What is condensation and why do you need to know about it as an Ottawa homeowner?
Stained ceilings, water streaming from windows or steel doors and mold on trim and walls are all the common result of excessive water vapour in the air, which is condensation.
If we could see only see the water vapour in our homes we would perhaps have a sure way of controlling that vapour, but we can't see water vapour, although we can see it's damaging effects in our homes. The most common is condensation on the inside of your windows, or between your door and door frame. The moisture, or in extreme occasions the frost that forms on the glass or edge of your door, usually during cold Ottawa Winters, is a clear indicator that the humidity levels in your house are too high.
Condensation problems arise because air can hold onto limited amount of water vapour at any given temperature. Cold air can hold less water that warm air. Vapour condenses into water during decreasing temperatures, when the temperature is above freezing, or into frost when the temperature is below freezing.
A little moisture is nothing to be concerned about, but heavy moisture or worse, ice formation on the glass surface of windows or steel door is a cause for concern. It is a clear indication of invisible damage that could be happening elsewhere in your house. Household humidity is a modern problem, especially in the high humidity seasons here in Ottawa. More and more of us are living in air tight homes, they are more economical to heat and cool and easier to keep clean but we have created another problem that is lack of air exchange and moisture traps.
Next, we will be talking about source of moisture in your home, how much humidity is enough, practical steps to reducing condensation on windows and doors as an Ottawa home-owner, and exterior condensation on insulated glass in high performance windows and/or steel doors.