7 Signs of Water Damage in Your House

The signs of water damage in your home can be as subtle as a musty smell or as obvious as a burst pipe. Since water is colorless and odorless, you may not notice that you have standing water or a leak until you see its effects. Water damage can cause mold or mildew to form if the moisture is not removed. This can result in structural problems like warping floors and walls and health problems like asthma. Chances are pretty good that you would not know if your home is damaged by water until your house floods. By then, there is a lot of damage that could have been avoided with the right type of early warning system.

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Here are seven signs to help you spot even the smallest amounts of water leaking through your home, so you can act before a bigger problem arises. The sooner you start repairing the damage, the better.

1. Ceiling and Wall Cracks

When you see tiny cracks on the ceiling and walls, you should get them fixed right away. If the location of the crack is near a plumbing area in your house, then this can be a strong indication that the reason for this crack is plumbing issues. If you ignore these cracks on your ceiling and wall, they can cause further problems in your home. Thus, it is best to hire the services of a Water Damage Advisor who knows how to handle such a situation.

2. Musty Smells

Musty smells are one of the easiest to spot and one of the most common problems homeowners face. For example, if you open a closet door and get a whiff of a musty smell, or if your basement smells like a damp towel, you could have a water damage problem. Luckily, musty smells are relatively easy to fix.

Musty smells are usually accompanied by visible signs of mold growth, such as black spots on walls or ceilings. If you have these signs, it is imperative to get the mold removed before it spreads further and causes damage to your home’s structure or releases harmful toxins into the air you breathe.

3. Rotten Wooden Furniture                 

If you see that your wooden furniture and wood trims are showing signs of decay, there is a good possibility that you have water damage in your house. This can be caused by leakages, faulty plumbing, or damaged roofing. The wood can start to rot, which in turn leaves your home vulnerable to other damages. Luckily, you can learn how to deal with this problem, so you do not have to replace your entire house.

4. Waterpools and Puddles

Pools of water or puddles underneath your home are a sure sign of water damage. While a little humidity in the air is normal, pools or puddles of water in high-traffic areas or rooms that have not been used for some time can be a sign of trouble. This means that there is a leak somewhere in your home’s foundation. The good news is that there are many systems available today to help you find these leaks and repair them as soon as possible.

If you notice water under your house, you should first check your basement floor for signs of discoloration and mildew growth. Take note of these spots so you can refer to them if you suspect a leak later on. Next, it is important to determine whether the water source is outside or inside the house. If the water source comes from inside, there could be a problem with the plumbing system or humidifier. If the water source comes from outside, it could be a storm drain issue or even root damage from nearby trees and plants. Therefore, it is important to find the source of the leak so you can properly address it before it becomes too severe.

5. Loose Caulk  

A loose, crumbling caulk around the base of your toilet or sink is an indication of a potentially serious problem. Caulk is used for sealing places where pipes penetrate walls or floors. If the caulk is coming loose, it could mean that there is a crack in the pipe itself, which can lead to water damage and mold growth. The most common cause for this problem is when someone bumps into a wall and cracks a pipe without noticing it. In other cases, older homes might have had pipes installed without any caulk in the first place. However, this problem is easy to fix — just scrape off the old caulk and apply some fresh stuff.

6. Sound of Running Water    

Many times you will hear the sound of water running inside the walls or ceiling. This means that a pipe has burst under the sink or tub, which is causing the water to run inside the walls or ceiling. If you suspect a leak in your pipes, it would be best to contact a plumber first before attempting any repairs yourself. It is also important that you turn off the main water valve if you live in an older home before proceeding with any repairs.

7. Dark or Wet Spots on Walls   

If you see dark or wet spots on any walls in your home, it is a sure sign of water damage. It could have happened a few days ago or a few years ago. It does not matter; the important thing is that you take notice and act quickly to prevent mold damage from getting worse. Trying to fix the problem yourself may only make things worse, and you could end up costing yourself more money later on. If your home has water damage, get help from a professional as soon as possible.


Water damage is not easy to identify; however, it may be easier than you think. By looking at a few key features of your home, you can get eyes on some of the most common signs of water damage. By taking the time to do a thorough inspection regularly and respond quickly to any issues that arise, you can protect your house and prevent costly repairs down the road.

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