Identifying Water Damage
The scope of damage water causes to a structure is greatly underestimated. Other than standing water, stains are a sure sign of a possible water damage problem. Know what to look for to prevent mold growth and long term damage that can affect the safety of your home and health. Any sign of water damage, no matter how insignificant you may think should be taken care of immediately.
Floors: Discolored grout, stains or water marks, warped, soft or spongy flooring materials are all signs of possible water damage.
CUPPING – the board dips in the center and the edges are raised. Cupping can be caused by spills that are not mopped up right away or high humidity.
CROWNING is when the center of the board raises up. It is also caused by excessive moisture. With crowing the top of the board has absorbed more moisture than the bottom, and is usually the result of faulty plumbing or appliances.
BUCKLING is the result of the boards pulling away from the subfloor. Wood flooring and subfloors absorb water which causes swelling and buckling. It may be hard to detect the damage if the sub-flooring is covered with carpet.
The kitchen and bath are the high risk areas of the home for water damaged floors. In the kitchen pay attention to the flooring around the dishwasher and refrigerator. These appliances have a water supply line and drain line that is subject to leaks. In the bathroom the flooring around the tub and shower are at high risk due to day-to-day exposure to water. Children splashing while bathing, dripping water getting out of shower, cracks in tile or grout all contribute to water damage. Examine the floor around the toilet looking for any discoloration, warping or decay. If the toilet is on a second floor and the seal has been leaking look for signs on the ceiling under the bathroom. Stains, warping, cracks or drip marks may indicate a leak.