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Water is one of the biggest threats to any home especially in the hot-humid climate we live in. Moisture should be kept out of the home as it worsens durability and indoor air quality, and whenever it is present it needs to be expelled as quickly and effectively as possible. Many of the activities we do in the home also create moisture like bathing and cooking, and gas appliances also create water vapor as a by-product, so it is important that your home has proper ventilation in place to expel any moisture produced within the home.
Moisture & Indoor Air Quality
It may be hard to think of water vapor as being a threat to your health, but indoor air quality specialists classify water vapor as a pollutant! Moisture is the limiting factor for mold and bacterial growth in our homes. Practically every surface and component in our home is a potential food source for mold and bacteria and their spores are everywhere, naturally occurring and carried through the air unnoticed. It is only when the right amount of moisture is present in our homes that causes mold and bacteria to grow. Mold and bacteria can cause asthma and allergic reactions, and some types have even been linked to more serious health problems like cancer, birth defects, immune system suppression, and tissue poisoning! Increased moisture in the home also provides a favorable environment for dust mites and cockroaches whose droppings are another cause of asthma and allergic reactions. If you have mold in your home or you feel like your home is causing your allergies to act up, give us a call and we can help you reach a healthier home.
Humidity (the amount of moisture in the air) plays a key role in how we perceive comfort, which we are very familiar with here in the south. Humans are especially sensitive to humidity because we rely on the moisture on our skin to evaporate into the air in order to cool off, basically, we sweat. The closer the air is to 100% humidity, the harder it is for the moisture to evaporate. This is what gives us that muggy-clammy feeling when we step outside on a hot humid day or when we step into a basement with bad humidity control. There are several factors that can cause high humidity levels in a home from bad drainage to air leakage, and our building specialists can determine the best solution to give you a more comfortable home.
Condensation occurs when warm, moist air cools down and is unable to hold as much moisture, so condensation forms on the surfaces. In homes in the southeast this most commonly occurs on floor joists in the crawlspace and on and around duct registers, especially in the summertime. This constant moisture will lead to mold growth and if unaddressed structural damage. There are a number of reasons condensation could be occuring in your home from oversized HVAC to undersized ducts to air leakage and improper vapor barriers. Just cleaning the condensation/fungal growth will not stop it from coming back, the problem must be identified to stop condensation from occuring and our building scienctists can identify your isuues and provide the solutions.
EFFECTS ON DURABILITY
Moisture is a common cause of building degradation and can attack on many fronts, from wet foundations to leaky roofs. Once wood reaches a certain moisture level it begins to rot, weakening its structure, and has to be replaced. High moisture levels also attract insects and pests, who cause material damage in their unique ways. Leaving any point of unwanted water/moisture in your home untreated will likely only worsen overtime and can lead to thousands of dollars in damage, so do not ignore any concerns you may have!
One of the largest components to building science is how moisture interacts and effects a home and its occupants, so our home experts have the knowledge to address any moisture, humidity, and/or water problems your home is experiencing.
We recently employed Energy Reduction Specialist of North Carolina to assist us in upgrading and weatherizing a secondary home for energy conservation. This involved many modifications due to the home being 63 years old. The home needed to have a central heating and air unit installed in addition to many other upgrades and modifications. I previously just had a bad experience with another construction co. and had many reservations about starting another construction project. I was pleasantly surprised.
Faye M., Greensboro