How to Pinpoint Sources of Damp in Your Home and Why It’s Important

Peeling paint on an interior ceiling a result of humidity

While most of us are aware that damp can damage structures and household contents, many people aren’t aware of the dangers of what comes after damp: mold. Some of you may have experienced it first-hand, however. You wake up every morning with a headache and swollen eyes. There’s a musty smell around the house, and if there are people in your family suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems, they struggle more than ever.

Just tackling mold isn’t enough. You need to look for the cause, and since we already know that that’s damp, you’ll be looking for things like leaking plumbing, roof leaks, or rising damp from underground sources.

Pinpoint Sources of Damp

Accurately pinpointing sources of damp without help can be difficult say home inspectors in Syracuse, NY. You may be able to spot some obvious possibilities, but sometimes, the source of damp isn’t obvious at all. For example, water pipes are often hidden inside walls. And signs of damp may not show up at the source of the problem area.

As for roofs, it can be hard to know where a leak is actually located. Water can run for some distance before it actually starts collecting on ceilings leaving telltale marks. The problem may not even lie with the roof itself. Small gaps between outside walls and roofs, for example, can let rain in. Simply waterproof the roof, and you may still end up with leaks.

So, how to find the areas where water is getting in?  Advanced thermal imaging equipment such as that used by home inspectors can find the culprits without you having to bash holes in walls or simply take a wild guess. With a little help from the home inspection company, you can accurately pinpoint where your problem areas are without having to gut your house only to find that you didn’t spot the problem area.

Attend to Indoor Humidity

Poor air circulation within a home can also lead to damp and mold. Moisture in the air condenses when temperatures fall and sorting out the mold issue could be as easy as using a dehumidifier and improving ventilation and air circulation through the home. However, there are also structural issues that can contribute to condensation of moisture and the development of mold.

Of course, dehumidifiers can be pretty cheap, and it could be a first port of call if you think that condensation is the main problem – but there’s no guarantee that dehumidifiers will do the job. Once again, a home inspection can help you to determine the reasons for condensation indoors or, if you’re a keen DIYer with construction experience, you could try tackling the damp diagnosis project yourself. But be warned – looking into all the possible issues is going to mean a lot of work and you could end up “fixing” things that weren’t broken to begin with.

The Bottom Line

If you have really obvious leaks in your roof, gaps between roofs or walls, or you’re fairly sure of the sources of damp through condensation, by all means address them. They’re jobs that need to be done anyway. If you still have issues, or want the full picture before you get started, get folks with high-tech equipment to come and have a look. They might spot other structural issues along the way, helping you to plan for your essential home maintenance needs at the same time. One thing is certain: a damp home is an unhappy – and potentially unhealthy home, so if you suspect that there are damp issues in your home, it’s time to clear the air and make a fresh start.