The Blog

CONDO CONDENSATION : How to deal with condensation in your townhome

Question : Maria, I live in a Bare-land Condominium just west of the City and believe I may have an issue with condensation in my attic. Do you have any helpful tips that I can use to combat this concern?

It’s no secret that Calgary is experiencing extreme weather instability, some say, more so this year then we’ve had in the last two. Brrrrrr, is all I have to say! With the fluctuation between -25 in the weather and the sudden drop to -7 it’s no wonder that were seeing more calls about water dripping from the bathroom fans or signs of stained ceilings or water streaming from
windows are often indications of excessive water vapour in the air.

This is most likely caused by condensation inside the duct. In the winter, the warm moist air from the bathroom hits cool air in the attic or outside and it condenses, sending drips back down
the ductwork. This can also be seen during the summer time when the air is saturated with humidity; the excess amount of humidity will start to condensate (i.e., transforms itself back into water). This can create numerous problems inside your unit if not properly addressed. So, what to do, well, I spoke with Tyrone

Mellon, from Mellon Real Estate Inspections. Tyrone and his company come across this very issue all the time. Here’s what Tyrone has to say: “It’s important to increase the flow of air
inside your unit to supply fresh air, which is necessary to vent off water vapour. Here are a few helpful tips to help you address some of the basic concerns with condensation.”

“First and foremost-check the attic inside your unit and ensure you have an adequate and a properly installed ventilation system. This is essential to allow the moisture to escape from the property before it turns into condensation. Once a year it’s of value to peak into the attic to see what’s going on, simple checks with a flashlight looking to see that the Bathroom exhaust vent hoses are still attached to the underside of the roof sheathing.

It’s important to periodically open your windows to allow fresh air to enter your unit. Not only, is it healthy for you; it’s the most efficient way to solve your moisture problem.
Of course we DO NOT recommend leaving windows open during a cold snap or over night during the winter season, as it can cause an array of problems.

Tyrone says, is it important to ensure that you have proper insulation around the ventilation pipes and attic inside your unit “Depending on the year of construction, the attic will have different levels and types of insulation. Insulation will compress over time, with older properties 6 inches of insulation would be deemed a minimum level. Brand new homes today require R-50
levels for insulation in the attic space this would be equivalent to approximately 18 inches of loose fill fiberglass.”

Yes, this can be a pain when you have to remember to turn them on; but, very important to use them when you are taking a shower, bath or cooking. The use of fans helps remove moisture from the air. Run the fan for 15-20 minutes is sufficient after your shower, bathe or cook. A simple recommendation: install a timer switch for the bathroom fan versus a manual on/off
switch. The key is to remember to use them, I cannot stress how import it is to run the fan or keep the timer on for at least 15 minutes after you have finished using the bathroom, cooking or laundry to properly expel the humidity from these areas.

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT DOG POO : Pet ownership in condos can be a smelly subject

Question : Maria, I’m thinking of buying a condo, I do have a pet Maltese Shih Tzu that I cannot bear to live without. Any advice in condo ownership for dog owners?

Answer:You’ve heard me say it a dozen times: “No condominium corporation is alike.” Yes, there is a unique set of condominium rules and regulations and bylaws that governs every condominium.
Some condos may be very strict when it comes to enforcing certain sections of the bylaws, while other condos may be very lenient with those same rules. It’s really dependent on the culture of the condominium you are purchasing. Some say — and I tend to agree — that multi-residential living may not be the ideal place for some pets to live. In most condos, space is limited and pets do not have the freedom to roam as much as they could in a single detached house. Townhomes do offer a bit more space and some have yards for pets, but a pet owner’s responsibility is the same in all cases.

Yet, many people living in condos, or who are thinking of moving into one, consider their pets to be family or a best friend, and living apart from them is not an option. So, if you’re a pet owner thinking about Yet, many people living in condos, or who are thinking of moving into one, consider their pets to be family or a best friend, and living apart from them is not an option.
So, if you’re a pet owner thinking about buying a condo, be sure to read the governing provisions on pets first, and any pet policies that the corporation has developed for that particular condo. Many have pet size restrictions to begin with.

The stickiest subject with pet ownership in condos, indeed the smelliest, is dog poop. It may be a silly topic, but it is a serious problem. I was just reading an article that some Condo Boards in Canada have decided to adopt a Dog DNA Registration Program… Yup, that’s what I said. So watch out CSI Miami here comes CSI 123condo corp.

To my understanding, the program is designed to match waste to the offending pooches and to make residents aware that they can be caught and held accountable for not being responsible pet owners. Lets admit it, picking up after your pet is not an easy task. I get it. we come home from work were tired, and your beloved pet dog, Silvio, needs to go for a potty break and the last
thing we want to do is pick after them.

But, not picking up after your pet and leaving doggie-doo-doo outside your unit is unacceptable under any circumstance. The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) has stated; dog waste is toxic, and the viruses, bacteria and parasites found in dog waste can cause disease. It can contain worms, it smells bad and lets face it; it’s a terrible mess to get off your shoes, your
children or worse, your dog’s fur (how many of us have seen our beloved “Silvio” rolling happily in the snow and grass, only to find that he/she decided to coatthemselves with another dog’s poop? It’s gross, but it happens all the time). Yuck! Being a responsible pet owner means; picking after your pets mess immediately after they defecate outside the unit, and taking your beloved pet for a walk outside the complex. It truly does not get any easier then that.

Condos are ruled by bylaws. If you are not willing to follow the bylaws of the corporation you may want to consider if condo living is right for you. Thumbing your nose at the rules is not an option or choosing to ignore the rules because you disagree with them will not make them go away. Consider the social atmosphere before purchasing into a condo. Folks, moral of this story — be a respectful neighbour and please pick up after your pets.

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