Water damage is one of the major concerns for most homeowners. Whether you are leasing or buying a new property, the first thing you should always do is to conduct a house inspection. This will help to reveal if there are any potential areas that can lead to water damage in your home.
Water damage will not only lower the value of your home but also pose a health risk to you and your family members. For instance, a small leakage can quickly offer a fertile ground for mold growth in different parts of your house. If the leakage is not addressed soon enough, then it can result in dire consequences.
But how do you know that there is water damage in your home? Below are the top signs of water damage:
1. Changes in ceiling, walls, and floors
Most people often don’t realize changes to structural elements. Some of the signs are difficult to notice as they appear natural to the surrounding environment.
Some of the common signs of water damage include the peeling of wallpaper or paint. This will usually assume a warped or swollen appearance. But if the water damage is extreme, walls and ceiling will have a steady sponge-like feel.
Water-damaged floors may take some time to manifest, especially if the wetness is visible only around corners. By the time you realize that your carpet is wet, a lot of damage will have already happened underneath. Ceramic tiles usually develop cracks and mold around the damaged area.
2. Evidence of stains and mold
Steady and slow leaks normally result in stains while mold will grow in areas that are damp. The water stains appear yellowish-brown in color and assume irregular shapes within the area affected by water leakage. These signs are commonly found in laundry rooms, basements, and bathrooms.
Mold is a type of fungus that travels through the air. It requires a constant supply of moisture to grow and spread around. Ceilings, drywall, wood, and carpeting are perfect breeding grounds for mold if they stay wet for a long time.
3. Increasing water bills
A sudden and unexplained rise in your water bills could be a sign of water leakage you are not aware of. Unfortunately, some of the leaks happen underneath the ground – making it difficult to notice.
The only clue you might have is the rise in your water bills. If you verify that the rise in water bills is not attributed to anything else, then the best thing to do is contact a plumber to conduct an inspection.
4. Running water sounds
Water damage is not always visible but can also be noticed through underground sounds. The sound of water running below the ground, drips and creak ibn the floorboards may be a sign that there is a problem somewhere.
But the problem is that the sound of water could just be a drainage system that’s running normally. But if the noise keeps changing, that’s when you should start worrying and take appropriate action.
5. Musty smell
A musty smell that manifests as the odor of a damp newspaper or cardboard is a clear sign of water damage in your home. The odor is usually stronger around the affected areas. The area could also be damp and humid. Try to identify where the odor is coming from and take note of other signs such as mold and stains.
Although older homes usually have different odors, especially in the basement and attics, a drastic change in odor can be a sign of water damage. If you realize a musty smell in your house after a winter thaw or heavy rain, then chances are high that you have water damage in your foundation.