By Nancy Hankin
Termites and Mold are usually the first thing homeowners think of when it comes to damage. But an equal villain on the home front is moisture.
Other than insects, moisture is the number one enemy of your home. Left unchecked, it can cause cracks in the foundation, peeling paint, rotted wood, mold, and in general, will create an unhealthy place in which to live, costing you thousands of dollars to rectify. It can also cost you the sale!
Prevention is the best method for dealing with the problem. If you’re experiencing a little dampness in a utility space or garage, possibly a dehumidifier will solve the problem. If you are noticing more visible signs of moisture, quick action is needed.
There are lots of ways for moisture to enter your house. The most common, of course, is a leaky roof. If you are suspicious that this is the problem, enlist a qualified roofer to inspect. Your roof has a life span but can suffer from weather and wind damage. A quick repair could save you a lot in the long run. You’ll also want to check for gutters and downspouts that may have been incorrectly installed, have deteriorated or maybe simply need cleaning out. Clogged gutters that allow water to run down the side of the building and into the area around your house will cause mildew and mold.
Improper Grading is a big culprit. If your grading is sloped towards the house, rain and melting snow will often find their way into the walls. Mold will soon follow!
Other possible culprits are leaking and cracked pipes, climate control systems that are working improperly or cracks in the foundation possibly caused by settling. You quite often have to put on your detective hat to find the source. That stain on the wall could have come from a leak on the other side of the building.
It’s never a good idea to repair the damaged plaster or place a water proof coating over a masonry wall without first finding the cause of the problem. The dampness is still there and will eventually seep through, causing further damage. You must get to the root of the problem before making the cosmetic repairs.
Proper ventilation will help also, especially in attics or in instances where one area is climate controlled and another is not. You may get a condensation buildup which will need to be addressed.
Most moisture problems can be solved through proper maintenance, ventilation and remedial treatments. If you’re having trouble though, there are experts who can help you solve the mystery. And most importantly, ACT QUICKLY. This is NOT the time to procrastinate! And when it comes time to find an expert in many incidences I have a great list of vendors’ on my website. Just go to www.PalmSpringsHomesAndEstates.com, then pull down the menu ABOUT ME, and you will see the Vendors Listed there.
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IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!