April 27th, 2020

The Ultimate Homeowners’ Guide: 10 Signs of Water Damage You Should Be Looking For

By Nic Cornwell - Owner & Founder

It’s a sad fact that 90% of severe water damage to property could have been avoided. This is what the American Insurance Associate tells us, and with decades of experience dealing with water restoration in Austin and the surrounding areas, we believe it.

The problem is that most homeowners don’t know what to look for until a minor issue has turned into a puddle on their pristine carpet—or worse. We don’t want that to be you.

Visible water damage is often the tip of a very ugly iceberg, buried deep in the structure of your home. The earlier you can spot that visible damage, the faster you can call in a water restoration service to reduce the impact of damage on your family’s home.

Don’t be daunted. We’ve rounded up 10 signs of water damage that you can easily spot in your home. Let’s get started!

The Ultimate Homeowners’ Guide: 10 Signs of Water Damage You Should Be Looking For

Mold is always a sign of damp in your home. Areas like bathrooms and kitchens are notoriously damp in older homes, so a small amount of mold doesn’t necessarily equal water damage.

Brown spots on your ceilings or walls

Brown spots that bloom outwards are often caused by leaks and excess water. These will be most noticeable on the ceiling and walls of your home.

Partial replacement of walls

When you’re in the market for a new home, or you have suspicions of damp in a home you’ve moved into, panel replacements are a pretty clear giveaway that some water damage has occurred.


If a specific area of your home smells damp or unpleasant, this is a sign there may be water damage. Basements and attics are the most common areas for damp smells.

Warped floors

Water damage can cause flooring to warp, buckle, and bulge. If your floors seem soft or unstable, further inspection should be done to establish what exactly is going on under your carpeting.

Missing or damaged shingles

Damaged roofing allows rain—and snow—to get inside your home. Once in, water can travel through your walls and ceilings and cause massive damage. Checking your roofing, keeping it clear of dead or rotting trees, and clearing your gutters regularly can help protect your roof.

Corroded pipes

When a pipe leaks from its joint, this causes corrosion. Spotting corrosion—like rust or residue around the connection joint—is an easy way to target a leak.

Paint or wallpaper damage

Water inside your walls and ceilings will ruin your interior decorating job. Bubbling paint, peeling paint that curls at its edges, wallpaper that bubbles or peels—these are all clear signs that something could be wrong with the wall itself.

Bulging or swelling walls

Drywall, in particular, can be absorbent. If it is absorbing water, it will swell and bulge outwards over time.

Rotting beams

Exposed wood—like the beams in your basement or attic—are an excellent gauge of long-term water damage. It takes time for wood to absorb water, so of the 10 signs of water damage we’ve outlined in this article, rotting beams will likely be the last area to register an issue.

**Click here to learn about what todo if you have a flood in your home


A professional home inspector can do any of these simple checks for you if you’re pressed for time. But with a little time and patience, you can conduct your own check and save yourself some heartache further down the track.

If you’ve spotted water damage in your home, your best bet is to call in the cavalry—water restoration professionals like Quick Dry Restoration (if you’re in the Austin area)—to remedy the problem and protect your home.

Caring for your family’s largest investment just got a little easier!
Found water damage in your home? Call Austin’s #1 Water Restoration experts and we’ll get you sorted.


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