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Moisture Control29 Apr

Moisture Control

There are many benefits of having effective moisture control in any indoor environment, be it in homes, office spaces, or any other enclosed building for that matter. Regulating moisture is beneficial, as it improves the energy efficiency of the rooms, and improves the indoor air quality to prevent the dreaded growth of mold and reduces the presence of dust mites.  

Before delving into workable strategies that can be adopted for moisture control, it may be beneficial to understand primary sources of moisture and how it moves into and out of our homes.

Movement of Moisture

Moisture transfer from one point to another occurs in three primary ways:

  • Movement of air currents
  • Diffusion from materials
  • Heat transfer

Air essentially carries moisture and transfers it to a different location as the air currents move. The amount of air carried within a given mass of air is measured regarding relative humidity. Air that has humidity levels above 50% should be of concern, since the probability of mold growth increases with higher amounts of moisture.

While water diffusion through materials and heat transfer are considered slow processes that contribute to moisture, they cannot be disregarded, as they are continuous processes. That means that they can cause moisture problems in the long run.

Sources of Moisture In a Home

  • Leaks in plumbing or roof
  • Steam produced in the kitchen and bathroom
  • Flooding
  • Potted plants
  • Poorly maintained gutters, downspouts, and drains
  • Practices such as indoor aeration of clothing

How Can I Control Indoor Moisture?

Step 1: Identify the Source of Moisture

The first step to ensuring that moisture in your home is within acceptable limits is to identify the sources of moisture, which can be done using a digital hygrometer. Once you realize that a specific room has unusually high moisture, it is time to determine the root cause. If the plumbing in that room has been done properly, any leaks should be immediately addressed.

You should also inspect sinks and bathtubs, and carefully observe walls for any wet patches, peeling of paint, or unsightly patches created by mold growth.

Step 2: Reduce the Moisture, or Eliminate the Source If Possible.

There are several tips that can be adopted for reducing air humidity. They include:

  1. Promptly dry any water spills.
  2. Seal plumbing fixtures, especially joints.
  3. Properly install gutters to ensure that there are no downspouts that go into the house.
  4. Grading around your house to protect your house from water damage during a flood.
  5. Proper ventilation of homes. This can be done by ensuring that windows are open during the day to allow proper circulation of air. Nonetheless, this tip may not be beneficial, in areas that are naturally humid, and may even worsen the situation.

While you are working on reducing moisture, you can also conduct a thorough investigation of your home, especially in crawl spaces, for signs of mold growth. Signs of mold growth could include black, brown, or grey-ish patches on walls. Aside from that, they produce a characteristically musty odor. If you notice any of these indicators, it is important to get rid of them before proceeding to the final step.

Step 3: Install a Dehumidifier to Ensure That  the Moisture Is Accurately Monitored and Maintained

Most people may consider stopping the remediation process once they have eliminated the mold.  This would be a critical mistake, because once the moisture accumulates again, it will cause the mold to resurface. To avoid getting trapped in this vicious cycle, your best bet is to acquire a dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier is an appliance that is designed to control the level of moisture in the air. Most of them have built-in humidistats that measure the indoor relative humidity. Depending on the severity of the moisture problem, and the area in which you intend to use your dehumidifier, you can select between a residential or an industrial dehumidifier.

Uni-P Dry dehumidifiers are usually small, portable appliances that can be placed anywhere within the house. They often have lower moisture removal capacities, since they target smaller spaces. However, if you plan to use one in an indoor pool, then going for a commercial dehumidifier will save you a great deal of time and energy. Some dehumidifiers in this category that have received positive reviews online include Unip Renegade 1250X Dehumidifier for Indoor Pool and Unip Renegade 1400X for Indoor Pool.

The other category is industrial dehumidifiers, which fall into the cleaning and restoration category. Other appliances that are often used in tandem with these dehumidifiers during restoration include air movers and air scrubbers.

Still Not Sure What’s Best for You?

With so many dehumidifiers in the market that all have different uses and specifications, it may be worthwhile to contact reputable dealers to get an expert opinion on which product would best suit your needs. If you are interested in digging deeper into the different types of dehumidifiers available, check out www.unipdry.com for more details!