One of the single most annoying, and most frequent types of damage a structure will usually suffer in its lifetime is water damage. The causes for water damage can vary and include normal and natural disasters, leaky appliances and water buildup in the basement. Possible repercussions of water damage run the gamut from unsightly stains and mold in general cases, to major structural damage. No matter what type of water damage you are looking at, it is always best to catch it early before it turns your property into a soggy mess. To do this, you need to actually know the damage that is present. This is easily accomplished by looking for any of signs included in this article.
One of the most obvious and common of the signs that your home suffers from water damage are water stains. Unsightly water stains can appear virtually anywhere, from walls and ceilings to around the perimeter of doors and windows. Water stains can either appear fully formed virtually overnight, or start out as small blemishes that expand over time. Regardless of what type of stain you find, addressing the source of the stain early is key.
Water stains are also one of the easiest signs of possible problems when purchasing a new home, especially if it is getting up there in age. If you spot any water stains whatsoever, be sure to request proof that the source was fixed before signing your name on the dotted line. Keep an eye out for new paint, as this could be covering up damage that has not been properly addressed.
Warping and Buckling
Warping or buckling walls or floors are usually a sign of more extensive damage found on many structures that have not received residential waterproofing or commercial waterproofing. The wood or drywall that makes up your structure soaks in moisture, causing the material to expand and contract over time. Not only will this result in an obvious, less firm feel when touching the affected area, it can ultimately lead to the collapse of the wall or floor if not tended to within a suitable timeframe.
A leaky pipe or faucet can usually be identified by rust and corrosion formed around joints in the plumbing. While much of the plumbing for most structures is contained behind walls, floors or ceilings, there are still quite a few areas you can eyeball without having to do major renovations. Water leaking from a pipe or faucet will soak into surrounding material, causing the water stains and warping that so often accompany water damage. Fixes for leaky pipes range from simple replacement you can do yourself, to more involved projects requiring a professional plumber.
Caulk and wood are two of the most common substances vulnerable to crumbling when water damage is present. Check areas around windows and doors to see if the wood is crumbling in any way. While checking your pipes and faucets, be sure to examine the caulk sealing them in place for any crumbling or disintegration. Any molding or baseboards present in your building are also important areas to check for crumbling.
Smelling and Listening
As mold is one of the usual suspects when it comes to water damage, your nose may be the only tool you need to find the source. While many older structures have a general musty smell about them, the smell of mold is easily noticed. If you walk into a room and the smell of mold is much stronger than the hall, chances are you have located the main area of your water damage. This will allow you to check more efficiently for telltale water stains, warping or crumbling.
Your nose isn’t your only organic tool in the fight against water damage, your ears can prove to be just as invaluable. If you are sure there is a water leak somewhere, but can’t seem to find any obvious visual signs, listening for it may be your best bet. The next time it rains, turn off every appliance in your home, making it as quiet as possible. Stand in various areas in the building where you suspect the damage may be hiding and listen closely. While you will likely still hear the rain outside, the sound of it trickling inside is very different and easy to identify.
Flashing and Insulation
As much of the water that causes structural damage falls from the heavens, pay close attention to the one room located the closest to them, the attic. Most buildings, especially residential ones, have peaked roofs, making the joints and flashing between planes a likely entry point for the elements. In colder climates, ice dams on the roof can cause melting snow and ice to trickle into these areas if not properly sealed.
Brittle or discolored insulation is also a sure sign that water is making its way in uninvited. Pay the closest attention to the insulation covering the underside of the roof, taking note of any patterns that signify the entry point. Once the damage itself is repaired, replace any damaged insulation to preclude the formation of dangerous mold.
Given that extensive and unidentified water damage can cause serious problems and damage to both your structure and its occupants, a proactive and preventative approach is always a good idea. Investigating professional residential roofing or commercial roofing services can help keep your building in tip-top shape for years to come.
Contact Dirt Connections For Professional Assistance!
Water damage can be disastrous, but in many cases it can be prevented. For more information on how our services can help prevent water damage in homes or facilities water damage and please call us directly or contact Dirt Connections online today.