Indoor moisture vapor is beneficial for several reasons: it controls dust, prevents nosebleeds, and protects porous hardwood furniture and flooring from damage. However, excessive moisture vapor can cause serious damage to a home, while also placing you and your family’s health at risk for illness. So, how do you know if you have a moisture in your home?
One tell-tale sign of a moisture problem is the presence of mold. As explained by the University of Central Florida’s Solar Energy Center (FSEC), mold requires four things to grow: spores, organic food, suitable temperatures and “considerable moisture.” Depending on the species, mold may require an environment with a 70% or higher humidity level to grow.
#2) Condensation on Windows
You can expect some condensation to form on the outside of your windows. If condensation forms on the inside of your windows, however, it could indicate a moisture problem. When indoor humidity levels rise, some of the excess moisture will settle on glass surfaces such as windows and sliding doors.
#3) Musty Odors
Fungi such as mold and mildew create musty odors in humid environments by releasing Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs). This why basements and crawlspaces often smell differently than upper levels of a home. Even if you don’t see any mold, however, it could be hiding behind the walls, under the carpet and in the insulation.
#4) Peeling Wallpaper
High humidity levels can cause wallpaper to peel from the wall. If you see wallpaper peeling or even protruding out like a bubble, it could indicate a moisture problem. The airborne moisture vapor gets behind the wallpaper and mixes with the glue, causing it to peel.
#5) Insect Infestation
Finally, insect infestations may indicate a moisture problem in your home. Certain insects — silverfish, centipedes, fleas, scorpions, sowbugs and pillpugs — thrive in humid environments. As the humidity rises in your home, pests such as these will migrate inside your home, where they’ll begin to reproduce.
If you suspect your home has a moisture problem, you should take immediate action to remedy it. Ignoring the warning signs will only make the problem progressively worse. Thankfully, there are do-it-yourself and professional solutions to help you control humidity and moisture in your home.