Humidity is a serious hidden danger for the wellbeing of your family and home. It is likely that you’ve attempted to reduce the humidity levels inside your house, but might not have considered the less utilized areas of your home. Of all the areas in your home that are susceptible the basement is one of the highest susceptible to the risk.
Causes of High Humidity
There are a variety of reasons that can cause the high humidity you experience inside your home’s basement. Lack of insulation and huge differences between outdoor and indoor temperatures are obvious but there are many other factors you didn’t think of. Laundry can cause a problem, particularly in the event that exhaust vents leak. An inoperable sump pump, or gutter spouts that direct water that is too far from the base can be sources of moisture, as is flooding.
Then, inspect the ceiling often for indications of leaks in pipes. These do not only bring moisture into the basement, but could also cause harm to other areas of your house.
Impacts of Basement Humidity Issues
Moderation is an essential element in many areas of our lives and humidity is not an exception. There are various risks associated with an relative humidity that is too low or too high. In some cases, these signs are the first indication of a problem with humidity but they appear only after the problem has existed for a long time or even any time. Maintaining a high relative humidity level can help remove the problem quickly. Reversible A key factor that can be a cause for the health and home-related issues.
Effects of Low RH
Low levels of humidity in your home cause dry nasal passages as well as bloody noses. Numerous respiratory ailments like asthma can be made worse by low humidity. Dry air is well-known to cause chapping and skin issues.
High RH Effects
The most significant threat of the high humidity is mildew, mold and other fungal infections. Mold can harm wood, and concrete. Additionally, the spores can negatively affect the health of your family members. Certain kinds, such as black mold have been reported to cause death.
But it’s not the only danger caused by the high humidity. Termite colonies thrive within the humid climate, which can cause wood decay. Condensation is a source of water which attracts silverfish, and rodents. All of these pests pose their own health risk and may impede the structural integrity of your house.
Ideal RH Levels
In general, your basement is used for three purposes that include storage space, furnished living space or leisure space, or an wine cellar. Based on the reason your relative humidity levels fall into different ranges. Understanding these ranges will enable you to minimize the chance of structural and health damage.
Many dehumidifiers are equipped with a humidistat that allows you to control and set the levels of humidity. You can also purchase a hygrometer to keep it close to the dehumidifier. This instrument measures how much moisture is present present in the air, which allows you to operate the dehumidifier when needed.
Basements that have been finished and not
As a rule of thumb your basement must maintain the relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. This range not only helps decrease the danger that harmful bacteria growth it also helps to reduce the health hazards that are associated in low-humidity. Limiting the RH to between 30 and 40 percent during winter time in warmer regions will help eliminate window condensation.
Wine cellars are becoming increasingly sought-after by homeowners with a variety of financial backgrounds. No matter if you have an already-built wine cellar, or you are looking to build one in your basement, it’s essential to keep the humidity and temperature at specific levels that allow your wine to mature properly. The cellars are typically equipped with their own humidifier units , and must be maintained at a humidity of 60 percent.
It is important to be aware that the relative humidity of the other spaces in your basement need to remain within 30-50 percent range. Inspecting for leaks in your basement’s wine cellar’s insulation extremely important, because the variation in humidity can cause dehumidifiers overwork.
ENERGY STAR provides a detailed guide on how to choose the best dehumidifiers and also an online calculator for dehumidifiers.
The Mayo Clinic offers an article that further discusses the health consequences of humidity levels and humidifiers.
The University of Minnesota provides an extensive article that explains the causes of water damage in basements as well providing solutions.