The ‘Breathability’ Factor For New Homes

Updated: May 23, 2019

When planning for a new home, the important factor of ‘breathability’ can be sometimes overlooked, ironically even possibly overtaken by solutions regarding energy efficiency.

More than ever, new homes are now warm, and well sealed however such improvements may also bring an unwanted consequence in some cases: excessive condensation build up.

Condensation may be a problem through both the building materials used and household use. Regular tasks like showering, cooking and drying clothes within a home produces humid air; concurrently, the building materials may also contain a lot of moisture.

Additionally, new homes are often very well insulated in the roof and walls, and can also be sealed well too. A common plight for new builds is a high level of vapour pressure from inside the home, which needs to be released.

Pitfalls To Avoid

The problem is compounded with traditional methods of building often not allowing adequate condensation for the home, with traditional wall wraps and sarking generally not allowing vapour to escape. If inadequate vapour escapes, the result will be that condensation forms on the inside of the building.

An issue of unwanted condensation should be avoided as much as possible, with the potential for unwelcome consequences down the track. For instance, condensation can produce mould and moisture build up within your home, bringing with it the health risk that can come from exposure to mould.

Structurally, this can bring decay caused by issues like timber rot, corrosion of metal structures and swelling of timber. Problems may also arise from staining of plasterboards and swelling. In addition, the moisture saturation can result in a reduction in energy efficiency for the home.

It’s important to not ignore the signs of condensation problems. What may be a minor issue with condensation now could result in major consequences down the track if solutions for letting vapour out are not properly established.

Consider Condensation Before Building

Evaluate methods and materials for construction for areas like ceilings, walls and floors to ensure proper ventilation While condensation issues will vary according to climate, it’s best to draw on building materials which suit your environment, creating an ideal solution for your residence.

Ideally, condensation should form on the outside of your building structure. When building consider options like ‘vapour permeable’ membranes to wrap your building in, allowing the building to breathe. Ventilation of roof space allowing moist air to escape can also assist.

Planning Is Key

The best solutions come from clever planning and expert advice. As a building design practice servicing the Geelong, Surfcoast and Bellarine Peninsula regions, we are here to help with professional advice when it comes to designing smart, breathable homes.

Get in touch to schedule your consultation today.


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