April 10, 2004  
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Featured Issue: How to Avoid Mold and Moisture Problems

Moisture Damage Warning Signs In the Basement

It pays to keep a sharp eye out for uncontrolled moisture or water stains in the basement. It can help you detect developing water problems in other parts of the house, including gutters and bathrooms. In addition to being a breeding ground for mold, damp basements also attract unpleasant things such as bugs, rodents and snakes!

  • Watch for "sweating" pipes with beads of moisture. Dripping water can lead to mold. It's best to insulate the pipes.
  • Be sure all ductwork is well taped and sealed. Exposed joints can lead to serious moisture problems.
  • If the HVAC system is in the basement, be sure the drain pan is clean and that it drains well.
  • Check the seals on all dryer vents, electrical, phone and cable and plumbing penetrations through the basement walls.
  • Look up at the floor above the basement for any signs of moisture or stains.
  • Be alert to how frequently your sump pump cycles on and off. Frequent running is a major warning sign of a developing water problem elsewhere, in a gutter, landscape drainage or other water management dysfunction.
  • If you have a crawlspace, keep an eye out for any signs of dampness or stains on the walls.
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