If you’ve lived in Seattle for any amount of time, you’re probably familiar with getting a little wet. Whether you’ve frequented the dripping streets or own a home on the waterfront, water is no stranger to you.
After all, Seattle receives an average annual precipitation of over 36 inches per year. This rainfall contributes to many important water sources. One of these includes ground water, the source of well water for many Seattle area residents.
Additionally, high ground water yields high water tables and a moist environment. Seattle’s proximity to the sea also allows for increased humidity levels.
What does all this mean for you? If you own home in the Seattle area, it may be vulnerable to water damage. As a result, you’ll need to take steps to protect your home from condensation, leaks, flooding, humidity, and mold.
Potential Home Hazards
Where there’s moisture, there’s usually mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can work their way into the cracks of your home and eat away at the wood and other materials. Mold and mildew result from a variety of conditions. Some of these include:
- Messy and unkempt crawl spaces
- Poor air circulation and condensation
- Unchecked leaks
- Wet or humid indoor air
Additionally, your home’s exterior can affect how much moisture and mold build up in your home’s interior. Keep an eye out for the following issues:
- Downhill or uneven home placement
- Poor yard or gutter drainage
- Rising sea levels for waterfront homes
- Sump pump and other irrigation problems
- Well deterioration or leakage
Sometimes multiple issues can arise at the same time, making it difficult to identify the true cause behind leaks, floods, and mold. So how can you combat such potential home hazards?
Use the following information to guide you, so you can seek professional help as needed.
Ways to Minimize and Prevent Water Damage
Mold and water damage are often difficult to spot at a glance. They like to live in the darker, damper corners of your home, where you’re not likely to look for them.
To prevent water damage, regularly inspect your home for leaks, humidity, and condensation. The most likely places for water buildup include the basement, exposed pipes, bathroom walls and floors, etc. But you’ll want to be thorough—leave no corner or cabinet unseen.
Be On the Lookout for These Telltale Signs
As you investigate various parts of your home, be on the lookout for telltale signs of water damage and moisture buildup:
- Bubbling walls or flooring
- Cracked walls
- Loose pipe connections
- Rusted or corroded pipes
- Slow or clogged drains
If you spot any of these signs in your home, it’s time to call in the professionals. Plumbers can repair leaking pipes, rusted plumbing, and many other issues in your home, so they’re often the first people you should call.
However, if your plumber continually fixes the same areas, you may need to dig a little deeper to find the reason for the water buildup. Your home’s crawl space is a good place to start.
Crawl Space Considerations
Crawl spaces are notorious contributors to and hosts of mold, pests, and condensation buildup. Any one of these problems create an unhealthy environment in your crawl space. And because crawl spaces are out of sight, their condition usually remains out of mind.
But you shouldn’t ever ignore the state of your home’s crawl space. Over 40% of your air supply comes from this area. This means that the mold or other contaminants hiding beneath your home can put your family at risk of allergies and other respiratory conditions.
The best way to minimize this risk is by preventing it in the first place. One way you can keep your crawl space free of moisture and rot is through a crawl space encapsulation, or sealed crawl space. This involves installing a concrete or plastic covering to seal any gaps.
Your crawl space coverings shouldn’t just be run-of-the-mill, though. It’s essential to obtain a reliable reinforced liner system to guarantee moisture prevention. While you’re at it, consider purchasing new or original vapor barriers to provide additional protection.
Also, have a professional waterproofing provider to check the state of your crawl space insulation. Ask him or her if your home has adequate drainage systems installed. This will help maintain the appropriate crawl space condition to keep your home and family safe and dry.
Safe Seattle Living
To optimize the protection of your home and family, stay informed on the latest water issues in your area. Read up on the recent precipitation averages, sea levels, and water table measurements.
Keeping track of all these factors will help protect and preserve the work you’ve put into waterproofing your home. And if you ever have a problem you don’t quite know how to diagnose or fix, contact your local waterproofing provider.