Kara Zorn on August 6, 2014 9 Comments On any given day, you breathe in a variety of particles, from dust and mold spores to the toxic chemicals used to clean the public restroom or gym locker room. Some of these particles will multiply when given the right environment, which is usually warm, moist air. Using a dehumidifier in your home will quickly suck the moisture out of the air, decreasing the ability for these particles to proliferate. So how do you know if your air is too humid? Look for these seven tell-tale signs. 1. Mold Spots One of the easiest things to spot is a mold stain. Look at the ceiling in your bathroom as well as the area around your toilet or surrounding the shower. Do you see little dark spots? If you do, you have a mold problem. As steam rises during your shower, it should be ventilated out of the space with an exhaust fan. If you lack the necessary ventilation, excess moisture may start to collect, which in turn, may create a breeding ground for toxic black mold. Make sure you run the exhaust fan after every shower and fix any necessary ventilation issues. You can also run a dehumidifier to lessen the amount of moisture that hangs around in the room. If you spot mold in other areas, such as storage areas, basements or garages, replace windows and any affected sheetrock. It’s easier to address an issue with a few mold spots than to wait and take the chance that it could spread. 2. Condensation Do the windows of your home have beads of water on them? You may have also noticed vapor or a fog on the glass. This can happen when a room has too much moisture, as a result of a humidifier working overtime or construction materials that are improperly sealed. Whenever you notice this issue, try to figure out the source of the problem. A dehumidifier can combat the moisture and restore the humidity in your home to its appropriate levels. Again, any excess moisture in your home, especially if it is visible and gathers on a resting place such as windows, can become a breeding ground for mold. 3. Water Run-Off Some homes have consistent issues with ground water making its way inside. You may have noticed the basement of your home has water level marks or collects water every time it rains. If this occurs, getting a basement dehumidifier is an absolute must. It can remove the extra moisture from the air each time it happens. Additionally, you should try to investigate and resolve the root of the problem, which may be damaged concrete or that the home was built on a low plain. While a basement dehumidifier will help remove excess moisture from the area, it’s crucial that you figure out the root problem and get it fixed. 4. Musty Odors A musty smell nearly always means that mildew and mold is present. These substances thrive on moisture, which starts to collect in areas like basements and garages when windows are not sealed correctly or there is seepage from ground water. There are a few things you should do if you notice your home smells musty: Find the mold to have it immediately removed to prevent a recurring problem. Repair any issues that are causing the excess moisture. Buy or rent an ozone machine to remove the musty smell. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air that could cause the musty smell from returning. If you notice the musty smell is coming from the laundry room, check your vents and make sure your appliances do not have mold, as this can create a potentially toxic situation and damage your clothes. 5. Water Damage & Stains Photo Credit: NFalsey / Flickr Water stains are another sign that there is excess moisture in a home. You should always investigate a water stain to make sure there is not a leaking pipe behind it. A professional can help you pinpoint the cause of the damage, as well as guide you on the best course of fixing it. But if you’re already noticing the damage, then the water is already there. A dehumidifier is a great first step to stop more damage from being done. If you are buying a home with a water stain, it would be wise to ask that the current owner take action to resolve it. A home that has had water problems may be prone to re-occurrence, which means you should have a dehumidifier on hand to combat the excess moisture. 6. Rotting Wood Photo Credit: PuuikiBeach / Flickr Wood that retains moisture for too long will start to rot, as well as start to attract unwanted pests like termites. If you notice wood is starting to rot in or around your home, it may be a sign that there is an excessive amount of moisture in the area. Be sure to run your dehumidifier to help remove the excess moisture from the air, as well as replace any affected wood as soon as possible. Additionally, if not corrected in a timely manner, excess moisture can diminish the structural integrity of your home. It can harm not only wood, but also dry wall, window sealant, hardwood floors and even your foundation. 7. Allergies Lastly, if you have significant trouble with your allergies, it may be due to your indoor air quality. Excess moisture in the air can cause airborne allergens such as dust mites and mold spores to grow and spread. Sometimes allergy sufferers are even more susceptible to indoor allergens than outdoor, making it even more important to make sure you’re breathing clean air. Try running a dehumidifier to remove allergens from the air you are breathing to see if it helps. Maintaining a healthy humidity level in your home can also help prevent chapped lips and many serious respiratory issues. If you notice any of these signs in your home, you will want to invest in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier can not only help in restoration, but it can help in maintaining clean air so that any issues with mold can be prevented.