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.

  • Rusty nails (and curling lino) would seem to indicate excessive moisture.
    – ChrisF
    Apr 3, 2012 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 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, 2012 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. Apr 3, 2012 at 19:42
  • @Yitzchak: I guess the best bet is to wait until it rains and see what happens.
    – sharptooth
    Apr 4, 2012 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, 2012 at 22:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.