Humidity and wood do not typically mix well. So what effects does humidity have on your log home? In this article we will breakdown the must knows of humidity and your log home. Log home’s should have a fairly even level of humidity. To high or to low humidity can cause different types of problems. Let’s take a look.
What causes high humidity in a log home:
High humidity is typically caused by a log home being fairly new. New log homes that were just built typically have tons of moisture in them. The logs, cement, and other freshly built products will take a couple of years to cure completely. In the first few years your log home may naturally have a higher humidity level. As time goes by about 3 years your log home should begin to get a lower humidity level. If you live in a location with high humidity, and have a large basement or a basement that leaks… this could cause high humidity as well.
What problems does high humidity in a log home cause:
High humidity in a log home can cause mold, mildew, health problems, and sitting moisture which could lead to rot. High humidity can even cause bad odors in your log home. Typically a new home will not have levels this high.
How to fix high humidity in a log home:
In the first 3 years of your log home it most likely will not be a problem. The easiest why is to keep your log home at a nice temperature and air flowing. If you are experiencing mold or the humidity level is very high, try a dehumidifier. Make sure that you don’t have condensation sitting on your logs. Sitting condensation will cause problems.
What causes low humidity:
Low humidity typically happens after the log home has cured which is about 3 years. Log homes typically have fireplaces, and decent heat sources which may dry the air out in your log home. This typically happens in the winter. Living in a dry climate can also lead to a low humidity level where there is no humid air to circulate in your log home.
What problems does low humidity cause:
Low humidity can cause nose bleeds, dry eyes, and other health problems. Low humidity can also lead to checking (cracking of the logs) even after the log home has settled. Log homes can dry out pretty easily and be difficult to add moisture to the air. It is important to note that with pine checks will not pierce the center or damage the structure.
How and when to fix low humidity in a log home:
If you are experiencing low humidity that is causing health problems then you will want to get a humidifier. If your log home is getting new checks (cracks in the logs) after 3 years of being built… then it is to dry in your log home and you will want to get a humidifier. Sometimes people leave their basement door open in the winter months which helps bring moisture up from the basement.
What is the best humidity level?
The best humidity level is around 30-40%. It can very depending on what is comfortable to you. But that range is the best for your log home.
Humidity outside of your log home.
Living in a high humidity location means that your logs will experience more moisture setting than most other places. Living in a low humidity area means that your logs are going to be more susceptible to sun damage. Thing you can do to mitigate humidity problems on the outside of your log home are to keep brush and other object off of your log home, keep proper maintenance, inspect often, and have shade for your log home. Here is The Most Common Log Home Problems and How To Prevent Them.
It is also important to make sure that your log home is sealed properly. Click here to see how to prevent log rot.