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  • Mold and Moisture Prevention: How to Reduce Humidity in House

    How to spot—and address—mold and other moisture issues.

    • Dry air is no fun, but neither is household mold growth and all the other unwelcome byproducts of a too-humid house. Read on to learn why it’s important to strike that just-right moisture balance—and how you can achieve it to avoid moisture and mold problems.

      Moisture Prevention: Identify the Problem

      Suspect that your home’s too humid? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends watching out for these red flags¹
       

      • Condensation on interior windows, walls or pipes
      • Visible mold growth or wetness on ceiling or walls
      • A musty smell
      • A hygrometer, aka humidity meter, reading of 60% or higher. Yes, you should own one. An inexpensive version should run you under $50 at your local hardware or home store. You’ll want to keep it in the 30 to 50% range, ideally.

    • How Does Mold Grow?

      Mold can grow on almost any surface if the surface has moisture on it. Mold comes from spores, which can travel through air currents. When spores land on those moist surfaces, they multiply and grow into mold colonies.

      House Moisture Problems

      Too much moisture can trigger a host of problems for your home and the people who live in it.

      According to the American Lung Association, dampness and the mold associated with it can trigger persistent health issues including coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, sore throat and sneezing, as well as worsening asthma and rhinitis.

      It’s important to note that even without mold, you may experience health problems since bacteria, viruses, dust mites and cockroaches also thrive in humid conditions.²

      Your air isn’t the only thing affected by humidity. Ongoing dampness can cause lots of issues in your home, including (but unfortunately not limited to) warped or rotted walls and floorboards, termite and other pest infestations and peeling paint and varnish.¹

      House Moisture Solutions: How to Reduce Humidity in House

      Tips to keep your home’s humidity level in that desirable 30 to 50% range³:
       

      • Air condition and dehumidify. Use both proactively, as needed. Take extra care to maintain your home’s air quality by changing your HVAC air filter at least every three months.
      • Vent appropriately. Clothes dryers, range hoods, attics and crawl spaces, especially.
      • Let air flow. Open windows and use fans, taking extra care in the kitchen and bathroom. Run exhaust fans while showering, cooking and dishwashing by hand or machine.
      • Practice preventative landscaping. Ensure the ground slopes away from your foundation. Clean and repair roof gutters, too, ensuring they deliver water away from your home’s foundation.
      • Insulate pipes. It’ll help curb condensation accumulation.

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