Identifying a place in a house or a place of business where water damage has occurred can be trickier than you might expect. While it's certainly possible to figure things out when you see standing water in a location, the issue isn't always that self-evident. If you're trying to figure out whether you need to start a water damage restoration effort, here are four less straightforward signs that your location has had some trouble.
Although brown staining on the walls or the ceiling will be pretty easy to spot, there are places in a building where it might not be so easy to see. Dark paints can mask stains so you may need to look for slight differences in the paint. Most types of water damage leave an edge where they occur, and the color will be lighter than the surrounding paint.
Mold or Mildew
The presence of mold or mildew may indicate that a source of water is situated somewhere that you can't see. You'll want to run down every possible source of trouble before you perform water damage restoration work because the issue will simply come back if the source is left unaddressed. If possible, start pulling out heavy appliances, furniture and other big items that may be hiding water sources. If you see mold growing on walls or the foundation, assume there's water somewhere creating an ideal environment.
Even slight amounts of water damage can be problematic, and squishy materials aren't always out in the open. You might notice a board that feels a bit squishy underfoot, for example, even though the surface is dry. It's easy to dismiss this as just a loose board, but the big difference is that water damage will make the wood underneath soft. A loose board should make a squeaking sound when you step on it. If the board moves underneath your foot without squeaking, you should be suspicious that water damage has occurred.
Many materials, especially wood, may rot from the inside out. The ends of wooden structures, particularly beams, will often start to crumble. You may even see splinters as the remaining good wood separates from the crumbling materials. Generally, if there's water involved, the crumbling parts will start to get much darker as they decay.
Loose materials may also be shaken loose by human activity, rumbling from nearby roadways and other sources of vibrations. This means you might see some of the loose materials accumulating below the damaged area so look up to find the water damage.
For more information about water damage, reach out to a local water damage restoration company.