In chilly Indiana, our homes need heat in the winter. But furnaces not only heat, but also dry out the air. This absence of moisture can aggravate asthma, dust allergies, and even cause nosebleeds for some people. Some people sore throats and “perpetual colds” linger for weeks. And everyone suffers from dry hands and feet in the wintertime.
Hoosiers consider summer humidity to be uncomfortable. But, a heated home in the wintertime is a different story. The level of humidity in your home is considered “relative humidity.” While weather-related humidity is the actual amount of moisture in the air, relative humidity is a measurement of how humid the air feels to us.
During the winter, cold outside air enters the home and becomes heated. This heated air expands, and can make the air feel dry, even though the total volume of moisture in the air has not changed. Humidifiers can add more airborne moisture into our homes to help ease nasal and chest congestion. The systems can be as simple as a perpetual pot of boiling water in the kitchen, a tabletop mister or an entire system attached to your home furnace. However, when not cleaned properly, all types can lead to health complications. Poorly maintained humidifiers can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Not only do our bodies hate overly dry air, our homes do too. Wood floors and furniture need a minimum humidity level of 35% to prevent splitting along the grain. Our bodies love more humidity – but if it gets over 35% you run the risk of mold growth. MayoClinic.com recommends keeping humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent, over 55% can help germs thrive. Measure the humidity in the home using a hygrometer, purchased at a local hardware store.
Excess moisture can damage walls, paint, insulation and ceilings. Even worse, the moisture can promote the growth of mold on household surfaces, which can cause health issues in sensitive individuals. Signs of excessively high humidity levels include condensation or fog forming on walls or glass surfaces, such as mirrors, pictures or window panes. The carpeting and walls around the humidifier might feel cool and damp to the touch. The water damage experts at Firestorm Restoration is Indy’s expert water damage restoration team.
Proper humidifier maintenance of portable household units includes pouring out leftover water after every use and wiping all of the surfaces completely dry. Whole house units can leak or malfunction and allow excess moisture to build up. If you suspect a problem, call the water damage experts at Firestorm Restoration to investigate and repair.
If you’ve had excess moisture enter your home with winter, invite another set of eyes to investigate the problem areas. Trust your local disaster repair company. The water damage experts at Firestorm Restoration can identify the problem, make repairs, and prevent future mold growth.
Our team is Indy’s first choice for property damage, cleanup and repairs. Not only do we have a 30-45 minute response time, we also offer free estimates. Plus, we cover repairs with a 24 month transferable warranty.