The unfortunate trend with many homeowners is that maintenance issues that arise in their property tend to fall under the category “out of sight, out of mind” until they reach proportions that cause tremendous property damage. Given that, one of the most dangerous problems to a property’s value, and even to a household’s health, is managing leaks and excessive moisture.
We tend to only notice such problems when unpleasant symptoms start to appear, such as visible mold, musty smells, and ceiling or wall leakage. However, with proper awareness and the right preventive maintenance, the risks associated with moisture in your household can be completely minimized.
Potential sources that can cause an excessive amount of moisture in your environment include:
- Poorly balanced humidity can become an immediate concern when it causes moisture to bead within and around walls.
Residents should always seek to achieve balanced humidity through proper ventilation, air conditioning usage, or humidification/dehumidification (which can be either done manually or with a service, depending on the severity of your needs.)
- Plumbing leaks can cause undue moisture to proliferate throughout a home and cause ruinous amounts of mold growth and rot from the inside of your walls.If water leaks and promotes mold growth throughout a home’s ductwork, your air conditioner can quickly deliver mold spores all throughout your living space. Properly sealing your pipes and ductwork is a crucial step to take in reducing the likelihood of causing mold damage in the infrastructure of your home.
- Exterior leaks in your home, such as in your roofing, attic, or walls.
An improperly sealed house will not only suffer in terms of energy efficiency, but will also invite undue moisture and pests into your home depending on the severity of gaps in your home. Having regular energy audits and home inspections to ensure that your home is sealed well enough to avoid water damage is a necessary precaution.
- Excessive condensation created by an improperly functioning HVAC system, which can be prevented through routine maintenance and regular inspection.
Never allow your system to push hard enough to where it cannot handle the humidity in your environment. If you find that your system causes condensation even with regular repairs, consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the strain that your humidity is placing on your system. If this doesn’t help, consider if your system is due for a replacement or if it might be improperly sized for your living space.
Always take signs of mold in your home or unexplained musty smells very seriously, since it can cause irreparable rot to your home, increase the odds of respiratory disease, and otherwise endanger the health of all in your household. Even mold which has been eliminated can be inhaled and cause respiratory problems, so removal of every trace is ideal.
Black mold is particularly stigmatized in the media, but the truth is that any variety of mold in your property should be considered seriously for the good of your household. While moisture can bring terrible damage to your home, it is a completely avoidable hazard with proper preventive maintenance and routine inspection.