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How To Check For Water Damage

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Posted: July 13, 2022
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It’s never good when a home is underwater.

Knowing how to check for water damage can help save you time, money, and frustration.

 

Some water damage is obvious. Wet curtains, soggy floorboards, and dripping drywall make it clear that you have a serious problem and need to call a professional water damage restoration company immediately.

Even if you haven’t experienced a flood, it’s important to look for signs of water damage, as they can be easy to miss. Perhaps you’ve just purchased a house, and have no idea what it’s been through in the past. What should you look out for?

Here’s how to check for water damage (and what to do if you find it).

 

Sneaky Causes Of Water Damage

Many water leak issues are often simple to resolve. However, if not appropriately addressed, they can cause significant damage.

But sometimes, water leaks are hard to detect. Here are some common examples:

Hidden Leak or Clog

A common plumbing problem is a leaky pipe or a clogged drain behind the drywall or under the floor.

Those small water leaks and clogs can go undetected for a long time if you don’t see the evidence right away. So you think everything is fine, when there’s a growing problem just under foot.

Bottom of wall cracking and peeling due to water leaks

Foundation Problems

An undetected water leak at the foundation can lead to major structural problems. There are a number of potential reasons for this:

  • Ground that slopes down toward your home can cause water to collect and seep into your foundation, causing cracks and uneven settling.
  • Improper drainage around the foundation causes water to pool next to the foundation and seep in through cracks.
  • Hydrostatic pressure from high water tables or heavy rain can push water through cracks in the foundation.
  • Plumbing leaks from pipes running through the foundation or gutters that direct rainwater next to the foundation.

Improperly Sealed Doors and Windows

Doors and windows that are improperly sealed or have cracks can cause water to seep in and cause damage. Over time, this can lead to warped wood, mold, and other problems.

Missing or Cracked Shingles

Even a tiny gap in the shingles can allow water to seep in and cause damage to your home’s structure or lead to mold growth. Remember, your roof is your home’s first defense against rain (and here in Central Florida, we get a lot of it!).

 

How to Check For Water Damage

Several things can cause water damage, and it is essential to know what to look for when checking for it.

Water damage can be difficult to spot, especially if it’s not recent. Therefore, it’s crucial to be thorough and look in every possible spot, such as under the sink or in the attic. Don’t leave out any spot just because it’s inconvenient to check.

Here are some ways to detect water damage early:

Follow Your Nose

A musty or damp smell is one of the most obvious signs of water damage.

If you notice an odor in your home, it’s crucial to investigate further. There is a good chance that water damage has already caused mildew or mold to grow.

brown water damage stains on ceiling

Look For Stains

Stains suddenly appearing on ceilings, walls, or floors clearly indicate something is wrong.

Water can also cause discoloration, so be on the lookout for any changes in color on walls or floors. Lift rugs and look for water stains on the floor underneath.

These stains can be brown, yellow, or white and may be smeared or fuzzy in appearance.

Look For Warped or Soft Wood

Water can cause wood to swell and warp. This damage to the wood is permanent, even after the water has dried up.

Look out for warped or soft areas on wooden floors or furniture—it may be a sign of water damage in the past.

Look For Rust

As rust can’t occur without water, it is often an indicator that there has been water present at some point.

So if you see rust on any metal surfaces in your home, electrical outlets, light switches, or nails on walls, it’s worth investigating further.

Look For Recent Repairs

When you are purchasing a new home or moving into a new place, keep an eye out for signs of recent repairs. If you see any patching or painting—particularly in areas where there is no reason for cosmetic repairs to be made—this could be a sign that someone is trying to cover up evidence of water damage.

If done correctly, water damage restoration should be unnoticeable. If you’re seeing the signs, there’s a good chance that cleanup wasn’t done properly.

Be sure to ask the previous owner or real estate agent about any recent repairs that have been made to the home before making a purchase.

Get a Water Detector or Moisture Meter

Professionals often use water detectors or moisture meters to find water damage by measuring the moisture in building materials such as drywall, wood, and concrete.

Water detectors or moisture meters can be very helpful in finding hidden water damage that you might not otherwise be able to see. Place them in areas where you suspect there is an active leak.

Get An Inspection

Water damage can be tricky to spot. Even if you don’t see any obvious signs, there could be underlying issues.

So, if you’re concerned that you have water damage in your home, the best way to find out is to have it inspected by a professional. They have the expertise and experience to make sure your home is safe.

Tools and toolbox lying on flood damaged floor

What To Do Next

Call a professional immediately if you see any of the indications we’ve outlined here and you suspect water damage in your home. Ignoring water damage can lead to severe problems down the road. So, it is always best to be on the side of caution and call a professional restoration company right away.

Do you suspect that your home is dealing with water damage? Then reach out to a reliable and professional restoration company.

Axel Works is a water damage restoration company in Central Florida. Our technicians are trained to assess the situation and offer expert advice on what your next steps should be.

We have the experience and knowledge necessary to identify the underlying issue and recommend the best course of action for restoring your home to its original condition.

Time is of the essence. Waiting now only increases the amount of damage done, increasing the costs of repairs.

Don’t hesitate! Contact Axel Works today.

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