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Signs of Water Damage when Buying a Home

Whether you are buying your first home or moving homes, it is important to take the time to look for signs of water damage. Although the property may look in decent shape currently, signs of water intrusion are an indicator of problems in the past as well as potential future problems of the home. Just because the house is dry when you are looking at it, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any leaks or foundational problems with the property. There are many tell tale signs of water damage that can be identified if you know what to look for in the house.

  • Water Stains- Stains from sitting water are commonly found on the ceiling of homes. Make sure to look at the ceiling of every room in the home to look for stains. Often time’s stains are brown or gray in color. Ceiling water stains can be from a number of problems, but are commonly associated with leaks in the roof, or a problem with a pipe or plumbing. Water stains can also be found on the walls or the floor. Make sure to check around all major appliances that use water such as the dishwasher, washing machine and hot water heaters for any water stains in the area, because it is an indicator of a malfunction with the machine.
  • Swelled Wood- Any kind of woodwork in the home, especially wood floors are extremely susceptible to water damage. As water sits, the wood absorbs the moisture and will swell and bow, changing the originally structure of the wood. Water damage to wood floors can cause unevenness, swelling, squeaky floors as well as rotting wood.
  • Water Blisters- If water is leaking inside the ceiling of a home, you can often notice a blister, or bubble from where the water has collected. Often times a patch of fresh paint, or plaster on a section of the ceiling is a clear indicator of a past water blister. Many people will try to fix the blister and refinish the ceiling instead of fixing the leak, because it is less expensive. For this reason it is important to check for signs of water damage when looking at homes.
  • Checking the Foundation- It is always important to check the foundation of the property, especially around the basement. Basements are the most common area in the home to have flooding or water intrusion so it is important to look over this area carefully. Look for any cracks or bowing of the walls. Often times stains or rings can be identified from past water damage or floods.

Water damage is a major annoyance as well as a costly problem, so it is important to take the time to check for any signs of water damage before buying a home. If there are signs of water damage in the past it could also mean there is mold growth within the walls of the homes, which can cause serious health issues. If you are uncertain if the property you are looking at has signs of water damage or mold growth you are best off calling a water restoration specialist to inspect the property for you, before making the purchase.

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