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Home Improvement Blog

What is the natural humidity cycle here in Sarasota, Florida.

There is none! It is always humid. I would say that it is between 70 and 100 percent humid during any average 24 hour period, summer or winter. This is the problem.

Your modern home has some air leaks and some minute water leaks. Add to this the water vapor generated inside the house by the occupants. Where does this moisture go? It goes into the walls and the wood and the concrete. These components act as a reservoir. The walls of your masonry house may actually hold thousands of gallons of water at a time. This helps hold down the indoor humidity but the moisture in the walls can contribute to the growth of mold. And this contributes to other issues.

We now have an idea of how moisture accumulates. How do we remove it? In an old Florida house a big fan may help curtail humidity somewhat and air movement may help diminish mold growth. In modern homes we need air conditioners. This is basically the only way to remove moisture. Remember that moisture penetrates, flows into and is produced inside of homes. The A/C unit it the mainstay of humidity reduction.

In the summer the A/C runs often, thereby removing a lot of moisture. In the winter there is an occasional use of heat and more often a little use of cooling. Heating does nothing to remove moisture in Florida, only cooling removes moisture. Generally moisture accumulates into the home structure in the winter and is removed during the summer.

The problem is that A/C units are rarely set up correctly to remove the most moisture possible. Water builds up in the house if the A/C unit is not tuned for the property. The problem is most often that A/C units are over sized for the house. They run for a short time, cool fast, then shut off. As it turns out, humidity can only be removed effectively if the A/C unit runs for long periods of time and cool slowly. This is also most efficient on the electric bill.

Every house needs a two speed or a variable speed compressor and air handler for their A/C system. This allows for low power, long runs to keep an area cool and dry. When there is a party or a large decrease in temperature needed then the higher speed function can kick in.

Reducing Moisture in your home!

The biggest problems in Florida homes include moisture accumulation. A major factor is the lack of moisture removal from the condition air space.

Air conditioners should be set to run at lower speeds. The slower it runs the more moisture it removes. This will not have much of an effect on your bill. This is in part because you will not have to cool your house to as low a temperature. In general, the more moist the air becomes, the more you need to cool it down to be comfortable. But you may still feel clammy.

Moisture Home InspectionConsider the use of a dehumidifier during the cooler months. The air conditioner does not run so moisture is not removed. Heat pumps (air conditioners running in reverse mode to produce heat in the house) do not dry the air as gas heaters do up north. And the air in Florida is moist all year long. I consider it to be "dry" if the humidity is less than 75% here. But it is still very wet in reality.

Most garages need dehumidification. You can port a hole through the wall to allow for direct drainage outside. This eliminates the need to empty the water bucket. Just do it.

I recommend the Danby dehumidifiers shown to the right.

Home Improvement Tips for your Yard and Driveway

This area is frequently overlooked especially at the time of building. People just do not want to pay for dirt to elevate their homes. Water MUST flow away from the house, period. Many of the problems with homes that is seen by inspectors is related to moisture. Contributing to this are wet foundations and walls.

How many people do you know have driveways sloping TOWARDS the garage door? This has to be avoided and if present changed to divert the flow of water in a different direction. Sometimes drains are needed of sufficient capacity.

The ground next to the house should slope down at least 10 inches for the first 6 feet away in my thinking. Rain water needs to flow away from the foundation otherwise some of the water will end up inside the structure. Foundations are not water tight, at best they are only somewhat water resistant. As such the flow of water around the property must circumvent the structure.

This house has the sprinkler heads at least 3 feet and the plants at least 4 feet from the house. You can walk around the house with the sprinklers on and not get wet:

Home Inspections Sarasota County  Home Inspection Sarasota County

Homes built on hills often have the high side with water dammed up by the house. One needs a berm and a swale to divert the flow to the sides of the house and then around the structure. This is a necessary feature of any house on a slope.



• Basic Inspection
• Moisture & Mold Report
• Electric Detailed Report
• Indoor Air Analysis
• Energy Audit
Sample Home Inspection

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Venice Professional Services home inspections aim is to irradicate some causes of moisture and mold problems, improve indoor air quality and perform energy audits using a blower door to help "green" up your house. Investigate defects, find leaks, perform a full examination and investigation. Remediate. You want a Healthy House. InterNACHI, IAC2, Florida Home Inspection licensed, insured. Residential and Commercial inspections. We are your personal inspector.
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