Water damage events are grim and can cost an arm and leg to deal with. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to look for signs of water damage in walls to prevent leaking and further damage to their property or health.
Even more so if you are looking to buy a house and don’t want any early signs of future water damage to be left unaddressed and smack you in the face with all their might later on. So, we’ll share the most common signs of water damage and how to spot them and protect your home and money.
Top Signs of Water Damage in Your Home
There are easy ways to identify water damage signs and avoid flooding and structural issues later on. You and the other home’s occupants can spot these on your own and you don’t need to have a professional inspection.
#1 Stains on the Wall or Ceiling
Some of the easiest signs of water damage are stains, discoloration, or dark spots on your walls or ceilings. Don’t disregard them or try to paint the water stains over as this is how it starts and it can only lead to more trouble and more costly repairs if you don’t deal with it right away.
The cause can be a hidden plumbing issue and you don’t want to neglect that. If you paint them over, the discoloration and dark spots will reappear, maybe even over a larger area. So, cal a water restoration professional and repair the issue immediately – it will save you a lot of money and trouble.
#2 Cracking, Bubbling, or Flaking Paint
A clear sign of water damage is flaking, bubbling, or cracking paint on a wall or ceiling. And just with water stains, it could indicate a burst pipe behind the wall in question. Why does paint flake or peel off of your walls?
When your drywall comes in contact with excess moisture, it will try to escape through the wall and the paint will start to lift off its surface. Walls tend to soak up water really well and it spreads to the surrounding walls very quickly.
#3 Soft Spots on Your Drywall
When a water leak makes a wall vet and you don’t address it in a timely manner, your walls or ceilings will become soft and look swollen. The drywall can only soak up so much water and if you have a leak, there will be more water.
The unattended water leak can even cause your ceiling to sag over time. This is potentially dangerous for anything fragile you have in your house. Not to mention your health. So, as soon as you spot soft spots or swelling on your drywall, it’s time to call a professional water restoration agency.
#4 Warped Walls
Warped walls are an obvious sign of water damage or leak that’s hard to miss. Because your drywall is so absorbent, it will tend to absorb as much water as possible. But when it’s absorbed more water than its surface, it can lead to wall warping.
This kind of structural damage is hard and expensive to repair, so you will want to spur into action as soon as possible. Contact a professional so you can prevent water from leaking further and save a buck on repairs.
#5 Increase in Your Water Bill
If you notice that your water bill is becoming higher and your water use has remained the same, there could be water leaks somewhere in the house. To prove what you suspect is the case, head to your water meter.
Record the number on your water meter, and turn it off for a couple of hours. Then go back to it and record the number again. If the number has increased, you’ve got a leak or more leaks somewhere. Check for bubbling, flaking, water stains, and these other signs to figure out where.
#6 Running Water Sounds
When it comes to signs of water damage, it’s not just what you can see, it’s what you can hear, too. Turn off your TV, music, or any other noise you might have in the house. Place your ear along your wall and listen. If you hear the sound of running water, it’s a sign of leaking pipes.
#7 Damp or Musty Smell
Another sense you can put into action when trying to detect signs of water damage is your smell! Wet walls or wood have a distinct smell. It’s from the water absorbed into them and it’s typically a sign of water damage. So if you sense a damp or musty smell, you can try to locate the wall it comes from.
Sometimes, you can even smell the mold! So, follow the smell and it will lead to the wet walls and those wet walls will lead you to water leaks behind them. When you establish the place, contact a professional and have it examined and fixed as soon as possible.
#8 Mold and Mildew
Mold flourishes in wet and dark places, so dark spots of mold are a clear sign of water damage. Not only that mold signals the threat of water damage but also the mold is a threat in and of itself. It can damage your property and affect your health and cause serious health problems.
That’s why mold is a cause for alarm and urgent action. The thing with mold is it can hide behind the furniture on the wall. So, inspect your house for mold every now and then and if you notice it, contact a mold remediation professional and have it sorted ASAP.
#9 Rainwater Ends up in Your Home
If water from the rain ends up inside your home, it’s time to go inspect your roof shingles. Missing or broken shingles on the roof can cause ceiling water damage and leaks to the inside of your home. A cracked roof shingle doesn’t sound like that big of a deal but it could lead to further water damage.
How Long Does It Take for Water Damage to Show?
It will take some time before the signs of water damage show. If there’s a big previous or current leak, the signs of water damage could show in three weeks from the leak, burst pipe, or whatever caused them. If there’s a lot of water in the wall, floor, or ceiling, it will show this early.
However, if there’s a small drip of running water, it will take more time for the water damage to show signs on your property. In such cases, a month and a half could go by before you start noticing any signs of water damage.