We live in an incredibly dry climate along the Colorado Front Range. The lack of humidity has both positive and negative benefits for the comfort of your home throughout the year. One advantage to our dry climate is that homeowners need to worry much less about rotting framing members and mold growth. The dry heat is also much more comfortable during the summer than a humid, wet heat that folks experience in the U.S southeast.
During the winter though, maintaining an appropriate level of humidity in interior spaces will help your home’s heating system work more efficently and create more warming, comfortable spaces. Since you typically keep the windows and doors to your home closed throughout the winter though too much humidity is a common occurrence. Humidity is added to our indoor spaces though quite a few activities including humans exhaling, cooking, and showering to name a few. Too much humidity can cause condensation to form on your windows, particularly if you have single pane windows. Conventional, building practices will lead you to use expensive, high maintenance, energy-intensive humidifier / dehumidifier systems.
A better, natural alternative exists.
Earthen plasters (clay plasters) can help balance the levels of humidity in your home very efficiently with little to no maintenance. Clay is hydrophilic meaning that it is attracted to water and naturally wants to dissolve in water. As humidity levels build up in your home, earthen plasters on your home’s walls will naturally absorb this moisture and then release the vapor overtime as the humidity levels in your home begin to drop. A very simple, hands-off way to let nature take care of a problem for us. But it wouldn’t be a great, ecological alternative if earthen plasters didn’t also have other benefits. Besides offering stunningly gorgeous finishes, clay is completely non-toxic and VOC free meaning that your walls will not pollute your indoor air quality. Earthen plasters are fire-resistant, produce very little to no waste from installation, resist grime and dirt, won’t fade over time, eliminate the need to repaint, extremely easy to repair, and have a lower carbon footprint than any other interior finish.
Check out the demonstration video below from American Clay, a New Mexico based earthen plaster manufacturer, for a helpful visual of how earthen plasters and humidity interact. You can also download a handout from American Clay that explains these principles as well. To read more in depth about earthen plasters and their benefits, visit American Clay on the web.
With trained and certified applicators, Living Craft can offer professional, custom installations of earthen plasters that are guaranteed to help create a more temperate indoor space and captivate you for years to come. Contact us today for more information about earthen plasters in your home.
Thumbnail photo by Jenny Downing under CC License.