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♦ REAL ESTATE
♦ HOME SERVICES
Real Estate Corner: Managing moisture in your home
New high performance homes incorporate the latest building science principles to control temperature and humidity, maintain indoor air quality and increase energy efficiency. Although your home may not include all of the latest air-sealing, ventilation, and moisture-management technology, you will be more comfortable in your home and it will last longer it you do everything possible to manage moisture. This includes replacing filters, controlling humidity, and — when outside air is cool and dry — allowing fresh air into your home.
Keeping indoor humidity in the recommended range of 30 percent to 60 percent, as well as introducing fresh air into the home, can improve indoor environmental quality.
When relative humidity is too low, your eyes and skin get dry, asthma and allergies flare up, and wood furniture and floors shrink and crack. Excess humidity can breed mold, pests, and rot. Too-humid air is more likely to cause heatstroke, heat exhaustion, headaches, and dehydration.
As with all other parts of your house, basement walls are not waterproof, and a perfectly dry basement may have wet walls during the summer because of condensation that forms when warm moist air hits a cold surface.
If the ground outside your basement slopes toward the wall, pack and bank up soil so water will drain away. Avoid playing shrubbery within 3 feet of the foundation. Never water your plants toward the foundation.
Even in climate-controlled homes, mildew (another name for mold) can appear in areas of high humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
You can take positive steps to reduce or eliminate mold growth by lowering humidity.
Regular vacuuming and cleaning will also help reduce spore levels. If you notice mold or mildew developing, depending on the surface, you can scrub the affected area with a commercial mixture of trisodium phosphate or a commercial cleaner like Jomax and bleach.
For more home maintenance advice, contact the New Hampshire Home Builders Association (603-228-0351, email@example.com, www.nhhba.com) or go to myhomepress.com for publications on current topics including social media, home design and more.
This information has been provided by the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of New Hampshire in conjunction with the New Hampshire Union Leader’s Advertising Department. Readers with questions about the content, or who wish to pose a question for a column, can contact the association at 119 Airport Road, Concord, N.H. 03301. Tel: 603-228-0351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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