9 Signs of Moisture Damage in Your House
Oct 27, 2022
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Crawlspace inspection by a certified professional

One of the worst feelings for a homeowner is when you look up and see water stains on the walls or ceiling. Water damage can end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair. When you see water damage you may wonder where it is coming from. If you suspect you have a leak or moisture in your home, it is important that you understand where it is coming from and how you can put a stop to it as quickly as possible.

Signs of Moisture Build-Up

There can be a number of reasons for moisture buildup, such as leaking pipes, cracks in the foundation, moisture coming in through the dirt of your crawlspace, etc. But here are some common signs to look out for to prevent severe moisture damage:

Standing Water

One obvious sign that you have a leak somewhere in your house is standing water puddles. These can be found in basements, attics, and crawl spaces where plumbing pipes are located. Standing water is dangerous as it can rot drywall and wood if not removed in time. In time, this water can leak down into your walls and other parts of the house. Standing water can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Moisture Condensation

Summers in Virginia can be very humid. Our attics and crawl spaces are very susceptible to condensation because they are not cooled by our central air systems. When too much moisture builds up, it can collect on surfaces such as floors and ceilings, walls, wooden beams, and insulation. Over time this can cause water damage and mold. If you notice water stains on the ceiling but don’t find a leak, it could be a sign of too much moisture building up in your crawl space.

Water Marks on the Ceiling

Spotting a water stain on your ceiling is a sure sign that there is a leak somewhere in your house. Ceiling leaks are often caused by a damaged roof or a plumbing problem. Luckily you can mitigate the damage by inspecting your attic or crawl space or checking your roof for missing shingles.

Mold and Mildew

It is important to inspect your crawl spaces every once in a while. If you see mold or mildew growth, it’s a sure sign there is too much moisture. The spores from mold and mildew can get into your home and cause allergies and respiratory issues. If you see the presence of black mold, it’s critical that you call a professional to remove it immediately.

Weakened or Sagging Floors

If water damage is left untreated for too long it can cause structural damage to your home. One of the ways this can present itself is with sagging or warped floors. If there is significant moisture, the wood can rot creating a dangerous situation for you and your family.

Cracks in the Foundation

If you ever wondered what causes moisture under a house? Over time and especially in older houses, foundation cracks are inevitable. As seasons pass these cracks can get wider with freezing and thawing. If you ignore the problem for too long these cracks can be big enough for pests to enter and can even cause structural damage to your home. If cracks are larger than ⅛ of an inch, then it probably means water has been entering and you should check for water damage.

High Utility Bills

Have you noticed an increase in your utility bills over time? It might not be that someone is taking too long in the shower or running the furnace too much. If you have a well, a leaking pipe can cause your well to run more often than it should, running up your electric bill in the process. If you pay for water, leaking pipes can cause your water bill to go up too. Water damage to insulation can weaken it, increasing the cost of heating and cooling your home.

Strong Odors

Bad smells and musty odors are caused by moisture in your crawl space. You may have noticed it and not been able to identify its source, but it is likely to be in the house. Decomposing wood, mildew, and mold are primarily responsible for this odor. If you notice musty odors in your home, it’s important to do a thorough inspection of your home and call a professional moisture control expert.

Pest Infestations

In addition to rodents, other pests may also be attracted to damp crawl spaces. Certain termites and carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and can cause considerable structural damage to your home. When rodents are living in your crawlspaces and attics, they defecate and urinate creating a very unsanitary environment that is ripe for bacterial growth.

How To Get Rid of Moisture in Crawl Space or Attic

The presence of a damp crawl space can lead to a variety of problems for your property, including the growth of mold and mildew, as well as providing a breeding ground for termites. So it is only natural to wonder how to maintain a moisture-free crawl space and attic at all times. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this goal.

Insulate/Fix Your Foundation

When it comes to keeping your crawl space dry, the first step should be basement waterproofing. Install at least 1.5 inches of the rigid waterproof membrane around your basement. Caulk or patch exterior cracks to prevent pests and moisture from entering. Foundation cracks can also be a prime spot for yellowjackets and wasps to build their nests. 

Get a Dehumidifier

Using a dehumidifier is a great way to reduce the moisture levels in your crawl spaces. There are even units designed specifically for crawl spaces. Let the dehumidifier do its thing for about 24 hours and see if the moisture levels have gone down. Be sure to empty the water collection tray regularly. 

Ensure Proper Water Drainage

Water can enter your home through cracks in the foundation. Foundation cracks are usually a sign of poor water drainage. One of the main reasons for poor water drainage are clogged gutters. Gutters and downspouts are designed to move water away from your foundation. It is also important to ensure that the ground around your home is graded properly to allow for water to flow away from the foundation. 

Use A Fan

It’s a simple and cheap trick but it’s very effective. Getting the air moving in your crawl spaces can significantly speed up the rate of evaporation. Some people install fans permanently in their crawl spaces. It’s a good idea and cheaper than running a dehumidifier. 

Call A Professional Moisture Control Expert

Dealing with moisture in your crawl spaces or mold caused by water damage, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible. If you notice any of the signs above, we urge you to contact Getem Services immediately. Our highly-trained moisture control experts will start with a free crawl space inspection to determine if trapped moisture and poor ventilation might be promoting the growth of mold and fungi or creating a hospitable environment for termites. We also offer comprehensive pest control services to get rid of any pest infestations.

Call us today at 757-371-2551 or contact us on our website.

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