The Undercurrents of Water Damage
Devastating floods in Houston wreaked havoc last month, resulting in loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage. (Think it can’t happen here? Think Hurricane Sandy.) But, water damage is often not caused by an extraordinary act of nature. It can be the result of something simple such as an automatic ice maker becoming disconnected, a pipe breaking or sewer backup. However, other times, a homeowner or prospective home buyer may have a water issue and not even know it.
Finding the water issue
In most cases, it is relatively easy to recognize the telltale signs of water damage—water stains, swelled wood or water blisters. To find the water issue, the homeowner or prospective home buyer should:
- Look up. Water stains are commonly found on the ceiling or floor of homes. Often, these stains are brown or gray in color. Ceiling water stains are frequently the result of roof leaks, or a plumbing or pipe problem. Water issues can also erupt from major appliances that use water such as the dishwasher, washing machine or hot water heater. Any water stains near these appliances are an indication that there is a machine failure.
- Examine any bubbling. Water leaking inside a home will collect, causing a blister or bubble in the ceiling or wall. Frequently, homeowners will patch this type of issue with plaster and a fresh coat of paint.
- Step down. Wood floors are extremely susceptible to water damage. Since wood is porous, it absorbs water which results in swelling or bowing. Therefore, uneven floors, swelling in the molding or squeaky floors may be the result of water damage.
- Check the foundation and basement. Basements are the most common area in the home to have water intrusion. Carefully examine the area for cracks, bowing in the walls, or stains and rings to indicate past water or sewage damage, or flooding.
Water and sewage damage can be one of the most stressful situations to experience. And, if left untreated, it can cause havoc all its own. If there are signs of past water or sewage damage, a prospective homeowner needs to know if the problem was treated properly at the time of damage. If it wasn’t, there could be mold growth in the walls of the home. This can result in serious health issues.
The best course of action is to contact a certified restoration and remediation company to inspect the property before purchase.
Whether you are a current homeowner dealing with a new water and/or sewage damage issue, or a prospective home buyer, you should contact AOA Cleaning and Restoration. We help residential customers throughout northern New Jersey address water damage and sewage issues successfully. AOA is also expert in dealing with mold remediation. Contact us at (201) 848-8600 or office@AOAcleaningandrestoration.com. We can handle the situation from cleanup through complete restoration.