Every year, hurricane winds and storm-related flooding causes as much as $54 billion in losses. About 50% of losses are residential. These flooding incidents don’t include accidents (such as unintentionally leaving a faucet running). Whether your water damage occurs suddenly or gradually, it helps to know what to look for. Here are seven early signs of water damage throughout your home.
By learning how to recognize damages, you can call for help right away. Waiting too long, however, could cause mold to develop.
Keep reading to discover the warning signs of water damage today.
1. Saggy Walls
First, take a look at your walls. Does your drywall look saturated? Is your paint starting to peel?
Your walls might also look warped.
These are all signs of water damage to your home.
If you have a leaking pipe behind a wall, it can cause:
- Cracks in the drywall
- Retracting or swollen walls
- Peeling, bubbling paint
Sometimes, these signs are subtle. The best way to learn how to spot water damage is to skim every inch of your walls. Try looking at the room from different angles, too.
When completing a walkthrough of your home, make sure the room is well-lit. You might not recognize these water damage warning signs in a shadowy room.
Make sure to walk room to room when looking for warning signs of water damage. You might notice damage in the last room you check while the others look okay. Determining the location of a leak can help you point the professionals in the right direction.
2. Musty Smells
Did you recently complete a deep clean of your home? If you notice a moldy, musty smell, it’s probably not the trash. Instead, you might want to look for signs of water damage.
A musty smell could mean mildew and mold are growing within your home.
It helps to know that mold only grows when there’s moisture in the air. If your home feels humid, high humidity can contribute to mold growth.
Start looking for these warning signs of water damage before mold gets the chance to spread. If mold is already growing behind your walls, it’s important to contact a professional team right away. Otherwise, you and your family members could start breathing in mold spores.
Mold can contribute to your allergies.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests you keep your home below a 60% humidity level.
Some molds only grow in certain areas. For example, acremonium grows around household systems like humidifiers and cooling coils. Alternaria is a common allergenic mold.
You’ll likely find Alternaria in your showers, bathtubs, basement, and beneath leaky sinks.
Breathing in Alternaria can cause asthma-like symptoms. This mold also tends to spread quickly. If you notice these warning signs of water damage, calling for help can protect mold from impacting your respiratory health.
Otherwise, you could experience asthma attacks, respiratory inflammation, or develop a lung infection.
3. Dark Stains
If you want to learn how to find water damage, start looking for stains and dark spots. These spots might start as slight discoloration. Failing to treat the source of the leak right away can cause these spots to become permanent, though.
Have you noticed mildew or mold on the walls? There’s a chance the more severe damage occurred within the wall. A water leak from the roof or a leaky water supply line could cause mold to grow and spread.
Remember, it’s important to contact a professional water restoration company right away if your home is the victim of water damage. The cost for repair can vary depending on where you live, the cost of labor and materials, the type of damage, and the extent of the damage.
As an example, a basement flood might cost up to $4,000 for water removal services.
Contact a water restoration company in your area right away to get a more accurate quote.
4. Running Water
Do you ever hear the sound of running water in your home? You might think it’s your spouse or one of your kids.
Wait until late at night. Then, listen. Do you still notice the sound of running water when the rest of your house is quiet?
If it’s not a sink or shower, there’s a chance there’s a water leak somewhere in your plumbing system.
Sometimes, you won’t hear running water. Instead, listen for sounds of dripping water. Can you determine the source of the sound?
If you can’t find the source of your own, it’s likely the water is dripping behind your walls.
Water damage is the second-most frequent type of claim. It’s important to react right away if you think your home has sustained water damage. Otherwise, the damage could spread.
If mold and mildew form, you’ll need to pay even more for repairs.
5. Loose Floors
As you walk throughout your home, take a look at your floors. When the foundation is saturated or pipes start to leak, it gives water the chance to seep into your subflooring.
Are your pipes routed through crawl space? The likelihood of water seeping through the subflooring could increase. You might notice wet spots on your floor or loose tiles in your kitchen and bathrooms.
Does your home have any linoleum? Linoleum starts to peel after it sustains water damage. If your floors are laminated, however, they’ll start to warp.
6. Appliance Issues
Your appliances will start to crack and rust as they age. If their hoses weaken, they could contribute to water damage.
Make sure to check out your:
- Water heater
- Washing machine
- HVAC unit
If you don’t complete regular HVAC maintenance, it can cause moisture to build against your unit.
If your appliances are malfunctioning, look for signs of water damage that are causing the problem.
7. Increased Energy Bills
Are your water bills skyrocketing lately? A leaking problem could cause a problem. Watch your water bill and look for unexpected spikes.
You might want to have a plumber take a look if your water bill keeps fluctuating.
Keep Your Home Safe and Dry: Detecting the 7 Early Signs of Water Damage
Don’t let water damage destroy your home. Instead, keep these seven early signs of water damage in mind. By learning how to recognize these warning signs, you can call for help right away.
Already noticing these warning signs? We’re here to help. Contact us for an estimate today.