BIOG: NAME: UPD: 19970505 -TEXT-
Editor's Note: The Oklahoma Residential and Commercial Inspectors Association provides answers to questions from property owners biweekly in this column.
The organization is a nonprofit professional society established in 1992. Volunteer membership consists of private, fee-paid home inspectors and associates who try to promote excellence within the profession and continued improvement and services to the public.
Questions should be directed to the Central Oklahoma chapter at P.O. Box 60423, Oklahoma City, OK 73146.
Q: What should I do if I see water in my central heating/cooling floor air delivery vents?
A: Any moisture in your floor boots indicates that water is or has been under the floor slab. This can result in a least three undesirable things. First, for some people this can trigger or aggravate allergic reactions which can vary from mild to severe. Second, damage to the heating and cooling system can occur. And third, in extreme cases it can cause instability in the foundation and concrete floor slabs.
If you see water in any vent, you should examine all of the other boots and ducts for water. If it is only in one vent, you need to first eliminate the possibility of an interior source, such as over-watering a house plant, a leaking aquarium or someone spilling water nearby. If nothing is found, make a note of the weather conditions and the location of the vent, and then watch to see if it remains in the vent or comes and goes.
If you find water in more than one vent, this is indicative of a more serious problem. You should look for any area on the exterior of the house that holds water for more than 20 to 30 minutes after the water source is stopped. Some things that you should be suspect of are: a yard area that slopes against the house; guttering downspouts that do not drain away from the house; flower beds that do not drain; courtyards that hold water; swimming pools; holes that pets have dug against the foundation; and wooden decks and poor lot grading.
If you believe that none of these conditions apply, plumbing leaks should be eliminated as a source. The most important thing to know is that the water found in your vents is also under the slab, and needs to be stopped.Archive ID: 686200