Water damage can cause significant harm to a property if left unaddressed. Several factors, including natural disasters, plumbing issues, or appliance malfunctions, can cause it. Signs of water damage may not be immediately apparent, and ignoring them can lead to severe structural damage, mold growth, and health issues. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and address water damage signs as early as possible.
Common signs of water damage include the presence of mold or mildew, musty odors, discoloration or stains on walls, ceilings, and floors, dampness or standing water, and peeling or bubbling paint. These signs can indicate significant water damage, and it is essential to take action to prevent further damage to your property. Promptly addressing water damage can save you substantial costs and time in the long run, as it can prevent structural damage, mold growth, and potential health hazards.
Signs of Water Damage to Ceilings
Ceilings commonly experience water damage because they are the first point of contact for water leaking from roofs or plumbing systems above them. Flooding or heavy rain seeps through roof shingles or gaps in the roof also causes damage to the ceiling. Additionally, water damage can occur due to condensation, which can cause moisture to build up on the ceiling and result in mold growth or discoloration.
1. Peeling, flaking, or bubbling paint
Due to water damage, peeling, flaking, or bubbling paint on a ceiling can appear as irregular, raised areas that can be soft to the touch. These areas may also have visible discoloration, and the paint may appear wet or discolored. Sometimes, the paint may peel away from the ceiling, revealing the underlying surface. The severity of the peeling, flaking, or bubbling depends on the extent of the water damage and how long it has been present. It is essential to promptly address this type of water damage to prevent further ceiling deterioration and potential health hazards due to mold growth.
2. Small hairline cracks
Small hairline cracks on a ceiling due to water damage can be difficult to spot, but they may appear as thin, straight lines on the surface of the ceiling. These cracks may be barely visible or more noticeable if they have been present for some time. Over time, hairline cracks may widen or become more numerous, and discoloration or staining may become visible around the cracks. Small hairline cracks on a ceiling can be a sign of water damage, and it is crucial to address the issue to avoid severe damage.
3. Water stains or rings
Water stains or rings on a ceiling are discolorations caused by water that has seeped through the ceiling and left behind a visible mark. These stains can be various shades of light brown or yellow and are often circular or irregularly shaped. The appearance of the stain may depend on the extent and duration of the water damage, as well as the type of ceiling material. Water stains can also be accompanied by other signs of water damage, such as peeling or bubbling paint, mold growth, or musty odors.
4. Mold growth
Mold growth on a ceiling is a clear sign of water damage and can appear as black, green, or gray spots or patches on the surface of the ceiling. Mold growth occurs in areas where moisture is present and can spread quickly if left unaddressed. Mold can cause health problems, especially for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues. In addition to the visual appearance of mold, there might be a musty odor.
5. Saggy or bowed ceilings
Saggy or bowed ceilings can be a sign of water damage and are typically caused by prolonged exposure to water or moisture. When water seeps through the ceiling, it can weaken the ceiling materials, causing them to sag or bow under the weight of the water. Saggy or bowed ceilings can be accompanied by other signs of water damage, such as discoloration, peeling paint, or mold growth. If left unaddressed, saggy or bowed ceilings can lead to structural damage and potential health hazards due to mold growth. Repairing or replacing damaged materials prevents further deterioration of the ceiling.
6. Musty smell in certain rooms
A musty odor in certain rooms can be a sign of water damage to the ceiling, especially if the room has experienced water damage. The musty smell is caused by the growth of mold or mildew, which thrive in moist environments. Mold spores can spread through the air and cause health problems, especially for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues. In addition to the musty smell, other signs of water damage may be present, such as water stains, peeling paint, or saggy ceilings.
Signs of Water Damage to Walls
Walls may have water damage for various reasons, such as plumbing leaks, roof leaks, flooding, or high humidity. Plumbing leaks can occur behind walls, causing water to seep through and damage the wall. Similarly, roof leaks can cause water to seep through the roof and damage the walls. Flooding can also cause water damage to walls, significantly if the water level rises high enough to reach the walls. High humidity can cause moisture to build up on walls, leading to mold growth and other water damage.
