The levels of moisture in your home are critical to your home’s overall health. Too little and the dryness can cause wooden items to crack and cause problems to homeowners’ respiratory systems. Too much and the moisture can cause numerous health hazards for homeowners and their pets, create mold, attract cockroaches and dust mites and peel lead paint.
As a little moisture is beneficial to not only the homeowner’s health and their overall comfort level but also to the structure and health of the home, it is recommended to have an average humidity level of between 35% and 45%. This percentage level will help to create a comfortable living space and will help to protect the items that are within the home: musical instruments, drywall, wooden furniture, etc.
If unsure as to your home moisture level, the following list of possible signs of excess moisture will be beneficial:
- Rusting metal
- Rotting wood
- Mold growth
- Condensation on piping and / or windows
- Peeling paint, wallpaper, or blistering materials
- Deterioration of other structural elements/items
- Visible water leaks and / or stains
- Musty odours
- Discoloration of various surfaces
- Standing water
These occurrences may be visible to the naked eye but may also be hidden from sight. In addition, each occurrence may be within the home, out of doors, or both. A home inspection can help to determine if your home is experiencing excessive levels of moisture.
For those already experiencing high levels removal of moisture from the air depends on many factors such as the severity of the problem, the season, and where the dampness is located. The following are tips to help prevent and eliminate excessive moisture from your home:
- Regularly clean and maintain the home’s gutters, making sure to drain moisture away from the home’s foundation
- Install and run fans in bathrooms and kitchens or open the room’s windows for adequate ventilation
- Vent all fans to the outside of the home
- Do not arrange or store items so that they are touching the interior side of an exterior wall
- Dry all clothes in a dryer that vents directly to the outdoors or use an outdoor clothes line
- Repair all plumbing leaks, roof leaks and cracks in the foundation
- Insure all soil and landscaping near structure’s foundation are graded away from the structure
- Install floor drains or sump pumps in basements as necessary
- Keep temperatures inside the home comfortable and not excessively hot in Winter or cool in the summer