The Effects of Moisture on Electronic Control Boards

Moisture in the air (called humidity) can have disastrous effects on electronics. Electronic control boards, the "brains" of home appliances and industrial equipment, are no exception. It is essential to operate electronics in reasonably dry environments, or damage and malfunction to the control board may result. This will result in overall poor performance of the equipment.


Moisture can have a disastrous effect on electronics.

Moisture can cause deterioration.  The printed circuit board (PCB) may begin to deteriorate through corrosion.

This is especially problematic for cheap PCBs.  Further deterioration can occur in transistors, which may begin to fall apart and may not last as long.

Changes in Resistance

The exposed circuit tracings in the presence of moisture may change resistance.  This can affect timing, reference frequencies, current levels, and reduction of sensor sensitivity.

Essentially, the overall performance of the control board will suffer, and it may become inaccurate and unpredictable. 


Mold can grow if the temperature is warm and humidity is present.  Mold can corrode metal and etch the glass on a control board.

Again, overall performance can suffer and longevity of the control board will lessen. 

Effects of Contamination Worsened

The presence of humidity increases the negative effects of other contaminants.  When combined with humidity, contaminants such as bodily fluid, fruit juice, other beverages, salt, or salt and vinegar together can cause a variety of problems.

They include corrosion, the growth of fungus, short circuits and the growth of chemical crystals. 

About the Author

Bob Romanov has been writing since 1990, specializing in music technology and video games. He makes music professionally and has built several of his own electronic instruments. He is an authority on all kinds of video games, from vintage Atari 2600 to the newest generation of console and PC games. Romanov holds a bachelor's degree from Goddard College.

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