Article by: R. S. Hall
Excess humidity is the primary cause of mold and mildew growth indoors, and can be hazardous to not only your health, but the integrity of your home. Dehumidification is an essential component in preventing the build-up of moisture, and can thereby eliminate these dangers and hazards.
Mold & Mildew
Mold and mildew simply love a warm, wet environment, and will take root quickly in a humid climate. Once mold has gotten a foothold in a home, it can also be very difficult to remove. Professional mold remediation services are often necessary to solve the problem quickly and effectively. However, this solution can be costly and there is no guarantee that the mold won't simply return within a few weeks or months if the reason the mold grew in the first place is not corrected.
The Consequences of Excess Moisture – Health and Home
Reducing excess moisture throughout your home (in walls, floors, ceilings and roofs of a building) is important not only because of its negative impact on your health, but untreated dampness can also affect the structural integrity of your home.
Mold, mildew and fungus is not only unsightly but can be hazardous to the health of any person exposed to it. Simply breathing in moist air can present certain health hazards and exacerbate some medical conditions. As with mold, moist air can increase the severity of some respiratory illnesses such as allergies and asthma. Moist air is also more likely to carry more contaminants and pollutants. A musty odor in the home, even where no mold is present could point to the presence of contaminants.
Individuals who have respiratory health conditions (such as asthma) are particularly vulnerable to these hazards. In fact, some types of mold can be fatal.
Bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms are more active in a moist environment. People are therefore more likely to contract diseases and illnesses, and could have greater difficulty recovering. Open wounds and sores are less likely to heal in these types of situations, leading to infection and other more serious conditions forming.
Clean dry air is essential for good health.
Unsightly damp patches begin to form with excess moisture; causing plaster, masonry and other structural features to erode and crumble.
A home’s woodwork is adversely affected by excess moisture, and are more likely to become weak, warped, and wood rot setting in. Cupboards, closets, wooden floors and other woodwork will be affected by a moist environment, requiring costly repair or replacement.
Metal is not immune to dampness, and will rust and corrode in a moist environment. Rusty metal can also have certain health consequences.
Dust mites thrive in a humid environment, and could aggravate allergies; even when people have no previously-diagnosed conditions. Reducing humidity reduces or eliminates your dust mite population.
Preventative techniques such as airing a structure on a daily basis, allowing sunlight and air in to deter and eliminating excess moisture, is essential. Alternatively, a whole-house dehumidifier will perform this function on a permanent basis and work in two ways:
- Whole house dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air through a condensation process.
- Whole house dehumidifiers filter contaminants like mold spores, dust mites and micro-organisms from the air.
For optimal results in high humidity, it is recommended that a whole house dehumidification system be used; such as the HealthyAire® DH70 or the HealthyAire® DH95.
Whole house dehumidifiers simply ensure that moisture, as well as temperature, is controlled in every room in the home. Unlike air conditioners that stop working when the desired temperature is reached (and excess moisture is still present), dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air as long as there is excess moisture to remove. This is especially important to the bathrooms and kitchen areas which are particularly prone to the hazards and dangers of a humid environment. HealthyAire® systems work well in small spaces such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces, and remove as much as 70 or 95 pints per day. Go to www.generalfilters.com to learn more.