How to Spot Water Damage in Your Home

As any home owner will tell you, water damage is surprisingly easy to acquire and can be tough to repair. Unlike other types of structural damage, such as fire damage, which usually require some catastrophic event to occur, damage from water can set in at any time and with little warning. Your entire house doesn’t have to flood for the damage to happen – in fact, as little as one inch of water can be severely detrimental to the structure. Fortunately, there are ways to spot damage from water and combat the problem before it gets out of hand. To learn the warning signs of water damage in your home, read on.

water damageSuspicious Stains Can Indicate Water Damage

Water stains are perhaps the most visible indicators of water damage, apart from the unmistakable presence of actual standing water. Not only do water stains tell you that water damage is occurring, but they can also offer clues as to the exact type and source of the water damage n your home – an invaluable aid in stopping water damage in its tracks.For instance, water stains that accumulate around windows or near the bottoms of doors that open to the home’s exterior imply that water is penetrating the structure from the outside. Stains on the ceiling could mean a possible leak in the roof, or, in colder climates, the melting of an ice dam. Finding water stains on or inside of your cabinets usually, points to a leaky sink or faulty plumbing. Regularly checking your house for water stains is crucial. Once you have positively identified the source of the problem, it can be simple to fix and repair what little damage has already occurred.

Water Damage May Lead to Musty Odors

Another simple way of determining the presence of water damage in your home is to, quite literally, sniff around! When water seeps into the dark areas of your home’s wood, drywall, and carpeting, it immediately creates the kind of damp, dark environment that is conducive to mold growth. Mold can be a tenacious foe, and the adverse effects it can have on your health and the health of your family has been well documented, so homeowners must approach this issue with vigilance. One of the first signs of mold growth is a distinctive musty odor. If you notice a moldy smell in any room in your house, you can be sure that there is damage from water nearby.

Structural Indicators of Water Damage

In addition to stains and odors, another way to tell if you are currently contending with water damage in your home is by looking for telltale structural indicators. These indicators signal that the water damage has already started to affect the building’s materials and that immediate action is necessary to prevent severe damage and expensive reconstruction. One warning sign of structural damage is in the flooring; buckled floors or warped wood indicate the presence of water. High-risk areas for this type of injury include the kitchen, especially around the sink, dishwasher or refrigerator, and the bathroom, near the toilet, sink or tub. Additionally, keep an eye out for soft, discolored, or swollen drywall. Drywall that is crumbling or breaking down demonstrates the presence of water in your walls and could threaten the integrity of your entire house.

Don’t Let Water Damage Ruin Your Home

Once you learn how to spot water damage, you have the tools necessary to protect your home and your family. Remember, water damage can stem from dramatic causes, like a burst dam or a storm that leads to flooding, but it can also result from something as mundane as an overflowing toilet, leaky shower, clogged drain or ruptured pipes. Pay attention to the changes that may occur in your home and quickly address any early signs of moisture or leakage, so you can protect your home from water damage for many years to come.