CONDO ARCHIVES

Combating Condensation

April 2021

Moisture damages walls, flooring and finishes.  When present in the home and unchecked, moisture can lead to health problems.  As it often occurs out of view, the problem only becomes apparent once moisture is seen or there is a musty odour.

Condensation exists in the condo home when interior humidity levels mix with outside winter conditions at cold surfaces typically near windows and doors.  The extent of condensation is affected by the quality of windows and building material used in the home.  Air barriers and thermal control layers built into window systems may fail, be improperly installed or misused.

Condensation, a year round problem, tends to be worse during winter when weather conditions are more extreme.  Older buildings with less thermally efficient windows are more susceptible.  Opening blinds to allow heat to access all areas; and use of exhaust fans when cooking, showering and washing help reduce condensation levels.  Pipes are more likely to sweat and drip profusely in warmer and more humid weather.

When condensation is prevalent over a long period of time, professional help is necessary to rectify problems before they become excessive and costly.

HVAC professionals evaluate HVAC systems to ensure they are operating correctly and with the building envelope system.  They can run tests to identify where and how moisture and air are penetrating into a building.  Windows or walls that have been damaged or not properly constructed may require repair to address condensation.

Moisture or water detection systems provide early warning of where moisture is likely to collect allowing for resolution before damage occurs. Triple + , which provides cloud-connected water detection systems for high-rise communities, offers in-suite and building wide solutions.

Condensation problems tend to spread.  Ignoring an existing and known condensation problem likely means having to address a larger problem later on.