Are You Over-Humidifying Your Home?

November 13, 2019 9:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Sometimes people over-humidify their homes. They are dumping gallons of water into the air with humidifiers, not realizing that this vaporized water is still water—it will go somewhere, and it often goes somewhere with pressure, like filling a balloon with water. Could you be worsening your health in the process? You might be surprised to hear that mold from humidifiers in Aspen, CO is quite common.

Causes of condensation

During the colder months of the year, this water vapor will condense on cold surfaces. Sometimes those cold surfaces are on window glass or window frames, inside closets, around doors, air leaks (thermal bridging areas) and plumbing/electrical penetrations. During inspections, when walls are taken apart on the north sides of houses (the colder side of the house), inspectors often find rot and mold due to the condensation buildup inside the walls. This is due to overwatering the inside of the house with humidifiers and failing to use exhaust fans.

Many people also like hot, steamy showers but fail to turn on exhaust vents in bathrooms. Squeegeeing shower walls after showering is important to eliminate the amount of evaporation of moisture into the air. They also forget to use exhaust fans while cooking to send damp air outdoors, or to open windows slightly to let the damp air out.

There are other causes of humidity that you might not have considered. Damp soil in a crawl space continually evaporates moisture through a home. Damp crawl spaces should be completely sealed with a water- and vapor-proof membrane. For maximum effectiveness, it should not just be laid on the soil, but seam sealed and sealed around the perimeters and piers. (Don’t seal around wood, since it will rot—only seal the concrete and concrete blocks.)

The problems with over-humidifying your home

An overly high relative humidity inside a house can lead to fungal growth—and sometimes rot where you won’t see it. A lot of that wet air will condense inside attics, especially north-facing attic sides.

Some molds are xerophilic. This means that they don’t require much water activity at all to grow (think of plants that thrive in the desert). These xerophilic molds can grow in humid environments. They can grow on dust layers, clothing and shoes, draperies, the dust coating on carpet fibers and more—essentially, on much of what you own. For anyone with allergies, this is a nightmare situation.

The relative humidity in a home should be balanced with the relative humidity outdoors. Over-humidifying your home leads to mold from water vapor in Aspen, CO, which can be hazardous to your health.

Schedule mold testing for your home

HealthSafe Inspections Inc. is a premier provider of testing, consulting and post-remediation follow-up services for clients with property contamination issues, including mold problems. If you’re concerned about mold growth in your home, call us today to schedule an appointment. We’ve been working with area property owners for over a decade, and bring the knowledge and expertise our clients need to every appointment.

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