Loving Your Home From Afar
Visiting your vacation/second home is a great escape from your everyday life. Whether it’s a cozy cottage by the beach, a luxurious mountain retreat, or a condo with a corner view of downtown, ensuring proper maintenance can be challenging, especially when you’re not there all the time. And who’s looking out for your primary home when you’re away? Without controls in place, excess moisture can lead to disgusting mold growth and structural damage that can be expensive to repair.
Let’s explore how moisture and resulting mold growth can damage your homes and ways to prevent it. Keep reading!
How Can Excess Moisture Damage Your Home?
Excess moisture causes an issue in homes, particularly those in humid climates. If uncontrolled, it can lead to a variety of problems such as mold growth, rotting wood, peeling paint, and musty odors that seep through furniture, rugs, drapes, clothing and other soft surfaces and is impossible to remove. If your property is rented to vacationers or frequently visited by family, you’ll likely hear about a potential problem. However, if the residence is left vacant for a while, you may not be aware of mold concerns until you walk in the front door and are met with a nasty surprise. These issues not only compromise the aesthetics of your property but can also result in costly repairs and health hazards for you, your family, renters or future occupants.
Where Does Mold Come From?
Mold occurs naturally in our environment wherever moisture, oxygen and organic matter are all present. Mold and mildew aren’t animals or plants, but fungi, organisms that are related to yeast, mushrooms and toadstools. Fungi are heterotrophic, meaning like animals, they don’t have the ability to generate their own food. Unlike animals, however, fungi don’t truly eat food, they absorb nutrients from dead or decaying moist organic matter. Mold is made up of threads called hyphae which grow into clumps or long tentacles. As the hyphae grows, it reproduces by releasing tiny, microscopic spores that float through the air and remain on surfaces until served with the right conditions to colonize and thrive.
What Causes Mold Growth?
The four elements needed for mold growth are: mold spores, organic matter, appropriate temperature and moisture. Remove just one of those factors and mold cannot grow.
The solution is simple, if we prevent mold spores from entering our homes in the first place, our mold problems would be solved. Unfortunately, spores are tiny and lightweight and can float in the air indefinitely – imagine how far they could go with the push of a gentle breeze. They invade through doorways, open windows, ventilation systems, and even cling to your body as you enter your home. Mold spores are everywhere.
The ideal temperature for mold growth is also the most comfortable for humans, between 60 and 80℉. Although mold dies if the temperature is over 140℉ or below freezing, keeping our homes at those extreme temperatures to prevent mold growth is impractical.
Mold eats indoor organic matter that includes things like wallpaper glue, fabric, leather, and wood – as well as dirt and dust on non-organic surfaces like concrete, glass and metal. It would be nearly impossible to remove all these mold foods from the inside of your home.
When humidity rises above 50%, the air feels denser and damp, and the growth of mold and mildew is stimulated. That mold can not only damage home surfaces and structures, it can also contribute to multiple health problems. Controlling high humidity to prevent mold growth is attainable, even if you’re not in your home 24/7.
Ways To Prevent Excess Moisture and Control Mold Growth
To protect your vacation home against mold growth while you’re away, you must be vigilant about identifying potential sources of water entry and take proactive measures to control excess relative humidity , especially when you’re out of town. Following these steps will help:
● During routine maintenance, look for exterior leaks, cracks, or any other signs of water entry; seal cracks and remove all excess water.
● Routinely inspect all indoor plumbing for water leaks.
● Keep roofs and gutters clean and well maintained.
● Make sure all windows have a tight seal; replace them when needed.
● Ensure space is properly insulated to keep out excessive humidity.
● Install proper ventilation systems for adequate air flow.
● Turn off the water main and drain every pipe if leaving for an extended period to avoid interior water leaks and damage from dishwashers, washing machines and ice makers.
● Avoid using carpets that can absorb moisture and grow mold in damp basements.
● Keep humidity levels between 30% – 50% by using tankless dehumidifiers to remove and control moisture while you’re gone.
How Innovative Dehumidifier Systems Work
The tankless IW25-4 dehumidifier intakes warm, humid air from the indoor environment and passes it over refrigerated coils, creating condensation that is removed through the existing plumbing lines (no tank to empty), and drier air is released back into the home. With an internal humidistat, the unit turns on only when needed – and while it runs, the bi-polar ion generator also helps clean the air from other pollutants and bacteria.
Innovative Dehumidifier Systems is the pioneer of tankless, hands-free In and On Wall-mounted dehumidifiers. The IW25 dehumidifier is easy to install and ensures excess humidity removal while staying tucked out of the way. It works independently from the HVAC system, and comes in a slim design and paintable cover, allowing you to install it almost anywhere.
This patent-pending system is an HGBS Green Certified and energy-efficient unit that removes nearly 30 pints of moisture daily in 1,500 square feet. It has an LED light indicating when to clean the washable MERV-8 filter, and it generates sound equivalent to that of a mini-refrigerator. This innovative design helps homeowners protect their building structures and maximize indoor comfort. Originally designed for multi-family housing, the system also works well in single-family houses.
In addition to wall-mounted dehumidifiers, Innovative Dehumidifier Systems also offers whole-house dehumidifiers. Our WH85 and WH120 Whole House units are ideal for larger spaces.
So, whether you have a part-time or permanent home, let the IW24 work hard to keep high humidity under control when you’re away.
Visit Innovative Dehumidifier Systems today and shop for the best dehumidifier solution for your house.