Where Does Moisture Come From?

There are three main sources in your home; the first being air leaks.

Air can leak into the home through walls, roofs, and floors and have damaging effects on a house. Uncontrolled airflow through the envelope of the home not only carries moisture into framing cavities, causing mold and rot, but it can also account for a huge portion of a home’s energy use and can cause indoor air quality problems. In a leaky house, large volumes of air – driven by exhaust fans, stack effect, and the wind – can blow through the floor, walls, and ceiling.

moisture: Cut-away view of a two story house with a basement, using arrows to indicate the flow of air through the structure.

The second source of moisture is diffusion through materials.

This is a process by which vapor spreads or moves through permeable materials caused by a difference in water vapor pressure. An example of this is when the soil becomes saturated and moisture enters the crawl space through the walls by vapor diffusion. Installing a vapor barrier can help reduce the amount of moisture that makes its way into the crawl space and into the rest of the home.


The final source is internally generated moisture.

A family of four produces on average two pints of water an hour, or up to 25 pints of water a day, simply by washing dishes, taking showers, cooking, and breathing.

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Choosing the Right Size Dehumidifier

Choosing a dehumidifier is not as simple as just which brand or for how much.  The appropriate size is a vital key to getting exactly what you need for your space and condition.  Here’s a quick list which can help you decide the appropriate sized dehumidifier you may need for your home or business.

Slightly Damp

  • Space which is damp and has an occasional musty smell. 50 to 60 Percent Humidity.
  • 300 Square Feet:  30 Pints
  • 500 Square Feet:  40 Pints
  • 1000 Square Feet:  60 Pints
  • 1500 Square Feet:  70 Pints

Moderately Damp

  • Space often feels damp and often smells musty.  60 to 70 Percent Humidity.
  • 300 Square Feet:  30 Pints
  • 500 Square Feet:  40-45 Pints
  • 1000 Square Feet:  60 Pints
  • 1500 Square Feet:  70 Pints

Very Damp

  • Space feels wet, smells musty and damp spots are on walls and floor.  70 to 85 Percent Humidity.
  • 300 Square Feet:  40 Pints
  • 500 Square Feet:  50 Pints
  • 1000 Square Feet:  70 Pints
  • 1500 Square Feet:  90 Pints

Wet

  • Space feels wet, smells musty, seepage appears on walls and floor & may have mold.  85 to 100 Percent Humidity.
  • 300 Square Feet:  40 Pints
  • 500 Square Feet:  50 Pints
  • 1000 Square Feet:  70 Pints
  • 1500 Square Feet:  100+ Pints

The pint recommendations above are based on manufacturer-stated capacities in varying testing conditions. If you will be using your dehumidifier in a tough environment with very damp conditions, look for a dehumidifier with your recommended pint capacity tested at AHAM conditions (average humidity conditions of 60%) instead of saturation (100% humidity)​.  A model able to remove 70 pints of water when the air is saturated, for example, is much less robust than a model able to remove 70 pints of water at AHAM conditions.

Other Considerations:

If any of the below factors are true for you, you’ll want to choose a unit with a higher capacity.

  • If your home is located in a humid climate, add 10 pints.
  • If multiple people live or will spend time in the space, add 5 pints.
  • If there are multiple doors and windows in the space, add 5 pints.
  • If there’s a washer and dryer nearby, add 5 pints.

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2013 Angie’s List Award Winner Again!!!

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It’s now 3 years in a row that we’ve won the Angie’s List Super Service Award.  This year was a clean sweep winning for Mold Testing, Mold Removal, Water Damage Restoration, Smoke Damage Restoration and Bio-Hazard Cleaning.  Each of the 3 years we’ve been on Angie’s List we’ve won their award and have the highest rating on their site, more than any other contractor.  

What Does A Dehumidifier Do?