1. Cracking, flaking, or bubbling paint
Cracking, flaking, or bubbling paint on walls can indicate water damage. When water seeps through the walls, it can cause the paint to lose adhesion and peel away from the wall surface. As a result, the paint can crack, flake, or bubble, revealing the wall material underneath. The appearance and severity of the paint damage depend on the extent and duration of the water damage and the type of paint and wall material. In addition to the paint damage, other signs of water damage may be present, such as discoloration, mold growth, or musty odors.
2. Softened drywall
Softened drywall is a clear sign of water damage. When the drywall is exposed to water, it can absorb moisture and become saturated, causing it to lose its structural integrity and become soft or mushy. Softened drywall may feel spongy to the touch and can easily damage or crumble when pressed. The appearance and extent of the damage depend on the amount and duration of the water exposure, as well as the location and type of drywall. In addition to the softness, other signs of water damage may be present, such as discoloration, mold growth, or musty odors.
Softened drywall is a severe issue that should be addressed promptly, as it can lead to structural damage and potential health hazards due to mold growth. To address the issue thoroughly, it may require removing and replacing the damaged drywall.
Discoloration on walls is a common sign of water damage and can appear as dark or light streaks on the wall surface. The discoloration is caused by the water seeping through the walls and saturating the material, causing it to change color. The appearance and severity of the discoloration depend on the amount and duration of the water exposure and the type of wall material. Discoloration may be accompanied by other signs of water damage, such as cracking or peeling paint, soft or swollen wall surfaces, or a musty odor.
4. Water rings
Water rings on walls are a common sign of water damage and can appear as light brown or yellow stains on the wall surface. The rings are caused by water seeping through the walls and saturating the material, causing it to change color. Water rings may have a circular or irregular shape, depending on the source and duration of the water exposure. Water rings may be accompanied by other signs of water damage, such as cracking or peeling paint, soft or swollen wall surfaces, or a musty odor.
5. Musty smell in the room
A musty smell in a room can signal water damage to the walls. The odor is caused by the growth of mold or mildew, which thrives in damp environments. When walls are exposed to moisture, they provide a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The musty odor may be more noticeable in poorly ventilated areas, such as closets or basements, or after a period of high humidity or rainfall. In addition to the odor, other signs of water damage may be present, such as discoloration, cracking or peeling paint, or soft or swollen wall surfaces.
Signs of Water Damage to Flooring
Floors may have water damage for various reasons, such as plumbing leaks, appliance malfunctions, flooding, or excessive moisture. Water damage to floors can occur in any building area, including bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements, and crawl spaces. It can cause warping, buckling, or cracking of floorboards or tiles, leading to mold growth and foul odors.
1. Buckling or separation of flooring
Buckling or separation of flooring is a clear sign of water damage. When water seeps under the flooring material, it can cause the material to expand and buckle or separate from the subfloor. Buckling can cause the flooring to become uneven, warped, or distorted, while separation can create gaps or lifting of the flooring material. The appearance and extent of the damage depend on the amount and duration of the water exposure, as well as the type and quality of the flooring material.
In addition to the buckling or separation, other signs of water damage may be present, such as discoloration, mold growth, or musty odors. Buckling or separating flooring is a serious issue that should be addressed promptly, as it can lead to tripping hazards, structural damage, and potential health hazards due to mold growth. It may require removing and replacing the damaged flooring to address the issue fully.
2. Discoloration of flooring
Discoloration of flooring is a common sign of water damage and can appear as dark or light stains on the surface of the flooring material. The discoloration is caused by the water seeping through the flooring and saturating the material, causing it to change color. The appearance and severity of the discoloration depend on the amount and duration of the water exposure, as well as the type and quality of the flooring material. Discoloration may be accompanied by other signs of water damage, such as warping, buckling, flooring cracking, or a musty odor. Additionally, discoloration of flooring can indicate the growth of mold or mildew, which can cause further damage to the flooring material and pose health risks to the occupants of the building. You should promptly fix the damage to avoid severe damage to your property.
3. Cracks or bubbling in the flooring
When water seeps through the flooring material, it causes the material to expand and contract, forming cracks or bubbles. Cracks range from minor hairline fractures to larger, more visible gaps in the flooring material, while bubbles can create an uneven or bumpy surface. The appearance and severity of the damage depend on the amount and duration of the water exposure, as well as the type and quality of the flooring material.
