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Blazing Northeast Ohio heat sparks concerns of household humidity, moisture damage

Posted at 8:38 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 08:39:05-04

CLEVELAND — As the heat wave continues in Northeast Ohio, there are things you need to know to avoid humidity and moisture damage inside your home.

When the air in your home contains water vapor above 60%, mold and mildew can grow in places like attics and especially basements.

“All of that warm air is going to rise. So, if you have warm, moist, humid air in the basement, that's just going to create a problem for the rest of your home,” said Adam Kozelka with Ohio Basement Systems.

Kozelka says humidity could also cause foundation issues and cause wood floors and furniture to sag or warp. Mold and mildew can also spark asthma or cold symptoms.

“Anything above 60% humidity is really going to cause health issues for everybody in the house,” Kozelka said.

To keep track of your home's humidity level, buy a digital monitor. They're usually about $10 to $15 at a hardware store or online. To prevent damage to your home, check the gutters, downspouts and roof. You want to make sure there are no leaks and water is draining away from the house.

“If it backs up now, that water is going to find a way into the house,” said Kozelka.

If your home has a crawlspace, make sure it's sealed off or covered because “that moisture comes up from the ground.”

To get rid of black or green mold, try using peroxide, vinegar or baking soda. Avoid using anything bleach-based.

Keep in mind ventilation is key. So, crack open your windows, install air conditioning or fans to circulate air through your home to carry the moisture away.

“The biggest thing that someone could do and they could even take matters into their own hands would be to get a really good dehumidifier,” Kozelka.