Purchasing a dehumidifier for you basement or office might seem like an unnecessary expense combined with a big hassle, as you need to continually empty a container of water so that the machine continues to work.
When you consider the possible health risks and repair costs that can result if you let an area get too moist, however, a dehumidifier looks like a comparative bargain.
Dehumidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Some can extract moisture from the air in your entire living space; others are portable and more suitable for use in just one room. Some homeowners buy multiple dehumidifiers to place in especially moist areas, such as basements and crawlspaces. Other prime areas ripe for dehumidifying include RVs, boats and closets in a typical home or apartment.
Dehumidifiers have advanced in their technology, with some not even using electrical power any more, but only crystals that absorb moisture and need to be regularly changed.
Effects of Moisture
Here are several reasons why you should seriously consider dehumidifying your living area:
- The odor in an overly damp area can grow foul very quickly.
- Mold grows like wildfire in moist conditions and can cause a serious health risk. Many illnesses can be traced to mold, such as asthma and emphysema. Mold also triggers allergies and can weaken the immune system, opening up the body to all sorts of illness. Patio door runners are a favorite spot for mold, as are ceilings (especially in bathrooms), wall corners, showers, toilets, closets, garages, basements, storage areas and laundry rooms. Mold is not picky about where it grows—it can multiply on porous and non-porous surfaces. It then is transported invisibly through the air every time there is a breeze. For example, each time you open your basement door, mold is being sent to other parts of your home or throughout the basement.
- Moisture can condense in some areas and damage walls and floors in a silent but continual assault. Wood rots and drywall becomes flimsy when it gets too wet. Windowsills are a common area for wood rot as a result of too much moisture. Once that rot begins, mold can grow throughout areas that the naked eye cannot see. Moisture can also damage fine furniture as the wood gets wet.
- In storage areas, moisture can damage boxes that contain precious possessions, as well as the contents of those boxes, such as paper, photos and other items, many of which might be heirlooms and some of which might be extremely valuable.
- Once mildew settles into a carpet it can be very difficult to get out.
- Clothing that sits in a moist room for any length of time can end up with bad-smelling mildew on it.
Even if your home experiences excessive moisture only during certain seasons (spring run-off?) or in certain areas (one crawlspace?), you should take corrective action for the reasons listed above. Purchase an adequate dehumidifier and eliminate the potential for problems caused by too much water in your air.