No matter the season, the risk is always there for excess moisture to infiltrate your home and wreak havoc. The threats from water damage represent not just a risk to your health but also to the house itself. This is part of what makes prevention so critical.
A mold infestation, dry rot, and other problems are all possible if moisture seeps into your home. These threats can make a residence uninhabitable if left to fester long enough. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk. This guide shows you where to look for water damage in your home, as well as what you can do before or after an infestation.
There are many trouble spots outside of your home that require you to stay vigilant. The first thing to watch for when doing an inspection is pools or puddles of water. Sitting water causes erosion of many materials, and your foundation is no exception. Foundational problems with the house can lead to major repairs if not caught early.
Another problem area for water damage is the roof of the house. It is vital to ensure there are no missing shingles or clogged gutters because these can both cause substantial repairs if not caught early. Missing shingles allow water to drip into the home and degrades the capabilities of the support beams. Clogged or broken gutters can dislodge from the house, especially in winter, causing exposure that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
The final place to look outdoors is along the siding and windows. If you notice any separation or gaps between those and the house, take the time to fill it before more moisture can infiltrate your home. Do the same if you find any windows that aren’t adequately sealed. Lastly, check the door frames for gaps that can allow air to escape and moisture to sneak in.
The biggest threat of moisture intrusions in your kitchen often originates from the pipes under the sink. Leaks lead to sitting water in a cold, now-damp space, which is the perfect environment for mold to take over. A mold outbreak in your kitchen can ruin your food and necessitate repairs of the piping. If you see water dripping or any puddles under your sink, dry the water and look for possible leaks.
Another area of concern in kitchens is near the windows. The temperature in the room can fluctuate quickly and cause condensation to build up on windows and other metal surfaces. While small amounts of condensation are expected when cooking, it is important to remember that excess or dripping water along the windows can be dangerous if left unchecked.
The bathroom is another potential danger spot for moisture damage. Just like in the kitchen, pipes under the sink can quickly turn into a fungal outbreak if left unrepaired. Mold and other species of fungi can lead to health problems, especially for the elderly and those with underlying respiratory conditions like asthma.
Another cause of moisture in the bathroom is steam from the shower, which can make the room feel like a jungle. The steam causes condensation to build up on the mirror and windows, and if this is left for too long, it can cause an outbreak. The moisture in the air can be compounded if the bathroom door remains closed, trapping the moisture inside. Turning on a fan or opening a window gives the moisture a path to escape and prevents the risk of an outbreak.
If your home has an attic, the chances are that you should be performing regular inspections for water damage. This is especially important for homes with roofs that are older or in disrepair. This can lead to leaks during storms or when moisture builds up on the roof. Moisture buildup on the roof is an especially dangerous proposition in winter when snow and ice create extra weight that can lead to further damage.
Places to look in the attic include near chimneys and roof vents, as well as near the intersection of the roof with the wall. If you have exposed insulation, look for signs of moisture, mold, and other fungi to prevent outbreaks before they have a chance to start.
Another place to look for water damage in your home is in a basement. One of the biggest threats from water damage in a basement comes from flooding. There are often appliances such as the hot water heater and sub-pump that leak water once they reach the end of their lifecycle. Water leaks are also a threat from the washing machine, leading to sitting water.
The other significant threat of flooding comes courtesy of mother nature. During heavy storms, water can seep in through foundational cracks or gaps from the windows. Water damage in a basement causes harm to everything it reaches, including drywall, furniture, and anything else stored in the basement.
What To Look for
If you do suspect your home is at risk from moisture damage, there are many signs to look for to confirm your diagnosis. One thing to look for is dark or wet spots along the ceiling and walls. These could be watermarks, which is the sign of a much more severe problem. Peeling, crumbling, or bubbling on the drywall and paint are also signs of water damage behind the wall.
Learning to follow your senses is an essential skill for all homeowners. Try to follow your senses if you think there could be a water problem. Another symptom of severe water damage is the constant sound of running water throughout your home. If you hear a dripping sound or suddenly have creaky flooring, it could be an indication that water is flowing freely. A sudden increase in your water bill could also be indicative of an issue. Along with your sense of sound, there is also the possibility of damp or musty scents to alert you to a problem.
If you suspect or know your home has moisture damage, call the team you know you can trust. Aloha Restoration is your hometown water remediation company and can help get your home back to normal in no time.