Water damage that occurs behind walls and under floorboards, in areas we cannot see, is very dangerous to the structural components of your home. The excess moisture from hidden water damage gets absorbed in wood, foundation, drywall and insulation, and the longer it goes unnoticed and untreated, the more it causes these materials to break down. Hidden water damage can also lead to mold growth and spread throughout the home, where it is not easily detected. Allergic reactions, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and other respiratory problems are common symptoms of mold exposure, and if unresolved will worsen over time. It is critical to respond to water damage as soon as it is noticed, and to not let water exposure sit untreated for extended amounts of time. This can prove a difficult task if the water damage is occurring in places we cannot see. Here are some signs you can look for that indicates hidden water damage:
Stains and discoloration – Leaking water within walls and ceiling will get absorbed by the sheetrock and drywall. As this water is absorbed, it causes noticeable stains and discoloring. If you notice spots on walls or ceilings that are new, continually growing larger, or changing color (getting darker), it is usually a good indication that there is hidden water damage.
Musty odors – Excess water or moisture creates a musty smell after it gets absorbed by porous materials (insulation, drywall, sheetrock, wood, etc). While smells can linger and travel, if a musty odor is really strong in one particular area, that is a good indication that there is water damage hidden nearby.
Peeling paint and wallpaper – Too much moisture built up behind wall will eventually cause paint and wallpaper to star bubbling and peeling. If there is visible bubbling and peeling, then sheetrock behind the walls has absorbed too much water for it to maintain, so it begins to soak through the walls. Flaking off of walls is also a sign of hidden water damage.
Warping and buckling – When porous materials absorb too much water, they begin to curve, warp, and buckle. Excessive warping threatens the structural integrity of the home, and can lead to extensive repairs. Check you walls, floors, and ceilings for any signs of warping or buckling, and get them checked immediately if you notice it.
Visible mold – Mold growth occurs in areas where excess moisture is present, mainly under cabinets, and around bathroom plumbing fixtures (tubs, showers, toilets, etc). Mold can be black, dark green, and have a fuzzy appearance. If you notice visible mold along baseboards or walls that is not near any plumbing mixtures, there is like a hidden source of water damage. At the first sight of mold, wherever it may be, call a professional water and mold damage restoration company to get it cleaned up.
If you notice any signs of hidden water damage, or suspect there may be water damage in your home, the team at K-Tech in Mincoqua can help. K-Tech uses thermal imaging cameras to see hidden moisture that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Areas that are saturated with water conduct and store heat better than dry areas, and appear as wet spots on the cameras display. K-Tech will be able to detect the hidden water damage, and get it dried and restored quickly and effectively.