Humidity problems can be the worst. While temperatures may not appear to be hot on the thermostat, the moisture in the air can make it feel 10x worse. Those who live in the Midwest are especially aware of these dreadful conditions as we are all blasting our air conditioning or are out at the pool to cool off.
To make matters worse, humidity can also cause water damage to your property. While the damage will ultimately depend on the degree of humidity and moisture level within the home, here are some of the problems caused by humidity and property damages that can occur as a result. You can also contact a water damage restoration or mold removal expert to have any damages restored professionally.
Property Damages Caused by Humidity and How to Fix Them
Water Damage Underground
Many property owners wouldn’t think about the damages humidity can cause because underground areas, such as the basement and crawlspaces are cool. However, there is a significant amount of moisture underground that can combine with the humid air to create condensation on the walls, floors, furniture, and other surfaces.
Over time, this will create musty smells that can cause mold and mildew to grow. If you notice any extreme allergic reactions, you may need to have your home or building tested for mold or a professional mold removal company remediate it.
Hopefully, if you catch the problem in its early stages, you can open your air vents to regulate the moisture out of the basement or underground area. You may even want to consider just keep basement and cellar doors closed all summer to prevent the humidity from entering at all.
If you have already noticed significant amounts of condensation, you can bring out a dehumidifier and insulate the walls with rigid, waterproof foam. Just be sure that it is covered by drywall or another fire protection barrier.
Water Damaged Underground Appliances
There are also many appliances you may have in your basement that can become severely affected by the humidity. If the air contains high levels of moisture, it can quickly create condensation on the pipes, toilet tanks, air conditioning unit, washing machine, dryer, etc. Over time, they can develop mold spores and musty smells that can create a huge problem for you in the future.
While simply closing the basement door would be the easiest option to prevent the problem, you can also cover them with a waterproof foam to prevent the beads of water from settling.
Water Damaged Flooring
Now moving upstairs, your floors are at a high risk for water damage and can be costly to replace if the condensation settles for too long. Mildew and mold can also grow within carpets and floorboards that can go unnoticed until it seeps through the cracks.
Of course, it is best to avoid this problem altogether by keeping the air conditioning unit on and conducting proper air flow throughout the property.
If you have noticed this problem already, you can remove mildew from the carpet with professional carpet cleaning services or shampoo it yourself (as long as you know how). This will remove the musty odors. However, if the smell and mildew still persist, you should replace the padding.
You can also remove mildew if it is growing on the floorboards by scrubbing it with quaternary disinfectants or trisodium phosphate. Make sure to rinse thoroughly, dry it out with a fan, and apply a coat of mildew-resistant coat of paint.
Problems in the Walls
Believe it or not, drywall and wood walls are the perfect for absorbing moisture and condensation. You may not notice it right away, but they can become soggy and start to smell over time. Paint can also start to peel off the walls if there is a significant amount of condensation. Overall, this will attract mold and mildew which will create a larger problem over time.
To prevent this issue, you can apply wall insulation and apply vapor-retardant paints. For the cracks, fill them with weather stripping or caulk, focusing along the doors, windows, baseboards, and walls.
Issues with Stored Items
When water comes into contact with personal items, they can become ruined if mold starts to grow. This can also include foods, such as rusting and leaking cans, stale, swollen, and moldy foods, and mold in the cabinets. To protect your food, make sure that the air is flowing properly throughout all cabinets. You may even need to open them for a while until the moisture level decreases.
For clothes, make sure that dry air is able to flow throughout storage spaces. You can also use silica gel packets to absorb the moisture within the clothes if they are compacted in trunks and closets. Just make sure that there is enough space between the materials to allow the air to circulate freely.
Problems in the Attic
Naturally, heat and moisture will rise into the attic putting all of your stored belongings and building materials at risk for severe damage. Just make sure to have a fan running with the windows open so the area has some ventilation.
Humidity and Property Damage Repair Professionals
While there are many ways that the damages caused by humidity can be prevented, it is almost impossible to stop water from causing some form of damage over time. Depending on how far it has spread and how long before it was noticed, it may or may not be able to be treated by homeowner’s themselves. If you are lucky to catch it in its early stages, you can most likely fix the issue yourself without having to spend too much.
On the other hand, if you have found a significant amount of damage in addition to mold growing on your property, it is best to contact a professional water damage restoration company. These professionals use professional equipment and products that are designed to remove mold and restore building materials and content.
You may want to consider the nation’s leading disaster restoration company, ServiceMaster. Not only do they use professional products and equipment, but they have years of experience, are licensed, and work with insurance companies to ensure peace of mind. Finally, they will secure all areas of the home to ensure that you are not at risk for water damage in the near future.