Posts Tagged ‘Moisture’

Dehumidification Can Be the Solution

The key to preventing mold growth is controlling moisture. Excluding water leaks into a home or building, the number one cause of excess moisture in a structure is excess humidity. This is especially a problem in homes with electric wall or baseboard heaters which do not provide air movement while providing heat. Humans introduce water vapor into the indoor air environment through breathing, bathing, cooking and cleaning. Without adequate ventilation this excess moisture condenses on cold surfaces (window frames, un-insulated exterior wall corners, etc.) and collects in areas isolated from air movement (behind pictures on walls, book cases, boxes stacked against walls, etc.) resulting in mold growth in these areas.

The solution to the problem is either increased ventilation or dehumidification. The diligent use of bathroom and kitchen fans during bathing and showering will help in the moisture control but are often not sufficient enough to adequately remove the moisture from the air. The EPA recommends a relative humidity level between 30% and 50%.  Maintaining the recommended humidity levels not only helps prevent mold growth but will inhibit bacterial and dust mite levels.   Mold Investigations often recommends the installation of a dehumidifier in homes with high humidity and inadequate ventilation to maintain recommended humidity levels.  A small dehumidifier (approximately 45 pint capacity) costing between $200 to $300, can reduce the humidity levels in an apartment or small home to acceptable levels.

The units should be installed in an area with access to the air from the rest of the dwelling.  If they are installed in a closed room or closet, ventilation to that space needs to be provided (i.e. installing a louvered door panel).  For continued operation without manually unloading the bucket, they can be either piped into a utility sink or drain or connected to the homes drainage system.  The dehumidifier collects the excess moisture from the indoor environment and drains it out of the dwelling which reduces the conditions conducive to the growth and proliferation of mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites.

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