4. Musty smell in the room
A musty smell in a room is a common sign of water damage to the floor. When water seeps into the flooring material or subfloor, it can create an environment for mold and mildew to grow. Mold and mildew release a distinct, musty odor that can be easily noticeable in the affected room. The smell may be powerful in areas with high humidity or poor ventilation, such as basements or bathrooms. A musty odor may be the only sign of water damage in some cases, especially if the damage is not visible on the surface of the flooring material.
Got Water Damage? Valley Restoration Can Help
Roof leaks, ceiling leaks, and other types of water damage are responsible for billions of dollars each year for property owners and homeowners like you. If you’ve noticed any of these water damage signs in your home or commercial property, then call Valley Restoration & Construction.
As a local company based in the heart of Montrose, we can be on-site within an hour to assess the damage and find the primary cause. We will start the remediation process to mitigate damage and help you get everything back together. Unlike other companies who stop the leak and leave you with a mess, Valley Restoration will be by your side until your home or business looks precisely as it did before the water damage began.
No job is too big or too small for us. We’re always willing to pitch in and help our fellow community members.
Burst pipes, floods, or leaks can cause serious water damage in your home.
Once water damage has taken place, homeowners should call their insurance company and a mitigation and restoration company to assess the damage and start the repair process.
However, there are several things that a homeowner can do—or refrain from doing—to minimize water damage and limit further deterioration while they wait.
Here are some steps you can take to limit the extent of the damage to your home and your belongings.
Determine what has caused the water damage
There are many reasons for water damage in a home: a blocked sink, a washing machine hose that has become loose or is too brittle, rainwater coming into the house, an overflowing sewage system, or even blocked drains causing flooding in the house.
Your first step depends on the cause of the water damage. Sewage water and gray water are filled with germs and harmful bacteria.Vacate the premises immediately, without lingering or salvaging your belongings! The best thing to do is to call your insurance company, and a reputablemitigation and restoration company to start the reparation process.
Water damage from a washing machine, a water heater, or a blocked sink is safe. Homeowners can take the following initial steps to limit the damage.
Turn off the water main
Once you have determined the source of the water damage, the best thing to do is to turn off the water main valve, to stop more water flooding your home. It’s good to know beforehand where the main water shutoff is located in your house so that you don’t need to look for it in a state of panic.
Turn off power to avoid electric shocks
If possible, turn off the power to avoid electric shocks. Make sure you are not standing in water when you do this. If the whole area is flooded, it’s best to leave this to an electrician to avoid danger to yourself.
Do not plug or unplug appliances
socket and wire in fire and smoke, fire
Sometimes, our first instinct is to start water mitigation on our own. However, water damage is usually extensive and requires professional care. You cannot be certain about the extent of the damage in your internal electrical system.
Do not try to fix things by plugging any tools, pumps, or your vacuum cleaner to remove water. A vacuum cleaner will probably not be adequate to suck that much water and you could end up making things much worse by causing a short circuit or even a fire.
Similarly, do not unplug any appliance and do not use electric appliances before an electrician has checked and confirmed that your electricity grid is safe.
How do you control water leaks?
If you have a leak that can be temporarily constrained, put a bucket under the leak until the restoration company arrives at your home. If the leak is damaging pieces of light furniture that can be safely moved, move them to limit the damage.
You can also move any fragile and water-sensitive items out of the reach of water, for example by placing them onto shelves. Always make sure you are safe and do not risk falling or slipping.
Can you live in a house with water damage?
With the panic and stress we often feel during a calamity, we may misjudge a situation and make hasty decisions. Do not throw out any carpets, furniture, or belongings that you think are beyond repair.
Reputable and professional mitigation and restoration companies have specialized equipment and tools to save your home and belongings.
As a professional and experienced restoration company, we aim at salvaging and bringing back to life as many items as we can during our work. Many homeowners are amazed at how much of their precious belonging we have saved, cleaned, and repaired. Our cleaning equipment and specialized tools are much more powerful than common household appliances.
Trust us to bring your home and its contents back to their previous state!
Choose a professional mitigation and restoration company
Water damage can be dangerous to the structural integrity of a house. It is also a traumatic experience for homeowners. Hiring a restoration company is the best step to take to secure your home and save your belongings.
