my Old Workshop

Avoid moisture damage in your home

Moisture can be the bane of your house. In the past, we’ve talked about ways to limit it, but here are two areas we haven’t touched on.

A bathroom exhaust fan has an important job. It draws that excess moisture that’s created by hot showers and baths and sends it outside. But it can end up causing moisture problems, too.

First off, choose a fan that’s powerful enough. Check the rating on the fan for the square footage of your bathroom. Secondly make sure the vent doesn’t exhaust the air in a location where it will blow against the house. In cold weather, the damp air will quickly condense, which can cause damage to painted areas, wood and even brick.

Finally, check the exhaust duct. It should follow as straight a course as possible. Every bend provides another area where moisture can get trapped and condense, potentially coming back down the duct. You can also insulate the duct by wrapping it in fibreglass insulation with duct tape.

If you have a brick veneer house (that’s your basic brick house; while the brick might look like it’s structural, it’s simply a cladding, like wood siding), there’s a space between the brick and the sheathing on the actual walls. If you’re retrofitting insulation, you might think this area should be insulated. But stop right there. This space serves a purpose. If moisture comes through the bricks (which are porous), it will slide down the inside and drain through “weep holes” at the bottom. If you look down at the bottom course of bricks, you can see these holes.

If you put insulation in there, it will quickly become wet, and potentially block the drainage. This moisture buildup can cause damage over time and temperature changes.