Whether you live in an area of high humidity or whether you are trying to dry your home out after a flood, dampness and humidity can be notoriously hard to get rid of.
It is always a battle worth fighting, however, as dampness and humidity are the precursors to mold and mildew which can create a number of health issues not to mention potentially thousands (and even tens or hundreds of thousands) of dollars worth of damage to your home. Here are the two primary elements to combat dampness and humidity in your home.
1. Seal it off or air it out
Whether you want to seal your home off or air it out depends on how high the natural humidity is in the area you live in. If you live in an area of low humidity, you want to provide a way for moisture from inside your home to work it’s way out. This can be as simple as opening a window to allow moisture to escape. Moisture can build up inside the home as a result of showers, baths, dishwashers and washing machines.
If you live in an area of high humidity, however, where the humidity is greater outdoors than in, you want to seal off your home. You can’t keep the humidity level in your home lower than that of the outdoors if all the dry air slips out while allowing the humid air in. If you have older doors and windows, you might consider replacing them with modern energy-efficient doors and windows. Barring that, make sure all doors and windows close firmly with a tight seal.
2. Dry it out
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and are the key means of defense against dampness and humidity. Many modern HVAC units also include humidifiers or dehumidifiers depending on the climate you live in. Maintaining optimal humidity also helps HVAC units work at optimal efficiency, which means you can lower energy costs by lowering the humidity in your home if you live in an area with high humidity. You can also rent or buy portable dehumidifiers if you live in an apartment or small space or are just trying to get rid of residual dampness after a flood.
Even if you live in an area with moderate humidity but cold winters, you might consider using a dehumidifier during the winter. Again, humidity can still build up indoors as a result of dishwashers, showers, and washing machines – anything that uses hot water. You may not want to open a window if it’s cold, so a dehumidifier will help combat humidity while still keeping your heating bill low. A good way to know if you need a dehumidifier or not is if condensation builds up on windows and glass doors when it is cold. If condensation is building up on the glass, it’s a safe bet it is building up elsewhere as well. When moisture is allowed to sit for too long, it can result in mold and mildew, which can create a whole other set of problems you may not want to deal with.