If you live in a part of the country that experiences hot and humid summers, you might already know how dangerous humidity can be. In addition to posing serious threats to human health, high humidity can also be a major problem for many structures. Water can cause substantial damage to numerous surfaces in a home, and excess humidity can even ruin drywall.
Most people control humidity using air conditioning systems or dehumidifiers, but situations such as prolonged power outages can make interior spaces unreasonably moist. If your home's interior recently experienced excessive and continuous humidity, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs of humidity damage.
Which Materials Are Vulnerable to Humidity Water Damage?
Generally speaking, anything that flooding can damage is at risk of damage from high humidity. Of course, most materials used in home construction are durable enough to withstand normal periods of relatively high humidity. However, extreme humidity can be more serious, and drywall, hardwood flooring, laminate materials, and exposed structural members are at the greatest risk.
There are no hard and fast rules about when you should worry about the potential for water damage resulting from humidity. Instead, focus on situations that are out of the ordinary. For example, you probably don't have to worry about leaving your home unconditioned for a few days while on vacation. On the other hand, a week-long loss of power during the most humid summer months may be an issue.
What Are the Warning Signs of Humidity Damage?
The warning signs of humidity damage in a home are similar to those you'd look for when evaluating any other type of water damage. Pay close attention to warping on hardwood floors or sagging in drywall. Unlike flood damage, water damage from humidity will cause relatively uniform damage throughout the home, so you may even notice issues with drywall on your ceiling.
Unfortunately, there is often no easy way to tell whether minor impacts to surfaces in your home will resolve once the materials dry or whether they've suffered permanent damage. In most cases, severe discoloration or warping may be signs of permanent damage. Drywall, in particular, is rarely repairable after absorbing substantial moisture.
How Should You Address Humidity Damage?
If you notice issues due to damage from humidity, treat it as you would any other water damage in your home. Contacting a professional water damage restoration company should almost always be your first step. An experienced company will have the necessary equipment to quickly and effectively dry your home, a critical process to prevent further damage and inhibit mold growth.
The good news is that humidity damage is rarely as severe as flood damage. Once you remove the excess humidity from your home, an experienced water damage company will usually be able to determine the best options for restoring damaged parts of your home and helping you avoid any future health issues from mold growth. Contact a company like Badgerland Restoration & Remodeling, Inc. to learn more.