Like most homeowners, you might be familiar with the horrors associated with water damage. Leaks, of course, are considered to be the bulk of the problem when it comes to water damage, but there is another nemesis you should watch out for: air-transported moisture. In a city with high levels of humidity, like Atlanta, air-transported moisture in the home can cause severe damage if not monitored properly.
What is Air-Transported Moisture in the Home?
Air-transported moisture becomes a problem when warm air seeps into your home’s walls, cools down and condensates. This moist, warm air usually materializes from normal household functions. For instance, showering, using humidifiers, doing dishes or washing clothes can all create moisture in the air.
If your home sits on a crawl space, moist soil in those subgrade spaces can significantly attribute to the moisture in your home, thanks to the stack effect. Such an effect causes hot air to rise, pushing the moisture from your crawl space to the upper-most parts of your house. This moisture is held in the air as a vapor and can equal as much as 80 gallons of water a week for a family of four in a house with a crawl space.
How is that possible? Well, humidity, which Atlanta-natives are no stranger to, refers to the amount of water the air holds. The temperature in your home can have a certain level of humidity without forming condensation. However, when that warm temperature meets cooler air, condensation forms. This is where you get your air-transported moisture in the home.
In What Ways Does This Affect My Home?
Unfortunately, unlike leaks when the damage is more apparent, an air-transported moisture problem can be difficult to identify until it is too late. Most typically, this type of damage occurs in the wintertime, when temperatures outside are far cooler than those inside your home. When this cold outdoor air seeps into your home and meets your warm and humid indoor air, condensation will occur inside of your walls.
Mold and rot will begin to develop inside and behind your walls, usually starting in the attic or upper parts of your home. Wood rot can compromise the structural integrity of your home, while mold can make you and your family sick. These issues can quickly spread, and it is likely that you won’t notice the damage until it is rather extensive.
How Can I Prevent Moisture Damage?
There are varying methods you can try to reduce air-transported moisture, but it is near-to-impossible to completely prevent the issue. Improving your home’s insulation, seals and roofing can slow the amount of cool air entering the home. Attic ventilation, especially in older homes, is a good solution for allowing the cool air to escape before condensation occurs, but like most other methods, it is not 100 percent effective.
Moisture meters and infrared cameras can help you detect moisture earlier on, in which case, you should contact a home inspector. In fact, one of the best ways to prevent damage from air-transported moisture is to have your home inspected regularly.
If you suspect that your Atlanta home might have an air-transported moisture problem, it is best to have a home inspection performed as soon as possible. At Champia, our team of experienced professionals will dedicate themselves to protecting your home from moisture. Visit our website toady to request an inspection for your residential property.