Excess moisture can lead to a whole host of problems ranging from minor annoyances to serious concerns. When moisture issues arise in the home or a building, we call it “moisture intrusion”.
Some common moisture-related problems include:
- Structural wood decay
- High indoor humidity and condensation
- Expansive soil, which can crack the foundation through changes in volume, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure
- Undermined foundations
- Metal corrosion
- Ice dams
- Mold growing due to the presence of high levels of moisture. It can lead to some serious health ailments like asthma or even suppressed immune systems.
There are many ways excess moisture can get into your home or building.
Some examples are indoor water leaks, broken pipes, water leaking because of a clogged air conditioner drain pipe, a leaky roof, poorly sealed windows, basement flooding, steam from showers or even cooking.
Although this list seems pretty long and may make you feel helpless, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to safeguard your space from moisture intrusion.
Water is perhaps the biggest enemy to your home, because it can cause serious damage as a result of leaks. However, it is usually gradual. So, it’s harder to detect until the issue becomes serious.
Most of all, things you can do to keep it out will start in these areas:
- Windows and doors
- Foundation and Exterior walls
Preventative Measures to Keep Moisture Out
1. Start checking for leaks here
Check around windows and doors regularly (pay special attention to the corners). Peeling paint, discoloration, and swelling are all signs of moisture intrusion.
If you notice any of these be sure to seal the leaks ASAP. Implement a regular routine where you check windows and doors so you can prevent any major damage.
2.Search for more leaks
Look for leaks around chimneys, plumbing vents, and attic vents regularly. Replace or repair any missing shingles and keep the surface clear of debris to protect against moisture buildup.
3. Pay attention to areas where water comes from
Regular inspections, checking outdoor faucets, keeping an eye on your water bill, and installing water detection devices are all great ways to prevent moisture damage.
4. Even check your bathroom
Watch out for dark spots under pipes and soft spots in the bathroom, like around the toilet or shower. Replace old or mildewed caulking and regularly replace washing machines hoses.
5. Careful with construction
Avoid placing pipes in exterior walls as they may generate condensation.
6. Preventing with remodeling
Install water-resistive barriers behind shower installations, unless the manufacturer specifically advises against it.
Do this during construction, especially in warmer climates, to combat humidity.
Leave doors and windows open for natural drying and avoid using portable kerosene or propane heaters as they actually introduce moisture into the air.
For some, home maintenance may seem overwhelming, but it can save you big. If left unnoticed and untreated, moisture intrusion can lead to structural damage and health concerns.
If you’re concerned that your home or building is currently suffering from moisture intrusion, or you’d like a checkup to keep your peace of mind, schedule an inspection today!
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