RTM Maintenance: Protecting Your Home From Humidity and Moisture

Fall and winter are the seasons to be cautious with humidity levels in a new home. Moisture and humidity problems are classified as regular maintenance issues and are not covered by B&B’s warranty. It is very important that you are aware of the dangers so that you can take preventative measures against any future damages and avoid incurring any costly repairs.

The early warning signs of high humidity are:
•Exterior door handles & deadbolts no longer work properly
•High amount of moisture on windows
•Exterior door handle & deadbolts have visible moisture or frost on them
•Exterior doors are freezing shut
•Water pooling on window sills
•Exterior door handles & deadbolts begin to rust on the inside

If things get really bad, the worse case scenarios of high humidity (which we have seen) includes:
•Cabinet doors swell to the point that they won’t close
•Paint is peeling on cabinets, railing, etc.
•Laminate flooring buckles
•Mold will grow on doors, windows and other areas of the home

Fact: A new home typically expels 500-600 gallons in the first year and a half.
Fact: A new home typically expels 500-600 gallons in the first year and a half.

 

Before any of these warning signs occur, there are some measures you can take. They are:

•Testing the humidity with a reliable tester (contact us and we will send you one to keep free of charge)
•Increase ventilation by keeping air circulating with a small fan or by opening windows
•Make sure an air exchanger is set and running properly (make sure your installer explained all the settings and how to operate it)
•Run a de-humidifier. If levels remain high you may need one on both the main floor and in the basement
•If your basement floor is not cemented, it needs to be sealed with poly
•During the summer months, running your air conditioner will help reduce moisture
Make sure that the silicone around the tubs, showers and between the kitchen counter top and walls is still fully intact. If it isn’t, you need to replace it. If moisture gets around the tile or counter tops you will develop swelling and moisture issues over time.

table 1

Re: Table 1. Wind chill temperature – this is the method used to relate wind and temperature. Usually traditional temperature readings do not include a wind chill factor. For example, with an indoor temperature of 20C and an outside air temperature of -12C this table recommends a relative humidity of 30%. However, with an outside air temperature of -12C and a 20km per hour wind, the outdoor wind chill temperature is -26C and so the level of relative humidity should be reduced to 20%. Moisture and humidity damage is classified as regular maintenance and is not covered by your warranty.

To manage the humidity levels in your home, monitor the levels mentioned in the chart above and use your HRV system or a dehumidifier to regulate moisture and protect your investment.

Monitoring moisture and humidity levels help you protect the value and health of your home. Feel free to contact us if you need more information or have any questions about humidity in your RTM Home.

Which Is Better: Fir Plywood vs. OSB Flooring?

wood RTM
Fir Plywood

B&B Homes has been making custom RTM homes for over 10 years, we are building our 94th house as we speak! We have worked with a variety of different materials and processes and continued to innovate until we found what works the best for our customers while maintaining our own high standards to quality craftsmanship. When it comes to sub flooring, at B&B Homes we prefer using Fir Plywood over OSB. Though we realize that we may be becoming the minority by sticking with this material, it is still our number one choice for our customers, here’s why:

 

Fir Plywood Holds Up Stronger to Moisture

Fir Plywood is manufactured with the grain still intact which gives plywood strength. Fir Plywood is also lighter and holds up stronger against moisture. This product is the distinct winner and the preferred choice under ceramic tiles because of its stiffness and resistance to the elements. Plywood also works better with adhesives. If on the other hand, OSB is exposed to a significant amount of water or even moisture, it can expand by up to 15% on the edges. This swelling can weaken your tiles or other materials that you want to have longevity in your home.

 

Fir Plywood Has More Longevity for the Home

Though OSB can help you save on short term costs, Fir Plywood is more durable over time. At B&B Homes we strongly feel that this is a corner that should not be cut, when building a home that is meant to last a lifetime. As a sub floor, OSB tends to make a poor base and sags between joists and can have tendencies to chip in some cases. OSB also has a higher risk of floor squeaks due to the many layers it’s comprised of and only has an average life expectancy of 20 years.Most of our clients pass their homes down in their families and need a home that will stand the test of time!

