by Julian De La Torre

Most homeowners know that water can cause extensive foundation problems. In fact, water intrusion is considered to be the single most important factor affecting the structural integrity of a building.

When moisture (condensed water) starts accumulating inside of a home, it can become an equally serious problem.

Moisture can come from any water source, such a plumbing, appliances, sinks, tubs, showers and toilets.

On walls, moisture will typically appear as a surface discoloration such as dark spots, mold and mildew. Mold has a black or green color, while mildew is usually grey or white. Other visual indicators include peeling paint, surface bubbles, warping and buckling, cracking and crumbling, swelling along drywall edges and seams, and soft or spongy areas on the drywall itself.

Moisture that builds up on or near the structure?s foundation can cause mildew, moss or foundation stains. Eventually the moisture will penetrate the foundation, which can result in cracking and other types of foundation issues and foundation repair cost.

If the soil underneath a foundation has too much moisture, it will start to expand. When the soil dries, it will contract. This can lead to uneven settlement and structural problems such as bowing walls, slopped floors and windows that won?t open or close properly.

One of the best ways to detect moisture is with a moisture meter. Pin-type moisture meters have two pins designed to be inserted into wood and other types of building materials. Once inserted, the device measures the resistance between the two electrodes. When any moisture is present, the electricity flows more easily. There are also meters without pins that use radio frequency signals to penetrate the material that is being tested.

If you find any evidence of water or moisture penetration, contact a foundation contractor to find out what is causing the problem and how to fix it.

Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction ( in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years ( Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction and Los Angeles foundation repair at See their video:

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