Detecting Hidden Water Damage

Detecting Hidden Water Damage

Did you know that water damage can occur without your knowledge? Not all water damage comes from floods. While not nearly as dramatic, the results can be disastrous.

For example, what if a pipe bursts in your concrete slab foundation? You won’t necessarily know that a pipe has burst. If it was a hot water pipe, you might notice that the tile floor feels warmer than usual or the cat may have discovered a cozier new place to sleep. As the water seeps, it’s slowly doing its damage. Before long, you’ll notice cracked tiles or warped floor boards. Your cabinets may start rotting. The padding under the carpet might absorb just enough water to keep the floor from getting soaked. All the while, mold finds a moist place to grow.

Water damage can accumulate up in your attic or down in the basement without your knowledge as well. An unnoticed roof leak may not be severe enough to let water pour through the ceilings, yet it’s enough to damage the structure and insulation as well as give mold another ideal environment.

You’ll know it when a toilet overflows or the automatic fire sprinklers come on but you won’t necessarily know that you have hidden hazards slowly affecting your home. It’s smart to periodically inspect your home for water damage. Common areas to check include the attic and basement as well as any areas with plumbing such as under the sinks, behind the refrigerator, or in the closet where the water heater is installed.

Use your senses, especially your nose. Signs of water damage include peeling paint, peeling wallpaper, dots of mold, moisture, condensation, and a musty odor. Walk around the home wearing a sock on one foot and nothing on the other foot. Does the tile or wood floor feel warmer or cooler in any particular area? If so, there could be a water leak in the slab. When walking on the carpets, do you feel any moisture? Take off your sock and feel it, is it wet?

Finally, check your major appliances like your furnace and air conditioner. These systems generate condensation which usually collects in a pan or is plumbed into a drain. Occasionally, the condensate overflows.

If you’ve discovered hidden water damage, you will likely need repairs. Repairs could be as simple as replacing a few baseboards or as complex as a complete roof renovation. Call your insurance agent and see if your damage is covered and give us  a call for further assistance.

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