How to get rid of the increased moisture? This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to thermal insulation and living comfort. We often consider that every phenomenon related to humidity is the same as another but this is not the case, in fact there are different types and in this guide we will explain how to prevent and eliminate it permanently.
One of the most dangerous phenomena that can occur in your home is increased humidity. This kind of phenomenon, in fact, destructively affects the walls and, if not acted upon as quickly as possible, risks causing them to rot first from the inside and then from the outside. Given the danger of this phenomenon, let’s get acquainted better with increased humidity and, first of all, how to treat this problem. Let’s Begin!
High humidity: what is it and how is it formed?
With the name of increased humidity, we mean that the phenomenon of moisture affecting the walls is not waterproof due to problems caused by rainwater and aquifer rise, but not only: this type of moisture can also be caused by accidental problems such as pipe rupture.
High humidity is mainly caused by the passage of water from the floor to floors and walls, which is why the most affected areas are usually basements, basements and the ground floor. This type of moisture results from the presence of water that rises on the walls and carries with it crystals of mineral salts that are then responsible for the aesthetic damage to the wall.
Old houses are the most susceptible to this type of moisture as in the past we did not have the foresight to create waterproof walls capable of insulating the house from the cold, but we thought only of building the house. On the other hand, new homes are less susceptible to this phenomenon, especially if proper thermal insulation is done in different rooms of the building.
How do you recognize the presence of increased humidity?
Here are some symptoms that should make us think about the presence of moisture:
- Mold: forms in the lower area of the walls and the color is usually yellow-green, both shape and color differ from mold that occurs instead on the ceiling (usually black and speckled)
- Plaster crumbling and detachment: due to the water salts crystallizing, the grout begins to swell and eventually peels off
- Floor, Furniture and Wall Problems: When the phenomenon continues to appear, the floor and furniture tend to be damp and therefore easily deteriorate.
It is good to keep in mind that this type of moisture, unfortunately, does not always show these problems immediately, and this is because the water that rises first runs inside the walls and only after months or even years do you start to see mold spots on the wall.
2 things not to do if you notice problems with high humidity!
- change plasters with more porous materials;
- mask the problem with products that only temporarily eliminate moisture, without acting properly inside the walls, such as sprays or soothing treatments;
Effects of high humidity
Before going to see in detail what are the best solutions for high humidity, it is necessary to focus on the damage to the walls and what happens if it is not stopped properly in time.
One of the most famous damage caused by this type of wet infiltration is the rotting of bricks, mortar and plaster of which the wall is made. When bricks and plaster disintegrate, it causes not only an aesthetic problem, but also the house becomes colder in winter and warmer in summer, due to which the thermal insulation of the house is compromised.
When increased moisture lurks inside the walls either in winter or summer (perhaps due to the heat that builds up on the walls) it begins to evaporate, causing condensation to form inside the room. In this way, not only does the environment and the air you breathe become damp, but over time condensation deposits on the walls lead to the formation of mold and the consequent decrease in the health of the air.
Structural problems caused by high humidity
- Wet spots and circles
- peeling paint
- Swelling and detachment of the plaster
- the presence of mold
- Salt blooms in water
Damage from high humidity results not only from structural and aesthetic problems but also from economic problems. Indeed, when there are problems with moisture on the walls, heat dissipation increases with increased consumption of gas or electricity for heating rooms, as well as damage to furniture in the rooms.
In addition to economic and structural damage, there is also the so-called static damage , the latter implying the weakening of the walls and their subsequent deterioration. These problems are due to all the mineral salts in the soil that dissolve in water and then rise inside the walls subject to high humidity.
The ascent process in the initial stage usually does not reach the ceilings, but reaches the wall to a certain height (usually halfway). The area in which moisture is expressed most often is called the water line or the area of evaporation.
Get rid of the increased moisture by thermal insulation: the solution and prevention
To prevent high humidity, the first thing to do is to intervene underground with a screed and selected sheaths, as well as pumps that properly drain excess water from under the house. However, this intervention alone is not enough, to properly prevent the humidity from rising, it is necessary to work with thermal insulation .
Water lift pump for liquid disposal under the house
A water lift pump is the solution or preventative measure to remove excess water that rises from an aquifer. A lift pump is a device that allows you to get rid of excess water under the house and make it flow into a special well or tank.
Usually in basements such as garages and basements this work should be done before going to build the property. If it does not, then it is necessary to try to overcome this problem through the use of electric pumps that are able to properly draw out the excess water that is formed in the primary area of the house and which tends to flow back under it properly. floors, which then also reach the walls, resulting in high humidity.
