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Recognizing the Hidden Signs of Water Damage

One of the last things any homeowner wants to deal with is water damage.

Unfortunately, with water being the life source of virtually every living being, a consistent supply of water is necessary in every home.

With the presence of water comes the risk of a property experiencing some form of water damage: a toilet may overflow, a pipe will rupture, the water heater will spring a leak or Mother Nature will unleash her fury and flood your home and surrounding area.

But what about the slow leaks or plumbing issues that quietly damages your home behind the scenes?

It is important for any current or prospective building/home owners to know the hidden signs of water damage that may clue them in on water leaks that have gone undetected or even determine if their home has suffered from water damage in the past.

Common Signs of Hidden Water Damage

  • Peeling wallpaper or wavy, raised lines in paint – If water happens to leak behind a wall, it may result in raised, wavy lines or cause the wallpaper adhesive to peel.
  • Baseboards/trim separating from the wall – Prolonged exposure to water may cause swelling, which may push the baseboard from their flush placement against the wall.
  • Unusual swelling in manufactured wood furniture – Water may cause wood furniture to swell if spills are not cleaned up in a timely fashion.
  • Areas of darkened grout on tile floors – If the grout in your bathroom tile is darker around the toilet, it’s likely that the toilet seal is leaking.
  • Inexplicable moisture in carpet or other flooring – If a pipe ruptures in your concrete slab, it can slowly lead to warped floor boards, cracked tile or damp carpet if the right amount of water is soaked up by the under-padding.
  • Blotches of condensation on ceilings or “sweating walls.” – A common sign that excessive moisture is festering behind the walls. This can be caused by a leak or a mixture of high humidity, poor ventilation and/or inadequate insulation.
  • Mold in corners or on walls/ceilings – The presence of mold or mildew is a solid sign that the area has been exposed to water and the right amount of humidity for at least 48 hours.
  • Watermarks or brownish, rusty stains on ceilings – Yes, those ceiling marks & stains commonly seen in office buildings are a sign of a previous or existing leak.
  • Swollen door casing or door alignment – Are you suddenly having trouble closing or opening a door? A water leak may be at fault.
Have you noticed any of these hidden signs of water damage in your home?