Your building humidity level is likely the last thing on your mind when considering your building’s health and safety, however, ignoring humidity issues can lead to costly building maintenance and repair issues. If you’re interested in maintaining the structural integrity of your building, the health and longevity of your materials and equipment, and the well-being of your staff, you may want to consider taking a closer look at indoor humidity.
About Indoor Humidity :
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Measured as a ratio of present moisture relative to saturation levels, humidity can be a bit confusing. Click this link to check out our post, “What is RH and why does it matter?”, for a refresher. Lacking a clear understanding of humidity and the challenges it causes can lead to major issues, including:
- Growth of mold and mildew throughout your building
- Increase in allergy and respiratory health problems in your staff
- Damage to electrical equipment or sensors
- Increase in prevalence of insects and other pests
What constitutes a humidity problem?
Indoor humidity levels are safest between 40 and 60 percent, but there’s quite a bit of variation between a room with 40 percent humidity and 60 percent. So how do you know the right building humidity level? First, look for signs of a humidity problem in your building:
Presence of Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in environments that are consistently over 60% relative humidity. Not only are mold and mildew a health hazard, but they give off a musky smell and are visually unappealing. Mold spores can cause asthma attacks and are a common allergen that could potentially be affecting the health of your staff.
Whether it’s on a window because of a quick change in outdoor temperatures or because a cold pipe is running through a warm space, indoor condensation is common. Quickly building up on windows, walls, and equipment, uncontrolled condensation can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. More commonly, condensation will pool in specific areas and cause damage to carpeting, drywall, and furniture while also creating a slick surface for employees to slip on. At a minimum, condensation is visually unappealing; at its worst, it could be a serious safety hazard.
Flooring, Furniture, or Equipment Damage
High humidity levels can be a life-ender for electronic equipment like computers, printers, or servers. Even though these objects aren’t often susceptible to condensation and mildew due to their high operating temperatures, extended exposure can begin to have an effect. Paper, wooden furniture, and books, on the other hand, all absorb excess moisture in the air and can be a host for mold growth.
Ask an Expert About Humidity in Your Building
Whether you’re unsure if you have a problem in your building, unclear on the ideal building humidity level, or want to know how best to treat a known humidity issue, an expert from Therma-Stor may be able to help. Our team of highly trained professionals can inspect your building, analyze the results, and find a solution.