Moisture damage is a serious problem that can strike at any time. When water gets into the home, whether due to leaky pipes, a cracked foundation or roof damage, it has the potential to cause serious structural damage. Worse, moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which have the potential to cause illness and a wide range of respiratory problems. For this reason, it is essential that every homeowner is diligent and continually on the lookout for the signs of moisture damage. Unfortunately, actually spotting water damage isn’t always that easy, and in many cases, homeowners remain unaware of the issue until it is far too late.
Most homeowners are aware of the basic methods for spotting moisture damage, such as looking for discoloration, water marks or warping—all of which are fairly obvious signs of water damage. However, moisture damage can also manifest itself in many other, less noticeable ways. For this reason, we’ll now look at some of various ways that you can spot moisture damage to ensure that your home remains free from water and in ideal condition.
Let Your Feet Be Your Guide
If you have leaky pipes or other sources of water damage, there is a good chance that the water will seep down into your floors and eventually soak the sub-flooring. When this happens, the floor will often become soft under your feet or have noticeable sagging. This type of moisture damage is especially common when there is a leak in or around your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine or sink. If left unchecked, this type of water damage can cause serious issues and could require extensive construction to repair. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to feel your way along the floor when you walk—paying special attention that you don’t encounter any soft or sagging spots.
Use Your Sense of Smell
Odor is one of the most obvious signs of water damage. If you suddenly notice that your home or a certain room starts to smell musty or like mold or mildew, it is usually a sign that you have water damage somewhere inside the structure. In most cases, you will notice the smell of mold long before you see any visual evidence of it. For this reason, it is important that you pay attention to the smells, and if you do notice any moldy odors, you will want to undertake a more thorough inspection to identify the source.
Be on the Lookout for Signs of Recent Repairs
If you’ve just bought or rented a new home, there is a chance that the previous owner or landlord has attempted to cover up signs of water damage. The issue is that many people simply attempt to mask the signs of water damage rather than undergoing the expensive and time-consuming process of water damage restoration. If you notice any recent repairs or patch jobs, these could potentially be a sign of an attempt to cover up moisture damage. Similarly, if you notice areas where the paint is much heavier than in the surrounding area, this is also another sign that the home suffered from previous water damage. In either case, it is recommended that you fully inspect the area and be continuously on the lookout for any other signs that might indicate a moisture problem.
Check for Rust
Rust on your water heater, around your plumbing and fixtures or on the floor is another surefire sign of previous water damage. As you’re probably aware, rust forms when metal is exposed to moisture over a period of time, and this means that any rust you see could be a sign of a previous leak. Should you notice any rust, it is important to fully inspect the surrounding area for any other signs of moisture damage. If you’re lucky, the leak was taken care of before it caused any serious damage. However, there is no way to know for sure if this is the case, which is why you’ll want to be extra diligent should you notice any signs of rust.
If All Else Fails, Seek Professional Help
The problem with spotting water damage is that the problem often occurs inside of the walls, ceiling or floors, which means you won’t often spot the signs until the problem becomes more severe. Therefore, if you feel that your home may have issues with moisture damage, it never hurts to have your home inspected by a professional. In many cases, it is possible to use infrared imaging to spot moisture damage without having to open up the walls. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage, and attempting to dry the moist areas out within 24 to 48 hours is key to preventing mold growth and also to limiting the structural damage caused by the water.
The fact is that water damage has the potential to wreak havoc on a home and can cause a huge amount of damage in a short time. This makes it essential that homeowners are diligent and regularly inspect their home for any signs of water damage. If you do notice any of the above signs, it is highly recommended that you contact a professional water damage restoration company and get the problem taken care of immediately. Otherwise, you might find that a minor leak could turn into a huge headache in no time.