, Memphis, Tennessee; United Airlines Terminal, Chicago; and First Hawaii Center, Honolulu. Anderson is the author of a book on waterproofing and has written articles on the subject for Concrete Construction, Architecture Minnesota, and The Construction Specifier. He has lectured at more than 300 events nationwide for groups such as The World of Concrete and the National Association of Homebuilders.

Lew Harriman

Lew Harriman is the Director of Research & Consulting at Mason-Grant. Much of his work over the last 30 years has concerned humidity and moisture control in buildings and industrial processes, along with related phenomena which are affected by humidity and moisture, such as indoor mold, HVAC systems and the drying rates of materials and structures. Lew has served as a National Peer in the Construction Excellence Program of the Public Buildings Service of the U.S. General Services Administration. He is well-known as a writer and lecturer in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Joseph Lstiburek

Joe Lstiburek, PhD, PEng, is a forensic engineer who investigates building failures, and an internationally recognized authority on moisture-related building problems and indoor air quality, including rain penetration, air barriers, vapor barriers, air quality, durability, and construction technology. He is the former chairman of ASTM E241–Increasing the Durability of Building Assemblies from Moisture-Induced Damage and a reviewer of Chapters 21 and 22 of ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals. He is an ASHRAE fellow and member of ASHRAE 62.2–Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. He has appeared on PBS’ NOVA (“Can Buildings Make You Sick?”). He is the author of the US Department of Energy Handbook on Moisture Control and a special contributor to the EPA guidance document on Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Facility Managers.

Upcoming dates (0)

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Dave Peterson