How to Dehumidify Your Room Naturally

Updated on April 14, 2016
ShyeAnne profile image

ShyeAnne is a remote camp cook on the spectacular west coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Dripping windows are sure sign of high humidity.
Dripping windows are sure sign of high humidity.

Wet Home Environment?

We live in a cabin on the south end of Quadra Island, located off of the east coast of Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada.

Do you live in a wet place? Being surrounded by such lush greenery creates even more opportunity for high humidity in the home. Our climate is balmy and beautiful for approximately eight months of the year, liberally sprinkled with days of rain and wind. The winter months are cold and damp to us west coasters. These are perfect conditions for humidity to rise in our home. When I am not careful, I find myself mopping puddles of water off of the insides of windowsills. We keep the wood stove burning twenty four hours a day during the winter months. One of the reasons, of course, is to keep us toasty warm, and another is that the heat will assist in keeping humidity down.

Was your house built to prevent and repel moisture? Ours wasn't. It is constructed with wood and covered with shake. It sits close to the ground perhaps a foot from the soil with no solid foundation. There is also no vapor barrier, plastic or otherwise, between the floor and the ground, in one of the bedrooms. This causes moisture to condense under anything that may be laying on the floor— clothing, dog beds, those kinds of things. Condensation also forms under beds and dressers, places where there is little or no circulation.

Are you seeing water damage? Humidity can compromise the structural condition of your house. It is important to control the humidity in your home to protect your investment. Too much moisture can cause damage to window sills, skylights, and dark closets and small rooms by collecting and pooling water in places with poor ventilation.

All in all, this is a very unhealthy and unsafe circumstance to have inside of one's home, especially for health reasons. High humidity is a breeding ground for molds and mildews. Breathing in mold spores, even dead ones, can cause many human health issues.

Signs of Humidity in the Home

Condensation on the panes of windows and doors

Spots of mold in corners or on ceiling

Puddles or wet spots in basement

Musty smells

Allergies

Health Reasons for Controlling Humidity

The word "humidity" refers to the amount of water in the air. Many organisms thrive in moisture, causing humans with allergies to have reactions.

Optimum humidity is between 30 and 50%.

High humidity causes mold and mites to grow and thrive. Both are significant indoor allergens. Both, especially mold, are harmful and toxic to humans. Grey mold grows on the surface of dirt in greenhouses if the soil becomes too damp and humid.

The flip side, too low humidity, is not good for humans or plants either. Low humidity causes dry skin and hair, static electricity, and dry mouth while sleeping. All these things can be avoided by choosing one, or all, of these three easy and cost-effective ways to lower the humidity.

Hygometer to Monitor Indoor Humidity

You will need to purchase a hygrometer and place it in the room, greenhouse, closet, or garage, wherever you need to monitor the humidity. A hygrometer is a meter that measures the moisture in the air. They can be purchased for ten dollars or less at most big box stores, hardware stores, and such. You will find then in the hardware aisle.

Ideally, the humidity indoors should be kept between 30% and 50% for optimum climate control.

Hygrometers usually come coupled with a thermostat, as temperature plays a big part in the humidity level in the room. Too high a temperature will create too much humidity, potentially growing mites, molds, and other nasty fungi. Too low humidity coupled with low temps will also cause mold and mildew.

If you discover that you have humidity, and you don't want to invest in a dehumidifier, here are three different solutions that are cheap and easy.

Optimum Humidity Is 30-50%

#1 Rock Salt

I have tried this rock salt method and it works for me. Rock salt will pull moisture out of the air, therefore decreasing humidity.

Materials you will need: 2 five gallon buckets and a bag of rock salt.

  1. Using a drill, put a couple dozen holes in the sides and bottom of a bucket.
  2. Place this bucket inside the other intact (not drilled) bucket. Pour rock salt into the top bucket. Place the buckets in the area to be dehumidified.
  3. As the rock salt pulls moisture from the air, it will collect in the bottom bucket. Dump liquid and replace rock salt in order to continue dehumidifying the area as necessary.

