Humidity in your home? Tips on how to deal with it

  • 05.January 2018
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High humidity is a fact of life for properties in Malta. Whether temperatures drop or rise, humidity is felt all year round but indoors one tends to feel it especially so it winter. Contrary to what one may be led to believe, it is not only old houses which tend to harbour humidity. Some newer apartments in Malta may also feel humid to the point of being insupportable to live in comfortably.

How can you tell that humidity is high and how can you deal with the problem?

You feel it. Literally, as the coldness gets into your bones and no matter how hard you attempt to warm up, you find it hard to relax those tense chilled muscles. Adding heating to an already humid room may work for some time but in the long term, the humidity will become manifest.

You see it. Humidity can take the form of dark spots of spores on ceilings, around window frames, above wash basins, on kitchen walls and inside bathrooms.

You smell it. The musty smell of humid dampness is unmistakable, especially so if the space is kept closed for long stretches at a time.

You discover it. In the form of green dusty spores sitting on something like leather…. even inside closed wardrobes and drawers. Belts, purses, jackets made of any form of leather will turn dull and form whitish or greenish mould spores. Humidity can also be manifested on paper – new paper can be especially susceptible to feeling damp and becoming slightly wavy – printer paper is a case in point.

All this can be highly detrimental to your health, so quick-fix solutions are called for:

Aerate humid spaces

Open windows and doors, allow air to draft through. If your room has no air vents or wall ventilating shafts, get a mason to open up some for you. If a room has wall ventilating vents but you still get mould effects on walls and objects, check to see if the vents have become blocked. This blockage may be in the form of a bird nest lodged in the wall slot of the vent. Once you clear nests out, fit chicken wire on the external opening of the wall to avoid birds nesting inside the vent again.

Have a de-humidifier working for you

These gadgets really work to absorb water particles from interior spaces and you will be amazed at how quickly the water receptacle inside the de-humidifier fills up. Use this water for your indoor plants. Make sure you don’t have the de-humidifier working where there are open sources of water such as in a bathroom and avoid sleeping in close proximity to one in operation.

Keep bathroom windows ajar after showering

That way you will allow steam a way out, because trapped condensation will only create the perfect micro-climate for humidity to thrive.

Same goes for kitchens

In kitchens, steam can trap in curtains and on ceilings. Leaving the kitchen window slightly ajar while you pour out the pasta into the colander for instance, can make all the difference to your kitchen’s state of humidity. If you have an extractor fitted in your cooker hood, use it.

Consider structural changes (with architectural advice)

In a ground floor property, especially an older one, which has humidity rising up the walls. The simple act of opening up a window to create air movement plus removing layers of old plastic paint from walls may be enough to let the stone breathe and the humidity dry out naturally.

Or, visit our website to find the broadest selection of properties in Malta.

Marika Azzopardi
Post by Marika Azzopardi

Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.