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7 Tips for Battling Humidity and Moisture in Your Home

Many homeowners wonder how to control the impact of humidity and moisture within their homes, especially in the Southern states where the humidity outside can be stifling at times. The truth is, humidity and moisture not only play a role in how we feel when we leave our homes for the day and step outside... but also in how we need to protect our home's structure from its damaging effects. And humidity can affect homeowners anywhere if not properly addressed.

humidity and moisture in your home

Here are 7 tips to help you properly maintain your home from humidity and moisture issues:

  1. Condition your crawlspace if you have one. Installing a plastic vapor barrier of at least '6 mil' on the raw earth under your home will prevent moisture from leeching up to damage the wood joists, insulation and subfloor of your home and prevent dangerous mold from growing.
  2. Get quarterly pest control assessments. Many pesky pests such as termites or powder post beetles thrive on rotten wood so ensuring they don't have an easy target in a humid environment is key. Having a professional examine your crawlspace, basement and home's exterior can save you from substantial property damage if caught early enough.
  3. Utilize a dehumidifier in unfinished basements or crawlspaces. Having drier air in unconditioned spaces can protect against unwarranted wood rot, pests and mold. Most dehumidifiers can cost between $250-$500 depending on their features, efficiency or coverage size.
  4. If dehumidifying and conditioning the crawlspace is not an option, open the vents surrounding your home during the warmer spring and summer months. This is especially vital if you live in the damper climates of the South. Opening the vents will ensure adequate ventilation and airflow under your home so that the space beneath your home doesn't become a breeding ground for pests and mold. It will also help guard against that notorious musty smell that crawlspaces and basements have.

    basement vent to prevent moisture in your home
    We suggest opening in April and closing them in September for adequate air exchange. Closing them will keep the moist air out in the summer and the cold air out during the Fall and Winter, which will help your heating bills too.
  5. Ensure all ductwork and plumbing is free of leaks. Nobody wants condensation or a water leak to build up on their insulation and cause a mold issue. Whether under your home or below a kitchen or bathroom, these areas are especially prone to mold occurrences. Prevention is the best strategy because mold issues are pretty difficult to treat once they occur.
  6. Keep your gutters clear of debris. Backed-up gutters and downspouts can cause water to overflow and seep to the lowest point... you guessed it, your basement or crawlspace. Install permanent gutter guards or have a professional come clean and check your gutters once a year to make sure the coast is clear.
  7. Make sure the grade of the soil around your home slants away from your foundation. When you add flower and landscaping beds and disturb the soil, be sure that the natural grade does not tilt back towards your home's foundation. This can cause water to pour into your basement, walls or wood foundation and sill plate.
humidity and moisture in your home

Following these simple, common-sense tips will ensure you win the battle for the safety and structural integrity of your home. It's a battle worth winning so being prepared and proactive will help you enjoy your home for years to come with less hassle and peace of mind!

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