How Rising Humidity Levels Can Hurt Your Home
More times than not, the moisture and humidity in your home goes unnoticed because it tends to gather in less accessible areas, such as the crawlspace or basement. The issue of rising humidity levels becomes more prevalent as the wintery cold months change into the warmer weather of spring and summer. Due to the wetter than average winter months that we have experienced, as the temperatures rise, your home could experience some adverse effects. If your crawlspace or basement is surrounded by a damp environment, humidity levels can sky-rocket, spelling trouble for you and your home. Here is where you should measure the humidity percentage in your crawlspace and basement, as well as your living spaces. Here are the humidity percentages and what they mean for your safety:
- Too Dry (below 30%)- If your home is experiencing humidity levels below the normal and comfortable range, it could cause issues you need to be aware of. First off, the wood supporting your home can shrink if it does not have enough moisture. Secondly, it can cause physical issues, such as dry skin and eyes, as well as an accelerated spread of infection.
- Just Right (between 30%-50%)- This is the suggested “sweet spot” of humidity levels. This is where your wood floors and supports have their desired moisture levels and remain strong. The air outside the home, as well as inside is fresher and more comfortable. Crawlspace issues, such as mold or mildew cannot thrive here and as a result gives you a safer environment to live in.
- Too High (above 50%)- If your home reaches humidity levels that are too high the wooden supports in your crawlspace cannot hold it all and as a result mold and mildew form. The structure starts to bow and warp causing floors to break apart and condensation to pool in undesirable areas. The air becomes thick and can cause respiratory issues. The list goes on and on.
The basement of your home can remain empty in some cases, but for the most part, the basement is used for the storage of boxes full of old belongings, furniture, and holiday decorations. Humidity in the basement is not mentioned as much as the crawlspace, but it is just as important because it has the potential to cause some serious issues. Depending on the level of humidity different situations can arise that can range from an annoyance to something serious. Here are a few things that can happen to your basement at different stages of humidity:
- Too Dry (below 30%)- Basements are highly susceptible to humidity fluctuation because of poor insulation and as a result, they are widely influenced by the climate outside. In the winter months, humidity levels in the basement tend to drop because cold air is entering the house periodically. These low levels can cause chapped skin, air fluctuation issues, and in some cases effect the overall temperature of the house.
- Just Right (between 30%-50%)- Since basements are typically used as storage, the right amount of humidity is key. It keeps temperatures in the house constant and easily controllable by thermostats, as well as removes window condensation during those cold winter months. Another positive to keeping your humidity levels at this percentage is it keeps mold and mildew from growing.
- Too High (above 50%)- At this level, various issues can occur with some being more obvious than others. Other than mold and mildew thriving at these high levels of humidity, the condensation that forms due to these higher levels provide a water source for other house invaders, such as rats or termites. Termites, as you know, cause extensive damage to a wooden structure and rats bring their own level of infestation. A
Issues surrounding high humidity levels usually stem from a wet crawlspace or basement. Addressing the wet or damp crawlspace and basement in your home can bring these humidity levels down to a more desirable range. Basement waterproofing, installation of a vapor barrier or an encapsulation system can keep water from getting into your crawlspace or basement, but the air inside the space can still be full of moisture. So, what do you do?
The best approach to bringing that humidity level back down to a desirable range is to install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier extracts the air from your crawlspace and basement, syphons out the moisture that it holds and pumps the clean dry air back into the space. Most people do not want to constantly go down into their crawlspace or basement to empty a dehumidifier. It is a good thing this is not your typical dehumidifier; it automatically drains itself either into a sump pump or floor drain.
Why you should choose Carolina Basement Solutions
Carolina Basement Solutions is equipped with the best option in the business. We install an Aprilaire 1850, a durable, high-strength dehumidifier with a capacity of 95 Pints Per Day (PPD). A typical dehumidifier has a capacity of 30 PPD, so when you choose CBS you are getting the best equipment in the industry. In addition, it works year-round and only requires a filter change and cleaning once during that time. This product is backed by a 5-year warranty. We are eager to install and help your home return to a safe and comfortable place to live