People come from all over the world to visit the southeastern United States. The food, attractions, scenery, laid-back lifestyle, and friendliness of Southerners are world-famous. However, there are drawbacks to this lifestyle. How do homeowners keep their homes clean and well maintained in the humidity for which the area is also well known?
What Is Humidity?
Humidity is the measure of moisture in the air. The relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air as opposed to how much moisture would be the saturation point or 100 percent humidity.
Humidity in a home can be controlled by using a hygrometer. As the readout tells you how much moisture is in the air, you can decide whether to use a dehumidifier to help.
Effects Of Humidity
The first thing almost everyone thinks of when the word moisture is mentioned is mold, mildew, and bacteria. This is especially worrisome to those with asthma and other breathing problems. They're sensitive to mold and mildew, and the slightest amount of these can send such people to the ER.
Keep damp areas like kitchens and bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements as clean and dry as possible. Call in mold professionals if necessary.
Buckled Wood Floors
Hardwood floors (even laminate) absorb moisture. They swell or buckle. This is also the case when the hardwood floors were not acclimated properly when they were installed.
Ventilation and fans will help keep the humidity at its proper level and the floors flat. Flooring experts should be called in if the buckling can't be fixed by the homeowner.
Moist air condenses on indoor and outdoor surfaces. Indoors, paint and wallpaper suffer from high humidity. Using a dehumidifier to lower the moisture in the air will help. Nevertheless, expect to paint the walls every now and then.
Anything living requires food, water, and warmth to sustain life. This includes insects and rodents. They're attracted to wet areas like insulation, dark, damp areas under sinks and around water heaters, as well as anywhere there's water such as bathtubs and sinks. High humidity plays a large part in infestations as well.
The first thing to do is remove the moisture. Keep sinks and tubs as dry as possible. Fix any leaking plumbing fixtures. Keep the humidity as low as possible using a hygrometer and dehumidifier. Locate and block any entry points in the house and basement. Call pest control experts for help and advice.
Solutions For Controlling Humidity
HVAC units and dehumidifiers are the first line of defense against humidity. They both dry out the air, returning the humidity to acceptable levels. Homeowners should keep both well maintained in addition to having them checked by professionals at least twice per year:
-Keep filters clean. New filters can be installed every month or every three months
-Keep the coils and fins clean
-Remove debris from the unit and keep foliage away from the unit so it won't block the unit
-Make sure you turn off the A/C breaker before you maintain the unit. Call in an HVAC expert if you don't feel comfortable maintaining it on your own
-Unplug the dehumidifier before cleaning the fan or the coil
-Clean the water reservoir, bucket, and air filter
-Ensure the condenser, fan, and coil are in good working order. An HVAC professional can help if homeowners aren't aware of how to maintain the unit
The humidity in the South can be brutal at times. It can be controlled, however, with a few simple methods. Keep all sources of water under strict repair and control, keep HVAC units and dehumidifiers well maintained, and use humidity thermostats like hygrometers, and Southeastern homes should be good to go. Make sure you consult with a skilled real estate brokerage when you are looking to buy a home in humid areas.