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We recently bought and moved in to a house. It's 16 years old. One of our walls has developed a patch of wetness. This wall is part of what was once the garage, and has since been converted into a dining room.

The wet patch is shaped like a sand timer, and is at eye level (so not near the ceiling or at ground level). I don't think there are pipes behind it.

What could this be? And how do I go about fixing it if there's a problem?

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It will be awfully hard to say what is causing the damp spot without either opening up the wall or knowing a lot about the context in terms of what is in and around the area. Either way, if the spot is damp and remains damp, repair will involve removing the wet section, so I'd say the answer you're looking for is: open up the wall by removing the wet spot, then look around and above the wet spot for potential sources.

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Thank you, there is nothing but the hall behind the wall so think it might b a pipe think il ring my ins tomorrow to see where I stand – lynsey Sep 17 '13 at 18:27
@lynsey like mac said hard to tell without knowing the layout of your home. Make sure you get a re-mediation specialist in there to look at the damage b/c it might be worse than you're aware and insurance isn't trying to give you any more than they have to. It could be a pipe it could be coming from a leak in the roof, maybe you have an ac condenser in the attic? Could be lots of things. I'd like to know what you find. – hortstu Sep 18 '13 at 16:18
@hortstu - remediation specialist? for a wet spot? I would hate to be the person who spilled a gallon of milk in your house. – DMoore Jun 11 '14 at 15:02
@DMoore I'm not insured for spilled milk. In the situation described I would want to be certain the problem was corrected the first time so that all expenses are covered by insurance and the hassle is limited to one incident. – hortstu Oct 28 '15 at 3:39
@hortstu - I don't understand what you are talking about. Most people have a deductible for their insurance which averages around 1K. So unless you know the problem is significantly higher than 1K you just informed your insurance that your house has problems which they will raise your rates. Also if you use your insurance, they will raise your rates. This doesn't even get into most home insurance policies would not cover most cases that would cause leaks. – DMoore Oct 28 '15 at 18:22

If this is a potential mold issue I wouldn't take chances. If the damage goes beyond the deductible it doesn't matter what the repair costs. I'll respectfully disagree with you about the way to proceed here. No one has to take my advice. Best wishes to you.

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