#2 Damprid

Damprid is a product that will control high humidity in your home or greenhouse. It comes in a hanging packet or as a spreadable powder. As the crystals absorb the moisture, they harden and turn into a solid mass. Damprid is an easy product to find in stores and not too hard on the pocketbook at $5 or less. You will find it in most home repair and hardware stores.

The white crystals are calcium chloride. This chemical compound is composed of calcium and chlorine and can be generated by limestone. The crystals are typically white or colorless, but small amounts of mineral deposits can cause the crystals to take on a faint rust color.

#3 DriZair

DriZair is another cost-effective product easily found in most hardware and or big box stores. The crystals in DriZair absorb excess humidity in the air.

Line a collander (plastic is best) with vinyl screen and fill with DriZair. Place the collander in another, larger bowl or bucket. As the crystals pull water from the air, it collects in the bottom container. When all crystals have liquified, pour out the contents of the bowl or bucket and repeat with more crystals if necessary.

Damp Home environment

How do you deal with humidity in your home?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • Does Damp Rid have to be replaced in a dish, etc., immediately when all the crystals have turned to water?

    Yes, in order to keep dehumidifying.

© 2012 ShyeAnne

Comments

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    • profile image

      ShyeAnne 

      2 weeks ago

      Hey Andra, Thank you for your inquiries..I would replace the rock salt every thirty days or so and use it for as long as you need to draw moisture out of the air. Some homes require ongoing treatment. I didn't check humidity percentage before and after, sorry!

    • profile image

      Andra 

      2 weeks ago

      Hey ShyeAnne, I am curious how much rock salt have you used and for what amount of time? When does it need replacing and what was the humidity percentage in the house after and before using it? Thank you for sharing this experience with you !

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      20 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing what you do to dehumidify your home Jason Silva.

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      20 months ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Much luck! How are you doing with your dehumidifying? Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image

      Jason Silva 

      21 months ago

      I use non of these methodes I use a dehumidifier fan I made but looking to build a dehumidifier box for a3000sf building the house is 1800 withs a dirt floor basement and I achieve 50% humidity

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      jcpmc,Thank you for your comment. I live on an Island and the potential for humidity and mold in our home is tremendous. It is an ongoing challenge to stay ahead of it.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      3 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      During the rainy season humidity increases in the Philippines. Kroger ventilation sometimes is not sufficient. We up dehumidifiers and keep moisture to a minimum. I hate it when molds grow.

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for your comments. I live in an old house now, about 40 feet from the ocean. Condensation is a big issue for me too. Like you, I wipe the windows and patiently wait for summer. Thank you for your comments.

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      I would try any of these methods. I am not an expert, just someone that has battled with humid environments. good luck and thank you for your question.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      3 years ago from New Zealand

      Very helpful information about condensation in the home.

      Here in New Zealand no matter what I do to help keep the home dry there is always dripping windows in the winter.

      I just dry off windows with a towel every morning to stop the water dripping down on the carpet and keep the fire going.

      There are lots of reasons why some homes are wetter than others and it does help us living in a valley and only seeing the sun for about five hours a day when it shines.

      You can get dripping windows in the summer when the temperature drops down to about 5 degrees and it does happen here in NZ.

      Hope 2015 is a great year for you.

    • profile image

      froggydalton@gmail.com 

      3 years ago

      Do you think it will work in a 4 season room with a hot tub in the room with cover?

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      3 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks Lady Guinevere , for the comments. It is a very wet world that we live in here in the Pacific Northwest !!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      3 years ago from West By God

      Great advice and I sent it to a firend who is looking for these solutions.

    • ShyeAnne profile imageAUTHOR

      ShyeAnne 

      5 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you Glosei for your kind words. I love our cabin too! I hope it works for you. Hopefully the damp basement goes away.

      Also Thank you to Ken for your comment.

    • Gloshei profile image

      Gloria 

      5 years ago from France

      First Shyeanne I love your cabin, it looks so cosy and close to nature it's great.

      We get damp in our basement so I love the idea with the Rock Salt and worth trying out thanks for some good tips.

    • profile image

      Ken 

      5 years ago

      Very informative and well written.

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