Have you become the owner of an apartment in a new building, but your happiness has been overshadowed by a number of problems? The house is still damp, unheated, and not all apartments are occupied. Hence the coldness, general dampness and increased humidity in the rooms. Most often, the apartment is still waiting for the turn of pasting rooms with wallpaper or painting the walls and ceiling, laying coatings on the floor and other finishing works. In addition, the heating may not work yet: it is not the season or the autonomous system has not yet been installed. And I want to do all the work faster and with the highest quality.
How to reduce humidity in a new apartment, how to eliminate humidity in a new building and avoid the appearance of mold and fungus, you will find answers to these and other questions in our article.
Causes of high humidity
1. The building was put into operation recently, the drying of the building was either not carried out or was not completed completely. If the weather was unlucky during construction, the moisture absorbed by the building materials and structures did not escape through natural ventilation. To remove it, you need either to dry the building with ventilation or industrial dehumidifiers. We compare the amount of moisture that can be retained and removed during drying from different building materials.
The total amount of moisture in the building structure represents solid numbers, and it takes time or efficient equipment to remove excess moisture. Insufficient drying of the building threatens with high initial costs for heating the house. Therefore, we advise you to read the article, which describes in detail the drying of concrete floors and slabs. In it, we paid attention to all the main points and offered answers to questions. For example, how to dry concrete so that cracks and other damage do not occur later.
2. In a new building, it is necessary to control the drying of interwall seams, plaster, screeds, as well as the presence of cold bridges near windows and doors. If the thickness of the walls is insufficient, or the house is not insulated and heated, corner rooms, rooms on the lower or upper floors with poor heat/water insulation suffer the most from dampness.
3. Finishing works related to excess humidity have been started in the under-dried rooms: wallpaper takes a long time to dry, whitewash does too, these types of works “don’t like” ventilation. Ceiling painting and tiling also require more drying time than in an older home. Relative humidity after repair itself definitely exceeds the permissible limits, because glues, paints and mixtures are diluted in more than one bucket of water.
4. Insufficient ventilation affects the increase in humidity in the apartment. Plastic windows and blind doors without inlet slits or holes interfere with air circulation, the air is stale and stagnant, ideal conditions are created for the appearance of mold on the walls and in the corners. Mold on the baseboards in a new house indicates excessive air humidity, so it is necessary to take measures urgently.
If even now there is no mold yet, then it is not excluded that it can “attack” the walls and ceiling of your house already when the repairs were made or even the walls were dried in the new building before the repairs. A number of other factors that can lead to the appearance of mold should be considered. As they say, one who is familiar with a possible problem is armed. Therefore, we advise you to immediately take into account all factors of the appearance of mold, and methods of combating it at various stages of creating coziness in the apartment — from the stage of “bare” walls to the completed stage of design decoration of rooms. More about this is told in the article “How to properly dry plaster during repair”.
How to reduce humidity in the apartment?
In the summer and in the off-season, due to increased air exchange, warm, humidified air will go into the exhaust ducts of the ventilation system (or simply outside through the windows) and will be replaced by fresh air with less humidity.
In addition to ventilation at any time of the year, installing an air conditioner that has the function of dehumidifying the air can help. Such equipment gradually reduces the level of humidity, if it does not exceed the norm by 5–10%.
If the humidity level is very high — above 80–90%, builders often use heat guns (gas, diesel or electric) or fan heaters. Rapid heating and mixing of air contributes to intensive evaporation of moisture from the surface layers of the walls, floor and ceiling. Periodic ventilation or airing will help to remove humidified air outside the building. The use of such air heaters in wet rainy weather is not very effective, because the atmospheric air is also humid. It is necessary to work with such units very carefully. Directed air flow can overheat the surface in places, overdrying leads to cracking of decorative coatings and deterioration of moisture removal from the depth of the screed or plaster.
How to determine the source of the problem
Where excess moisture enters the apartment can be determined by a folk method: put a mirror or a piece of glass to the surface of the wall and hold it for a while. If the surface fogs up, it means that part of the moisture is passing through the wall, and the wall needs to be insulated. If the glass is dry, the source of moisture should be sought indoors. But it is better to use a wall or room thermohygrometer to measure the humidity level.
The acceptable “healthy” level of humidity is 45–55%, at this level of humidity, mold and fungus cannot develop.
Dampness in a new apartment can lead to undesirable consequences. Its sources are different, and the methods of struggle must be chosen accordingly:
- If the windows fog up and mold appears in the corners of the window frames, it is worth thermally insulating and filling the slopes, installing triple packages of window glass.
- If mold has appeared in the bathroom, urgently check the condition of the exhaust ventilation and think about the presence of holes or cracks in the door. You can install an exhaust fan.
- If a corner room is affected, it is necessary to improve the ventilation there and increase the power of the heating radiator.
- If mold appears in or on baseboards, you should worry about a damp or flooded basement, repair a pipe break, or drain the basement. Perhaps it is worth insulating the floor and strengthening the thermal insulation from the lower floor.
- The appearance of mold in the corners of the ceiling — most likely, the attic space is not insulated, the roof is leaking somewhere, the drain is clogged, or there is stagnation of raw air due to cold and poor ventilation in the rooms on the upper floor of the house. The decision regarding the thermal insulation of the roof should be made comprehensively, for the entire house.
