A Homeowner’s Guide to Spotting Water Damage
Water damage can potentially cause significant damage to your home, but sometimes the early warning signs seem like regular wear and tear. While you might think to look for water damage after a large storm or flood, leaky roofs, broken pipes, and the like can cause issues at any time. Use this guide to locate water damage in your home.
Examine the Flooring
Depending on the type of flooring you have in each room of your home, you’ll want to look for different warning signs of water damage.
In rooms with tile, laminate, or wood, look for warning signs such as:
- Warped, soft, or squishy areas along the surface
- Bulges in the material (particularly with wood and laminate)
Look for white or dark stains on wood floors as well.
Carpet can mask problems that lie beneath the surface. Watch for more obvious signs like wet spots in your carpeting, but also pay attention to any gradual rises underneath the floor. Damp, moldy smells can also be a sign of water damage.
Check the Walls and Ceilings
Walls can easily hide small leaks, but the water buildup will usually reveal itself in time. Regularly examine your walls and ceilings for the following signs of water damage:
- Soft spots, potentially with a swollen appearance
- Cracks in the drywall
- Staining or any off-color areas
- Wet spots
If you’re not the original owner of the home, you may want to look for areas on the ceilings and walls with a lot of localized paint buildup. Make sure the previous owner did not simply paint over water damage.
Inspect the Bathroom and Kitchen
It’s easy to neglect the cabinets beneath your sinks—especially if you don’t keep anything you regularly use down there. Check the area for the following signs of a problem:
- Standing water
- Leaking pipes
- Water stains
In addition to looking under the sink, you should inspect all fixtures for signs of wear including missing grout, leaks, rust, or mold. Examine your laundry room and water heater for similar potential signs of water damage.
Survey the Attic and Roof
You can often find signs of roof damage in your attic; however, these signs may go unnoticed since attics tend to be a low-traffic area. Examine your attic regularly to look for key indicators of potential problems.
The insulation should be dry and in good condition. Pay attention to points where two roof planes come together and the flashing where the roof meets the walls. Watch for signs of damage such as:
- Warped/cracked wood or drywall
Your roof is one of the largest surfaces of your home that is exposed to the outside elements. As such, even small problems, if unnoticed or ignored, can lead to potential home damage.
After clearing debris that could hide potential problems, search your roof for signs of damage including:
- Broken or damaged flashing
- Missing shingles
- Curled or cracked shingles
While you are outside, pay attention to the foundation of your home as well. Make note of any standing water along the foundation, as this can also indicate otherwise unseen issues.
If you come across any water damage, don’t panic. Call us for help! At SERVPRO® of North Everett/ Lake Stevens/ Monroe we have the experience and training to treat any water damage in your home. We don’t simply dry your home and slap on a fresh coat of paint—we identify the source, discover the extent of the problem, and then take the appropriate action to restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
We offer 24-hour emergency service. Call us today at 360-243-8313 to fix any water damage in your home.