Humidity

Today's manufactured homes are homes to be proud of. They are built to meet or exceed the stringent HUD code requirements. They have been designed and built to be energy efficient and be easier to heat and cool. Windows and doors that reduce air leakage, vapor barriers and more and better insulation all contribute to this efficiency.

However, these same features can also cause moisture to build up inside the house. You need some moisture to be healthy. If your skin, nose or throat is too dry or you have a high static electricity level causing shocks or clothing clinging to your body, your humidity level is probably too low. Your home also needs some to avoid wood shrinkage, but too much moisture can result in damage to your home.

Too much humidity can cause staining of the ceiling, warping and/or staining of wall panels and can even cause mildew in fabrics or carpeting giving your home a musty odor. This damage may not be immediately obvious as some of it may occur within the walls.

Normal living conditions such as cooking, bathing, washing and even breathing and perspiring create moisture. A family of 4 can introduce 2-3 gallons of water, in the form of moisture, per day into their home's environment.

Other sources of humidity can be moisture from the crawl space under your home, supplementary heat sources that are not properly vented or from humidifiers that are used during the heating season.

The first evidence of too much moisture is condensation on the windows or other cool surfaces inside your home. Damp spots on ceilings or the inside of exterior walls are other signs. Blisters in the outside painted areas or buckling or bulging of the siding can mean that moisture from inside the home has been forced out to the siding due to "vapor pressure."

How do you control the moisture in your home?

  • Provide adequate ventilation of air throughout the home, especially behind clothes dryers, in closets and behind electrical appliances.
  • Sustain a comfortable average temperature in the home - excessively high temperatures can cause higher moisture levels.
  • Open a window for a period of time, even in cold weather, to allow fresh, dry air in and let out moisture laden air.
  • Run exhaust fans while bathing and cooking. Cover pots with lids to trap moisture.
  • Do not tape or seal doors and windows closed.
  • Do not humidify your home.
  • Do not use vaporizers longer than necessary or without proper ventilation.
  • If you have a crawl space under your home, make sure it is properly vented and has a vapor barrier.
  • Do not place furniture tightly against walls. This will not allow free circulation of air.
  • Vent clothes dryers and gas fueled appliances to the outside - not under the home.
  • If you have a basement, be sure to take measures to prevent soil moisture from entering this area.
  • Prevent "Ice dams" by keeping snow and ice off your roof.
  • Use a dehumidifier if further control is needed.

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