The installation of water lift pumps or submersible pumps is very useful when there are floods, heavy rains and weather phenomena that lead to an increase in the underlying aquifer. Installing the pump is not an easy task, so it is necessary to rely on a professional who can perform the intervention in the optimal way. Indeed, only a professional can assess the pump pressure, connection height, type of water and the proper system of water flow under the house.
Installation of panels against increased humidity: the correct procedure
When the rising moisture has already destroyed the walls, it is necessary to do various works to make the walls clean, dry and also free of any mold. Before doing the thermal insulation of the walls, if you encounter problems with high humidity, it is necessary to restore the wall by eliminating the problems inside that have deteriorated the plaster and paint.
Therefore, before taking action to carry out proper thermal insulation, it is necessary to remove all parts of the plaster that have been damaged. Once you have removed the damaged plaster and paint, you should proceed to properly reconfigure the wall, for this you will need the adhesive first.
This product makes plaster stick better. Choose an alkaline and heat-resistant plaster, this way the wall will maintain its health and will not again cause problems with mold.
Once the grout has been restyled, you can also choose to apply an alkaline anti-mold paint, which allows you to better remove both condensation and increased moisture.
Having properly restored the condition of the walls, you can then proceed to the thermal insulation of the house and thereby resist the increased moisture in a final and permanent way.
To do the correct insulation, you should choose a natural product that is able to remove moisture as much as possible. Among the best cork boards, this is actually an insulator that allows you to retain moisture without releasing it later inside the wall. Since we are going to recreate a counter wall to get rid of the increased moisture, the advice is to buy duplex boards like the ones available in our store that include gypsum board combined with cork board.
To buy the correct number of cork and gypsum duplex boards, remember to take measurements of the walls that need to be reconstructed, once the measurements are made, you can proceed with the purchase and of course the thermal insulation work.
But be careful, do not forget that in addition to double cork and plasterboard sheets, it is also necessary to take the necessary for fixing them to the wall. For this you will need aluminum guides, in addition to straight guides and you will also need corner guides to connect the walls. Finally, you will also need screws, mounting stoppers, paper tape, anti-mold alkaline paint, thin and always alkaline white grout. Don’t worry: if you need advice or pointers, our team of experts is available to advise you on and assemble the product best suited to your needs, absolutely free of charge.
Permanently High Humidity In 6 Steps, Here’s How!
- Start building the structure with aluminum guides, clamped in height and all around the walls, then horizontal to create a complete and resistant structure, remembering to assemble everything leaving an inch from the wall. Once the guides are properly fixed thanks to the use of screws for the aluminum guides, you can proceed to insert the boards
- The panels should be placed inside the aluminum guides, and should be installed from the bottom up, for good stability you will also need to use nails to secure the inner casing and insulating material. It is normal for the cork tape to face inward, while the plasterboard area faces the outside
- All plasterboard fixed, check that there are no spaces and if instead you find “holes” between one board and another you can use gauze and lime to be able to make the plasterboard wall more uniform
- Once you have the monolithic walls, you should start making the plaster, before applying it, however, it is recommended to put some mesh rack to make the structure more linear
- After installing the gypsum holder grids, you can start kneading and then apply a layer of thin breathable gypsum, alkanine and white to the plasterboard
- Finally, after the plaster has dried properly, it will be possible to complete the task with a porous and anti-mold coating
All this work, once done in areas or rather in rooms affected by high humidity, allows not only to have a home less humid and free from the described problems, but also warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
As we said earlier, in fact, high humidity is a problem that leads to deterioration of the walls and damage to the insulation of rooms and the entire house. When you suffer this damage, the house becomes wetter and cooler and therefore more is spent heating or cooling the house.
Thanks to the thermal insulation in rooms affected by humidity, you will be able to have an environment with a constant temperature, so you will not have to spend excessively to warm them or to cool the environment all year round.
Humidity: a major health risk
Humidity level and air quality inside your home are factors that affect the comfort and health of your family.
Excess moisture due to condensation, capillary rise, infiltration, damp walls, the presence of mold, mites and other parasites can cause serious infections of the respiratory tract.
As always, the weakest people (children, the elderly …) are the first to show symptoms of this infection and pay the price for the presence of mold with their health .
Humidity in the house: causes
Excess moisture often occurs in homes, either because of old walls that have absorbed water over the years or for many other reasons; In short, it can happen that mold and bacteria are freely spreading in your home, causing you health problems that you don’t even know about.
