Don't let condensation rot your storage shed or garage.
Generally speaking, South Dakota (where we're located) is divided into two primary climate classifications. The western half of the state falls into the semiarid category with plentiful sunshine and low average annual precipitation. The eastern half of the state, however, has a humid continental climate with moderate humidity and precipitation.
If you live in a moderately humid climate like those in eastern South Dakota, you've probably encountered condensation - our topic for today. You may have noticed these irritating water beads on your house windows as well as on your garage or shed windows. As the outside temperature drops, the window glass temperature also drops. When moist air comes in contact with the cold glass pane, the moisture condenses and forms droplets.
So why talk about condensation? Is the subject really worth an entire blog post? Yes, for some. If you experience condensation on a regular basis, you'll want to read on. Excessive condensation can potentially lead to an area being saturated with water which causes dampness - the perfect condition for mold growth and other problems.
Problems caused by condensation
If condensation occurs regularly in your storage building (garage or shed), the surrounding area may remain damp just long enough to breed troublesome mold. Mold can grow on walls, around windows, behind furniture, or in any other dark, damp place. Lingering moisture can also cause wooden window frames to rot, paint to peeling, floors to buckle, insulation to deteriorate, and even moisture spots to form on ceilings and walls.
TIP: You should repair rotten wood immediately and make sure it's fixed completely. Otherwise, you will only face more serious and extensive repairs down the road. Here's how to find rotten wood and fix it.
There are a number of air born, mostly respiratory illnesses that are associated with spending time in moldy conditions. Some of the health conditions include the following.
- Skin allergies including eczema and hives
Deal with health hazards first
Mold can be removed, but will re-appear if the problems causing the dampness are removed or prevented. Before putting preventative measures in place, be sure to clean trouble spots properly. To kill and remove mold growth from your walls be sure to do these two things.
- Wipe down affected walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash. An appropriate wash can be found at most home improvement stores.
- After washing down moldy surfaces, repaint the area with a good quality fungicidal paint to prevent future mold growth.
How to prevent future problems
Most often, condensation is temporary and can be handled by making some minor adjustments to control interior moisture. However, if you constantly have to wipe condensation off your windows and have a dehumidifier running for lengthy periods of time, then you may want to think about other options. Here are few.
- Relocate your dehumidifier to be closer to trouble areas.
- Run a fan to improve air circulation.
- Place containers of calcium chloride around your shed's interior perimeter. Calcium chloride draws humidity and water vapor from the air.
- Install interior wall insulation.
- Apply caulk on the outside of your storage building. Place it on all seams where siding sections join, around windows, doors, trim, air vents and corners, and where the shed's sides meet the roof. Caulk prevents rain and melted snow from entering the shed.
- Install a ridge vent in the shed's roof and gable vents in the shed's gables.
If you have a wood shed and are looking for more tips and advice, read How to Prevent Condensation in a Wooden Shed.
Building features that will thwart condensation
Our storage buildings are built to resist the problems associated with condensation. Here are a few features that we offer that combat the issues mentioned above.
- Ridge & Gable Vents | Heat always travels to the top of a building, and if it can escape through a vent, air circulation will improve in both winter and summer. Even in a moderate climate, incorrect ventilation can lead to structural deficiencies and deterioration of key building components. All of our storage buildings include at least two vents to promote necessary ventilation. The placement of the vents varies depending on the building model, but most are installed in the gables of the shed or garage.
- Interior Spray Foam Insulation | Spray foam is an excellent way to insulate a building or roof. This polyurethane foam dries up to 30 times larger when dry and works to fill every crack and crevice. On our buildings, this insulation is sprayed up to 2-3 inches thick creating a watertight membrane of protection against the heat, cold, and moisture.
- LP ProStruct® Flooring with SmartFinish | Maximize the structural longevity of your building by using LP ProStruct® Flooring with SmartFinish. This premium flooring has no knots or voids, which creates a sleek and beautiful appearance. It also increases the overall quality of your storage buildings due to its durable overlay. Significant increases in durability are due to Treated Wood Strand Technology that is made to resist pests, decay, warping, splitting, and cracking.