We lose an hour on Sunday. We’re setting our clocks forward to catch the light wave called Daylight Savings Time. But springing forward on our timekeeping devices is also a big red flag. Rising humidity is sure to follow close on the heels of the time change in our southern Appalachian climate, and with it, problems with mold and mildew.
Your first line of defense against mold is a handy tool called a hygrometer. That’s a fancy word for a humidity sensor. A range of hand held sensors are out there at widely varying price points. I recommend choosing one with an easy to read digital display. Then, as humidity increases, you can carry them from place to place to check whether dampness is likely to create mold conditions in your home. Here’s a look at mine. This time of year, it’s my constant companion when assessing dampness that could affect home healthiness.
These devices come with a guide to how to read the results. So, you don’t need specialized knowledge to get started. But as a rule of thumb, relative humidity – the measure of damp air in your house – should be below 50% rh in the cooler areas of our home. These areas include the downstairs, basement, crawl space, garage, storage shed, utility room, and similar spaces. If the reading is 50% rh or higher,try a dehumidifier, the classic front line of defense against mold.
Of course, you may need to adjust the settings to maintain that humidity target. If you have trouble hitting the target number of 50rh or below, we need to talk.
P.S. “Mold Test: What You Need to Know,” is our informative, non-sales podcast. Listen here.