When you think of water damage, you probably imagine entire rooms underwater and ceilings buckling in. But leaks are sneaky. The signs of water damage in your property may be much more subtle than sagging ceilings — and they often go entirely unnoticed until the damage is already done.
Identifying signs of water damage early on is crucial to mitigate the risk of incurring further property loss. In this article, we’ll explore some typical causes of water damage, the telltale signs of water damage, and what to do in case you experience an emergency and need water damage restoration services.
What Causes A Water Damage Emergency?
Nobody likes dealing with water damage, but unfortunately, it’s prone to happen under several circumstances. Here are some of the most common.
- Storms and weather-related events: Heavy rainfall, hurricanes, and other storms can pummel large amounts of water onto buildings. When water accumulates on and around buildings, it can seep into roofs, windows, doors, and other openings, causing damage to the structure itself and what’s inside. In Texas, cold snaps are also a common culprit of water damage — when pipes freeze and thaw out again, many burst and send water spilling into the walls, floors, or ceilings of the building. Water damage in San Antonio, for example, may come from frozen pipes during particularly frigid winters. Water pipes can freeze and burst when outside temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below, according to Texas A&M University.
- Plumbing issues: Plumbing failures like burst pipes, leaking pipes, faulty faucets, and malfunctioning appliances (like washing machines and dishwashers) can result in water damage.
- Roofing problems: Water can enter a building through faulty or missing roofing materials. Roof leaks can cause water to seep into the attic, walls, and other parts of the building, leading to structural damage and mold growth.
- Faulty foundations: Water can slowly seep into buildings through the cracks or gaps in the foundation of a building. Poorly designed or constructed foundations, as well as shifting soil or ground settlement, can contribute to water infiltration and subsequent damage to the building.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, be sure to check your property for these 10 signs of water damage as soon as possible. And, as always, call an experienced water damage construction company like Cavalry to mitigate the damage. Acting fast will make all the difference in restoring your property to its pre-loss conditions.
10 Signs You Might Need Water Damage Restoration
Whether you’ve just been hit by a storm or want to take precautions, here are 10 signals of water damage to look out for.
- Water Stains: One of the first telltale signs of water damage is — yes, you guessed it — water stains on your floors, ceilings, or walls. These stains may appear as discolored patches or rings and can range in color from brown to yellow to gray.
- Mold Or Mildew Growth: Mold and mildew thrive in moist conditions, so if you notice unexpected growth on the ceiling, wall, or floor, it could mean you have a leak. If you notice black, green, or white mold spots in your property, call a reconstruction company right away. Allowing mold and mildew to grow unchecked can cause severe respiratory health problems for anyone inside the building.
- Warped Surfaces: Water damage can cause wood, laminate, or other materials to warp, buckle, or swell. You might notice this in the floors, walls, or furniture. It can also cause surfaces to appear uneven or distorted.
- Peeling/Bubbling Paint Or Wallpaper: Water damage can cause paint or wallpaper to peel, bubble, or crack. This usually occurs due to water infiltration behind the walls or a high level of humidity in the area.
- Damp Or Musty Odors: Smelling something odd? A musty or damp smell can indicate water damage and mold growth. This smell may be more noticeable in basements, crawl spaces, and areas that are not well-ventilated.
- Stained Or Damaged Flooring: Water stains and discoloration of floors are common signs of water damage. Wood floors can also show signs of water damage by cupping or crowning. Cupping occurs when the edges of the floorboards are higher than the center, while crowning is the opposite, with the center being higher than the edges.
- Standing Water: If you notice puddles of water in your home or building, it may be a sign you’re experiencing water damage. Puddles can form due to leaks in plumbing, roofs, or windows, or as a result of flooding. Similarly, if your carpet feels wet or damp to the touch, it may be time to call a restoration company. Carpet can absorb water and hold it for a long time, leading to mold growth and other health hazards.
- Sagging Ceilings: You’re probably experiencing water damage if the ceiling appears to be sagging or feels soft to the touch. Sagging ceilings can be caused by water infiltration over time.
- Unusual Sounds: Dripping or rushing water sounds can indicate a leak or burst pipe in the building. Unusual sounds coming from the plumbing or heating systems may also be a warning that a piece of equipment is on its way out and could result in eventual water damage.
- Increased Water Bills: As mentioned, leaks are sneaky, and you might not notice them until you receive your monthly water bill. Investigate your plumbing system and appliances for leaks if you receive a higher water bill than you’d normally pay.
It’s always in your best interest to take precautions against storm damage. No matter how prepared you are, however, damage can still occur. Let’s discuss what happens if a tornado does inflict damage to your property.
What To Do If You Experience Water Damage
If you notice any telltale signs of water damage, calling Cavalry should be your first move! Our team of experienced water damage restoration experts will promptly dry, restore, and reconstruct your property. The process begins with an assessment to determine the extent of the damage. We then move on to structural drying, a highly technical and scientific process. Our certified water technicians are on call 24/7 to begin the water removal and structural drying process within hours of an emergency, no matter what the case.
Cavalry’s certified water technicians will always arrive quickly to the scene, but there are steps you can take in the meantime to mitigate the damage.
- Identify the source of the water: Try to identify the source of the water damage and stop the flow of water if possible. This may involve shutting off the water supply or fixing a leaky pipe, for example.
- Turn off electricity: If the water damage is severe, turn off the electricity to the affected area to avoid electrocution hazards.
- Document the damage: Take photos and videos of the water damage.
- Remove water and dry out the area: If possible, remove any standing water with a wet/dry vacuum or other tools, and use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected area.
Cavalry proudly serves communities across Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas/Ft. Worth since 1989. If you experience water damage or any other kind of property loss due to natural disasters or accidents, we’re here for you 24/7. Our clients count on us to help restore their homes and businesses after experiencing water damage, and we’re always ready to rise to the occasion!
If you have questions about water damage reconstruction or other reconstruction services, get in touch. You can reach us anytime at 888-601-3473.