Do you see condensation on your windowpanes? Are you bothered by a constant musty odor? Do your allergy or asthma symptoms worsen at home? These are all signs of high humidity. Fortunately, you can restore the optimum humidity level to reduce the risk of water damage and mold growth with do-it-yourself moisture control.
What is the Ideal Indoor Humidity?
Indoor relative humidity should ideally hover around 50 percent in the summer and 30 percent in the winter when the temperature drops outside. Any higher than this, and you could start seeing condensation on your windows. We recommend purchasing an inexpensive, handheld hygrometer to take accurate humidity measurements throughout your home.
How to Control Indoor Moisture Levels
Excess humidity comes from many different sources. To effectively control indoor moisture, you must address them all. Here’s what to do:
- Fix plumbing leaks to prevent standing water that can lead to mold growth.
- Install caulk and weatherstripping to seal leaks around windows and doors. This prevents rainwater from leaking inside and reduces hot, humid air infiltration.
- Install a sump pump in the basement to prevent groundwater from rising too high during a torrential downpour.
- Cover the exposed dirt floor in your crawlspace with a vapor barrier. Also, make sure the crawlspace is well ventilated to prevent moisture buildup.
- Run the exhaust fan in the kitchen, bathroom and/or laundry room while cooking, showering or running the dryer.
- Turn on the air conditioner to remove heat and humidity from your home during the summer. Keep the windows and doors closed if it’s humid outside, even if the temperature drops.
- Run a dehumidifier on mild days to reduce moisture in the air without cooling it. Whole-house and portable units are available, depending on your needs.
- Use lids when cooking to prevent steam from adding vapor to the air. This method also saves energy because it allows you to cook food at a lower temperature.
- Crack a window when generating heat and humidity indoors, as long as it’s less humid outside.
- Hang laundry outside to prevent the drying clothes from increasing the indoor humidity level. You can also save energy this way by not running the dryer.
- Move houseplants outside to prevent damp soil from adding moisture to the air. If you want to keep your plants inside, consider confining all your houseplants to one room where you can run a dehumidifier as needed.
- Set out bowls of baking soda, rock salt or calcium chloride to absorb excess moisture in places with humidity problems, such as basement bathrooms and under-sink cabinets.
If high humidity has resulted in mold growth and water damage, you may need help from a home restoration company. DKI offers water damage restoration and mold remediation. We can also provide personalized moisture control tips to prevent future property damage. To learn more, or to schedule services, please call us at 844-354-2255 or contact us online.