December 5, 2018

Could Your Humidifier Be Causing Water Damage?


As temperatures continue to plummet, many homeowners are kicking on humidifiers to add moisture to the air and prevent dry skin and sinuses. However, humidifiers can do more harm than good. A humidifier that is set too high might be helpful for your eyes and throat, but incredibly harmful for your home.

Why Do People Use Humidifiers?

Winter air is notoriously dry, and it can lead to a wide range of health effects and general discomfort. Adding moisture back into the air can help you to sleep better, prevent nosebleeds and make a home feel warmer without kicking on the furnace.

High Humidity Levels Cause Damage

Every home should maintain a consistent level of humidity throughout the year, whether it’s 85% humidity outside in the summer or icy cold in the winter. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the level should stay between 30-50%. Also, remember that everyday life adds moisture to the air without a humidifier. Things like cooking, washing dishes, taking a shower and doing laundry all add moisture into the air. When levels are too high, mold and dust mites will thrive. These problems can lead to an uptick in household allergens and asthma-like symptoms. High levels of humidity can also lead to:

  • Condensation on windows
  • Mildew and mold growth in the bathroom
  • Water stains on ceilings and walls
  • Mold growth in corners of damp areas, like the kitchen or bathroom
  • Peeling, blistering or cracking paint

Attic Condensation Is a Real Problem

If your ceiling is not properly insulated, the warm and damp air generated by a humidifier will rise to the attic. On the underside of the roof, the water in the air will turn into condensation as it meets the freezing outside air. Because the moisture can’t escape, the condensation will freeze and accumulate underneath the roof. Once things heat up again, that frozen condensation will melt and drop onto the attic floor. There, it will seep into your insulation and trickle down your ceiling and walls. Attic damage means costly repairs, in addition to water remediation.

Staying Comfortable in the Winter

To keep your home comfortable without breaking out the humidifier:

  • Use individual units instead of whole-house humidifiers
  • Utilize home automation devices to turn any humidification tools you have on and off
  • Use indoor humidity sensors to keep an eye on levels in your bathrooms, bedrooms and living room
  • Add caulk and weatherstripping around windows and doors to prevent drafts 

Keep Your Home Comfortable with Flood Department

Flood Department can complete a wide range of mold removal, flood damage restoration and crime scene clean-up services. To learn more about our services and get your water damage problem taken care of before it becomes worse, give us a call at 301-829-2600.