When closing on your new home, water intrusion may be the last thing on your mind. In fact, it is probably something that your realtor or the selling party would rather not discuss at length.
After all, once the sale is final, you are responsible for the condition of your home, including all costs that you may accrue as a result of water damage and its subsequent repairs.
Water Intrusion In New and Old Homes
Contrary to what you may think, leaks can start on a new construction almost immediately, and many show problems related to leakage within the first five years. By this time the builders’ warranty is most often expired.
It is imperative that any new homeowner takes the time to educate themselves about water intrusion, its causes, and how to spot the signs of a leak in your home.
What is water intrusion?
As its name signifies, water intrusion is, by the unwelcome presence of water – usually rainwater – leaking into the home.
It can be caused by structural damage, poor installation of building materials, gradual degradation as a result of the elements, or defective building materials.
It can have a very negative impact on your home – warping windowsills, staining carpets, permitting mildew to grow, and leading to the warping of wood furniture or fixtures.
Severe cases can even rot through floors and walls, requiring repair or full replacement. Leaks can come through roofs, windows, chimneys, and walls.
Most of these leaks within are what builders refer to as the “building envelope” and are often caused by the initial construction failing to fit all pieces together correctly.
How do I spot water intrusion?
If water intrusion is present in your home, early leak detection is crucial to the continued structural integrity of the property. You shouldn’t wait until you have an apparent leak to begin to inspect your home for potential trouble spots because you could end of up with a surprising amount of structural damage you didn’t know you had.
DO NOT IGNORE THE SIGNS. Think of this as your check engine light coming on in your car- if you ignore the sign, the ramifications will be very costly.
In fact, if you are vigilant you may be able to catch these problems before you ever buy the home.
If you currently live in your home, take these four immediate actions to determine if the home may be prone to a water intrusion problem: look, listen, feel and smell.
Water Intrusion Check List
- Look: Inspect the property after a rainy day or a storm and look for any leaking or discoloration as well as swelling windowsills or moisture around the interior of a window or door
- Listen: Hold your ear up to interior walls and listen for any drips
- Feel: Examine windows with fingertips or a moisture meter to detect any amount of moisture leaking through
- Smell: Pay particular attention to any moldy or musty smells and follow them to their source
Look specifically at the exterior of your home:
- Do you see cracks around bricks near a window or door that look like stair steps?
- Do you see cracks through bricks?
- Do you see mortar voids?
- Do you see failing window glazing?
- Do you see bricks falling off of exterior window sills?
If you said yes to any of these questions- you likely have water intrusion in your home. If you are currently in the market for buying your new home, leave the leak detection and inspection to us.
Call us about our FREE waterproofing inspection for new home buyers. We will ensure that your home is water tight from the get go. If you currently live in your home call us once you have assessed a possible rain leak. Either way, we are a ”once and done” leak detection company that will get the job done right the first time with a 2-5 year warranty (that you’ll likely never have to use) to back up the work.