Humidity and excess moisture can lead to problems for homeowners, and these issues may come back to haunt you when you’re preparing to sell your home — such as during the home inspection process. Many times, they contribute to mold and mildew growth in (or on the outside of) your home. Taking steps to reduce moisture is the best way to prevent mildew and mold from growing in your home and keep it comfortable.
Working Outside to Dry the Inside
Ensuring you have well-sealed doors and windows, proper ventilation, and good insulation can reduce moisture build-up inside. Make sure to regularly check doors, windows, and the underside of your roof for leaks. Clean your gutters regularly to ensure they keep water flowing away from your home. It may be time to invest in waterproofing for your foundation and basement if you’re struggling to get moisture under control. Finally, check the grading of the land around your foundation. It should slope downward, away from your home. Groundwater will follow the lay of the land.
Fight Dampness and Moisture Inside
Moisture also tends to build up near exhaust vents for clothes dryers. Make sure your vent goes outside of the home and that the line is well sealed. You can reduce dampness on cool mornings by turning on your furnace, then briefly opening doors to let the moist air exit. Installing exhaust fans in your cooking and bathing areas can also reduce moisture inside. Moisture may accumulate on walls or other surfaces in cooler weather. Dry condensation with a towel and open your windows for short periods to keep air moving. Also, don’t leave wet items (like towels) to sit inside. Spread them out to dry or take them outside if the weather permits.
It’s also important to monitor humidity in your home. Certain rooms or areas may be more prone to humidity or moist air. When it’s warm and humid, an air conditioner can remove some of that moisture. When it’s cool and humid, the furnace will do the same. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier, which will condense and remove excess moisture from the air in your home. Some building materials like ceramic tile are naturally water-resistant, which can prevent bacterial growth or moisture absorption into the materials under the floor.
Give Your Basement Special Treatment
Inside homes, the basement is one area that often requires extra attention. Water may leak through crevices in your foundation or cement walls. It’s critical to inspect your basement regularly for any cracked, crumbling, or defective mortar. If moisture accumulates, drainage may be an issue. Aggregate, like gravel, surrounding the exterior of your basement can keep moisture draining away from your home.