Common Signs Your Home Is Too Damp – What To Do?
Too much moisture in your home can lead to several issues. Of primary concern is the development of mold and mildew. Once these fungi start to grow, they can cause damage to the structure of your home and cause health conditions.
However, there is good news. Dampness in your home can be prevented if you recognize the signs and act accordingly.
Here are some tips to help you identify and reduce moisture in your home:
Excess Moisture – What To Look For
Moisture content in the air is known as humidity. High humidity means that the amount of water in the air is high. This is what causes damp conditions.
There are several signs to tip you off when the humidity levels are excessive – typically higher than 70 percent humidity. An ideal measurement that results in a comfortable living environment and won’t damage your home is between 40 and 60 percent.
These are the signs to watch for in your home cleaning:
1. Condensation On The Inside Of Windows
This is a red flag for anyone that the moisture content inside your home is far too high. The cooler temperature of the windows can result in humid air forming condensation on the inside of your windows. This can also show up as wet spots on the inside of exterior walls. If left alone, this can turn to mold or mildew.
2. Musty Odors
You may not notice musty odors in your regular living space but you may be able to catch them in other parts of your home. Crawlspaces are a major contributor to this as space around hot water heaters, washing machines and even in enclosed showers or tubs.
3. Stuffy Indoor Environment
When the humidity is high inside your home, it creates an environment that feels uncomfortable over time. You may feel a bit on the sluggish side and the air around you will give you the sense that it is heavy or stuffy. The excess water content in the air can cause this sensation.
4. Power Bill Spikes
Because the inside of your home feels much warmer and sticky due to the higher humidity, your utilities can get a workout. If your home has air conditioning, this will likely be the first thing you will consider as a solution to the problem. It may help a little, but it is not the best idea in the long run.
5. Respiratory Issues
Thanks to the fact that dust mites thrive in damp conditions, you may experience problems breathing or various allergy-like symptoms. These will range from sneezing and coughing to runny noses, eye and throat irritations and may even create irritations of the skin.
6. Mold and Mildew Growth
This is another easy to identify visual clue that your living space is too damp. Mold and mildew can form and grow. All they need is heat, high humidity and a food source and they will spread rapidly. Spores from these can contribute to several respiratory conditions developing.
Identifying Mold And Mildew
There are similarities between mold and mildew because they are different types of fungi. However, both are distinctively different as well. Molds have a slimy or fuzzy appearance and are black, red or blue. Mildew is a powdery white and can turn black, brown or yellow.
How To Remedy High Humidity In Your Home
As serious a problem high humidity can be, there are many different preventative measures you can take to control the moisture content in your home. Plus, many of these you can put into action immediately to reduce humidity. Here is a list of some of the best solutions.
1. Open Windows
When you ensure that your home is properly ventilated, the risk of humid air remaining trapped in your home is greatly reduced. The flow of air from outdoors essentially flushes away warm, humid air from your home. Plus, it will also remove the heavy, stuffy feeling.
2. Use A Dehumidifier
This is a device that is very effective in removing excess moisture from the air. A dehumidifier takes humid air and collects the water contained in it. The water is drained away by a hose, or gathered in a container then can be removed for disposal.
Dehumidifiers come in various sizes and styles, so you can easily find a dehumidifier that will be able to keep your home at the proper humidity levels.
3. Other Humidity Control Solutions
To make life easier and more comfortable, automatic humidity control systems exist that do a great job of reducing humidity in problematic area. These systems can work anywhere, but are particularly suited to humidity hot-spot areas include kitchens, bathrooms or basements.
A sensor measures the humidity in a certain area, and when the level reaches a certain point, the system starts up to extract or reduce the humidity.
4. Clean Target Areas Frequently
In addition to wiping down all flat surfaces in your home on a regular basis, extra attention should go to those areas that are damp or wet frequently. Wiping windows, vents, walls and shower enclosures removes the foundation that mold and mildew require in order to grow.
If the inside of your home is damp, it can contribute to the conditions that lead to the growth of mold and mildew. These fungi can create serious health concerns. In order to prevent this from happening you must control the moisture content in the air you breathe.
With the correct humidity level, you can live comfortably indoors and reduce the risk of mold or mildew growth.