How To Find Out If A Home Has Had Water Damage
It is always frustrating to buy a big-ticket item only to discover after the fact that it has serious issues, issues that would have been a deal breaker had we known about them. Most all of us have purchased a car at one point or another that turned out to be a lemon, but fewer of us think as intently about the homes that we purchase, and the types of flaws that may be present and would reveal themselves if we had only done a little judicious poking around. Instead, we make the purchase in the fit of euphoria and end up on the hook for some fairly major repair costs.
The most common problem with homes for sale is water damage, and it is a problem that may not be readily apparent, but can have serious long-term consequences if it is overlooked. How do you avoid ending up with a home that has water damage? Where do you look for it? Is there a best place to even start?
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Homes can end up being damaged by water in any number of ways, through burst pipes, frozen pipes, overflowing or malfunctioning toilets and sinks, or other plumbing failures. Even failed window seals may be a source for water damage of the worst kind, the type that goes unnoticed for extended periods until it has taken hold and already caused a considerable breakdown.
You should look for water stains, clear indicators of previous water damage. Since water problems do not magically repair themselves, then it is a sure bet that you still have a problem in the home, one that needs to be repaired before it has the chance to get worse. While sellers should disclose problems like water damage to a property, not all sellers operate with the same level of integrity. Do not allow yourself to get taken.
Flooring affected by water damage may be warped or cracked, and carpets will have a distinct musty smell that is instantly identifiable. Drywall may be stained, swollen, and/or soft to the touch. Metal surfaces will be rusted and corroded. In fact, almost every surface will react to water in some form or another.
The best way to determine if the home has a history of water damage is to have a water damage inspection performed. A water damage restoration professional will know what to look for when it comes to water damage, including looking in those places that most of us would probably overlook. Better still, they know what to do with it when they find it, even in the most unusual of scenarios. Remember that water has the uncanny ability to get into literally every nook and cranny of a home, and even the smallest amount of untreated water can be enough to cause long-term water-related problems such as mold.
Water damage in the home does not mean that it isn’t a good purchase. It does mean that appropriate steps should be taken to clean it up before allowing your family to take up residence.