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How to Shield Your Chicagoland Home from Moisture and Humidity

It’s always humid in Chicago, but it’s during the summer that we really feel it. Nothing new there. Some think it’s because we live so near Lake Michigan. But the lake makes little or no significant contribution to those processes.

According to Tom Skilling, chief meteorologist at WGN-TV, Chicago’s high humidity has three primary origins: humid air that arrives here from the Gulf of Mexico, moisture that’s released by growing plants and moisture that evaporates into the air from wet soil. Surprisingly, the lake actually removes moisture from humid summer air. Just as water vapor condenses out of humid air onto a cold glass of soda, so also does moisture from humid air condense onto the cool surface of Lake Michigan. And when that “dehumidified” air blows across Chicago, our air actually dries out.

But no matter the season, protecting your home from moisture and humidity is the key to living comfortably and preventing substantial damage. By maintaining the indoor humidity level of your home between 30 and 50 percent, you can experience significant benefits. Along with enjoying a preferred comfort level, a lower indoor humidity setting prevents excess moisture which has the destructive tendency to rot a home’s wood furniture, drywall and window frames. Other household items, such as musical instruments, likewise react adversely to dampness.

Maintaining low humidity also reduces the chances of mold getting a foothold and uncontrollably spreading throughout your home. Additionally, dust mites, some allergens and pest infestations have less of a chance to thrive in a properly humidified environment.

Steps to Take to Reduce Humidity

Each home handles humidity differently. Factors that influence how a house responds to humidity include the home’s construction and design, the airtightness of the home and if the builder installed vapor barriers. The following are some ways you can help reduce moisture and high humidity levels to protect your Chicagoland home:

Insulate Crawl Spaces –

Crawl spaces are notorious for containing excess moisture and high humidity levels. These damp environments are a breeding ground for mold colonies. Rotted joists and damage to the home’s structure can result. But before installing insulation in crawl spaces, any standing water will need to be removed and the ground dried before laying down a vapor barrier.

Insulate the Basement –

Many basements have problems with condensation which forms when moist air hits cold pipes, walls, and exposed duct work. Adding insulation to these problem areas prevents the humid air from reacting to cooler surfaces.

Run the Air Conditioner –

Did you know that air conditioning units help to dehumidify because the refrigeration process naturally gets rid of some of the moisture in the air? That’s why you see them dripping when running. If you don’t have an AC unit, then run a fan. It won’t directly remove moisture, but a few hours a day of steady air flow will help lessen minor dampness.

Run a Dehumidifier –

Installing a dehumidifier will efficiently reduce humidity in high-moisture spaces like the basement. Mold grows in environments with humidity levels above 60 percent, so it should be set significantly lower than that. Monitor the dehumidifier; if the unit never shuts off, it is a sign of an air leak.

Possible Underlying Problems

Possible factors contributing to moisture and high humidity in your home may be:

  • a leak in your plumbing system
  • water entering your home due to clogged gutters
  • cracked sealants around windows and drains
  • landscaping or pavement sloping toward the house

So, the most important thing that needs to be done is to identify and stop the water source before water damage can spread. This may be difficult for you to do, so call in the professionals from ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons to take care of it. Our skilled technicians have the tools needed to find water damage and its source. They’ll remove all excess moisture with advanced water extraction equipment and techniques, dry your Chicago area property, and repair the source of the damage. This will give you peace of mind so that you can enjoy your home in comfort again.

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a 2020 recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. For more information, call 773-376-1110 or visit www.servicemasterbysimons.com or info@servicemaster-rbs.com

 

 

Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2018 Chicago Business Journal Influential Women in Business Honoree, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, and serves on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.