Condensation may not be grounds for panic, but excess moisture within any environment can be a cause for concern all the same. If left unchecked, water droplets can create mildew, damage drywall, rot internal structures, harm finishes, and corrupt other indoor assets. This leads to costly repairs and all-round headaches.
Fortunately, there are simple steps property managers and homeowners alike can take to control condensation, many of which rely on good skylight design.
Is it humid in here?
You may recall from science class that condensation is formed when warm air meets cold surfaces. In buildings or homes, it occurs when the air becomes too saturated with water vapours and interacts with a surface that is colder than itself.
“Humid areas are certainly prone to condensation,” says Marco Ferrazzo, Process Manager with Artistic Skylight Domes. “Preventing that situation means keeping your relative humidity in your home lower than usual.”
Simple steps to prevent condensation range from avoiding long showers, covering cooking pots to reduce steam, and running ceiling fans to prevent warm air from rising. One can also open windows to release moisture outside, keep windows coverings clear so that warm air circulates the surface, and ensure heat-producing appliances (e.g., washers, dryers) are adequately vented. Overall, the idea is to reduce the release of moisture in the environment or prevent it altogether.
Skylights can also go a long way towards managing condensation – especially if they are designed accordingly. For example, Artistic Skylight’s products include built-in condensation gutters that captures the moisture that collects on skylight domes or lenses and redirects it to drain off the roof. As such, Ferrazzo says it’s essential to ensure those gutters are doing their jobs: “If you’re a homeowner or a property manager, it doesn’t hurt to have someone check to ensure those gutters are free of any blockages. Insects or debris may be caught in gutters and will cause additional condensation issues.”
Using triple-glazed skylights can also go a long way towards reducing condensation. Artistic Skylight’s products, for example, boast additional layers (e.g., glass or acrylic) with thermal insulating properties to form a tight seal between outdoor and indoor environments.
There’s much one can do to manage condensation after a skylight or window is in place. However, there are also some tips to consider in pre-construction.
For one, creating an environment with high air circulation will do wonders for reducing condensation. If your plans are to construct a house or building from scratch or carry out a large-scale renovation, it pays to add air vents in the skylight shaft itself to enhance airflow.
“It really falls down to building science,” adds Ferrazzo. “We do our part to manage condensation in the design of our skylights, but it also depends on the roof having the proper insulation built with high-quality materials.”
Condensation may not be the biggest concern in a building, but it cannot be ignored. Not only can skylights help interior spaces breathe, but they can be designed to combat moisture where it forms.
Learn more by contacting us today.