5 Signs of Water Damage

If you’re buying a new home or if you are trying to locate the source of problems in your own home there are several clear signs of water damage that you should be looking for. Water damage can happen all at once in a flood or it can happen slowly as the result of small leaks and unnoticed drips over the years. If you are checking a home for water damage here are 5 unmistakable signs that water damage has occurred:

The Most Obvious Signs of Water Damage

The first and most sign of water damage is water stains. Water stains can appear on walls or ceilings and may indicate the presence of pooled water or may be signs of a past leak. The best way to tell if there is pooled water in the ceiling near a water stain is to poke a small hole in it. If there is water up there you’ll see it come draining out from the hole. But water stains don’t necessarily mean that there is a current leak. The stains may be from old leaks. Check the area around the stains and feel for dampness to know if the stain is from a current or old leak.

Another obvious sign of water damage is buckling. Cabinets, floors and drywall can end up buckling if they are exposed to water for a long period of time. It takes a pretty significant amount of water to cause buckling so if you notice buckling in floors, walls or cabinets there has either recently been a serious flood or there is a leak that has been going on for a long time.

Follow Your Nose

One sign of water damage that you really can’t miss is the smell of mold or mildew. If you smell something musty or smell the recognizable smell of mold get a respirator on immediately or leave the area immediately. Mold can be extremely difficult to get rid of once it has taken root in a home and it spreads very quickly. If you smell mold in your home it’s important to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Long term exposure to mold can cause allergy like symptoms and respiratory problems for you and your family members and your pets.

Standing water or pooled water also tends to have an unpleasant and distinctive smell. If you go into the basement or garage and smell standing water there is probably water damage. You can also sometimes notice that smell in cabinets if the sink nearby has been leaking.

Look At Your Feet

Floors can also reveal flood or water damage. Floors are usually pretty sturdy and they are made to withstand almost any conditions. But floors will warp and buckle after they have been flooded or if there has been a persistent leak. If you’re looking at a home be sure to look down to see if the floor is level all the way through the home. If the floor slopes or slants or buckles there has been some water damage to that floor.