Prevent Mold and Moisture Damage by Understanding the Impact of High Humidity
Living in a hot, sticky climate can not only make achieving comfort a difficult task, but that stickiness in the air, referred to as humidity, can cause air quality issues and moisture damage. Understanding humidity can help you reduce the likelihood of mold and moisture damage in your Alexandria area home.
Relative humidity measures the saturation level of moisture in the air. At 100 percent relative humidity (RH), the air is completely saturated. At 50 percent RH, the air has the potential to retain twice as much moisture as it currently holds. This unsaturated air can become completely saturated, rising from 50 percent RH to 100 percent, by absorbing more moisture or cooling off. When saturated air cools off, droplets called condensation begin to form. These droplets most commonly form on the coldest surfaces in the environment.
Problems associated with high relative humidity include:
- An uncomfortable home environment in the summer
- Condensation issues
- Air quality issues
- Mold and moisture damage that could rot the building materials in your Fairfax home
Controlling Humidity Related Issues
Moisture can be brought into your home from wet or poorly sealed basements and crawlspaces. It can be brought in on shoes, clothes, plants and firewood. Showers, housecleaning and cooking create moisture. Even breathing and perspiration contribute four pints per person, per day. Moisture sources are everywhere.
To avoid condensation issues and control mold and moisture damage in your northern Virginia home, indoor air should be less than 60 percent relative humidity in the summer and 40 percent relative humidity in the winter. Dehumidifiers, installed as part of your home’s HVAC system, can help control moisture in your home. Whole-house versions are four times as efficient as portable units and treat your entire house. They allow you to increase the thermostat temperature by 3 degrees and maintain the same comfort level, reducing energy consumption. Installing a ventilation system can increase air quality and prevent damage as well. Venting dryers and combustion appliances outside can reduce moisture levels as well.
For help controlling mold and moisture damage in your Springfield home, contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited. Our experienced team services Fairfax county and surrounding areas throughout northern Virginia.