Moisture and Air Quality Problems
Moisture is continually being released inside every home: 10 to 50 litres (2 to 10 gallons) every day. In a heating season lasting 200 days, when windows and doors are typically closed up, 2,000 to 10,000 litres (400 to 2,000 gallons) of moisture can be trapped inside. Laundry hung to dry, improperly vented clothes dryers, bathing and cooking are common sources of moisture. A cord of wood stored inside can release more than 270 litres of moisture. Excess moisture can result in moisture problems, which can lead to air quality problems.
10 – 50 litres are released inside a home every day
There are two types of moisture problems: leaks and condensation. This guide focuses on condensation problems.
When warm, moist air comes into contact with a surface that is too cold, the moisture in the air condenses — or forms water — on the cold surface. The water and frost that can be seen collecting on windows are visible examples of condensation.
Condensation can also collect in the attic and inside the exterior walls where it can, over time, cause mould, wood rot and structural decay.
Over time, if the air inside is too humid, the result may be damage to the house structure, finishes, furnishings and personal possessions and possibly even the health of those living in the home. Controlling moisture in the home is the best way to prevent mould problems.
Leaks from roofs, through walls and from plumbing also cause moisture problems in homes but are more readily detected and solved than indoor condensation-related problems.
Moisture-Related Indoor Air Quality Problems
A home should have an exchange of air between the indoors and outdoors. Without this air exchange, a home can accumulate moisture and mould can become a problem, and you can experience poor air quality.
Mould growing in the home can release mould spores, toxins, odours and this can represent a health concern for members of the household. The exchange of stale air in the home with fresh outdoor air reduces potential air quality problems and helps to prevent moisture buildup in the home.
Indoor-outdoor air exchange also can help deal with harmful chemicals that can be released from synthetic fabrics, furnishings, household products, cigarette smoke and burning candles.