5 Ways to Reduce Household Humidity
Whether it’s thanks to condensation crawling up your window installation or a recently discovered patch of mold, you know one thing for certain: Your home has humidity problems.
You also probably know that you don’t want these problems to continue, as excessive moisture can do everything from warp wooden furniture to decrease your residential indoor air quality. As Bob Vila explains, humidity levels over 50 percent can “eventually cause the rot and decay of materials in your home, such as flooring and structural members.”
It’s not good news to hear that your home’s very skeleton could be at risk right now, but take a deep breath: Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors, your roofing and siding pros, is here to help!
Let’s how to reduce your home’s humidity – some little actions you can take right now and some more extensive renovations that might fix the issue in the long term.
What Causes Household Humidity?
Household humidity can have multiple underlying causes. Some of these factors are more in your control than others, but no matter why your home has high humidity, you can follow the tips in this guide to reduce the moisture content.
Generally, these are some of the main causes of high household humidity.
The Climate Where You Live
Some environments have higher humidity than others. While some areas of the country have dry air, Minnesota has higher humidity levels. Because of this, people in Minnesota and other high-humidity states have to be more cautious.
Regardless of where you live, poor ventilation can lead to higher humidity levels. Without proper circulation in your home, the air will become more stagnant. In a place that already has high humidity, ensuring great ventilation is key.
While the airflow inside of the home is vital, you also need to ensure the house is properly insulated. Without good sealing and insulation, outside air will get inside. This causes higher humidity and also makes it more difficult to regulate your home’s temperature efficiently. You want to ensure your roofing and siding insulation are sound.
Tips for Reducing Household Humidity
Now that you know some of the primary causes of high humidity levels, you can more effectively learn how to reduce the issue. Here are five tips from the home exterior professionals at Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors.
1. Open the Windows
If it’s warm enough, and you’re in dire straits – say, if you’ve recently dealt with a flooded basement – then simply throwing open the shutters and letting some fresh air in could be just the ticket to reducing household humidity. There’s a reason, after all, that water damage pros often recommend it as one of the first steps to take after an emergency.
Of course, though, you can’t live with open windows, no matter how new and high-tech your window installation is. Eventually, you’ll need to take advantage of their insulative properties and shore up your home’s defenses for summertime’s hot weather; in other words, you’ll need to fix the root cause of the humidity issue. We only list this action here as a quick fix in the meantime.
2. Replace Your Windows
While opening windows is an easy solution, it isn’t for the long term. Your windows, however, can be impacting your home’s humidity levels. If the windows aren’t sealed properly, it’s difficult to regulate the inside temps and airflow. So, ensure your windows are in good shape and sealed correctly.
3. Make Sure Your Roofing Is Up to Par
Many homeowners are unaware that their roof probably isn’t exactly airtight. In fact, it generally shouldn’t be! Strategically placed vents help your home lose warm, humid air that rises upward – air that naturally comes to be with everyday activities, such as running the dishwasher or showering.
When this ventilation system is compromised or poorly designed, it prevents moisture from leaving your home, which can result in humidity problems in the attic. Those aren’t the only consequences, though; we get into the basics of proper roof ventilation and consequences here.
If your humidity problem is centered in that space, we recommend calling a roofing contractor to deal with it. Every attic is an individual; some even are designed to work without any vents at all! It’s, therefore, hard to fix the issue on your own – not to mention risky, as you can easily make the problem worse. Save yourself the headache and call a roofing company. Your home will thank you.
3. Patch Up Any Roof Leaks
Plumbing leaks are a common culprit when it comes to excess household humidity, but so are roofing leaks, as they both cause ugly splotches to show up on your ceilings. Indeed, a leak of any sort allows unwanted moisture to seep into your home, which in turn can heighten humidity levels.
What’s worse: As we somewhat alluded to above, leaks can be quite tight-lipped about where they are coming from!
Finding Roof Leaks
As a preventative measure, it’s critical that both your plumber and roofing pro regularly service your home so that you’re not left scrambling to discover the issue's source while it quickly worsens. In an emergency situation, though, you can sometimes sleuth out the source of the issue by studying your utility bills.
If your heating or cooling costs take an unexpected jump, you could have a roofing leak on your hands; If your water bill is sky-high, consider the possibility of a plumbing leak. Additionally, you can assess the effect that rain has on the corresponding ceiling stain. If it makes the issue worse, it’s most likely a roofing leak.
If it seems to have no influence on the size of the stain – if it grows or shrinks randomly – you’re most likely dealing with a plumbing problem.
4. Mind Your Gutters
Proper gutter care is critical to maintaining a comfortable home humidity level, both when it comes to seamless gutters and older, more traditional models. This system and the slope of your roof act as a one-two punch to rid your home of the damaging effects of unmanaged rainfall.
Your roof slope uses gravity to push it into the gutters, while your gutters funnel it far away from your foundation, where it drains safely. When the second part of this system is left to clog up, water has nowhere else to go but straight over the edge, where it puddles near the base of your home. A bit of this won’t have any detrimental effects, but over time or in instances of heavy rainfall, moisture seeps into your basement, which can lead to humidity problems on a household-wide scope.
Luckily, keeping your seamless gutters clean is easy, and it gets even easier with gutter guards!
5. Consider a Dehumidifier
Finally, while addressing home exteriors and ensuring good installation goes a long way, it can be difficult to completely remove excess humidity in Minnesota, especially on some days. So, if you’re still having issues with the humidity levels in your house, a dehumidifier can give you some relief.
While this isn’t a structural solution, it can provide a boost that makes your home less at risk for damage and your family less sweaty from all that moisture in the air!
Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors: Siding Contractor & 5-Star Roofer
When your home is properly sealed and cared for with the help of our Sauk Rapids team, you can rest easy knowing that your roofing, siding, gutters, and more are all doing their part to regulate the humidity. With over 40 years of experience, we are here to ensure your home’s exteriors are in good shape to protect your household from humidity issues.
Reach our office today at 320-252-9086 to learn more.