As a St. Petersburg, FL, homeowner, you may worry about potential signs of water damage in your home. Floods, sewage backups and broken pipes can cause serious damage requiring intensive cleanup and even mold remediation, but other water infiltration may be more difficult to find. This guide to detecting water leaks in walls can help St. Petersburg, Florida homeowners find hidden leaks and solve the problems caused by long-term water damage.
Dangers of Leaking Water
Water leaks can lead to long-term structural damage and the growth of harmful forms of mold. Water leaks unseen in the walls can permeate into insulation, wood and drywall, leading to stains, warping and deterioration of your home.
Mold can grow in hidden areas, especially behind walls and within ceilings where it is invisible to the eye. Mold exposure from these kinds of growths can lead to infections, allergies and other serious health problems, as well as decreasing the value of your home.
Signs of Water Leaks
If you have experienced flooding, a burst pipe or even significant storms recently, you may want to learn about how to find water damage in your home. After all, quick repair and remediation are key to addressing problems and addressing severe water damage to support beams and sheetrock. Some of the most common signs of water leaks include:
- Mold growth on the outside of walls and baseboards
- Stains on ceilings and walls
- Unexplained bubbling and peeling of wallpaper or paint
- Buckled and warped ceilings or walls
- Musty, pungent odors
The smell of water damage may become apparent first, especially if you notice a musty odor in areas near a specific wall or ceiling. In addition, if you see mold growing in places that are not typically exposed to moisture or plumbing, there is a higher likelihood of a water leak behind the wall. Some of these leaks can lead to visible stains or peeling paint or wallpaper.
Checking For Water Damage
If you see these signs, you could use a moisture meter to check the moisture levels in your home. If these exceed normal limits, this is a sign of a leak. An infrared camera may also help you detect a leak behind a wall or ceiling.
When you discover a leak, you can use your water meter to check if a leaky pipe is the cause. First, turn off all of your faucets, valves and appliances that use water.
Check your home’s water meter and record the usage. Make sure to leave off the water for approximately three hours; do not flush the toilet, use the sink or shower. Check the water meter again, and if you see signs of usage, it is likely your plumbing is leaking somewhere in your home. If you do not see any usage, however, you could still have a water leak caused by something other than your plumbing.
Potential Causes of Water Damage in Walls
Storms, floods and other types of external causes can lead to water damage, as can flaws in your roof or a cracked foundation. Rainwater can drain into the walls. Of course, plumbing problems and unnoticed pipe leaks can also lead to long-term water damage and serious mold problems.
If your water leak is not caused by damaged plumbing, check your downspouts and eaves. If leaves or debris cause a clog, rainwater could infiltrate through your roof; removing the clogs could restore the normal flow of water.
Repairing and Preventing Water Leaks in Walls
You can clean your gutters and eaves to prevent future leakages and ensure that your roof and plumbing fixtures are properly caulked. This can prevent future damage as well as stalling the progress of leaks caused by these problems.
However, the type of water damage caused by long-term leaks inside walls can be complex and have significant health effects. Our licensed mold remediation team has the expertise and knowledge to address mold damage and its potential effects. At ServiceMaster 24 Hour, we provide speedy service, industry-approved pricing and licensed, insured and bonded crew members for a quick repair to water-damaged homes.
If you are dealing with water leaks in your Florida home, contact ServiceMaster 24 Hour in St. Petersburg, FL. With 24/7/365 support, our licensed, bonded and insured technicians can respond quickly to issues including water damage, restoration and mold remediation. Contact us today for emergency services, licensed mold remediation and experienced restoration work after water damage.