Indoor humidity is a problem that many homeowners deal with, especially in the warm summer months. Did you know that high humidity levels can not only make your home uncomfortable, but can also cause damage to your home and even be harmful to your health? The EPA recommends that home humidity levels be kept between 30-50% to maintain healthy indoor air quality and protect your home from damage and at Total Home Performance, we offer several solutions to bring your humidity levels down and your home comfort back.
How Humidity Affects Your Health & Home
High humidity levels contain water vapors that create an ideal environment for mildew and mold growth—which can lead to several home health and structure problems, including:
- Poor indoor air quality - Mildew and mold both release harmful pollutants into your home, which can cause several health issues, like worsened asthma symptoms, itchy eyes, and coughing. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants can leave permanent damage to your respiratory system.
- Wood rot & other structural issues - High humidity and moisture levels can lead to serious damage to the wood framing that supports your home. If the problem is left untreated, these issues can lead to crucial structural repair services.
- Pests - High humidity levels also create ideal living conditions for insects, like cockroaches and dust mites. Many pests can even detect moisture in the air and when your home has excess moisture and humidity, it’s an open invitation for them to find their way inside.
Symptoms of High Humidity & Moisture Issues
It can be difficult to determine if your home is too humid or not, but a few signs to look out for include:
- Musty smells
- Peeling paint
- Condensation on windows & HVAC system
- Water marks
If you’re experiencing any of these in your home, give our expert team a call for a moisture and humidity assessment. Not only will we pinpoint the exact source to the humidity levels in your home, we’ll help you develop a plan to remediate the problem with our long-lasting solutions.
Your Crawl Space: The Source For Poor Humidity
While there are many factors that can contribute to your home’s high humidity—such as cooking, laundry, bathing, or the outdoor air—one of the most common sources for increased moisture levels is actually beneath your home, in your crawl space.
Open vents, flooding, and unfinished flooring can lead to moisture accumulation in your crawl space. That moisture turns into humidity and ends up circulating into your home through a phenomenon building scientists refer to as the “stack effect”. As conditioned air escapes through gaps in your home’s attic, air is brought up from your basement or crawl space to replace it. The stack effect is responsible for increased humidity levels, inconsistent temperatures all year long, and even ice dams in the winter.
Humidity Solutions from Total Home Performance
You shouldn’t have to deal with unbearable humidity levels in your home and the damages that it can cause—which is why we offer several solutions to combat them.
Crawl Space Encapsulation
One of the easiest ways to stop moisture from accumulating in your crawl space is to include it in your home’s thermal envelope. Crawl space encapsulation involves a 4-step process that makes the area underneath your home’s living spaces healthier and more efficient. While the exact process depends on the special circumstances within your home, our encapsulation process at Total Home Performance usually consists of:
- Air sealing and crawl space insulation
- Vapor barrier installation
Whole Home Ventilation
Sometimes crawl space encapsulation isn’t enough to combat more extreme cases of moisture and humidity. Since the indoor air can be up to 2 to 5 times more polluted than the outdoor air, our team turns to whole home ventilation and dehumidification in these cases.
Ventilation brings fresh air into a home without the added pollutants and humidity levels that occur when just opening a window. When your home is properly ventilated and dehumidified, you’ll see less allergy and asthma symptoms, odors, and dust in addition to the decrease in humidity.
Insulation & Air Sealing
None of the solutions above will be truly effective if your home is underinsulated with significant air leaks. These leaks encourage unwanted airflow while a lack of insulation leaves it vulnerable to heat transfer—both of which contribute to your indoor air quality and humidity. An upgrade to your attic insulation is one of the most important ways you can combat the stack effect and high humidity, while air sealing will help keep your conditioned air inside where it belongs. Our team always recommends combining these services, as their benefits are enhanced when they’re implemented in tandem.
At Total Home Performance, we’ve been helping homeowners throughout the Maryland and Delaware areas with their home health and comfort issues since 2009. Our industry training, experience, and passion for our community and the environment equip us to find long-lasting and effective solutions.