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8 Signs of Water Damage in Your House

I love decorating my home and making little improvements here and there.

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Water damage is no joke; if you think you might have it in your home, the best thing to do is call in a professional to have it assessed and repaired. Water damage can be very dangerous and should not be taken lightly, so it's best to leave it to the experts.

It's one of the most common and expensive problems to repair in a home (98% of basements in the US will suffer from water damage of some form). It can be caused by a variety of factors, including storms, leaks, and faulty appliances.

If left untreated, water damage can lead to mold growth, which can cause health problems for you and your family and can cause potential structural damage. If you are unsure, it's important to get a professional to check it out as soon as possible.

Here are eight signs that could lead you to suspect water damage in your home, and if you notice them, make sure to get a professional in as soon as possible to check out your house for water damage.

1. Water Stains on the Ceiling or Walls

This is one of the most obvious signs of water damage. If you see stains on your ceiling or walls, it's likely that there is a water leak somewhere in your home. Make sure to check through the entire house to see if there are any other signs of water damage before calling in a professional.

Usually, you're going to see some discoloration around the stain. This is because water will cause the paint or wallpaper to peel away from the wall, revealing the bare wood beneath. If you see any of this, it's likely that there is water damage. It is likely going to be visible both within the interior wall and the outside wall as well.

Personally, even if I am a little bit unsure and I have any suspicions—I'd take pictures and send them to a range of professionals right away. Then see what their feedback is and the one that gives me the most information, I'd ask them to come to take a look to be on the safe side.

2. Musty Odors in the Home

If you notice musty odors in your home, it could be a sign of water damage. These odors are usually caused by mold or mildew and can indicate that there is excess moisture in the air. If you notice musty odors, be sure to check for other signs of water damage, such as water stains or mold growth.

I personally don't have the greatest sense of smell, but I would get other people (family and friends) to see if they notice the smell as well. More specifically, see if they actually locate it as well. Then, if I can, I will wear a mask to see if I can uncover it—unless you can't access that area—this is a leading clue and sign that you could have potential water damage.

3. Warped Floors or Ceilings

If your floors or ceilings are warped, it's likely that there is water damage. Warping can occur when there is too much moisture in the air, and the wood expands. This can lead to the cracking and splitting of the wood, which can be dangerous.

If you see any warped floors or ceilings, make sure to check for other signs of water damage and call in a professional to have it repaired as soon as possible. You might even have a leak of some kind; I had a bathroom that was leaking into the kitchen—I don't need a much clear sign than that. However, when I inspected the source of the leak, there was a clear bulge in the kitchen ceiling; it made me wonder how I didn't see it sooner.

4. Mold or Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew growth are other signs of water damage. These can often be found in damp, dark areas, such as the basement or near leaks. If you see mold or mildew growth, be sure to check for other signs of water damage and call in a professional to have it removed.

Mold and mildew can be dangerous to your health, so it's important to get rid of them as soon as possible. If you are in close proximity to it, at the least wear some sort of protection and mask, the best thing to do is just try and get rid of it as soon as possible and safely, then, of course, actually address the source of the problem.

5. Peeling Paint or Wallpaper

If you see peeling paint or wallpaper, it could be a sign of water damage. This usually happens when there is too much moisture in the air, which can cause the paint or wallpaper to peel away from the wall. If you see any peeling paint or wallpaper, make sure to check for other signs of water damage and call in a professional to have it repaired.

6. Sounds of Water (Where It Shouldn't Be)

If you hear the sound of water where there shouldn't be any, it's likely that there is a water leak somewhere in your home. This can often be heard as a dripping sound, and it can be coming from any number of places, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or even the ceiling. If you hear any strange sounds of water, be sure to check for other signs of water damage and call in a professional to have it repaired.

7. Increased Utility Bill

If you notice an increase in your utility bill, it could be a sign that there is water damage in your home. This is often caused by leaks, which can go undetected for a long time. If you notice an increase in your utility bill, make sure to check for other signs of water damage and call in a professional to have it repaired.

8. Water Pooling in Your Home

If you see water pooling in your home, it's likely that there is a water leak somewhere. This can often be seen in the basement or near leaks. Usually, the telltale sign is that you clean up a pool of water, not really knowing how it got there, then a few moments later, you see the new pool re-emerge; that's how you know. Then try and figure out its source.

Bring in a Professional As Soon As Possible

This is not a task that you want to be really trying to fix yourself (unless you, of course, have direct industry experience). No, it's best to bring in the professionals for this one. If you think that you might have water damage in your home, the best thing to do is call in a professional to have it assessed and repaired. Water damage can be very dangerous and should not be taken lightly, so it's best to leave it to the experts.

Give them as much information as you can, and be sure to point out any areas that you are concerned about. The sooner you can get the problem fixed, the better, so don't delay in calling a professional.

Source

  • Water Damage By the Numbers
    Water damage and mold cost the insurance industry $2.5 billion dollars per year, and the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6,965.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Elin Beck