Signs of Hidden Water Damage: What To Look Out For

Hidden Water Damage

signs of hidden water damageDo you own a home and want to make sure that it is safe for you and your family? Are you a business owner who cares about the well-being of your employees? Or do you own property that you rent out to tenants who expect that the facilities are maintained? When you are invested in a property, it is your responsibility to keep it safe for everyone who uses it.

One of the main issues that property owners face is hidden water damage. Water damage can be catastrophic to a building because it can compromise the structural integrity, cause rotting, and result in mold growth. All three of these outcomes are a huge concern because they make the building unsafe to use. A floor could collapse, or air quality could be severely affected by hidden mold.

Preventing water damage from festering and spreading needs to be your number one priority.

What if there is a Hidden Water Leak?

However, not all water damage is obvious. There could be a hidden leak due to a burst pipe or leaky roof. An appliance could be faulty and leave puddles where you cannot see it. If plumbing fixtures are not sealed or connected properly, there could be issues happening within the walls or between floors. Understanding the signs of hidden water damage will be valuable information that could save you thousands of dollars.

Signs that Point to a Hidden Leak

You need to be on the lookout for any type of water leak, especially those that are hidden. You may not find the source of the leak at first, but there are several signs of hidden water damage that you can watch out for to protect your property from long-term consequences.

Musty Smell

A musty odor is always a bad sign and is usually indicative of an accumulation of water. Many materials absorb water and when they do, it can cause rot and the musty smell that you are experiencing. Hidden leaks may be the cause of this odor, so it is time to start observing the property and finding the source. Musty smells will also make the atmosphere in the building a negative experience, so you want to get rid of it quickly by finding any water leaks.

Visible Mold Growth

Mold growing on your property is horrible for the air quality of a building and can contribute to musty smells and further damage to structural elements. If you see mold anywhere on your property, then you need to search the area for water leaks. Mold spores are dangerous to inhale and contribute to many health problems, so you may have to invest in mold remediation as well as extraction methods to solve your water problem.

Dark, damp spaces are the ideal environment for mold to develop, so it is possible that you will not see the mold. But if you notice those musty smells, then you probably have mold, or at least the potential for it.

Sagging Ceiling

This sign is very bad news. It means that the structural integrity of the floor above you, or the roof if it is the top floor, is compromised. Often, that is because of hidden water damage. It could be a leaking pipe, poorly insulated walls, a leaky roof, or any number of things that are causing structural damage. If left unchecked, it could eventually lead to a collapsing roof or floor.

Warped Floors

Warped floors are one of the telltale signs of water damage because most floors contain wood. Wood is a material that can absorb water easily and change shape as a result. This leads to imperfections in the flooring of the building. If you notice any hard surfaces in your home warping, there could be water issues.

Peeling Paint

Peeling paint is a key sign that points to hidden leaks or poor insulation. The paint is telling you that moisture is nearby, and even if you don’t see any stains, it is likely causing damage that is hidden. Plus, if the peeling paint is located on a wall, then your drywall could be at serious risk.

Sudden Jump in Cost of Water Bills

As a property owner, one of your least favorite days is when the monthly water bill or other utility bills come in. It can be even worse if you notice an unexpected spike in the price of the water bills. This would indicate that more water is being used in the building than usual. Unless massive lifestyle changes have occurred that would explain this sudden jump, then it could be a key sign of hidden water damage. There are probably leaking pipes that are spilling water somewhere, increasing the demand for water supply in the building.

Water Stains

Noticing water stains or discoloration is one of the worst feelings for a property owner. It means that there is a leak or accumulation of water somewhere in the building. If you ignore the stain, then serious structural damage could happen the longer you choose not to fix it. Water stains often occur on ceilings and near the bathroom sink or other plumbing fixtures.

Finding a Water Damage Solution

When you notice any of these signs on your property, then it is time to take action. You need to avoid the possibility of severe structural damage that might occur if you do not address the issue as quickly as possible.

You can attempt to find and repair the hidden water damage yourself by either pumping, vacuuming, or drying it out. But the better option is to work with a Portland water damage restoration company.

Professional cleaning services have the high-powered equipment needed to find hidden water damage, make repairs to prevent further damages, and enact a good cleaning solution. Response time is crucial to preventing long-term damage and returning the property to its normal state, so contact professionals who know the best moisture extraction practices.