Water damage can be extremely detrimental to your home if you don't act quickly. You must be able to identify water damage as soon as possible to avoid costly fees and destruction of property.
If you don't know what to look for, you might end up standing there staring at puddles wondering what happened. Wet materials start developing mold after only 24 hours, so here are some quick ways to identify water damage before you're faced with these issues.
What Is Water Damage?
In general, water damage can be defined as water that destroys your home due to flooding, leaky roofs, or broken pipes. It can lead to irreparable damage if not addressed quickly, such as mold growth, rotting wood, de-laminated materials such as plywood, etc. The damage may be slow and minor if coming from water spots, or it could be instantaneous and catastrophic.
Different Types of Water
Unbeknownst to many, there are 3 different types of water you can find in your home. The first type is 'clean' water that comes from rain, leaky pipes, condensation, and so on. The good news is it's fairly harmless and easy to clean up on your own. The second type is 'gray water' that comes from appliances like dishwashers or washing machines, toilets, etc. It's also easy to clean up yourself but be wary of the contaminants. The third type is 'black water' that comes from serious floods or even sewage. It contains waste and serious bacteria, so you will need to hire a professional to clean it up.
Inspect for Mold
Aside from obvious signs like pooling water and spots on ceilings, mold is the tell-tale sign of water damage. Mildew and mold can develop as soon as 24 hours in the right conditions and can be found anywhere moisture is present. It's typically indicative of humidity issues or small leaks.
Inspect for Water Stains
Stains or slight discoloration anywhere on your walls, ceiling, or floor most likely indicate leaks from your roof or walls. If you're inspecting these surfaces, be sure to look in corners where walls and ceilings or floors meet.
Feel for Soft Surfaces
The wood behind surfaces in your home is usually the first to show signs of water damage. Warped surfaces and soft spots can indicate leaks that aren't immediately visible.
Listen for Dripping and Strange Noises
The sound of dripping may be obvious, but homes with water damage can make some deceptive noises as well. Sounds like scratching or rushing can indicate water damage, so when your house is at its quietest be sure to listen for anything like this.
Water damage can cause health issues for your family and irreparable damage to your home. Bacteria, mold growth, and compromised surfaces and structures are all dangerous effects of water damage. Look for any of these signs and be sure to act quickly before matters get worse. Don't wait for a disaster to happen to perform preventative measures in your home!