At this point, you may be wondering: What could be causing the increased humidity in the home? First of all, increased humidity in the home can lead to mold and condensation.
These two elements have the potential to cause serious health damage; Often they affect the respiratory system and do not allow easy and correct breathing.
At what temperature do you get the ideal humidity in the house?
The World Health Organization states that living spaces need optimal temperature and humidity to live well.
According to scientific research, the human body is in the best conditions at a temperature of about 20°-24°C, with a humidity between 40% and 60%.
In any case, it is also necessary to observe the applicable regulations regarding indoor temperatures. In fact, the law states that during the winter months the indoor temperature of homes is 20 degrees with heating. In this case, there will be an optimal humidity in the house, i.e. 55%, which is quite acceptable for the health of our body. This prevention is necessary to prevent a wet house from causing health damage.
What is the ideal temperature in the house for mold?
In order to live and reproduce, mold needs three different elements: high humidity, little light and little air circulation.
The first step in mold formation is associated with the presence of condensation, a thin layer of moisture deposited on walls that is most vulnerable. Then it depends on the dew point which is the relationship between the wall temperature and the average environmental humidity.
To facilitate mold formation, moderate temperatures are present, such as 22 degrees, however, combined with air filled with moisture, about 70%. Therefore, at comfortable temperatures, especially during the winter months, it is advisable to open the windows from time to time or in any case to allow the passage of air, in order to perform the function of removing moisture and to resist the formation of molds harmful to health.
The presence of mold in the house can be the cause of the formation of some respiratory allergies. Respiratory allergies are caused by allergens: mycotoxins and spores produced by mold, allergens contained in mite dung, and toxic emissions from the chemical decomposition of certain building materials exposed to moisture. One in five Italians suffers from an allergy and one in two suffers from a respiratory allergy. Mold allergy is manifested by rhinitis (stuffy nose, conjunctivitis, cold) or cough that precedes the onset of asthma.
Allergic (chronic) rhinitis occurs with inflammation and congestion of the nasal passages, eye irritation, coughing, fatigue, and headache. Seasonal rhinitis is caused by pollen. The permanent cause is a very humid and poorly ventilated environment, the presence of mites and animal hair. In addition, perennial rhinitis can also be caused by an allergy to mold on the walls.
Asthma is an allergic disease that occurs with heavy breathing and a feeling of suffocation. Statistics show that 20% of the French population suffers from asthma. In some areas, 65% to 90% of asthma cases in children and teens are caused by the presence of dust mites and poor home insulation.
Conjunctivitis occurs as a result of inflammation of the membrane under the eyelid and the cornea. It is diagnosed definitively by lifting the eyelid and checking for red and inflamed skin. Another problem is keratitis, which causes keratitis.
These diseases can have a genetic origin, but the environment in which we live plays a dominant role: mites in the house, as well as mold are a very important cause, in addition to pollution.
It has been proven that by purifying the environment of the child from birth, 50% of the risks of allergies can be avoided. Prevention steps are simple: remove the carpet, air and ventilate the rooms, and reduce the buildup of humidity where bacteria multiply.
These are small animals (from less than 1 mm up to 3 cm in length); They include many temporary or permanent parasitic species of animals and plants, responsible for infections called mites.
Moths live in hot, humid and poorly ventilated environments, hidden in carpets, textiles, and soft toys. Known as house dust mites, they feed on scales, dead skin, hair, dander, crumbs, and mold. Their reproduction is very fast, especially in spring and autumn: at a temperature of 26-30 ° C and a humidity of 75-80%, the female moth deposits about 25-30 eggs every 3 weeks.
It is important to understand that in a gram of dust on Earth there are 3 mites in dry environments and 83 in wet ones. One gram of dust can contain up to 1500 mites: imagine proportionally how many mites there are in the house!!! Treatment is urgently required.
The health of your home is the health of your family! All of these respiratory illnesses are a side effect of excessive humidity in the home. If ignored, any moisture problem can become an uncontrollable and irreversible problem. An accurate diagnosis of your home is essential, right from the first appearance of one of these disorders.
High humidity is a problem for many people because it causes significant deterioration in buildings. In fact, the walls of buildings have a high adsorption capacity, which varies with the degree of porosity or waterproofing. Therefore, there are frequent cases when they begin to absorb moisture, which leads to the appearance of a real spongy effect.
In particular, when the walls come into contact with groundwater and wet ground, the phenomenon of capillary rise occurs: water penetrates into the walls and plaster and, thanks to the capillaries, rises to be visible in the walls of the house; In fact, it can reach a height of 1.50 meters!
