It is very common to have high humidity (60 to 90%) in a new construction home that is built up throughout the building process. A considerable amount of moisture will be trapped in the home, and predominantly located in the basement and lower floors.
It can take some time for the humidity levels to lower to reasonable levels (35%). When humidity levels remain high, they can cause issues to the wood flooring and drywall, as wood reacts to the moisture content in the air. You may notice that there is some splitting in the floor boards when the moisture levels are high.
In a new build home, it is common for builders to leave a humidifier running so that all the excess moisture leaves the home. As a new homeowner, you may also want to monitor the moisture levels in the home, and run appropriate HVAC equipment.
The primary reason for construction moisture is directly attributed to the building materials used in a new build. The wood, concrete and drywall products all contribute to the high moisture levels in a home. If the home is not properly dried out using a humidifier, it can cause noticeable issues in the home.
The solution would be to use a dehumidifier and proper ventilation to allow the home to release the extra moisture. Other things new homeowners should do are increasing ventilation, using exhaust fans and ensuring all appliances are vented outside.
While new construction homes should be inspected, it is critical to check for all types of leaks, ensuring proper grading around the home, and making sure HCAV systems are ideally sized for the home.
Special Tips from an Expert
- Adjust your humidifiers in the summer and winter months as appropriate.
- Properly use the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, and ensure they are vented outdoors.
- It is good to have plants indoor, as they help with improving air quality.
- Avoid using the bathroom exhaust fan when showering.
In an already humid home, if you do certain tasks – it can cause those levels to further increase. Everyday tasks such as showering, cooking and even some washing/cleaning can contribute to elevated levels. When possible, it is recommended to open windows – even during the winter months.
Other culprits of high moisture in new construction homes include plumbing leaks, poor insulation, and a large air conditioning system. Sometimes, a larger AC unit may not be as beneficial to the home as you think. A larger unit may create extra moisture in the air, further contributing to elevated levels.
If you have attempted these solutions in your new home, and still continue to experience issues – it may be best to consult with a home inspector or HVAC professional.