Moisture In Walls
The reason walls suffer water damage is different for every property. For some, it may be due to faulty piping, an ineffective plumbing system, broken appliances, broken vents or even malfunctioning bathroom fixtures. For others the cause of damp walls may be external factors such as severe weather, torrential rain or flooding.
How To Identify Moisture In Walls
The first visible telltale sign of moisture in walls is the appearance of damp patches, blotches or streaks on the walls. Many of these darkened spots can range from brown hues to dark yellow, often dictating the cause of the moisture.
Other signs of water damaged walls can include peeling paint, discoloration, crumbling, cracking and hanging of drywall tape. These moisture stains can be the result of substances in the drywall and plaster leaching to the surface. If left untreated, the unsightly patches will also develop a musty odor.
Fixing the Problem
The first step in containing and correcting moisture in walls is to visually inspect all of the walls to evaluate the exact amount of water damage. Since acceptable moisture levels vary depending on the type of wall material, using a wall moisture meter can help. The device is designed to carry out a more intensive inspection of moisture levels to identify the extent of the damage.
The next step involves locating the cause of the water damage and start appropriate repairs so that the damage does not spread to other areas of the property. Because building materials will absorb different levels of moisture content, wall moisture readings yielded by the moisture meter can help in determining the saturation levels within the walls. However, it is important to identify the reason for the moisture before trying to correct it.
Damp Patches in Lower Walls
When evidence of moisture is identified as bubbling paint, damp patches, powdery deposits, or crumbling plaster on wall surfaces near the floor, the culprit is often traced as rising damp. This condition generally appears in masonry walls due to the absence or failure of a damp proof course. Other contributing factors may be impaired sub floor ventilation and poor site drainage.
To fix this problem it is recommended to improve the drainage of the location by making sure that the surrounding terrain slopes away from the building. It is also important to ensure that there is adequate space under the floorboards to prevent moisture from forming in the soil below and allow it to move out through sub floor wall vents.
This type of moisture issue arises when moisture laden air builds up inside the building. The main reasons for this to happen is poor ventilation and over efficient draught proofing. To determine if condensation is indeed an issue, dry the affected wall exterior with a fan heater and then tape the area tightly with some kitchen foil. Should the foil surface become moistened again after 24 hours, the problem can be identified as condensation.
To treat this issue, set up vents or extractor fans in moisture prone areas like the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry so that moisture laden air is driven outside the premises before it becomes a problem inside. Also avoid using moisture producing appliances to minimize the problem.
Damp Patches All Over Walls
Damp patches all over the walls often happen as a result of permeating damp, where moisture from outside penetrates into the brickwork through cracks and other gaps. This brick moisture may often be detected around doors and windows and may be due to rainwater getting in through gaps around the frames. Damp patches underneath an opening can be due to the absence of a drip groove beneath a protruding sill while other damp patches may be caused by faults in the brickwork.
To prevent this from happening, maintain external walls including the paintwork in working condition and seal any gaps around door and window frames to create a solid wall moisture barrier. Clearing out or cutting drip grooves beneath window sills can also help minimize this problem.
When moisture penetrates the walls from above, faults in the structure of the roof including missing or damaged tiles, inferior flashing or cracked gutters and drainpipes can be held accountable. Since these areas are all located outside the structure, they are not too hard to spot and address. Damp patches resulting from leaks can also happen with faulty plumbing work fixed in the walls or even from badly sealed bathrooms.
Moisture in Walls? Call Tidal Wave Response
To remediate this issue, it is advised to deal with leaky plumbing and rectify faulty roofs as soon as possible. Since the scope of roof repairs and leaky plumbing is often outside the capacity of individual property owners, experts like Tidal Wave Response can help.
We are Atlanta based water damage restoration experts that can see to all your home and commercial property needs. Call us today to access our services.