Signs of Hidden Water Intrusion

Water Intrusion Washington DC When most people think about water intrusion, they usually think ……flood! Fortunately though, floods are rare in most areas. On the ‘flip side’ however, there are a multitude of other ways that ‘unwanted’ water can enter your home or business.

  • Pipes break;
  • Sewers back up;
  • Roofs leak;
  • Air conditioning drains can become clogged;
  • Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera…..

Whereas some cases of water intrusion are out in the open and apparent for all to see, others involve the presence of fairly small amounts of water, in an inconspicuous location, over a long period of time. Now while ‘out of sight, out of mind’ may sound appealing, it is akin to ‘burying your head in the sand’!

Why Should You Be Concerned About Hidden Water Intrusion?

Even though water damage caused by a hidden intrusion is not as readily conspicuous as damage caused by a flood or a backed up sewer, the mere fact that the root cause/source of the damage is ‘hidden’, implies an uncontested potential for significant damage to your home, ……or even worse, the genesis of major health problems for you and your family, long before you even realize that you may have a water damage situation!

For instance…..

  • A tiny roof leak has the potential to allow some amount rainwater into your attic thereby soak your insulation every time it rains. Due to the size of the leak however, it may not have the capacity to allow in enough rainwater that could soak through the ceiling, fall into the living area and alert you of a potential water damage situation.

 The Issue?

Having the equivalent of a wet blanket in the attic could raise the humidity of the latter and thereby there and promote mold growth!

  • In a similar manner, a small leak in a pipe that is located in the wall behind your lower kitchen cabinet has the potential to go undetected for a fairly long time, thereby allowing wood to rot and mold to grow!

What Are Some Signs of a Hidden Water Intrusion?

A Musty Smell

Everyone’s home has a unique smell. For some, it may be the smell of a favorite perfume or air freshener. For others, you might catch a whiff of last night’s dinner. In others still, you might be clued into the fact that the household comprises of a baby and/or a dog!

Ah, the power of smell! It has such an uncanny knack for complacency that most people don’t really realize that their home has a unique smell until they leave it for a few days. Regardless, it is important to be ‘in tune’ with the smell(s) of your own home. Therefore, if you or other people detect a musty smell in your home take note, because this could be a sign of a hidden water intrusion and/or mold growth and mold remediation is required.

Unexplained Spots on the Walls or Ceiling

If you have children, then you have probably had their friend “Not-me” over to play at some point! Although it is natural to wonder if spots on the wall were caused by children, if the latter insist that “Not-me” did it, listen to them! Consider the location of the blemish and the likelihood that it may have been caused by a concealed object like a pipe in the wall.

Note that not all pipe leaks gush, some drip! Also note that a slow drip has the potential to take a fairly long time before it becomes apparent to the naked eye. Now, let’s talk about roof leaks! While it may take one freak rainstorm to send water crashing through the attic insulation and into the living area, shorter lighter rains on the other hand, may gradually soak the insulation, and eventually seep through the drywall/sheet rock ceiling and ultimately cause a stain.

A High Water Bill

Most families’ water bills do not change significantly each month without a clear explanation. If you observe a sudden unexplained spike in your water bill, start looking for a leak!

Unexplained Higher Levels of Respiratory Infections or Headaches

One major reason to repair and restore water intrusion problems in a home is to avoid mold growth. As mold grows it spreads by releasing spores into the air. These spores have the tendency to cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. Furthermore, some species of mold have the capacity to produce and release substances known as mycotoxins which can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and upper respiratory infections.  If your formerly healthy family now seems to be sick all the time and you can’t blame it on sending the baby to daycare, consider the possibility of water intrusion as a potential culprit!

Finding Hidden Water Intrusion

If you ever suspect a hidden water intrusion in your home, first ‘scout’ the area behind your furniture for spots on the wall, then go into the attic (if you have one) and look for signs of water intrusion there as well. Let your nose be your guide and lead you to the musty smelling area in your home!  Water intrusion has the potential to cause severe damage to both property and human health. Don’t let that happen to you!

If you reside in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area or Northern Virginia, let Triangle Legacy to help you detect and correct water intrusion problems. Our team also has the expertise to remove any visible mold and treat the area so that the mold does not return.

For a free consultation and estimate, call us at (301) 523-9419.

Sources
Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/71/Water_Damage.JPG
Mycotoxins: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164220/