by Uma Casa Portuguesa

Everything you need to know about getting rid of moisture

Barbara Ivusic Barbara Ivusic

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Sometimes we buy a house and everything runs perfectly, and at other times we find out that things are not quite right and everything turns into a nightmare. This is unfortunately the case when it comes to moisture or mold—either because of poor construction or because the house is located in a very humid area, or because the house has simply become old. Whatever is the issue, excess humidity can lead to serious problems, even health risks. 

The appearance of moisture comes through most evidently in mold spots or spores which can lead to respiratory problems. Mold can also get into furniture and clothing, and have a problematic effect overall. Take a look at this helpful guide book for ways to help you tackle moisture in your home. The sooner you find the cause, the sooner you can eliminate the problem. 

Come and take a look. 

Moisture caused by condensation.

  by Uma Casa Portuguesa
Uma Casa Portuguesa

Uma Casa Portuguesa—Ferraria de São João (Before)

Uma Casa Portuguesa

Humidity can be a common problem in older homes. Mold appears when water vapor collects inside a dwelling and creates condensation which forms into dark spots. You may have seen it appearing in the corners of walls in the form of unsightly brown or black spots. 

Water vapor is generated while doing various activities which are carried out in a house; such as cooking and bathing, but it can also be aggravated by clothes drying inside the house, wrong plants for interiors, among others. If the house does not have sufficient ventilation, the wall temperature is much lower than the ambient temperature, or the outside humidity is very high so that vapor condenses forming the stains.

Control humidity with proper equipment.

Of course we realize that the house is damp when we see the walls dripping with water but we do not have to get to that point where condensation is a problem. 

In order to be able to act on the excess humidity in good time, it is best to control the temperature in your home by installing a moisture sensor around the house. They can be integrated with the air conditioning system, or even with the dehumidifier, which are activated when humidity reaches critical levels. But if your finances are down you can opt for hygrometers or thermometers hygrometers. They are cheaper and you can choose them to fit your decor style, and do not look out of place in the environment.

Open windows

Open windows! Open the ones you have, but if they are insufficient consider having more of them or even have air vents. And if you are building do not forget to include ample windows in your spaces! In addition to being the most natural form of ventilation, windows also let in sunlight, preventing the formation of condensation and the growth of fungi. 

Install extraction equipment.

The kitchen hood is a classic in preventing condensation in the kitchen. Never forget to use it if you need to prevent the escalation of moisture in your home, and if you do not have one, start to source one now. 

The bathroom is where condensation moisture production is most intense. If your walls are covered with droplets, even if you have a window consider purchasing an extractor or a fan. You can also consider using a dehumidifier as a solution, knowing in advance that it does not solve the problem in a lasting way.

If the whole house is prone to high humidity choose a comprehensive solution. Nowadays there is equipment on the market that operates with positive ventilation regulated by the values of indoor humidity, capturing cold air from the outside that is preheated and injected into the interior of the room, creating over-pressure and causing the humid air to go out. It will not be a cheap solution, but it is very effective!

Use modern air-conditioning.

These days there are numerous split air-conditioning systems that already include a heating and de-humidification system. This means joining the functions of temperature control and control of excess humidity in a single piece of equipment which could mean saving the electricity bill.

Insulation.

Insulation is essential to prevent outside moisture from entering your home. It is also necessary to prevent the loss of hot and dry air from the air conditioning or heating, keeping the interior temperature at stable levels that prevent condensation. There are numerous insulation materials and these days it is not even necessary to place it inside the walls as it can be installed outside of the house. 

You can also provisionally caulk your house with caulking strips, glass wool blankets on the attic floor, or even sawdust sausages in the crack in the door. Rugs and carpets also make effective insulation.

Whichever insulation method you choose, you should always take into account the ventilation, or the insulation may prove to be counterproductive.

Use the correct coating.

Did you know that you can insulate your walls with simple paint? It is called a ceramic thermo coating, the latest novelty in insulation coatings, and it is applied as an ink. It will act as insulation so it will help to substantially decrease the moisture in your walls and ceilings.

Moisture by capillarity.

Do you know that effect of getting water through a straw without much sucking? It is called capillarity and it is a physical phenomenon that consists of the rise of water through small pipes, or capillaries, and it is what happens in the floor and base of the walls of many houses with poor insulation between the floor and the soil. The water transfers from the soil and it goes up the pavement and the walls, being able to reach up to 1.5 m in some cases, causing stains and damages in the coatings. See the solution below!

Waterproofing.

 Bedroom by RenoBuild Algarve
RenoBuild Algarve

Interior Remodellings / Renovation

RenoBuild Algarve

The problem, which mainly affects ground floors in poorly insulated houses, especially older ones, is not easy to solve, but it is also not impossible to get rid of it. What you can do is consult a professional to do the waterproofing of the floor of your home!

There are several waterproofing options, such as projected cork, hollow plastic modules, or screens, but only a specialist will advise you on the best choice for your case.

Moisture due to poor waterproofing or plumbing.

Moisture can come from the outside or have its origins right in the heart of our home. Outside the most common causes are poorly waterproof terraces, cracks in walls, damage to coverings or gutters, and gutters clogged or damaged. Inside, the plumbing is usually the main culprit.

Like the previous type of moisture, infiltration moisture can seriously damage the structure of the building and jeopardize its habitability. Here are some solutions. 

Repair damage to wall coverings.

 Houses by RenoBuild Algarve
RenoBuild Algarve

Facade Renovation / Repairing Cracks

RenoBuild Algarve

The first thing to do is to repair all those cracks in the exterior and interior wall, and if you have any coating, be sure to inspect it regularly, replacing or repairing everything that is damaged. And then there are a multitude of other measures such as interior waterproofing of buried walls, protection of concrete, and protection of floors or walls, etc.

Contain humidity.

 Houses by RenoBuild Algarve
RenoBuild Algarve

Facade Renovation / Repairing Cracks

RenoBuild Algarve

If the humidity continues to appear, the best thing to do is to replace all the exterior coatings or, if they did not exist, look for one that is appropriate to the conditions of its construction and the area where it is implanted. Waterproof paints, coating boards are some of the most diverse materials. There is a lot out there on the market and once again consulting a professional is the best way to make sure you get the right stuff for your home. 

The top of the house.

 Balconies, verandas & terraces  by Simple Taste Interiors
Simple Taste Interiors

Private Interior Design Project—Apartment Vila Sol Palmyra

Simple Taste Interiors

Regularly check the condition of your roof or terrace, looking for broken tiles, curved beams, tiles torn, or infiltration signals. And at the slightest sign of damage, repair! Remember that damaged coatings do not just let water in, they also let the heat out!

If the damages are extensive consider a longer lasting solution like a total terrace intervention or roof replacement. But because these solutions are expensive you can always try to do the waterproofing in sections.

Stop the leaks.

Time passes and the plumbing deteriorates, unfortunately it is so. And when a pipe cracks, a drain clogs or a faucet lets water escape through the base, that water must follow a path. Normally it ends up infiltrating and spreading over the walls, ceilings or pavements, damaging everything in its path, to the point of being able to call into question the safety of the house itself, not to mention the bad smells and mold that inevitably sets in.

Do not let such a situation creep in. It is true that we often realize it only after the stain is visible, but as soon as you see traces of a water infiltration of this kind in your house, do not let it go, repair it immediately.

If you love to renovate, take a look at this home renovation which will bring you back to your rustic roots!

What do you think is the most effective method of getting rid of moisture?
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