We are here to respond to your call on a 24/7 basis. Our experienced teams will mitigate the water damage and restore your home to make it safe and habitable again. Contact us now online or call us on 970-964-4437 to learn more!
One of the most important investments many people make is the purchase of their home or business premises. If something happens to it, the repercussions can be immense. Seeing your property after a fire or flood is a traumatic experience.
Thankfully, fire, water, and mold damage can be mitigated and restored by an experienced company specializing in emergency restoration.
Many property owners wonder what emergency mitigation and restoration is and whether it is necessary. It’s good to understand what these emergencies involve and how timely mitigation benefits your most important investment, so that you are prepared should it ever come to that.
Natural disasters happen: be prepared
A natural disaster at home can be overwhelming.
Water can flood parts or whole segments of a house and destroy electrical devices, clothes, furniture, and the floor, among others. If left unattended, water damage can also lead to mold and cause long-term damage.
Fire can burn ceilings, windows, and belongings and cause smoke damage that is particularly difficult to get rid of. Even as you put out the fire, the retardants and chemicals that fire extinguishers use can be hazardous and hard to clean.
What should you do in case of a natural disaster?
In the event of a natural disaster, the first step is to make sure everyone in your household or business is safe and accounted for.
Then, call the fire department if there is a fire. Turn off the water mains in case a ruptured pipe is causing water damage. In both cases, shut down the electrical main: fire melting cables can be as deadly as water leaking into light switches and power outlets.
The next step is to leave the house and call a reputable and trustworthy emergency restoration company.
When should I call my insurance company after a natural disaster?
Right after you call your insurance company, ask an emergency restoration company to assess the damage without interfering in any way with the actual damage. The restoration company can be onsite within a couple hours or less, whereas it may take the insurance company a few days to come out. While you are working with the restoration company, the insurance company can start their process and determine policy limitations, if any. If it turns out to be a small loss (less than or close to deductible), then the claim can be withdrawn at no consequence.
The company’s experts will come to appraise the damage: for instance, fire damage usually involves water damage, as water hoses are used to put out the fire. Experts will know whether mold will develop in the flooded parts of the building.
The emergency restoration experts will give you a general idea about the potential cost and their thoughts on what an insurance company is bound to cover. This can save you a lot of money—and hassle—down the road.
Do not clean up before the insurance company has inspected the property
Homeowners should never clean up before the insurance company has come to assess the damage. Insurance investigators need to see the whole damage without any prior intervention.
Once the danger is over and the insurance company has inspected the damage, a homeowner can begin with emergency mitigation and emergency restoration.
If it is not a significant loss, the restoration company will take photos. If given permission by the homeowner, they can work with the insurance company directly to determine the needed scope of work and resolve the damage according to the coverages of your policy.
What is the difference between emergency mitigation and restoration?
While some use the terms interchangeably, they mean quite different things.
What is emergency mitigation?
Emergency mitigation involves stopping any further damage to the house from fire, water, or the elements.
Emergency mitigation requires specialists to remove damaged furniture, debris, and damaged materials like drywall and flooring. Mitigation is also about ensuring the home’s structural stability and protecting its integrity—and your safety—by boarding broken windows and preventing any further damage.
If parts of the building such as the roof, windows, or the entrance door are exposed to the elements, emergency mitigation makes sure these are provisionally fixed until emergency restoration begins.
Emergency mitigation is all about stopping further damage to the building.
What is emergency restoration?
Emergency restoration involves returning the building to its former condition.
It covers everything from repairing the damage to cleaning, fixing, painting, or doing anything else that is necessary to make the building once again safe, habitable, and pleasing to the eye.
How do you restore a water-damaged house?
Water emergency mitigation requires a thorough inspection and assessment of the damage.
An expert will know where you may have hidden water damage, beyond what you can see at first glance. Specialists can detect hidden moisture. They will make sure that the water extraction process starts immediately: the sooner the water is extracted, the less the water damage or risk from mold.
Once the initial inspection is complete, the restoration crew will follow these steps:
1. Water extraction
Water mitigation means extracting the water from the house with powerful pumps that remove the standing water.
