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Look for These Indications of a Moisture Problem

By Chris Williams on February 11, 2013.

Moisture damageMoisture attracts pests, there’s no doubt about that. And we’re not just talking about insect pests, but also pests such as mold which can destroy wood just as easily as insects. Insects that infest wood, like carpenter ants and termites, often begin their infestations in wood that is damp—usually from a plumbing leak, roof leak, or poor drainage. Even if the wood is currently dry, if it was once water-damaged, then it is softer and easier for pests to chew and tunnel in. Look for these signs on the outside of your house that indicate moisture problems—and can be a precursor to pest problems.

Siding

Bubbles or blisters in paints, or greenish discoloration. Moisture here can be caused by siding in contact with soil, a missing vapor barrier, roof or gutters that don’t drain properly, or a lawn sprinkler that soaks the siding.

Windows

Wet or rotting sills due to missing caulking, rain seepage, or wet foundation walls.

Roof

Moss or greenish coloration that indicates a damp spot. In regions of high humidity, moss holds moisture.

Fascia boards

Boards that are stained or damaged can be the result of a leaky roof, poor gutters, or roof shingles that don’t extend at least ¾ inch beyond the eave.

Wood junctions

Decay, staining, or fungal fruiting bodies where two boards join occurs because the unfinished, exposed end grain absorbs water.

Porch or patio

Decay or staining occurs when the surface does not slope away from the house so that water can drain.

Foundation

Damp walls, standing water, or spongy wet soil is caused by grade sloping towards the foundation wall, or by missing downspouts, splashblocks, or drainpipes.

Under the house

Look for standing water, wet soil, condensation on joists, crumbly or bleached wood, fungal fruiting bodies or cottony fungal growth, mold or stains on joists or subfloor. These can be caused by a variety of problems, from roof leaks to plumbing leaks, from poor grade to a high water table.

If you find any of these symptoms of excessive moisture and are worried about pests, give Colonial a call. Our pros will use a moisture meter and their years of experience to determine whether you have a moisture problem that can lead to a pest problem, or whether the moisture is an old problem that has since been corrected.

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