There are many benefits of having effective moisture control in any indoor environment, be it in homes, office spaces, or any other enclosed building for that matter. Regulating moisture is beneficial as it improves the energy efficiency of the rooms. Additionally, it improves the indoor air quality and prevents the dreaded growth of molds and the presence of dust mites.
Before delving into workable strategies that can be adopted for moisture control, it may be beneficial to understand primary sources of moisture and how it moves into and out of our homes.
Movement of Moisture
Moisture transfer from one point to the other occurs in three primary ways:
- Movement of air currents
- Diffusion from materials
- Heat transfer
Air essentially carries moisture and transfers it to a different location as the air currents move. The amount of air carried within a given mass of air is measured regarding relative humidity. Air that has humidity levels above 50% should be of concern since the probability of mold growth increases with an increase in the amount of moisture.
While water diffusion through materials and heat transfer is considered as slow processes that contribute to moisture, they cannot be disregarded as they are continuous processes. That means that they can cause moisture problems in the long run.
Sources of moisture in a home:
- Leaks in plumbing fittings and form the roof
- Steam produced in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Potted plants
- Poorly maintained gutters, downspouts, and drains
- Practices such as indoor aeration of clothes
How Can I Control Indoor Moisture?
Step 1: Identification of the Source of Moisture
The first step to ensuring that moisture in your home is within acceptable limits is to identify the sources of moisture. That can be done using a digital hygrometer. Once you realize that a specific room has unusually high moisture, find out the cause. If it is plumbing in that room has been done properly, and any leaks should be immediately corrected.
You should also inspect sinks and bathtubs, and carefully observe walls for any water patches, peeling of paints or unsightly patches created by mold growth.
Step 2: Reducing the Moisture, or Eliminate the Source If It Is Possible.
There are several tips that can be adopted for reducing air humidity. They include:
- Promptly drying any water spillages.
- Sealing plumbing fixtures, especially joints.
- Proper installation of gutters to ensure there are no downspouts which get into the house.
- Grading around your house to protect your house from water damage during the flood.
- Proper ventilation of homes. That can be done by ensuring windows are open during the day to allow proper circulation of air. Nonetheless, this tip may not be beneficial, in areas that are humid, as a matter of fact, it may worsen the situation.
While you are working on reducing moisture, you can also conduct a thorough investigation of your home, especially in crawlspaces for signs of mold growth. Signs of mold growth could include black, brown or greyish patches on walls. Apart from that, they produce a characteristic musty odor. If there is, then you should get rid of them before proceeding to the final step.
Step 3: Installing a Dehumidifier to Ensure the Moisture Is Accurately Monitored and Maintained
Most people may consider stopping the remediation process once they have eliminated the molds. However, that is a dangerous move, since moisture accumulates again causing the molds to resurface. To avoid getting trapped in this vivacious cycle, your best bet is to acquire a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier is an appliance that is designed to control the amount of air moisture. Most of them have inbuilt humidistats which measure indoor relative humidity. Depending on the severity of the moisture problem, and the place where you intend to use your dehumidifier, you can select between a home and an industrial dehumidifier.
Home dehumidifiers are usually small and portable appliances that can be placed anywhere within the house. Often, they have lower moisture removal capacities, since they target smaller spaces. However, if you plan to use it in the basement, then going for a basement dehumidifier will save you a great deal. Some dehumidifiers in this category that have received positive reviews online include Alorair’s Sentinel HDi90 Dehumidifier for Basement and Sentinel HD55 Dehumidifier for Basement.
The other category is industrial dehumidifiers, which fall under cleaning and restoration family members. Other appliances used together with these dehumidifiers during restoration include air movers and air scrubbers.
Still Not Sure What’s Best for You?
With many dehumidifiers in the market, whose working mechanisms differ, it may be prudent to contact reputable dealers and get an expert opinion on the same. If you are interested in digging deeper on different types of dehumidifiers available, checking alorair.com for a detailed explanation.