With hurricane season underway, it’s time to talk about moisture control in your home. Moisture control is the process of keeping the level of moisture in your house below 60% and between 19-20% in your crawl space. While it’s a challenge in humid Eastern North Carolina, It’s important to keep moisture levels in your house regulated. Not doing so can negatively impact the living conditions and structural strength of your home.
Negative Effects of Excess Moisture
If not addressed, excess moisture could turn your home into a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Creating an environment which encourages mold growth is unfortunately extremely easy. All mold needs to thrive is organic, porous materials, and moisture. Examples of these materials include wood, insulation, drywall, grout, fabric, paper, etc. Since much of our homes and the belongings in them are organic and porous, we must be vigilant in reducing moisture levels.
Mold exposure can have undesirable health effects, typically involving the respiratory system. Exposure isn’t just dangerous for humans; it can also affect our pets. Mold can harm pets more than humans due to their less advanced immune systems.
In homes with crawl spaces, excess moisture under your home leads to fungus, mold and mildew growth. Left unchecked, these trap moisture and rot wood under your home, damaging floor joists, subflooring and weakening the structure of your home’s floors.
Hurricanes bring with them plenty of rain and dampness. Doing what you can to prepare for the high humidity will serve you well long-term. Two important things you can do to prepare are caulking and weatherstripping.
Caulking involves sealing cracks and gaps in your home with a caulking compound to stop air leaks. These compounds can contain silicone, polyurethane, latex, foam, resin, or butyl rubber. Weatherstripping involves applying strips of material to the edges of doors and windows to stop air leaks. Weatherstripping materials can contain felt, foam, vinyl, rubber, silicone, and more.
Quick attention to your house post-hurricane is vitally important. If your house is damaged, do your best to remove or thoroughly clean and dry all porous materials within 48 hours of exposure to water.