Excess moisture in a home can lead to a range of problems, all of which require expensive repairs. Some of the telltale signs might include discoloration of the surfaces, water on window sills or around doors, and a moldy or musty smell. However, moisture intrusion isn’t always easy to spot, so getting a periodic water intrusion inspection is a good idea, especially if the property is old or if there is a history of damage.
A professional inspector has the tools and expertise to detect moisture that is hidden, so the problem can be solved before it causes any damage to the home’s structures. What’s more, the professional will be able to tell you how to fix the issue, and they will recommend good contractors in your area if extensive changes need to be made.
How Do I Check My House for Moisture?
If you’re worried that there is moisture intrusion in your home or you’re looking to buy a new property, the easiest way to find out more is to hire a professional inspector. They will have moisture meters and other tools, which are specifically designed to detect moisture that might not be evident to the naked eye. It’s important to note that not all inspectors are experts at measuring water intrusion.
Always select a company that lists moisture intrusion inspections as one of their specialties, since they will be equipped with the right tools and knowledge. An expert will not only examine your walls, but they will also check the window frames, door frames, roof system, and decks. They might also be able to recommend a contractor who can make your home watertight so the problem doesn’t spiral out of control.
When to Get a Water Intrusion Inspection
Water damage can be extremely hard and expensive to fix, especially if it has been building for a while. In addition to damaged structures, there might be a buildup of mold and other harmful substances. To prevent such problems in your home, it’s better to get an inspection as soon as you notice any changes to your structures.
What’s more, people who are looking to sell or buy a home might need to have their property inspected to determine whether repairs are necessary. If the house or apartment is very old, water intrusion is more likely, so getting an inspection on a regular basis could be a good way of reducing your overall maintenance costs and keeping the property in good shape.
You Suspect a Problem
There are some telltale signs of water intrusion. If you notice any changes to your home, which can’t be explained by normal wear and tear, don’t hesitate to call your water intrusion inspectors. They can evaluate the situation and let you know whether you need to take any action. Some of the most common symptoms include discoloration on your walls or ceiling, moisture around the inside of your window sills or door frames, and swelling window sills.
Homes with water intrusion might also have a moldy or musty odor. If you smell something unusual, try to follow the scent to see where it originated. Knowing the approximate location of the problem helps your inspectors to perform their tasks more quickly. Homes with cracks in the exterior walls or very old windows are particularly at risk of moisture intrusion.
You Are Looking to Sell Your Home
People who are selling their property might wonder whether getting an inspection is necessary or whether they should leave this to the buyer. In most cases, doing your own inspection is beneficial because it gives you more insight into the condition of your property. For example, the buyer might want you to reduce the price of the house, but if you know that there is no problem with water intrusion and that the home is in good shape, you can stand your ground.
Having all the information can also help you to decide what to do with your home. If there is a minor problem, it might be worth stopping the water intrusion and fixing any damage. This could increase the value of your home. However, if there is already major damage, you might decide that repairing the property would be too challenging. In this case, you can choose to accept a slightly lower price for your home because the buyer will have to sort out the intrusion.
You Are Looking to Buy a Home
Most home sellers try to make their property look as good as possible. But beautifully displayed furniture, newly painted walls, and clean floors can be deceptive, and it’s often hard to tell whether a property is in good condition. If you don’t get a comprehensive inspection, you might run into structural issues, which could take thousands of dollars to fix.
In addition to your general home inspection, consider getting a water intrusion inspection done before you purchase the home. That way, you’ll know for sure whether there are any issues with excess moisture, and you can estimate the cost of the necessary repairs. This makes it easier for you to determine whether the home is a good purchase or not.
Your House Is Very Old
Water damage is a growing problem in aging homes because structures start to corrode and disintegrate over time. If your property is more than fifty years old, getting a periodic moisture inspection could be a good idea. Your inspectors can walk through your building and check that there are no leaking pipes or disintegrated materials around your doors and windows.
It’s also important to consider the role of appliances in water intrusion. Many floods in people’s homes are caused by worn-out hoses in washing machines or other poorly maintained appliances. Always get your washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, and freezer inspected if you think there could be a problem, and replace them once they are no longer fully functional.
What Are the Consequences of Water Intrusion?
Most types of water intrusion can be fixed, but unless you catch the problem early, you might have to spend thousands of dollars. The sooner you ask your inspectors to evaluate your property, the better for the home, your budget, and your health. Intrusions that are left too long can lead to dangerous situations, and they can cause mold, which impacts the health of the residents.
In addition to identifying moisture intrusion, your inspectors will also be able to determine what kind of water is entering your home and where it is coming from. This is helpful information because you might have to disinfect the property if the water is unclean or contaminated.
The Scope of the Problem
Not every water intrusion is equally damaging. A small crack or leak in your roof, which hasn’t yet penetrated all the layers and has therefore not damaged the interior structures of your home, might only cost a few hundred dollars to fix. In contrast, a roof that has been damaged for a while might suddenly break during a heavy storm, in which case you might have to renovate an entire room in your home.
Homeowners sometimes have to pay a four or even five-figure amount to get this kind of issue fixed, and depending on the size and layout of the property, they might have to move out. If you want to prevent serious damage, don’t let water intrusion get out of control. Call your inspectors as soon as you notice the first symptoms of an issue, and ask them how you can get the problem fixed.
The Type of Water that Has Intruded the Home
Another factor to consider is what kind of moisture has intruded your home. If you have a leak on your roof or in one of your walls, it’s likely that the water came from rain or moisture in the air. This makes cleaning it up and repairing the structures much simpler. However, some leaks allow dirty water, for example from your toilet or from your laundry, to seep into your home.
Even worse, people occasionally experience leaks related to the sewage disposal system. When dirty water intrudes a property, it can’t simply be cleared away and painted over. Instead, the area needs to be decontaminated because there could be harmful bacteria and viruses. This will prolong the process and cost more.
People who live in a home that contains mold and dampness are more likely to suffer from respiratory infections, asthma, allergies, and problems with their immune systems. If water intrusion isn’t detected and removed as soon as possible, mold can form, and it is very difficult to get rid of. You might have to hire professionals, who will access and remove the mold safely.
Water intrusion can have serious consequences if it is not addressed early on. Your home might have to be renovated, your appliances might have to be replaced, and if the damage is severe, you might even have to move out while your property is being worked on. Call us now at Hound Dog Home Inspections to book your water intrusion inspection. We can help you figure out whether there’s an issue and if so, how to fix it.