How to Control Humidity in Your Home
Posted on Nov 15 2012 at 04:21:59 AM in How-To
Humidity is the main reason for the occurrence of mold and dust mites in homes. That's why it is important to be kept in reasonable limits. Since everyday activities such as cooking, showering, other washing, and even people breathing in and out cause moisture development, there is no way to avoid it but you can at least try to control it.
Now, how to control humidity in your home? Many of the best ways to control humidity in your home fall into the category of one-time fixes, which means they take a little effort up front but continue to pay off far into the future:
Central heating and air-conditioning systems typically include humidity controls, so make sure you know how to work them. Check your manual or ask a service technician.
During warm months when you are not using an air-conditioner or if the air-conditioning doesn't dry the basement air enough, keep a dehumidifier running to pull the moisture out of the air.
Make sure there are no leaky pipes in your house or a leaky shower stall dripping water into the basement.
Check whether water is seeping through your basement walls. If you have a seepage problem, use a special moisture-blocking paint (available at home stores) on the interior of the concrete block. Out side, make sure all of your downspouts carry water well away from the house. If problems persist, you may need to have your yard regraded so that rainwater flows away quickly. Professional handyman services may come into use if you are not the do-it-yourself kind of person. Many house cleaners in London provide that kind of services as well.
Make sure your home is well ventilated. Exhaust fans that suck moist air out of bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms and vent it to the outside will help control mold. If you have an older home that wasn't built with exhaust fans, installing them is a surprisingly easy job for a contractor. The next time you have remodeling, siding, roofing, or other building type work done around the house, see if you can include exhaust fans as part of the deal.
Now, when you know how to control humidity in your home, keep it under 50 percent to discourage mold and dust mites. You will say, “How the hack am I supposed to know, with any kind of precision, what the indoor humidity is?” Easy: A hygrometer will tell you.
Most home hygrometers fall into one of two categories:
Mechanical. These plastic or wood devices have a dial display and can be found for £8 or less.
Electronic. These units have digital readouts, require batteries, cost £11 or more.
These compact gizmos are easy to move around the house, but remember that they can take a couple of hours to acclimate to a new location. Don't position your hygrometer near a heat source.
Hygrometers often can be purchased where indoor thermometers are sold -department stores, home stores, and hardware stores, for instance. Some hygrometers come combined with a thermometer in one unit.
If you found out that you house is too humid, adjust the humidity control on your central air or central heating, or use standalone dehumidifier.
Problems Related to Humidity
Despite your best efforts at controlling moisture in your home, you are going to come face to face with the enemy- understand mold. The minor mold incursions – a few tell-tale black spots on the grout in the shower or along the rim of the toilet – are easy to dispatch. Just pick up a bleach-based disinfecting cleaner, squirt it in, wait the prescribed amount of time, wipe, and rinse. The same cleaner will kill even moderate infestations of mold on wallboard, ceiling tile, and wood, according to the professional house cleaning London specialist. Not only is the fungus killed but the bleach will lighten the mold stain and make it look better.
If you discover a large mold problem - in wallboard that has grown soft to the touch – the only solution is to remove the contaminated building material and replace it. Don't attempt this on your own. The concentration of mold could be severe enough to be harmful. Ask professional home remodelers whether they handle cases like yours. Even if they don't, they will have names of people who do. Just making the repair is not enough – make sure you figure out why the contamination happened and fix the source of the problem.