6 signs of heat and humidity problems and how to solve them

Heat and humidity problems in your home can be causing some serious issues. Like those black stains that keep appearing near your baseboards, even though you clean so often. Read on to find out if your home has heat and humidity problems and how you can fix them.

Homeowners have enough to do just keeping lawns neat and floors mopped. Who has time to check the humidity level? And why does an elevated moisture level in the home even matter? Moisture is healthy, right?

While humidity is good for humans to a point, an excess can cause health problems and actual damage to a home -- not to mention it can significantly reduce resale value.Watch out for the following telltale symptoms of excess humidity:

6 signs of heat and humidity problems and how to solve them

1. You can’t see through your windows

When moist air meets a cold surface, like a window in winter, the cooler air causes the moisture to liquefy. That’s why your mirror fogs up when you take a hot shower; and why windows get wet or frosty inside the house during cold months.

2. You find black stains on your drywall or baseboards

If mould spreads across your drywall or baseboards and keeps returning even after you remove it, you have an indoor moisture problem. This issue occurs mostly in poorly ventilated areas like closets.

3. Musty odours make your home smell unpleasant

These odours are common in basements; but moisture can cause mould growth even on your clothing or linens. It not only bad smells, but also stains.

4. Your children suffer from respiratory problems

People can have respiratory issues that have nothing to do with excess moisture in the home, but this can be one sign of too much humidity, which causes the growth of bothersome, if not dangerous, moulds. If you see this and additional signs of extra moisture in your home, monitor humidity levels.

5. Your interior paint is peeling

If you have to re-paint more often than you feel you should, you probably have a moisture problem.

6. Your ceilings have stains, sags and damp spots

Moist air seeping into a cold attic can lead to condensation, rotting wood framing and resulting in damp insulation. This moisture can drip down and into ceilings with disastrous results.

Want to know for sure? If you borrow or purchase a hydrometer and detect humidity levels of 55 per cent or higher relative humidity (RH) in your home, you’ll want to find ways to reduce that indoor moisture before it does any further damage. Here are a few of the simpler ways to stop indoor humidity in its tracks:

  • Do not hang-dry clothing, other fabrics or firewood inside, and vent your clothes dryer outdoors.
  • Make sure soil slopes away from your home’s foundation, and repair foundation leaks.
  • Seal around windows and doors, electrical outlets and baseboards. This step will also save on monthly energy costs, since you’re losing hot air through these openings.
  • Cover exposed soil in your crawl space with polyethylene, sealed and weighted.
  • Use the bathroom exhaust fan while bathing and the range hood exhaust while cooking.
  • Make sure cold surfaces like foundation walls are insulated. Install a polyethylene air/vapour barrier on the interior side of your insulation.
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