For home and business owners, discovering water damage is never good news. With most types of water damage, whether old or new water damage, it’s important to take action quickly to avoid extensive damage to your home or business.
How can you tell the age of water damage? There are key signs to look for that will help you understand what steps you need to take to get rid of the source of water damage and then the damage itself. Let’s take a look at the common causes of water damage, signs to look for to determine its age, and when you should rely on the expertise of a water damage restoration company for help.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Nearly every homeowner and business owner will experience some kind of water damage while they are in their home or office. While water damage isn’t always avoidable, the damage can be minimized by understanding how it can happen in the first place.
Here are some of the most common causes of water damage to a home or an office building:
- Burst pipes: When pipes become clogged or frozen, the water pressure inside the pipe builds up and can cause the pipe to burst. If you have a burst pipe, you will immediately notice. When you have a burst pipe, turn off the water as soon as possible to address the issue.
- Extreme weather: Weather in the mid-Atlantic region can be unpredictable. One day it can be sunny and warm, and the next day we can experience torrential rainstorms. During extreme weather, homes and businesses can leak or flood.
- Leaking roof: Your roofing system is the first point of defense from water. Old roofs or roofs with missing shingles can let water into your attic or the interior of your home. This water can cause extensive damage over a period of time.
- Malfunctioning appliances: Aging hot water heaters, malfunctioning dishwashers, and old washing machines can cause an unexpected leak or flood. The best way to avoid water damage from appliances is to have them routinely inspected and maintained.
- Clogged gutters: Many homeowners skip an important part of home maintenance – cleaning out the gutters. When debris such as leaves and branches get stuck in gutters, the water backs up and isn’t diverted away from a home or office building. This household task is especially important during the fall and winter seasons.
- Air conditioning condensation: Air conditioners create condensation and the moisture drips into a drain pan and then is diverted away from a home through a drain line. This system works well until the drain pain is damaged or the drain line is clogged. When this happens, the condensation has nowhere to go and can leak onto the floors and walls of a building.
Understanding the common causes of water damage can help a home or business owner prevent or minimize water damage. Unsure if your home has water problems? There are signs to look for to help identify water leaks and issues.
Signs Water Damage is Old or New
Even with proper routine home and building maintenance, sometimes water damage can still occur at a home or business. If you notice signs of water damage, do you know how to tell if the water damage is new or old? There are several ways to determine if the water damage recently occurred, or slowly happened over time.
Consider the History of the Home or Building
When damage has occurred, the first step is to determine if there were any significant events that may have caused a water issue. Were there recent damaging storms? Was your area the victim of flooding? This indicates the water damage is likely new.
The age of your home or office also comes into play. Materials such as brick, tile, or other hard materials can show signs of water damage over time. These types of materials take longer to be affected by water and may indicate older water damage.
Assess the Affected Materials
One of the easiest ways to tell if water damage is old or new is by a visual and tactile inspection. When water damage is new, it will appear as a dark spot on drywall. Older water damage develops rings, just like rings in an aging tree. The color of the rings is also an indication of the age of the water damage – if there are multiple colors present, this means the area has likely been soaked and dried on several different occasions.
Touching the water-damaged area is another way to tell the age of the damage. If the area is wet but still strong to the touch (meaning you can’t poke your finger through it), the water spot is new. If, however, the area is drier yet weak, the water damage spot is likely older.
Presence of Mold
Mold growth and material decay don’t happen overnight. If you’ve detected mold in your home, you’ve likely had water damage occurring for a long time. Mold growth can become a serious issue for a home or business owner and can lead to health problems for occupants and structural damage.
When to Call a Professional Water Damage Restoration Company
Dealing with water damage can be complicated. In addition to finding and addressing the source of the water damage, home and business owners also need to repair any materials that have been damaged. Drying out a home can be difficult, too, without the proper equipment.
In most cases, it makes sense to engage with an emergency restoration services company to assist with water mitigation and water damage repair. And if you’ve noticed signs of mold growth? It’s almost always wise to hire a professional mold remediation company. Removing mold can be hard and if not done properly, can make things worse.
Emergency Restoration Services from Reynolds Restoration Services
Reynolds Restoration Services is the premier emergency restoration services company in the mid-Atlantic region. With three offices to serve residential and commercial customers – Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Pa., and Baltimore, Md. – our trained, certified, and professional team of restoration specialists can be on-site quickly to assist with water damage mitigation and restoration services.
As an independently owned restoration services company, we have the flexibility to help our customers without the constraints of a large national franchise. We work with insurance agents to help our customers achieve the best possible outcome after a water loss. If you’ve experienced a water loss, call us 24/7 at 888-277-8280 for prompt service. Our goal is to respond and rebuild with care on every single project.