The Adverse Effects of Excess Humidity

Controlling the quality of your indoor air, as well as the humidity levels, is a crucial and necessary step to living a healthy life. Unfortunately, the amount of humidity in the air may have an adverse affect on your health, and could even affect the structural integrity of your home and furnishings. While humidity fluctuates throughout the year and differs depending on the climate in which you live, the fact that controlling the level of humidity in your living space is important, remains the same.

Arid Versus Humid Climates

The climate where you live determines a large aspect of what kinds of plants you can grow in your yard, how many sunny days you experience per year, and how dry your skin is. Every different climate has advantages and disadvantages, but too much moisture or too little can cause serious problems.

Most of the riskiest health problems arise from living in enclosed spaces in highly humid climates. While arid weather will cause skin to crack or become dry and flaky, humid environments are perfect for breeding mold, mildew, and fungus.

Detecting a Problem

If you live an area with high humidity, there are a few ways that you can detect if you have a moisture problem. If you do, it could very easily, and quickly, lead to a mold problem. There are several ways to prevent this moisture from permanently damaging your home. If you observe any of the following situations, you need to take immediate action.

  • Paint Blisters:
    If your paint looks like it is bubbling from beneath, it is very likely that moisture is trapped between the paint and the wall. You can temporarily fix this problem by scraping the old paint off and repainting. This is a great temporary solution. Unfortunately, if you do not find the source of that moisture, then your fresh coat of paint will continue to blister and you will be experiencing the same problems in the near future.
  • Peeling Wallpaper
    Similar to paint bubbles, peeling wallpaper is another possible indication that there is too much humidity in the air. As such, the extra moisture is preventing your wallpaper from properly adhering to your walls. To correct this problem, you can try switching to waterproof wallpaper commonly found in bathrooms. However, please note that this will only help your wallpaper. The amount of humidity in your home would still need to be addressed.
  • Black Mold Patches:
    One of the most obvious indications that you have a mold problem is when you can see mold colonies with the naked eye. Black or grey discolorations in you ceilings or walls need to be dried out and then bleached clean. Depending on how extensive the mold appears, you may just have to rip out and replace those areas of the wall. It would also be wise for you to call a professional to diagnose the problem, especially if you are seeing it in multiple areas of your home. Black mold is very unhealthy if inhaled, so wear a mask when cleaning these patches. Mold is serious, and needs to be addressed immediately.
  • Musty Smell:
    If there is a persistent musty odor in your home that you cannot remove no matter how diligently you clean, it could be mold under you carpets or in your walls. Sometimes, you can dry out the rotten surfaces, but other times you may need to completely replace the offending floor or wall.

Preventing Humidity from Wreaking Havoc

The best way to prevent humidity from creating minor and serious problems in your home, is to improve and regulate your indoor air quality. Depending on where you live, you may choose to keep your home climate controlled with a heater or an air conditioner.

While the filters on these devices can remove mold spores from the air you breathe, they often do not directly control the humidity level. Running a high-quality dehumidifier is the easiest way you can control the humidity in your home, and keep it at optimal levels.

Preemptive Protection

Whether you have detected a mold growth in your home or simply want to make your house a healthier place to live in, controlling the humidity level is essential. Even if you live in a dry place, you can create moisture with a humidifier. A little water vapor in the air will keep skin happy and help people who have a difficult time breathing dry air.

For the most part, you should aim for a humidity levels between 40 to 50 percent. In the winter months, you may need less relative humidity so that your windows do not fog with condensed water vapor. Take charge of your air quality by being aware of how humidity affects your day-to-day living.

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Kara Zorn

About Author

Kara Zorn is a wife and working mom who loves life hacks that help her schedule allow for as much quality family time as possible. She enjoys cooking with locally sourced food and produce and recently took up brewing Kombucha.

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