The Importance of Moisture Control in Your Home
If your home has too much moisture, it costs more to heat and cool it, and the risk of mold growing in and on the walls and in basements and crawlspaces is significantly higher. When you properly control the moisture in your home with insulation, sealing, and proper ventilation, you also lower the risk of mold growth and will save money on heating and cooling costs.
Moisture Control Definition
The simple definition of moisture control is that it prevents excess moisture and vapor from getting into your home. Moisture control products that help with air currents, diffusion, and heat transfer all help to keep excess moisture and vapor out of your home.
Controlling moisture means controlling mildew, a thin white or black growth that mold produces. Mold grows on anything and is everywhere, but the molds that cause mildew need certain temperatures and moisture to grow. It likes warm, damp, humid, and poorly lit conditions. It will also grow in areas that have poor air circulation.
Mold and mildew often cause health issues, including asthma and allergies. And for those who already have these types of issues, mold and mildew can make them worse. Implementing moisture control in home and buildings significantly reduces the production of mildew.
Moisture Control in Buildings
Moisture control products, such as moisture control insulation and other products can help minimize moisture in your home and other buildings. You can also do some things yourself to help minimize moisture.
Leaks, Drips and Spills
You should always check under sinks and toilets to make sure you don’t have any leaks. The moisture from the constantly dripping water will cause mildew to grow. Check at the bottom edge of the shower and tub, too, to make sure water isn’t leaking under it and out onto the floor. Other places to check include behind the fridge if you have an ice maker and behind the washer.
Your hot water heater and HVAC system is often out of sight, thus it’s out of mind. Don’t forget to check those items frequently. Often the evaporator is in the same closet or wall space as the hot water heater. The evaporator has drains, so it’s important to ensure the drains do not get clogged.
Finally, be sure that when you water indoor plants, you’re careful not to spill water on the floor. If you do, be sure to clean it up immediately.
Below-Grade Relative Humidity
Crawlspaces and basements naturally have higher relative humidity, which causes some molds to flourish. When air cools, relative humidity increases. If the relative humidity reaches 80 percent or higher, you have an excellent breeding ground for mold. Use a thermo-hygrometer to measure the relative humidity in basements and crawlspaces. You might need a dehumidifier if the relative humidity is often 80 percent or higher.
During the winter, moisture can build up in a house since you don’t open the doors and windows as much. Be sure to use the exhaust fan over the stove while cooking, and the exhaust fans in the bathrooms when showering or bathing. The relative humidity in habitable rooms should be under 40 percent. If you are in an area where it gets extremely cold, the relative humidity should be lower.
Contact McDuffie Pest Control
If the humidity is high in your house, lower it as much as possible. If you are still having trouble with excess water creating high humidity, contact McDuffie Pest Control to learn more about our waterproofing process.