Moisture in buildings can lead to major problems related to occupant health, indoor air quality, and the life of building materials. The buildup of moisture in homes is a result of the infiltration of humid air, rainwater entering the building envelope, and from human activities (cooking, showering, etc.). The control of moisture levels can be achieved through several strategies to help improve comfort, reduce the risk of mold, and increase the durability of the home. Below are the top five strategies to help control indoor moisture control levels in your home.
- Bathroom Exhaust Fan – helps exhaust moisture that is built up from showers or bath tubs. Ideally, this fan should be continuously running or controlled by a humidistat. As per the current California Green Building Code (CALGreen), the bathroom exhaust fan must be controlled by a humidistat unless functioning as part of the whole house ventilation system.
- Kitchen Range Hood – this fan should always be turned on while cooking to exhaust any water vapor and odors to the outdoors.
- Stainless Steel Hoses for Clothes Washers – leaking or bursting of clothes washer supply hoses can introduce water to building materials. Replacing hoses with stainless steel ones can significantly reduce the risk of this problem.
- No Carpet in Wet Areas (kitchen, bathroom, and spa areas) – using non-absorbent flooring in wet areas can help avoid the buildup of moisture in flooring materials.
- Insulating Cold Water Pipes – any exposed cold water piping could lead to condensation on those pipes that will eventually drip onto building materials.
Measures such as these are often a requirement for sustainability programs like LEED or GreenPoint Rated. For more information on how to comply with these measures and more, contact Moe Fakih at VCA Green below:
Moe Fakih, Principal
Contributing Writer: Mahmoud Harb, LEED AP (BD+C, Homes)