Florida Humidity: A Guide for Protecting Your Home

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

As a long-time resident of Florida, you know one thing for certain: you live in a humid state. In fact, certain cities deal with humidity rates near 90%. The worst part? Humidity isn't just uncomfortable; it's damaging to your property.

If left unchecked, humidity can cause issues at every level of your home. From inside your basement to the surface of your exterior siding, mold and mildew might make an appearance. You must keep your home safe from these types of damages and more. As you strive to do so, it helps to think about your property in two distinct categories: the interior and the exterior.

Protecting the Interior of Your Home

You'll experience many advantages from monitoring your home's humidity levels. Keeping these levels in check will go a long way in creating a comfortable environment. And nobody wants to feel muggy and damp within their own home.

You will also save on your energy bills. As you have probably experienced, high humidity levels make your home feel warmer than it actually is. By reducing the air's water saturation, you will spend less money on air conditioning.

Both of these advantages are noteworthy. However, the greatest benefit of lowering your home's humidity levels is the reduced risk of damage. When these levels are high, all your belongings are at risk-from the drywall to wooden fixtures.

There are a variety of ways to go about lowering your interior humidity levels. We recommend these methods:

  • Upgrade Your Windows. Old, leaky windows let in exterior humidity. Install plastic film to the surface of the window or weather stripping to the lining, and reduce the risk of cold, wet drafts. Of course, the best way to update your window fixtures is to replace them with sturdier storm windows.
  • Waterproof Your Basement Walls. Your basement is one of the greatest sources of excess humidity in your home. By waterproofing them and repairing any cracks, you can lower the humidity levels in your basement.
  • Insulate Crawl Spaces. One quick method of reducing humidity levels is to insulate the crawl space with a plastic vapor barrier.
  • Waterproof Your Foundation. Buy a water-absorbing clay and treat your foundation with it. This will seal your basement and protect areas where water infiltration commonly occurs.

With these steps, you can reduce the humidity levels in your home. You'll lower the risk of mold growth, condensation buildup, and muggy smells and atmospheres. If the problem continues to persist, you may consider purchasing a dehumidifier for your home.

Protecting the Exterior of Your Home

The exterior of your home must be able to withstand the pressure of humidity. If not, the interior and exterior paint and siding will begin to crack, blister, and develop mold growth. These conditions look unattractive and pose a risk to the health of your home's inhabitants.

Protecting your home's exterior from humidity is a little trickier than monitoring indoor humidity. But it can be done. Treat these parts of your home to avoid damages:

  • The Roof. You can install metal flashing to your roof and chimney to seal out moisture. While you're at it, check for an y shingles that have blistered, cracked, or curled and have them replaced.
  • Exterior Walls. Protect your exterior walls by keeping them freshly sealed and painted. You shouldn't place any organic piles (like dead leaves) or compost near exterior surfaces.
  • Expansion Joints. If you have bricking along your home's exterior, protect the expansion joints between each brick. Keep an eye out for any cracks and repair them quickly.

By performing these maintenance tips, you can reduce the risk of humidity damage. The best way to keep your home protected - from both the interior and the exterior - is to work with a professional. Replace your windows, paint and seal your exterior surfaces, and you'll protect your investment.

Alexandra 12/9/2014

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