Indoor Moisture Levels

by J on November 27, 2010

Are you concerned that the humidity level in your home is too high? All homes can experience this at times, especially in extreme weather conditions. But if you’re home is showing signs of high moisture levels constantly, such as sweating, dripping pipes, dampness, peeling or blistering paint or decaying wood, you need to explore where the excess moisture is coming from. The Oregon State University Extension Service lists several possible sources for excessive indoor moisture.

  • First of all, if you live in a small home with several people and pets, this could be a cause of excess moisture. If you have less than 250 square feet of living space per person, than excess moisture could be a problem.
  • Everyday chores can also cause problems. Things as simple as taking showers and baths, cooking food without the lids on the pots, and hanging wet clothing and linens inside the house to dry can all contribute to the moisture level in the home. Having a large number of houseplants can also cause excess moisture in the house, as can having uncovered aquariums.
  • Is your clothes dryer vented to the inside of your home? This not only contributes to an excessive moisture level in your home, but it can also create indoor air pollution. Think of what is being blown into your home. Combustion byproducts, fabric softeners, bleach, detergents, lint and such things are unhealthy to be breathing.
  • If the problem seems mainly confined to your basement, have a basement waterproofing expert check to see what the source of the moisture is.
  • Gas ranges, ovens and unvented kerosene and propane space heaters can all generate moisture and dangerous combustion byproducts when used without operating an exhaust fan.
  • Don’t store firewood in the home. Even when appearing dry, it holds quite a bit of moisture, which will evaporate into the home.
  • Attics can cause moisture problems if water vapor is trapped there. Check to make sure that attic bypasses are not trapping moisture. They may need to be sealed to prevent this problem.
  • If your home is new, then realize that construction materials such as lumber contain moisture, which will be released over the first two years, especially. Run exhaust fans to help the moisture evaporate.

As a homeowner, you can be alert to all the ways moisture is coming in to your home. Control what you can. Be sure you run exhaust fans when showering and cooking. If you hang your clothes inside to dry, try hanging them outside, especially in humid weather. Cover your fish tanks and don’t have an excessive number of houseplants. Make sure your appliances are vented properly. Consider having a waterproof basement expert check your home for problems. Even changing the way you do just a few things may be all it takes to reduce the moisture level in your home to a safe level.

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