3 Types of Moisture Absorbers Explained
Moisture absorbers are very helpful in homes, especially because they inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. Mold usually grows in damp areas, such as the basement, the kitchen, and the bathroom. To solve the problem of mold, moisture absorbers placed in packets or buckets can help remove the moisture in a room or enclosed space. There are three main types of absorbers used commonly today, and each has its own unique properties that can be utilized for different absorption purposes.
1. Silica Gel
This moisture absorber is made from sodium silicate. Its name may be misleading because this form of silica is actually solid, produced in a beaded or granular form. Silica gel has a very strong attractive effect on water molecules. The material is usually placed in a vapor-permeable plastic and placed inside airtight containers to prevent moisture from destroying the other contents. Silica gel should not be ingested, as it is a poisonous substance, and to ensure that the product does not get eaten, manufacturers usually place a warning on the silica gel’s plastic container.
Silica gel has a very strong absorbing quality when in room temperature. However, it may give up the water it holds when exposed to temperatures near or higher than 40 degrees Celsius. These moisture absorbers are usually only used in products that are placed in room temperature. Since silica gels are quite expensive, they are not recommended for larger areas such as basements and kitchens.
2. Clay Absorbers
Clay absorbers offer a cheap alternative to absorbing moisture in a home or in any other space where moisture leads to molds. Some homes that make use of clay bricks often do not get moldy because the moisture absorbent qualities of the clay remove the dampness that increases mold growth. There is one disadvantage to using clay absorbers, though. Its moisture absorption property is very low as compared to the other two types. For heavily humid areas, clay absorbers are not recommended. Other alternatives to clay absorbers include coal, charcoal, rocks, and rough gravel.
3. Calcium Chloride
Perhaps the best moisture absorber is calcium chloride, a mixture of chlorine and calcium. It has a very strong moisture absorbent property that makes it an ideal candidate for high humidity moisture absorption projects. Calcium chloride is usually used in shipping goods and does a good job in keeping these goods dry during the whole duration of the trip.
For very humid basements, kitchens, cabinets, closets, and other spaces, calcium chloride does provide effective moisture absorption. Sometimes, an electric fan can make the dehumidifying effect of the compound a lot faster and more widespread. Place the fan over a bucket of calcium chloride, and the motion of air will allow the moisture to circulate above the compound.
As an alternative, rock salt can also be used in place of calcium chloride. Although rock salt is not as powerful, it does provide an effective alternative that is both cheap and easy to access.