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Identifying signs of water damage

Signs of water damage are innocuous at first. Perhaps you’ve noticed some excess condensation on your windows or a damp spot in the corner of your living room. While problems such as these aren’t going to destroy your home in the short-term, they can quickly snowball into huge problems if they aren’t handled with immediacy. This could result in a huge repair bill and possibly even an uninhabitable home! Some of the tell tale signs that your home is suffering from water damage are as follows:

Bad odours

One of the most obvious indicators of water damage is a change in smell throughout the home. Damp, musty and other unsavoury odours are a sign that something is amiss, and more often than not, water damage is the culprit. If the odour is emanating from either the basement or attic, water damage is even more likely to be the cause. In such instances, you should call in the professionals immediately to determine the source of the problem and get it rectified.

Warped flooring

If your wooden floorboards have warped or buckled, this is probably a direct result of excess water absorption. Throughout the house, some areas are more problematic than others. The bathroom in particular is at high risk of the flooring becoming damaged, as is the basement and the area around the dishwasher and fridge. It’s particularly important to inspect these areas regularly, because if you live in an apartment, the last thing you want is the neighbour below telling you they have water dripping from the ceiling!

Cracks in the ceilings, walls and floor

Overt signs of water damage are the most dangerous, as they represent an immediate threat to the structural integrity of the property. The important lesson is that you don’t need to see standing water in order to know that there is a serious problem. A pipe may have been leaking for a while and it’s only when a crack appears that the homeowner becomes aware of the issue. In such cases, it’s best to call in a plumber immediately to assess the damage and come up with a solution. If you wait – the repair bill is sure to multiply!

Water stains

Brownish stains, black dots and discoloured carpet fabric are sure indicators of water damage when located near to water sources. Problematic areas include the bathroom, basement, toilet and kitchen (particularly the sink and fridge). Black spots are a sign of bacterial growth and mould, which as you’d imagine, become thoroughly unpleasant when left to fester!

Prevention is the best cure

While calling in the professionals as soon as you spot any sign of water damage is the best response, it’s far more effective to prevent water damage from occurring in the first place. Installing high quality guttering is one simple step that will help to protect your home against water damage, as is installing insulation to prevent condensation from occurring. Sealing and replacing wooden window frames, caulking cracks in the windows and inspecting the rubber seals is also essential if you want to prevent the damp from entering your home and thus causing water damage.

Photo by Sam