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Outdated city codes may be cause of excess moisture in your home

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FARGO—Outdated city codes could be damaging homes in Fargo.

Like clockwork, home inspector Lars Knobloch hears the same thing from homeowners every winter.

"Every week, we get phone calls from homeowners that are experiencing moisture problems in their newer home," said Lars Knoblock, Nordic Home Inspection.

He says most are built with efficient heating systems, walls tightly wrapped with insulation, keeping the hot air inside.

Without the right ventilation system, humidity can build up along with condensation.

"Most people we talk to, they're not really aware of what's going on," said Knoblock.

He can detect these problems before they happen by finding how hot or cold parts of the walls are.

"The heat from my hand transfers to the wall. So that's how sensitive it is," said Knoblock.

To fight humidity, Knobloch says Moorhead city codes require a "balanced ventilation system."

He says Fargo and West Fargo don't require this which in turn causes serious problems.

"Mold forming on windows. Does water damage, people get sick from it," said Knoblock.

Knobloch has a vent system in his home mixing the cold air from outside with the warm air inside.

"So it takes the water out of the air and drips it down into this tube. Then it puts the good, fresh air, the humidity is taken out from outside, back into your ductwork," said Knoblock.

He says he gets at least five calls a week from people with mold problems, and almost all of them are on the North Dakota side of the river.

"What's the hold up? Everybody knows it's a problem, the builders know it's a problem and the city knows it's a problem," said Knoblock.

He says he tried convincing Fargo city leaders to get on it with no avail.

Until then, all he can do is teach homeowners, one inspection at a time.

Balanced ventilation systems can cost anywhere from about $500 to $2,000 depending on the size of your home and instilation fees.

Knobloch says older homes with weak insulation, probably don't need them.