Air Quality / Moisture
Basements and crawl spaces are primary sources of moisture. When water permeates through the foundation ground and walls, it will condense on these colder surfaces. This occurs with cold windows in the wintertime and in the moist summer when warm air comes in contact with cold ducts and pipes. In addition, the typical family produces a lot of moisture through washing, showering, and cooking. New houses are insulated and sealed so well that no fresh air enters in. When homes do not have proper ventilation, the indoor moisture will stagnate, nurturing mold spores and dust mites, saturate the structure and wreak havoc on your home and health. The damage caused by excess moisture can be extremely extensive and costly.
Medical authorities, environmental agencies and home improvement experts agree that unventilated moisture…
- Poses serious long and short term health risks.
- Can cause costly, irreparable property damage.
- Absorbs and retains dangerous pollutants and gases.
- Creates uncomfortable and undesirable living conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) 2009 study states:
“Occupants in damp or moldy buildings have up to a 75% greater risk of respiratory symptoms and asthma. Management of indoor moisture requires proper control of temperatures and ventilation to avoid excess humidity, condensation and saturation in materials. Ventilation should be distributed effectively throughout to avoid stagnant air zones.”
In 2009 the Surgeon General issued a “call to action to promote healthy homes” that stated,
“Dampness and the presence of mold are also associated with asthma and other respiratory health complaints. Exposure to dampness and mold in homes is estimated to contribute to approximately 21% of current asthma cases in the United States, at an annual cost of $3.5 billion. Moisture in homes supports the growth of mites and mold and the infestation of roaches, rats, and mice all of which produce allergens that aggravate asthma and other preexisting chronic respiratory conditions. Homes should be designed to prevent excessive moisture accumulation. Moisture can be controlled by ventilating properly. Mold growth should be eliminated in a way that limits the possibility of recurrence.”
HUD cites mechanical ventilation as an effective way to reduce indoor air pollution. To help ensure that the inside air is clean and safe.
The EPA states:
“Unless they are built with means of mechanical ventilation, homes that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can “leak” into and out of the home may have higher pollutant levels than other homes.” And as part of their Indoor airPlus program, the EPA recommends mechanical ventilation.
With controlled mechanical ventilation as in Humidex, homeowners can be proactive in their approach to protecting their homes and families while enjoying the maintenance free, energy saving, year round benefits for about 10 cents a day.
Take a look at some of the dangerous problems that can result from excess moisture and inadequate ventilation: