5 Places Moisture Might Be Damaging Your Home Interior and What To Do if Mold Damages the Paint
While small amounts of water may not do too much damage, overtime water can deteriorate both your exterior and interior surfaces in more ways than one.
When water enters porous surfaces (such as wood), it can gradually warp the material, weakening its integrity and prying away its paint job. As surfaces become more and more damp, they attract the growth of mold and mildew. These fungal foes rot away the material and negatively affect air quality, posing a health risk to those nearby. If ignored for too long, mold can cause structures to collapse entirely.
Preventing excess moisture in your home is key to protecting its structural integrity and everyone inside. In order to do so, you must know where water is most likely to damage your home interior. This way, you can keep tabs on the most vulnerable areas of your home and act accordingly.
Where Might Moisture Be Damaging Your Home Interior?
Water can find its way inside your home in many ways, such as through leaky pipes, built up rainwater, and high levels of interior humidity. Knowing this, you might be able to guess some of the common places moisture tends to hide in your home. Still, let’s break it down.
1. The Bathroom & Moisture Damage
Bathrooms deal with water more than any other room in a house. Showers, toilets, and sinks require proper plumbing, which means plenty of pipes. If these pipes spring a leak, the water has to go somewhere, often soaking into the walls and floors. Leaky pipes aren’t the only potential moisture problem. If your bathroom isn’t well-ventilated, the water vapor from hot baths and showers will accumulate inside and affect the paint job of the walls and ceiling. Over time, this regular onslaught of moisture can begin to deteriorate bathroom surfaces on a deeper level and, of course, lead to mold growth.
2. The Kitchen & Moisture Damage
There’s plenty of water to be found in a kitchen as well. Like bathrooms, kitchens also rely on pipes to relay water back and forth, and those who cook often know that high temperatures and water vapor are commonplace here as well. Home painting professionals will often recommend applying paint with a satin (or glossier) finish, as these tend to withstand the heat and moisture better than flatter finishes.
3. Moisture Damage Around Windows
Sloped roofs and gutters are meant to direct rainfall away from your home’s siding and foundation. However, raindrops can still find a way to linger on your home, especially during downpours with high winds. If your windows are outdated, dirty, and/or lack a drain feature, rainwater can congregate here and slowly seep into your home.
4. The Basement & Moisture Damage
You might know that mold and mildew tend to thrive in basements, but you might not know why this is. The answer, in a word: humidity. Basements can become quite humid compared to the main level of a home due to several factors. First, because basements are underground, the vapor from groundwater can enter small openings and linger inside -- this is known as vapor diffusion. Additionally, liquid moisture itself can enter basements via capillary suction, a phenomenon in which water is drawn upward through porous materials. Appliances like washing machines and showers also increase a basement’s humidity levels. For these reasons, many homeowners invest in dehumidifiers to suck out moisture from the air, as well as sump pumps to forcibly remove water from the foundation.
5. The Attic & Moisture Damage
Moisture isn’t just a threat to the lowest portions of a home, however -- the highest part (i.e. the attic) is vulnerable to water damage, too. The main culprits here are roof leakage and poor ventilation and/or insulation. When your roof springs a leak, your attic is typically the first area of your home to take the hit. If your home lacks proper airflow, warm air will rise and condense on your attic’s cold surfaces, lingering in the form of water droplets. Maintaining proper attic ventilation and insulation helps ensure that water vapor doesn’t hang around the top of your home and attract mold or mildew.
What to Do if Mold Damages Your Interior House Paint?
It’s worth noting that the five locations listed above aren’t the only places moisture can find its way inside your home. However, they’re the most common. Ultimately, you’ll want to keep an eye on all areas of your home, checking for signs of water damage. Of course, you have to know what these signs are in the first place. The most notable red flags include surface discoloration (typically black, brown, green, or yellow -- often signifying mold), pooling or soaking in certain areas, unpleasant and/or unfamiliar odors, sounds of running water, and peeling, bubbling, and/or flaking paint. If you notice any of these warning signs, here’s what you should do.
Get Your Home Inspected and Repaired
Regardless of whether the issue has to do with excess moisture or not, it must be addressed as quickly as possible. Seek certified residential painting services or mold remediation specialists to inspect your entire home and assess the problem. They will be able to tell if mold is truly present, and, more importantly, discover the root of the problem. Indeed, without fixing the deeper issue(s) (i.e. leaking pipes, cracked surfaces, poor ventilation, etc.), mold is bound to return sooner or later. So, the first step is identifying the real issue and getting it fixed.
Remove that Mold
Once the root cause has been resolved, all traces of mold and mildew must be removed before the surface can be repainted -- simply painting over mold will just prolong your problems. While pressure washing services can blast away mold and other debris from many of your home’s exterior surfaces, cleaning your interior surfaces requires a more delicate (but still thorough) approach. Mold remediation professionals will typically scrub the contaminated surfaces with a mixture of water and bleach mold cleaner and a soft brush. The cleaning solution must penetrate the surface to eliminate all traces of mold and be left to dry without rinsing.
Repaint Those Surfaces with Mold Resistant Products
After the mold is no more, it’s finally time for your interior house painters to make your surfaces look brand new. Areas that are most susceptible to moisture intrusion and mold (such as the ones listed earlier) can benefit from special mold resistant/mildewcide paint products for some extra protection. These coatings can’t guarantee the absence of water damage and/or mold growth in the future, but they certainly help prevent such outcomes.
Breaking the Mold
Water is all around us, for better or for worse. As much as our bodies need it to survive, our homes can pay the price for taking in too much moisture. Let the professional painters at Nash Painting help you protect your Brentwood, Franklin, or Nashville, TN home from moisture and mold. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!