5 Signs You Could Have Water Damage
Water damage can be catastrophic to your home, especially if it’s been left unmanaged for an extended period of time. Water damaged caused by flooding or malfunctioning appliances is easy to recognize, but there are several common signs of interior water damage that you may miss if you aren’t looking carefully. Knowing what to look for and routinely checking your home for signs of water damage can prevent things from spiraling out of control. Early detection and intervention can save you thousands of dollars.
Walls and Floors are Changing Shape
It’s easy to notice signs of water damage with carpet. Oftentimes, the carpet will be wet without any apparent explanation. With tile, it may become loose in areas. Linoleum will begin to peel, and wood or laminate floors will begin to warp. This generally is referred to as cupping or buckling. This will occur when water accumulates in your sub-flooring, which is generally a sign that your foundation is saturated. The water has no way to escape, and it will begin to affect your flooring. In severe cases, water may permeate through your flooring and sit on the surface.
Water in walls will sometimes be overwhelmingly obvious, but there are certain circumstances under which you may not realize that water is the cause of a changing wall. Bloated, swollen, or warping walls are easy to recognize. When the damage is severe, the wall may feel spongy to the touch. From minimal swelling and drying over time, paint may begin to bubble or crack as the wall expands and retracts. Since these changes may be too subtle to notice, the damage done to the paint may be the only evidence that this process is occurring.
Visible Stains or Mold Spotting
If areas of your walls or floor have darkened with no apparent cause, this may be the result of water that can’t drain from the area. This is common in basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms as these areas generally see a lot of water usage or contain a lot of pipes.
Mold spotting generally manifests itself as black, brown, or green marks that appear in small patches. In the event that you see something you believe may be mold, you need to treat it immediately. Mold spreads fast in dark, damp areas, such as closets, within walls, or under floorboards. Mold poses significant risks to respiratory health and it must be eradicated before it puts your family in danger.
Musty smells almost always suggest the presence of water damage or mold growth. Sometimes, the air will smell similar to wet newspaper or rotten cardboard. The smell will be strongest around the area where the water damage has occurred. While smells usually indicate severe damage, you can recognize the damage through the humidity level of the room. If you don’t yet smell potential water damage, you may notice that the air is more humid or wet in the area where water damage may be occurring.
Your Utility Bills Don’t Match Your Water Usage
If you feel like your water bills are a little too high for your water usage, that can be a sign that something sinister is afoot. Keep track of your water usage for a month and estimate what your water company usually charges for that amount. If your monthly bill is significantly higher than your estimation, this can mean that water is being expelled somewhere, and it isn’t being used.
This water can be accumulating within your walls, under your floors, or leaking out into your crawlspace. It’s time to inspect your pipes. If you see any leaks or notice any excess moisture on or around your pipes, your home is bleeding water. Fix the problem and check for additional signs of damage around the areas where you’ve found faulty pipes.
Your Pipes are Worse for Wear
Most pipes aren’t visible, so we don’t think to check them very often. Check your water heater to make sure all of the pipes are fitted and secure. Look beneath your sink or in your crawlspace to see if any of your pipes appear to be leaking or corroding. Corroded pipes should be fixed immediately, as this can prevent water damage in the future. You may also see signs of caulk erosion in bathrooms, especially around your bathtubs or sinks. Caulk is a quick fix if you can get to it before the damage has been done. If it’s already been breached, this almost always means that water has already found its way into your walls.
Since you can’t see all of your pipes without ripping open your walls, you may be able to tell by listening to them. At night time, when ambient noise is at its natural low, turn off the electrical appliances in your home. In silence, you may be able to hear the pipes inside of your walls. If you can hear water moving or dripping in your walls while no water is being used, mark the affected area. You’ll need to look inside of that portion of your wall, as the pipes may be bleeding water inside the structure of your home.
What to Do When You Spot The Signs
You may be watching your home like a hawk for signs of water damage, but even hawks can overlook things. If you believe you’ve recognized at least one sign of water damage, you need to take immediate action. Allowing issues to go unchecked can create much larger problems down the road, and repairs and restoration will only become more complicated and expensive as time goes on. You need to do something right now.
Restoration Local will be able to connect you with experienced contractors in your area who will be able to restore your home and repair your water damage. We’ll put you in the hands of a qualified professional who understands how much you value the safety and security of your home. Even if you aren’t sure you’re looking at water damage, we’ll be able to help you determine the cause of the issue at hand with a free estimate. The longer you wait, the greater your risk becomes. Restore your home before the damage takes over. If you have water damage or require mold removal services, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!