As a homeowner, water damage should be considered a very concerning issue. Considering the effects of water damage can continue to spread even after the water has been cleaned up, you can expect this type of damage to lead to significant expenses if not handled properly, the first time. Significant water damage is increasingly affecting homeowners on a yearly basis. Experts say this isn’t due to an increase in flooding and forces of nature, but due to the fact that homeowners fail to spot the early signs of water damage. 

Early prevention is important to limit the effects of water in your home, below we will cover the top warning signs of potential water damage in your home.

How Can You Tell if Your House Has Water Damage?

1. Stains and Discolouration

When water is absorbed into your finished building materials such as drywall and wood trim, after a short time you will notice the colour of the material changing or even staining. This discolouration is normally blotchy and yellow or brown in colour and can extend in multiple directions depending on the point of entry of the water. It is a good idea to regularly inspect your basement, bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room for visible stains as these are the most susceptible areas to water damage in your home.

2. Mold Growth

Damp air and excess moisture can lead to mold growth, and in most cases,  it is difficult to notice this growth as mold favours darker areas of your home. This includes corners, under stairs, and on the backside of the drywall. Mold can and will grow on any organic material such as drywall, wood and carpeting. If you find excess moisture in your home, there is a good chance there is mold growth, especially if the moisture has been there for some time. Having a professional examine the area for hidden mold can save you additional expenses down the road. 

3. Unpleasant  Smells

Almost every case of significant water damage is accompanied by musty odors. These smells are due to the presence of mold and or mildew. Shortly after heavy rainfall is a good time to inspect your basement for potential water damage, as any odors may be intensified and can pinpoint an issue, even if it is not visible. A leaky roof, faulty plumbing, excess moisture, and basement waterproofing issues can all lead to musty odors, so don’t ignore those funky smells around your home.

4. Unusually High Water Bills

Identification of potential water damage is the first step to resolving the issue, however, this is also the hardest step in most cases, as the damage is not always visible. Leaky and faulty pipes are usually hidden behind walls and do not show signs such as pooling water for months. An early indication of a hidden plumbing issue is increased water bills. If your usage and consumption of water haven’t drastically changed, but your bills have spiked, this is a good indication of a leaky pipe or fixture.

5. Warped Walls, Ceilings and Floors

Water absorption can cause walls, ceilings, and floors to warp or bow. In many cases, these areas are also unusually soft or sponge-like. This is all due to the materials being waterlogged, which is a sure-fire indication of a water issue that will lead to additional damage if not corrected.

Frequent inspections of areas that are prone to potential water damage such as your basement, kitchen, and bathrooms are a great way to catch potential issues before they become major problems. If your home is slightly older, looking at basement waterproofing options is a great way of preventing severe damage that can be caused after a major rainstorm or large amounts of snow melting quickly. Inspecting appliances that have a water hookup such as dishwashers, fridges, freezer, and washing machines will provide peace of mind and checking all plumbing fixtures regularly such as faucets and toilets will help catch any potential issues early one.