Moisture is an exceptionally common problem that most homeowners grapple with at some point, especially those who live in older properties or in areas with particularly humid climates, such as near the ocean. Moisture, while a common problem, can cause great damage and can even have health implications if not treated promptly.
This makes it essential to be able to spot the signs of moisture immediately and to know what to do to solve the problem. If you’re not sure what moisture can look like and how you can treat or prevent it, read on as we’ve detailed everything you need to know.
Three signs that your home is damp
There are patches of mold on your walls, windows, and / or ceiling.
The first and most obvious sign of moisture is mold on the windows, walls, or ceiling surrounding the window area. This type of moisture is called condensation and generally does not require the services of a moisture and wood specialist to repair.
Mold tends to appear as black spores that are speckled across the surface. These spores can irritate those with asthma and eczema, as well as cause general respiratory and skin problems among those without underlying conditions. This is because mold spores irritate the immune system and cause unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat, a stuffy nose, or a cough in the chest.
The good news is that mold can be easily removed with a specific mold cleaner. They tend to have a pretty strong smell, so make sure you’re prepared for that. The spray will kill mold and make cleaning easier without damaging the paint underneath.
Your wallpaper or paint is peeling and chipping
The second most common sign of moisture is wallpaper or paint that is peeling, chipping, or appears bubbly. It is usually a symptom of excess moisture or water below the surface. If you see areas of peeling paint and wallpaper, this could be a sign of a complex type of moisture called penetrating moisture. Usually this means there is a problem with the gutters or roof that allows water to seep in and usually requires professional help for drying and sorting.
If you notice peeling paint on the underside of the walls, but it seems to stop at about 1m high, this could be a sign of rising damp that again requires professional assistance to diagnose and resolve.
Baseboards, door frames and / or wood are spongy and crumble
Wet baseboards and wood that feels damp, spongy, and crumbles to the touch generally indicates moisture. The most likely cause is increased humidity, but if the problem is higher, such as in the elevator, you could have a problem with the ceiling.
How to prevent humidity
While humidity can be problematic, it is fairly easy to prevent. First of all, be sure to open windows regularly. A good rule of thumb is to open the windows in your bedroom, living room, and office for about an hour every day. When it’s too cold for this in winter, keep the vents open and open the window for as little as five minutes if you can. This will prevent condensation and mold. In your bathroom and kitchen, keep windows open longer and make sure you have an exhaust fan installed as well.
To keep moisture from rising, call in a specialist to look at your CPD and avoid hitting things like bags of dirt against exterior walls.
To prevent penetrating moisture, routinely check the condition of your shingles, gutters, windows, and doors.
Combining these tips will make your home much less likely to fall victim to the dreaded moisture, but if you do, now you know how to spot the problem in the first place and fix it!
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism