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Moisture in new homes: a guide for occupants (RR16)

This new guide from UK Centre for Moisture in Buildings (UKCMB), supported by NHBC Foundation, explains where moisture comes from and identifies actions you can take to maintain the right moisture balance in your home.

All new homes should provide comfort and promote good health. This guide explains why moisture balance is important, how to identify your own moisture generation and what to do to minimise excess moisture in the first few months in your new home.

Summary of content

Moisture balance

Moisture is a part of life but needs to be in balance in your home to ensure comfort and good health. The guide explains where moisture comes from and what you can do to maintain the right moisture balance.

Where moisture comes from

This section identifies the two main sources of moisture in a new home:

  1. Moisture from the construction stage – many construction activities generate moisture including laying screeds and plastering
  2. Moisture generated by occupants – everyday living activities can generate large amounts of moisture and this will vary depending on lifestyle, household size and time of year

The guide includes a moisture calculator that enables you to estimate your own level of moisture generation and a video from UKCMB: Moisture guidance for existing homeowners.

Main moisture-generating activities in homes

A table compares 4 different types of household and their typical daily activities and shows average moisture amounts generated each year.

This section highlights advice and good practice to ensure that you achieve moisture balance in your new home over the optimum timescale. These include:

  • keeping your home adequately heated in cool or cold weather
  • keeping trickle vents open
  • opening windows when excess moisture is generated
  • ensuring extract fans and cooker hoods are working and used when showering or cooking
  • minimising moisture generation by reducing time in the shower and avoiding drying clothes on radiators
  • ensuring clutter is kept to a minimum to allow air movement within and between rooms.

A flowchart helps the occupant identify any issues resulting from excess moisture in the home with an easy step-by-step process with guidance.

Richard Smith, Head of Standards, Innovation & Research at NHBC, said:

This guide from UKCMB highlights the importance of moisture control in homes and of ensuring homeowners have all the knowledge and tools available to them to ensure a healthy home. NHBC Foundation are delighted to support UKCMB in the production of this publication.