Control Moisture with Exterior Home Improvements

One of the best ways to control moisture is by upgrading your home’s exterior. Every year, as your home ages, more and more leakage issues affect your home’s structure and allow for moisture to penetrate the seals put in place when the home was first built. Often, we are busy and don’t get around to these repairs until they become quite costly, but this doesn’t have to be the case. With a few simple checks, your home can remain moisture-free for years to come. 

You Will Require:

  • Screwdriver, screws
  • Gutters
  • Flashing—metal
  • Membrane—rubber
  • Gravel
  • Polyethylene vapor barrier
  • Ladder
  • Work gloves
  • Roofing tar
  • Plastic drain tile
  • Insulation

Step 1.  Inspecting Your Home’s Exterior

Walk the perimeter of your home to see if you can control moisture before it enters the house. Check the condition of your sill gasket, which goes between your foundation and the wooden portion of your home. If this is not in good shape, now would likely be the best time to replace it. Other things you should inspect include gutters, metal flashings, protective membranes, and cracks and crevices along your basement’s foundation walls. All of these defects require repair if you want to control moisture in your home.

Step 2.  Repairing the Defects

First, clean out all the debris from the gutter. To do this, you will require a ladder and a pair of work gloves. Gloves provide protection from insect bites. Once free of debris, you can replace any sections that are severely damaged or rotted through. It is also beneficial to add a runaway plastic tube to the bottom of your gutter, so that water is directed away from your home and into your grass or garden. Next, check your membranes and flashings around all vents located on the home. Some of these vents could be for heating, dryers, or roof/soffit venting. If the membrane is ruined and the flashing is not sealed, reseal them or replace them. Also, be sure to inspect the flashing around your chimney if you have one. Another source of leakage is often around door and window casings, so periodically re-caulk them. 

3.  Installing Polyethylene Vapor Barrier

Another thing that many home owners don’t realize is that moisture often seep up through the cement floor. This is called hydrostatic pressure, and the best way to prevent it is to lay gravel against the foundation wall. Gravel acts as a channel to guide the moisture away to the foundation drain. If your basement crawl space has a dirt floor, you can install a polyethylene vapor diffusion barrier across the entire floor, which will prevent moisture from the soil from moving into the crawl space or basement. During winter months, the plastic can also be used to prevent moisture from entering the home through windows with broken seals, or around doors and windows in basements that have no insulation around them.

4.  Installing Additional Insulation in the Attic

If your house has a moisture problem, you need to control moisture by adding the required insulation in your attic. Often, people do not realize that moisture builds up in their attic and causes mold and mildew throughout their home.  By ensuring that your attic is at the recommended R-Value, you will not only cut down on your heating expenses, but also on factors that affect your family’s air quality and health.


Dear Editor, I have mistakenly submitted this article for the "Control Moisture in Your Basement" Article #246999. If you could send back the article, I will submit with the correct article attached. Thank you. sorry for the inconvenience. Linda