Places such as basements are particularly difficult to extract water from. Unfortunately, they are also the most prone to water and mold damage.
Be prepared for the fact that some of your belongings will be discarded. Damaged parts of the house such as wet ceiling panels will have to be replaced. To ensure your safety, restoration crews also pay extra attention to the electrical system, plugs, and cables that may have been damaged.
2. Drying and dehumidifying after water damage
Once all water has been removed, the emergency mitigation crew will start the drying and dehumidifying process.
The drying process goes further than drying the belongings that were salvaged. The crew will also dry wooden floors, carpets, and anything that can be restored. A mitigation company will also make sure that any lingering moisture is dried and will monitor the moisture levels to make sure that there is no underlying problem.
3. Mold and residual moisture monitoring
Moisture monitoring is necessary to confirm there is no mold.
If any mold is found, the emergency mitigation crew will take care of the problem and clean up with the appropriate equipment and detergents.
A professional emergency mitigation service will also ensure your safety by checking for category 3 water, aka black water. This contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria, and fungi that can lead to infections, illnesses, and long-term respiratory problems. If you come into contact with black water you risk even more serious health risks and even death.
4. Sanitizing, deodorizing, disinfecting
If the water came from outdoors or from a broken sewage pipe, or if black water is found, the property will require disinfection to make it safe and clean for habitation.
Once all water damage has been mitigated, the emergency restoration company will sanitize and deodorize the property, to verify there is no lingering moisture smell and that your house is once again suitable for living.
How do you restore a fire-damaged house?
In case of fire, mitigation deals with two important consequences: water damage and smoke damage.
The fire mitigation crew will first inspect and evaluate the damage to the building structure and to your belongings by both the water used to put out the fire and the smoke.
The specialists will then make an inventory of what is salvageable and what is not.
They will dispose of everything that is beyond repair or cleaning. This includes belongings, burnt floorboards, carpets, and other features. Fire-damaged areas of the house will be cordoned off from the rest of the house so that restoration work can begin there.
The crew will then remove all soot from any salvageable items and return them to their previous condition.
Once the initial fire inspection is complete, the steps below will be followed:
1. Water damage during a fire
The water used to put out a fire often causes its own damage. This water can linger on, especially in basements and behind walls, and cause mold.
A professional mitigation company will remove water with powerful pumps and will verify there is no lingering moisture or mold in the house.
2. Smoke damage during a fire
Smoke infiltrates everything and needs specialized equipment to get rid of.
Specialized fire mitigation companies know there are different types of smoke such as wet, dry, or soot smoke. These require different approaches during the cleaning process.
The fire mitigation crew will use specialized equipment that absorbs soot and smoke from walls, floors, ceilings, and other surfaces. The crew has the appropriate material and equipment to remove smoke odor from buildings and make them livable and pleasant again.
Lingering smoke can permeate a building and linger on for a long time, making it highly detrimental to people’s health. Therefore, it is essential to remove it immediately and effectively.
Smoke deodorization is an essential step in making your home safe again.
3. Cleaning up fire retardant chemicals
A crucial step of fire mitigation involves cleaning up the fire retardant chemicals used to put out the fire.
While these chemicals are very good for limiting a fire, they should not be breathed in. A professional team knows how to clean up them and make your home safe to live in once again.
4. Restoring the damage
Once all of the above is complete, it is time for the restoration. In some cases, the fire damage is extensive and requires significant structural reconstruction.
Fire restoration involves repairing all the damaged parts of the house such as windows, ceilings, wooden floors, wooden beams, doors, etc.
Experienced emergency restoration experts will guide you through the reconstruction process.
Make the most out of a disaster
Natural disasters are called emergencies for a reason: they are distressing events. But they can also be an opportunity for you to make the changes you have been dreaming about.
If your insurance company pays for the restoration, you can invest a little extra money to make the improvements and changes you have been meaning to. A more modern kitchen? A remodeled bathroom? A new wooden floor? Perhaps a flood or a fire can be the extra push you need to make your dream home come true.
Whatever your need after a natural disaster, Valley Restoration and Construction can help. Our emergency mitigation & restoration crews will restore your house to its pristine condition. Contact us online or call us now on 970-964-4437!