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We know what it feels like in the summer when the humidity is high, the temperatures are soaring, and we are miserable. But did you know that relative humidity needs to be addressed in the winter as well? Sometimes, humidity or dampness (water vapor) in the air can supply enough moisture for mold growth which could cause mold damage to your home or business.
Indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent — ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. Why? One-word: CONDENSATION.
Condensation forms when warm and humid air meets a cold surface. It is a unique threat to maintaining indoor moisture during the winter. If you notice condensation forming on your windows during winter, you will need to take immediate action. This is a sign the humidity is at a dangerous level and will encourage mold growth. If you notice condensation happening repeatedly or remember seeing it in past winters, contact a mold remediation company like Lamunyon Dry Out & Foundation Repair for help.
Mold can potentially cause health issues to the inhabitants of a home and can cause significant rot. Health concerns alone should warrant you to act, but the integrity of the structure of your home is also at risk and requires attention.
EXCESS MOISTURE MAY RESULT FROM:
Knowing why your home is overly humid will help you target your approach to resolve the issue.
TURN UP THE HEAT – Because warm air holds moisture, your home should not be overly humid, or it will turn it into a sauna that will compound the problem. Use dry heat and ensure adequate airflow when warming your home.
USE A DEHUMIDIFIER – Dehumidifiers dry the water out of the air and speed up the natural evaporation process. Dehumidifiers are particularly useful in basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and other areas that have high humidity levels. Be sure to invest in a dehumidifier that is the right size for the square footage of your home. It is better to be oversized than undersized on the dehumidifier unit.
INCREASE VENTILATION AND AIRFLOW – Use the exhaust fan as you use the stove, whereas the moisture in your food will not affect your home. Similarly, switch on the exhaust fan in your bathroom as you shower. Leave it on for another 30 minutes after you get out of the bathroom. If your washer and dryer cause windows to fog when they are on, consider installing an exhaust fan in the laundry room. Also, ensure that the dryer vents outside.
PROPER DRAINAGE – Keep your gutters and downspouts clear. Make sure your homes downspout and landscaping direct water away from your home.
CHANGE FLOORING – Some carpets retain moisture. Switching them out for solid flooring may reduce relative humidity levels.
INSULATE YOUR PIPES – Exposed pipes inside your home may sweat. Insulate them to prevent sweating and to protect them from the cold.
Preventing high humidity levels are just as crucial as low humidity levels in your home during the winter. Every home and situation is different. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important for you as a homeowner to be aware of the environment inside the home. Early intervention is the best course of action for these situations to prevent mold. With education and an experienced mold remediation company like Lamunyon Dry Out & Foundation Repair, you can rest assured that potential mold problems will be taken care of properly.