What Does Minor Water Damage Look Like?

Learn about what minor water damage looks like and how to detect it before it causes serious structural problems.

What Does Minor Water Damage Look Like?

The first warning signs of water damage are peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper. Over time, they will swell or deform. In severe cases, walls and ceilings may appear fluffy to the touch. Wet floors can also go unnoticed, especially if they are only wet in corners or in rooms that are rarely used.

In most cases, water damage looks like dark spots or yellowish-brown spots. This is especially true in the case of walls and ceilings. If you have reason to be concerned about a damp basement or roof damage from a recent storm, it's important to be aware of the signs of water damage. It could be noises coming from the pipes or a musty smell in the laundry room.

You can detect water damage to the wall by looking for softened drywall, bubbles or discoloration. Water damage from a flood, fire or leak can cause structural problems and lead to mold development, posing a health hazard to the occupants of the house. There may be invisible problems due to water damage lurking behind the wall, such as mold, rot and electrical hazards. Stay alert for odd rot or mold odors, and call your water damage professional if you find any.

Starting outside will make it easier to reduce the cause of water damage in the home from external sources. As the founder of ServiceMaster by Zaba in Chicago, Illinois, Diana is IICRC certified in fire and water damage restoration. Although there is no way to know precisely how long the water damage problem has lasted, there are some ways to diagnose whether the water damage is old or new. Dark spots usually mean that the damage is very recent, while yellowish, brown or white and calcareous spots usually mean older damage. However, when you detect water spots on the ceiling or damage to the walls, these are clues that indicate a leaking pipe or condensation generating the problem. Detecting this type of water damage is simple, but there is no indication of how much water damage to the wall has occurred behind the scenes.

However, big problems can also stem from what are often considered “minor problems”, especially those caused by water damage. Over time, water can cause serious structural damage leading to unsafe living conditions and a costly home renovation project. While you may think you know the extent of water damage to the wall due to the discolored part, it is not known what is going on behind the wall. A hidden water leak in a basement, slow roof leaks, and even a leaky faucet can damage a building over time. Once the damage is discovered, take pictures of everything you can and contact your insurance company to find out if your policy covers the damage.

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