12 Tips to understand and control moisture problems at home

Rita Deo Rita Deo
loft H-11, NonWarp NonWarp Industrial style houses
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Moisture retention is a problem that is faced by houses around the globe due to varied reasons like poor construction, climatic changes or lack of adequate ventilation. Excess humidity could occur any time during the year leading to droplets accumulation on walls, windows, ceiling and other structural areas inside the house can lead to early wear and tear due to rot and mildew. Most homeowners fail to realize that excess moisture can also lead to respiratory allergies and skin problems as it also leads to mold in clothes and furniture.

To control moisture accumulation problems inside the house we first have to understand the causes that lead to it. The most common reason for moisture accumulation is high level of condensation in the atmosphere that accumulates on hot or cold surfaces within the house. Just as there are several causes humidity in the house there are several solutions to prevent them too which our expert Home Builders have identified for keeping your home pristine and beautiful for several years.

1. Damaged walls from moisture

Discoloration along the ceiling and walls is the most common sign of damage due to condensation and humidity. This problem could occur in both new and old houses, as when hot vapor produced inside the house comes in contact with cold air outside or vice-versa, droplets of water form on windows and ceiling leading to ugly black and green stains over a period of time. In this house the problem has become aggravated as even the edges of doors and windows are showing signs of moisture damage.

2. Equipment to control humidity

Any general contractor will tell you that excess humidity and moisture is bad for the house and can lead to early damage. So if you face the problem then the ideal step forward is install moisture sensors around the house to identify the troublesome locations. These areas can then be integrated with the air conditioning system, or even with the dehumidifier which will get activated when humidity reaches critical levels. A less expensive equipment to control humidity is hygrometer that can become an integral part of room furniture.

3. Sunlight and air in bathrooms

Bathrooms are areas which have the largest concentration of both moisture and hot vapor so maintaining the right temperature in this area becomes critical. Setting up windows, exhaust fans and ventilation systems can not only bring in fresh air and sunlight but also help to prevent condensation and fungi. This minimalist bathroom has windows and skylight to maintain airflow and reduce moisture.

4. Moisture extraction equipment

Like the bathroom, kitchen is another place which tends to create a large amount of moisture due to the simple reason that food is washed and cooked here. While the hood above the cooktop is useful equipment for preventing condensation in the kitchen, windows and exhaust fan can also help to pull out excess humidity and bring fresh air.  While these gadgets are suitable for small areas, these cannot be relied on for keeping the entire home free from humidity.

5. Modern air-conditioning systems

Modern homes with good ventilation systems and latest equipment like split air conditioning systems do not have to worry about excess moisture. This is because most split air-conditioners today include heating and humidification systems that maintain amiable temperature without increasing the electricity bill.

6. Indoor insulation

Insulation is essential to prevent outside moisture from entering the home and that can be done through modern and traditional methods. While using combination of air conditioning and heating equipment it is sometimes imperative to keep temperature monitoring gadgets to help maintain interior temperature at stable levels and prevent condensation. The age old technique of using insulation sheets in walls and ceiling is still popular as it is cost effective insulation technique and does not require monitoring.

7. Ceramic Thermo paint

Few people know that walls can be insulated with technically advanced paint called thermo ceramic paint. This form of ceramic thermo coating which is slowly gaining popularity among building contractors in the eastern hemisphere is the latest novelty in insulation coatings which helps to decrease the moisture in your walls and ceilings.

8. Water seepage from capillaries

Did you know that capillary effect applies to buildings too and it is due to this effect that walls and floors sometimes have water seepage problem. When floors are not waterproofed adequately and there is no insulation between the floor and the soil below it, the water within the soil moves up through capillaries in the floor layers due to excess humidity and settles on the top as water vapor.  In the picture visible here the water table below the house rose after a heavy bout of rainfall and was able to reach up to 1.5meters to this room leading to damaged floor tiles and stained walls.

9. Floor waterproofing

The most effective solution to the above stated problem about water seepage in the floor is providing sufficient layers between the floor and soil. With improvement in technology there are several waterproofing options, such as projected cork, hollow plastic modules and concrete but only a specialist floorer will be able to advice the best choice for a home.

10. Damage by water seepage

Excess moisture can have long term damaging effect on the house whether it is due to external or internal causes. The most common external causes are poorly waterproofed terraces, walls, damaged and clogged rain gutters, while internal causes are usually related to poor plumbing.

11. Repair damaged walls

Experts will be able to advice about corrective steps to be taken to repair the damage as it has to be done in a step-wise manner. Early steps for seepage damage control involve identification of cracked surfaces like ceiling and walls and then repairing them. Depending on the extent of damage, walls may be stripped completely to the brick skeleton and then covered with waterproof materials and later given concrete layer before being painted all over.

12. Strong exterior layers

If humidity and extreme weather cause extensive damage to exterior walls on a regular basis then the best option would be to replace traditional concrete and exterior paint with something more durable. Here is a recent creation called stone crete plaster which is a growing in popularity among house owners who want long lasting exterior walls with character. Though this does is not a very decorative finish it can easily withstand every kind of weather condition with no sign of visible damage for several years.

13. Waterproofing the roof

 If the roof damage is extensive then you may have to undertake heavy repairs and find long lasting solution to avoid recurrence. The best way to avoid unnecessary repairs is to seek the assistance of an expert roofer who can advise on waterproofing solutions suitable to local weather and climatic  conditions.

14. Repair all leaks immediately

If you want to avoid problems related to water drainage and seepage then be careful about repairing every water leakage in the house immediately irrespective of location and importance. You would be surprised to see the kind of extensive damage to walls and floors due to ignored leaks that require expensive repairs to restore previous status.

Until the repairs actually take off the ugly stains off your walls here are Innovative ideas for hiding ugly walls.

Which idea did you like the best? Do let us know your opinion below.

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