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Last year I nailed down the linoleum in my pantry with small brads because it was curling badly. This year during spring cleaning I noticed that the nails on the edge near the outer wall of the house are rusty. Does this mean a significant amount of water is seeping in from outside and I have to find and plug leaks or is this normal moisture?

Relevant information:
The house is a Queen Anne (frame). The floor of the pantry is just above where the wood structure meets the cinder block foundation.

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Rusty nails (and curling lino) would seem to indicate excessive moisture. – ChrisF Apr 3 '12 at 14:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have to gather more information about how often the water gets there. Nails without coating (like zinc or anything else) will get rusty if you just wipe them with damp cloth and leave to dry. So nails being rusty only indicate that there was water at some point of time - it might be anything ranging from one time vapor condensation to washing floors to some major periodic leak.

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Do you have any advice on how to gather that information? I went outside and took a look. The vinyl siding seemed tight as always and the old wood/tar stuff underneath was in no worse condition than it was when we had it covered. – Yitzchak Apr 3 '12 at 17:06
+vote sharp, non galv or ss nails will rust if wetted. Ever wash the floor? I want to know why the floor is nailed and not put down with adhesive. – shirlock homes Apr 3 '12 at 19:42
@Yitzchak: I guess the best bet is to wait until it rains and see what happens. – sharptooth Apr 4 '12 at 6:31
sharptooth, guess so. @shirlockhomes, not the bottom of the pantry which is usually covered. It's nailed down because it was curling (installed 10 years prior) I didn't have the right adhesive and wanted a quick fix for that out-of-sight corner. – Yitzchak Apr 4 '12 at 22:54

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