Have you heard the phrase, it’s not so much the heat but the humidity that makes you uncomfortable? This phrase describes the hot, muggy environment that results when there is excess humidity in your space. Although most window air conditioners, portable air conditioners and central air conditioning systems remove some excess moisture from your indoor environment, sometimes it isn’t enough. If you notice condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, mold, or musty scents, you probably have a humidity problem. If these problems are ignored, structural damage to your home and its contents, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other health issues may arise.

A dehumidifier can help you remedy the moisture problem in your home. These appliances are designed to pull damp, sticky air into the unit, rapidly cool it and condense the moisture, and redistribute the drier, dehumidified air back into your environment using a fan. Depending on your needs and the dehumidifier model you are using, the collected water either drains into a water collection receptacle contained in the dehumidifier or it drains through a hose and into an exterior receptacle (i.e., a floor drain) using simple gravity.

For jobs that require water to be pumped further distances or upward, some dehumidifiers are equipped with internal condensate pumps. Many models are also designed to support external condensate pumps. Condensate pumps are useful when dehumidifying remote spaces because they automate the water removal process to a degree. In addition, pumps and condensate tubing lengthen the reach of drain hoses, allowing users to remove excess water and drain it across further distances—for example, when there isn’t a floor drain nearby. They can also be useful when you need to remove a large amount of moisture from a space and won’t be available to empty the drainage tank regularly.

Dehumidifiers are often placed in the following areas where excess moisture is most prevalent:

  • Basements
  • Crawl Spaces
  • Kitchens
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Spas or Indoor Pool Areas
  • Warehouses
  • Workshops

Additionally, when you supplement your air conditioner with a dehumidifier, you will achieve the best balance of cool and dry air, which will help your indoors remain healthy and cool.

Choosing the Right Dehumidifier

There are a wide range of dehumidifiers available, with models that vary according to capacity, consumer need, dehumidifier placement, cost, and more. Thus, choosing a dehumidifier can be a tricky process.  One way to start is by figuring out how much moisture you need to remove and within how much space. A leading consumer reporting agency divides dehumidifiers into the following four categories based on capacity:

Small Capacity: These dehumidifiers remove about 25 pints of excess moisture from your environment each day. They are best suited to treat small, damp spaces.
Medium Capacity: Removing 45 to 50 pints of moisture per day, these dehumidifiers are great for dehumidifying damp medium- to large-sized spaces.
Large Capacity: These models are capable of removing up to 75 pints of moisture per day and can treat a wider range of humidity problems—from excessively wet to damp conditions.

Whole-House Capacity: A whole house dehumidifier can be integrated with a home’ existing HVAC system. Many of these dehumidifiers can remove excess moisture in spaces up to 3,000 square feet.

While small, medium, and large are accurate descriptions of dehumidifier capacities, oftentimes these same dehumidifiers—regardless of capacity—will be grouped together as single room dehumidifiers. For small room and offices, dehumidifiers like the Sunpentown SD-30E are great for removing up to 30 pints of moisture each day. Medium-sized rooms, such as large bedrooms and kitchens can benefit from models like the PrimeAire PA5010E 50-Pint Dehumidifier, which removes up to 50 pints of moisture daily from your environment. For large spaces like dens, garages, or lofts, higher-capacity models like the Comfort-Aire BHD-651, which can remove up to 65 pints of moisture from your environment each day, are a great solution.

Capacity isn’t the only variable to take into consideration when choosing a dehumidifier. Depending on the type of space you want to dehumidify, there are more specific models such as crawl space dehumidifiers that are designed to tackle moisture problems in tight crawl spaces and indoor pool dehumidifiers that help keep indoor swimming areas comfortable and reduce moisture-related structural damage. There are also dehumidifiers that address particular types of moisture removal, such as water damage restoration dehumidifiers, that are useful during flood cleanup and recovery. More rugged than household dehumidifiers, industrial dehumidifiers are useful in manufacturing settings and warehouses. These commercial dehumidifiers can help keep your facilities comfortable for employees and protect your merchandise from moisture damage.

Check the manufacturer specifications thoroughly to ensure that you are getting a dehumidifier that will adequately address your moisture problems.  Visit our website at http://biowashing.com