Protect Your Home From Water Damage With These 4 Features

A poorly insulated and inadequately ventilated home can many times lead to excessive moisture buildup. This buildup may result in problems with mold and mildew, as well as water damage in and on the walls and floors. Luckily, you can help protect your home from costly water damage and problems with mildew by making sure that your home has the following features:

Energy Efficient Windows

Not only do energy efficient windows decrease the need for air conditioning and heating throughout the year, but they also reduce condensation buildup due to humidity within the home. It's important to choose the right frames for optimal protection  – aluminum frames are an effective option in humid and rainy spots, and they hold up well in hurricane weather. Keep an eye out for well-performing windows such as:

  • Double Hung Windows – These open upward to let air in.
  • Casement Windows – These open outward with the help of a hand crank.
  • Picture Windows – These don't typically open but come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

With any luck, your home is already stocked with windows in the official Energy Star program. If not, consider making an investment in them to lower your energy bills throughout the year. You'll recognize them immediately thanks to the small labels that say "Energy Star" on them.

A Few Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans do a great job of keeping moisture and mildew to a minimum. They're also less expensive to run than air conditioning units. Attics and basements don't usually have windows, which make them a prime target for the wrath of high humidity levels and serious water damage.

If your home has these spaces and they aren't already equipped with ceiling fans, check with an architect to find out if it's possible to have them installed. If not, your attic and basement should at least be outfitted with outlets so you can make use of stand-alone fans during the hottest times of the year.

Vented Appliances 

Some appliances produce moisture when they are used, which can greatly increase the amount of humidity that you are faced against year-round. Appliances such as the dryer, microwave, stove, dishwasher, and even the fridge should be vented if at all possible. Multiple vent outlets in your kitchen are your best bet if you enjoy spending a lot of time cooking. If you don't already have outlets or it isn't feasible to install them, you can keep some of the moisture at bay by using small fans near the combustion appliances that you tend to use the most.

Carpet-Free Flooring

Like any kind of material, carpeting tends to harbor moisture, especially during times of high humidity. Carpeting can be tough to keep clean, and once it starts to succumb to humidity it can quickly start to show signs of water damage. If possible, replace your carpeting with:

  • Engineered wood.
  • Laminate.
  • Linoleum.
  • Vinyl.
  • Ceramic.

Stone tiles are a great option in small areas, such as bathrooms, that are prone to moisture. Stamped or color-treated concrete is yet another option that is perfect for basements and sunrooms.

In addition to making sure that your home is set up with some of these features, it is a good idea to have a service provider inspect the home for proper insulation. This will ensure that the shell of the place can hold up to the wear and tear of humidity, and prevent moisture from building up inside the walls as time goes on.

You should also have a water damage cleanup expert inspect the interiors of your walls and your flooring to make sure that you are not already facing a water damage problem. The sooner you get any damage that is present repaired, the less costly and easier those repairs are bound to be.