Condensation in the home can be a serious problem that should be addressed. It can cause damage to structural parts of your home and can lead to the formation of toxic mold. Condensation occurs when warm, humid air contacts a cool surface. Moisture forming on glass or other flat surfaces, traces of water on walls, and damp insulation are all signs that you may have excess moisture and condensation issues in your home.
Minimizing cool surfaces and reducing humidity are key steps to preventing condensation issues. Windows, walls, doors, and cold water pipes that are poorly insulated are common cool surfaces. Moisture can accumulate on these surfaces and run down into walls and structural parts of the home, which can result in rot and the growth of mold and mildew.
Another key step to controlling condensation is to identify the source of the moisture. Sources of moisture in your home include baths, showers, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and cooking. However, these sources won’t usually cause an issue unless the amount of moisture is especially high, proper venting is not used, or the home is extremely tight.
Moisture issues are not always as obvious as water on a window. If your home has a crawlspace, moisture from the soil can increase the level of humidity inside your home. This is one of the many reasons to have a vapor barrier installed. Learn more about crawlspaces here. Poor attic ventilation can also lead to condensation issues. Click here to learn more about the importance of a properly ventilated attic.
If your bathroom and dryer exhausts are not vented properly they can cause condensation in the attic. The purpose of these exhausts is to vent the hot, humid air outside the home. However, it is not uncommon to find that these exhausts are venting to the attic instead of outside the home. This results in a humid attic and the potential for condensation.
It is important to control the humidity inside your home as well as your attic. Ideally you want to keep the relative humidity inside your home around 30-50%. Condensation on windows, walls, or ceilings is a sign that the relative humidity inside your home is too high. You may want to purchase an indoor weather station that measures humidity levels.
You should contact a professional if you have serious condensation or if you suspect you may not have adequate ventilation in your home. An Energy Assessment from Comfort 1st Insulation can provide this information as well as offer solutions.