Believe it or not we San Diegans have to worry about moisture damage to our homes. Sometimes moisture damage is quite evident, and can be easily spotted by the untrained eye. On the other hand it can also be a very subtle problem that creeps up on you. Moisture damage can wreak havoc on a home and does not take very long to do so. One major storm, or a repetitive moisture condition could cause a serious amount of damage which could require many hours of labor and possibly turn out to be thousands of dollars in repairs. You can easily spot moisture damage at the exterior of the home, if you know what to look for. You should perform an inspection on your home at least once a year. If you find something that you feel may be some sort of wood rot, or damage of any kind call a licensed contractor like Best-Rate Repair to have the area/s inspected and repairs done properly and right away.
When performing an inspection on your home, keep your eyes peeled for signs of moisture damage. You will want to start by finding what areas are most likely to be prone to moisture. Be sure to look at everything! Check the roof for damaged flashing and missing, cracked, or curled shingles. If you see standing water anywhere outside the home, it could be the sign that you have a problem. A puddle could be due to poor drainage in the yard, leaky rain gutters, or gutter spouts that don’t take water far enough away from the home.
Most walls of a home are protected by roof overhangs and gutters, these areas will have a lower potential for moisture damage. Though this may not always be the case. For example if your rain gutters are full of debris, there is a good chance that the water will not be able to flow properly, causing it to back up and pour up and over the side of the gutter. If this were to happen over and over it would most likely lead to wood rot at the fascia boards which support the gutters, and possibly cause damage to the siding as well.
An example would be a sprinkler that is watering your beautiful garden and is over shooting hitting the house every rotation. Over time your siding whether it be stucco, wood siding or even vinyl siding, can cause a moisture condition which will eventually start breaking down the materials and could then expose the wood framing of the home and lead to even more damage. Any areas of your home that have water splashing on them for any period of time will be prone to a moisture damage condition no matter what type of siding your house may have.
Unfortunately, homes with vinyl siding can experience water intrusion just like homes with other types of siding. There is typically no visible evidence of moisture intrusion with vinyl siding… at least not until it’s too late. Vinyl siding is an exterior covering that reduces the amount of rain that reaches the building materials behind it. Remember, vinyl siding is not watertight, so make sure you thoroughly inspect it every year for any signs of damage.
The most common problem you will find when it comes to siding and trim is bubbling or peeling paint. Peeling paint is an obvious sign that can be spotted very easily. Paint is meant to protect wood surfaces from rotting. Bubbles or peeling paint means that moisture has been trapped between the wood and the coat of paint. This type of moisture condition looks horrible and can be an environmental hazard if the paint on your home contains lead. While moisture can cause paint to bubble, it can also result in paint peeling. This can lead to wood rot and if left untreated it can turn into fungus damage.
Pay attention to the area around the windows. Do you see crumbling or splintering wood? Any sort of crumbling or splintering could be an indication that the wood is falling apart because of a moisture condition problem. Other areas to pay special attention to is rotting at the wood siding. Start by looking for obvious things like holes in the siding. The next step is to go around and poke at the areas that will be most susceptible to water intrusion. You can sometimes just push on the siding with your fingers to find rotted / soft areas. If you touch a piece of wood that feel soft and spongy, that is a moisture condition that has been present for some time, and you would want to get it taken care of right away.
In addition to the damage that moisture causes, it can enhance the growth of mold in your home. When it comes to interior areas such as duct work, attics, crawl spaces, and wall voids, a moisture condition may not be as easy to notice but a musty odor is a sign that a moisture condition or mold is present. Mold can cause damage and lead to health problems. Deal with it quickly! Stains on the floors, walls and ceilings are easily visible and are signs of moisture damage. Porous surfaces such as drywall, would need to be replaced right away.
Inspecting common sources of water leaks and taking some simple preventative measures can be an effective way to reduce the risk of moisture damage and mold. If you have areas where a moisture condition or any wood damage is suspected hire a licensed contractor like Best-Rate Repair to inspect your home and have repairs completed immediately. Early detection is an easy fix while waiting too long can result in extensive and costly wood damage repairs.