Excessive moisture in homes is a common issue that causes discomfort, building damage and even health complications. Moisture in and around a structure can be caused by water seepage, basement leaks, improper drainage, condensation and poor ventilation. Places with a high level of humidity provide a perfect breeding ground for termites, mold, mildew and fungus. Therefore, when a moisture problem exists within a building, pests such as termites, beetles, cockroaches, ants and rodents readily proliferate, reproducing at a very high rate unless something is done to eradicate the manifestation. Homes worth billions of dollars are reported to be damaged every year due to termite related infestations. Excessive moisture will not only lead to the destruction of your property but also pose as a direct health risk as the environment is welcoming for various microorganisms that cause allergies and respiratory problems like asthma.
How does excessive moisture affect your home?
For most homeowners, their homes are their single largest investment, and termite infestation and damage can be devastating. When there is enough moisture in a crawl space along with inadequate ventilation, the excessive moisture is absorbed into the wood and foundation of the home. Termite infestations are more likely to occur in such moist and unventilated spaces weakening the wood and causing an extensive damage to your home in just a few years.
Most insects require little food to survive but thrive when an abundant water source is present. Certain species of termites like subterranean termites and dampwood termites need a moisture source to survive. These termites consume wooden structures causing massive structural damages. Homes made from other materials can also get infested, as these insects are capable of traversing through plaster, metal siding and more. Dwellings with unrepaired leaks, weak structures and mold issues present the perfect environment for the development of a massive termite problem. For as long as the pests are supplied with moisture, then they will continue to multiply creating a significant challenge that may cause irreversible damage to your property. Controlling the insects with a pest control plan only solves the problem temporarily as it cannot keep up with the growth of the infestation.
Causes of excessive moisture
There are so many things that generate moisture in our homes including normal household activities like cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc. However, excessive moisture is caused by either;
Sources of moisture from inside the house
During the winter, windows, walls and doors that lack proper insulation are common cool surfaces. Droplets can accumulate on these surfaces and run down into the walls, windows and structural components, causing rot and peeling paint, and providing a good environment for mold and mildew growth as well as termite infestation. Indoor moisture problems are characterized by dampness, mustiness, odors, condensation on windows, sweaty pipes, window sill staining, basement dampness and leakage.
Sources of moisture from outside the house
Outdoor moisture gets into houses by rain, snow or ground water leaking into basements, crawl spaces, roofs and walls. Missing gutters, improperly designed window bells, ineffective drain tiles, surface grading and structural cracks are common causes of moisture problems that should be addressed. Always check your attic, roof and basement for signs of excessive moisture and leaks and if you find a problem, contact a specialist before the problem escalates.
Faulty ventilation fans are the leading cause of inadequate ventilation. If stale, unhealthy odors linger in the room for way too long, then it’s time to consider improving your ventilation systems.
To solve a moisture problem, you have to limit the sources of moisture, insulate cold surfaces or provide the warm surfaces with better circulation and make ventilation more efficient.
To effectively eliminate a termite infestation due to excessive moisture, contact a licensed pest control company to help with the treatments and repairs to maintain your property in top condition. It is important for every homeowner to understand the home danger zones and take the corrective action to reduce the chances of a termite infestation. Sometimes, termite infestations go undiscovered until severe damage is already done to a structure. Outward signs of termite damage include buckling wood, swollen floors and ceilings, places that are similar to water damage patches and visible mazes within walls or furniture. Therefore, a termite inspection and continued termite treatment are the best ways to help protect your property and prevent or reduce the likelihood of expensive repairs.
It is ideal to have your house inspected every winter rainy season. Though you can find a lot of causes of dampness in your home on your own, there’s no substitute for an expert evaluation. A trained technician knows how to identify areas that the average homeowner would usually overlook. Physical barriers, adequate clearance and yearly inspections are some of most practical strategies to protecting your home against excessive moisture and termite infestation.