Environmental Change

Initiative Description: Repairs included improvements in drainage and rainwater sewer systems, as well as in water barriers of basement walls, in order to ensure drying of ground floor and wall structures; replacement of moisture-prone materials improperly used in locations subjected to high moisture loads; improved ventilation in crawl spaces; and replacement of all damaged material. Areas where damage was observed, were left unused and were kept isolated to avoid air exchange between the damaged areas and other areas before and during the repairs.

Study Results: Compared to the situation before the repairs, the situation after the repairs was significantly improved in most of the 20 symptoms studied among the cross-sectional study populations.  The results indicate that the repairs succeeded in the sense that new cases of symptomatic students were no longer expected.

Reference: Haverinen-Shaughnessy, U., Pekkanen, J., Nevalainen, A., Moschandreas, D., & Husman, T. (2004). Estimating effects of moisture damage repairs on students’ health-a long-term intervention study. Journal Of Exposure Analysis & Environmental Epidemiology, 14S58-S64. doi:10.1038/sj.jea.7500359

Level of Evidence: 1 out of 5 stars Fair