high moisture
  • February 11, 2021
  • Effective Building
  • 0

Residents in Sydney know exactly how weird the climate can be. It may be bright and sunny one day and then might rain the next. Aside from this, its proximity to the sea adds to the levels of humidity in the air.

All of this can result in water damage to your home’s structure. Aside from structural defects, building inspectors are always concerned about high moisture and water damage.

What Happens When There’s High Moisture?

While water doesn’t seem dangerous at first glance, the unaddressed problems can lead to even more structural damage. Persistent high moisture encourages timber pests, affecting the home’s overall structure of the home. Eventually, this can also result in devaluation.

Most people underrate water issues, but these can be significant and result in costly repairs down the line. They also fail to realise that these problems are easily preventable. It just needs some planning and regular maintenance. 

One way to ensure your home is well-protected from these problems is to ensure that it’s watertight right from the outset. After that, some regular maintenance is all it takes to keep it that way.

Managing High Moisture Readings

High moisture levels and mould cause health problems, including eczema, asthma, and headaches. With maintenance, good design, and ventilation (including bathroom steam, venting, cooking vapours, and clothes dryers outside) and insulation, you can keep your home drier and healthier. 

Why Does Moisture Matter?

High Moisture Levels:

  • Can damage wallpaper, paintwork, curtains, and wall linings.
  • Encourage the growth of fungi, moulds, mildew, and fungi, which can be harmful to your family’s health.
  • Can cause timber decay and other damages to your home.
  • Make your home less comfortable to live in.

Up to 15% of Sydney residents are allergic to moulds, spores, and their by-products that grow in most households. The allergies appear as asthma, headaches, sneezing, eczema, and gastroenteritis. Damp homes are associated with increased numbers of doctor visitors, such as asthma and loss of work and school days.

Causes of High Moisture Levels:

High moisture levels can be caused by:

  • Water released from households activities such as washing, showering, cooking, and even breathing
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Moisture getting into the home from outside – especially from leaks and the damp ground beneath the house
  • Moisture released from unfueled gas heaters.

The Importance of Regular Moisture Tests

Moisture inspections become a very important part of every building and pest inspection. It helps identify structural defects, including cracking and warping, and details conditions such as high moisture, which could lead to timber pest activity. It’s important that regular inspections be conducted yearly to keep your home’s structure watertight.

Your home’s wet spaces are more vulnerable to water damage. Experienced and knowledgeable building inspectors pay special attention to inspections in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundries. 

Some of the common problems include:

  • In bathrooms, wall sheeting and flooring damage may be caused by poor waterproofing whose installations are guided by Building Code requirements.
  • Leaking pipes, taps, toilets, and the overall plumbing may result in significant water damage to floors and cabinets.
  • In kitchens and laundry spaces, the inspector will pay attention to areas underneath shelving inside cupboards, as was the skirting along walls for signs of overflows from sinks, dishwashers, as well as leaks arising from poor plumbing.

Water damage caused by roofing problems:

Moreover, it’s also crucial that all your roof and its components be in a good repair state. This helps in maintaining your home watertight. Roofing can develop different types of problems, such as:

  • Damaged and corroded downpipes
  • Damaged and corroded gutters
  • Deterioration in flashings
  • Lack of flashings
  • Missing or cracked capping
  • Loose or cracked roofing tiles
  • Corrosion and holes in metal roofs

These problems can result in leakages in the roof spaces, ceilings of the home, and insulation. Poorly-installed and sealed air conditioners, skylights, and vents often leak. This allows rainwater to infiltrate the roof cavity. This problem is more apparent in flat roofs where the slope may not be enough to drain the rainwater satisfactorily.

A good building inspector will use moisture metres and thermal cameras while inspecting a property and will look for signs of water damage and leaks. 

Final Thoughts on Why High Moisture Readings Put Your Properties at Risk

As we discussed, high moisture readings can lead to timber pest and structural damages. Aside from that, it can also result in respiratory problems. Having a building and pest inspector who is knowledgeable in handling these cases could help. This way, you can ensure your property is dry and safe to live in.

For more information about building and pest inspection, visit our Help Centre.

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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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