Why do I need Gutters ? Part 2 – Moisture in the Modern Home

When is the last time you have been up to your attic? If you are anything like me, probably never. But perhaps you have been up to the attic, and even supervised workmen when they were putting in installation. Some people are under the impression that a very tightly sealed house = more energy efficiency = less cost on utilities.

And saving electricity is also good for the environment. We all of the best intentions, but let me briefly explain some issues that having a tightly sealed “non-breathing” home could cause, and how it relates to Gutters.

You would assume that if everything is sealed up nice and tight it would be best, right? No one wants to waste money on heating or cooling, and we all know drafty attics can be very expensive for your electricity bill. Would you believe that if things are sealed so tight it could cause another problem? You guessed it, Moisture!!!

Moisture in your attic can lead to a multitude of problems, especially when gone unnoticed:

  • Rot – expensive to fix
  • Mold – dangerous to your family

Modern homes are designed to conserve or “trap” energy. That’s good. But in the process, such homes can also trap moisture and that can cause big problems and costly damage. For example, if the soil around the foundation is soaked from roof drainage water, we can assume that at least some of that moisture will find its way into the basement, crawl space or the concrete floor. Some of this moisture will then be absorbed by the air in the home. If this occurs in the winter time, we can assume that the warmed air in the home will absorb a great deal of moisture (warm air can absorb more moisture than cold air). If this moisture saturated air finds itself into some spaces with cold surfaces – and it will, then some of this moisture will condense against these cold surfaces. This can happen at windows, attic plywood and inside exterior walls, etc.

Condensation at windows may just be bothersome, but in attics and walls it can cause fungal wood-rot and that can be very expensive to repair. A good gutter system helps to control the amount of water and moisture that gets into a structure by leading water away from your home. And that, in combination with various types of vents to ensure “breathing” can help prevent any trapped moisture.

So what is the lesson in all of this? It may not have even been apparent at first to even the most well intentioned home builders, but when it comes to “sealing” up your house tight, this (like anything else) must be done with care and .

  • Be careful to ensure the proper ventilation and research what insulation is appropriate for your home.
  • And as always, in order to prevent moisture from getting into the house, ensure your house has a well maintained working gutter system.
Friday, 30 May 2014 04:48