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Your house can be one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make, and as a homeowner, you would want to do everything to protect it. But humans as we are, there might be instances where you miss out on some details, and they’ve already become a serious problem when you notice them.


That’s what water damage can do in your house. It might only start as a harmless leak or moisture before you realize that your home is already suffering from such damage. However, you can do something if you detect them early.


Thus, we’ve highlighted some early indicators of water damage that you can pay attention to and ways to prevent them.


What Is Water Damage?

Water damage can take many forms, but it is usually caused by internal issues in a home or building. Unlike flood damage, it doesn’t involve rising water. It means that the water comes from a toilet overflow, plumbing leak, or burst pipe and not from a rising body of water, like an overflowing river.


It should be noted that water damage isn’t only a great inconvenience to your daily routines. Besides ruining your carpets, ceiling furniture, and other precious possessions, it can also be a risk to your health.


Water damage can be determined in the following categories.


Category 1

Its water refers to clean water, which does not constitute a health risk to humans. This category might be potentially caused by defective appliances or sink overflows.

 Category 2

The water in this category is called gray water, and it contains microorganisms. Thus, it is contaminated and may result in sickness when ingested. The potential causes of this water damage might be seepage or broken sump pumps.

Category 3

The type of water under this category is unsanitary. It is known as blackwater that contains bacteria and other organisms that can cause sickness. Sewage problems and contamination of standing water might be the possible sources of this damage.


Early Indicators To Watch Out For

Water damage doesn’t happen without warning signs. Though they can be so subtle that they can go unnoticed for several months or even years, you can detect its early indicators. If you don’t want to encounter the detrimental effects of water damage and spend a lot of money on repairs, you need to keep an eye on the following tell-tale signs.


Pooling Water

Water accumulation is one of the most obvious signs of water damage. The water may come from malfunctioning appliances, like faucets, dishwashers, water heaters, and toilets. One form of water accumulation is pooling water, and it is usually caused by faulty drainage pipes or a leaking roof.


Stains and Rust

Water can damage your home aesthetically. Because as water evaporates, the residue of minerals and salt is left behind and turn into unpleasant discoloration. It’s the source of stain and rust on your walls, carpets, pipes, or floor. This one sign is an early indicator of water damage.


Musty Odor

One of the warning signs of water damage is odor. You might not see any problems, but if you constantly smell mold, mildew, and earthy scents, your home is likely suffering from water damage. For instance, you’ll smell sewage in your home if a sewage line is leaking.


It’s essential to note, though, that not all molds release an odor. Thus, a lack of musty odor doesn’t automatically mean your home is free from water damage.


Sagging Walls and Ceilings

The walls and ceilings can be soaked with water if there’s a severe leak in your home. This extra weight of the water causes the surface to sag. If you notice your walls and ceilings are starting to sink, it’s already a sign of water damage. Please take note that it should be considered as a safety hazard as they are a risk for sudden collapse.


Damaged Flooring

Wherever the source of water damage, water will go down and creep the floor. Wet subfloors resulting from water damage can present itself in several ways, depending on the material of your floor.


It can start warping, expanding, or breaking away from the foundation. Other floors may begin sinking or starting to rise like a tent. Spotting these signs may save your floors and even your home in general from such damage.

Vulnerable Areas Of Your Home

Knowing the early indicators of water damage isn’t enough. While they may seem visible, they can be harder to spot if you don’t know where to look. The following are some of the areas most vulnerable to water damage. It might be helpful to pay more attention to them.



The kitchen is one of the areas in your home where water is running all the time. There’s a possibility that the dishwasher connected to water supply lines can leak and spill water. The large sinks in the kitchen take up and drain vast amounts of water. Checking this area now and then will help you detect some early signs of leaking.



Cracks in the foundation usually cause water in the basement. The rainwater that flows towards the building goes down the outside of the foundation wall through those cracks. Checking this area after heavy rain may help you detect problems on the cement floors and basement walls.



Besides the kitchen, the bathroom is another area where water is often used. Thus, a lot can happen in this area that can contribute to water damage. Leaking pipes, overflowing toilets, tubs, and showers are just among them. Also, it’s prone to mold and high humidity.


Preventive Measures You Can Do

One of the best ways to prevent water damage is to maintain your home properly. There are many ways to do it, but the first key is to regularly check your home areas, especially the most vulnerable ones. Take note that you don’t necessarily need to wait for those signs to arise before you do something.


As a homeowner, you must learn to maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems. They are typically the source of water in your home, and any leaks or cracks in them can cause a lot of damage. Besides the indoor, protecting your home’s exterior, such as your roof and gutter system, is also necessary.


Regular inspection can help you replace or repair them before they bring further water damages. Another way to prevent such damages is to install a water sensor in the most vulnerable place of your home, like the basement.


Fixing water damage in your home may sound easy. But there are structural problems in your home that you may not be able to resolve on your own. In such cases, getting the help of some flood services to repair, remodel, or clean up your home due to water damage might be a better idea.


Most homeowners wouldn’t worry about the early indicators of water damage until they become a serious problem. However, it’s more beneficial to be proactive in preserving the beauty and security of your home. It won’t only protect your home from the risks of water damage but will also save you from further stress and problems.


Author’s Bio

Daniel Blake juggles his time working as a freelance writer and studying as a design student. His writing career is evident in many published articles on various websites and magazines. His forte lies in real estate, design, and tech. Daniel is also a confessed bookworm who binges on reading thrillers whenever his time permits.