During this time of year, homeowners call us asking, “Why is my home so humid?” or “How can I reduce humidity levels?” We have found that homeowners receive insufficient information about this topic from other contractors, vendors, or people they know.
Most homeowners believe it to be an active leak in the house causing the rise in humidity. In Los Angeles, we see high levels of moisture during this time for the following reasons.
As waterproofing consultants, we never want to see water spreading the stucco from your walls. We’ve always recommended that homeowners have a drip irrigation system and keep all watering at least six to twelve inches away to avoid damaging the foundation.
If you have any plants, especially alongside the house, you want to keep the sprinklers off or at lower levels with a drip system that waters one to three times a week to avoid flooding or over-saturation.
The house should also be highly insulated and completely sealed, with all weatherproofing and waterproofing concerns addressed by a Los Angeles waterproofing expert.
1. Reduce humidity with an air conditioner to bring cooler air while eliminating humid air. You can also add a dehumidifier to your air conditioning system. If your air conditioning system is more than 15 to 20 years old, you should consider replacing it. We recommend using a system that presses more airflow than the home initially needs, by at least another 10% or 20%. Please consult an HVAC professional for the proper ventilation system for your home. Make sure your air conditioner is up-to-date and your filter is changed regularly.
2. Actively use your exhaust ventilation fan. Fans allow for airflow throughout the house
3. Hot showers equal humid air. We recommend taking cooler showers.
4. Repair any leaking pipes by having a Los Angeles plumber check your plumbing with an infrared camera.
5. Keep your gutters clean. If any gutters go down into surface area drains, they need to be cleaned out and extended to keep water at least six feet away from your home.
6. Dry your laundry outside if possible, or avoid using the dryer because it generates a lot of humidity. Ensure that the dryer vent is fitted correctly, allowing humidity to exit the house and that the dryer vent is kept clear of lint.
7. Purchasing a dehumidifier. One rule of thumb is to set a dehumidifier in different areas of your home and measure how much water it gets out. If it’s equal throughout the entire house and each day, that is a good indication that the dehumidifier is reducing humidity levels in your home.
8. Find some form of an absorbent or some form of absorbent material used for closets or other areas that you can buy online or at the store, and this can be set in the area that is found to be humid to see how much moisture you get back. If this does not take care of the area, please immediately call us at Absolute Maintenance And Consulting.
9. Open windows and create airflow with the window open and fans inside the house.
10. Make sure to keep your plants away from the walls of your home. The water from the sprinklers is watering the plants but also harming the stucco on your walls.
11. Here’s our last rule of thumb: In today’s weather climate in Los Angeles, we have high humidity levels. Once you leave the windows open, if you leave for a while, close the windows down and leave no airflow running whatsoever in the house. Either an AC, HVAC that cycles on or off at a specific temperature, a fan that comes on or off to create airflow, or simply leaves a fan, like a Vornado fan, rotates and revolves in a specific room airflow for the entire house. By closing that moisture in the house and letting the sun come across the horizon of the house and heat it, you can grow mold. If the windows aren’t open, there’s no airflow, leaving a fan running in the house.