Water is one of the most important elements of life, but it can also be one of the most destructive elements when left unchecked in your home. Water damage can be extensive, and it can cause a host of other problems, such as electrical problems, plumbing problems, and even structural damage to your home. Some water damage can result in dangerous mold presence, which can threaten the health and lives of the home’s inhabitants. 

This is particularly true if there has ever been water damage that was left unaddressed or unresolved for more than a few hours, which allows the water time to penetrate deeply into components of the home. We’re going to look at what water damage looks like, as well as the signs of water damage in walls, and how to check for water damage in general.

What Does Water Damage Look Like?

The signs of water damage can be incredibly diverse, and while some can be obvious, a significant portion of it may be hidden and unable to be diagnosed without professional help. If your home has water damage, chances are good that you’ll see damage to your walls, ceilings, floors, or other areas of the home. It could be as simple as a musty odor in the basement or crawlspace. 

How Do You Know If You Have Water Damage

Noticing Changes To Walls, Ceilings, & Floors

Water causes many building materials to swell and warp. Early signs can be bubbling paint or wallpaper that is having difficulty adhering. Wet floors can become soft, particularly if the areas of the floor aren’t used often and the problem goes unnoticed. Drywall and plaster can become waterlogged, and soggy, and can even fall right off of the studs or joists.

Obvious Discoloration Or Visible Mold

One of the most common signs of water damage is discoloration or visible mold sightings. These are also most frequently seen where the water damage is from a slow leak or drip. These are common under sinks, behind fixtures, and in basements and laundry areas. This slow, steady supply of water leads to mold, which can be dangerous and costly to remediate. 

Moldy, Musty Smells

Mold and mildew both have unique smells, and they are what many people would simply term “musty” smelling. Musty odors are a sign of water damage and may be a sign of more advanced damage and problems as well. These smells may be strongest during or shortly after rain or humid events. 

Climbing Water Bills

If you have a slow or moderate water leak somewhere in your home, you may only become aware of it when your water bill begins climbing month after month. Sudden increases, or steady increases that don’t align with changes in consumption, are prime indicators of a leak somewhere, but to find it you will likely need a professional.

Older Plumbing & Fixtures

While vintage or antique fixtures may look gorgeous, they can also have relatively dubious sealing abilities and can result in leaks. If you have older plumbing in the home or use antique fixtures, be sure to have them inspected often enough to prevent damage if they begin leaking.

Lean On Your Local Orange County Recovery Partner For Help With Water Damage Cleanup

If you recognize some of the signs of water damage in your home, or if you know that your home has water damage in some capacity, the best first step to take is to contact a local recovery professional. They will be able to verify if you have more extensive or hidden water damage that may need to be addressed, and while they can help with the cleanup and recovery, they can also help repair the original issue that led to the flooding or water damage. Reach out today to speak with a disaster recovery professional. 

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