Home Water Damage Signs, Symptoms, & Prevention

Share the love!

Most homeowners have a common fear: water damage. It can be invisible and sneaky, sometimes coming with little to no warning. Maybe you returned from vacation to find your home a complete mess. Because while you were off sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere, a pipe burst in your home. Other times, the culprit might be a small, slow leak that isn’t noticeable until it’s already done major damage. Although there’s not much you can do to prevent a burst pipe, being able to spot water damage signs can help detect a problem before it turns into an even bigger one. 

The sooner you address a water damage problem, the better. Even a small leak left untreated can cause catastrophic damage to your home, compromising its structural integrity. It can also lead to harmful mold and mildew growth. That’s why it’s important to know the signs of water damage and how to prevent it. 

Signs of Water Damage 

While some water damage signs are apparent, others may go unnoticed if you aren’t looking closely. Here are some signs to look out for that may indicate your home has water damage. 

Water Stains

Water stains are the first clue that your home may have some water damage. These might look like dark or wet spots on the ceiling or walls. Larger water stains naturally will be more prominent, but be sure to look out for even smaller water spots that might indicate a leak somewhere. 

Flakes, Bubbles, or Cracks

Along with looking for water spots, check the ceiling or walls for flaking, bubbling, or cracking. Peeling paint usually indicates there’s moisture in the wall. Cracks either in the ceiling or wall mean there’s deterioration due to water damage. 

Musty Smell

Your nose may provide you with the first telltale sign of home water damage. A moldy or musty smell might mean there’s water hiding somewhere it shouldn’t be. Lingering mildew smells should be investigated further as mold isn’t something you want to be breathing in. Knowing how mold grows in your home and how to treat it is important to maintaining healthy indoor living conditions.

High Water Bills 

Another potential sign of water damage is high water bills. If you’ve noticed your water usage has increased dramatically for no apparent reason, it could mean there’s a leak somewhere. 

Sagging or Damaged Floors

Warped, sagging, or soft spots in the floor means you likely have a water damage problem. However, sagging floors aren’t always noticeable at first. Check bathrooms and areas near water sources closer for any irregularities.

How to Prevent Water Damage 

According to Forbes, water damage is one of the most expensive yet most common homeowner insurance claims. Making up nearly 24% of total claims, accidental water damage is typically covered but damage due to lack of maintenance is not. That’s why it’s important to know how to prevent water damage (even during the winter!) to better protect your home. Recommendations on how to protect against water damage include the following: 

  • Check the roof: Making sure the roof is in good condition with no leaks is a good first step to preventing water damage. Look for missing or damaged shingles. 
  • Inspect the gutters: Clogged gutters and downspouts cause excess water to build up around your home, which could potentially leak into the basement or crawl space. 
  • Install water detectors: Just like a smoke alarm, water detectors are smart devices that send out an alert if moisture is sensed. You can put them near water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, or anywhere else that might experience a leak. 
  • Pay attention to the utility bill: Keep an eye on the water bill to make sure you notice anything out of the ordinary. 
  • ​​Waterproof your crawl space: Hiring a moisture control specialist to make sure your crawl space is properly sealed can prevent water damage in the most susceptible area of your home.

MSG Is Here to Help Protect Your Home 

Water damage can often be a result of crawl space issues, moisture control problems, and improper drainage. Managed Services Group is here to help protect your home through crawl space repair, drainage solutions, and gutter replacement or repair. Contact us today for a free estimate to fortify your home from potential water damage.

Since 2008, Managed Services Group has provided comprehensive moisture control and basement waterproofing services to homeowners throughout the Greater Richmond area. As a licensed and insured Class A contractor, we have the experience and knowledge to back up our passion for home improvement. Give us a call today at (804) 972-3007 (434-299-9382 for Charlottesville) for a free estimate. We’ll schedule an inspection with you, make a recommendation, and, in most cases, give you an estimate right on the spot.