Interior Humidity and Condensation
Condensation on the interior of you home anywhere is trouble. If it appears on any interior surfaces, or on the inside of windows, doors or frames it indicates a meeting place of high humidity within the home and low temperatures. An insulation problem exists between the two. Condensation will eventually lead to water damage to the trim, drywall, window coverings. And it can manifest as mold, mildew, stains and even dry rot.
Since you have no control over outside air temperatures, resolving condensation problems will usually mean dealing with humidity on the interior of the home and/or improving insulation. First learn the actual level of humidity that is in the home. Second, learn about the insulation in your home. Once you know these facts you can implement a remediation plan.
If the air in your home tests above 40-50% humidity, you will need to find a way to monitor and reduce that level. One way to lower humidity levels on the interior is to reduce the creation of steam. Shorter showers, fewer baths, less boiling water. Another approach is mechanical, such as installing and using strong exhaust fans in moisture producing areas or a mechanical de-humidifier can also be installed. Here is a study on the connection between humidity levels and mold.
The other part of the condensation equation is insulation. First test to see if there is adequate insulation in the walls or if any of the stud bays are missing insulation. Call an inspector with an infra-red camera for this. Poor insulation often occurs in walls and around outlets and switches.
Uninsulated windows will also allow condensation to form as will some metal frames around windows and doors. These shortcomings will need to be corrected in order to stop the condensation problems. To prevent condensation, the correct minimum insulation R-value for the walls and windows will need to be enough to prevent the dew point from being reached on the interior surfaces.
- On a cold day in winter, check the window panes and frame in your home for condensation.
- Check your exhaust fans and make sure they are clean and functioning properly.
- Consider adding exhaust fans if the condensation persists
- 1x per year: Check and clean all the exhaust fans in the home. Remove the covers and clean off any dust build up. Clean the fan blades, clean them and observe them operating to make certain they are working properly.