According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage accounts for nearly 30% of all homeowner insurance claims. Many causes of water damage, such as a burst pipe or flood due to rain, are apparent. Other times, hidden leaks are to blame. But even hidden leaks often show signs of water damage. Read on for 5 signs of water damage in walls.

  1. Staining
    Staining is one of the first signs of water damage in walls and ceilings. The stain may appear as paint discoloration.
  1. Musty or Mildew Smell
    A musty smell is also one of the signs of water damage in walls. If you notice an odor of mildew and cannot pinpoint the source, you may have a leak behind a wall.
  1. Mold Growth Along Baseboards or Walls
    If you find mold growing along a baseboard or wall, you almost certainly have a hidden leak.
  1. Bubbling or Peeling Wallpaper or Paint
    Finding bubbled paint or peeling wallpaper is another symptom of water damage. Paint that has begun to crack or flake, especially if it’s new, is one of the leading signs of water damage in walls.
  1. Warped or Swollen Walls
    A wall that appears bent or curved has likely sustained water damage. Likewise, if your walls or ceiling seems to be buckling, you undoubtedly have a water leak. If you touch a wall and it feels soft, you should also assume you have water damage.

What to Do If You Have Signs of Water Damage in Walls

If you have any signs of water damage, it’s best to let the experts handle it. You should contact a reputable water and emergency restoration company as soon as possible.

However, if you aren’t sure if peeling paint or a musty smell indicates water damage, you can conduct a simple experiment. Make sure all faucets are off. Then ensure all appliances such as the washing machine and dishwater are off. Next, check your water meter, and write down the usage. After three hours, recheck your water meter. If the usage has increased, there is a hidden leak. You’ll need to call a water damage restoration company.

How to Prevent Hidden Water Leaks in Your Home

Accidents happen. But you can reduce the risk of hidden leaks in your home by following these steps.

  • Fix any leaking faucets
  • Fix toilets that continually run
  • Regularly inspect washing machine, water heater, dishwasher, and refrigerator hoses
  • Insulate pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting
  • Clean gutters annually
  • Repair any damage to your roof
  • Recaulk your shower or tub when needed
  • Seal basements
  • Redirect rainspouts away from the home
  • Turn off the water if you leave town
  • Install a water leak detector

Get Immediate Help for Water Damage in Lane County

If you have signs of water damage in walls or have experienced a sudden flood, Action 911 Restoration and Environmental Services is here to help. Our team has provided professional restoration and cleanup services for homes and businesses in Lane County for three decades. Contact us for 24/7 emergency restoration services by calling 541-345-4911.