Signs of Water Damage in Your Walls
Water damage within the walls at your home or business can be dangerous and very costly to fix. It is important to know the signs of water damage, recognize them, and remediate them right away to prevent further damage to your home. Here are some signs that you may have water damage in your walls that you should look out for at your property. If you notice them, make sure to check for water leaks and call a professional water damage remediation company to dry and restore any damaged areas.
Wall and Ceiling Stains
If you notice that you have stains on your wall or ceiling, make sure to check for water leaks in your home. If you try to paint over the stains, that will not work as the stain will resurface. Instead, you need to find the source of the leak and fix it. It is always best to call a water damage restoration company so they can find the cause of the leak right away.
Peeling paint at your home or business is a sign that you have water damage. This happens when drywall gets wet, and the moisture gets through the walls or ceiling which causes paint to lift off the surface. Drywall can get really damaged and the moisture will spread quickly.
If you notice your ceiling is swollen or sagging, that is a sign of extreme water damage. This can cause the ceiling to fall which is dangerous for those living in the home.
If the sheetrock behind the wall absorbs a lot of water, the wall will start warping. This can cause major damage to the structure of your home which can be very expensive to fix.
If your home has a musty smell, it is time to check for a water leak. This type of smell is usually caused by water absorbing into wood or drywall. However, the smell may be caused by mold as well. It is crucially important to identify the source of the leak in your home and have it fixed.
At times, it may be difficult to find where mold is hiding in your home. It usually develops in dark and damp places. However, you should take the time and investigate around your home to find it. It may be hiding behind furniture, in small open spots, on baseboards, etc. Mold can cause allergy-like symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, however, prolonged exposure can cause major upper respiratory issues such as asthma.
Unexplained Increased Water Bill
If you receive a water bill that is higher than usual and there has not been an increase in the usage of water in your home, this may be a sign that you have a water leak.
Condensation on Windows or Walls
If you notice condensation on windows or walls, this may be a sign that you have a water leak. Condensation happens when warm air meets a cold surface. However, this may be a sign that there is a hidden water issue in your basement, crawlspace, or walls.
Even if you recognize one of the signs of water damage at your home or business, you will need to find the source of the damage. It is always best to call a professional water damage restoration company so they can find the leak in your home and stop it to prevent further and costly damage.
How to Test for Leaks
However, if you choose to look for a water leak in your home yourself, you can do the following to test for leaks:
- Turn off all the water sources in your home (faucets, appliances, etc.).
- Write down the usage statistics from your water meter.
- Wait three hours with the water off, then go to the water meter and check the water usage statistics again.
- If your water usage has gone up in the last three hours since the water has been off, then you have a leak somewhere.
If you’ve figured out the source of the water leak at your home or business, and you’ve identified that it is a small leak, you might be able to remediate it yourself. However, for bigger leaks, you should always contact a professional remediation company to ensure they are able to dry, clean, and restore all water-damaged areas.
How to Remediate Water Damage
For small water leaks, here are the things you can do to remediate the water damage:
- Stop the water source and remove any art and other décor from the wall
- Remove all baseboards, moldings, and wallpaper
- To speed up the drying process, open all windows and doors
- Use all available fans to move air around the wet walls. You can also use dehumidifiers to get rid of moisture from the air.
Based on the level of water damage, it is always the best idea to contact a professional water damage restoration company as they will have the proper equipment and highly trained professionals to handle the situation.
Here are some of the tools the professionals will use:
- Non-invasive moisture meter – This is a tool that determines the extent of the water seepage. It uses radio waves to test for water.
- Infrared imaging (IR) – This tool finds water in the walls without making any holes.
- If it is determined that the inside of the walls is wet, then the water damage restoration company can take the proper measures to dry out the area.
- Depending on whether the walls of your home or business are insulated or not, a professional water restoration company will take different measures.
- For insulated walls, they will use air movers to draw moisture out of the walls and dehumidifiers and advanced drying equipment to reduce the humidity levels. At times, an inner-wall drying system is used by making small holes in the wall to force the air into the wall cavity. The drying process will depend on the construction materials of the wall.
- For insulated walls, usually there a fiberglass insulation with paper backing, so an inner wall drying process is used. For foil-backed fiberglass insulation, Styrofoam, or blown-in cellulose, the wall would need to be removed with the insulation to allow it to dry.
- The drying process must be continued until the walls are completely dry. When professionals are drying your walls, they will monitor the progress and make sure that the equipment is working properly and adjust it as needed.
Call a Water Damage Restoration Contractor
For any major water damage remediation at your home or business, make sure to call a professional water damage remediation company so you can rest assured that the leak has been stopped your property has been dried, cleaned, and restored, and is safe for use for you and your family.