The most obvious first signs of water damage are visible damage to walls, ceilings or floors. Changes caused by water damage include the cracking and peeling of drywall or even paint that bubbles through the water. Stagnant water and damp building material are a rich breeding ground for mold, bacteria and rot. These problems usually occur with porous materials, such as wood, drywall, and carpets.
Often, the damage is hidden from view within a wall or under the floor. Pay attention to your monthly water bills. Water bills have a certain seasonality, but if you see a sudden increase in water costs, a leak is probably the cause. A toilet that doesn't work properly can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day or more.
All of this will “drip” and be reflected in your water bill. It's a good idea to understand what water damage looks like on your insurance policy before a leak occurs. Read your homeowners policy, which will describe your coverages. If you still have questions, contact your insurance agent for more information.
Mold spores can develop 24 to 48 hours after a flood. The faster and more efficiently you clean up after a leak will help reduce the chance of mold growing. After cleaning and drying, continue to be sensitive to damp odors in the affected area. If water damage requires restoration, now is the time to put your home back together.
They'll send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine if they're covered in part or in full. Testing for water damage hidden behind walls or floors requires special equipment, such as moisture meters. Once the leak is repaired and checked for mold, it's time to re-carpet, repaint, or replace anything that has been damaged by water. As soon as you discover water damage in your home, it's essential that you take all possible steps to prevent mold.
However, when you detect water spots on the roof or damage to the walls, these are signs that a pipe is leaking or that condensation is causing the problem. Not only is your home susceptible to structural damage, but mold can start to grow quickly if it has been damaged by water. If the water comes from a roof leak, you can try to locate the damage by inspecting the roof from the attic, but this isn't always possible. As noted above, water damage usually leaves walls soft to the touch or deformed, bent and crumbling.
Once you've identified that you have a water problem, it's vital to address it immediately to prevent further damage and fix the problem. A water-related problem not only causes damage to your home, but it can also cause several serious health risks, including mold. First, we'll conduct a detailed assessment of the property damage and determine the extent of the damage so we can create an appropriate cleaning plan. However, not all mold gives off an odor, so a lack of bad odors doesn't always mean that your home is free from water damage.
Knowing where and how water damage is likely to occur makes it easier to watch for problems and to detect past problems that have been neglected.