Humidity and Moisture Damage
Humidity (or the level of humidity in the air) is something you cannot avoid. Humidity can cause discomfort and make the air feel sticky. Different types of moisture damages occur at different humidity levels. The average relative humidity level can be found by looking to the local weather reports in your area. Maintenance of most objects below 50% RH at room temperature can protect items from moisture caused damages. These are four great reasons to manage indoor humidity.
Bathrooms grow mold and mildew
The bathroom is probably the most humid room in your home. You release more moisture to the air every time you use hot water for washing your hands or take a hot bath. Moisture-laden air is a perfect environment to grow mold and mildew. This can have serious consequences for your health. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent mold spores from entering your home. Even if you get rid of all the mold spores, they will still be there the next time you open a window or door. Controlling the interior humidity is the only way to stop mold and mildew growing in your home. Mold grows and proliferates at a temperature range of 12~38°C when humidity is greater than 60%. Mold and mildew are not only dangerous to your health but can also cause damage to walls and floors. Concrete and glass are porous materials that can be cleaned. However, porous surfaces such as carpet, fabric and drywall must be removed and replaced.
Hardwood Flooring Warps
Hardwood floors can be very sensitive to humidity. The wood floors can become warped, expanded, or separated if the air is too dry. Experts recommend maintaining a home between 40-60 percent humidity to preserve hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a better choice than traditional hardwood in humid regions, as it’s more resilient to humidity. Engineered wood flooring is made by pressing layers and glues of wood together. It doesn’t need to attach to the subfloor and won’t expand and contract with the seasons. It’s easy to keep humidity under control and protect your beautiful flooring by following a few easy steps. For example, use your bathroom fan when you release moisture.
HVAC Systems Struggle
Ambient humidity can affect your HVAC system. Each home HVAC system includes either a vacuum pump or a condensate drainage to remove condensation from the pipes. You will collect more condensation the higher your humidity is. It can leak into the vicinity of the air handler, creating a breeding ground for mold or mildew. Your HVAC system can be put under strain if there is too much humidity. Due to the increased humidity, your home may feel warmer inside. Experts recommend that the humidity, or the level of humidity, be kept below 50% during the summer when humidity can be a problem. The winter brings about a drop in humidity, which can make it uncomfortable. To avoid chapped lips and dry noses when it is cold outside, keep your interior moisture levels between 30-40%.
Keep It Comfy
Although humidity is not something you can avoid, it doesn’t mean that you need to live with dry winter air or hot sticky summer air. It’s important to maintain a healthy humidity level in your home. Too much can cause damage. By washing, cooking and breathing, the average family creates up to 20 pints (11.36 Liters) of moisture every day. This moisture must go somewhere and be dealt with to avoid condensation. However, condensation could appear in many forms and the most common being steaming windows. And in extreme cases, dark spots of mold will appear. Condensation is the result of a buildup of moisture caused by our normal lifestyle and it's unavoidable.
If you have questions or need help identifying if your home has moisture damage, Call SERVPRO Northwest Long Beach to assist today (562)506-4992.