High humidity levels in your home can be uncomfortable and can even pose a threat to the interior of your home and your health. We talked about humidity in the winter months in the Moisture and Your Hardwood Blog. With summer months and the rainy weather, it is time to address the effects of too much moisture.
Your home’s humidity levels should be in the range of 35-55%. The best way to check the humidity level in your house or home is with a hygrometer.
Anything higher than that range is when moisture build-up can cause:
- Mold spores and mildew can easily grow and multiply
- Wood can swell creating pressure between the boards, causing warping and cupping
- The process of rust speeds up
- Asthma and allergy sufferer may experience worse or more frequent symptoms.
- Pest infestation
- Flaking paint and peeling wallpaper.
What causes higher humidity levels?
Apart from your AC not properly removing humidity from the air circulating inside your home, here are three of the most common ways excess moisture gets into your house and causes humidity:
- Everyday activities. You may be surprised to learn that many of your daily activities may be introducing excess moisture into your house. Everyday actions like cooking, washing the dishes, running the washing machine, taking a shower, sweating and even breathing can cause moisture to build in your home—especially if you’ve got a big family.
- Leaks. Moisture could also be entering your house through leaks and cracks in or around your home. To find the culprit for these types of issues, look around for leaky pipes, a cracked roof tile or a loose zinc joint or fitting.
- Rising damp. Rising damp is a rarer, but more serious cause of high humidity in a home. Rising damp occurs when moisture from the ground rises through the pores in the bricks and masonry. Keep an eye out for symptoms of rising damp, such as mold, rotting window frames, flaky plaster or damp or wet patches on your walls. If you have reason to suspect rising damp in your home, it’s definitely time to call in the professionals.
How can you lower humidity in your home?
The most effective solution to lowering humidity in-home is proper ventilation. Rooms in your home like the kitchen and the bathroom naturally create more moisture in the air, leaving more humidity in those areas. Cooking, showering, and doing laundry can all have an effect on the amount of moisture that is in the air. If you have poor ventilation or no exhaust fans, moisture will get caught in the air, making your home more humid.
Another common solution is to purchase a good dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will wring out any moisture that is in your home and also provides you with better air quality for a more comfortable home. Portable dehumidifiers can be purchased at any home store, alternatively, if you have more money to spend, you could invest in a whole-home dehumidifier system.
Other helpful tips include:
- Take shorter showers with cooler temperature
- Ensure your bathroom fans are working correctly
- Check that your dryer is properly vented
- Temporarily place house plants outdoors
- Keep gutters clean
- Be mindful of the temperature outside and in your home
High humidity levels in your home can be uncomfortable and can even pose a threat to the interior of your home and your health. Engaging the proper strategies for lowering humidity in-home can prevent more serious problems in the future. Ultimately, investing in a proper dehumidifier and ventilation will be the most effective solutions and provide a more comfortable environment for you to live in.
Your hardwood floors may cup with high humidity, but they should return to their flat surface when your home returns to a normal range. If you have more severe damage or question, please contact us.