Humidity in the Home

How it affects you and the sale price of your house

If you own a property there are a million ways in which it can become unhealthy to stay in. But one of the biggest problems in any home is humidity.

It may be tempting to dismiss this problem as being nothing of importance, but it can affect your health if the living spaces are either too humid or not humid enough. Knowing the right level of humidity allows you to control it, and therefore make the home more comfortable to live in. It requires your attention, especially so if you’re planning on selling the property soon.

Low Humidity

Winter is when things get decidedly colder, and heating is turned up, so that we can all hide in cosy homes. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air does, and this means humidity drops. When the heating goes on, moisture is again drained from the air. This leads to low humidity.

Managing Humidity in the Home

The problem is that low humidity can lead to a number of issues that make living conditions more difficult. Everyone is different, but a low humidity environment has the ability to potentially cause the following problems:

  • Static electricity. This can be painful, especially when it is persistent around the home
  • Dry skin. This leads to itching and some serious discomfort, especially if the sufferer is prone to dry skin issues
  • General immune system issues. Low humidity can lead to an increase in coughs and colds

High Humidity

If a home has high humidity there are also going to be problems and discomfort in the building. One interesting fact concerns ‘new build’ properties and older homes. A newer build has more chance of presenting as humid because the vast majority of new homes have what is often referred to as ‘tight’ construction. They retain heat and moisture more effectively than older buildings, hence their propensity to be humid.

High humidity also creates a situation where mould can occur. While mould is an ugly thing to have to look at in your home, it can also be quite dangerous. People with respiratory problems may find that mould aggravates them. Vulnerable people, like children and the elderly, can become seriously ill if mould is left unchecked.

Mould in particular can be quite difficult to manage. Once it has taken hold, it will feed off the moisture and simply grow.


When you're selling a property

It can be very tricky when selling to manage a mould problem, but if you don’t then you could be looking at a very difficult situation.

It's always advised that a buyer of a property arranges a professional survey. This shows them what condition the property is in, because if problems aren’t dealt with they can become costly. Letting your buyer know that humidity levels can be a problem means that a chain won’t necessarily be broken, because honesty allows for, at worst, a reduction in price. This is infinitely preferable to a chain being broken.

If you have a humidity problem, let your potential buyer know about the problem before the process moves on any further.

Further reading: 5 Common House Survey Problems

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