Water damage can cause severe harm to the structures in your house, and the worst part of it is that most people don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late and the damage has become too extensive.
This is why the early detection of a leaky pipe is very important. Therefore, here are some of the signs you should look for when trying to identify water damage.
Signs of Hidden Water Damage
- Musty Smells
These odors are produced when the leaking water gets absorbed into materials that contain pores – drywall, wood, sheetrock, and insulation. When this happens, mold will likely grow and spread; therefore, you may notice a moldy smell in your house. As soon as you perceive it, you should think about water damage.
- Dark Stains and Discoloration
As stated before, water from a leak behind the walls will absorb into drywall and sheetrock. After this happens, not only you might notice the musty odors, but also dark stains on walls and ceilings. You will see them as brown or wet spots which get bigger in time. Ideally, you should have them checked before they grow in size.
- Peeling Paint or Wallpaper
Humidity behind walls can eventually peel the wallpaper and bubble up the painting. If you notice flaking on walls, there could be a hidden water damage.
- Changes in Structures
The saturation of water behind walls causes the warping of floorboards and even the buckling of ceilings. Check it as soon as possible before these structural changes cause serious home damage.
- Visible Mold Growth
Mold starts to grow in surfaces that have been in moist conditions for over 48 hours; hence, if there is water unnoticed behind walls after this time, mold growth will begin and will also spread in any sort of place – not necessarily close to a pipe. It can also occur in kitchen cabinets, so you will have to opt for cabinet repair. If you notice green, black, white, or brown tiny spots, call in professionals immediately rather than trying to clean it on your own.
Professionals will remove the mold but they will also find the cause of its growth.
Water Damage Causes
- Bursting Pipes
An unnoticed leaking pipe is one of the most common causes of water damage. When a drain or a toilet gets blocked; the water starts pooling and eventually causes a lot of pressure in the pipe, which then starts leaking. Keep in mind that if pipes in your house are already rusty, they are more likely to burst.
- Plumbing Issues
It is impossible to detect a plumbing problem unless you get it checked once in a while; therefore, you should periodically take a look under your sink or call in a professional to do it for you.
- Deteriorated Appliances
It is normal for pipes of old household appliances to get cracked, causing water damage. This is why you should keep an eye on your older machines, such as refrigerators, hot water tanks, and washing machines.
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units require regular maintenance to avoid wetness and moisture buildup. Heating and air conditioning systems generally operate with the help of water pipes, so if the problem occurs you will need to contact your local ac repair company to fix the issues.
We have stated some of the most common causes that result in water damage; however, you are not necessarily the one who will suffer them. This can also happen to your upstairs neighbor without their noticing; and in time, it can affect the structures of your home. If you happen to notice any of the water damage signs mentioned before and it is not coming from your place, your neighbor could be responsible.
How to Prevent Water Damage
The repair of water damage can be very expensive; which is why it is important to know some ways to prevent them from happening.
- Clean Your Gutters
Poor drainage weakens your foundation, which can result in water entering your home through cracks. If you want to avoid this, you should clean your gutters routinely or hire a professional to do it for you.
- Check for Water Leaks
If you made it this far, you already know that persistent leaks will lead to mold growth, which then will spread and cause damage to the structures of your house. You should check for dark stains and discolorations on surfaces such as under pipes, inside sink cabinets, ceilings, or walls. You have to maintain a leak detection procedure from time to time. If you prefer, you can set up a regular check with a plumber.
- Take a Look at the Roof
Roof systems can often leak; therefore, set a ladder against your house and check on the roof – especially before bad weather – to see if there is any damaged shingle that can result in water flowing into the house.
- Check Your Appliances Regularly
You should be especially vigilant on those old household appliances for loosening valves and pipes, which can lead to a leak.
Water damage repairs can be thousands of dollars; and in pretty bad cases, it can take lots of time to be fixed. Early maintenance is key to detect hidden issues. As we all know, it is better to be safe than sorry!