Posted on
February 24th, 2015

Is too Little Humidity a Risk?

Although it isn’t particularly an issue within the UK, having too little humidity within your home due to an overly effective damp course can have its risks.

Much as high levels of relative humidity can cause increases in bacteria, viruses, fungi and other health risks, very low levels can also bring about health risks. The ‘safe zone’ for relative humidity is around 40 – 60%, which helps stop the growth and spread of things which can damage your health.

Here is a quick run-down of the levels of relative humidity where different health risks occur:

– Increased bacteria growth between 0-30% and 60-100%

– Increased infection by viruses between 0-50% and 70-100%

– Increased Asthma risks between 0-30% and 70-100%

– Increased ozone production between 0-40%

As stated above, a level of relative humidity which is too low within a home is quite uncommon within the UK due to our temperate climate. Managing the levels of relative humidity in your home to between 40-60% can be difficult and it doesn’t have to be an exact science.

Rather than a constant relative humidity from 40-60%, it is much easier to regulate this level by opening windows, airing out rooms and other tricks to get air flowing throughout your home so that this average is reached over many days. This is easily done with proper rising damp solutions which cut down the bulk of humidity within the home and also help your walls perform their job of regulating temperature.

In addition to the factors related to health, it is also important for the structural stability and longevity of a building to maintain a certain level of moisture. Overly dry walls can degrade quickly, especially when subjected to bad weather on the outside or accidental damage internally.

The UK climate usually requires that humidity needs to be lowered in the home, but it is important to bear in mind that indoor relative humidity may need to be raised in very cold and dry climates.

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