Few issues can have a more detrimental impact on a home or commercial building than interior moisture. Should water penetrate into structural features, such as walls and ceilings, a host of significant and potentially expensive problems might occur. Therefore, monitoring these components for such occurrences is a critical responsibility property owners and managers must bear.
Your Building Inspector, which performs private home and commercial building inspections Melbourne, invites property owners to read this article discussing the causes and potential dangers of interior moisture, in addition to six steps individuals can take to identify its presence.
Causes Of Interior Moisture
A variety of issues may cause water to enter a home or building and penetrate features, such as walls and ceilings, including leaking pipes, a poorly ventilated attic, loose-fitting or damaged windows, and doors, and aging or tiring roof.
Dangers Of Excessive Moisture Buildup
Outward signs of moisture are not only unsightly but often indicate a significant underlying problem that could prove costly to repair and exert a discernibly negative impact upon the health of those residing in or frequenting the structures in question.
Progressive water damage might ultimately precipitate issues, including insect infestation and the growth of potentially hazardous materials, like mold and mildew. Such substances have been known to elicit untoward health maladies, such as allergy symptoms. However, these issues have also been attributed to far more serious medical issues in sensitive subjects or those with major underlying health concerns.
Six Methods Of Detecting Moisture In Walls And Ceilings
In light of such sobering facts, identifying and eliminating moisture sources could prove paramount to ensuring both the home or building’s structural integrity, in addition to the well-being of those who frequent said locations. Fortunately, however, adhering to the following six tips might make this process more manageable:
Examine The Structure’s Surface
Obviously, large and dark water stains are a telltale sign that a moisture problem exists. However, home or property owners are strongly encouraged to pay attention to other potential indicators, such as the appearance of brown and yellow spots. Furthermore, the accumulation of black marks often suggests the presence of mold or mildew.
In addition to discoloration, individuals are cautioned to investigate the condition of the structure’s texture and that of any other decorative feature, like paint. If the bare wall or ceiling or the paint applied to said component’s surface is peeling, uneven, warped, or buckling, excess interior moisture is often the culprit.
Initiate A Feel Test
Slightly pushing against the wall or ceiling’s surface might also indicate the presence of problematic moisture. Impacted structures typically feel spongy and soft. Should the damage be severe enough, pushing might even result in the occurrence of indentations.
Many components are comprised of material known as drywall. However, the feel test also applies to wood-sheathed walls. Those owning homes or buildings with such features are encouraged to obtain a small object, such as a screwdriver or butter knife. By scraping the surface, damaged or rotting wood can be revealed.
Detect Unusual Or Foul Odors
Homeowners or building proprietors who detect foul or unusual odors meaning from the wall may have a moisture problem. Dampness produces a unique, musty smell reminiscent of an attic or an unfinished, poorly lit basement that individuals who have entered such locations would immediately recognize.
Look Out For Drafts
Walls or ceilings that produce noticeable drafts of air might indicate interior water accumulation. Over time, moisture precipitates damage, like holes or cracks that allow air to rush through such openings.
Measure Dampness Content With A Moisture Meter
Apparatuses known as moisture meters are available for purchase either online or at many home improvement retail chains. These items possess the capacity to measure the specific moisture levels inside a given structure.
Schedule Professional Evaluations
Home or property owners who notice any outward signs of excessive moisture accumulation are firmly urged to contact home inspectors or other skilled professionals, such as, plumbers. These individuals can identify the moisture’s source and suggest the most appropriate remediation techniques.
Such professionals should occasionally be employed even when no obvious problem exists. Moisture damage often occurs gradually. Therefore, identifying an issue in its earliest stages could make fixing said concern potentially both less hazardous and expensive.
Individuals who believe their homes or commercial properties have fallen pretty to an excessive moisture buildup may wish to consider contacting us. Our team of experienced and skilled professionals can perform a thorough evaluation, identify the problem and suggest the most suitable remedial measures.
Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community