Let’s face it, moisture can be a brutal enemy to a safe healthy home.
Home builders, contractors, and handy men (the good ones anyway) are especially cautious when navigating through bathroom projects. (The good ones anyway) have all been trained or have seen from their own eyes how moisture and water leaks can do awful things, and most often from behind the scenes. Structural damage, rot, and black mold. Yuck. Costly and dangerous.
This is why many tradesmen get wiggy when a home owner contacts them to build them a sauna.
Because we sauna enthusiasts who are enthusiastic enough to recognize the value of having our own sauna are still somewhat unique birds, most tradesmen aren’t familiar with sauna building. “You sure you just don’t want a hot tub?” So, many of us build our own saunas. And most of us that build our own saunas are with it enough to not get too steamed up about moisture and condensation.
This is what I know:
A backyard sauna, an independent structure separate from main living area, not only allows us to enjoy cool downs in the garden all misty wet with rain, but an independent sauna structure built correctly basically vents itself. A shit load of steam is going to get out between sauna rounds, and a simple crack of the door will be the easiest escape for warmer moist air to run away into nature like you on your first hike as soon as you get up to your cabin. To best visualize, look closely at this photo:
Foil bubble wrap, and doing a kick ass job installing your vapor barrier, will protect your building. It will create a greater resistance to the warm moist air, which will be much happier escaping out the door than into your walls.
I am a big fan of outdoor saunas. Moisture is such a minimal issue when we pop open the doors a bit after our sessions, and this advantage may not even make my top 5. But we’ll take it. Sauna buildings are not heated 24/7. When we are done with our sauna session and are enjoying a final beer and a laugh, all the condensation on our changing room windows can be wiped down, or we can prop open our hot room door and heat up our changing room, then open the door to outdoors. Bye bye moisture. Hello winter’s night.
A sauna built inside a house is a different story
A sauna in the house in Minnesota or Turku, Finland? Yes, we need to be mindful of where our moisture from our sauna is going. In many winter climates, a good amount of moisture is a welcome thing. Here in Minnesota, as example, Walgreens does a robust business in humidifiers. With our home sauna, this could mean one less appliance to plug in! Weeks of sub freezing dry cold air sucks all the moisture out of a house. Our pets watch their water dishes evaporate before they can finish drinking. Our plants are sad and sorry. Our eyeballs stick to our eyelids. That sound of water being tossed on sauna rocks makes us all happy in the house”pssssssst” “ahhhhhhh”..
A sauna in the house in Seattle or most of England? We need to be mindful of where our moisture from our sauna is going. Everything is cold and damp already. Stepping into our sauna feels friggin fantastic in this climate. As we toss water on the rocks, “pssssssst” damn that feels great, “ahhhhhh” but when we are done with our sauna session, we probably want to flip a switch to activate a fan that will vent our moist sauna air out the house.
A lot of these shenanigans are detailed in my ebook.
A sauna in a house in Oropendola, Costa Rica? I’m not sure about this, but instead, how about a mobile sauna that we can wheel up to this waterfall? This would give the sauna bather not only a double dose of negative ions, but a freedom factor from the issue of moisture or condensation build up in their house back home.