One way to keep your home young and healthy is to prevent moisture from penetrating your home's barriers. Living in Ohio, we experience a good deal of rain, snow and overall humidity and moisture is a home's #1 enemy. Simply by focusing on this one area, you can protect the age and integrity of your home.
Water can destroy the strength of your foundation, roof, walls, and floors — basically, your home’s entire structure, as well as lead to mold and wood rot. So, that leaky gutter may not just be annoying; it may be compromising your foundation!
Here is a checklist of areas where moisture may get in and what to do about it:
- Your Roof: Inspect your roof at least twice a year, in the Spring and Fall, to make sure you don't have weak spots, missing shingles or weak seals that may lead to leaks.
- Your Gutters: Clean and inspect your gutters at least twice a year to prevent clogs and overflowing and to ensure there are no cracks or leaks.
- Your Siding: Suprisingly, not all siding is waterproof. Each siding board should work together as a complete system with nails, caulk, and a sealed finish to keep out moisture and protect your home. However, if the siding has gaps or is compromised in any way, moisture may enter and cause rot or mold. Inspect your siding each year and look for water stains, damage and algae or mold growth on interior walls or the siding itself. If you have suspicions that water is getting in, you should contact a professional.
- Your Doors & Windows: Inspect doors, windows and skylights for leaks by closely expecting the seals. Check for air leaks if you cannot physically see the crack or opening. Gaps less than 1/4 inch wide can easily be fixed with caulk. If the gap is larger, spray foam is an option. If there is wood rot, drywall damage or pealing paint, a consultation with a professional is a good idea.
- Your Plumbing: With so much plumbing in modern day homes, leaks are common. Check for standing water around tubs or showers, water stains on the ceiling or wall and leaks under sinks and inside cabinets. If left untreated, these leaks can weaken structure and lead to mold growth. Contact a professional plumber if the source or solution is not obvious.
- Your Crawl Space/ Basement: There are several sources of moisture in your crawl space or basement. Identify the problem before deciding on a solution. If there's standing water in your crawl space, you likely have a drainage problem or a plumbing leak. If the floor/ dirt is damp, moisture may be evaporating from the ground. Moisture could also be coming in through a crawl space vent, which allows outside air in. If there is moisture in your basement or crawl space, contact a professional.