In Kesennuma, Miyagi, where the lowest temperature drops as low as -10 degrees Cesium during the winter, condensation has become a very critical issue in emergency temporary housing in the Watado district.
Mr. Toshio HATAKEYAMA, President of a Residents’ Association remarked that "some work was done to install double sash and heat insulation materials, but that did not solve the condensation problem. With all the windows open and the exhaust fans in the kitchen and in the bath area turned on, it would be too cold to sleep.” He explained that “with the windows closed, condensation would occur and water droplets start falling on my futon while I’m asleep. The exhaust fan in the attic is too small and useless when it's freezing cold." Water droplets create mold which trigger critical health issues like pneumonia, which can be a life-threatening disease especially to the elderly. The government has provided no further assistance. Mr. HATAKEYAMA sought help from the Volunteer Station in Kesennuma and came up with the idea to take simple measures using do-it-yourself materials that can be purchased at a home improvement center.
All United to Manually Install Heat Insulation
|December 5, 2012 - A resident, Mr. Toshio HATAKEYAMA: "I'm pretty good at this. I should become a condensation expert!"|
After prolonged freezing weather, the construction began on December 5 with the help of the residents in the temporary houses, staff from the Volunteer Station in Kesennuma, staff from NPO APCAS, and volunteers from
Temporary housing for two occupants is composed of just one or two 4-mat rooms with little to no storage space. In these small rooms with barely enough space for a futon and storage closet, such work can take a considerable amount of time and effort. Some of the work had to be done outside in the chilly weather due to the lack of workspace. All volunteers worked together for an entire week to insulate a total of 10 households and 20 rooms for temporary houses in Watado along with some temporary houses in Goemongahara where the residents had claimed to suffer from the same problem.
"We No Longer Have to Worry About Condensation!"
"The temperature here tends to be 2 to 3 degrees Cesium lower comparing to the adjacent national road and it snows a lot here as well.” Mr. Etsurou FUJIKAWA, a resident of temporary housing in Goemongahara shared his experience. “This year, the weather has been colder than the previous one and it started snowing earlier too. The condensation problem was so severe that the futon bedding in our closets were always wet every morning. During the winter season, I had to wipe the condensation off the wall every morning. But, mold would appear on the ceiling since I can't reach high enough to wipe it. Sometimes, I would stand on the chair and try to wipe it, but it's a hard work considering my age." With an expression of relief on his face he said, "but we no longer have to worry about it. Thank you for your help."
|December 5, 2012 - Working in the kitchen in temporary housing in Watado (cutting the heat insulation material for ceiling along the part where the fire alarm fits).|
|December 5, 2012 – A man who came looking for ways to help his aunt.|
|December 13, 2012 - Some volunteers worked outside in freezing weather due to lack of workspace (at temporary housing in Goemongahara).|
|December13, 2012 - Tightly sealed, as any space left uncovered will cause condensation and mold.|
|December 13, 2012 - The residents prepared delicious lunch for the workers (at temporary housing in Goemongahara)|
|December 5, 2012 - Photo taken in a common room of a temporary housing in Watado after completion of work. Mr. Shinichiro OHARA, AAR Sendai Office is on the left in the back row.|
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