This week marks one year since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, flooding homes and drowning out entire neighborhoods. The area is still recovering from the extensive damage. Thank you to The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and all organizations and people who supported the restoration efforts. Check out some of our articles with information about Harvey and hurricane preparedness.
Water damage can be a very tricky problem because much of the time it happens out of sight. A water leak from a fixture or appliance, seepage from heavy rain, and even condensation may cause damage and even mold growth beneath floors or behind walls and ceilings. Allowing unseen water damage to spread is dangerous because the affected materials will become weakened from absorbing the water which could lead to significant structural damage. The presence of excess moisture can also cause hidden mold growth which can have serious implications for the health of your family. By recognizing these common signs of water damage, you can act before hidden water damage leads to serious issues.
Looking for Water Damage Outside
The angle of the ground around your home can help determine whether you may have water damage to the basement or foundation. When checking for water damage outside, check to see if the ground slopes away from your home. If not, then the angle of the ground could be causing more water to come towards your home which increases the risk of water damage to the foundation or basement.
After inspecting the slope of the ground, check the exterior of your home for signs of water damage. Make sure you check the downspouts and gutters to ensure that they are intact and diverting water away from the house. If the downspouts and gutters are clogged or not diverting the water properly, the ground around the home will get wet which could affect your basement or foundation. You should also check the roof for any missing shingles or other damage that could allow leaks in your attic. Finally, inspect your windows and doors to make sure they are properly sealed.
Looking for Water Damage Inside
The following are the most common signs of hidden water damage inside your home to look out for:
- Water rings on walls or ceilings
- Sagging floor spots around fixtures or appliances such as the tub, sinks, shower, water heater, washing machine, or dishwasher
- Warps, splits, or cracks in wood, tile, or laminate flooring
- Warping, water marks, or discoloration in the cabinet under the sink
- Patch jobs or areas with heavy paint on walls and ceilings could be hiding water damage
- Rust on the water heater is a sign of a leak
- Musty smell from mold or mildew
In the Attic
The attic is vulnerable to water damage from leaks. Check the areas near the chimney and roof vents for signs of water damage as well as the points where the roof and walls meet. You should also make sure the insulation is dry and doesn’t have mold or mildew.
In the Basement
The basement is one of the most common areas for water damage because it is vulnerable to foundation leaks, seepage from flooding, or leaks from the washing machine or water heater. Check the walls for signs of seepage or leaks and make sure there are no leaks from the appliances. Any water damage in your basement should be dealt with immediately to prevent mold growth and damage to your belongings.
Water damage can lead to some serious problems in your home if it goes unnoticed so make sure you routinely inspect your home for these signs. If you do have water damage in your home in the Houston, TX area, make sure you contact ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning for water damage restoration. Our technicians can remove excess water from your home and restore the effects of hidden water damage. You can reach us anytime at (800) 303-5844 for emergency assistance.
Dallas residents can call our partner for Water Mitigation in Dallas area.