How Do You Find Hidden Water Damage?

It’s easy to spot property damage after a roof leak, burst pipe, or flood. But what about the water accumulating in areas of your home that are out of sight? It’s challenging to address a problem if you don’t even know it exists.

To prevent costly, unexpected repairs or catch them early, we’re here to help you identify 15 common areas of potential hidden water damage in your home.

Around the Chimney

Water pooling around compromised masonry and flashing can damage shingles, panels, and sub-roofing around your chimney, ultimately leading to failure or ceiling collapse. Regular inspections and maintenance, like replacing crumbling mortar or installing a new cap, can help.

Under House Siding

Seams between panels and unsealed spaces within your siding can allow moisture to enter. Keep an eye out for buckling, warping, or damaged siding. Also, ensure exterior faucets are properly sealed to prevent water entry.

Around Windows

Rain can seep into your walls around old or improperly installed window frames. Window cooling units can cause water to collect underneath. Inspect for peeling or cracking paint, which can allow water to damage sills and wood. Check for spongy wood around windows, as it can indicate rot.

At the Bottoms of Exterior

Doors Damage and wear can loosen weather stripping and the metal bottom rail of exterior doors, allowing water to enter the wood underneath. Regularly check the threshold of your doors for signs of water damage.

Behind Drywall

Moisture can soak into the drywall and collect between framing studs, encouraging structural rot and mold. After a basement flood or broken pipe, drying the wall surface isn’t enough to prevent damage. Inspect your walls for damp areas.

Beneath & Behind

Appliances Clothes washers and dishwashers can cause water damage due to leaks. Regularly check behind these appliances for signs of water damage, mold, or mildew.

Behind & Beneath Indoor Plumbing Fixtures

Deteriorated caulking or compromised pipe seals around sinks, tubs, and toilets can cause water damage to walls and subfloors. Maintain waterproof seals and watch for spongy areas and musty smells.

Inspect Your Roof

Regularly check for damaged, missing, or curling shingles that can allow water to enter your home.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

Ensure they are clean and free of debris, as clogged gutters can cause water to overflow and lead to water damage.

Inspect the Attic

Look for signs of water damage, such as wet insulation, stained ceilings, or mold growth.

Pay Attention to Odors

Musty smells can indicate hidden mold or mildew growth due to water damage.

Monitor Your Water Bill

An unusually high water bill could signal a hidden water leak.

Check the Foundation

Look for cracks in your home’s foundation, as these can allow water to seep into your basement or crawl space.

Look for Discoloration or Stains

Discolored walls and ceilings can indicate water damage from a hidden leak.

Be Aware of Changes in Floor Materials

Warping, buckling, or soft spots in your flooring can signal water damage beneath the surface.

By examining these areas and considering the additional factors mentioned above, you can thoroughly check for any signs of hidden water damage in your home and address the issues before they become major problems.

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