5 Telltale Signs of Water Damage in a Home
Sometimes water damage will cause visible signs that point toward obvious leaks. Other times, water damage can occur for years without showing significant symptoms. Read on to learn how you can spot subtle signs of water damage in your home, so you can take steps to prevent further damage.
Strange sounds: Sometimes you cannot see water damage, especially in its early stages, however you might be able to hear it if you listen closely. Telltale signs include creaking floorboards, dripping water and even rushing water. Since this can also be a sign of normal plumbing function, you will want to pay attention to signs that something has changed.
Foul smells: Unseen moisture creates an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. Water leaks will typically create a distinct musty odor. If you notice a strange smell, inspect the area to see if it intensifies. The area may also feel especially humid or slightly damp, depending on the cause of the damage and the temperature in the room. Although older homes can have a variety of smells, especially in attics and basements, sudden changes in odor could be a bad sign. Since newer homes should typically be odor free, any new smell may suggest the presence of mildew or mold.
Mold: Mold spores need water to survive and thrive so you will never find mold without water. Look for dark spots on your ceiling or drywall. You may also notice a crust appearing on carpeting, especially if water has migrated from behind floorboards. In some instances, mild mold may only be a sign of condensation. In other cases, it may be a sign of a very serious long-term leak behind your walls. Whatever the cause, mold means there is too much water in your home. Since it can cause health issues, mold is a serious problem. If you see or smell mold, contact an expert to evaluate the source of the problem and recommend the best possible solution for keeping water out of your home.
Discoloration: If you notice yellow or light brown streaks on your ceilings or walls, it could be a sign of water damage. If it’s on the interior of your home, discoloration could be a leaky pipe or roof. If you notice discoloration on the outside of your home, it could be due to an overflowing gutter, which causes distinctive water marks on siding. If you do have an overflowing gutter, get it cleared out right away, or you could end up with foundation damage. You may also need to affix runners to your downspouts to funnel water away from your home.
Cold temperatures: Sometimes, water damage can make it difficult to keep a home warm. If your heater seems to run a lot, it could be a sign that your walls are damp on the inside. Moisture will draw heat out of walls as it evaporates and water damage can negatively impact the thermal envelope on a home.
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