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I am new to this forum and would really appreciate any help from other members on this problem.
I have a remote cabin in Newfoundland. We are off grid and have limited electricity (solar panels).
We sometimes get to our cabin in the winter and early spring, and recently discovered that when we fire up the wood stove and heat the cabin, moisture is developing under the furniture. The bed and chesterfield are the worst but basically anything that sits on the floor gets soaking wet underneath. We have been moving all the furniture after the first day or so and drying up the water. After a couple of days of this the problem seems to ease up, I assume after some heat gets down into the crawlspace. The cabin is only about 11/2 to 2 feet off the ground and is skirted with pressure treated boards on 3 sides, I will be closing up the fourth side this year.
Now that we are are aware of the problems we can clear up the water before it becomes a bigger problem, but I am wondering if there is a better solution. It would be nice to be able to prevent this from happening in the first place.
We would appreciate any of your ideas.
If there is no moisture present when you first arrive (a wet floor), then the moisture is coming from the air inside the cabin, ie; humidity. Also, when you first arrive, the entire cabin mass is one solid colder temperature, so it probably takes awhile to get that cold mass to acclimate to 68 or 70 degrees. (I know; we use our place just about every weekend and always turn off the heat when we leave). Anyway, when warm moist air hits a cold surface, the moisture within the warm air condenses onto the cold surface. Your floors are cold and will always be cold as long as they are exposed to the prevailing outside temps. The areas inside the home that are covered with furniture that hugs closer to the floor will minimize passage of enough warmth to warm up the inside surface of the floor. Whatever moisture is in the air settles over that cold floor area and condenses. I imagine that, in the beginning during the warm-up process, the entire floor area probably feels a bit damp, but the covered areas actually begin to get wet.
Get a humidistat and leave it in place. Heck, get a couple and put one on at about waist or chest height and one on the floor. Those cheapie units that also have temp will work OK. Normal indoor humidity should be 40 - 60% (BUT....if the cabin is logs or alot of wood, I would relent to the other Woodies here to advise best indoor humidity....I know wood needs a bit more juice). You may need nothing more than a small dehumidifier. They not only remove excess humidity (and you will be constantly creating humidity with your breath, cooking, etc), but the fan will move the air around to circulate and also help to dry.
My 2 cents...
Chasing a dream at www.libertynaturepreserve.com