+1 Recommend
    • Review: found
    Is Open Access

    Review of 'The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growth'

    The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growthCrossref
    Average rating:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of importance:
        Rated 5 of 5.
    Level of validity:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of completeness:
        Rated 4 of 5.
    Level of comprehensibility:
        Rated 3 of 5.
    Competing interests:

    Reviewed article

    • Record: found
    • Abstract: found
    • Article: found
    Is Open Access

    The moisture distribution in wall-to-floor thermal bridges and its influence on mould growth

    Moisture in the building envelopes increase the energy consumption of buildings and induce mould growth, which may be amplified within the area of thermal bridges due to their different hygrothermal properties and complex structures. In this study, we aimed to (1) reveal the moisture distribution in the typical thermal bridges (i.e., wall-to-floor thermal bridge, WFTB) and its surrounding area, and (2) investigate the mould growth in the building envelope that includes both WFTB and the main part of the wall. The transient numerical simulations that lasted for five years were performed to model the moisture distribution. Simulated results indicate that the moisture distribution presents significant seasonal and spatial differences due to the WFTB. The areas where moisture accumulates have a higher risk of mould growth. The thermal insulation layer laid on the exterior surface of WFTB can reduce the overall humidity while uneven moisture distribution, which may promote mould growth and water vapour condensation.

      Review information

      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com.

      Mould growth,Built environment,Coupled heat and moisture transfer,Moisture distribution,Wall-to-floor thermal bridge

      Review text

      General remarks:

      Very interesting article. However, the information and messages the authors want to convey are unclear on several occasions. Proofreading might help to communicate the messages more effectively.

      37-39 Could you please rephrase this sentence?

      41 This part could be changed: Further, Mould/ indoor surface

      41-43 Could you please rephrase this sentence?

      44 negative effects … is (are)more apparent

      45-47 Could you please rephrase / Also not entirely true (Can provide a few references but it might be a little impolite

      (Ilomets, S., Kalamees, T. Evaluation of the criticality of thermal bridges. J Build Rehabil 1, 11 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41024-016-0005-6

      Sedlbauer, K. (2001) Prediction of Mould Fungus Formation on the Surface of and inside Building Components. Ph.D. Dissertation, Stuttgart University, Stuttgart)

      50-51 occupies the largest area?

      51-52 This a little unclear could you please rephrase?

      80-81 Could you please rephrase

      82-83 bring out the moisture flow, Eq (7) are used… could you please rephrase

      246 Figure 7 The y-axis of this figure is a bit unclear. Could you please explain a little bit more what information does this figure wants to convey?

      246-256 I believe it is very difficult for fungi to grow inside such a construction even if the temperature and relative humidity conditions are favourable for growth. Two major reasons for this are 1st) there are no air-gaps between the elements of the construction so it is very unlikely that fungal spores could have been stored and would be able to flourish inside the material and  2nd) the materials used are concrete, expanded polystyrene and  autoclaved aerated concrete and cement mortar so the availability of nutrients is debatable.

      248-252 Could you please rephrase?

      260 The moisture affects the fungal growth. Seasons have an effect on fungal growth because of the changes in temperature and RH.

      260-268 These statements might be true for the case examined in the context of this study but they cannot be generalized. The direction of the moisture transfer relies on the internal and external conditions and in different climatic conditions the opposite direction might be the norm.

      263-264 Could you please explain this a little more

      280-282 Please rephrase

      294 Please rephrase

      309-310 These conclusions can be drawn only for the cases examined in the context of this paper. Please avoid generalizing these conclusions.

      321-322 The 4 and 5 conclusions are debatable. As mentioned earlier it is very unlikely that mould could grow inside the building construction. Therefore, the seasonal effect on the temperature and RH conditions within the construction cannot be used to assess whether the conditions become favourable for mould growth during different seasons.

      329-330 Please rephrase.



      Incomplete sentence in review: 45-47 Could you please rephrase / Also not entirely true (Can provide a few references but it might be a little impolitic not to add a few more references)

      2022-04-09 22:13 UTC

      Comment on this review