Fall Maintenance & Managing Humidity In Your Suite

As summer comes to an end. Fall, the rainy season is just around the corner, we would like to remind home Owners of a few important maintenance items.

Balconies, Decks & Patios

Keep your drains clear of leaves and debris. Falling leaves clog drains / gutters and often cause expensive repairs when they back up into homes.

Windows & Condensation

As the outside temperature drops, so does the ability of inside air to absorb moisture. To reduce the humidity in your strata lot, use your humidistat, exhaust fans and / or open your windows periodically to exchange the inside air. Leave your blinds open at the bottom of the window a few inches and turn on heaters that are below the window to help with air circulation. Wipe up moisture frequently.

Pest Control

As colder weather approaches, you may find that rodents, such as mice, seek out warm areas and new food sources. Check typically dark areas such as storage rooms, lockers and the back of cupboards. Report any mouse droppings immediately to your building caretaker or strata manager and install appropriate traps.

Inspect Your Unit

Always make a point of inspecting your unit from time to time from top to bottom, inside and out. This is particularly important if you have been away for awhile. Look for dampness at the base of outside walls and for water staining on the walls and ceilings. If you find any of these symptoms, please contact your building caretaker or strata manager.

Rental Units

Homeowners are reminded that it is your responsibility to inspect your suite and ensure that the above items are attended to.

Managing Humidity in Your Suites:

In the winter months, humidity problems can increase because it is colder outside, windows are closed more often and indoor circulation and ventilation are reduced. During colder weather, the windows’ exterior walls will be colder than normal and there may be condensation on these window and wall areas. Newer building enclosure assemblies are more efficient and air tight and, as a result, you, the occupants, must take steps to ensure that the moisture generated in your suite is managed properly. Moisture is continually being released inside your home – as much as 10-50 liters a day – through routine household activities such as cooking, showering, bathing, laundry, and dishwashing. Your pets, indoor plants, and aquariums also produce or contribute to humidity-moisture in the air.

What Trouble Signs to Look For

  • Water pooling and / or staining at the sill of windows or sliding doors.
  • Water streaming down window and door frames or glazing.
  • Wet carpets at bottom of full height windows.
  • Wetness or staining on exterior wall surfaces, usually worse in closets or hidden exterior walls.

What to Do

The following measures can be taken to lower the humidity in your unit:

  • Open the windows a small amount for several hours each day.
  • Leaving the bathroom fan on when you shower.
  • Always use the kitchen fan when cooking and the bathroom fan when showering.
  • If you have an aquarium, put a cover on it.
  • Reduce the number of potted plants in your suite.
  • If you must hang laundry on a rack, hang it in a bathroom with the fan on.
  • Ensure that make-up air can flow into your suite from the corridor. There should be a small air gap below the entry door.

Allow warm air to circulate in all areas by:

  • Opening drapes and blinds at least a few hours a day.
  • Ensure 1-inch gap at bottom of closets and doors; leave closet doors open.
  • Do not cover or place boxes against exterior walls or windows.
  • Provide heat to all exterior wall areas.
  • Ensure that furniture is not covering heaters.
  • Try to keep temperatures around 20 °C unless you are away for prolonged period of time during which lower temperature is acceptable.

By following the above steps, each of you will be able to manage the humidity in your suite and maintain a comfortable, healthy living environment.

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