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Moisture Matters: How-to detect Humid Areas at Home

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Households get wet, and a moisture-free lifestyle isn’t possible in any home. Boiling water, heaters, baths, rain and daily activities can introduce moisture to your home, and it’s important to check your house’s walls for wetness regularly.

Of course, your home’s foundation and built-in materials reduce moisture, but long-term damages can occur behind closed doors. Mold, residue, weakened structures and soaked walls are possibilities in un-checked areas. As you scope your home for potential damages, you’ll need to ensure its protection from mold, rot and wet-related damages.

Check out the following moisture detection strategies, you won’t regret it:

Strategy One: Check the Walls

Sometimes, visual indication is enough. Look at your walls, and check them for the following “moisture indicators”:

  • Yellowing wallpaper
  • Rounded surfaces
  • Mildew growth
  • Peeling paint

Often, wet wall interiors will reveal themselves at the surface.

Pay close attention to your interior’s wall structure, and be sure to contact a professional at first sight of a misaligned surface. While peeling paper may, indeed, be peeling paper, trapped moisture should be dealt with quickly.

Strategy Two: Check for New Paint

If you’re in a new home, newly painted walls can be a dead moisture giveaway. A lot of leaving homeowners cover up problem areas, so as to reduce expenses and speed up the move-out process.

Unfortunately, their negligence can be your problem.

Check for newly painted walls. Chances are, off-color areas are hiding water damage. Sometimes, the damage is minimal. Other times, however, it can hide deeper problems only to be revealed by home inspectors.

Strategy Three: Locate Buckling Floors

Buckling walls and floors are clear signs of moisture damage. If you can feel a raised surface as you walk over it, it’s likely containing long-term water damage. Floor-based water damage normally occurs in bathrooms, where shower and sink leaks accumulate over time.

Other house areas can experience floor-based water damage, too.

Check your corners after a storm during home inspection, and examine window and door thresholds every springtime. Sometimes, water damage comes and goes, rearing its head following harsh weather conditions.

Strategy Four: Sweep the Basement

‘Sweep,’ here, refers to intensive checking. If your home has a moisture problem, it’ll surface in the basement first. Your basement is your home’s lowest point and moisture will collect in-wall leaks and residue first.

While your home foundation’s surrounding ground will soak up most of its excess moisture, structural-based leaks will almost always land in your basement. Check your basement for sewer, pipe and wall leaks. Even a small leak can reveal pipe problems from above.

Strategy Five: Examine the Ceiling

Particularly, check any ceiling sharing a floor with your bathroom. Bubbling ceilings, when located beneath pipes, tile and water basins, reveal water damage. If your ceiling is flaking and bubbling, don’t wait. Likely, your bathroom’s tub area has sprung a leak. These areas, heavily tiled, rarely reveal water damage on the surface. If you’ve sprung a leak, the floor below will reveal it first.

Remember to check your home for water damage regularly. Sometimes, water damage occurs quickly during storms. Other times, your foundation and walls “soak up” moisture until fully saturated, reveal sources like The Department of Energy.

You might have a moisture problem far before you see it—so keep a constant lookout, and always discuss potential problems with your home inspector.

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