To keep your home free of mold and potential expensive renovations, it is a good idea to know the signs of water damage. If you are buying a home, have a home inspector check for any signs of water damage that may be in the home. Water damage can be from a flood, foundation cracks, sprinklers hitting too close to the house or leaking pipes. These problems can lead to the development of mold, which in turn presents a health risk to the home’s occupants.
The ground around your home should slope away from the property to keep water away from the foundation. A home inspector will make sure that the slope of your property is sufficient to keep rainwater and flooding away from the foundation. If your slope isn’t sufficient, you may have water damage to the foundation and in the basement. Water always works its way towards the lowest point, and often that is the cracks around your foundation and ultimately the basement.
Walk around the exterior of the house with a home inspector and check for downspouts from the roof that directs water away from the house. Look at the gutters on your roof to ensure they are secure, intact, and properly attached. Problems with downspouts or gutters may mean that water is not being properly diverted away from your home. Have your home inspector check improperly installed roof drains and missing or cracked shingles that can lead to leakage in the attic. Check out all the exterior windows and door frames. Look for separation and soft spots that may indicate leaks, and make sure sprinklers are not hitting the house with water.
Obvious signs of water damage inside a home include water rings on the ceiling or walls. These often happen when there is a leaking roof or problems in an attic. Warped or cracked floors or soft or sagging spots on the floors near the tub, shower, sinks, dishwasher, or washing machine could mean leaking pipes and ultimately costly repairs.
Check out the cabinets under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom for watermarks that include warping and discoloration. Watermarks may indicate leaking pipes. Pay attention to any new repairs you see on ceilings, walls, and windows. Quick fixes may hide water damage spots. And trust your sense of smell, mustiness or mildew may show you that there is water damage and it has been there for quite some time.
In the Basement
Home inspectors are experts at looking for water damage in basements. Inspectors know that a damp basement will cause mold issues and health problems.
In your basement, water damage can happen from a leaking water heater, a foundation leak or flood damage from a washing machine overflow. Water damage in the basement can destroy any flooring, drywall, furniture, and storage items you keep in the basement.
Water damage in the attic area happens around, and near the chimney, roof vents, and anywhere shingles have been damaged or are missing. Also, check the insulation in the attic to ensure it is dry and free from mold.
It’s critical to choose the right home inspector to help you with finding water damage. Inspectors with more than a decade of industry experience know what to look for when finding signs of water damage. Home Inspectors can help you identify potential water problems, survey the home’s condition, and give you peace of mind that your home you are looking to purchase is free from water damage issues.