While leaks and broken pipes are an obvious, urgent problem, there’s another, more insidious moisture issue that can affect homes: Lingering humidity. Humidity is particularly dangerous because it can cause several other, far worse problems. Moist building materials can eventually warp and decay, causing problems with rot. Long-term humidity can also encourage the growth of extremely damaging molds that may even be dangerous to human health.
In other words, controlling humidity in your home is important! Let’s go over a few of the best ways to make sure your home doesn’t suffer from too much moisture.
Check for Leaky Pipes
Humidity can be a big problem in basements and crawlspaces because of slow leaks. These are leaks from valves and pipes that aren’t noticeable from above and don’t cause water damage immediately but do drip slowly over time, raising the humidity level of the whole area and creating collections of moisture that are ideal conditions for mold to grow. Inspecting your plumbing and taking care of any leaks can help prevent this. Remember to watch for less obvious signs of slow leaks, like moist pipes.
Watch Your Showers and Bathrooms
Hot water obviously creates a lot of humidity, and bathrooms see a lot of hot water come and go. First, it’s important to have adequate venting in bathroom areas and always turn on fans when taking showers, etc. Second – and especially important for families where people may be taking a lot of showers every morning – try to keep showers short and not too hot. Set some house rules so everyone knows what to aim for. Longer, hotter showers may create too much moisture for fans to deal with, creating mildew problems over time.
Pay Attention to Your Attic
Warm air rises, and – especially in winter – that means that attic areas collect a lot of warm air. Warm air also brings water vapor: If attics don’t have proper ventilation, then this humidity creates condensation which can damage wood, cause rot, and encourage mold growth. If you’ve never inspected your attic for moisture problems and don’t know what kind of venting your attic has, it’s time to take a look. Professionals can recommend roof vents or other types of venting if it looks like condensation is a problem.
Understand How Humidity Shifts in Your Area
Humidity levels change with the seasons. Winters may be very wet or very dry, depending on the climate in your area. Summer, likewise, may prove very dry in high temperatures or surprisingly wet in low-temperature areas. All this can affect humidity: During seasons with high humidity levels, you should try to use fans, air conditioning, and open windows more often to help keep air circulating and humidity down.
Invest in a Dehumidifier
In some situations, humidity may be so bad that you need to lower moisture levels throughout your house. In this case, look into buying a dehumidifier that drains moisture from the air. You can find both standalone units and models that you can install into your HVAC system.
Looking for an expert analysis on the humidity in your house, and if it’s causing any problems? Call Buckeye Heating & Cooling today! Our professionals can examine high-humidity areas in your home, inspect your attic area, and recommend any useful changes you can make before humidity becomes a serious problem.