Aren’t Moisture Problems Obvious? Why Do I Need an Inspection?
Though we can’t see the sun on an overcast day, it’s still there. Moisture is like that, too – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Signs and symptoms of moisture intrusion are often hidden, occurring and causing damage on the sly. Performing an intrusive moisture test is the best way to minimize the risk of water damage and identify problems before they become serious. This becomes even more imperative when purchasing a home, as repair costs can drastically change the price of the property. Know what you have or what you’re buying, because you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Why Do I Need a Qualified Inspector?
Certifications and training are important because using the correct tools to test in the right places is critical to accurately assessing a home’s condition. An accredited inspector follows protocols established by the certifying agencies to create a standard of practice that yields the most accurate results. Simply put, you want the best surgeon available to repair your broken leg, just as you want the most experienced, best trained technician inspecting your home.
How Do I Know if I Have Mold?
The answer is yes. You have mold. We all have mold – it’s absolutely unavoidable. It’s in our homes, everywhere in our environment; you’re likely breathing spores as you’re reading these words. Yeah, we know, ew. So what we think you are really asking is if you have a mold problem, which occurs when mold has something to eat and something to drink and is able to flourish. Mold will consume any organic substance (think dust particles, wood, sheetrock) meaning spores can quickly go from existing peacefully to waging war with just a little bit of – you guessed it – water. So if you think you have a mold problem, you have a water problem. Fortunately, we know someone who can help you with that.
Does the Weather Affect Testing?
Whether we are testing in January or June, the amount of moisture we would expect to find does vary with climactic conditions, which we take into consideration when making our evaluations. Our ability to test is, however, subject to Mother Nature. Sub-zero temperatures leave us standing in the cold with equipment that won’t function properly and caulk that isn’t pliable enough to work with. When it’s raining cats and dogs, you don’t need us to tell you things are wet – we’ll plan to test when things dry up.
What’s The Deal With the 10-year Warranty in Minnesota?
Minnesota statute 327.A requires contracts for new builds and remodeling/repair projects have a warranty providing that the home be free from major construction defects for 10 years. If you have structural damage to your home as a result of construction/build, you may be able to make a claim with the builder or their insurance company. There is a lot of fine print, but it boils down to this: if your home is less than 10 years old, or you’ve had a major exterior renovation in the last 10 years, you should have your home moisture tested before you hit that decade mark. Water intrusion problems can occur even if you don’t see or smell any symptoms of moisture. This isn’t our first rodeo and we can help you understand and navigate the process.
How Much Does a Moisture Inspection Cost?
Our wide range of services prevent us from having a one-size-fits-all pricing structure. Give us a call and we’ll price out your specific project for you.
What measures I can take as a homeowner to combat moisture issues?
Prevent condensation that can create trouble in your home by maintaining low humidity levels. Humidity levels can be regulated by:
- Ensuring that bathroom and kitchen vent fans are installed, adequately sized and run regularly
- Installing an air exchanger and/or dehumidifier and running them, especially during the wintertime
- Make sure your attic/crawl space is properly insulated and vented, and that those warm air vents aren’t leaking into these spaces
Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris, re-attach gutters that have pulled away from the home and seal any leaks with caulk or epoxy. Ensure that downspout extensions are long enough to get the water far from the foundation of the home and aren’t emptying into landscaped areas that will dam up and pool the water.
Did you know that a proper professional caulk job will only last about 8-10 years? Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Be sure the proper sealant for the materials on your home is applied by someone who knows what they’re doing – exterior caulking isn’t the same as sealing a bathtub, folks.
Check foundation walls, floors, concrete and masonry for cracking, heaving, or crumbling. Significant mortar wear could require tuck-pointing, and if you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation, call a professional immediately.
Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves and soffits, and be sure that all surface projections and sidewalls are flashed with appropriately sized flashings for the volume of water throughput.
Treat open decks and wood fences every four to six years, and check all decks, patios, porches, stairs and railings for loose members and deterioration.
Landscape: Limbs and leaves can cut into your home’s paint, requiring repainting.
Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes that can damage your exterior and prevent surface moisture from drying.
Ensure all vent openings are clean and unobstructed, and clean air exchanger filters regularly.