Realtors say many homeowners are unaware of a hidden water leak — which can interfere with the sale of a home, or be a concern for a new home buyer. A cracked pipe, broken seal, leaking spigot. . . There are a number of ways that water can creep into places it is not meant to go. The long-term results are more visible, including mold, rot, blistered paint, or damaged flooring.
Minor water leak often lead to major repair bills. But it’s possible to avoid the worst water damage by catching the situation early. You would probably notice a sagging ceiling above the dining room table. But what about more subtle signs? Water damage doesn’t always turn up at the source. It follows the path of least resistance, and then makes an appearance in unlikely places. You have to follow your nose, use your detective skills, or just put two and two together.
One big clue is whether there’s been a past incident with water in the home. Too often, the visible signs of a leak are eliminated but dampness within the walls or the floors is not. A floor that seems spongy and softer than it should is an indication that all is not dry underfoot. Mildew on an inside wall should set off alarm bells, or at least an investigation.
Leaks are cumulative. Building materials can absorb a surprising amount of liquid at first, but eventually the damage spreads to a deeper level, undermining your home’s structure and foundation.
Today’s homes are all about tight envelopes and energy efficiency. We have bulked up on the insulation, sealed leaks and gaps, and worked to keep as much conditioned air as possible inside the building. This efficiency, however, sometimes overlooks the fact that buildings need air circulation. Poor air flow becomes a real problem when there is water trapped somewhere. Consequences may include:
- Mold and mildew, and an unhealthy environment for the occupants
- Permanent damage to wood, carpet, wallpaper, paint and furnishings
- Drywall & insulation that needs to be removed and replaced
- Contaminated ductwork and other systems
United Water Restoration Has Tools & Know-how to Dry Out the Home
Even if water damage leaves no visible tracks, it is not something you want to live with. Crawl spaces, basements, air conditioning systems, attics, windows . . . all are vulnerable if the situation isn’t professionally resolved. The longer the situation is allowed to fester, the more expensive the ultimate clean-up becomes.
While we tend to think of water damage as having an outside source, this is not always the case. The occasional hurricane or blizzard or tornado garners the lion’s share of publicity. But the humble leaking pipe behind the washing machine can be equally devastating, especially if it’s not noticed for weeks or months. (At least hurricanes have the grace to announce their arrival.)
If something’s bothering you and you’ve been keeping it below the radar screen that is your attention, maybe it’s time to focus. Mildew around the shower stall? Funky odor in the laundry room? Peeling paint in the kitchen? Could be trouble.
Call our national hotline and ask for a service technician to check out the problem. Don’t just dry it and forget it. That sneaky little leak could come back to haunt you!