Excessive, ongoing moisture in your home can lead to an array of issues. Not only does moisture promote mold growth, but it also attracts insects like cockroaches and earwigs. These insects can spread infection, and the droppings they leave behind are allergens and respiratory irritants. Insects like carpenter ants can also cause extensive structural damage when they feed on moist wood.
If your home or a space within your home is consistently moist, it's time to get to the root of the problem and take action before the health and structural consequences become even worse. Start by identifying the most likely cause of your persistent moisture problem. Here's a look at the top five possibilities.
1. Lack of Ventilation
A lack of ventilation is a common cause of moisture buildup in attics and crawlspaces. Warm air always rises. As more and more warm air accumulates in the attic or crawlspace, the moisture in the air condenses out of the air, leaving droplets on the floors and walls.
Sometimes a lack of attic ventilation is easy to fix. You may just need to pull the insulation away from the roof vents to allow better air flow. If this does not work, consider having some additional soffit vents or a ridge vent added to your roof.
2. Leaky Pipes
Sometimes small plumbing leaks go undetected because they only release enough moisture to moisten a wall - not create a puddle. If you see any areas where your drywall or flooring is swollen, the paint is peeling or mold keeps growing back, it's likely that you have a small leak behind that wall or floor. A plumber can replace or repair the damaged section of pipe to dry out your structure.
3. Small Foundation Cracks
That tiny crack in your foundation wall may not seem like a big deal, but it could be the source of your basement moisture problem. Your foundation is also likely to leak if your gutters are filled with debris and allowing water to overflow against your home. The water trickles down along your home's foundation wall and enters through the first tiny crevice it finds.
The good news is that repairing small foundation cracks is not usually as expensive or difficult as you may think. It's definitely cheaper to deal with the problem now than in a few months when you're also dealing with an extensive insect infestation and mold growth.
4. Improperly Vented Exhaust Fans
It's very important to use your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to remove moisture from these rooms after cooking or showering. But if your exhaust fan is not ventilated properly, it could just be relocating the moisture to your attic rather than fully removing it from your home.
Venture up into your attic and trace the path of your exhaust fan's vent pipe. If it does not lead completely through the roof, you need to have modifications made.
5. High Outdoor Humidity
If you live in an area where the outdoor humidity levels are often high, the moisture in your indoor air may just be a continuation of the moisture in the outdoor air. The best way to deal with this problem is to install a whole-home dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier removes moisture from your air as it circulates through your central HVAC system. It will turn on automatically as needed - keeping your indoor humidity level in the desirable 30 - 40 percent range.
If you're having trouble with moisture in your home, contact Canady & Son Exterminating, Inc. and ask about our moisture control services. We'll look over your home, determine the source of the moisture and make specialized recommendations based on our findings.