7 Places Moisture Could Be Hiding in Your Home
You may be thinking that a dehumidifier is unnecessary for your home since you don’t have moisture problems. That is possible, however, it’s also possible that moisture is lurking throughout your home. For instance, you may not even realize your floors are holding moisture until they are completely rotten. To help prevent this, keep an eye on the areas listed below.
One area that moisture could be hiding is within your walls. To spot moisture, look out for discoloration, such as yellowing areas. You may also notice that wallpaper or paint on the walls begins to crack and peel. Mold and mildew could be present, as well, which would look like a fuzzy discoloration on the wall.
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Another space that may be hiding moisture is the flooring. Moisture can be seen in the floors by symptoms like water stains or peeling. Moisture is particularly evident in wood floors. In a damp, extremely humid environment, wood will start to swell and eventually buckle. High humidity will also create decay and rotting within the wood. You will notice this as the wood becomes spongy, and no longer structurally sound. Of course, carpet can have moisture issues,too and may develop mold or mildew if exposed to high humidity. You can spot the mold by the discoloration in the carpet plus the musty odor.
Typically, it’s pretty noticeable when there is moisture around your windows since you will see built up condensation. For the most part, the condensation will be in between the panes, at the bottom of the window, or in the corners. Another sign of moisture could be if a window is unusually hard to open. This often means that the wood framing is beginning to swell and buckle from moisture change. Another, more obvious sign, could simply be that the window is leaking and letting moisture into your home.
Another indicator of moisture throughout your home are the pipes. For instance, you may see pipes that are sweating or condensing, due to excess humidity. The pipes could also be leaking, thus creating standing water.
Believe it or not, moisture could be hiding in concrete areas, as well. If you start to notice powdery concrete, that’s an indicator of water evaporating from concrete. Chipping or cracking may be present, as well. This is caused by the size change of absorbing and evaporating water.
6. House Framing
One area that is typically hidden from view but vital to the integrity of your home is the framing. This includes parts like floor joists,wall studs, and ceiling beams. Since these items are made of wood, they are quite vulnerable to dramatic changes in humidity and moisture. Just like with the wood flooring, you could have beams that begin to swell and buckle or perhaps, a ceiling beam that begins to decay and rot. Either option would severely compromise the integrity of your home.
7. Crawl Space
The crawl space is often ignored but it is crucial to the overall maintenance of your home. If your crawl space has no vapor barrier, moisture from the ground could be rising directly into your home. In addition, if it’s not properly encapsulated, there could be countless cracks and holes letting in moisture. It may seem irrelevant to keep the crawl space well maintained but it actually affects the entire home, due to the stack effect. The Stack Effect explains that the warm air from your crawl space will rise throughout your home. This makes it crucial to maintain the air in the crawl space. The crawl space is also the area where you may see some of the symptoms mentioned above, such as standing water, dripping pipes, or mold growth.
Most of these problems start out minor but can develop into more serious, costly issues. If too much humidity creeps into a wall stud, it could eventually buckle creating serious damage to the framing of your house. The key to dealing with these moisture problems is maintaining humidity consistently, thereby not allowing problems to get out of control.