Condensation & Humidity Issues in Southwest Florida Homes
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
In our hot and humid Southwest Florida climate, condensation and humidity issues come hand in hand. These type of moisture problems are typically related to air conditioning issues, unwanted air infiltration, improper ventilation, lack of insulation, moisture intrusion, water loss and/or from occupant behavior. Typically when there is a humidity issue, a condensation issue is most likely to follow and occurs vise versa.
A lot of times these type of moisture issues go unnoticed, for example lets say there is a ventilation issue within the attic space that you're not aware. The attic ventilation issue is due to blocked soffit ventilation and is allowing high heat and moisture vapor (i.e. humidity) to become trapped within the attic space and therefore, putting more burden on the air conditioning system. From the interior living spaces, you start to feel more dampness from one side of the home, especially during the middle of the day when its the hottest. But you're confused because the home's thermostat on the other side of the home is still reading the desired temperature you set although, for some odd reason you also notice that some of the air conditioning vents/diffusers are developing condensation as well as mold growth. You hire an air conditioning contractor to come out and they evaluate the system only to find nothing wrong mechanically, which makes sense since its an attic ventilation issue.
As the attic ventilation issue continues to put burden on the air conditioning system, a new mold problem arises and a "humidity bloom" develops where mold growth (typically Aspergillus/Penicillium) starts to colonize on surfaces and substrates within the home when the indoor relative humidity exceeds >55% RH for an extended timeframe(s). To make matters worse this type of "humidity driven" mold growth can be very hard to see with the naked eye since it can blend in with surfaces or substrates, but you know it's there because a strong musty odor lingers where it developed. As you can imagine, the longer the issue continues the worst it gets. This is just one of many types of scenarios we've encountered through our inspection experiences. So the next time you suspect or start to notice a humidity or condensation issue, it may be wise to have someone like us to help identify these type of moisture issues to prevent more damage, before its too late.