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Water Damage and Your Home – Part I: Signs of Water Damage

While water may be essential to our lives, it can also ruin things that are equally important to us, such as our homes. When not controlled, it can cause quite a bit of damage, both immediate and long-term. May it be due to a storm, flood, or burst pipe, water damage can lead to serious and costly problems.

In this blog series, we look closer into residential water damage. Let’s begin by discussing the common signs of water damage.

Water Drips and Puddles

The most obvious sign of water damage is – well – water. If you notice a puddle under the sink or around the toilet, or if you’ve got a dripping faucet, then water damage won’t be far behind. It is important to immediately check the areas surrounding the drips and puddles to determine where the water’s coming from and stop the damage from getting any worse.

Water Stains or Discoloration

Water and mold are typically manifested by dark spots. If parts of your wall paint or carpeting are changing in color, or you’re beginning to see signs of furniture discoloration, take immediate action. While some stains are quite apparent or easily noticeable, some may be hiding behind what you see as small cracks or crevices, so be aware.

Swelling Walls and Floors

Many home and building components, including walls and wood flooring, can easily absorb water. Water can easily break down the fibers of these materials, so that they become spongy and soft and eventually disintegrate altogether. Aside from soft spots, a chalky texture and paint, drywall tape, or wallpaper that is peeling are also common signs of water damage that isn’t visible just yet.

Strange Odors

While water damage is commonly associated with a musty smell, a variety of other strange odors can originate from water and mold. Skip the air fresheners and other fragrant cleaning and home products, so you can better see – or, rather, smell – the problem.

Strange Noises

Have you been hearing strange noises? You may just trace them back to a brewing problem that could spell major water damage if ignored. Leaks manifest themselves in different ways. Shut off all the noises in your home and listen intently. Water running through your walls or floors can create scratching, dripping, or rushing sounds.

General Dampness and Humidity

Attune yourself to your home. Is it difficult to maintain consistent indoor temperatures? Is drying yourself fully after a shower or bath taking too long? This may indicate extra indoor humidity. Run a finger over surfaces as well: Are your walls sweaty? A damp wall or countertop is often indicative of an unseen leak.

Now that you know what signs of potential water damage to watch out for, it’s time to get more serious. In the next part of this series, we discuss the possible harm that water leaks and breaches can cause your home and your family. Stay tuned!