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How to Find Water Damage

Before your home is inundated with expensive water damage, you can always inspect for the warning signs left behind by small leaks and mishaps. Before you continue, remember that the best way to prevent water damage is to regularly inspect your home to prevent the worst from happening to you.

What exactly are you looking for, when you search your home for signs of water damage? Besides standing pools of water, stains are the most easily recognizable sign of water damage in your home. If you see discoloration or stains in a liquid pattern anywhere throughout your home, make sure to investigate thoroughly. Also sniff for any odd odors or smells that might be constant in your home. Mold and other types of bacteria give off a smell that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has had a flooded basement before. Stale or stagnant type odors are the main things to be watching for.

One of the first places to look for warning signs of water damage is the flooring of your home. Carpet shows signs of leaks and stains only after it has damaged the carpet. Check for signs of gaps that appear between carpet and its floor or the base of the building and the wall. Wood flooring also absorbs water but it shows signs of leaks or wetness through discoloration and possible buckling. Use common sense to check the high-risk areas in your home. The kitchen and the appliance hook ups in the kitchen, such as your sink, dishwasher and the refrigerator, all of these appliances use a water supply and a drain line in order to function properly. This means that these appliances can be sources for potential leaks. An additional area to check include bathrooms, which can display signs of water damage from the day to day usage of the showers, toilets, and sinks.

There are a number of other places to check your house for water damage. In addition to searching through your kitchen and bathrooms, start high in your home and look for water stains. One easy area to look at includes doors and windows of your home. If there are water stains around the seals or along the bottom of your doors and windows, this can show that water is seeping in from outside your structure. Another easy place to check for water stains is your household floor-level cabinets. If there is a stain anywhere along the floors of a cabinet, it is possible that there is a leak from a pipe or sink trap underneath it.  Make sure to check your sink drainage piping for leaks or excessive moisture on the outside of the piping.

Check the ceilings of any room within your house for water stains as well. Stains at a joint between your ceiling and an exterior wall can possibly indicate a roof leak or an ice dam problem with your house. If there are stains in the middle of the ceiling or anywhere else, it is possible that water lines run along right above the area. The placement of the water stain does not specifically show where the leak is, as water can move fairly easily inside of a wall or ceiling.

Another place to check is the drywall in your home. One indication that the drywall is damaged is the way it feels. If it is breaking down or soft under your touch you may have a developing problem. If the drywall is discolored and bulging there also may be a problem. These types of indications are often found in areas where your flooring shows signs of water stains or buckling.

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