signs of water damage in walls (1)

Do You Have Hidden Water Damage? Here Are 6 Signs of Water Damage in Walls

When thinking of water damage in Long Island, you might visualize a flooded room, wet carpeting, or water pouring from a burst pipe. Though these situations are plausible, it’s also possible to experience hidden wall water damage that doesn’t leave a puddle on the floor or flood a room. 

Protect your home and belongings by learning the signs of water damage in walls with the guide below. 

1. Visible Leaks

Sometimes, water leaks behind walls are extensive enough to seep through the drywall or cracks. The problem could be a burst pipe or a massive plumbing leak. As soon as you see water coming from your walls, you must act quickly. 

Start by turning off your home’s water supply. Taking this step won’t fix the leak, but it will stop water from pouring behind your wall.

While the water supply is off, you can contact a plumber to find and address the leak. Once the plumber fixes the leak, you can contact a water damage restoration company to address the damaged drywall and other affected surfaces. 

2. Water Stains and Discoloration

When water seeps behind a wall over time, it can change the color of the wall’s exterior surface. Water stains are usually how people realize they have a hidden leak. 

The discoloration would likely be brown with a reddish or yellowish tint, depending on whether the wall consists of drywall or plaster. Unfortunately, the stains will spread as water continues to saturate the building material. Water stains develop where water accumulates, not where leaks are, so you’ll need professional help to locate the exact source of the water.

3. Soft Spots 

When you press on a wall, you expect it to be firm. However, excessive water in drywall can lead to soft or spongy spots. This is called drywall rot, which means that the water exposure is causing the building material to break down. 

Spongy spots on walls are a serious problem because they can compromise the wall’s structural integrity. Soggy drywall swells, warps, or sags. After a while, the wall could cave in.

4. Mold

Mold only needs about 24 to 48 hours to start growing and spreading at an accelerated rate. If you see visible mold on a wall, a leak behind the structure could be the reason. 

Mold on walls looks like tiny black or green dots. Over time, the specks can grow into a colony that’s impossible to ignore. Mold thrives on moisture and feeds on materials containing cellulose, like paper and drywall.

These fungal colonies can quickly spread throughout your home. They constantly produce microscopic spores that disperse in the air until they settle on surfaces.

The mold can quickly compromise your walls, ceilings, and personal items without immediate mold removal and remediation to treat the original affected wall. If you have a hidden water leak that causes mold growth, you may need to throw out any items that you can’t thoroughly clean and disinfect, according to FEMA.

Inhaling mold spores is also dangerous and can lead to health problems like asthma attacks, skin irritation, coughing, and respiratory illness. People with mold allergies or compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to mold-related illnesses. 

5. Musty Odor

Not all signs of water damage are visible. If there’s a persistent leak behind a wall, mold could start growing inside the wall, which wouldn’t be in your immediate line of sight. Though you wouldn’t see the fungal growths, you could smell it. 

Mold carries a musty odor that’s unpleasant and hard to pinpoint. If your house has a lingering musty smell regardless of how often you clean or air out the property, the smell could be from mold growing behind a wall. 

6. Changes to Wall Paint

Uneven wall texture on a previously smooth surface is cause for concern. The paint on drywall could bubble, blister, and peel with prolonged water exposure.

Paint damage due to a hidden water leak could look different on a plaster wall. The paint may become brittle, crack, and flake away from the wall in those cases.

Count on Disaster Recovery 24/7 Specialists To Remedy Your Wall Water Damage

Knowing how to recognize the signs of water damage in walls can be the difference between minor damage and a major structural problem. Our professional restoration technicians at Disaster Recover 24/7 Specialists deliver comprehensive services to restore Long Island homes and businesses to their original conditions after a fire, water, or storm-related disaster. 

We have over 15 years of industry experience with a crew of licensed and certified restoration technicians and state-of-the-art equipment. With us, your satisfaction is the top priority. Call (631) 831-1880 for an appointment with Disaster Recovery 24/7 Specialists. 

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