How to Check for Moisture Inside Walls

Print this articleControl of indoor moisture is among the chief duties of any responsible homeowner. Excess moisture in the home can lead to musty odors and carpet damage, or even more serious problems such as molds and mildews that can be a health risk for the people in your home. Checking areas of your home such as walls for excess moisture is an excellent means for discovering a moisture problem before it gets out of hand, but of course tearing up the walls just to check for moisture would be an exercise in futility. Luckily, there are several simpler methods you can use to check walls for a moisture problem.

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Smell the walls to check for any musty odors. Musty smells can be an indication of mold and mildew growth behind the wall caused by excessive moisture. The more moisture there is behind a wall, the higher the humidity will be behind the wall; increases in humidity intensify odors, so you may notice the musty smells or other household odors getting stronger and stronger over time.


Look at the walls for any visible signs of excess moisture. Any surface discoloration, stains or changes in texture on the surface of the wall could indicate moisture behind the wall. For wooden walls, check for deformation, warping, decay or rot. Also check if the paint used on the wall is cracking, blistering or peeling. All of these signs could indicate that there is excess moisture behind the wall.


Check other areas away from the wall for any signs of excess moisture. If indoor humidity is measured at anywhere above 50 percent, your home could have a moisture problem that is affecting the walls and other parts of your home. Check also for frost and ice on cold surfaces, windows, attic framing or any other surfaces. Check any exposed plumbing for sweating or leaking. If one or more of these measures indicate that you have an excess moisture problem in your home, eliminate the source of moisture right away to prevent damage to your home.

ReferencesOregon State University Extension; Home Moisture Problems; David M. Brook; March 2008Read Next:

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