6 Signs of Water Damage Homeowners Should Never Ignore

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Did you know that mold growth due to water damage poses health risks? This includes breathing problems and even aspergillosis.

Water damage is a significant hazard. If left unchecked, water damage can lead to serious structural problems as well. By then, it can be more costly to repair.

Water damage can happen anytime to both old and new homes. The AIA states that 90% of property damages come from water and leaks. These problems could have been avoided if homeowners had given proper care to small known problems.

Usually, the minor signs of damage you can see are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of it lies deep in the walls where it can cause the most serious problems. Looking for signs of water damage in your home can be crucial to prevent more serious problems.

Read on to know the 6 early signs of water damage.

6 Signs of Water Damage Homeowners Should Never Ignore

1. Signs of Water Damage in Walls and Ceilings

Sagging and saturated drywall is one telltale sign. Peeling, flaking, or bubbling wall paint is another. This happens when the paint loses adhesion because of the saturated wall.

As water collects behind the paint, it stretches on the surface to form bubbles. Popping smaller bubbles can be fine as long as you’re ready to clean any mess. For larger bubbles, it’s better to call a professional.

As time passes, water damage can give walls and ceilings a warped or swollen look. In severe cases of water damage, walls and ceilings can seem sponge-like to the touch.

Softened drywall due to water damage can be easy to miss. It happens when the drywall’s backside becomes soaked while the exterior looks normal.

Also Read: 4 Warning Signs You Need Basement Waterproofing

If you suspect some areas of the drywall to have water damage, try pressing against them. If depressions form or it buckles, then you have your evidence.

Cracks may also start to appear in the drywall. The material swells and retracts due to small amounts of water on the inside.

2. Changes in the Flooring

This can be evidence of basement water damage. A saturated foundation or pipe leaks can cause water to seep into the subflooring.

Water damage can affect all types of flooring. This can cause tiles to loosen, laminate flooring to warp, or linoleum to peel. There may also be sagging or soft spots on the floor.

Look for these soft spots near showers, sinks, or tubs. However, leaking appliances like dishwashers or washing machines can also be the cause.

Changes in the flooring can be easy to spot. Wet flooring can be harder to notice if they happen in room corners or less frequented areas. Inspect these areas and feel for any wet patches, especially in carpeted rooms.

Also Read: The Benefits of Laminate Flooring for Your Small House

3. Stains, Dark Spots, and Molds

This is one of the clear warning signs of water damage. Keep an eye out for discolorations on the interior and exterior walls or the ceilings.

In the interior, observe if there are light brown or yellow streaks on walls or ceilings. They could be one of the signs of water damage.

Look for these types of stains in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. These areas usually contain the most pipes and see lots of water usage.

Stains from water damage can be permanent or fade then reappear. Water stains form as surfaces experience repeated cycles of becoming wet and dry. 

One of the obvious water damage stains is water rings. Stains can be regular discolorations, but they could also be due to mold growth. This indicates hidden moisture in walls or ceilings.

Mold is a type of airborne fungus. It thrives in places with a persistent source of moisture.

Areas or materials in your home are likely to harbor mold if they stay damp for long periods of time. These can include carpeting, wood, drywall, and ceilings.

Black mold is what we usually associate with water damage. Yet mold can also appear blue, green, or grey. They often look fuzzy and grow in thread-like patterns.

Mold growth can happen out of sight. For instance, they can grow under carpeting. You may also find them behind walls, ceilings, and bathroom tiles.

4. Unpleasant or Musty Smells

Moisture and mold growth can be invisible. Still, damp and musty odors around the house can be one of the obvious signs of water damage.

Dampness has a distinct smell. It can smell like wet newspaper or cardboard. They’ll be strongest in rooms or areas where the water damage is.

Older homes tend to have various smells. This is true especially for old homes’ basements and attics. Yet sudden changes in odor can tell you that something else is afoot.

Mold can’t grow without moisture. Unless your house has high natural humidity, you can assume musty odors from mold are due to water damage.

Try locating the smell to specific areas or rooms. Mold damage can be most common in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. These areas are where excess moisture tends to go unnoticed.

Molds can be serious health risks. Once you spot evidence, consider immediate water damage restoration.

5. Sounds of Running Water

One of the other warning signs of water damage is the sounds of water. It may be a moist floor creak, a dripping sound, or even rushing water.

Running water sounds may be signs of a functional system. Still, observe suspicious changes. You should mark certain areas with these sounds for more investigation.

6. Puddles or Pooling Water

Leaks and continuous dripping can lead to pools or puddles of water in the house. They may be hard to spot if they’re hidden by furniture, or they’re in rooms or areas you don’t frequent.

Also Read: 5 Warning Signs of a Sewer Line Leak You Should Never Ignore

Puddles can also be regular spilled water. Observe if random puddles come back after you’ve cleaned them.

Look Out for These Signs of Water Damage

Water damage can lead to more serious problems if left unchecked. It can lead to structural problems and unhealthy mold growth. Knowing how to spot signs of water damage is crucial to prevent further damage and expensive repairs.

Want to know more about handling water damage? Check out our other guides here.

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