Humidity in a room : causes and solutions

No one sleeps well in a room that is too humid. If the humidity there is significantly higher than 60%, it is urgent to treat the problem. But how to spot the signs of humidity, where does it come from…? There are many causes of humidity. Fortunately, there are many solutions to find a healthy air in your room. And sleep in peace.

Is my bedroom too humid?

The ideal humidity level in a room is 50%. Depending on the temperature, this can vary between 45 and 65%. But above 70%, the ambient humidity becomes harmful for the building and poses health problems for those who live there. In a bedroom, it directly threatens the quality of sleep.

There are a few clear signs that indicate excess moisture:

  • the wallpaper is peeling off, the paint is peeling;
  • stains and halos appear on the walls, sometimes even on clothes, objects or furniture;
  • we observe traces of mold on the walls, the ceiling, the joints;
  • condensation forms inside the windows;
  • a lingering musty smell hangs in the air.

Humidity in a room is a problem:

As in all rooms, too much humidity ends up doing a lot of damage. But it takes a more worrying turn in a place where you sleep and rest at least eight hours a day…

For the structure of the piece…

Coatings are damaged (paint, wallpaper, carpet, etc.). The joinery is rotting. Plaster and masonry are deteriorating. Not only is it unpleasant from an aesthetic and olfactory point of view (the musty smell is not terrible), but it is the very structure of the room that is affected.

… and for health.

In a damp room, mold proliferates. Airborne spores cause many respiratory and allergy problems. People who are more fragile, due to their health or age, are particularly at risk. Children’s sleep can be seriously disturbed, which is not without consequences for their health and good development…

Where does the humidity come from? What are the causes ?

The cause of high humidity is not always detected at first sight. This can come from inside or outside, and be caused by a specific or more structural phenomenon.

La condensation

Most often, humidity is an effect of everyday life. Cooking, washing dishes, laundry, breathing, all of these create water vapor in the house. Just by sleeping, your breath produces one to two liters of water per night! If it evacuates badly, this vapor is deposited on cold surfaces in the form of condensation. You find it on the windows, but also on the walls or on the ceiling. It forms damp spots and unsightly halos on the surface.

Water infiltration

You have to look outside the house for the reason for an infiltration. Has the exterior wall cracked or become porous? Rainwater gradually penetrates the wall and eventually reaches the interior of the dwelling. The exterior joinery may be at fault. If they are damaged, their waterproofness is no longer sufficient to withstand heavy rain. Especially if your house is old; it lacks the drip device, capable of preventing runoff water from infiltrating under the windows.

Capillary rise

This time the moisture comes from the soil. Groundwater rises from the basement, gradually seeping into the walls of the rooms located on the ground floor. Damp spots appear at the base of the walls and grow. It is possible that your walls are not equipped with a waterproofing membrane, intended to prevent any capillary rise. This can also occur following numerous or intense bad weather; the rise in the level of the water table is then in question.

A water leak

All it takes is a small leak on a pipe for water to permeate a wall, at first discreetly, then more and more visibly over the months.

Too much humidity in the room: the solutions

Do not allow humidity to settle in a room. Once the cause has been identified, if necessary with the help of a professional, the solutions exist.

Treat external causes

  • If a wall is leaking due to a water seepage, this is a sign that the exterior wall has lost its impermeability. First of all, start by thoroughly cleaning the wall and repairing the cracks. You can then proceed to a hydrofugation of the facade. This treatment covers the wall with a protective and waterproof layer. On the budget side, plan less than 15 euros per square meter. If the facade cladding is damaged, you can also completely redo it. Ask a new siding if the facade is old and particularly damaged. At the same time, you can have exterior insulation installed – if there is none. This represents a certain investment (from 40 euros per square meter), but your facade will be like new.
  • To counter the capillary rise, several methods exist. The professional performs a interior water repellency of the wall, by injecting a product intended to prevent the rise of underground water. The second option is to install a waterproofing membrane in the wall after having carried out a bleeding there. This method requires more work than the previous one. These techniques being practiced by specialists, count at least 100 euros per running meter.
  • Humidity is the result of a water leak ? In this case, the first thing to do is to to fix the escape. You still have to find it… If necessary, have the leak detected by a plumber.

Ventilate the room

The simplest methods are not to be neglected! To evacuate moisture, air must circulate in the chamber. By renewing it, you avoid condensation.

  • Open the windows at least ten minutes a day, summer and winter.
  • Clean the air vents thoroughly (do not block them).
  • At night, leave the bedroom door ajar.
  • Leave the space below the door free. The air also circulates there…

Install ventilation

Although it is essential, ventilation is not enough to quickly renew all the air. To fight against condensation, nothing better than a ventilation system that renews 100% of the air every two hours! Whether the windows are open or closed, the air is permanently purified. And the quality of your sleep is perfect! Several types of ventilation exist, to be chosen according to your needs and your budget: natural ventilation (transfer openings), VMI (insufflated mechanical ventilation), VMC (controlled mechanical ventilation) single flow or double flow, thermodynamic VMC.

Promote moisture absorption

Some methods, mechanical or natural, act like a sponge in the bedroom: they capture ambient humidity and purify the air.

  • Put some pieces of charcoal in a cardboard box, which you place in a corner of the room. Coals absorb moisture effectively, provided they are changed weekly.
  • Drop a small pile of coarse salt in a cup, placed in the room or in a damp piece of furniture.
  • Install a plante in the bedroom. But not just any ; some plants feed by capturing ambient humidity. For example, Boston fern, Moon Flower (or Peace Lily), climbing ivy, fuchsia… Find out which one suits your tastes and the configuration of the room.
  • Less natural, a dehumidifier is nevertheless very effective. Its crystals absorb moisture and turn it into a liquid reserve. Empty it as soon as it has produced two liters, that is to say on average every week.

Maintain the right temperature

The ambient temperature of the room has an influence on the production of humidity. To avoid condensation, make sure the room is not heated above 16°C, especially at night. To sleep well, it is better to avoid heat (which also favors dust mites). The ideal is to maintain a temperature of at least 15°C all year round, summer and winter, and a hygrometry between 45 and 65%.

Limit moisture intake

If you dry the laundry in a room, it brings in additional humidity. If possible, dry your clothes outside or in a clothes dryer. In an apartment, at least avoid placing the drying rack in a bedroom. The laundry can be perfectly dried in the living room overnight.

Check the tightness

Remember to check the condition of the seals on the windows, walls and roof. Watch out for damaged joints or cracks in the wall. If possible, your windows should be equipped with double glazing; thermal sealing will only be better.

Dry the room

If your room is affected by capillary rise, the drying of the wall can be done using an electronic drying unit. Simply placed on the wall, this box acts by electromagnetic radiation and neutralizes humidity in a few months.

Protect the walls

How to protect the walls in a preventive way against the appearance of humidity? Whether exterior or interior walls, you can paint them with a specific anti-humidity paint. Outside, the paint protects the wall from any water infiltration. Inside, it protects the walls against penetrating humidity and prevents condensation from forming on the wall. It can therefore be applied upstream, but also to mask damp spots. This type of paint is applied on a perfectly cleaned wall.

As soon as your room is healthy again, one thing is sure: you will sleep soundly.

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