words Al Woods
Most people don’t worry too much about indoor humidity levels until it starts affecting their health and their homes. Ideally, you should have the humidity level inside your home between 25 and 55 percent, but as soon as it’s too high or too low, you can see the problems it can cause.
When the levels are too high, it can increase mold growth and also damages the walls with too much moisture. Likewise, if the humidity is too low, it can cause your skin to dry up and become flaky. Learn more about how humidity levels can affect your life:
Image via Flickr by árticotropical
It Can Damage the Walls
If the walls inside your home are cracking and peeling, it could be a sign that the humidity levels are high. The moisture gets trapped inside the walls, which dissolves the paint binding, causing it to peel off. It can also make the drywall soggy and flaky, and in the worst cases, create a mold buildup.
It Increases Mold Growth
One of the reasons mold tends to grow in bathrooms is because it’s extremely humid. And it gets worse with no exhaust fan to increase ventilation. The same idea applies to your entire home when humidity levels are high, and before you know it, you have persistent mold growing everywhere.
It Intensifies Allergic Reactions
Humidity levels can have a big impact on allergic reactions. When you have too much moisture, apart from increasing mold growth (a known allergen), it also maximizes the concentration of volatile organic compounds. These compounds can cause serious respiratory problems, especially in young children, and sometimes affect the nervous system.
It Makes Wooden Furniture Wobbly
Have you ever heard cracking noises coming from wooden furniture? These sounds happen because wood is a porous material that shrinks and expands as it absorbs (or dissipates) moisture. If the humidity levels in your home are fluctuating, it can affect the furniture as the joints become loose with constant change.
It Causes Dry and Flaky Skin
Low humidity levels can cause your skin to become dry and flaky. It’s similar to the winter months when you have to use lip balm and moisturizers to protect yourself against the dry air. The lack of moisture in the air can also affect your hair, irritate your throat, and lead to itchy eyes.
It Can Ruin Your Wines
If you’re a fan of wines, particularly the ones with corks (not screw caps), you should pay extra attention to the humidity levels in your home. When the levels are too low, the cork can shrink, dry out, and eventually crack, which in turn can completely ruin your wine. That’s the reason wine cellars tend to have humidity systems to control the levels and guarantee quality.
Most of the problems related to indoor humidity levels are not obvious, but they’ll probably happen at the same time. If you see unusual mold growth around your home, cracked walls, and your family experiences frequent allergic reactions, there’s a possibility the humidity levels are off and you need to take action.