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Moisture moisture everywhere but not a drop to drink

Moisture moisture everywhere but not a drop to drink

There is more moisture in the environment around an indoor swimming pool than there is in a bedroom.  Sounds obvious right?

But, all too often are we confronted by ceiling installations that have failed due to the increased humidity, inherent to swimming pool rooms.

Contractors often bear the brunt of the blame and the failure is put down to poor installation, but in fairness, many of the problems stem from poor specification and detailing at the design stage.

According to the UK Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA), humidity levels in pool areas should remain between 55% and 65% to prevent condensation and protect the building fabric.  It’s this condensation that, if not combatted, can lead to cracking, peeling or complete failure in the ceilings.

The specification of building materials for ceilings inflicted by high humidity levels, i.e. swimming pools or gym areas, is regularly overlooked.  Often this specifying and detailing is left to the latter stages of a project or left in the hands of a sub-contractor to specify the correct materials or system. 

It is fundamental that swimming pool areas, especially the ceilings, are designed differently to dry walling – even more so with suspended ceilings.

Often, this specification is left until too late or money is spent on more aesthetically pleasing detailing rather than dealing with the threat from moisture.

Where there is an increased exposure to moisture, all materials specified must include components to control moisture.  EN Standards call for all suspended ceiling metalwork around indoor swimming pool areas to have an extra paint coating applied to them. This is to prevent chlorine from having an effect and advancing any rusting process.  

It is not advisable to use organic (gypsum based) boards as these high moisture environments will soften the boards and the finish over time; then, particularly in a ceiling environment, they will degrade and fall down.
Whatever form the final ceiling takes, some degree of moisture resistance should be present. 

One of the biggest concerns we have at Knauf is seeing property developers constructing indoor swimming pools working with individuals who aren’t familiar with building such areas.  Many designers and specifiers are used to designing living spaces and so when it comes to specifying materials for indoor swimming pools they sometimes forget or lack the understanding.

This is where we can help.

Knauf has launched the only complete solution for architects and specifiers working on interior ceilings for wet environments.  The Knauf AQUAPANEL® Interior Ceiling System, shaped to meet customer demand, has been created in an effort to simplify the specification process and eradicate some of the most common problems in ceiling design and installation.
This is the first system to incorporate the design and specification of all materials from a single manufacturer.  Not only does this make life easier for the designers, but if problems do arise in the installation, remedies can be supplied by Knauf alone, rather than blame being shifted from one manufacturer to another.

The Knauf AQUAPANEL® Interior Ceiling System combines the already well-known and well respected Knauf AQUAPANEL® cement boards with a range of Knauf metal components, each coated for corrosion resistance. Once installed, the boards are then coated with Knauf AQUAPANEL® Interior Skim Finish which has been specially formulated with extra anti-fungicidal and chemical resistant elements within it.

The Knauf Technical Services Team is always available to assist with any specification requirements to facilitate the design and build process for specifiers and property developers.  If you’re stuck on your next swimming pool installation, give us a call – 01795 416259 or email us at

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