Floods are the most common type of natural disaster worldwide. Between 1998-2017, floods impacted more than two billion people around the globe. 

Even in the U.S., floods can impact any state. After a storm comes through, you might think you’re flood-free, but that might not be the case. Read this guide to learn about a house’s unsuspecting signs of flood damage today.

What Is Hidden Water Damage?

Water damage could be expensive to repair, and your insurance won’t cover it without flood insurance. However, you could get hidden water damage insurance. 

These are hidden leaks from household appliances or plumbing. This coverage will protect you from expensive water damage in floors, cabinets, ceilings, etc. 

Mold Growth

Check for moldy walls. It normally starts on the floors and seams of ceilings.

You’ll need to contact a water damage restoration company for large mold outbreaks. They’ll find the source of the mold tissue and remove it. They could also help you prevent future mold growth. 

You don’t want to let mold go since it could cause health problems. 

Some health issues include: 

  • Skin rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Eye irritation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Since there are various types of mold, some are more dangerous than others. Mold could also damage your home’s structure or harm your pets, hence mold testing becomes mandatory. 

Peeling Wallpaper

Look for peeling wallpaper and paint. Water damage causes wallpaper and paint to lose their adhesion. It can lead to more damage that’s harder to repair. 

Warped Ceilings, Walls, and Floors

Hidden water damage can cause drywall, wood, and other surfaces to warp. This happens when they absorb water. 

These signs of water damage could lead to safety hazards. Look for floors that are creaking and for warped walls. 

Caulk around the bathtub to prevent future water damage. Repair damaged grout and tiles. If you find wet drywall, you’ll need to replace or dry it. 

Musty Odors

Check for musty odors in the air. See if the musty odors only come from certain rooms. Organic compounds could cause smells similar to paper, newspaper, and cardboard. 

You could also check your water meter if you think there’s a water leak. Contact your water utility company to test and check your system. 

Ceiling Stains

See if you notice staining on the ceiling. If you notice stains, it’s probably from water damage. Remove them fast before it grows and leads to more damage. 

High Water Bills

Check your monthly water bill. You might have a leak in your home if you notice an increase. 

Start in areas that use a lot of water. These include outside hoses, water supply lines, water heaters, toilets, etc. If you can’t locate a leak, it’s a good idea to contact a water damage restoration company

Outdated Pipes

Check all water-based appliances that are outdated. Any outdated appliances and pipes could be a sign of water damage. 

Check all appliances and pipes once a year for any leaks. Have the valves and connections inspected as well. If worn, replace them immediately. 

Sagging Walls and Ceilings

When ceilings and walls begin to sag, they could be saturated by water. Sagging walls and ceilings could collapse and cause damage to your home. It could also be a safety hazard. 

Check the Sink

You might find water spots under the sink, but it’s rare. Check under the sink for condensation, water stains, standing water, etc. Keep the area under your sink organized to find hidden water damage easier. 

To check seals and pipes, run water down the drain. Don’t ignore slow or small leaks under the sink. If left alone, these could lead to bigger problems. 

Is Hidden Water Coverage Worth It?

While optional, there are a variety of coverage options. Speak with your insurance agent to see your options. 

Without coverage, hidden water damage would come out of your own pocket. It could cover manufactured homes, condos, vacation homes, primary residences, etc. 

It covers: 

  • Ice dams
  • Roof leaks
  • Loss to the home appliance or system where the water escaped
  • Sewer backups 

How To Check Your Attic for Hidden Water Damage

Check your attic and roof after storms. Hidden water damage could also be from HVAC drain pans, water pipes, and other equipment. 

Insulation material could hide water damage. Check close to water sources underneath the insulation. 

Roof leaks could be due to: 

  • Extreme weather
  • Condensation
  • Equipment
  • Poor roof maintenance 

Any penetration in the roof will make it more vulnerable to leaks. Check vents, chimneys, solar panels, rain guards, gutters, and exhaust fans. 

Water Damage Signs

Check for dampness in the insulation, attic flooring, or walls. Look for moisture on the windows and windowsills, attic vents, and pipes. 

If your attic is humid, you might have water damage. See if there’s a musty scent in the air. 

It’s important to have attic and roof checks once every three to six months. 

The Signs That You Might Have Flood Damage

After exploring this guide, you should better understand what to look for when it comes to hidden flood damage. Take your time going through your home and attic to ensure there’s no damage. 

If you don’t find anything but feel something’s wrong, it’s a good idea to speak with a water damage professional. They can check throughout your home, fix the problem, and prevent future occurrences.

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