DIY: Checking Your Home for Water Damage

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • November 15, 2019

Water Damage: Why it Matters, Where to Check & What to Do Next

Water damage is never a good sign. Not only does water damage result in costly repairs, but it also increases the risk of mold and mildew growth

The worst part is, water may be damaging your home without you even knowing it! A leaky pipe or crack in your foundation may be giving way for water to seep its way into your walls, floors, cabinets and even the attic. 

In this blog, we’re going to address the three W’s of water damage. We’ll discuss:

  • Why checking your home for water damage matters
  • Where to check your home for water damage
  • What to do if you spot water damage in your home

Let’s go!

Why Checking Your Home for Water Damage Matters

Water damage can pose a serious threat to your home and your health. If left unattended, water can weaken your home’s structure, damage its electrical and cause bacteria and mold growth. These damages can be expensive to repair depending on their severity, which is why it’s important to check your home regularly for signs of water damage. 

Signs of water damage

In your home, check for:

  • Changes to walls, ceilings and flooring such as warping, bubbling and peeling of paint or wallpaper.
  • Visible yellow-brown water stains or dark green or black mold spots. 
  • Musty odors, similar to that of wet newspaper or cardboard.
  • A sudden increase in your water or sewage bill.  

Now that you know what to look for, let’s cover where you should be looking.

Where to Check Your Home for Water Damage

Here are four places you should always check for water damage in your home:

1. The walls

By and large, the easiest area to check for water damage is your walls. Any stains should be taken seriously, as this could indicate a leaky pipe within the wall itself. This type of damage accumulates over time so the earlier you catch it, the better. Damage to your walls can attract mice and other pests which can lead to a full-blown infestation, too.

2. The flooring

Keep an eye out for cracked flooring, warped flooring, flooring with distorted color or any unusually dark spots. These can all indicate water damage, and in some cases, deep damage that has ruined the floor completely.

3. Under the cabinets

Checking under the cabinets is crucial to identifying water damage. One of the most tell-tale areas is the cabinet under the sink. If this area has discoloration, pools of water, or warped areas, water damage may be present. Additionally, the plumbing under the sink is susceptible to freezing which can lead to leakage.

4. The attic

Overly damp areas, discolored areas, or soggy places in your attic indicate water damage to your home. This area is particularly vulnerable to damage as oftentimes, damage here goes unnoticed because people simply do not check for it. With that being said, an insulated attic can help prevent damage from winter storms!

What To Do if You Find Water Damage

If you locate water damage around your home, follow these steps to make sure it’s handled quickly:

Step One: Identify The Source

After locating the water damage, do your best to identify the source. Is it a leaky pipe? If so, cut off the water to your home to prevent the spread of water. If you’re unable to identify where the water is coming from, contact a specialist. It’s important you stop the flow of water immediately to prevent further damage. 

Step Two: Assess The Severity

Check for signs of mold growth. You may not be able to see it, but you should be able to smell it. While you may be able to treat smaller areas of common household mold on your own, you’ll likely need the area professionally remediated before it turns into a mold nightmare

Related: The Unknown Places Mold May Be Hiding in Your Home

Step Three: Dry The Area

First, remove any standing water that may be present. Then, use a fan to thoroughly dry out the infected area. Let the fan run until the area is completely dry – you won’t want any water lingering behind.  

Step Four: Clean Up

Remove all porous materials such as carpet, insulation, fabric and similar items. Once these items are thrown away, disinfect the area with a bleach solution. And don’t forget to diffuse essential oils around your home to prevent potential mold growth in the future. 

Step Five: Call Killingsworth

Effectively treating water damage can be a daunting task to complete on your own! If you spot signs of water damage around your home, contact the team at Killingsworth to identify and treat the damage and restore your home. 

If there’s mold present, we’ll take care of that, too. Want to know how? Download our guide, Mold Remediation from the Experts: A Behind the Scenes Look at Killingsworth’s Mold Removal Process, to learn how we do it. 

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Content was originally written on January 16, 2018. Content was refreshed on November 15, 2019.

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