In contrast to the phenomena of condensation and infiltration, which can occur occasionally or as a result of accidental events, the problems caused by high capillary humidity occur constantly throughout the year.
The thinner the capillaries, the higher the height. With air contact, the water evaporates carrying the hygroscopic salts that are deposited inside and on the wall itself, giving life to the rock salt.
How to get rid of high humidity from the walls?
High humidity, also called capillary moisture that rises from the ground, causes very important problems such as peeling and swelling of plaster, condensation and mold in the house, rock salt, not to mention the unpleasant odors that spread everywhere. At this point, your home will no longer be your warm nest, but it will become an unhealthy place that puts your health and the health of your family at risk.
In fact, getting rid of moisture is very important in terms of health. However, it is very difficult to fight and destroy permanently, especially since we usually try to solve the problem of increased humidity with do-it-yourself solutions.
The most common mistake is to cover the walls with absorbent elements or elements that mask the effects of moisture. These solutions are not final and do not allow to control what happens in the wall, thus risking compromising the static nature of the structure.
Wet wall: what to do?
First of all, as soon as you notice the first signs of moisture in the walls, it’s a good idea to look for a cover and start thinking about possible remedies. But how do you notice the moisture in the walls of the house?
Aesthetically, you will notice the formation of dark spots at the base of the wall; Internally, when water migration occurs within the walls, there will be deterioration of plasters and coatings.
Wet walls, paint peeling, plaster cracking, wallpaper peeling, and wood deterioration are just some of the annoying consequences of high humidity on the walls.
Let’s not forget that a humid environment prefers:
- the development of fungi, such as merula that leads to decomposition from within the woody structures;
- corrosion of metals in the wall (beams, iron …) with the risk of weakening the supporting structure;
- crumbling plaster as well as joints; The increase in space heating costs.
High water brings hygroscopic minerals or salts from the soil (sulfates, nitrates, chlorides, etc.), so high humidity (capillary rise) can cause side effects, such as bloom or rock salt. In fact, these salts can rise to the surface due to evaporation, thus leaving the wall permanently damp and visually covered with many spots.
Since capillary rise occurs in walls in contact with the ground, it often adds to other phenomena such as seepages and lateral infiltration. Diagnosis is difficult and complex: only qualified professionals equipped with the right tools can intervene in determining the exact origin of your problem.
Do not underestimate the stage of detection of high humidity. To make sure of the type of increased humidity, it is good to use specific tools in the sector, which will provide a specific diagnosis of the type of increased humidity, and, accordingly, how to act in this regard.
As soon as the measurements are made, it is also advisable to take a sample from the wall, because thanks to the chemical analysis that is carried out in specialized laboratories, it will be able to provide important information for understanding the extent of the damage.
These analyzes are more than necessary because they allow us to understand the type of moisture and the types of mold we are dealing with, and thus how to counteract them.
If all these preliminary stages of analysis are skipped, there will be a risk of carrying out unnecessary interventions to solve the problem of increased humidity, and therefore one will find himself dissatisfied and dissatisfied again.
Moisture rising from the ground
High humidity can also occur in floors. In this case, too, the rise in humidity from the floor is due, at least in part, to the composition of the building material and the degree of its susceptibility to hair.
When the water rises from the ground, it means that it has not been properly insulated. Depending on the tiles used to make the floor, high humidity can occur either at joints in floors only, or even on entire surfaces.
Moisture from water separators
Be careful not to blame an incorrect operator for the increased humidity. In fact, the occurrence of moisture can be caused by a broken pipe.
In this case, the water leaking from the hose will flow under the floors every day.
This problem is quite recurring as nowadays everyone is so eager to carry out the work, that the plumbers are often not given enough time to test the system that has just been completed.
Damage caused by breaking hydraulic pipes, at first, is very similar to damage caused by increased moisture.
However, since the pipes are connected to different parts of the house, such as the kitchen and bathroom, if the water pipe breaks, you may notice damage to the kitchen or bathroom furniture.
How to insulate the floor from moisture?
If you live on the ground floor or in a house with a garden or bar, it is a good idea to insulate the floor from moisture. In these cases, in fact, it is very likely that the water will be able to penetrate the floor up to the walls.
One of the biggest problems facing homes is the high humidity of the ground. For this reason, when buying a house on the ground floor or basement, it is always a good idea to check the condition of the floor.
In renovations, in relation to basements or rooms on the ground floor, it is also possible to consider building a new floor or using insulation panels to counteract the increased moisture from the floor.