Contrary to popular belief, water damage is much more insidious than it appears to be on the surface level. Suppose you’ve just had a flood — one of your appliances ran amok, or it rained so hard that the water outside ended up filling your home. Whatever the reason, you ended up with a shallow pool in your home. After copious amounts of cleanup, you think the problem has finally been taken care of. Well, as much as we hate to say it, that’s where you’re wrong.

Water has the nasty tendency to get everywhere we don’t want it to, and if you’ve experienced an event lately that filled any space of your home with water, you can bet that it’s seeped into all the wrong places. And, unfortunately, this goes beyond being a minor convenience — sustained water damage can lead to weaker structural integrity, mold growth, mildew, and more.

That’s why it’s important to be informed on the signs of water damage in your home. Even if you think you’ve taken care of all the water, it’s bound to get into places that slip past your attention. Furthermore, it’s entirely possible for water accidents to happen in your home completely unbeknownst to you, and you may not realize it until you start to see the signs. Here are some tell-tale giveaways that you’ve got water damage in your home.

Pools, Puddles, and Drips

While the majority of this blog will be devoted to water damage that’s a little more discrete, it’s important to point out the most obvious sign — the water itself. If you’ve got water accumulating somewhere it shouldn’t be, it means you’ve got a problem somewhere in your house.

A lot of the time, the actual water you find won’t be too much of a problem. Whether it’s on your hard floor or carpet, a bit of pooling water is an inconvenience, but one that doesn’t leave too much lasting damage.

The real concern should be what’s happening behind the scenes. If you have water that’s leaking somewhere, it’s usually a symptom of a bigger problem. One of your appliances has likely broken, or you might have a problem in your pipes and plumbing. Even worse, depending on its source, the water could be seeping into other parts of your home, such as your walls or ceiling, before it ended up in the place where you discovered it. Make sure to do your research when you find leaking water, so you can find the exact source! Taking care of the problem will save you a lot of headaches later.

Discoloration and Stains

For signs of water damage in walls and ceiling, discoloration and weird stains are an instant giveaway. Your water travels all over your home via pipes and plumbing, and while it sometimes leaks directly into your living spaces, more often than not, it will be an internal leak that starts spilling water inside your walls and ceiling. For a time, this rogue water might go completely unnoticed. But as it accumulates more and more, it’ll start to affect the surface on which it’s gathering.

Take a hard look at the stain. While these types of stains can have other causes, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it’s due to water damage. One giveaway is if the stain is wet or damp. That means the water damage is fresh and ongoing, which is also a sign that you want to take care of it as soon as possible.

Common colors for water stains are yellow, brownish, or copper. Don’t just sit around and do nothing if you see this on your walls — pick up a phone and call your local professionals that deal with residential or commercial water damage repair!

Change in Texture

Your floors, walls, and ceilings are all susceptible to textural changes, depending on the extent of the water damage, and the material out of which they are made.

  • Walls and Ceilings: The biggest texture changes in your walls and ceilings is that they will likely become softer, resulting in warping or sinking. And, of course, if there is enough water causing damage, it could penetrate the roof entirely, causing the drywall to break apart to make way for the leaky water.
  • Hardwood Floors: Floors are much more susceptible to texture changes, especially if you’re dealing with hardwood. Hardwood can warp from humidity, causing gaps, or buckle upwards. Floorboards can also expand by absorbing too much water, which causes the material to “inflate.” Wood can also go rotten if it takes in too much water, which will leave it softer to the touch, maybe even a tad squishy.
  • Laminate Floors: If you feel softness, sagging, or sinking, that’s a certain sign of water damage. Laminate is also susceptible to the expanding effect by absorbing water, and the material can become soft and unstable.

Unpleasant Smells

One of the more unappealing signs of water damage is the unsavory smell that it delivers to your home. It might start off as something that’s subtle and hardly noticeable, but make no mistake — the longer that water damage dwells, the more you’re going to notice its stench.

Water damage can have a few different smells. You’ll probably know the musty scent of damp water when you smell it, and you’ve probably lived long enough to know the distinctive scent that mildew and mold produce. In any case, if you’re smelling these things in your home, something has obviously gone wrong.

In most instances, the smell will go away if you take care of the water damage problem, but in more severe cases, you may just have to call on a team who’s experienced with residential and commercial water damage restoration — some restoration jobs require a professional touch.

Mold Growth

While you might catch mold early on due to the lovely scent it creates, there are often situations where you’ll see visible growth before your nose even catches it.

Mold doesn’t grow without moisture, and the kind of damp moisture that’s created by water damage creates the perfect environment for it. Under normal circumstances, mold can’t be seen by the human eye. It’s only when there’s some kind of fundamental moisture problem where it can grow large enough to be seen. So this makes things fairly easy — if you have mold, then you have a water damage problem. Period.

The thing that’s important to note about mold is that simply cleaning it isn’t going to provide a fix — at least, not a lasting one. You can always eliminate mold as it grows (and you should, due to its propensity to cause colds and incite allergies), but this will simply get rid of the mold that has already grown. Ultimately, if you have a moisture problem in your home, the conditions for mold growth are still there and it’s just going to come back. Looking for a permanent solution? Contact us for professional mold remediation services!

San Diego Commercial Water Damage Repair

At the end of the day, there are a lot of clear signs of water damage, but of all the ways that you can solve the problem, there’s one that’s always reliable — calling professional water damage restoration services.

At ServiceMaster Absolute, we serve the greater San Diego area in residential and commercial water damage restoration and repairs. We have been at this for years, and you can bet that if you work with us, you’ll be satisfied with the incredible results.

San Diego isn’t the only area we serve. Are you in or around Riverside, Chula Vista, or Corona? We’ll be happy to make the drive in order to provide restoration damages to your home. Are you ready to get started? Contact us today!