How to Choose the Right Moisture Absorber for Your Home: Exploring 3 Types
If you’re looking for ways to control moisture and guard against mold and mildew in your home, moisture absorbers are great investments. These products come in several different types, and each type has its particular strengths that can be utilized according to your specific needs. Knowing the various types of moisture absorbers and their benefits can help you in choosing the right product for your needs.
The most common types of moisture absorbers include Silica Gel, Clay Absorbers, and Calcium Chloride. Let’s examine each type in more detail, and discuss the benefits associated with each.
Silica Gel is made from sodium silicate and is known for its powerful, high-specific-surface-area-based desiccant and drying properties. The beads or granules have an attractive property, known as adsorption, that attracts moisture from the air, trapping it onto the surface of its numerous pores. Silica gel is a highly effective absorption agent, though its power drops significantly when exposed to temperatures near or exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. As such, Silica Gel is not recommended for large areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Silica gel does come with warning labels on its plastic packaging as it can be poisonous when ingested.
Clay absorbers are a cheap alternative to controlling moisture that can be implemented in homes, especially those that feature clay bricks. Any type of clay can help mitigate moisture, though its absorbent power may be limited compared to the other two types. Charcoal, coal, rocks and rough gravel can also be used as absorbers, and terracotta can be purchased to specifically retain moisture.
The strongest type of moisture absorber is Calcium Chloride, a mixture of chlorine and calcium that is very effective in high-humidity environments like basements, kitchens, cabinets and closets. An electric fan can further increase the dehumidifying effect of this compound. Rock salt can also be used as an alternative, though its phosphorus is not as high. A notable caution: calcium chloride should not be ingested due to the risk of throat and intestinal burns, dehydration and dry skin.
The kind of moisture absorber you end up purchasing will mostly depend on the size of the space in which you need the absorber to work. To ensure that the product is safe for your use, ensure that you read the manufacturer’s label carefully before purchasing. It’s also essential to choose absorbers that meet the standards of your home’s specific humidity levels. Consider consulting with a mold expert to determine the most appropriate option for your needs.