Humid summers are typical in the midwest. “It’s not the heat but the humidity!” is something you’ll hear often enough. When humidity levels reach 90% or even 100%, it can turn a pleasant picnic into a sweaty mess. We know what high humidity can do outdoors, but how does high humidity affect your home on the inside? Do I need a dehumidifier?
Mold and Mildew
High humidity makes for an ideal atmosphere for mold and mildew formation. Mold can not only cause mild to serious health issues like asthma and allergic reactions but left unchecked, mold can cause structural weakening of walls and ceilings.
Paint and Wallpaper
If you see peeling wallpaper and chipping paint, humidity may be the culprit. Exterior walls are especially susceptible to changing humidity levels.
Furniture and Floors
Wood floors and furniture can be affected by changing humidity levels. Stained furniture and buckled flooring can point to prolonged high moisture content. Expensive damage to tight-fitting wood frames around windows and doors can also occur in humid conditions.
Walls & Brickwork
Humidity can wreak havoc anywhere in your home that contains a moisture or vapor barrier. Drastic changes in moisture levels can cause cracking along drywall and brickwork inside the home, sometimes causing costly repairs.
What Can I Do?
Preventing high humidity levels inside your home can be as simple as utilizing fans in moisture-prone areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the kitchen. Maintaining a relatively consistent air temperature inside your home can also contribute to lower humidity levels. Also checking your crawl space and/or attic for any moisture buildup or leaks is important for humidity control.
Lastly, tools like in-home air quality monitors and smart thermostats are great ways to understand the indoor humidity levels in your home throughout the year. The Mayo Clinic recommends humidity levels between 30% and 50%. Whole-home dehumidifiers and humidifiers can keep your home at optimum humidity levels all year long.