Water damage can affect the structure and safety of your home, so it’s essential to catch problems early. Whether it’s peeling paint or mold proliferation, several indicators warrant immediate attention.
The first restoration step is assessing the damage’s extent using specialized equipment. This allows technicians to determine what materials are salvageable and what needs to be replaced.
Stained Walls and Ceilings
Taking action immediately is essential if you notice water stains on your ceilings or walls. These unsightly stains are more than just an eyesore; they can indicate severe water damage and expensive repairs.
Often, stains are caused by a leak in your plumbing or a nearby water source. If the stain isn’t a result of one of these sources, it may be caused by moisture or humidity in your home.
It’s a good idea to clean the area with bleach, especially if you’re thinking about priming and painting it over. This will help remove bacteria or mold and ensure the paint sticks well. It’s best to call a professional to address the water damage before it worsens.
Increased Utility Bill
A sudden increase in water usage may be a sign that there is a leak. Water damage restoration experts can find and repair these hidden leaks, which saves you money on your utility bill.
The best drywall water damage repair companies use high-quality equipment, like industrial-grade fans for drying and dehumidification, moisture meters and infrared cameras for moisture mapping and identifying hidden water damage, antimicrobial sprays to kill bacteria and mold colonies, and much more. They will also adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and other state and federal laws.
These regulations ensure that crews are safe and that their work meets industry standards. They will also know how to determine whether the water is considered hazardous, such as white water from a burst pipe or gray or black water that contains sewage or floodwater from a natural disaster.
A damp, funky smell indicates that you must call in an IICRC-certified water damage restoration expert. A musty, earthy odor is usually caused by mold and mildew growth, which can cause serious health problems for you and your family. These microorganisms thrive in dark, warm, humid places such as basements and bathrooms.
Mold spores can also trigger respiratory issues and skin problems in sensitive people. The longer you leave these problems untreated, the worse they will get. If the musty, damp odor is only present in certain rooms of your house, it may mean that the problem is localized and easy to fix, such as ventilation.
If you see discolored spots or stains on your walls, floors, or ceiling, it’s likely because of hidden water damage. The longer these issues go untreated, the worse they get, which can lead to structural damage and mold.
Musty odors are also indicative of water damage in your home. This smell is caused by mold or mildew growth when damp materials remain moist for extended periods.
When examining these blemishes, it’s essential to check for rings around them, as this is a sign of how long they have been a problem. You can also touch the spot to find out how old it is – newer stains will have a firm feel, while older ones will have a squishy texture.
Mold can be a severe issue. Certain varieties, such as Stachybotrys chartarum, aka black mold, can produce mycotoxins and toxins that can harm humans. It’s also known to cause respiratory problems, such as sneezing, allergies, sore throats, fatigue and headaches. It’s essential to check for mold in areas that have experienced water damage. Look for discoloration on ceilings, walls, and floors, as well as bubbling paint or wallpaper.
Removing porous items from the home affected by water damage is also essential. This includes carpeting and carpet padding, wallpaper, drywall, and insulation. Leaving these items in place can lead to further water damage and mold growth. The sooner these materials are removed and replaced, the better.