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Extension > Environment > Housing Technology > Moisture Management > Excess moisture in the home

Excess moisture in the home

Diane H. Corrin, 1992
Reviewed by Richard Stone, 2014

Do you have symptoms of excess moisture in your home? Symptoms include:

Indoor activities such as bathing, cooking, dishwashing, and just breathing all produce moisture. Other moisture sources in the home include plants, large pets, humidifiers, stored firewood, leaky plumbing and gas appliances, outside air during humid weather, and the damp soil under many basements and crawlspaces.

Relative humidity describes the amount of moisture in air at a given temperature. In colder weather, keeping relative humidity lower helps to reduce moisture problems in homes. When the relative humidity is more than 50%, moisture problems may occur. This could cause damage to the structure of the house and encourage mold growth which causes some people to develop allergies and respiratory problems. Keeping the relative humidity at 30 to 45% is healthy and comfortable for occupants and better for the house.

To control a moisture problem, you must identify the source. You can reduce or eliminate high moisture levels in your home by:


Reviewers: Nancy Nelson, 2001
Richard Stone, 2006, 2010, 2014

Related publications: Moisture Sources Associated with Potential Damage in Cold Climate Housing CD-FO-3405, William J. Angell and Wanda W. Olson, 1988
Home Indoor Winter Relative Humidity: What is Acceptable HE-FO-3415, William J. Angell, 1988
Humidity and Condensation Control in Cold Climate Housing CD-FO-3567, Roger A. Peterson and Lewis T. Hendricks, 1988

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