This is the second post of a two-part series, make sure to also check out part one of the indoor air quality series.
The problem with moisture is that it creates an ideal environment for the growth of mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria , pollens and a host of other organisms that stick around long after the moisture is gone.The other reason moisture is considered the main culprit for poor Indoor Air Quality is that those organisms can thrive almost anywhere: carpets, ceiling tile, walls and ducts. While excess moisture is fairly easy to detect in a home, getting rid of the moisture is not that easy.
According to CenterPoint Energy, your home could have an excess moisture problem if these conditions exist:
- Musty odors or unpleasant smells that linger
- Frost, ice or other condensation on cold surfaces such as windows
- General dampness or cold, clammy air
- Discoloration or texture changes in building materials
- Warped, cracked or rotting woodwork
- Pipes that sweat, leak or drip
- Cracked or peeling paint
- Crumbling or deteriorating masonry
The first step is to determine the source of the excess moisture – and of course, there are usually multiple sources. Some of the most common sources are: insufficient ventilation, damp foundations, attic bypasses, faulty HVAC, inadequate insulation or vapor barriers, excess groundwater or improper drainage. From the Healthy Home Smart:
Regularly check your washing machine hose, water heater, refrigerator, and the grout in your bathroom shower. If there is leaking in any of these, have them fixed by a plumber to avoid water damage. Make sure your windows and doors fit properly in their frames. Do not forget to check the air conditioner frames too. You can easily notice if there is a leak on your door or window through water stains. If not detected and repaired immediately, leaks from these sources will cause water damage – the wood will rot. Change any caulking or weather-stripping that may be broken or missing. Inspect your air conditioner to make sure that the filter is not clogged. Evaporator cooling coils should not be iced over, and water should not flow back into the room from the air conditioner condenser.
Healthy Home Smart also advises to get rid of existing moisture in your home you can dry it out by first heating it to about 80°F for several hours and then cool it to 65°F for several hours. You may have to repeat this cycle several times to get the moisture level back to normal.