Easy to Miss Signs of Water Damage
Not every water loss involves standing up to your ankles in your living room or watching your next-door neighbor float by your new SUV in a raft. Some water damage starts small and spreads slowly, giving very few signs of how much damage it will eventually cause. In this case you need to be aware-- catching many of these losses early could even be the difference between an easily-approved claim or months of battles, and you can save your home from more extensive remodel procedures in the process. So, here are some little things to keep an eye out for when inspecting your home, especially as we thaw into a new spring season sooner than you think.
When you're laying in your bed at night, or quietly reading in the afternoon, keep your ears open for unusual sounds coming from the ceiling, floor or walls, even more so if you cannot remember hearing them before. The sounds of water running or dripping may be particularly concerning, though they may also be normal sounds of water circulating throughout your house. Only you will be able to distinguish if a certain noise doesn't sound normal.
Something that would be hard to miss even if you weren't looking for it would be a strange new smell. Trapped moisture or standing water can easily produce mold and mildew which will in many cases lead to a musty odor even if not visible to the eye. If you smell something abnormal, try to find where it's coming from and also check the room for a feeling of additional humidity or condensation. These hints could be telling you that your walls or ceiling are becoming saturated with moisture.
Along with smells and noises, also look for any discoloration on any surfaces within your home. A small yellow stain might not be from a spill, but from a leaking pipe on the other side of the wall; a growing spot on the ceiling might not be from aging wallpaper but from slowly-accumulating water above your head. If unsure, a trained professional like those at SERVPRO of Bend can assist you by inspecting the area with moisture meters and probes, while letting you know what to do in case of water damage. These things are always best taken care of early, to save yourself both time and money in the long run.
Lastly, pay attention to any "cold spots" in your home, or if you feel it's becoming more and more difficult to keep the temperature up. Water can trap heat and make it harder for you to heat your home, while also raising the overall humidity leading to a chilly "cave-like" feel when the damage has progressed. The water may have not saturated the wood yet but only the insulation, so visible signs may be few and far between.
Take note of things that change in your home and perform consistent maintenance to guard against breaks and leaks. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to spot a cracked pipe far below your home, but in many cases the signs are there if you're willing to look. And, as always, call SERVPRO of Bend if you're not too sure and would like us to take a look.