UPDATED: November 24, 2021
Lower Humidity to Help Prevent Moisture Related Problems
“Molds are a part of the natural environment and are present everywhere,”1 according to the National Institute of Building Sciences. The first signs usually appear in dark corners or spaces such as closets, under beds, and behind cabinets. “Molds are fungi that grow in different shapes, sizes and colors,”2 the Oregon Health Authority’s article on Toxic Substances goes further to explain that “in indoor environments, molds can cause structural damage because they consume and destroy the material they settle upon.”2 In an effort to avoid the problems associated with unwanted moisture Richard F. Progovitz recommends, “when mold is found indoors, a plan to eliminate it and prevent it from returning must be established as quickly as possible”.3
Moisture removal is the key to lowering high humidity.
“Indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with the respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings.”4 The U.S. Department of Labor’s article, A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace goes into detail explaining that, “molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source our present”.4
Fortunately, we can remove moisture to lower relative humidity indoors. As stated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) “mold will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.”5 Proper air circulation combined with reducing high relative humidity can help ensure that corners and dark spaces stay free of unwanted moisture.
The ENERGY STAR® Certified IW25-4 in-wall dehumidifier unit is designed to remove up to 29 pints of water per day, cycling to pull and condense moisture from the air. Moisture is added to the air continuously through showers, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even breathing; 25 pints is the average amount of moisture created by a family of four every day. Take action to lower humidity indoors before problems occur, reduce the moisture.
“The mold equation”6
“Mold only requires a few things to grow. We’ve entered them into this very simple equation:
Mold spores + Temperature + Food source + Moisture = Mold growth”6
“The Key to Mold Control is Moisture Control”
–Environmental Protection Agency5
1. National Institute of Building Sciences, December 2016, Whole Building Design Guide, accessed November 2021, <https://www.wbdg.org/resources/mold-and-moisture-dynamics>
2. Oregon Health Authority, Toxic Substances: Environmental Public Health, An official website of the State of Oregon, accessed November 2021, <https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/HEALTHYNEIGHBORHOODS/TOXICSUBSTANCES/Pages/mold.aspx#top>3. Progovitz, R. F. (2003). Black Mold: Your Health and Your Home. The Forager Press, LLC
4. U.S Department of Labor, A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace, November 2013, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, accessed November 2021, <https://www.osha.gov/publications/shib101003>
5. Environmental Protection Agency, A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home, September 2012, Office of Air and Radiation, accessed November 2021, <www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf>
6. Taylor, D., The Mold Equation: What Causes Mold Growth?, November 2015, AMI Environmental, accessed November 2021, <https://amienvironmental.com/the-mold-equation-what-causes-mold-growth/>