In addition to the discomfort it can cause, excess humidity can also wreak havoc on your health and home. Here are five ways humidity damage can occur, and the steps you can take to prevent it from happening:
Basements and crawlspaces are notoriously damp and are often humid, cool and dark. This, combined with moisture from the ground, can lead to condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces, leading ultimately to mold and mildew issues. Steps should be taken to minimize humidity levels, including:
- Opening foundation vents to let it remain dry.
- Keeping basement doors and windows closed on humid days.
- Insulating basement walls using rigid foam insulation.
- Using a professionally installed whole-house dehumidifier to remove excess moisture.
- Installing a solid, thick moisture barrier in crawlspaces.
Carpeting and even hard flooring is susceptible to mold if excess humidity is present. Signs of excess humidity may include a musty smell, as well as damp carpeting and padding. A correctly sized and professionally installed air conditioning system can help control humidity levels while keeping your home cool and comfortable.
Ventilation is the key to preventing moisture buildup in your attic space. A solar or electric powered fan can help create air movement to keep your attic cool and dry.
Walls may become spongy, and paint may bubble and peel if moisture pockets form within your walls as a result of excessively humid conditions. Sealing leaks around doors, windows, baseboards and wall outlets can help, as can beefing up wall insulation levels.
Consistently high humidity levels can take their toll on stored items, such as food and clothing. Canned items may become rusty or leak, and dry foods may attract moisture and become stale. Allow air to circulate in closets by leaving doors open, removing unwanted items and leaving space between clothes. You can also store food in an air conditioned space.