Water damage in walls is a common problem faced by homeowners. It can occur due to various reasons, such as leaking pipes, roof leaks, floods, and condensation, but knowing the signs of water damage in walls can mitigate the long-term effects that could cost you dearly.
This type of damage can completely ruin a home, so you should take action quickly to either fix the problem yourself or contact NWDR to handle the restoration on your behalf. Contact our team for an accurate estimate and to learn how we will document the damage and repairs for insurance purposes.
Water damage can lead to mold growth, structural damage, and health issues if left untreated. Therefore, taking action promptly when you notice the following signs is essential.
Signs of Water Damage
- Discoloration and Stains on Walls, Ceilings, and Floors
One of the most apparent signs of water damage in walls is discoloration or stains. You may notice yellow or brown stains on your walls or ceiling, which are caused by water seeping through the paint or wallpaper. These stains can indicate the presence of a water leak, even if there are no visible signs of water.
Excess water can cause stains on your floor as well. If you notice stains on your carpet or hardwood floor, it could be a sign of water damage.
- Peeling or Cracking Paint
Water damage can cause paint to peel or crack, especially in areas with high humidity or excess moisture. Homeowners notice bubbling or blistering on the surface of the painted area. If you see flaking paint, you should investigate the underlying cause of the problem.
- Warped or Sagging Walls
Water damage can lead to warped walls, which can be a sign of structural damage. If you notice that your walls are no longer straight or level, you should have them inspected by a professional. They can determine the cause and recommend the necessary repairs.
- Musty Odor
Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, and a water leak can create the perfect conditions for their growth with too much moisture. If you notice a musty odor in your home, it could be a sign of mold or mildew growth. These fungi can cause health problems, especially in people with allergies or respiratory issues, so watch out for this distinct smell.
- Cracks in the Walls or Ceiling
A hidden water leak can cause cracks in the nearby walls or ceiling, which can weaken the structure of your home. If you notice cracks in your walls or ceiling, you should have them inspected by a professional. They can determine the cause of the problem and recommend the necessary repairs.
- Swollen or Soft Drywall
Water leakage can cause swollen or softened drywall, which can be a sign of a hidden water leak. If you notice that your drywall feels spongy or has soft spots, it could be a sign of water damage near the affected wall. Sheetrock absorbs water and weakens as a result, so you should have it inspected by a professional to determine the extent of the damage and the necessary repairs.
- Excess Moisture or Sounds of Running Water
Water damage can create a damp or moist environment, which can be a sign of water damage. If you notice dampness or moisture in your home or hear mysterious running water sounds, you should investigate the cause of the problem and address it promptly.
- Higher Utility Bills
An unexpected spike in your water bills can indicate that more water is running through your home than normal. Often, this means that there is a leak somewhere in the home. If the price of your monthly bill suddenly increases, then you may want to call in restoration professionals for an inspection.
Common Causes of Wall Water Damage
Walls with water issues can be a major problem for homeowners. It can cause structural damage, mold growth, and health concerns. Identifying the cause is essential to address the problem and prevent it from happening again. If the cause is beyond your capabilities to fix, a restoration contractor can help.
- Leaking Pipes
Leaking and burst pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage to walls. Pipes can leak due to corrosion, age, or damage from external factors. Over time, leaking pipes can cause significant water damage to your walls, floors, and ceilings. You may notice stains, discoloration, or peeling paint in the affected area.
It’s important to address the problem promptly to prevent further damage and potential health problems. Having a water meter to test the flow in your home can help you identify potential problems with pipes.
- Roof Leaks
Roof leaks can cause water to seep into your walls. If you notice water stains on your ceiling, it could be a sign of a roof leak. Roofs can leak due to age, serious damage from storms/severe weather, or improper installation.
It’s important to have your roof inspected regularly and address any issues promptly to prevent water damage to your walls and other parts of your home during heavy rain.
Condensation can also cause an issue, especially in areas with high humidity. When warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface, it can condense and form droplets of water. Over time, this can lead to mold growth and damage to your walls. You may notice water stains, wet spots, discoloration, or peeling paint in the affected areas, which may require you to contact mold mitigation professionals.
To prevent condensation, ensure proper ventilation in your home and use dehumidifiers if necessary.
Floods can cause significant water damage to your walls and other parts of your home. They can be caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes, heavy rainfall, or overflowing rivers. Flood water can be contaminated and cause health issues if not cleaned properly.
If your home has been affected by a flood, it’s important to address the problem promptly and work with professionals to repair the extensive damage.
- Faulty Appliances
Faulty appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters can also cause water damage in walls. Leaks from these appliances can go unnoticed for a long time and cause significant damage to your walls and floors.
It’s important to regularly inspect your appliances and address any leaks promptly to prevent water damage.
- Poorly Sealed Windows and Doors
Poorly sealed windows and doors can also be a problem. When water seeps through the gaps and cracks around your windows and doors, it can cause damage to your walls and floors. It’s important to ensure that your windows and doors are properly sealed and address any issues promptly to prevent water damage.
If you notice any signs of water damage in your home or a spike in the cost of the water bill, it’s important to address the problem promptly and work with professionals to assess and repair the damage.
The Consequences of an Untreated or Hidden Water Leak
Water damage, in general, whether it affects the drywall, floors, ceilings, crawl spaces, or foundation of your home, can have very serious consequences. The structural integrity of your home and the condition of your possessions could be at slight risk.
Hidden Water Leaks Cause Very Serious Structural Damage
Often, the worst-case scenarios for water leaks or other types of water damage result in structural issues. Materials like wood, concrete, and metal are usually not designed to withstand constant exposure to excess water. When water collects near these materials, it can be absorbed and weaken the structure.
Mold needs a few ingredients to grow, and moisture is one of them. When water damage occurs, it is often followed by mold growth. While visible mold may be easily detected as one of the most straightforward water damage signs, it could also remain hidden, causing musty odors to spread.
If you notice musty smells, look for hidden water leaks or faulty appliances.
Contact Nashville Water Damage Restoration for Assistance
Water damage affects around 14,000 people in the United States every single day so whether you find a water leak in your bathroom, a sudden spike in your water bill from high water usage, flaking paint on the living room drywall, or the exterior appears normal. Still, there is a musty smell, calling the professionals at Nashville Water Damage Restoration could be a lifesaver.
Our water damage restoration company can help minimize collateral damage, find every hidden leak in the home, and initiate a thorough restoration process. We have the tools to save your property, such as a water meter, powerful vacuums, and the right equipment. Contact us the minute disaster strikes. Don’t wait three hours to take action. Watch for the signs of a leak and address any issues quickly by immediately calling a water damage restoration company.