Telltale Signs of Sogginess: Quick Tips on Checking Your Home for Water Damage

Telltale Signs of Sogginess: Quick Tips on Checking Your Home for Water Damage

 

Water damage to houses doesn’t just occur during flooding or other natural disasters. Sometimes, there are pipe leaks or small places in your walls or foundation that water can get into and cause unseen damage.

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The good news is that there are signs you can look for to tell whether or not water has gotten into your house and remained hidden. It is important that if you suspect there may be hidden water damage that you check for it quickly and thoroughly, as water damage can be very difficult to fix. So whether you’re cleaning up after flooding damage or just playing it safe, here are some telltale signs that water has gotten into your home.

Mold

One of the surest signs of hidden water damage is mold. Mold can only grow in damp, warm places with little light, so if you can see any growing around your baseboards or trim, then there’s a good possibility you’ll find water behind them.

It is perfectly common for mold to grow in areas that are constantly wet, like showers and tubs, but when you find it away from these areas, then there should be cause for worry. If you can do so without damaging your house too much, peel back the trim and see if you can immediately spot any water or moisture. If you can, then you can quickly get the problem fixed. If you can’t, then you may need to have a professional come over and asses the damage.

Mold can be very dangerous and should be eradicated as quickly as possible, so if you see any growing, then you should act immediately.

Ceiling Stains

Ceiling stains can be fairly easy to spot: since ceilings are usually painted white or another light color, the stains will appear as light brown circles that may grow over time as the water sits and is absorbed into the drywall. The paint may begin falling away or, in a worse-case-scenario, the ceiling could give way.

Occasional wet spots in bathrooms or second-story kitchens will not be enough to cause ceiling damage, so if you spot any, then you can be sure that it’s a persistent problem that needs taken care of quickly. The good news is that the water will typically have a source from inside the house, so you can track it down. Look in the attic to make sure your air conditioning unit isn’t flooding its pan and causing water to sit on the floor. If the stain is below a bathroom, you can be sure that there is a leak in the shower fitting or one of the pipes running between the floors.

Rusted Pipes

In older homes (or new homes that weren’t built properly), rusty pipes can be a common issue. While the rust could be a neutral issue if you live in certain climates, there’s a good chance that there is a leak in one of the connections, which can cause future damage.

The main concern with rusty pipes is that they can burst if given enough time, leaving you with severe water damage cleanup that can be avoided. If you notice any of your pipes rusting, have a profession change them before it becomes a bigger issue. In many cases, they can switch to a non-corrosive material like copper or PVC that will prevent rust in the future. There may be a small sting with pricing at first, but the benefit of peace-of-mind will go a long way.

Damaged Walls or Floors

Structural damage to walls and floors is a sure sign that water has found a way into you home. Much like ceilings, walls can become discolored and warped when water is present, although the discolorations would be vertical rather than circular since the water wouldn’t sit in one area. You may also be able to spot small bubbles along the path of the water where the drywall is absorbing the moisture.

If you notice your floor cracking or buckling then there is a good chance water is sitting beneath it. If you have hardwood, the slats could even start to feel springy or spongy as they absorb the water. If you have tile flooring, individual tiles may loosen. While this is cause for concern, you can bet that the water is sitting right beneath the loose tile, allowing for better assessment of the source of water.

Don’t let hidden water damage ruin your home. Check for signs regularly.

 

Violet Whitaker is wife to a plumber and handles most of his admin work and phone calls to keep the business running smoothly and her husband free to deal with fixing the plumbing problems. In quiet moments she writes articles aimed at homeowners offering up some advice.

Comments

  1. Karen Glatt says:

    Mold is so terrible and can make you very sick. I had mold one time and I had to have it professionally removed and put in new walls because the roof leaked into my house. I always check everything now because it is so expensive to fix the house when you have a water leak problem.

  2. Lavues says:

    I didn’t know about this! Thanks for sharing the tips, greatly appreciate them!

  3. Any type of water damage would be horrific. It is important to be prepared and know what to look for.

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