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Recognize the signs of water damage

A burst ceiling pipe causing water to rain down unexpectedly on a man in his kitchen

Today's well-built, well-insulated homes can trap excess moisture and condensation inside, especially if you have inadequate ventilation. Obviously a dripping pipe can cause water damage inside your home. To find problems before they cause damage, here are some tips.

Recognize the signs

  • musty odors
  • rusty stains around light fixtures
  • damp, sticky floors
  • mildew along ceiling, wall and baseboard edges
  • dripping pipes
  • condensation on windows and cold surfaces
  • mold and mildew growth

Use preventive maintenance

  • Keep inside air circulating with vents and fans to avoid condensation. Use exhaust fans in the bathroom when showering. Install an exhaust fan in your laundry area and use it when doing laundry. Make sure your dryer is vented to the outside.
  • Fix leaky faucets and dripping toilets. In cold climates, water flowing down the drain under the home may freeze, causing water to back up through the drain lines and into your home.
  • Invest in a good portable dehumidifier with a humidity control. Choose one that shuts off automatically when the collector pan is full.
  • Use storm windows to help conserve energy and keep condensation from forming on windows. An added benefit — they help reduce heat loss.
  • Be sure the skirting around the base of your manufactured home is well ventilated and allows air to circulate freely, to help eliminate unwanted moisture from being drawn into the sub-flooring.

Keep an eye on the inside

  • Listen for any unusual hissing sounds. This can be a pinhole leak in a water line within the floor or wall.
  • Periodically check hard-to-reach, seldom seen spaces around the water heater, under sinks and behind clothes washers. Check the ice maker lines and filters for your refrigerator, too.

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