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11 Jun 2015

Moisture in the house, the battle you'll never win

Moisture is everywhere and you will never get rid of it, no matter what you try.
But in this article we will tell you the only right solution.

Many of the advices we get, which should help us to get rid of moisture, ends actually aggravating things.

To understand what moisture is, it might be a good idea with an example that everyone knows.
As you know, the rain has a cycle - When the clouds are over the oceans, they absorb the moisture that evaporates from them. When the clouds are over land, the absorbed moisture condenses and falls as rain.

When it rains, much of the rain ends into the soil where it gives life to plants. Some is seeping further into the groundwater, which we then bring up to drink, for cooking, industry etc. - the rest of the water is led back into the sea, including the part that we use in everyday life, so the cycle can continue.
What I wanted to tell was that this cycle is forever, just as the moisture that are present in the air we all find ourselves in.

It is therefore necessary to think differently than we are advised to, in order to the moisture, as moisture will never disappear, and that we have to live with it - but that's not difficult, as long as you follow common sense and read on, then you can also get a healthy house with a normal moisture level, which neither harms you or your house, on the contrary.

Moisture is one of the stages which water can be in, and the moisture in the air is what is called the "Relative Humidity" (RH) - the percentage of the moist in the air.

Something important!
• The warmer the air, the more moisture / water the air can contain.
• When warm air hits a cold wall it condenses, and you will have a damp wall and the possibility of having mold and mildew is there, as they are living from the moisture.

I will tell you more about how to get rid of the problems moisture can give you, such as mold, mildew and other damage to your house, but first I will tell you a little about what really is happening with the moisture and why, so you then know that the solution I'm giving you is the right one.

In the picture above you can see how moisture moves, depending on whether it is summer or winter.

It's important to understand this part, as it is here all the secret lies.
Our houses are all constructed of materials that can breathe, they need to be breathable, because we have to live in them and we need to be able to breathe - we cannot breathe and live in an airtight plastic bag.

Walls Breathe if not sealed!
Walls breathe air out as they warm up (the moisture inside the wall will evaporate – (if possible). If the walls are painted with plastic paint it's not possible, and the moist will get trapped inside the walls, and start to cause problems as moisture builds up, and as it needs to get out somehow.)

Walls breathe air in as they cool down (moist air will move into the wall, even if the walls are sealed with plastic paint, there are always cracks or holes and other places where it can enter)

Dew Point is the temperature when moisture in the air condenses (This means that when the humid air hits something which has the dew point temperature, the moisture in the air condenses and becomes liquid, water droplets)

• If the walls breathe in moist air, and the temperature inside the wall is equal the Dew Point, the moisture condenses inside the wall into water droplets.
• If walls can breathe, the moisture can leave the wall, as the wall warms up and breathe out.
• Any seal on the surface of the wall (inside and outside) will trap the water inside the wall
• And further more any natural salts which are in the wall will make the problem worse.

Now you are thinking, well the moisture can get into the wall, so it can also come out, but the problem is that you have a cold wall because of the moisture that has built up within it, and therefore it will never get warm enough to get the moisture to evaporate out again. A cold wall is almost impossible to heat up and therefore the moisture will not evaporate.

Let's say that we clean the walls free of plastic paint so the walls can breathe freely. It will take several months - even up to a whole year before the walls again are dry and again have their natural insulating properties, which helps to keep both cold and heat out.

Back to the moisture trapped inside the wall. What you need to do is to paint with a good quality paint which is 100% breathable - as all our products are. But not only that! Our paints are made up of millions of micro-pores, which create a capillary effect that draws the moisture out of the wall and allow it to evaporate from the surface 3-4 times faster than at all other surfaces treatments.

Kefa surface This means that you eg. on a damp facade - after having painted with KefaTherm - you can actually measure the moisture percentage within the wall, dropping within a few days – and not just a little bit! This is because of the micro-pores and the layer thickness that forms an area that is almost 20.000 times larger than the actual area, making our paint treatment eminent for evaporation and isolation.
See enlargement of the Kefa surface treatment, by clicking the image to the right.

Rising damp Look at the picture to the right of a dish filled with black ink. When laying a paper towel into the ink, it will suck the ink up, due to its micro-pores - also called capillary effect.

Now imagine sanitary wipes in an airtight plastic wrapping.
As long as the package is airtight, the wipes remain moist, but the moment you forget to close the package properly, the moisture of the wipes evaporate and leave the wipes dry in no time, because of the same micro-pores.

 

The micro-pores in your brick wall.
Your walls in your house are probably made of bricks with a layer of plaster on the outside. Your bricks also contain pores of different sizes and densities, all in relation to which bricks have been used - that we will elaborate more on, in one of our following articles.

Now imagine your wall in a water bath, you are probably thinking that the wall will suck all the water up, but this is not the case. The water which is sucked up into the bricks will have time to evaporate from the bricks of the first or second layer of bricks. The problem with moisture in the masonry does not occur until you paint the surfaces with plastic paint or other product that will seal off your walls, and the moisture cannot evaporate, and will increase instead - paint and plaster then starts to fall off the wall, due to the pressure from the moisture trapped inside the wall.

I hope you now have a glimpse of how moisture moves, both when we're talking differences in temperature inside and outside – the condensation from our daily cooking, washing, showering even breathing, and of cause the rising damp, which there is differing views on.
But one is certain, you need to let your house breathe – don't try to stop the moisture, you'll only make it worse, it's a battle you'll never win - you only lose money and get more work.

We are a well-known and a respected brand in more than 40 countries. We have a long list of references from both private to large multinational companies, so let us help you with your moisture problems - do not fight the ways of nature with chemicals or any kind of sealing, but work with it in its own way, and you will see the wonders.

Finally - always remember to ventilate properly, it can save you many worries

Read 2277 times Last modified on Friday, 12 June 2015 14:24

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