Do you think you have moisture damage in your house?
If you are homeowner water is most likely not your best friend. No matter if it comes from a burst pipe, or gets in through the foundation. or a leaky roof, it always increases your stress levels. While the ruptured pipe is quite easy to identify and fix the other causes are sneaky and hard to discover until some damage is already done.
Regardless if you already live in your home or thinking of buying one, here are few things to check on regular basis or before the purchase:
1) Check the house from the outside
Look at the surroundings. If the ground slopes down towards the house there is a risk of water getting to the foundation, which can lead to rot in the walls and mold. The house should be positioned at the highest spot of the land. Check also the roof for missing or damaged shingles.
2) Inspect the walls
The watermarks on the walls are probably the most obvious sign of moisture damage. Stains shouldn’t be underestimated, since it could be an indication of a serious issue starting from condensation from cooking or bathing ending with leaking pipe or damaged roof. The moisture can also be hidden creating environment for mildew to grow. You can detect this (mildew) by actually smelling the wall.
3) Examine the windows
The condensation on the inside of the windows is a sign of excessive moisture in the house and it mostly occurs in winter. Condensation between window panes appears mostly when the seal between them is broken. You can also see signs of mold or rotting on the wood windows. Window condensation is definitely an indication of deficient ventilation and needs to be addressed.
4) Check the basement
Damp basement can produce more moisture in your home than you would have thought. Common warning sings are damp floors or walls, stains on carpet, muggy smell or mould in the corners. The causes may vary from carpet on the concrete floors, flooding, poorly insulated walls, leaky plumbing to high water table.
5) Climb up to the attic
Look for the signs of moisture damage such as condensation, black stains, dripping water or ice dams along roof eave. These can be caused by water backing up under the shingles, leaking roof, or missing chimney fire stop.
In many cases the damages are hidden and may not be visible. But the truth unfortunately is that what you do not see usually matters the most. If you have any doubts or you are prospecting for your new home, it is wise to get the house tested for moisture. You can prevent bigger damages to your property and protect the health of your family. If you are buying a house avoid investing in damaged and probably unsafe house where you would have to spend lot of money down the road getting rid of unwanted moisture and its consequences.
Moisture damage in a house can be a serious issue. It is worth the time and effort to investigate and take measures.