If you’ve ever run a dehumidifier in your home, you may have been stunned at the amount of water it collected from thin air. The average New Zealand family produces around eight litres of moisture inside the home every day. Where does it all come from?
The obvious sources are hot showers and boiling pots on the stove aswell as breathing. While these are responsible for a large amount of moisture, there are a number of extra sources that compromise your indoor air quality.
Here are some of the hidden villains:
Clothes drying on a frame inside give off a lot of moisture. It’s better to dry them outside, and use nature’s gift of the wind and sun. When the weather doesn’t allow this, use a clotheshorse in the garage, laundry or veranda, or install a vented clothes dryer.
Leaks in wall and roof claddings
Some cladding systems are hard to make weathertight. Rain may penetrate through imperfectly installed flashings and gradually seep into the structure of the house. You won’t necessarily notice a big puddle one
morning, but beware of mould forming on interior walls. If you suspect a problem, talk to a building surveyor about non-invasive moisture testing.
Dampness under the floor
If you have access under your floor space, have a poke around one day. Take some of the dirt in your hand and give it a good rub. It should crumble like dry earth.
If it has a muddy consistency, you may have a problem with water penetrating under the house. This can be caused by drainage problems and leaks from plumbing or downpipes. If the underfloor area is persistently damp, moisture will invade your living space and cause problems with dampness.
Once you’ve tackled any seepage problems it’s time to look at a long-term solution to improve indoor air quality. You can get excellent results from a home ventilation system that continually pumps fresh, dry air into the rooms where your family live and breathe.
Water is vital stuff, but it needs to be kept in the right place. Good maintenance and effective home ventilation are two key steps to creating a healthy home.