A home is the greatest investment a person can make, to keep that investment safe, every day wear and tear on the home needs to be addressed. As winter slowly comes to a close it is an excellent time for some spring maintenance. As luring as it maybe to skip this type of work it is wise to take care of the little things before they become BIG PROBLEMS.
Humidity Can Causes Big Problems
Here in Savannah GA our high humidity can create some big home problems. Mildew and mold is an especially prevalent issue with homes here in Savannah. On the interior of your home make sure your home’s humidity is in the proper range. Too much humidity in your home creates a breeding ground for mold, mildew and other home invaders. Humidity control is also important for controlling indoor allergens and bacteria. A good rule of thumb depending on the season, is to keep your home between 30% and 60% relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
Check Your Crawl Space
In Savannah humidity is a constant and really effects the homes here adversely. Before the extreme heat comes, now is the time to check for water and mold in your crawl space. The framing and material in the home is a like a sponge, starving for moisture, so as water enters the house it's absorbed by all the building materials. Then when the temperature warms and the humidity increases, it's perfect conditions for mold to grow. If you don't get it taken care of, you could get sick. As humidity builds in your crawl space, it creates an ideal space for mold and rot to grow. Crawl space humidity leads to all of the following problems in your home:
- Rotting & Mold
- Rusted, Corroded Metal
- Odors & Allergens
- Higher Utility Bills
Fortunately, controlling crawl space humidity is easy! Contact a professional and get a crew of crawl space contractors. They can usually install a moisture control system in less than a day. They will usually seal those crawl space vents, and then follow up by installing a crawl space vapor barrier on the walls and floors. A crawlspace dehumidifier is a great finishing touch for drying out the space and helping you to best preserve your home.
Savannah Homes Wood Flooring Care
Here in Savannah many homes have original wood flooring, especially homes in the Victorian, Ardsley Park, and Baldwin Park districts. While inspecting your home for damp and moldy areas also check your floors. If you find some flooring that has been damaged with water you can try bleaching the area with oxalic acid. If this does not work than you will need to replace the boards.
For Savannah homeowners these tips are especially helpful. What to do to reduce humidity in your home:
- Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside where possible. (Combustion appliances such as stoves and kerosene heaters produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside.
- Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher or dishwashing, etc.
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
- Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible. Dry all items completely.
- Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.
- Increase air temperature.
- Clean your dehumidifier if you have one
- Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed.
As the days heat up in Savannah and elsewhere in the country here are some signs to look for in needing some humidity control in your home are:
- Having to keep turning down your air conditioner on really humid days just to stay cool – you may be overcooling your home. This wastes money.
- Have musty, moldy smells in your home.
- Having to continually empty your portable dehumidifier.
Here is a great website I found to learn about how humidity effects our homes here in Savannah.
Another website to follow up on mold and moisture in your home. http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.html