To keep your home free of mold and potential expensive remediation projects, it is a good thing to know the signs of water damage. If you are buying a home, have a home inspector look 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 issues can lead to the development of mold, which poses a big health risk to people living in the home.
The ground around your home should slope away from the house to keep water away from building up around the foundation. A home inspector will make sure that the slope of your property is good enough 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 will 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 tightened and properly secure. Problems with downspouts or gutters may mean that water is not being properly pushed away from your home. Have your home inspector check the roof for improperly installed 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 signal 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 typically 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 leaky pipes and that could lead to expensive repairs.
Check out the cabinets under the sink in the kitchen and bathroom for watermarks that include dampness and/or discoloration. Watermarks may indicate leaky pipes. Pay attention to any new repairs you see on ceilings, walls, and windows. Quick fixes may temporarily hide water damage nd spots. And trust your sense of smell, mustiness or mildew may indicate that there is water damage and it has been there for quite some time.
In the Basement
Home inspectors are experts at searching for water damage in basements. Inspectors know that a damp basement will cause mold issues and health problems. In your basement, water damage can develop 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 store in the basement.
Water damage in the attic area happens generally happens around the chimney, roof vents, and damaged or missing shingles. Also, check the insulation in the attic to ensure it is dry and free from mold. Pay extra attention to the insulation in beach or shoreline communities where moisture occurs. Your best bet would be to have spray foam insulation installed by a reputable spray foam insulation contractor.
It’s important to choose the right home inspector to help you find water damage if any exists. Home Inspectors can help you identify potential water problems, survey the home’s condition, and give you peace of mind that the home you are looking to purchase is free from water damage issues.