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How do I Prevent Condensation?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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Several steps can be taken to prevent condensation from occurring inside a home. Ensuring the home has adequate ventilation and air circulation is probably the most important way to prevent condensation. Installing exhaust vents and fans can also help control the problem. Repairing window leaks and adding the proper type of insulation to a home can prevent condensation as well. The use of a dehumidifier is another way to prevent this problem from occurring.

One of the best ways to prevent condensation is to maintain an adequate amount of ventilation throughout the home. Poor air circulation allows moisture to build up in certain areas and cause condensation. One way to do this is to make certain that all air registers are fully opened in each room. If necessary, use a portable or ceiling-type fan to increase air circulation. Inspect all fireplace chimneys for unobstructed airflow as well.

Installing exhaust fans in kitchen and bath areas can also help prevent condensation. Kitchen vent hoods and exhaust fans should not re-circulate moist air, but ventilate it to the outside of the home. Bathroom exhaust fans should also ventilate to the attic area or outside the home. These vents and fans should always be in use while bathing or cooking and for a short time afterward. Automatic clothes dryers must also be ventilated to the outside during operation.

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Repairing any damaged window panes, glazing, or caulking can also help prevent condensation. Broken or damaged panes allow moisture to build up around windows and form condensation. Deteriorated caulk or glazing on the interior and exterior windows should be removed and replaced to form a good, moisture-proof seal. Adding or replacing insulation around doors and windows will also restrict outside moisture from entering the home. Installing a sufficient amount of insulation in attics and crawlspaces may help keep condensation under control as well.

The use of a dehumidifier in certain areas of a home can be beneficial in preventing condensation. A portable dehumidifier can be placed in rooms where condensation appears on walls, floors, or windows to remove excess moisture. A larger dehumidifier can be permanently installed in damp basements with restricted airflow to prevent condensation from occurring in the home above. A dehumidifier may also be installed in any area where a washing machine is located to help dry the equipment after each use. It is also a good idea to continuously operate a humidifier in newly built homes or additions for at least one year.

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