Before you buy furniture, understand humidity

by | Jun 19, 2022

It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. I do not care which;
it sure can be uncomfortable! Thank goodness for the modern comforts of
swimming pools, air conditioning, fridges, and fans.

Humidity, which is the measure of moisture in the air,
affects furniture. Regardless of the time of year, there is always moisture in
the air, even if we cannot see or feel it. A moderate amount is approximately
30 to 60% relative humidity. Anything lower and it is too dry; anything higher
is too wet. Either of these can be problematic for our furniture. Since our
climate varies from temperate in the winter and tropical in the summer months,
our concern is what happens when the humidity exceeds 60%.

Humidity and leather furniture

Leather is a porous material containing thousands and
thousands of microscopic holes. The holes absorb moisture from the environment,
which is terrific for keeping leather supple and soft. Unfortunately, it can
rot when relative humidity goes above 40% and remains at that level for an
extended period. To reduce this risk, open windows or use a fan to achieve
airflow that cools. You could also consider using the humidity control on your split
air conditioner or a dehumidifier. Remember that running an air conditioner or
dehumidifier can be costly on your electrical bill if used frequently.

Humidity and fabric furniture

Regular fabric is at risk of mold or mildew if in darkness,
in a humid location and without air circulation. Performance fabric is the best
cover for a sofa/sofa bed, sectional or recliner. Performance fabric does not
cost more than most fabrics and is specially designed to provide moisture
protection. This revolutionary fabric is soft yet breathable – perfect for our
humid climate.

Humidity and wood furniture

In humid conditions, wood expands, and in dry conditions,
it contracts. This condition makes your wood furniture susceptible to cracking,
warping and splitting. Once this happens, it can be difficult, if not
impossible, to repair. To avoid problems, purchase furniture made with
adequately dried wood, either kiln-dried or if dried naturally, for the proper
period, usually years. For peace of mind, you are always better off purchasing
furniture made using pre-treated materials. Furniture finished with a stain or
paint that repels liquid and moisture is also a good bet.

Humidity and mattresses

All mattresses are susceptible to the effects of humidity.
Never lay your mattress right on the floor or use synthetic bedding. Fresh air
and air circulation are critical to keeping mold at bay. Since memory foam
mattresses are essentially spongy, porous structures, they are slightly more
prone to mold than regular coil mattresses. If your preference for a good
night’s sleep is memory foam, look for one that has a cooling gel top since
these types are less likely to mold. Avoid polyurethane or high-density foam
mattresses since they have the least breathability and, therefore, are more
likely to mold than memory foam or coil mattresses.

Humidity and metal furniture

Regardless of the type, all metals are prone to oxidation
or rust. Aluminum will not rust, but it can discolor or oxidize. Cast iron and
steel furniture will rust if the paint finish chips, exposing the metal. Even
stainless steel can rust and corrode if continuously exposed to the elements
over time, especially saltwater. The best way to avoid deterioration is to
clean and maintain metal furniture regularly.

The bottom line

Humidity is tough on furniture. That’s why buying furniture
made with the proper materials is critical instead of buying based on looks,
price, and availability. Buy right the first time, and you save yourself a lot
of money and stress in the long run.

Want to
purchase furniture that lasts and is comfortable for your home in
Vallarta? We represent over 150
manufacturers and suppliers throughout Mexico that use the correct materials
and processes. Visit us at our Puerto Vallarta store: 363A Constitucion just off Basilio Badillo, or our Bucerias store at Heroes de Nacozari 126.

If you are
not currently in Mexico and you would like information about furnishing your home,
email us at or Whatsapp us at +52 322 136 5156.

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