Household water damage usually occurs silently, making it difficult to catch before it gets out of control. At Kiser Construction, we know from experience just how impactful even a small plumbing leak can be to the structure of your home and how if you don’t catch minor leaks early, they inevitably worsen.

Household water damage can create an enormous amount of remediation and remodeling work. Hiring remodeling contractors to tear out and reconstruct water-damaged parts of your house isn’t just highly inconvenient and time-consuming; it can also be pretty pricey, given the amount of labor and materials required. Perhaps worse, excessive moisture can create conditions inside your home that may put your health at risk.

Unfortunately, water damage isn’t always easily detectable in its early stages. And because the damage often happens slowly and quietly, it can get severe before it ever lands on your radar.

But it’s possible to detect potential water problems early on – if you know what to look for.

Sneaky Signs of Household Water Damage

To help you better protect your property, we’ve outlined signs of water damage every homeowner should keep an eye out for.

1. Buckling or Uneven Floors

If areas of your floor are bulging or buckling, water has possibly infiltrated your subfloor, which is a major problem. If you’ve noticed your floors seem uneven or if your floor tiles have begun to crack with no explanation, it’s imperative that you schedule an inspection at your earliest convenience.

Do you have hardwood, laminate, or engineered wood flooring? How’s it looking? Have you noticed any planks that stick up slightly above the others? If so, that may be an early sign of water damage to your subfloor or the flooring itself.

If you have tile floors, watch for tiles that become loose or randomly start cracking when you step on them. A water-damaged subfloor will warp and fail to provide a level surface for the tiles, so they’ll loosen and crack over time.

Replacing a subfloor is an expensive job, but if you catch the damage early, you may be able to get away with repairs rather than a complete overhaul.

2. Peeling, Blistering, or Cracking Paint

If you’ve noticed paint damage inside or outside your home, that indicates water damage. Peeling, cracking, or blistering paint, along with cracked or stained drywall, is almost always a result of moisture infiltration, which can be due to various causes.

If you notice inexplicable stains or bubbles in the paint on your ceiling or walls, those are also giveaways you’re likely dealing with some degree of water damage. Call a water restoration contractor as soon as possible to schedule an inspection. You may have a minor roof leak or a plumbing leak, but you won’t know until an expert takes a look.

To avoid more extensive damage, you’ll need to have a restoration contractor inspect each area for the source of the moisture. Never paint over damaged paint without determining the culprit behind the damage first!

3. Wood Rot

If you own a wood-frame house, it’s critical that you keep a close eye out for wood rot. Rotting wood, even minor, indicates a continual water leak somewhere in your home, and unless you locate the leak promptly, the issue will only spread.

Because wood rot stems from a combination of water and fungal growths, it can spread quickly because fungi grow rapidly. And, because fungi cannot grow on dry wood, the rotted portions of your home are almost continually wet.

Not sure where to look for rot? Check out the following common locations:

●        Exterior siding

●        Roof eaves

●        Wood near the foundation of your home

●        Window frames

●        Exterior soffit, fascia, and trim

If you notice rotting wood around your house, contact a water damage restoration specialist at your earliest convenience. In addition to repairing the existing leak and damage, a specialist can inspect your home for any other signs that you may have more extensive water damage you’re unaware of.

4. Roof Damage

Because your roof sustains continual environmental impacts, it’s one of the most common household areas where you’ll find signs of water damage.

If you’re not sure what to look for, keep an eye out for these signs:

●        Missing shingles or flashings

●        Gutters that pull away from the edge of the roof

●        Organic growths, such as moss and lichen

●        One or more sagging areas throughout the roof

●        Standing water on the roof

If you observe any of the signs listed above, contact a roofing contractor for a roof inspection at your earliest convenience; otherwise, you could face extensive (and expensive!) water damage restoration repairs.

If you catch water intrusion on your roof early, a few simple roof repairs should effectively resolve the problem!

5. Moisture Under or Near Sinks

Take a minute to inspect around and under your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Do feel any damp areas? Do you notice any deteriorated caulking? How do the counters and fixtures look? Are they loose? Is anything detaching or corroding?

All of these issues can point to water damage in its early stages. You could have minor pipe joint deterioration, a crack slowly allowing water to leak from the pipes, or something else could be at play.

Call a water damage restoration expert to request an inspection so you can handle any necessary repairs as early as possible!

6. Windows & Doors That Stick

If you have a tough time opening certain windows and doors in your house, you might assume they’re old and need replacing. And while that might be true, windows and doors that get progressively harder to move can also indicate water damage.

When window and door frames absorb moisture, they can swell and warp. When this happens, the window or door will become more difficult to move since the frame is no longer the appropriate size. The issue will only grow more pronounced with continued moisture absorption.

If you have trouble using any of the doors or windows in your house, don’t assume age is the only culprit. Contact a water restoration contractor who can inspect the offending windows or doors and determine whether water damage is causing the problem.

7. Foundation Cracks

A water-damaged foundation is a serious problem as it puts the entire structure of your home at risk. If it’s been particularly wet outside, your yard has poor drainage, or you don’t have a sump pump, your foundation may be at a higher risk for moisture intrusion.

If you can see foundation cracks, they may have developed for several reasons, including frost heave, natural settling, and water damage. But whatever you do, don’t rule out water damage as the culprit until you’ve had your foundation inspected by a qualified professional. 

8. Unpleasant Odors

If you notice a damp, musty odor anywhere in your home, that may indicate mold or mildew, both of which thrive in wet conditions. If you can’t locate the source of the odor, call a water damage specialist for an inspection.

Mold and mildew can put your health at risk, so the sooner you get the odor checked out, the better.

9. Increased HVAC Stress

Another sneaky way water can damage your home is through excessive wear and tear on your HVAC unit. As the water in the air takes the heat from the walls to evaporate moisture, it will force your heating system to work harder, increasing your monthly utilities and costing you more each month.

10. Warping or Soft Drywall

Sagging, warping, and swelling are common indicators as the material absorbs more water. If any areas of the home look swollen or puffed out, this means structural damage, and you need to call a water restoration contractor for an inspection.

Kiser Construction: Twin Cities Water Damage Restoration Experts

Have you noticed signs of water damage around your house? Then it’s time to get in touch with our team at Kiser Construction. We specialize in comprehensive water damage restoration services for Minneapolis/St. Paul residents, as well as fire and storm damage repairs.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, please call our team today at 763-633-2010 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you promptly.

If your home recently suffered water damage and requires emergency restoration services, please contact us on our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.