Water Damage – The Signs to Look For

Discovering water damage in a home can be a tricky thing, especially in the basement or crawlspace.  It is not easily visible and is often not discovered until a simple repair is not an option.  In most cases, it takes years for any signs of development.  There is good news though.  If you know what to look for, you can fix water damage early and prevent further structural failure.

Signs of Water Damage

Cracked walls- Cracks may be horizontal, vertical, diagonal or stair-stepped.

Severe pressure or structural damage is evident by widening cracks and flaking or crumbling concrete.

Foundation cracks allow water from outside the home to enter and cause damage.

Cracks can be spotted both inside and outside of the home.  For finished basements, it may not be possible to detect the crack without removing the drywall.  They are easily recognizable on unfinished walls in crawl spaces.

Exterior cracks may be visible during warmer months with close inspection of the foundation walls.

Buckling walls- Usually caused by hydrostatic pressure.  Walls appear to be bowed inward (buckling).

Peeling paint- Water seeping through walls may lead to bubbling or peeling paint along basement walls.

Floor damage- The excessive moisture behind and underneath causes floors to expand.  Floor tiles or baseboards may appear swollen.

Efflorescence White, powdery residue found on basement walls near the floor.

Mold- Fungi that usually grow in damp, dark areas and can cause respiratory problems after prolonged exposure.

You may not always notice mold with the naked eye.

Mold and water damage go together hand in hand.

Look out for a peculiar, musty odour.

Air may also feel damp and heavy.

Sweating pipes or clogged drains.

Standing water near leaky faucets or pipes.

Water Damage

Water damage can severely impact the structural integrity of your home, as well as impose health risks.  If you have observed any of the warning signs listed above, it may be time to seek expert advice.