for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Weekly Maintenance for your Home

January – Week 03

Just like preventative maintenance on your car, if you take care of a few small items around the house every week, you can avoid many emergency breakdowns and expensive repairs.

Moisture Damage

The middle of January is usually our coldest time of the year and that means that outside walls and window frames are at their coldest. Indoor humidity levels that were no problem a few weeks ago could be a problem now because the formation of condensation is a combined function of both humidity and temperature. For a through understanding of how this operates, and lots of details on how to solve condensation problems all around the house, check out the Search tab above for "Condensation".

For your preventative maintenance inspection, you want to take a look at potential problem areas to see if you have condensation or not. The importance of this inspection is that long term condensation often leads to the formation of mould and mildew which can create serious indoor air quality problems. In the long term, can it also cause rot and damage the house structure.

Look around all water pipes, because as the winter gets colder so does the water coming into the pipes, and they tend to sweat more. Look under sinks at the pipes and at the floor below the pipes. Check where the cold water pipes run through the basement to see that they are not dripping from condensation. Insulating these pipes can stop the condensation.

Check around all high moisture areas, like shower rooms and laundry rooms. Here you look at the ceiling to wall joint, one of the coldest places in most houses. Also look at the back of closets, especially heavily packed linen closets. Air needs to circulate in these closets and one solution to a musty smell is to replace the shelves with wire racks, perhaps even insulate the outside wall in the back of the closet.

If you discover a single condensation problem, see if the search tab above doesn't have a specific solution for that problem. If you discover condensation in several places around the house, you will need to reduce the overall humidity, probably by installing or improving exhaust fans or whole house ventilation systems.