If it gets too humid, the basement of your home can be the ideal area for mold and mildew to flourish. Because of this, you must manage its humidity. Given this, you might be curious about the ideal basement humidity and whether it varies throughout the summer and winter.
The ideal humidity range for your basement is between 30% and 50%. Your basement should also have a relative humidity level of 50% in the summer.
The ideal basement humidity level will, however, be lower in the winter because of the reduced outside humidity.
The humidity level should be between 25 and 40% if you live in an area where winter temperatures frequently drop below 20 ºF.
Read on to learn why it’s crucial to regulate and maintain the proper humidity level in your basement. We’ll also discuss the risks associated with too much or too little humidity in your basement. Additionally, we’ll talk about how to cope with the elements that increase humidity and how to reduce it.
Why Is It Important To Control And Maintain The Humidity In Your Basement?
The comfort, energy effectiveness, cost of heating and cooling, and mold growth can all be improved by controlling moisture.
If you effectively manage the moisture in your home, which will also help with moisture control, your efforts to insulate and air seal it will be more successful.
Additionally, everything in your basement gets a little soggy when the humidity level is too high. Additionally, a musty smell could appear if goods continue to become damp.
What Takes Place When the Humidity in Your Basement Is Too Low?
Your health could be negatively impacted by low humidity, which could make you more susceptible to common winter illnesses and result in things like nosebleeds and dry skin.
- In addition to those, the following dangers of low humidity levels:
- Bacteria and viruses will proliferate and repeatedly affect your health and the health of your family.
- Low humidity causes wooden furniture and floors to split, warp, and shrink.
- The wallpaper on your walls can become loose and peel at the edges, and mold might grow therein.
- The environment in your home is at risk when your humidity levels are too low.
What Risks Does Having An Overly Humid Basement Pose?
The optimal environment for the growth of mold is one with a relative humidity of 60% or higher. Additionally, the following situations may occur if your humidity level is too high:
- Basement mold left unchecked might lead to unhygienic indoor air that would sicken your family and exacerbate upper respiratory issues.
- In addition, mold damage to homes may cause costly foundation damage.
- When the basement humidity is high, there is a risk of excessive dampness. When warm air contacts your chilled appliances, condensation will start to form. If moisture accumulates on your appliances over time, it will start to rust, which will reduce their efficiency.
- If you frequently need to repair or replace broken equipment because of a moist basement, saving money will be challenging.
What Affects Basement Humidity Issues?
The major reason why your basement is damp or moist is that it is below grade. Additionally, the following causes moisture to enter your basement:
- Water Leaks
- Foundational fissures
- improper drainage
Water seeping into pores and fissures in porous building materials like masonry blocks, concrete, or wood, or through holes, cracks, and other discontinuities in the home’s basement walls, are the main causes of basement water leaks. These tiny cracks and pores have the ability to draw water upward.
Concrete and concrete block foundations typically develop cracks. The effects could be disastrous if floor joists are not tightly secured to the foundation wall, allowing the wall to slip. Soil sinking can also cause cracking.
Cracks also frequently develop where substantial items, such as the fireplace and walls, meet. Drainage is frequently used to remove water from fissures, although sometimes repairs are necessary.
Subsurface Drainage That Is Inefficient
It’s normal to have a subpar gutter and downspout system or for the ground surface to not slope away from the foundation. It is also rather common to find missing or malfunctioning subsurface drainage systems.
In many older properties, there is additionally no subterranean drainage system. This is from a time before basements were used for habitation.
In other cases, the systems malfunction for a number of reasons, such as:
- pipe breaking,
- tree roots or silt blocking, or
- a faulty link to the sump.
The sump pit often has a pump to elevate the water to the surface of the ground outside the foundation wall. This pump may not function.
How Can The Humidity In Your Basement Be Regulated?
Your options for lowering moisture in your basement are:
Keep Wall Condensation At Bay
The best and most effective way to stop condensation on the walls is to check your basement for leaks and sources of water. Leaky windows and standing water are two major contributors to the humid basement. If your windows and walls have cracks or are improperly sealed, your basement may become humid.
Putting In A Sump Pump
This pump helps to direct water away from your home’s foundation. You must tuckpoint the interior and exterior walls by removing the old mortar and installing new one in order to get the greatest results from the sump pump.
Install Floor Drains And Insulation
Humidity levels are not significantly affected when interior walls are waterproofed with paint sealer. By building a floor drain and insulating the basement walls to block water from flowing into the area, you can lower the humidity.
Make Use Of Fans To Ventilate
Install ventilation fans in the bathrooms and kitchen to regulate moisture and lower the basement’s humidity levels.
Make sure your home’s HVAC system receives regular maintenance and inspections to ensure that it is functioning effectively.
Transform The Water
Despite the fact that this task may be simple, many people don’t finish it. By rerouting the flow of water, you can clean and reattach the gutter system to keep the rainfall flowing continuously. Design the landscaping in a different way to prevent water from running back towards the foundation.
Fixing Home Leaks
Plumbing problems and leaks are two of the most common reasons of high humidity levels. Look for leaky fittings and pipelines. Simple repairs like changing a washer and tightening loose joints can be done by yourself if you have the right tools.
Can Dehumidifiers And Humidifiers Help With Humidity Control?
Yes, these tools can be useful. The process is as follows:
How Dehumidifiers Work to Cut Down on Humidity
The relative humidity of the air should be lowered by your dehumidifier to a range of 30% to 50%. Numerous dehumidifiers come with a metre that gauges the relative humidity in the room where they are put in your home, and you can change the humidity level to the appropriate level.
A dehumidifier works by sucking warm air currents into its coils with the help of a fan. Warm air condenses as it travels through the dehumidifier’s refrigerated coils, leaving condensation inside the appliance.
This condensation builds up and drips into a storage tank that is attached to the dehumidifier one drop at a time. The device’s opposite side then exhales drier, colder air back into your home.
A dehumidifier may not have the same effects on everyone, though. The use of one in your region can have certain unfavorable effects. The amount of dry air is increased by dehumidifiers. If you live in a dry climate or heat your home with gas or electricity, a dehumidifier might not be necessary.
Humidity levels in your basement should range from 30% to 50% to keep things secure and cozy. Humidity levels that are either above or below this range can seriously harm not only your home but also your health.