MOISTURE IN HOUSES.
It is stated that the sudden change of the weather recently from cold to warm and damp, observes The Philadelphia Times, has caused thousands of dollars of damage to wall paper and other articles in houses. Of course it has, and it is so simply because many people do not study the plainest common sense principles in airing their houses.
One evening lately people went to bed with a hunt for extra blankets because of the sudden and severe chill in the atmosphere. When they rose in the morning their bedrooms, parlors, dining-rooms, etc., were yet chilly from the cold of the previous day, while the outside atmosphere had suddenly become not only warm, but hot and oppressive with dampness.
Inconsiderate people opened their windows and doors because the weather was warm, forgetting that the excessive moisture in the atmosphere would rush in with the warm air and swiftly deposit itself on the cold walls, furniture, etc., and penetrate wall papers, curtains, bedding and everything within reach that presented a surface colder than the air that carried it into the house.
Of course the moisture loosened and discolored paper, made curtains as limp as a washrag, made beds damp and musty, and generally spoiled everything that water could spoil; but all could have been avoided by following the plain, common-sense rule of not opening houses suddenly to suddenly changed atmosphere, carrying an excessive quantity of moisture.
A pitcher filled with cold water and placed in a room in summer will “ sweat”—at least that is what it is commonly called. The pitcher does not sweat, because it is not porous and cannot sweat; but the cold water inside it chills the outer surface, and as soon as the outer surface of the pitcher becomes cooler than the atmosphere in the room, the moisture of the air will be precipitated upon the pitcher in drops.
This simple illustration should teach all housewives to avoid suddenly opening rooms in a house when the outside atmosphere is warmer than the temperature of the rooms and full of moisture. In all such cases the wall paper, furniture, etc., being cooler than the outside air, will speedily have the moisture of the atmosphere precipitated upon them, and it will require days to restore the house to the dry condition that is essential to health.
There are no arbitrary freaks in the laws which govern the atmosphere surrounding us, and there is nothing abstruse in mastering them. Warm, damp air will ever precipitate its moisture in houses or elsewhere whenever it comes in contact with anything chilled by a cooler atmosphere, and that is the whole story. The only thing to be added is that, when people have thus ignorantly or negligently allowed their houses to become damp, they should light fires and dry them as promptly as possible.