Water damage isn't always from a major flood or event, which means it may not always be immediately obvious. Sometimes minor water damage can remain hidden until the problem becomes severe. Stay alert to the following signs of developing damage so you can find and repair the issue before major damages occur.
Discoloration, sometimes slight, is often the first sign of water damage. You may notice a slightly yellowish or dark patch on a ceiling or wall, or wood paneling may appear to darken or develop a whitish cast. Brown and yellow are the most common colors associated with water damage, but white and a coppery red hue can also indicate that there is a developing moisture problem.
2. Texture Changes
Once a material begins to absorb water, the texture will often change. Wood fibers, for example, will swell, and a previously smooth surface may feel rough as the grain swells. Painted walls, whether wood or drywall, may appear to become bumpy or the paint may feel tacky. Vinyl flooring often becomes wavy, or the tiles may warp and curl at the edges as they separate from the subflooring below.
3. Paint Bubbles
Most homes are painted in latex paint, which creates a rubbery waterproof coating. Water can leak through drywall, but it often can't breach the paint right away. Thus, bubbles filled with water will form as the paint separates from the drywall. Eventually, the bubble will break, and major water damage will occur. Bubbles typically form on ceilings when there is a roof leak or a leak from an upper floor, but they can also form on walls if the paint begins to separate from the drywall.
4. Excess Condensation
The interior of your home should generally remain dry. There may be a bit of condensation in rooms like the kitchen or bathroom after running hot water and poorly insulated windows may sometimes develop condensation in winter, but you may have a leak increasing interior moisture levels if surfaces often feel damp outside of these aforementioned situations.
5. Musty Odors
You may not be able to see developing water damage, but there is a good chance that you will be able to smell it. Even minor leaks will eventually lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which puts off a signature musty odor that most people can recognize. If you pick up on this odor, follow your nose to locate the source of the damage.
Contact a water damage restoration service if you suspect that there is hidden damage in your home.