Reduce trapped moisture by barring it at the door!

If you’ve been reading this blog the last couple of weeks you know that we’ve been talking about avoiding trapped moisture in your home – it’s up to no good inside your four walls!


Over the many years in our work at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor, we have inspected and directed the rehabilitation of hundreds of moisture-damaged homes. From the foundation to the roof, our inspections overwhelmingly identify improper ventilation as the main source of expensive problems to the homes in this county.


Today we’re answering some questions related to moisture problems. And, we’re giving you some practical living tips to reduce moisture inside your house. See if any of these apply to you and your home!


Q. How do I keep moisture out of my home to start with?


A. It’s the stuff of everyday living that often invites moisture in to your home – especially in Grays Harbor during the fall and winter.


Consider pets, muddy boots, rain jackets and umbrellas. All of these can bring moisture into your house every day – especially this time of year.


Keep a towel near the door for your pooch and your boots. Shake off your umbrella outside, or better yet, leave it with your boots on your covered porch or garage. (Make sure that wet towel gets to the wash so it isn’t creating a problem itself!)


Keeping wet items in an aptly named mud room – with the window cracked, or fan on as needed – is a great way to keep the moisture in a good place. Dry off items there.


However, not all homes are equipped with such handy rooms. Use garages, porches, even carports to air dry your gear. And if those aren’t options, you can always make good use of your fans, windows and make sure that towel goes into the wash daily.


Q. It’s a constant fight to remind my kids to use the fan when they take their long showers. Can you give me some more ammo? Besides the moisture on the mirror and toilet that is fairly easily wiped up, why is it important they turn on the bathroom fan?


A. Both bathroom and kitchen fans are keys to keeping your home from experiencing trapped moisture and all that it will bring. When you let moisture in, it will bring its friends mold and mildew. Then, the next thing you know you’ll have peeling paint, or even soggy drywall. This is an expensive, time-consuming hassle that may even have negative health consequences.


In short, this really is something worth nagging about. The fan should not only be on during the shower, but for a full 30 minutes afterward as well.



Q. What are other practical things I can do to keep the house drier on the inside?


A. When the air gets saturated so does the soil. The number one thing to do is to lay 6 mil. black plastic on top of the bare soil under your house. This alone will stop a tremendous amount of humidity from entering your home by being pulled through the floor.


In addition to keeping wet stuff, like umbrellas and rain gear, outside under cover to dry off, and using your bathroom fans diligently, don’t forget using your kitchen fans when making anything steamy.


If you don’t have fans, get them and be sure to vent them to the exterior of the house.


Also be certain your dryer vent is vented outside the exterior wall of the house and is leak-free; insulate your house and weather-seal all windows and doors; check your attic and foundation for the proper number of vents.


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