There are two types of water damage that can happen in a home: those that are clearly visible and those that are hidden. Visible water damage is anything that happens on the surface and can be easily detected and remedied. Hidden water damage can go on for weeks or even months without being detected, creating all kinds of problems. Water damage can be the result of anything from a leaky pipe to cracks in the foundation of a home. While most water damage problems are immediately visible, the ones that can stay hidden that create the most issues. These hidden water damage incidents are often the most difficult and expensive to fix. The best way to avoid this kind of damage is scheduling preventative inspections of your home.
Looking for water damage can be challenging for the untrained eye, but once you know what to look for, detecting water damage becomes much easier. The first place to begin checking for water damage is actually the outside of a structure. Property owners should check to see that their gutters are properly maintained and draining water as they are supposed to. Gutters should drain water away from a structure, and rain water should run away from a home. If water is puddling against, or draining towards a home, property owners should consider re-grading their property. Water that seeps under a foundation can cause cracking of the foundation and mold growth. This kind of damage is extremely expensive to repair, so it’s less expensive to do regular preventative maintenance.
Property owners should also take the time to familiarize themselves with their water meter and their monthly bills. If a property owner notices a sudden spike in in their water usage, there is a good chance they have a leak somewhere. If a property owner suspects that they have a leak, they can do a preliminary test to check their suspicions. All they have to do is turn off their water supply and check their meter a few hours apart. If the meter changes, then they will know they have a leak. If a property owner is uncomfortable with this process, or they already determined that there is a leak, a leak detection specialist should be contacted as soon as possible. The longer water is allowed to leak, the more damage it can cause.
The condition of wood and laminate floors can be reliable early indicators of water damage. Discoloration, softness or buckling are all sign of water damage, and should be addressed immediately. Windows and doors often develop weak seals, and should be examined every few months. Resealing a window is far less expensive than remediating water damage.
Carefully monitoring your water bills and keeping an eye out for potentially damaging situations could save you thousands in the long run. This early detection will also help to save you the headache of water damage remediation and the potential health risks it can cause.