Three of the most common and most destructive invaders of an indoor swimming pool are mold, rust and wood rot. Left unchecked, these problems can lessen your enjoyment of your pool at best and cause serious and expensive damage at worst.
A common affliction of an indoor pool with inadequate dehumidification is mold. To establish itself and grow, mold requires 4 criteria:
1) Mold spores
2) Organic matter (paper, wood, carpets, cloth, drywall)
Mold spores carried by air currents can reach all surfaces in your pool room. Mold growth is especially active when the relative humidity level is at or above 80%. Often you can smell the presence of mold and mildew in your pool room before you see it because of the unpleasant musty odors they cause. Many individuals report hypersensitivity and allergic reactions to mold. Other reactions to mold include itching, skin rash, eye irritation, coughing and congestion. Individuals at greater risk when exposed to mold include: the elderly, infants and children, pregnant women and those with existing respiratory conditions.
Another problem area in indoor pools with poor dehumidification is rust and corrosion. These issues can potentially cause serious structural damage that can be very expensive to repair. Rust and corrosion are often hidden and go un-noticed until severe damage is done.
Damage to structures begins when the relative humidity levels reach 62% or above for extended periods of time. The corrosion can be accelerated when chlorine from pool chemicals reacts with condensed water and actually forms hydrochloric acid. A good example of the devastating effects of chlorine laden moisture is the swimming pool roof collapse in Switzerland in 1985. 12 people were killed when the concrete roof collapsed after only 13 years of use. The roof was supported by stainless steel tension rods that cracked and failed due to stress corrosion as a result of chlorine-based disinfectants.
Even though it may not be potentially deadly, wood rot is another issue many indoor pool owners face. Wood rot (decay) is often referred to as “dry rot". This term is inaccurate and misleading because dry wood does not decay. Wood requires moisture to decay. This is where the moisture rich air in your pool room comes in. Depending on the type and quality of the wood being used, repairs or replacements can be shockingly expensive. Look for signs of blistering or peeling paint as early indicators of humidity and moisture problems.
To help prevent these 3 major concerns from getting out of hand, it is strongly recommended that you perform a periodic survey of existing conditions in your pool room. There are several obvious warning signs that your indoor swimming pool has moisture problems:
* Foggy windows
* Wet walls
* Mold spots on carpets or drywall
* Loose floor tiles
* Suspended ceiling that sags
* Blistering or peeling paint
* Warped wood on window sills
* Rust around door frames and lighting fixtures
All 3 of these problems can be solved by using a high quality, properly sized swimming pool dehumidifier.
About the Author - Chuck Jaymes is an indoor air quality professional and offers reviews and comparisons about Swimming Pool Dehumidifiers for OscarAir, Inc.