Weather conditions for most of our clients in the Atlantic Northeast and along coastal Delaware tend to be rather moist in the summer months. Delaware homes in Newcastle and Rehoboth Beach tend to deal with more humidity than Newark or Middletown areas, being situated slightly further inland. While it makes for some great Delaware beach days, heat and moisture can put your home at risk of water infiltration and damage. Between summer humidity and storms, the climate is a significant factor in managing your home’s maintenance.
The presence of moisture plays a large role in determining the durability and longevity of your home’s exterior structures, especially the roof and siding. Water infiltration can result in a host of problems not limited to mold and mildew growth, deterioration of structural materials, and even interruption of normal operation in your home’s HVAC system.
Here’s everything Delaware homeowners need to know about exterior moisture infiltration and the preventative steps you can take to protect your home against it.
How to Identify Moisture Infiltration and Damage
Identifying possible signs of water damage early is key to preventing extensive damage to the interior and exterior of your home. When exterior moisture infiltration is ignored, there is a greater risk for more extensive and costly repairs.
To avoid stress on your wallet, it’s a good idea to perform home inspections during routine home maintenance to catch and treat damage early. So what does water infiltration look like in your home, and how to tell what constitutes a problem?
When inspecting for water damage, you should thoroughly check both the interior and exterior of the home, paying attention to low traffic areas like the attic, crawl spaces, and basements. Look especially for areas where water is likely to enter through existing cracks or seep through porous materials, such as old parging or unsealed concrete. Look for these visible signs of water damage:
Stains and discoloration
This is one of the most noticeable signs of chronic water infiltration and dampness, especially where it isn’t currently wet. Staining or discoloration of walls, ceilings, or floors with no clear source is most likely from undetected water leaking from outside the home, leaving residues behind when it dries. Pay careful attention to the corners where the walls meet the floor and ceiling.
Mold or Mildew
Mold is a serious problem found anywhere in the home where there is moisture and humidity, and it should never be ignored as it poses a serious health threat. There is no such thing as innocuous mold in the home, and by the time you see it in your living space, it likely means that the problem has existed and been spreading for a while behind walls or under the subflooring. Evidence of mold means you have either a leak or an issue with humidity control, and it should be remedied by a professional as soon as possible.
Humidity and Dampness
If your home feels humid and damp in hot weather, or you notice condensation on the walls and windows, you may have an undetected water leak or improperly sealed siding. Check the surfaces of your home, such as your counters, where water shouldn’t accumulate. Be sure that wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms have proper ventilation and the chance to become completely dry between uses. Just because the water came out of your tap doesn’t mean it’s less harmful to your home if left to sit.
Warping or gapping
Another visual sign of water infiltration is any warping, bowing, gapping, or bending of either structural or cosmetic materials inside and outside the home. If you notice your flooring is warped or your siding is beginning to lift, there’s a good chance that moisture has penetrated beneath the surface. If you’ve ever had a wooden door that sticks in the summer, then you’ve seen firsthand how much latent humidity a porous material like wood can hold.
How to Prevent Moisture Infiltration
You can never entirely prevent water from getting into your home. Even with a good ventilation system, some areas are more prone to moisture accumulation than others. Luckily, there are several preventative measures you can take to keep moisture infiltration from causing extensive damage:
- Perform routine maintenance: At Advance Inc., we can’t stress this enough. Routinely inspecting and maintaining your home throughout the year is essential to ensure its longevity and durability. By catching damage in its infancy, you also help drive down repair costs.
- Remove excessive foliage growth: If your home has lots of shade and foliage around the exterior, there is an increased risk of water infiltration and mold growth. Keep any trees or large shrubs close to the home well-trimmed and maintained to avoid obstructing the sun, which aids in water evaporation. A chronically shady and damp spot near a door or basement window is a recipe for exterior water infiltration.
- Keep your gutters clear: If water has no clear passage off your roof, it stays on your roof. Keep your gutter clear of debris, and make sure your downspouts are turned away from home for proper water drainage. You may even consider getting gutter guards to help prevent debris buildup or animal infestation.
IN NEED OF EXTERIOR WATER INFILTRATION REPAIRS? CONTACT ADVANCE TODAY!
At Advance Inc., we are confident our services will provide you with a home that is both functional and beautiful. The summer season is officially upon us, which means homeowners in the Delaware Valley region should be mindful of thunderstorms, heavy rains, and the threat of hurricanes later this season, which easily result in moisture infiltration.
Contact Advance Inc. today to speak to an expert for a quote or browse our services on our website. We are happy to help keep your coastal Delaware home comfortable and dry!