How To Control Moisture and Humidity In Your Home
Moisture appears in two forms – liquid and vapor. No matter where you are in the world, there is always some form of moisture in the air. We refer to this as relative humidity, or RH. In theory, if you’re in a dry desert, it would be 0% RH. But even deserts have a little bit of moisture. On the other side of the scale, when RH advances to 100%, the air can no longer hold vapor, and it changes to liquid form and falls as precipitation, or shows up as condensation within your home.
Experts have found that a home should carry RH levels of 40 to 60 percent to be comfortable. This is also safe levels to prevent forms of biological growth from forming.
If it drops too far below this scale, it can lead to dry, uncomfortable conditions. Dry skin, nasal passages, and sinus problems are just the beginning. If it rises higher, it can generate just as many nasal and respiratory problems, and make your skin feel clammy year round.
It also impacts your home in similar ways.
- Drywall can be soft to the touch, and allow paint to peel away
- Wood can soften and chip away easily on the surface
- Hardwood floors can buckle
- Furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances can corrode
Moisture problems can stem from many different places throughout your home.
- Roof leaks
- Plumbing leaks
- Poor drainage
In almost every case, leaks start when the system isn’t operating at its peak level. Therefore maintenance is the key to solving most moisture problems. Do you schedule regular maintenance throughout your home to ensure all systems are working the way they should? That includes:
Repairing and replacing drainage system – this includes ensuring your gutters operate freely, downspouts allow freeflow of water, sump pumps are in place and working properly, and clogs are cleared before they present problems.
Air sealing – even tiny leaks can allow big problems to build. Sealing leaks to prevent moist air from traveling through crawlspace, basements, attics, and garages is imperative to ensuring an efficient house.
Insulation – a safe, comfortable home is one that is well insulated from the elements.
Ventilation – every system in your home needs proper ventilation. Exhaust fans should be fully operational in every bathroom and the kitchen. Heat recovery systems should exhaust moist air supplies. Gas appliances should also have proper venting to prevent moisture and biological growth from accumulating in the flue.
Have a question about moisture buildup in your home? We’re here to help.