Too Much Moisture in Your Home?

by J on January 19, 2011

Striking the right balance of moisture in your home can be tricky. Sometimes, especially in the winter, our homes can get dry because of too little moisture in the air. More often than not, moisture problems in homes are caused by too much moisture, which can lead to an assortment of problems.

Check the following list to see if you have any of these signs of excess moisture in your home.

  • Water stains around windows and doors. Water may be leaking or blowing into your home.
  • Buckling hardwood floors or rotting wood.
  • Soft or swollen areas of drywall. Carefully examine the drywall around sinks, refrigerators, tubs, showers and toilets, as these areas are vulnerable to leaky pipes.
  • Rusting metal is a sign of water damage.
  • Condensation on pipes.
  • Peeling paints. Paint can’t adhere to a moist surface, so it will peel off when exposed to too much moisture.
  • Deteriorating surfaces on any masonry work.
  • Termite infestation. These thrive in moist areas, especially in crawl spaces.
  • The presence of mold and mildew.
  • Basement carpet that frequently feels damp or moist.
  • The odor of mildew. Be sure to check basement closets. Do you know if a basement waterproofing professional has ever treated your basement?

Why Worry About Excess Moisture?

Excess moisture is bad for several reasons. First of all, large amounts of moisture as in a flood can obviously cause catastrophic damage to a home. Small leaks that are allowed to go unchecked can cause more and more damage as time goes on. They will eventually ruin the surfaces around them and are an invitation to mold and mildew.  Mold can cause extreme health problems even to healthy people from frequent exposure; mold does even more damage to those who have the added risk of being allergic to it.

Causes of Excess Moisture

While the weather and environment are definite causes of excess moisture in homes, these aren’t always the source. Often times the problem is caused by mistakes made in the construction of or home improvements to to the home by builders, contractors, building material manufacturers and homeowners. It can be quite tricky trying to pin down where the moisture is coming from. If the cause is not obvious, you may need to call in an expert, such as a basement waterproofing expert. To get you started, Jim LaRue of Housemender, Inc. has developed an extensive free Home Moisture Audit to help you walk through the process of finding your cause of excess moisture.

It’s important to find and control the source of any excess moisture in your home before it gets to the point of damaging your home or your health.

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