Water may be essential to life, but it can diminish the value of your home. Whether you are buying or selling, hire a qualified inspector to determine the integrity of your homes building components that enclose the structure, also known as the envelope. All water intrusion issues are fixable and should be repaired as soon as practical.
Homes can suffer water damage resulting in decreased property value, increased maintenance costs, and decline in indoor air quality. Ensuring that your homes exterior is water resistant can protect against potential loss. This would include the roof, siding, windows, doors and foundation. Also, be sure that the plumbing and ventilation systems are well maintained and operating efficiently.
Windows and doors should be checked for signs of leaks. Check roofing systems for evidence of leaks. This can be done by observing the underside of roof sheathing in attics, and vaulted ceilings in the interior of a home. Also, check around flashing at roof vents, chimneys and skylights. Seal any cracks or holes in exterior walls, joints and foundations. These are your homes first line of defense between water and the interior. It is essential that they be maintained properly.
There should not be any moisture in basements or crawl spaces. Moisture can be an indicator of a cracked and/or leaking foundation wall. A moisture meter can be used to check the moisture content of finished basement walls. Readings should be relatively consistent throughout a basement. Large variations in moisture content of finished walls could indicate a leaking foundation behind.
Check for leaking plumbing fixtures, dripping pipes, clogged drains and defective water drainage systems. Regularly clean off, then dry all surfaces such as windowsills where moisture can collect. Expansion joints between bricks, pipes and other building materials that absorb movement should be in good condition or water intrusion can occur. Storage areas should be kept clean. Allow air to circulate to prevent potential moisture accumulation.
Label water shut-off valves so that the water supply can be easily closed in the event of a plumbing leak. If water intrusion does occur, you can minimize the damage by addressing the problem quickly and thoroughly. Immediately remove standing water and all moist materials. Replace carpet, drywall and/or plaster on walls and ceilings. Should your home become damaged by a catastrophic event such as a flood or hail storm, take appropriate action to prevent further water damage. This may include boarding up damaged windows, covering a damaged roof with plastic sheeting, and/or removing wet materials and supplies. Fast action on your part will help minimize the time and expense for repairs.