Water leaks can be tricky. Some leaks are obvious to spot and easy to fix, but others can be lurking behind walls, in attics, or under flooring. If not taken care of promptly and repaired correctly water leaks can lead to mold growth and damage to your home. It’s critical to be watchful and diligent about spotting signs of leaks and mold. Here’s our list of signs to look for when it comes to water damage and leaks.
What You Might See
- Mold can grow on almost any surface including ceilings, wallpaper, flooring, wood, and insulation. It is typically easy to spot. It will appear as white or black specks.
- It may appear as stains on the wall or ceilings.
- Watch for floors that are warped or popping up. Pay attention to any damp or wet spots on carpets and other floorings. Look for water along baseboards.
What You Might Smell
- You may smell mold before you see it. Mold will give off a musty or damp odor. If the smell is stronger in one particular area or room, then that may be the source of the water damage.
- If smells worsen with heating or A/C on then that could mean a mold problem in the HVAC, A/C, or heater.
Changes to Watch For
- Sudden changes in water pressure
- A steep increase in water bills
- Sounds of dripping, trickling, or rushing water, especially behind walls
Where to Look for Leaks
- Mold can hide in areas like ceiling tiles, behind walls, in attics or under flooring. Pay attention to any signs of dampness, softness of material, discoloration, bubbling, or wrinkling.
- Roof leaks are a common culprit for water damage. Signs of damage may include drips, discoloration on ceilings, crumbling drywall, shingles that are cupped or curling, musty smells in the attic, wood decay in the attic and around windows, and mold on insulation.
- Humid areas and areas with high water use are the most common places for mold growth. Be observant of bathrooms, laundry rooms, refrigerators with ice machines, kitchens, basements, and around water heaters.
Water leak repair is a maintenance project that should never be put off. Even minor water leaks can lead to mold which can begin growing in as little as 24 to 48 hours. If not taken care of immediately, the growth can spread quickly causing more damage to your home. Repairs, cleanup, and proper drying should begin at the first signs of a leak, mold, or mildew. There may be some damage that can be handled by a homeowner, but the best way to prevent mold growth after water damage is by contacting water restoration and mitigation professionals.
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