Water damage is one of the top causes of home insurance claims. In the U.S. alone, it costs the industry more than $2.5 billion every year!
Some common causes include leaky pipes, faulty household appliances, and clogged gutters. Left untreated, it can lead to electrical fires, mold, and various other problems.
That’s why it’s so important to treat it as soon as possible.
What does water damage look like? How can you tell if there’s an issue? Want to know? Then be sure to read the rest of the post—because that’s what we’ll be talking about below!
The Most Common Causes of Water Damage
A number of things can cause water damage. The worst part is that it can happen at any time! Anyway, here are some scenarios that you might run into.
Severe Weather Conditions
Severe weather (e.g. heavy downpour, strong winds) can damage your roof. That, in return, can cause water to enter the house, which can lead to water damage.
Take thunderstorms, for example, they can cause flash flooding, which can have devastating consequences.
It’s not uncommon for gutters to be blocked by debris such as leaves and twigs. Why’s that a problem? If the gutter is clogged, it won’t be able to draw rainwater away from the house.
Instead, it’ll run down the side of the building, and depending on the severity, it can end up damaging the walls, ceilings, and floors.
Leaky pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage in homes. For example, a loose-fitting pipe in the kitchen can damage the cabinet underneath it.
Or even worse, the drainage pipe outside can leak, which can lead to soil erosion.
Certain appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines can cause water damage. For instance, it might be due to a ruptured supply line.
In cases like that, you’ll want to shut off the water source right away, otherwise, the room can flood in a matter of minutes.
What Does Water Damage Look Like? 7 Signs to Look For
Water damage should be addressed as soon as possible. Here are a few signs that there’s a problem.
Water damage can cause various things to change colors. For example, it can cause carpet discoloration. That is, a section might be darker or lighter than the rest.
Mold can also cause dark spots to form on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. That’s why it’s so important to inspect everything carefully.
2. Swelling, Peeling, Cracking
Check the walls. Is there any peeling, cracking, or swelling? If so, there’s a high chance that there’s a problem.
More specifically, there might be water trapped inside the walls. Depending on the material, there might also be a change in texture. For example, drywall tends to become chalk-like when it’s water damaged.
3. Strange Odor
Water damage can cause mold growth, which can lead to a musty odor. Not only is it unpleasant, but it can affect your health in other ways as well.
Given that, you want to treat the area as soon as possible. Hire a professional such as those at https://www.ctr-nw.com/twin-falls-water-damage/ if you have to.
4. Higher Utility Bills
Is there a spike in your recent utility bill? If so, there might be a hidden leak in the house. The sooner you fix it, the less money you’ll have to pay.
So check your toilets, water heater, and main water supply—you should be able to find the leak pretty quickly.
5. Health Issues
Mold can cause various health problems. For example, it can trigger allergies. In some cases, it can also lead to respiratory infections.
Considering that, it’s crucial that you get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
6. Weird Noises
Water damage isn’t always visible, however, you might be able to hear it. For example, you might notice creaks or drips coming from the floorboards.
In cases like that, you’ll want to act quickly. The last thing that you want is for the problem to worsen. Remember, even the smallest of drips can cause damage to your foundation over time.
7. Visible Stains
Stains are one of the most common signs of water damage. Depending on the area, they may appear yellowish or brownish. In some cases, they might also make irregular shapes.
Look for them in places such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and laundry rooms.
What Should You Do If You Have Water Damage?
The first thing that you want to do is to turn off the power. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to clean up the area. Don’t forget to wear protective gear such as rubbers gloves and boots.
When you’re finished, check the area for mold. If necessary, contact a professional—they’ll be able to assess the situation.
Finally, call your insurance company—they should help cover a portion of the damage (they’ll send an adjuster to assess the damage). Depending on your policy, however, they may be deductible.
Tip: Take as many photos as you can before, during, and after the cleanup. They’ll come in handy when you’re filing your claim.
Preventing Water Damage
Hopefully, that answers the question, “what does water damage look like”. As you can see, it can cause various signs, some of which are more obvious than others.
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