Don’t Ignore This Sign of Water Damage in Your Basement

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The typical cost of repairing water damage to your home ranges from $1,188 to $5,057. Of course, the actual cost depends on where you live and the extent of the damage.

If you want to save money as much as possible, you have to look out for early signs of water damage. Leaks left unattended will cause more damage that’s hard and expensive to repair.

Keep on reading to learn what sign of water damage you should watch out for to avoid serious consequences to your home’s structure, your health, and your family.

Telltale Signs of Water Damage in Your Home

A musty smell might be the surest sign of water damage, but it’s not the only one. After all, basements always have a certain smell to them. Check out what you should be looking out for below:

1. Musty Odor

Damp spaces have a distinct musty odor, which is why basements often smell the same. If you’re not in a basement, though, and you’re detecting it in various parts of the home, you may be dealing with water damage.

The musty smell isn’t something to ignore as it’s most often caused by molds. It’s the smell of decay from the biological growth of molds, bacteria, and biofilm, or what’s also known as microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs).

You may also relate this smell to wet cardboard boxes, dirty socks, wet dogs, or even a locker room. It’s a serious sign of water damage you need to address ASAP. 

2. Stains or Wet Spots

Look up to your ceiling and check for any yellow stain. Do you see any? Then you have a leak.

This is a watermark, and it may also appear in the interior and exterior of your walls. You should always look out for one when checking for water damage in your home.

They can appear like a huge ring of stain, but you should also keep an eye out for smaller ones. What might look like a dirty stain might be a wet spot instead. Pay closer attention to the areas closer to your plumbing.

3. Peeling Paint

The paint may peel when water seeps through the wall. It may seem instantaneous; you can wake up one day to see your wall paint peeling when it wasn’t yesterday.

That’s because water damage might take some time to penetrate the drywall. After which, it hits the surface layer in no time at all.

Check for cracking, bubbling, or flaking. If you have wallpaper, it can exhibit similar signs, as well.

Call a professional to assess the damage in the area as soon as you can if you find this sign. It will only get worse the longer you ignore it.

4. Unusual High Water Bill

Does everything seem fine but you get a spike in your utility bills all of a sudden? There may be a hidden water leak somewhere in your home.

Check for signs of basement water damage right away. At an early stage, you may not see paint peeling or water stains yet.

Even a musky smell might not be present. In the absence of such obvious signs, there’s a strong possibility the water damage is inside the walls.

You’ll have to call a professional and let them look for the leak if any. Timing is crucial as you don’t want to deal with everything below.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Even One Sign of Water Damage

Water damage isn’t something that will fix itself eventually. That’s why it’s easier to attend to it as soon as you notice a sign. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with the following dangers of water damage:

1. Health Hazards

Damp and dark spaces provide a good environment for mold and bacteria to grow. This is a health hazard as exposure to mold can cause all sorts of health issues.

People who are sensitive to mold may experience red and itchy eyes, wheezing, and a stuffy nose. These reactions are on the milder side, as those who have an allergy or a health condition like asthma might have a more intense experience.

It also depends on the amount of mold growing in your basement. If you’ve missed the musky smell or you don’t check for signs of water damage often, mold will grow freely.

2. Structural Damage

Water can weaken the structure of your home, especially the wooden parts. If it affects the load-bearing walls, which carry the majority of your home’s weight, your home might collapse. You may also see leaning doors and windows as a result of water damage.

Even the metal structures in your home are prone to water damage. They can rust, thus weakening their integrity.

Water damage can also affect the foundation. It can lead to long-term irreversible damage to your home.

3. Electrical Damage

Water damage might also mess with your wiring. When exposed to water, the electrical components might get damaged due to corrosion or mildew.

Flooding in the basement may also affect exposed wires and cables. This may result in termination failures or insulation issues.

You’ll need a professional electrical contractor to assess the damage and see if the wires are still safe to use. You shouldn’t attempt to use it until it’s deemed safe for continued use. The same goes for waterlogged appliances and other devices that use electricity.

4. Costly Repairs

The longer you ignore the signs of water damage, the expensive your bill is going to be. Fixing a leaky pipe, when caught early, shouldn’t cost much. Fixing your entire basement and your foundation due to flooding and structural damage is another matter.

The amount you’ll pay for an inspection and quick fix isn’t comparable to all the stress, hassles, and expensive repairs. As soon as you suspect water damage, make sure to call a professional.

Be Alert and Don’t Wait

It’s a good idea to develop a routine for checking for water damage in your basement and your home. As soon as you catch a sign of water damage, call a qualified contractor.

You should also look into waterproofing your basement for added security. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.