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Too Damp? Too Dry? Learn How to Keep Your Home & Basement Healthy

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Did you know there is such a thing as the home and basement “healthy zone?”

This handy measurement system takes a look at the types of changes that tend to occur as moisture levels decrease or increase throughout your home and basement space.

By using this system as our guide, we can walk into an unfamiliar space and quickly identify existing or potential issues that may need to be addressed.

Whether your basement is too dry, too damp or somewhere along this spectrum, we can help you identify and remedy health threats before they impact you, your family or your home’s structure.

Healthy Zone: A Home & Basement Moisture Analysis Tool

The Healthy Zone system is a tool for expediting home and basement moisture analysis to identify threats.

Working with a relative humidity scale from 0 to 100 percent, the Healthy Zone system analyzes your home and basement for eight key health threats, each one exacerbated by extremes of dry or damp.

What surprises many homeowners is that too-damp conditions are not the only issue of concern for some of these health threats. In some cases, too-dry conditions can cause similar symptoms.

As well, in some cases, maintaining an optimal indoor humidity range (40 to 60 percent) for your own comfort isn’t necessarily ideal for eradicating certain health issues.

As you might imagine, the greatest challenge when using the Healthy Zone system is to strike the best possible balance between your family’s comfort and health and a healthy indoor ecosystem that sustains your home’s structural integrity.

This can be especially vital for maintaining the health of your basement, where conditions are often markedly different from the rest of your home above ground.

How Moisture (or Lack Thereof) Impacts Indoor Threats

The Healthy Zone tool identifies eight top health concerns that can be triggered by too-dry or too-damp indoor conditions either above or below ground.

These eight health concerns include bacteria, viruses, fungi, mites, respiratory infections, allergies and asthma, chemical interactions and ozone production.

Interestingly, some threats become active only at one extreme or the other.

For example, fungi and mites are dormant in dry conditions but become extremely active in extreme damp. Conversely, ozone production becomes concerning only in extreme dry conditions.

But the majority of threats tend to worsen at either extreme.

For example, if you’ve ever wondered why respiratory infections, allergies and asthma symptoms occur more often in very dry or very damp weather, this is because the aggravating bacteria and viruses that cause infections, allergies and asthma are also more active in very dry or very damp conditions.

While only two threats (bacteria, fungi) are largely eradicated in the healthy zone, conditions improve sufficiently to continue recommending that homeowners aim for a 40 to 60 percent humidity range indoors both above ground and below ground.

How to Correct Unhealthy Extremes In Your Home 

If your basement is brand-new construction, you may not notice this as much. But for homeowners with an older basement, just walking from the ground floor down into the basement can feel like you are entering a whole different world!

Where conditions were perhaps dry and cool above ground, they may feel damp and close below ground. Depending on the season, you may find yourself sweating or shivering because of the increased moisture content in your basement’s ambient air.

While this is to be expected to some degree, given that your home above ground is surrounded by open air and your basement is surrounded on all sides by soil, it still shouldn’t feel like an extreme climate shift just to walk down into your basement.

When this is the case, it points to the need for corrective measures, which is one of the things the Healthy Zone moisture analysis tool can help with.

A variety of remedies exist to bring your basement back to a healthier, safer condition. But first it is vital to identify the underlying causes that are contributing to the imbalance. This is best done by taking an assessment of your entire basement space.

During an assessment, we look for each of the following signs of basement problems:

  1. Strange odours

  2. Wall, floor or ceiling cracks, sagging, bowing, creaking or leaning

  3. Sump pump operation

  4. Ambient air humidity

  5. Efflorescence (mineral salts residue), flaking paint and/or water leaks

  6. Standing water

  7. Signs of mould or mildew

  8. Static conductivity with doorknobs or metal fixtures

Once the assessment is complete, the next step is to identify potential remedies, starting with the most urgent structural or health issues.

Today, basement science is sufficiently advanced that even comprehensive remedies often take just a day or two to complete. Even better, remedies have become far more affordable because they take less labour and fewer materials to implement.

A variety of effective treatments exist, from upgrading your sump pump to adding a backup sump pump, improving grading and drainage, repairing cracks and adding insulation.

Most importantly, interior basement waterproofing can not only repel moisture and balance humidity, but this treatment also guards against radon and ozone exposure, lowers your above-ground energy bills and improves comfort during extreme weather seasons.

Best of all, taking steps now to protect your home and basement also protects your home investment and improves resale value by up to 30 percent when it comes time to sell.

Get in Touch

Would you like to receive a free, no obligation Healthy Zone Home Moisture Analysis for your home and basement?

One of our friendly, prompt and knowledgeable service technicians will meet you at your home to analyze the overall health of your space above and below ground. Just complete this online form to reserve your free analysis!

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-875-6664.

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