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Water Damage Repair Made Simple

Updated on November 3, 2018

Locating Moisture Problems

Water damage in the home can often be repaired by the homeowner without paying for a hired contractor. The cause of the problem can be found by simply investigating any areas in the home with mildew build-up, damp walls, or water spots on the ceiling. Finding out the cause of the moisture is the first step.

Most causes of damp or wet spots in the home are due to construction errors or damage, neglecting routine maintenance, condensation, and humidity. Many of these problems are easier to fix than you may think, and can save a lot of money with some simple do-it-yourself knowledge.

Mold, mildew, and fungus on bathroom tile is a common problem that is normally caused by high moisture in an enclosed area. One way to cut down on these annoying problems is to ventilate the area, an exhaust fan or opening a window can significantly decrease mildew build-up.To rid the bathroom of mild mold and mildew on tile clean with bleach and rinse with clean water.

Interior Mildew Removal

High moisture levels in the air, lack of insulation, or a lack of kitchen or clothes dryer ventilation are all possible causes of mold or fungus found on interior walls and ceilings.

Installing a dehumidifier and correcting any of these problems should be done before cleaning and repairing problem areas on ceilings and walls. Be sure to clean areas with mold, mildew, or fungus with a disinfectant before applying wallpaper or paint.

For problems with closet mildew, louvered doors could eliminate this problem by giving your closet proper ventilation to help reduce humidity and moisture.

Exterior Mildew Removal

Pressure Washing

Fungus or mold on outside wall surfaces of the home can have several possible causes including: lack of a vapor barrier, leaky or no gutters, and damp shady areas. Once again, correct the problem prior repair. exterior walls can be cleaned with a mixture of detergent and bleach. A pressure washer helps cleanse the area thoroughly before painting.

Plumbing Problems

* Repair Tip *

Drain tank and thoroughly dry the inside. Line tank with 1/2" styrofoam board, cut to fit. Seal to tank with silicone and allow to dry before refilling tank.

Leaks around the toilet bowl can be caused by a cracked bowl or tank, or a deteriorated wax ring. For sweaty tanks, adjusting the flush valve or insulating the inside of the tank can eliminate condensation.

Leaks around the bathtub or shower can cause further damage to flooring if left wet or damp. This type of problem can be caused by loose pipe fittings, condensation, or loose and/or missing tiles.

Repair any loose tiles or pipe fittings. Condensation on plumbing (sweaty pipes), that does not have any leaks, can usually be corrected with pipe insulation.

Window Leaks

Mist or frost on interior surfaces of windows with storm windows that occurs when outside temperature is below the dew point drives up energy bills, and can cause damage to surroundings walls with leakage and rotting.

To correct this problem the storm windows will need to be reset and thoroughly checked to see if they are tightly sealed. Check all four sides of windows for any areas with missing weather stripping, or any openings, cracks, or loose screws. Be sure that any problem storm windows are tightly closed into both tracks and well caulked on the top and sides.

Mist or frost on the inside surfaces of windows without storm windows when the outside temperatures are below the dewpoint or freezing can cause energy waste, leakage, and rotting. To eliminate this problem, simply install storm windows.

Interior Walls

Moisture on the interior surface of outside walls during cold weather is usually caused by not having enough insulation. To correct this problem, apply more insulation, as well as a vapor barrier on the inside surface of outside walls.

High humidity in the bathroom or kitchen can ruin wallpaper and cause it to peel. If left uncorrected, it can cause erosion of the walls. These areas need ventilation that can be accomplished by installing an exhaust fan. If the wallpaper has not developed mold, bacteria, or fungus, it can be reglued. If any of these things are found on the wallpaper, it will need to be washed with detergent ammonia and gently rinsed before rehanging.

Sheetrock erosion can be caused by plumbing leaks, a rain leak, or not having a proper vapor barrier. Find and repair the area of the leak before applying a vapor barrier to interior wall surfaces.


Proper Ventilation

If you have water stains on the ceiling of the top floor, chances are your attic or loft is not properly ventilated. Most attics and crawl spaces need at least two louvered ventilators, or sometimes called "whirlybirds".

If water stains or leaks appear on ceilings after a snowfall, the ventilator is not working properly or is not the correct type. For areas with high snowfall amounts, be sure to install type. Install ventilators designed especially for snow reflection.

You may want to consider applying a plastic barrier on crawl space or attic floors, especially in areas with an outside vent to protect both floor and ceiling damage. Be sure to check any problem areas during wet or damp weather and repair as needed.

Insurance Claims

Water damage repair to the home can be costly, so it is important to pay attention to your homeowner's policy to see what type of water damage is actually covered before you purchase a policy. Home insurance policies will not cover floods, but would cover due to rain leaking in and causing damage during a storm. There are many other things to consider when you are trying to collect on a water damage claim. Check over your current policy to see what allowances are given to water damage claims.


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    • profile image

      Moulr Remediation Brisbane 

      10 years ago

      Yeah I was surprised but most restoration companies in Australia use vinegar. Dont be fooled by companies advertising their "specially formulated solution" to kill mould. Vinegar works....

    • scarlton profile imageAUTHOR

      Shana Hurt 

      10 years ago from Boonville

      I'll have to try that one, sounds like a good idea. My Dad swears by vinegar :) Thanks!

    • profile image

      Mould Removal Brisbane 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the info about mould removal. Vinegar is really effective for mould too. Us an 80% mixture of vinegar and 20% water. We use it for our mould remediation jobs.

    • scarlton profile imageAUTHOR

      Shana Hurt 

      10 years ago from Boonville

      Thank you both so much, glad my hub could help!

    • profile image

      Mold removal 

      10 years ago

      I enjoyed the video on repairing a leaky faucet. I'm not a plumber by any means and this really helped.

    • profile image

      Water damage removal 

      10 years ago

      Wow - now that's a great hub. This is filled with great advice - well done


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