From grading to the possible water in your crawl space here is the do it yourself guide to auditing moisture management for your home.
Now that we’ve looked through the home from attic to crawl, HVAC to hot water heater, it is time to check out what might be going on and causing some problems for your on the outside. Let’s take a look at the grading, which means the slope of the land toward your home and the drainage and how this affects your house. You know that we call this area of the US the mold belt, right? Well, we do, because it isn’t a matter of if, it is when will you get mold. What you can do is prevent it by taking care to prevent it. From the exterior, inspect your gutters for cracks and leaks, if the gutter runs to the side of your house, make sure that it directed away from the foundation, and has a splash tile to eliminate erosion at the end of the run. You want your landscaping to be graded away from your home, so that it is sloped in a direction that doesn’t allow for water to pool at the foundation. Take note of any trees or shrubs that are touching your roof or your gutters and prune them back by at least 2 feet. Landscaping should not be planted within 2 feet of your foundation to ensure that roots and pests do not create issues with your home. Your crawl space should have a vapor retarder ( a plastic or polyethylene barrier) over every inch of dirt to eliminate any chance for moisture problems in your home.
Inside of your home, moisture can also be a problem from the daily grind- you know, cooking, cleaning, even taking a bath! You should have a bath fan in every bathroom that wicks moisture out and ensure that your home is properly vented and that exhaust fans are clean and can pull the proper amount of air out of the home. Moisture control in this area may not seem like that big of a deal, until you have to deal with a mold problem. Mold can cause health issued and can be quite costly to repair, not to mention, it is not fun to live in a home that makes you sick. Prevention is the best measure.
Quick tips to prevent moisture problems:
- Use your bath fan or kitchen fan when your bathing or cooking.
- Install ventilation where it doesn’t exist, and hardwire it, so you don’t have to turn on a second switch to remember it.
- Install a dehumidifier in your crawl space.
- Install water alarms in your crawl space or basement to alert you to possible water damage.
- Stay ahead of the trees and shrubs by pruning away from gutters and the roofline. If you keep the trees away from possible attic penetrations, you can save yourself a headache down the road!
We have discussed your whole house and how you can manage doing a home energy audit on your own. If you still have questions, we’re happy to help you out! Next time we’ll go over what we’ve learned and why we’ve done all of these things. Share the word by finding us on Facebook!