 

Putting a Strong Structure in Place

Fir Plywood has been known for providing great structural strength for buildings and homes for decades and is tried and true. Though B&B Homes will continue to experiment with different materials new to market, we also plan to stick with what we know works and want to help our customers make the best decisions possible for their big investment.

 

For more information on planning a custom RTM project or to book a site visit, contact us.

 

 

Protecting an RTM Home From the Start

From the start when planning for an RTM home, you need to make sure that this long term investment is safe and structurally durable for the long life of the home. Many of our homes are being built on family farms that will be passed down to their children.  At B&B Homes, we have spent over 10 years learning best practices for both building and materials used to protect our homes from both harsh prairie weather and the test of time in general.

Planning to Protect Your Investment of a Lifetime

B&B Homes Uses a 5″ Engineered Screw to Tie the Roof Trusses in with the Interior and Exterior Walls

Typically it is not a builders standard practice to attach the roof trusses to the interior and exterior walls. However, at B&B Homes, this is a standard practice for each of our homes we build.We use a 5″ full-threaded shank screw at each point where the bottom cord of the truss intersects with an interior or exterior wall. This not only ensures the stability and integrity of the home during the move, but it also effectively withstands extreme prairie weather such as storms, wind, and heavy snowfalls.

Key Benefits include:

  • Highly stable roof system
  • Minimum worries in wall cracks
  • Helps reduce truss lift in winter (reducing drywall repairs)

 

 

 

 

B&B Homes Build with a 12″ Heel Height Rather than 7” for Energy Efficiency as Our Standard

A raised-heel (12”) truss (also called high-heel or energy truss) features a vertical member at the bearing point that raises the top chord of the truss 12″ above the bottom chord. This design at B&B Homes creates an extra 5″ of insulation above your interior walls to reduce heat loss between the attic and your living space, therefore creating a more energy efficient environment. Combined with proper air sealing and attic ventilation, this system is critical to lowering energy demands on a home’s heating and cooling equipment and reducing moisture problems such as ice dams or mold growth.

Key Benefits Include:

  • Reduction of heat loss (higher energy efficiency)
  • Prevents ice damming
  • Longer life span on heating/cooling equipment

Working with an In-House Designer

Smart design based on your family’s lifestyle prevents unnecessary renovations down the road. Working with a professionally educated designer creates endless opportunities and possibilities for your home with the advice of an expert. You are not limited to standard plans; we can either revise a plan you bring us or we can create your family a custom plan. Since everything is happening in-house, the communication between the designer and builder is stronger, and your timeline throughout the design phase is shorter. It does not stop at custom plans. Once you are in the build process you have access to many different custom finishes and options for your home. Our designer will help alleviate the overwhelming amount of all the selections out there, while being able to help you achieve the “look” that you are after.

Key Benefits Include:

  • Not limited; get the home you want
  • Strong connection between the designer & builder
  • Alleviates stress in entire process

B&B Homes Uses Fir Plywood Rather than OSB for Subflooring

There are some major differences between plywood and OSB subflooring. At B&B Homes we understand these differences building over 80 custom RTM homes. A major disadvantage of OSB is that if it gets exposed to water or moisture, the edges expand up to 15%, especially if they are cut edges. This may cause damages or an uneven floor. If Plywood gets wet, it will return to its normal size more rapidly and consistently than OSB over time.

Key Benefits Include:

  • Even floor surfaces
  • Better living experience
  • No squeaky sounds down the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes Service & Warranty After the Home is Delivered

B&B Homes has one of the best service and warranty procedures in the RTM industry and we are proud of it. We make sure all our service work is taken care of before you move in no matter where you live in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In a typical scenario, this work happens within 4-6 weeks after the move. Then again at your one year anniversary we do another thorough walk through of your home and repair any issues that came up within the last year.

Contact us for a site tour to view here.

At B&B Homes, we are lucky to be able to work all year round building RTM Homes, streamlining the process at our site then shipping the homes throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta. We invite anyone interested in learning more about the RTM process to check out our featured show homes and join our Facebook community to learn more about the RTM process and get some design inspiration.

“B & B Homes was able to move up our delivery date and hired an amazing crew that immediately eased my worries regarding the placement of our home on the foundation! Thank you B & B Homes for walking us through the building process, answering all our questions and concerns, and providing us with our beautiful home we love                 
     Mandi Odynski & Jesse Corcoran