Protecting Interior Joinery
New Building Construction – Protecting Expensive Interior Joinery
At building design stage, big companies wishing to have a new flagship headquarters built may specify for the installation of bespoke high quality finishes, and the final specification may often include hardwood joinery. Any new bespoke interior wood finishes will have been produced to order by a specialist joinery company. This joinery would be installed within the new property during the “second fix” stage of construction. At this time it is important that internal environmental control is maintained within the building.
Failure to protect hard wood and inlayed veneer joinery can result in damage occurring to it prior to the buildings newly installed heating and ventilation system being commissioned. Joinery such as doors, door frames timber architrave, wall panelling and solid wood flooring can absorb high levels of moisture that may be present with the building whilst it is undergoing construction. At second fix stage the building is likely to be sealed in from the outside weather conditions. However, external weather conditions, and or, wet trades used during the construction process to construct floors and walls (Screeds and plaster) may leave a higher than desired level of moisture within the building. Since wood is a porous material, it can readily absorb water when humidity levels are high.
Wide fluctuations in humidity and temperature levels may lead to damaging structural changes to joinery. Professional construction companies managing the building work should be aware of the necessity for temporary environmental control systems.
The architect (or specifier), and the joinery company supplying the joinery may outline the conditions that are to be maintained by the construction company to protect the newly installed joinery. They will often quote the expected relative humidity (RH) and temperature conditions that need to be maintained (e.g. 50% RH + or – 10%, and temperature above 10ºC) within the building. It is the appointed construction companies duty to ensure conditions are kept at the desired levels. These levels can be maintained using temporary portable dehumidifiers and heaters controlled with humidistat, and thermostat controls. These temporary systems would remain in operation until the point of building handover to the client at completion.