Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm hoping someone could help me. I have a friend with a pottery studio in her basement and this year she is experiencing high levels of moisture in her home. Before I start looking into how to help solve the problem I'm wondering if anyone else has had issues with basement studios increasing the moisture levels of the home. Her house is energy efficient and was tested as being "tight"

Could the drying process of the clay be increasing the amount of moisture in her home?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it increases the moisture in your home.  They make relatively efficient 100 pint dehumidifiers for a couple hundred bucks that you can set at a reasonable moisture level.  We have one in our home even though the studio isn't in the basement.  

Edited by liambesaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the clay process contributes nearly as much as everything else in the house, but it could contribute a little bit in the studio space. A portable dehumidifier will do wonders. They're easiest to use if you have a floor drain you can run a hose to, so you don't have to empty the water container several times a day. They also put out a bit of heat, so it's good to be able to vent them to the outdoors. They'll do wonders for speeding up drying times, though. I used to live in a house in Iowa that didn't have air conditioning or dehumidification, and I had to leave platters uncovered for a full week before I could trim them. Once I installed a dehumidifier life was much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She mentioned that when she ran her dehumidifier it would take out gallons of water a day, is that amount possible from just the clay or should I be looking for other sources?

Sorry I should have mentioned that earlier ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, not just from the clay. It's coming from the air, from living things in the house like people, plants, and pets, from the gas water heater and furnace, cooking, the dishwasher, showers, laundry, etc. Anything that's burning natural gas or using water will be putting moisture into the house environment. Clay will be a smaller cause than probably anything else, unless you have a lot of pots sitting out to dry. In my studio I'll often have 40+ bats full of pots sitting open and it doesn't make a noticeable difference. It would depend on the size of the room, though, and the air flow. I wouldn't expect it to affect rooms beyond the studio, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She should also check that she's not getting any seepage through the foundation. If her home is new enough to be considered 'tight', I wouldn't expect it, but you never know. A damp basement floor can make the whole house humid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, C.Far said:

Thank you very much Neil for your advice.

I'll start by looking at other- larger sources of moisture.

Gallons a day sounds more like a water leak.  I was pulling 100 pints a day when I had a small leak in the crawlspace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be fairly easy to do the math. Pugged clay is approx 20% water so if for example you have 100 lbs of clay drying that would be 20 lbs of water which would be approx 2.4 US gallons. It's not going to all evaporate at once so say it takes a super rough ballpark figure of 5 days to dry out the clay the 100 lbs of clay it would be releasing 0.48 gallons a day. (it's not going to evaporate in a linear fashion but just ballparking it here to put it in perspective)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Min said:

It would be fairly easy to do the math. Pugged clay is approx 20% water so if for example you have 100 lbs of clay drying that would be 20 lbs of water which would be approx 2.4 US gallons. It's not going to all evaporate at once so say it takes a super rough ballpark figure of 5 days to dry out the clay the 100 lbs of clay it would be releasing 0.48 gallons a day. (it's not going to evaporate in a linear fashion but just ballparking it here to put it in perspective)

And then the bucket of throwing water, the water from mopping up, the wet towels you use to dry your hands, etc. Also once the air is saturated with water everything stops drying until you pull water out of the air or replace the air with drier air.  My studio is pretty much going to be very wet and humid for the next 7-8 months seeing as how it's outside in the Pacific Northwest lol.

 

Just some fun numbers. The density of water vapor is 30 grams per cubic meter at 30c, so If 22lbs (just to make the math easier) of water is removed from 100lbs of clay, it will be enough water vapor to fill 333 cubic meters of air with 100% humidity at 30c.  The colder it gets, the less dense the water vapor which means it can fill a lot more than that.  Amazing.

Edited by liambesaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Would add one thing here which I have  experienced  several times. If your house has any under slab piping and you get a pinhole leak in that piping, all that humidity ends up in your basement.  

Usually we actually find this in the attic as the moisture permeates the entire house (Yes moisture like water flows from high to low) and mysteriously on the underside of the roof deck it starts raining. Folks used to call me with that exact description of - it’s ready to rain in my attic and I can’t find any leak in the roof!

anyway, not super common, but it does happen. Check your water bills  (actual meter reading) over the course of a year or two and usually it’s easy to notice that the leak if present, has been getting worse over time.

Just something you might want to rule out.

Edited by Bill Kielb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Bill Kielb said:

I Would add one thing here which I have  experienced  several times. If your house has any under slab piping and you get a pinhole leak in that piping, all that humidity ends up in your basement.  

Usually we actually find this in the attic as the moisture permeates the entire house (Yes moisture like water flows from high to low) and mysteriously on the underside of the roof deck it starts raining. Folks used to call me with that exact description of - it’s ready to rain in my attic and I can’t find any leak in the roof!

anyway, not super common, but it does happen. Check your water bills  (actual meter reading) over the course of a year or two and usually it’s easy to notice that the leak if present, has been getting worse over time.

Just something you might want to rule out.

Yep, that was the problem in my house, the cold water supply to my master shower has split at the connection (cheapo pex garbage) and was dropping about a drop every 2 seconds.  Was the most annoying thing in the world to track down, just had to lay under the house and listen.  I drained a big pool of water out of my vapor barrier and listened for the drip, and then scooted toward the sound, repeat for half an hour while its 20 degrees and dark.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, liambesaw said:

Yep, that was the problem in my house, the cold water supply to my master shower has split at the connection (cheapo pex garbage) and was dropping about a drop every 2 seconds.  Was the most annoying thing in the world to track down, just had to lay under the house and listen.  I drained a big pool of water out of my vapor barrier and listened for the drip, and then scooted toward the sound, repeat for half an hour while its 20 degrees and dark.  

 

You should have called, I would have lent the infrared camera to you. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

unless I missed it in the responses it didn't see mention of just climate humidity. Certain times a year (now in a lot of places) humidity is really high so gallons of water might be normal. I have a niffty little deal that sits inside with a remote like piece outside and it shows inside/outside temp and humidity.  Something like that might help her to zero in because if the humidity in her house is not a bit less than outside there is probably an issue, otherwise maybe she is just taking a lot of water out of very humid air. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stephen said:

unless I missed it in the responses it didn't see mention of just climate humidity. Certain times a year (now in a lot of places) humidity is really high so gallons of water might be normal. I have a niffty little deal that sits inside with a remote like piece outside and it shows inside/outside temp and humidity.  Something like that might help her to zero in because if the humidity in her house is not a bit less than outside there is probably an issue, otherwise maybe she is just taking a lot of water out of very humid air. 

I like it! I think  generally if it’s colder outside than inside, humidity inside should be lower as when the air is heated the relative humidity decreases.  So during your geographic winter humidity likely will be lower and summer humidity likely will be higher in your basement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.