Most people dream of owning a beach house, but that beach house can soon turn into a nightmare if you are unsuccessful in controlling the ever-present humidity near the coast. Preventing that closed-house unpleasant smell from long periods during which the beach house stood empty is challenging.
Excessive humidity can cause mildew, unpleasant smell, mold, fungal growth, and mites at the coast. Controlling humidity in your beach house is best done with an air dehumidifier and strategically placed bags of desiccants like Silica gel, Bentonite clay, Magnesium chloride, and Calcium chloride.
High humidity and moisture in a beach house can cause damage and facilitate harmful fungus and mold growth. Maintaining a healthy humidity level in your beach house is vital. This article will teach you how to control and reduce humidity successfully in your beach house.
How To Control Humidity in a Beach House
There are several ways to control your beach house’s humidity with an air dehumidifier and drying agents.
An air dehumidifier is the most productive way to control humidity in a beach house. Free-standing portable air dehumidifiers are readily available on the market.
An air dehumidifier removes water from the air until the humidity is reduced to a comfortable level. When the proper humidity level is reached, the air dehumidifier will automatically keep it at that pre-set level.
Air dehumidifiers work by drawing air over a cold coil to capture vapor that condenses, and water drips into the water collection bucket. Generally, an air dehumidifier’s bucket needs to be emptied twice a day or every other day, depending on the conditions
All free-standing portable air dehumidifiers have a water collection container to collect the water extracted from the room.
However, these buckets are often small and need to be emptied at least once a day. Some homeowners can’t empty the bucket daily. Therefore, portable air dehumidifiers have an option to allow the water to be continuously drained directly through a hose as it is collected.
The air dehumidifier has a small hole to attach a hose through which the water can be drained continuously. Make sure your air dehumidifier is a foot above floor level for gravity to do its work.
An air dehumidifier stops mildew and mold growth in several ways. It dries out the room, pulling the moisture from fabric which mold will inevitably form. If the air dehumidifier is programmed to keep relative humidity at 50% or lower, the air will be too dry for mold spores to grow.
With an air dehumidifier, you will,
- Prevent mold and mildew in your beach house.
- Prevent the accumulation of mites.
- Stop bacteria growth.
- Eliminate that closed-house smell.
- Protect furniture and fabric.
- Dry air dries clothes quicker.
- Keep food items fresher.
- Protect your family from illnesses related to high humidity.
Comfortable Humidity Levels
Comfortable indoor humidity levels are between 30% to 50%, which means the air holds that moisture percentage.
What Causes High Humidity?
Humidity levels rise when there is too much moisture in the air from water evaporating from the ocean. Warmer water evaporates faster that’s why the most humid regions are at the coastline.
Humidity levels are typically higher in warm coastal areas and if your beach house is not adequately ventilated. The humidity levels also vary by season, Summer is generally more humid than winter, and during winter, you will notice lower humidity when your skin is drier.
How to Control Humidity in Your Beach House without a Dehumidifier
Some dehumidifiers are expensive; however, there are other terrific options for reducing humidity in your home.
Dehumidifiers are a trustworthy solution to high indoor humidity levels. But sometimes, we need a quick solution if you don’t have a dehumidifier. These tips are temporary solutions and should be noted that if the air is extremely humid in your home, they might offer only marginal relief.
Create more ventilation
When the humidity level is higher indoors than outdoors, create more ventilation by opening windows and doors, this will increase dry air circulation to prevent moisture build-up.
More ventilation helps moist air escape and helps indoor humidity levels drop. However, if the humidity levels are high from summer rain, opening doors and windows will only let humidity back in.
Switch on the AC
Air conditioners work similarly to dehumidifiers and will remove moisture from the air. Switching your AC unit on is a good idea to lower indoor humidity. Ensure the AC filter is kept clean to keep airflow at optimum level.
Dry clothes outdoors
Moisture from the clothes might be trapped indoors if you dry your clothes inside your beach house. If drying clothes outdoors is not possible, a dryer with an air vent to the outside is better.
Keep everything dry
Make sure you wipe the bathroom and kitchen surface dry to stop evaporating water from accumulating and rising humidity levels. Wet towels and bathroom floor mats should be dried to keep humidity at bay.
Use desiccants or drying agents
Drying agents or desiccants like calcium chloride, silica gel, charcoal, and rock salt will still adsorb moisture and reduce humidity from the air, however, at a slower rate than a dehumidifier.
Charcoal, due to its absorbent nature, is an excellent moisture absorber. A basket of charcoal in the room might not look great but will do its job. Desiccants are sustainable and can be reused by drying them under the sun.
Health Problems Related to Mold Caused by High Humidity
High moisture levels in the air allow bacteria, mildew, and mold to grow and affect your family’s health. Some people suffer from chronic rhinitis and sinusitis related to high humidity levels in beach homes.
Your family can develop health issues from living in damp environments. Respiratory-related illnesses like asthma, allergies, and sinusitis are common conditions that people experience.
High humidity levels are also harmful to your furnishings and your home’s structure; door frames, drywall, window frames, moldings, wooden furniture, and musical instruments are all items that high humidity levels can damage.
