Moisture is your home’s number one enemy. Not only can it cause health hazards to the home’s occupants but can also cause irrevocable damage to the home itself. Though many times water intrusion is difficult to see, knowing exactly what to look for can help make it easier to spot. It is important for home owner’s to keep a look out for any signs of water damage including leaks in the ceiling and bubbling of plaster.
Water intrusion can occur within most places of the home and usually is a sign of deeper problems with the home’s overall construction. The following is a list of some of the possible locations and issues that arise with water intrusion:
- Water leaks into non-ventilated areas that are adjacent to the windows of a home. It is important to act immediately upon the discovery of these leaks as they indicate serious structural problems and can cause irreparable damage to the home.
- Water leaking through foundation walls. This indicates a problem with the foundation’s integrity and may mean that the foundation was not poured correctly during the construction stage. The home may become unliveable if left for too long.
- Water within the home’s crawlspace. This is a symptom of larger problems and can be the result of faulty plumbing within the home. As with all water intrusion, damage and degradation occurs with this issue.
- Moisture migration through slabs. This type of water intrusion usually presents itself in the form of puddles.
- Cracks, alligatoring and checks leading to water intrusion to subgrade. It only takes a microscopic opening for water to find a pathway into the home.
- Water intrusion into the framing and living spaces of a home. This can cause dryrot within the wood framing of a home, water-stained gypsum board and damage to flooring materials, carpeting, and interior furnishings.
- Wet insulation. Wet insulation can create several serious problems with the overall integrity of the home’s structure leading to issues such as mold, rot, health issues, etc.
Top 10 Common Causes of Water Intrusion:
- Burst or leaking pipes
- Damaged roofs
- Overflowing appliances
- Broken or missing gutters
- Surfaces with frequent condensation
- Resulting from fires being extinguished
- Structural defects in basements and crawlspaces
Tips to Help Combat Water Intrusion:
- Make sure to caulk around all windows, the drip cap, the weep holes, and any other seams in the window.
- Add flashing around roof lines, bay windows, chimneys, etc. Make sure to replace them as necessary. In addition, make sure all flashing is installed correctly during any repair, remodelling, and rebuilding times (around deck or roof).
- All trees should be trimmed away from the house as its rubbing against wall or roof can cause damage to the home.
- Check the bottom of exposed studs and sheetrock for water damage. Water seen on the floor of this area can indicated water within the walls.
- Make sure to check the home’s gutters and repair or replace any with damage.
- Use humidifiers sparingly as they can cause condensing on your windows, drywall, studs, sheathing, etc. In addition, keep your blinds partially open to allow air circulation and cut down on condensation.