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Summer Struggles: Humidity, Water Damage, and Restoration

As temperatures begin to hang steadily at the 90° mark and above, with humidity levels keeping pace, you may head to the pool or grab an ice cream cone to beat the heat. Unfortunately, your home doesn’t have the option for these quick fixes, and heat and humidity are a bad combination indoors. Keep reading as water damage restoration company Rytech offers sound advice for how to keep humidity at bay this summer.

Q: What is humidity?

Rytech Nashville: Humidity is the level of moisture in the air. The EPA typically recommends that indoor humidity is maintained at around 50%. But, in many parts of the United States, and particularly south of the Mason Dixon line, humidity levels in the summer often hit 90% or higher.

Q: Why is humidity bad?

Rytech Nashville: Humidity can cause a host of uncomfortable conditions and can make it difficult for those with respiratory issues (ex: asthma), to breathe efficiently. Furthermore, constant humidity feeds the air a perfect diet for toxic mold growth. Prolonged humidity can also weaken or degrade drywall and other building materials. If you want to avoid mold removal and water damage restoration costs, it pays to make a few simple changes to reduce interior moisture.

Q: Does running the air conditioner help?

Rytech Nashville: Absolutely! Your HVAC system is your most valuable tool when trying to reduce humidity. However, your system can only work well if it is maintained. Failure to do so can actually trap moisture in the air vents, which can result in a need for mold removal within the ductwork.

Q: What are some other ways to keep the interior cool, comfortable, and dry?

Rytech Nashville: Aside from running the air conditioner, you can air seal the home. An inexpensive roll of weatherstripping and a tube of silicone caulk will go a long way toward keeping humid weather outdoors where it belongs. Often, after a water intrusion event, our technicians will recommend air sealing the home as part of the water damage restoration process.

Q: Is it possible to reduce humidity in the bathroom? 

Rytech Nashville: The bathroom and kitchen pose challenges, especially when they are used every day. It may be helpful to have an exhaust fan installed to help draw moisture out of these rooms. You likely already have an exhaust fan in the kitchen above the range as part of the overhead hood. This can be turned on when boiling water or cooking other high-moisture foods. Similarly, a room-sized dehumidifier can help keep things under control.

Q: What is the water damage restoration process for issues that arise due to humidity?

Rytech Nashville: The process for returning a home back to normal depends on the extent of the damage. However, it will begin with an evaluation and will likely include drywall, carpet, and mold removal. The tech will have access to specialized tools and equipment to dry out the home before building materials are replaced.

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