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The work was carried out with the aim of investigating dampness in the buildings within Atia Ibiaku Settlement of Itu Local Government Area, assessed the causes and effects of dampness in the area in order to identify the possible remedial measures approach necessary to these problems. Ninety (90) buildings were randomly selected and a structured questionnaire was administered, at least one for each of the building out of which 87 were collected. Simple percentage, severity index were employed in data analysis.
Results showed that 78.16% of the total respondent had incident of dampness in their buildings; and that of all the nine common causes of dampness in the area, rising dampness has the highest significant mean score of (3.49) while condensation was identified as the least with a mean score of 1.70.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the important functional requirements of a building is that it should be durable. It is important that all new buildings should be soundly designed and constructed with a view to making them entirely water Proof. Building Regulation (1991) requires that walls, floors and roof of new buildings should have built-in-proof measures to stop the passage of moisture to the inside of the building designs should take account of normal sources of moisture such as penetrating, rising and condensing dampness. But moisture can as well rise in other ways, which may not have been anticipated at the design stage such as leakage from roof, plumbing systems, leaking pipes and cisterns.
Dampness spoils paint, interior decorating, encourages mold and rot growth, hampers aesthetics, poses a threat to the health o f the occupant, bacterial and fungal growth. The causes of dampness are however numerous and before the effect can be adequately rectified the source must be located (Aukrust, 1979). Moisture gets into building and instead of disappearing, becomes trapped into the structure. Once inside, it remains where it is or find its way into more vulnerable areas, by which time the damage has been done.
Seeley (1995) described damp proofing as the treatment of masonry walls internally and externally to prevent dampness or moisture from penetrating the masonry fabric. Manzie (1989) reported that the way to reduce both dampness problem and the associated health effect is to improve the design, construction, operation and maintenance of building. Begum and Nolard (1994) explained that all modern buildings have what is known as Damp proof course (DPC) or Damp proof membrane (DPM) and that its purpose is to prevent moisture from the outdoor environment and the ground rising up through the block work via capillary action which can render the walls damped. Wyath (1978) also stated that dampness could entered the building through the cracks, movements of building can result in cracking also, subsequent water penetration causes dampness.
It is obvious that the prevailing dampness problems experienced in the areas is as a result of much of the rainfall in the area induced by conventional processes, (flood erosions). Atia Ibiaku settlement is located on the North East section of the Uyo metropolis. It is a relatively undulating plain bounded at the North by the mountainous ridges that delineate the backstretch of the Calabar- Itu Federal Road. The prevailing climatic situation of the study area hinges up alternate seasons of hot and cold weather conditions, interspersed with an average period of seven months of rainfall, with June being the peak period. The topsoil nature of the study area is predominantly clayey.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of dampness has assumed an alarming dimension in buildings within the settlement of Atia Ibiaku of Itu. The main problem addressed by this research is the accelerated deterioration of the materials of which the building is constructed and thus reduces the expected life of the building.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study aimed at investigating dampness in building within Atia Ibiaku settlement in Itu Local Government Area.
The objective of this work include the followings:
(i) To access the structural characteristics of building of the area.
(ii) To assess the causes of dampness in the building.
(iii) To assess the effect of dampness on the material in which building are constructed.
(iv) To identify the remedial measures approach necessary to these problem.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
(i) This work will be of general application to solving the problem of dampness in other areas of the state.
(ii) The result of this study would also be of immense benefit to contractors, construction managers, clients and the public at large in solving the problem associated with dampness in the building.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The type of building addressed in this research is the residential, commercial, institutional building within Atia Ibiaku settlement of Itu local government area. The study covered causes of dampness, sources of dampness as well as effect, nature of deterioration of fabric of the building. Method of treating affected structures to prevent the entry of moisture.
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