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How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Wine Cellar

How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Wine Cellar

How To Keep Moisture Out Of Your Wine Cellar

Mold can develop in your house if it’s made out of organic material and the relative humidity is above 60 percent. This presents a problem for any homeowner with a wine cellar: 60 percent is the ideal humidity to keep wine from spoiling. It can therefore be difficult to strike a balance between having high-quality wine and a mold-free house. With the right modifications, however, you can keep your wine fresh and your walls dry.   

Use A Vapor Barrier

Humidity is an essential component of wine storage because when corks get dry, they let in air, and when air gets into a bottle, the wine spoils. For this reason, experts have determined that 50 to 80 percent humidity is the correct range for storing wine. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t the correct humidity range for maintaining a house. One way to prevent moisture from pooling and causing mold is to install a vapor barrier. This barrier, typically a plastic or foil sheet, lines the walls of your cellar, reducing condensation and preventing water from permeating your home.

Reinforce Your Home

While having a vapor barrier in your home is crucial if mold accumulation is an ongoing problem, the slightly elevated humidity of a wine cellar will not affect your house as long as it is properly protected from mold. Adequate insulation, ventilation, duct airflow, and heating and air conditioning systems can process wine cellar moisture. However, if the humidity level is too overwhelming, you might need additional support.

Keep Humidity As Low As Possible

While 50 to 60 percent humidity probably won’t cause significant dampness, and even 60 to 70 percent might be fine, anything higher will not only create moisture, but it could damage the labels on your wine bottles. A wine cellar does not have to be a complex operation. A cold basement room with a tub of water on the floor can be a perfect storage unit for your collection of wine. A setup like this should not cause enough dampness to be a problem.

Use A Climate-Control System

Many homeowners elect to install climate-control systems inside their wine cellars. If you want certitude that your wine cellar will stay at a proper temperature and moisture level, and that condensation will not ruin your walls, this is the best option. Such systems consist of cooling, heating, humidifying, and dehumidifying as the wine demands. Since climate-control systems are wine cellar-specific, they need to be self-contained. If not, the rest of the house will be calibrated for wine storage, allowing mold to propagate. A sealed climate-controlled wine cellar will keep moisture out of the cellar and out of your home.

Dampness is enemy number one for homeowners with wine cellars. Not only can it ruin your wine; it can also ruin your house. But by fortifying your HVAC system, installing a vapor barrier, keeping humidity low, or purchasing a climate-control unit, unwanted moisture will be a thing of the past.  

Contribution by Jenny Holt

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