Water damage can destroy a property. If you are in the market for a new property, it’s important to know if the home you want has water damage. There are many tell-tale signs that will help you find water damage as well as some signs that may not be so obvious.
Mold is the most obvious sign of water damage. Mold is a fungus that has the job of decomposing everything that it grows on. Mold grows in dark, moist places. This means it follows water. If you find mold in your home, it means you have water damage.
Mold is not always visible, but it’s always detectable by smell. Just as the mold on rotten food has an odor, so does the mold on a rotten piece of wood or drywall. If left untreated, this mold can absolutely ruin walls, both inside and out. It can destroy sub-floors and every other organic materials in a home.
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Sometimes a home may have had some water damage without mold growth. Water spots appear as brownish-beige spots. They are most commonly found on ceilings, but can be found on walls and floors. These spots can be covered somewhat with certain types of paint, but rarely are they ever completely covered. Of course, if the walls and ceilings have been painted a very dark color, older water spots may not be visible.
To find water damage on drywall that may not be visible, use the touch test. The touch test involves actually touching the drywall in any area where water damage may be suspected. In order to perform the test correctly, you will need to know what undamaged drywall feels like as well as how it responds to gentle pressure.
Any areas that are directly above or below a bathroom are the first areas that should be touch tested. In addition, test the ceilings in every room on the floor that’s just below a roof, especially if the home has an older roof or is in a state of disrepair. Apply gentle pressure to several different areas on the walls and ceilings and pay close attention to how much the drywall gives. Water damaged plaster will crumble to the touch. Water damage from a flood will mean the bottom part of the drywall is soft.
Repair Water Damage
Depending on where you have found water damage, the cost of repairing it can be expensive. On ceilings and drywall, to repair water damage means you need to replace the drywall. This task can be fairly simple and inexpensive, unless the water damage is due to a flood, in which all of the drywall will need replaced. In addition, repairing the framework in a home if the wood has damage can cost thousands.
In basements, concrete block and poured concrete that has become weak from water damage can mean a new basement needs to be installed. In addition, the foundation of the home may be weak and damaged due to the water. Replacing or repairing water damage in the basement and foundation can break the bank.
In order to make sure your home is safe for years to come, make sure you find water damage quickly. Repair water damage by hiring trusted contractors who are experienced in damage secondary to water. If purchasing a new home, make sure you hire an inspector that is trusted and reputable to perform your home inspection.