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5 Signs of Water Damage Every Homeowner Should Pay Attention To


Did you know that mold from a water leak can affect the physical health of your family? Do you want to learn how to keep your house free from leaks? If so, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over signs of water damage to look out for in your home. With these tips, you’ll be able to stay on top of potential leaks.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

1. Inspect Your Ceilings, Walls, and Flooring

A change to your ceilings, walls, or flooring could reveal that you have water damage. You may not look at them with care every day or notice any slow changes.

Water in ceilings and walls could be visible. Yet, bubbling or peeling paint are the early warning signs.

Also, you’ll want to look for swollen or bloating walls. In a more severe case, the ceiling or wall might feel spongy.

Wet flooring is another structural element in a home that could go unnoticed. If you don’t use some rooms often, you might not notice a damp corner.

Add this to your list of maintenance tasks. You don’t want to miss out on an early sign and discover peeling tile or a wet patch of carpeting.

The carpeting could feel spongy, soggy, or wet to the touch. The grout in ceramic tile could crack or show signs of mold.

Linoleum and vinyl tiling will begin to crack and peel if they get wet. Laminate or wood floors will buckle or warp if they are wet.

2. Mold or Visible Stains

Mold and stains are signs of water damage. Stains will develop if there is a consistent and slow leak. Mold appears if the areas are damp often.

Water stains tend to be a yellowish-brown shade. The stain will expand in an irregular manner from the primary source of the leak.


You might find this stain in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or basements where there’s a lot of water usage.

The water stains will form as that area goes through a repeated cycle of getting wet, dry, and wet again.

Mold is a type of airborne fungus that grows well in a persistent source of moisture. Wood, ceilings, and drywall are materials in your home that could hold mold if the area remains damp for a long time.

Mold can appear green, grey, blue, or black. Mold will often look fuzzy and grow in a thread-like structure. Some mold will grow in ceilings, walls, behind bathroom tiles, or beneath carpeting.

People tend to find mold in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Mold can pose a severe health risk, so make sure you deal with it right away.

3. Do You Smell a Strange Odor?

A musty smell in a room is a sign of water damage. The smell is like wet cardboard or newspaper. You will become aware of the strong smell in the area where the water damage has occurred.

You might notice the area feels humid or damp and depends on the season and its temperature. If you do smell a musty odor, inspect the area. Look out for other signs of water damage like stains or mold.

Old homes have a wide variety of smells. Yet a sudden increase in odor could be a sign. A newer home will tend to be odor-free, but if you notice a new smell, you might have a leak or mold.

Have you ever noticed a musty smell after a winter thaw or rainfall? If so, you might have an issue with your foundation.

4. Increased Utility Bills

Did you notice there’s an increase in your sewage or water bill? If so, you might have water damage.

Make sure you review your statement with care and compare it to recent bills. Is there any reason that there’s been an increased use of water?

Over the holidays, guests tend to visit and water usage spikes. The same can happen over the summer months. A minor fluctuation tends to be normal, but a big spike could mean there’s an issue.


Go through your home and see if the toilet runs often. Are the faucets leaking? Look for a leak around washing machines and dishwashers. If you can’t find a leak, a pipe could be leaking in your walls.

5. Older Plumbing Fixtures and Pipes

Almost all the pipes in a home aren’t visible so they might get skipped in an inspection. Pipes tend to last the lifetime of a home, but valves, faucets, and connections can wear out over the years.

Furnaces, hot water tanks, and air conditioning units will have a shorter lifespan as well. Check your furnace, water heater, and air conditioning unit to make sure they’re working well.

Inspect your faucets, valves, and visible pipes to make sure they aren’t leaking. Most pipes run through your walls, so you could identify a problem by listening to your walls.

Try to listen for any sounds of dripping water at night when the noise in your household is lower.

Turn off your electrical appliances as well. The sound of dripping or moving water could be a sign that there’s a leak in your walls.

Check beneath toilets and sinks to make sure the drain pipes and water supply are in good condition. Check that cabinets aren’t wet and that there isn’t any mold. Repair damage right away.

Look at the caulk around your sinks and bathtub. Caulk is a quick fix that can prevent mold and water damage. If your caulk’s worn away, water could have gotten behind walls.

Consider working with a professional if you have signs of water damage. Call a water damage restoration service today.

Now You Know the Signs of Water Damage

We hope you found this guide on water damage helpful. Make a list of maintenance tasks so you can keep track of any signs of water damage.

Keep browsing our other helpful resources on real estate and home.

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