Excessive levels of humidity in your home can damage your house, your possessions and your health. How? One word: Mold. Health risks from mold are especially a concern for those households with family members who are elderly, infants, suffer from allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities. In order to combat humidity, it is important to be on watch for water leaks and other sources of moisture in your home. A humidity level between 30% and 50% is what you want to aim for.
Regular checks of your home are one way to maintain healthy humidity levels. Here is a brief list of things to look for on a scheduled basis. Most are easy to perform yourself, but you can also have a home maintenance contractor or company do them for you.
1. Air conditioner drain lines – Can be damaged when the line that drains get clogged, overflowing water from the drip pan. Periodically check drip pan for water. Schedule annual inspection/service call to avoid buildup of algae and mold in the drain line.
2. Garbage disposal system – periodically check for cracking and other causes of leaks in your waste disposal. Look for damp spots underneath the counter where it may be dripping.
3. Hot Water Heater -, water heaters can rust or form cracks over time; resulting leaks can be a big source of moisture and costly to repair. Check for rust and deterioration every year. Check the drain pan for water, making sure the drain line for the pan is not clogged. Your water heater should be drained and cleaned the as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
4. Shower, Sink, Toilet, and Tub – water leakage from around bathtubs, toilets, showers and sinks may cause widespread damage due to the leak often being concealed from view. You can prevent leaks by making sure there is a watertight continuous sealing of caulk around all edges of sinks, toilets, tubs and shower stalls. Cracks in caulk or tile grout on walls or shower floors can point to lack of a watertight seal. This can be a problem if you reside in multi-family housing such as a condo or apartment building, because the leak could be in a neighbor’s bathroom without your knowledge.
5. Sprinklers/Irrigation Systems – Should maintain enough distance from the house so as not to allow sprinklers or sprinkler heads to dampen exterior walls.
6. Attic – Seasonal checks for damp insulation or water stains can uncover small or slow roof leaks.
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