Living on the West Coast and on Vancouver Island, where rain pours most frequently throughout the year, it becomes an important preventative endeavour to keep moisture at bay and away from the home. Often, simple measures can make a big difference and a regular schedule of home maintenance is far easier than waiting until something goes dreadfully wrong and costly. Otherwise, we all know that if moisture has been around for a while, it has the chance to mark its territory, leading to mold, and rot.
Here is a few tips and tricks to keeping moisture & humidity away:
- Install rain gutters if you don’t already have them. This will direct water away from the foundation and can help prevent a cracked slab.
- Clear leaves and tree debris from your rain gutters at least twice a year to avoid water backup that can rot wood gutters and rust those made of sheet metal. If gutter drainpipes are clogged, try to flush debris down them with a hose. If that doesn’t work, use a plumber’s snake to free the debris from the gutter drainpipe.
- Prevent water from pooling at and around the foundations by a descending surface. Check all perimeter drains once a year.
- Ensure that exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms vent to the outside. Installing vents and attic fans can help too
- Check air-conditioning drain lines and keep drip pans clean and unobstructed
- Adjust your lawn sprinklers to ensure that you don’t water your house along with your grass and garden. Wet wood can rot and attract dampwood termites.
- Inspect the washers on your hose and outdoor faucet periodically and replace them if needed to prevent dripping water from soaking the foundation of your home.
- You may also want to use a dehumidifier if maintaining your humidity has become an issue or you live in an older, less ventilated building. Dehumidifiers are commonly placed in basements, since they are underground and do not get a lot of warmth or direct sunlight, or in bathrooms without windows or specific areas in the home that require moist removal. Dehumidifiers work best with closed doors and windows.
- Go up in the attic to check for roof leaks every several months to prevent water damage to ceilings and walls from rain.
- Use the bathroom fan or open a window when you take a shower to prevent condensation that encourages mold and mildew growth.
- While cooking, try to cover your food and take full advantage of the exhaust fans in which your home is equipped. Oven and stove-top cooking produce more moisture. Slow cookers contribute less to indoor humidity
- Place household plants & concentrate them in one room. Plants release moisture vapor to the air. Especially when you have lots of plants their role in home humidity levels can be significant. Also make sure not to overwater them. Freshly cut firewood contains large amounts of water that evaporates when stored indoors. Better kept outside.
- Vent clothes dryers outside and clean out lint trap after each use. A moderate to heavily clogged vent, could trap moisture in the house and increases the risk for a fire.