The Importance Of Controlling Moisture In Your Home

Our homes provide shelter, comfort and overall security in our lives. Regrettably, the elements can pose a threat to this retreat from the outside world when moisture seeps its way inside. What’s more, our daily activities — such as bathing, cooking and washing — could introduce too much indoor humidity.

To help ensure the house is safe from the hazards of excessive moisture, a homeowner must take defensive actions. Here is a look into the possible dangers, along with preventive measures to keep your home and family out of harm’s way.

What is the optimum level of humidity? While the answer can be affected by climate, it’s recommended that indoor spaces maintain between 30% to 60% humidity. When levels exceed this range, it can result in damage to inside and outside structures.

How so? First, there is the issue of mold. Warm, damp environments are breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi, such as mold and mildew. When the growth of these micro-organisms is uncontrolled, it can damage many parts of the home — such as the walls, flooring and even furnishings.

With the potential to be highly toxic, these biological pollutants can invade the body and lead to various health problems for those residing inside. In fact, asthma symptoms; allergic reactions; difficulty breathing; and impacts to the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract have all been reported in people living in buildings with water damage. Humid environments can also create ideal conditions for cockroaches, dust mites and other unwanted pests — furthering health risks.

Second, water pooling from leaks or humidity accumulation can deteriorate a house’s structure. From wet stains on the ceiling to peeling paint and warped wooden flooring, high moisture levels have the potential to affect the aesthetics of your home. It could pose a serious threat to the structural integrity as well if it causes wood to rot or the foundation to crack.

What are some ways to remove or prevent moisture? Begin by fixing any problem areas. These might include a leaking roof, malfunctioning plumbing, poor ventilation or inadequate insulation. Running a dehumidifier is also an effective approach to remove it from the air. Lastly, you can invest in high-performance vapor barriers. These damp-proofing materials are used under the slab, in crawl spaces or in the ceiling for general moisture control.

Maintaining the ideal indoor humidity level should be a priority for every homeowner. Not only to keep the dwelling feeling comfortable, but to prevent the health and safety issues it can create. For further information on managing the moisture in your home, please see the accompanying resource.

Infographic created by ISI Building Products, Offering High-Performance Crawl Space Encapsulation Vapor Barrier to Enhance Appearance and Protection

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