Einstein’s Theory of Relative Humidity27 Sep 2022
You didn’t know that Einstein was also famous for his theory of relative humidity (RH)? What about RH’s ugly cousins – mould and mildew (MM)? No? Then I’ll save you the time and give you the Cliff Notes scrubbed of all the annoying math.
RH Law #1) Relative humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air. It is expressed as the percentage needed for saturation at a given temperature. The hotter the air, the more water vapor it can hold, and vice versa. If you want to know more about mould, click here. If you want to know the difference between the mould and mildew, click here.
RH Law #2) The higher the RH, the greater the chance of a mould or mildew outbreak. If the RH stays above the 60% – 70% level for an extended period, expect mould to make an appearance.
RH Law #3) MM comes from airborne spores. MM spores are present everywhere there is humid air. You cannot control or eliminate these spores. What you can do is keep the RH as low as you can and create the most inhospitable environment possible for MM. Aim for the 30% to 60% range of RH.
RH Law #4) MM grows best on surfaces that absorb and retain moisture. That includes paper, wood, carpeting, cloth, and – of course – food.
RH Law #5) As a mover, we advise our clients to take the following basic steps to help reduce the chance of MM. But, keep in mind that nobody can eliminate the chance of MM damage.
Step #1) In the lead-up to your moving day, dry everything out in your home as much as you can. In the weeks leading up to a move, keep your air-conditioning turned on and use dehumidifiers. Keep windows and doors closed during this time to help reduce the humidity as much as possible.
Step #2) If possible, open window coverings to let the sunshine in as the direct sunlight will help dry out surfaces, especially carpets.
Step #3) Thoroughly wash and completely dry all of your clothing. In fact, do that for everything washable.
Step #4) If something gets wet somehow at the last minute, and you’re tempted to pack it, forget that idea!
Step #5) Spraying a light mist of an aerosol disinfectant like Lysol on items to be packed can help.
Step #6) Use silica gel packets to help absorb moisture. We can help you here. An essential part of our basic packing materials includes silica gel and we use a LOT of them.
Step #7) Consider Absormatic bars. These are industrial size and strength gel packages. They are installed inside the shipping container as an extra measure of moisture control.
Step #8) Check with your mover to be sure your insurance covers MM damage. Our transit insurance coverage does include MM, so if you move with AT and we arrange your insurance, you have this extra measure of comfort.
Having taken all these precautions, you’ve reduced your risk as much as you can. MM can still occur and sometimes there is no apparent reason. But, I can say that as someone who looks over thousands of shipments each year, take heart that serious cases of MM are surprisingly infrequent.
Good luck with your move!
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