Dampness in a new building — consequences
How to deal with moisture in a new building? The task — what and how to dry an apartment in a new building — is solved depending on the specific conditions of the apartment and the level of humidity in it. Of course, everyone who has been engaged in repair or finishing works has felt suffocation and damp air after whitewashing, pasting wallpaper or after laying tiles. You can more accurately measure the level of humidity with the help of a room hygrometer, and an indicator of more than 60% RH should be a concern, especially if the humidity does not decrease for several days due to ventilation in the apartment.
Improper or insufficient drying of the building and accumulated additional moisture after repair work is already a significant threat to health, decoration of the apartment and the impossibility of moving into it as soon as possible. Pasting wallpaper on raw walls will not be of high quality. Accumulated moisture in the walls will begin to appear in spots and lead to peeling of the wallpaper. The same applies to painting or whitewashing the ceiling or walls over raw plaster or putty.
We will not cause negative emotions by describing the damage caused by fungus and mold colonies in residential premises, but we will remind you of the consequences. Allergies, lung diseases, breathing problems and other negative consequences of excessive humidity pose a threat to the health of household members, especially the younger generation. Damage to coatings, furnishings in the house, penetration into walls or damage to the entire thickness of the wall or floor is already a serious task that will require considerable effort. Therefore, it is better to prevent the development of mold than to fight it heroically.
That is why you should first dry the apartment, then make gradual repairs and finishing, with periodic drying after regular finishing works. And only after that arrange a fun housewarming party.
Dehumidifier for drying a new apartment
The use of an air dehumidifier is ideal for a gradual and adjustable decrease in the level of humidity in a renovated or owner-occupied apartment after construction. Gradually, periodically setting a lower level of humidity for a continuously operating dehumidifier, the air is dried without jumps and temperature drops. At the same time, constant ventilation or active ventilation is not required, the rooms can be dried one by one or by the total volume. It is impossible to allow external moist air to enter the room being dehumidified. This speeds up the drying process and preserves the entire structure of coatings and finishes.
The walls, floor and ceiling are dried to a considerable depth. Moisture is extracted from the entire volume of air, due to the supply of dried air by the fan, high-quality air circulation without stagnant places is ensured. Not only the apartment or a separate room is dried, but also the furniture and objects in it. The most important thing is that the drying process is controlled, the drying of the surfaces and deep layers is accelerated, the humidity gradually decreases to the required 45–55% and is constantly maintained at this level. Healthy air in the apartment is provided.
Modern dehumidifiers not only dry, but also clean and disinfect the air. Condensate is diverted to a tank or drained into the sewer. Dehumidification consumes much less electricity than during the operation of heat guns. Works can be carried out without heating and in the cold season. Adsorption dehumidifiers are well suited for operation in the cold season.
Examples of dehumidifiers for apartments, offices and private houses with an area of 25–50 m²
Yugo Smart 16
A high-quality and reliable helper in the home and household — the MYCOND Berg 25 dehumidifier has excellent performance up to 25 l/day, very economical energy consumption for its performance — max. 0.425 kW. Silent operation in all modes, unique filtration system: HEPA filter, plasma air purification. A separate section for aromatization that will fill the house with a pleasant smell, convenient WI-FI control and many other useful functions that will allow you to control the dehumidifier comfortably and provide a favorable microclimate.
The reliable household dehumidifier TCL DEVA 10EB is even more economical in terms of energy consumption — only 0.290 kW, and this is with the ability to remove up to 10 liters of condensate per day. In addition to advanced control automation, the unit can be connected to drainage. It is an indispensable assistant for repairs, laundry, in the bathroom, in the laundry or in the basement.
The air dryer from the well-known American brand Cooper&Hunter CH-D005WD2-12LD can work with high or low performance, collect condensate in a tank or drain it, work in continuous or automatic mode with humidity level control. Works successfully in conditions from +5°C to +35°C.
New product of British origin MYCOND Yugo Smart 16. The model is made in an elegant design with a large LCD display. This model has extended functionality, which allows you to use the dehumidifier in rooms, children’s bedrooms and be controlled via Wi-Fi from neighboring premises. The dehumidifier works in the temperature range from +5°C to +35°C. It is famous for its silent operation.
There is also a Ballu BDH-25L dehumidifier that is easier to set up and operate, it is able to easily work in large rooms and remove up to 25 liters of condensate per day, while consuming only up to 0.340 kW. It has a 6.5‑liter condensate collection tank with a fill indicator, as well as a touch control panel. Suitable for basements, small warehouses, corridors and at the construction stage.
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We hope that we have suggested the correct way to dry an apartment in a new building competently and with the lowest costs. And most importantly, to continue to maintain the most comfortable and healthy conditions in it. Even if you are renovating a new building with damp walls, an air dehumidifier will help you as much as possible in high-quality dehumidification of the apartment and in the subsequent finishing works. You will significantly reduce the time of work and save on repair costs. This is a reliable modern climate equipment that will often help you get rid of excess moisture in the bathroom, laundry room or basement.
Other useful articles:
How to dry walls and concrete floors after a flood or water leak
How to properly dry the plaster during the repair process
Increased humidity in the house: methods of struggle