How to Recognize Water Damage:
Water damage is unfortunately, hard to miss in your home. It smells, makes the walls brittle, paint peel, and increases your monthly water bill. Water damage can come from a variety of sources inside and outside of your home. Even with proper prevention and finding ways to reduce flooding and water damage, it can occur without warning: a pipe bursts, a heavy Flagstaff flood, monsoon or rainstorm hits, or the kids forget to turn off the tub, etc. Fortunately there are eight signs that indicate if you have water damage before it gets out of control:
#1: Musty Odors Throughout Your Home
Have you ever walked into a room and thought to yourself, “It seems like a damp basement in here.” If you’re not in your basement, you could be smelling mold. Musty odors coming from certain rooms are often tell-tale signs of water damage. The smells are caused by a build-up of microbial volatile organic compounds, also known as (mVOCs), and smell like wet newspaper, paper, or cardboard.
If you walk into a room and smell something musty, try to identify the source and look for other signs of water damage found in this post.
#2: Mold on the Walls, Baseboards, and Caulk
A more subtle sign of water damage that is often overlooked is mold forming on your home’s walls, baseboards, and caulk. While you can expect to see some mold in high moisture areas like the shower, underneath the toilet, or in the basement, finding mold in other rooms is a sign of water damage.
For example, if you are finding mold forming on the baseboards in a bedroom, you might find a leak or standing water right behind that baseboard. If you do find mold somewhere unexpected, it is important to inspect further by peeling back the baseboard, looking inside the wall, or ripping up the caulk to see what might behind it.
#3: Staining on the Ceiling
Probably the essential sign of water damage for most people in Flagstaff or northern Arizona: a stained, yellow patch on the ceiling. If you do find a stained patch on your ceiling it is almost certainly from water damage. The are should be removed immediately before the stain grows in size and the leak causes more damage.
The most common sign of water damage: a stain on the ceiling
#4: Peeling Paint and Wallpaper
Peeling paint or wallpaper tends to surprise a lot of our customers. We often hear, “The paint wasn’t peeling yesterday!” Unfortunately, once water damage penetrates the drywall it’s only a matter of time before it hits the surface layer. Peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper can happen in an instant. Similar to stains on the ceiling, it is important to remove the damaged area and further inspect the size of the leak and any water damage.
#5: High Water Bill
A tell-tale sign that something is wrong is your monthly water bill. If you notice a spike in your monthly bill compared to the previous one, there could be a leak lurking in your home. Start in areas that use a lot of water- your water heater, toilets, main water supply lines, your outside hoses. Chances are, you’ll find the leak pretty quick! If you don’t find a leak, and you’re not convinced it was your son brushing his teeth with the water running, have a professional team inspect your home for potential water damage.
#6: Warped or Broken Drywall
Warning: this is a bad sign of water damage. Caused from higher water pressure from a leak, your drywall can appear to bend or might have even snapped. This is usually a sign of a leak that has gotten so bad that the wall has become saturated with water to the point of failure and you need to call a professional water damage restoration contractor like Mammoth Restoration ASAP.
#7: Constant Sound of Water Running or Dripping
If you’re noticing a faint sound of water running or dripping, try to locate the source. Assuming the sound isn’t resembling Niagara Falls, hearing running or dripping water is usually a leaking pipe or a small puddle of standing water. Do not ignore and dismiss these sounds as they as warning signs and can lead to serious water damage if not fixed in a timely fashion.
#8: Outdated Pipes and Water-Based Appliances
While not necessarily an outright warning sign of water damage, outdated pipes and appliances can cause leaks that can cause the previous seven warning signs. It is important to check your pipes and appliances at least once a year for any leaks, worn connections or valves and replace any parts as necessary.
Make sure you check your connections and valves at least once a year.
You Found Water Damage, What Do You Do Now?
So you’ve identified one of the warning signs of water damage, what do you do now? The first step is to try to identify the source of the water damage. Is is a broken pipe? A small leak? A faucet that was left on? If you can stop the damage at its source- do it immediately. If you can’t, it might be time to give a local Flagstaff or northern Arizona plumber a call.
The next step is to give a trusted water damage restoration contractor like Mammoth Restoration a call to determine the best course of action to clean the flooded area and fix any apparent permanent damage. We have over 15 years of experience in Flagstaff and northern Arizona with water damage and can fix up any flooded or affected room with our renovation team. Call us today for a free consultation.