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Sealing Air and Moisture Leaks
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Controlling moisture is an important step to maintaining an energy efficient home. Also, excessive moisture within your home can cause considerable damage to surfaces and create an uncomfortable environment. It is important for homeowners to maintain the moisture balance.

Indications that your home has excessive moisture:

• Moisture on basement walls and floors.
• Damp water pipes.
• Mold or mildew growth on surfaces.
• Ice, frost, condensation on inside window surfaces.
• Sweaty ceilings and walls.

One of the easiest ways to gain control of your excessive moisture is to seal all the leaks in your home. You want to seal all the gaps around electrical outlets, piping, switches, and any other penetrations through the building. Use a grout or sealant, found at any hardware store, to seal the gaps.

Another important way to control excessive moisture is to use vapor barriers. Vapor barriers are used to resist the movement of water vapor or moisture in various areas of the house. Vapor barriers can be placed on the warm side of a wall, under concrete slabs, and in attics and crawl spaces.

Vapor barriers include polyethylene film, asphalt-coated or laminated papers, oil base or aluminum paints and vinyl wallpaper. Paints and wallpapers are often used in existing homes which did not have vapor barriers installed during their construction.

Additional, you may want to pay special attention to your homes circulation and ventilation. Consider installing properly sized vents to promote circulation or try using small efficient fans to move internal air through a house.

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