More than 25 community members ventured to Clock Electric on October 17 for an insightful discussion regarding how to keep their homes as happy and healthy as can be.

Led by friend of LakewoodAlive John Turner, “Knowing Your Home: Moisture & Ventilation” covered a variety of topics related to protecting your home’s well-being, including identifying moisture issues, improving your home’s air circulation and understanding the connection between moisture and ventilation.  

Now in its sixth year, LakewoodAlive’s Knowing Your Home workshop series draws hundreds of attendees annually to learn home maintenance best practices.  Our workshop series is generously supported by: Citizens Bank, City of Lakewood, Cleveland Lumber Company and First Federal Lakewood.

If you happened to miss this particular workshop, we’ve got you covered.  Here are our five key takeaways.

1. Know the Three M’s
Moisture, mold and must are the three M’s of your home’s health, and it’s important to understand the differences between each.  Put simply, moisture is the presence of water (or another liquid), often in trace amounts.  Mold is a symptom of a moisture problem and can begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  The key to mold control is moisture control.  A musty smell can result from damp conditions.  Mildew is a fungus that can produce a stale smell, but generally presents less of a health risk than mold.  If you encounter a significant problem in your home related to any of the three M’s, it’s worthwhile to consult a professional in order to seek the proper solution. 

2. Proper Ventilation is Vital
Adequate airflow is paramount to ensuring you have a healthy and safe home.  Proper air circulation helps to regulate temperature, prevent mold and create a more comfortable, breathable environment.  When you opt to insulate your home, you must be careful not to make the insulation too tight such that airflow is restricted.  Opening windows, running fans and installing an attic vent are ways to improve air circulation within your home.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Common Causes of Moisture
Many of your daily activities add moisture to the air.  These include showering, washing dishes and drying clothes.  While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to remove these activities from your routine, you can minimize the moisture each activity contributes by achieving proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room in order to remove moisture from the air.

4. Air Quality is Key to a Healthy Home
Ensure your home has proper airflow to keep an even temperature year-round while allowing for fresh, healthy air to flow throughout your home.  You can improve your home’s air quality by cleaning dust and clutter, using a dehumidifier, letting in fresh air and changing your furnace’s filter regularly.  You can also consider investing in an air purifier.

5. Understand Your Home’s Envelope
Your home’s thermal envelope is its external shell that repels elements, such as water.  Ultimately, an untreated seepage of moisture through your walls may result in the deterioration of building materials, necessitating potentially expensive home repairs.  By having a tight envelope, a solid foundation and a well-maintained roof, you can help ensure that your home is preventing unnecessary moisture from entering, thus keeping your home healthy and happy.