You’re walking through your kitchen when all of a sudden, you step in something wet. There’s a puddle of water sitting in front of one of your cabinets. You mop up the puddle only for it to appear again a few hours later.

Now it’s time to play a rousing game of where is the water coming from. It could be a simple leak, or it might be something a little more sinister. Persistent puddles are a clear sign of water damage.

Check out this guide to learn all the signs you should look for so you can fix the problem before it gets too serious.

  1. Bubbles and Peeling Paint

The first sign you need to call a water damage restoration company is bubbling paint and wallpaper. The water got behind the drywall and paint and created a pocket. These pockets will damage your walls and give it sort of a spongy texture when you touch it.

Water damage doesn’t always come in the form of large bubbles. Sometimes the paint will simply flake.

To many homeowners, this looks like their paint job is giving out. Not everyone links it back to water damage before they start to see dark stains.

  1. Dark Stains on Your Walls and Ceiling

When a leak breaks out, your walls and ceiling will be the first things to get wet. As the water dries, it will leave a yellowish-brown stain behind.

The good news is the stains appear near the source of the leak, so you’ll know where to look or, at least know where to tell the water damage repair company to look.

  1. Sounds of Running Water

So far, all our examples have been visual. You won’t always see signs of water damage, though. There are times when you’ll hear it instead.

If you can hear the sound of running water while all the faucets in your home are turned off, it means there’s water flowing from some other source. The tricky part is you’ll also hear running water when everything is working fine.

The trick is to listen for little inconsistencies. If the water goes from an even flow to a roaring stream, that is a cause for concern. The force of the water won’t change intensities for no reason.

  1. Musty Smell

Older homes tend to have this musty smell that you can’t escape from. There is a distinct difference between old home musty and water damage musty, however. One day, you’ll just start to get a whiff of damp cardboard.

When this happens, it’s a good idea to follow your nose. The closer you get to the site of the water damage, the stronger the smell will get. When you get to the room where the smell is the most potent, start to look for the other signs of water damage we’ve mentioned above.

If you don’t notice the smell until after a big rain hits, the source of your problem might be your home’s foundation. If this is the case, you need to get the problem fixed ASAP. If you don’t, the damage might cause serious structural problems.

  1. Increased Utility Bills

So, you open your water bill and your jaw hits the floor. Either you’ve taken a lot of showers this month, or there is a leak somewhere that you’re unaware of.

Not every high water bill you get in the mail indicates a water leak. We’re talking about large and unusual spikes. If your bill is a good hundred dollars more than the previous one, it might be a good idea to call a plumber to find out what the problem is.

  1. You Feel Damp

If you live in a cold area, it’s not unusual for the humidity to drop in your home during the winter. Many people will combat this problem with a humidifier.

When you plug your humidifier in, there will be a noticeable difference in the air. It’s only a problem if walking through your home makes you feel damp. A humidity spike that large means there is another source of water in your home somewhere.

  1. You’ve Spotted Mold

Dark, damp areas are a breeding ground for mold. The main giveaway that there’s mold somewhere in your home is a musty smell. As we said before, follow your nose.

Mold from water damage isn’t always visible to the naked eye. Sometimes it grows under the floor or carpet. You may not want to rip up a small section of your carpet to look, but you need to.

This is especially true if your carpet is wet at all. If you notice mold, leave it alone and call a company to take care of it right away. It can be dangerous to handle on your own.

  1. Damaged Floors

Water damaged floors can be the result of foundation problems or a pipe burst. You will begin noticing the signs in areas that don’t see a lot of foot traffic.

Your tiles may begin to loosen and shift out of place. Your wood and linoleum floors will warp. If you bend down to touch your carpets, they will feel wet and soggy.

Signs of Water Damage You Should Be on the Lookout For

Have you noticed yellowish-brown stains around your home? Are your carpets damp? Is there a musty odor wafting through your home?

You may be experiencing some level of water damage. Even if you only suspect there is a problem, it’s a good idea to call a company out to investigate. If you don’t, a small issue may turn into a larger one.

Are you looking for additional ways to keep your home working like a well-oiled machine? Check out the maintenance & repair section of our blog for more posts like this one.

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