Helping condominium homeowners and residents regulate humidity levels in their suites.
As Canadian homeowners, we’ve grown accustomed to dealing with harsh winters, and experiencing the impact they can have on our homes.
As the snow outside accumulates, we want to remind condo residents what to look out for in order to ensure the moisture level in your suite doesn’t become excessive.
First, here’s a little about moisture in new buildings. Condensation is at its maximum in new buildings. When your home was built, gallons of water went into its construction through the materials such as concrete, drywall, paint, and grout which contain substantial amounts of water. As these materials dry, the water gradually evaporates, which consequently raises the moisture content in the air. Proper ventilation will bring this normal drying-out process to its conclusion as steadily as possible, so it is important that you don’t try to accelerate the process by creating extremely high temperatures during the winter. Doing so can cause the materials in your beautiful new home to dry out unevenly, which can exaggerate the effects of normal shrinkage.
In addition to the weather and the condition of building materials, the air’s moisture content is affected by an individual’s lifestyle and activities in the home. Showering, cooking, and cleaning are just some of the day-to-day activities that generate moisture in your home. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that homeowners can take to regulate humidity levels:
1. Check and clean both the dryer duct lint trap on the laundry room ceiling and the lint screen inside your dryer to ensure that the moist air from the dryer is being properly expelled.
2. Turn on the exhaust fan when bathing or showering.
3. Use kitchen exhaust fan when cooking.
4. Humidifiers should be on a “LOW” setting and kept away from cold windows and doors.
5. Interior doors should be kept open to provide adequate air circulation.
6. Windows should be opened briefly on a daily basis to provide proper ventilation.
7. Moisture from plants and aquariums will also add to humidity levels and possibly cause condensation.
8. In suite, never apply weather stripping to the suite entry door jamb. All suite entry doors are designed to provide a constant and controlled flow of air to allow your suite to “breathe”.
9. Do not obstruct vents as they are vital to the proper circulation of air.
Last but not least, don’t second guess whether your new windows are doing their job. Just a friendly reminder that the condensation and formation of ice on the surface of your window pane is also typically the result of excessive humidity inside your suite.
Now, if only we could help you battle all that snow…