You know how it feels outdoors–high humidity can make hot days unbearable, sticky, and drive you into air conditioned places. In Southern California, we are more likely to brag about our “dry heat,” but up north cool, foggy weather is very common. Both hot and cold damp days make it easier for mold and dust mites to thrive indoors, leading to allergy symptoms and even asthma for those with sensitivities.
How does high humidity encourage dust mites and mold?
This video from the IAQ Video Network lays it out very well:
Mold spores are everywhere, just waiting for the right conditions to grow and thrive.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold only needs three elements to take hold:
That’s it! No wonder a leak or some unfortunate condensation can cause a mold problem indoors.
What about dust mites?
Dust mites are also ubiquitous and live on dead skin cells and pet dander–unavoidable in an inhabited residence. Dust mites don’t drink, but they do need water and do well in a humid environment.
What can you do to discourage dust mites and mold?
- Fix leaks promptly
- Replace any porous materials damaged by water
- Run bathroom fans during and after showers until steam and humidity has been vented outdoors
- Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity low
- Wash bedding in hot water and dry in a hot dryer weekly
We can’t do much about the outside humidity–it depends on the climate where we live. But high humidity indoors is more controllable and worth the effort, especially if you or someone in your family is affected by allergies or asthma. If you develop a mold problem or want to tackle dust mites, Seacliff can help. Call us for a consultation!