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Higher moisture levels reported during home inspection

Higher moisture levels reported during home inspection

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  #1  
Old 04-18-16, 05:08 PM
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Higher moisture levels reported during home inspection

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! We just had our home inspection done on a house we are potentially closing on soon and the inspector said he was getting high levels on his moisture meter around some window frames and interior walls. I saw on one picture from the report that it read 17.3 but I am not sure if a 17 is extremely high or not. The house is in Tampa, FL where the humidity is very high so I didnt know if that was common or not but the inspector seemed to be pretty concerned with the high levels. We also found a pipe underneath the house that was broken and draining under the crawl space. Could the water that was collecting under there cause the higher levels above due to evaporation or something else? This is the only thing holding us back from purchasing the house because we are afraid that there is a bigger problem like leaky pipes in the wall or roof that has been going on for awhile and eventually causing bad mold or destruction. Any help would be great! Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 04-18-16, 05:35 PM
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19% moisture content is usually considered too high as that is the point where mold growth and rotting can start to occur.

But one reading or a few are not enough to give a complete picture, because what is normal for a given area varies a lot and average moisture content varies through the seasons too.

Probably the most helpful technique is to check the moisture level at many places throughout the house, include some that are almost certainly likely to be dry, like interior walls in a bedroom.

By comparing lots of readings from several different areas throughout the home you can get a good sense of what is "normal" for that home at that season. Values that are more than a couple points higher than average then stand out as problem areas.

A very wet crawlspace could influence moisture levels in the house, but if that's the cause, you should see high levels in the floor framing right over the crawlspace, and lower levels further away.

Aside from the moisture readings, did the inspector identify any issues with the windows or roof? Are there any signs of leaks like stains on ceilings or walls? If it has wood siding is there a lot of peeling or bubbling paint?
 
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Old 04-18-16, 05:56 PM
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Thank you so much for the response! The inspector did not see an further signs of leaks like stains on ceilings or walls. It is a frame house with asbestos siding with a block foundation with a crawl space. The owner is an investor and fixed the place up to flip. He did find higher levels also around the window frames and stated that some of the windows were not sealed 100 percent correctly. In your opinion from the little bit of info given, would you run for the hills away from this home? The high moisture levels are our only concern and unfortunately only have until tomorrow to back out of the deal.
 
  #4  
Old 04-18-16, 08:20 PM
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Obviously no one here can tell you what you should do. Given some of the points I made, I suggest you try to glean as much information from the inspector as possible, recognizing that inspectors generally only provide information and don't make recommendations either. Based on the info you provided, I think it unlikely there is a major problem.
 
 

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