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Common Signs of Water Damage?
Water damage can leave you with a costly bill and can result in irreversible damage. Fortunately, there are some common signs to look out for, so you can catch it early if it does happen and get it repaired as soon as possible.
Your Ceiling and Wall Paint is Peeling and Warping
Take a look around your home and examine the walls and ceilings. If they are water damaged, you may notice that the wallpaper or paint is peeling or even has a bubbling effect. More often than not, this is because of excess moisture. Water-filled bubbles form, and can be large or small depending on the extent of the water damage. Even small bubbles should be inspected and addressed immediately. The bubbling effect can be especially found in bathrooms and kitchens. Even tasks as simple as boiling a pot of water can cause water damage to the walls, especially if there is condensation. If you have a painted overhang above your stove, you can find these water-filled bubbles as well.
If you have water damage, you also may notice that your drywall is warping or your ceiling feels soft and spongy to the touch. Warped drywall is never good as it can lead to structural damage and ruin the integrity of the drywall. You won’t be able to hang shelving or anything heavy on the drywall as it will turn to mush and crumble. Plus, anything you already had hanging on the drywall, such as an expensive TV can fall to the ground and become damaged. You are looking at damages beyond the drywall itself which is why it is important to address it as soon as you notice it.
Buckled Hardwood Floors
If your floors are looking a little odd and not as they used to, trust your gut as it may be water damage. What constitutes odd? You may notice that your floors are what experts call ‘cupping’. This is when the sides of your floorboards are higher than the centre of the floorboards. This generally occurs when moisture builds up inside the wood and swells it while weighing down the centre. You will notice the opposite effect when too much moisture is removed from the floorboards and they shrink. In addition, your hardwood floors can ‘crown’ which is the opposite of cupping. Moisture builds up inside the boards and the centre of the wood is higher than the sides of the wood.
If you notice your hardwood floors ‘buckling’ than this could be a sign of water damage. When your hardwood flooring buckles, the wood will lift from the subflooring several inches in multiple places or one.
You must take into consideration how your wood flooring was installed. Sometimes it is not due to water damage at all, but to wear and tear and improper installation. Hardwood flooring needs time to get used to the environment and the elements it will be exposed to. If this doesn’t happen and it is installed before it is ready, cupping, crowning, and buckling can occur as well.
Visibly Stained Ceilings and Floors
Take a look at your ceilings and floors and take note of any stains. Feel your carpets as well and if they are wet to the touch, that is definitely a sign that a leak has occurred and there may be water damage. If the stains on your ceilings are yellow or brown and are various shapes and sizes, that is a sign of water damage. Take note of where the stain is as well. If the stain is underneath your bathroom where the toilet or shower is, that increases the chances of it being water damage from a leak.
A tell-tale sign that there is water damage in your home is mold as mold can only develop if there is a source of moisture. You may find mold spores on your hardwood floors, inside the wall and outside the wall, and on the ceiling. Check your basement thoroughly as well as most people find Mold there. It can be a variety of colours, the most common being black mold. Keep in mind that no mold does not mean you are safe from water damage and it doesn’t exist. Mold is highly dangerous to your health and can even lead to death with long-term exposure, so it is not an issue to be taken lightly.
For most cases, Mold Damage will only begin to grow if the source of the water damage has been damp for a long time. In this case, you may have water damage long before you notice it.
Bad Odours Smells
Don’t ignore that musty smell you have been sensing for weeks, as it may be related to water damage. The scent tends to grow stronger the closer you are to the source of the water damage. The smell can be coming from the mold resulting from the water damage, or the water damage itself if it is from a leak from a sewer pipe. Sewage is a biohazard so this should be addressed as soon as possible. It is not safe to be exposed to a biohazard for any period of time.
High Water Bill
This one is not really a direct sign of water damage, but something to look out for. A higher utility bill without intentional use of excessive water is usually a sign of a leak. If there is a leak, then there could quite possibly be water damage you haven’t noticed yet.
Take an extra moment out of your day, if you can, to analyze your home and look out for water damage. Check for leaks as well in every room, especially the bathroom, kitchen, basement and laundry room. If you do spot water damage in your home, don’t ignore it. Water damage can become more expensive the longer it is left, and could even be detrimental to your health. Call a professional as soon as possible to confirm the water damage and get it repaired.
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