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Preventing damp in below-ground rooms with desiccant dehumidification

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In this article, we explain why below-ground spaces like storage rooms and basements are particularly susceptible to the problems caused by humidity, and why a desiccant dehumidifier is the most effective solution.

While humidity may usually be associated with warm environments, cold unventilated spaces within a building are the most likely places to find damp and condensation caused by saturated air.

Due to their location, below-ground rooms are often the coldest part of a building. For this reason, humid air (caused by rain, ground water, appliances like kettles and washing machines, or even the moisture still present from newly set concrete), will condense at a much faster rate.

This is because humidity and temperature are intrinsically linked; air is capable of holding less moisture when it is cold, so when warm damp air enters a cold room, or comes into contact with cold surfaces, the water vapour will be released in the form of condensation.

Tell-tale signs of humid air in a cold unventilated space:

  • Musty odours
    The first thing you’ll notice when you step into a damp basement is an unpleasant smell caused by lingering moisture.

  • Mould growth
    Damp spaces with low ventilation and little sunlight are the perfect environment for mould and mildew. As it grows, mould releases toxic spores into the atmosphere which can cause skin irritation, severe coughing and respiratory problems.

  • Condensation
    Saturated air will condense on surfaces that are colder than the temperature of the atmosphere. In underground spaces, walls, cold pipes and metal fixtures are the most common places for water droplets to settle.

  • Watermarks
    In some buildings, moisture can rise through the foundations and add to the humidity levels in spaces below ground. This will leave visible watermarks on the floor.

  • Damaged items
    Equipment, clothing and belongings kept in a cold, humid space will quickly deteriorate. Rust will form on metal objects, wood will swell and warp, leather and textiles will grow mould

What makes desiccant dehumidifiers the best solution?

In below-ground rooms that remain damp and cold for most of the year, using a desiccant dehumidifier is the fastest and most efficient way to handle harmful saturated air. Unaffected by temperature, they can quickly and quietly remove moisture from the atmosphere and prevent the problems caused by condensation before they happen.

How does a desiccant dehumidifier work?

A desiccant dehumidifier uses chemicals rather than condensation to remove moisture from the air. A desiccant rotor within the machinery contains a network of small airways lined with silica gel.

Humid air from the environment is pulled into the desiccant wheel. The silica gel absorbs the moisture, and releases around 75% of the air out warm and dry.

The other 25% of “reactivation air” is heated to around 120°C, removing moisture from the rotor. Wet air is released into the atmosphere through a duct, ending a continuous process of both airstreams passing through the rotor.

How a desiccant dehumidifier works

Key benefits:

  • High moisture removal rate in a single air pass

  • Achieve very low absolute humidity levels

  • Can operate in low temperatures and at low humidity

Desiccant dehumidifiers from AERIAL are some of the most effective solutions on the market. Compact and portable, yet incredibly powerful, they are excellent at removing moisture from hard-to-reach areas like cellars and basements. Designed with ease-of-use in mind and tested in our state-of-the-art facilities, all AERIAL products come with expert support from our international service network.

For help determining the best solution for your facilities, or for more information on the options available, don’t hesitate to get in touch below.

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