An optimal humidity level is essential for comfortable and healthy living. While chapped lips and cracked wooden furniture occurs as a result of low humidity, increased breeding and growth of mildew and molds is an after effect of too much humidity. Hence to regulate and maintain optimal atmospheric humidity levels, a dehumidifier is essential
Use a hygrometer to measure the levels of humidity within your home. This result can help you decide whether to purchase a humidifier to increase atmospheric moisture or a dehumidifier to reduce it. Even though the hygrometer is a handy tool, its usage maybe limited to measuring levels within open spaces while ignoring the small corners of the room, leading to development of moisture related problems.
Also to be considered is the timing. Some places exhibit an increase in humidity levels during spring, owing to overflow of excess ground water, whereas other destinations may face this problem all throughout the year. At times, humidity issues may be exhibited within a small area or corner of the room, yet necessitating the need of a solution no matter the area.
When an issue is detected, the first step would be is to discontinue the use of humidifiers. Next, identify the factors causing the issue and look into solutions to remediate it. Therefore, in this article, we have focused on the top 5 signs indicating the urgent need for a dehumidifier for your home.
1. Moisture on windows and patio doors:
Are your doors and windows constantly covered with sheen of mist or vapor or have collection of small water beads on them? Do you have rotted wooden casings, a growth of black grunge on your patio tracks or window trims? If yes, then these are sure signs of excessive moisture content in the air. These occur as a result of the following:
- When your humidifier is too big for your room and emits too much of moisture. If, so the smartest decision is to discontinue its use and switch to using a smaller device. Once the device has been turned off, open your windows for fresh air circulation and gradually the humidity content can be brought down normally.
- When there is presence of humidity on the construction materials using which your home was built as seen in the improper sealing of your sheet rock walls or use of water laden cement.
- When it rains excessively or living in areas that are high in humidity content.
For causes two and three, using a dehumidifier helps. All you need to ensure is to rotate its direction so as to target all the areas that might be moisture laden.
2. Moldy ceilings and walls:
Every house is vulnerable to an attack of mold growths. Be it bathrooms, basements, garages, closets or storage areas; walls and ceilings of each room may indicate a problem of water retention or high moisture content.
Moldy patches on the walls, ceilings, near and around the toilet, shower or bath areas are a common sight. This is owing to the rising steam, faulty plumbing and water collection near drains and toilets. Prolonged presence of these molds can lead to health problems. Though a dehumidifier is useful in restoring the moisture content, it is only a temporary solution to the problem. Therefore a long term solution should be thought of to eliminate the root causes.
The primary remedy would be to repair the walls following removal of molds. While repainting walls, use paints specially designed to resist mould growth. You may also have to think about re-sealing the areas, so as to make your walls and floors completely resistant to re-growth of molds.
Faulty window sealing, rotted casings can cause dripping spots or molds below the windows. This may necessitate replacing your windows and frames and replacing the sheetrock and insulation in order to remove the wet areas.
3. Musty odor:
Ever wondered what that musty smell in your rooms was about? Mold and mildew! How did that happen? I can list down some causes. Improper sealing of doors and windows, inefficient construction sealing of basements areas leading to seepage of ground water from higher areas or an inadequate tile installation around your houses are the common causes that pops into one’s mind. As mentioned before, yes a dehumidifier can help with the moisture removal, however, for a long term or more permanent solution, one ought to determine the primary factors causing the problem and work on remediating them. Sometimes, you may feel the need to use heat to help you dry all the wet areas in and around your house.
Presence of musty smell in the laundry area or that of towels and bedding could be due to a problem with your HE or front loading washer. When compared to the top load washer, the front load washer, though more efficient is susceptible to mold growth. Sure, technological advancements have helped companies come out with better and improved models of the front load washer, but to be safe, be aware that the possibility of such a problem exists.
Musty laundry rooms can also be the result of a blocked exterior vent or from the neglected or blocked unit of an interior dryer lint filter. Due to the blocking, the moist air from the drying remains trapped, due to lack of clear unobstructed air flow creating a musty smell within the room. The lint dryers whether placed within or outside the home, can be a fire hazard if blocked. Therefore, it should be cleared regularly of lint and emptied following each load. The exterior filter also requires regular cleaning.
4. Spring water dampness:
If your house has a recurring overflow of ground water, or if there are grayish or white water level marks observable in the basement area, a dehumidifier should be a part of your tool kit to assist with removing the extra moisture.
Also try to identify the factors causing your basements to be prone to water seepage like, presence of inadequate weeping tiles, concrete work that needs to be sealed or natural causes like building the house on a low plain or river bed.
5. House hunting? Signs to look out for!
Searching for new houses or an RV? Don’t be fooled by the fresh coat of paints and the lovely smelling homes. Look behind the outer sheer and try to scrutinize for observable tell tale signs of the hidden presence of molds and mildews. Wondering where to look at? Here are a few pointers!
- Check for molds and mildews in the corners, walls and ceilings especially of water laden areas like bathrooms.
- Presence of water level marks in the basement
- Check the closets, behind furniture, baseboards and windows for evidence suggesting their growth and water marks
- Musty smell
- Inspect the foundation.
If you have identified any problems, ask the owners, if any actions were undertaken to remediate the causes. In case of further doubt, rely on the advice of an expert. Along with giving you an accurate idea of the area and its problems, it may also help you save on money which would have been otherwise spent on countless renovations.
1. Looking for a dehumidifier: http://dehumidifierwiki.org
2. Overal method to remove musty: http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Musty-Odors