What Absorbs and Controls Humidity?
If you are looking for inexpensive ways to lower humidity levels in your beach house, try using drying agents or desiccants.
Many absorbing products are on the market these days that offer optimal protection against moisture in homes. These are:
- Silica gel
- Molecular sieves
- Calcium chloride
- Magnesium chloride
- Bentonite Clay
Indoor Humidity Sensor
To keep an eye on the humidity levels in your beach house, install an indoor humidity sensor to help maintain the comfortable humidity and room temperature levels.
It is easy to read and gives you a clear indication of current conditions immediately. The humidity sensor will monitor daily high and low humidity and temperatures.
The AcuRite 00613 Indoor Thermometer Pre-Calibrated Humidity Sensor can be found online at:
DIY Humidity Absorbers
Rock Salt – Sodium Chloride
The most popular DIY moisture absorber is rock salt. Rock salt is naturally absorbent and will absorb moisture from your home.
To build your own rock salt dehumidifier, use a 50-pound bag of rock salt and two 5-gallon buckets. Available at most hardware stores.
- Drill small holes in one of the 5-gallon buckets along the bottom and sides.
- Place the bucket with the drilled holes inside the other bucket.
- Pour the rock salt into the bucket with the holes up to the top.
- Place the bucket in the room that needs dehumidifying.
- The rock salt will start collecting water, which will drip through the holes.
- The water will then flow to the outer bucket, which can be drained.
- As your bucket fills up with water, keep pouring the water out. You also must refill the rock salt when it reduces to keep your rock salt dehumidifier working.
Calcium Chloride Moisture Absorbent
Calcium chloride is a kind of salt that is excellent for absorbing moisture from the air. It works perfectly in basements, laundry rooms, and places with high humidity.
To make your own calcium chloride dehumidifier.
- You need calcium chloride, string, an old sock, and a large bowl.
- Put the calcium chloride inside the old sock.
- Use the string to close the sock.
- Place or hang the sock in the high humidity area.
- Put the bowl under the sock to collect moisture and water coming from the sock.
- As the calcium chloride reduces in the sock when it absorbs moisture, replace the diminished calcium chloride.
Silica Gel Moisture Absorbent
Everyone is familiar with those tiny silica gel sachets found in medicine bottles, containers, and other products that collect moisture. Silica gel works perfectly as a dehumidifier. The silica gel cat litter that is available in pet stores will work perfectly fine too.
Here’s how to make a silica gel dehumidifier yourself.
- You need a container with a lid, silica gel, and a screwdriver.
- Poke holes into the lid of the container with the screwdriver.
- Pour the silica gel into the container and close the lid.
- After two weeks, replace the silica gel.
When silica gel absorbed all the moisture, it went from an active state to an inactive state. The great thing about silica gel is it can be reactivated and used repeatedly.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, put the silica gel in an oven pan, and bake it for 15 minutes. The oven heat draws the moisture out of the silica gel and reactivates it to be used again.
Bentonite Clay Moisture Absorbent
Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring mineral that comes from volcanic ash. Its main ingredient is calcium montmorillonite, which attracts and binds water molecules.
Highly adsorbent, Bentonite is one of the most widely used desiccants. The moisture-adsorbent Bentonite clay protects many products from humidity and moisture.
Bentonite Clay moisture adsorbent is:
- Naturally a naturally occurring mineral.
- Readily available.
- Stays dry and free-flowing.
- High adsorption capacity even at low humidity levels.
- Bentonite clay can be reactivated –
Can Bentonite clay be reactivated?
Bentonite clay can be used repeatedly; once it has absorbed all the moisture it can handle, simply bake it dry in an oven to reactivate the clay.
Charcoal Moisture Absorbent
A bucket of charcoal might not be aesthetically pleasing, but charcoal does an excellent job of absorbing moisture from the air. You need a basket or bucket and fill it up with charcoal. You can even decorate it with a bow if you like.
Any charcoal will do; even the kind you buy for the family barbeque works fine. Coconut shell charcoal also works perfectly well and is less likely to disintegrate and create a mess.
Charcoal is very affordable and will significantly reduce humidity in your beach house for three months. It is the perfect solution for beach homes that are closed for long periods. Charcoal needs no supervision or emptying of buckets; replace it after three months or so for best results.
The do-it-yourself dehumidifiers we outlined in this article will work temporarily; however, the best solution for high humidity levels is to invest in an air dehumidifier.
Where to Place a Moisture Absorbing Product
If you decide to use a humidity absorbing product, like silica gel or Bentonite clay, make sure to place it closest to the source of humidity. Don’t place it near windows and doors where it will encounter outside air.
When it comes to high humidity issues in a beach house, prevention is always better than cure. High humidity levels in a beach house are not ideal. Humidity will significantly damage your beach house and cause mold and fungus to grow, causing health issues for you and your family. The best solution to control humidity in your beach house is to invest in an air dehumidifier.
An air dehumidifier and moisture absorbing desiccants will significantly reduce humidity in your beach house and continue to work keeping the humidity levels low. You can rest assured high humidity levels are a thing of the past with an air dehumidifier. We hope this article was informative and that you know now how to control humidity in your beach house.