- Rains and heavy winds from storms can damage your home and create potential areas for water to enter.
- Signs of water damage after a storm or weather event include discoloration on your walls, warped floors or walls, musty odors, and more.
- Water damage must be addressed quickly to minimize the effects and prevent lasting impacts.
- Choosing a professional service ensures that your home will be well protected and that a complete restoration will be carried out properly.
Everyone knows that heavy storms and intense weather events can leave behind damage to your property, but it isn’t always easy to see the potential damage they create. Storms can affect your property in multiple ways, from damaging your roof to causing flooding around your home.
One of the biggest concerns that comes with storm damage is water intrusion. Water damage can have several lasting effects on your home and health, so it’s important to catch and address it early. Knowing what signs of water damage to look for after a storm or weather event will help you identify the issue, prevent long-term damage, and keep your property in its best shape.
What Causes Water Damage?
Water damage from storms can take a variety of forms depending on the type of storm and the conditions they cause. The one-two punch of damaging winds and heavy rain can damage your home and create places for water to enter, making it vulnerable to water damage.
Some of the main causes of water damage include:
- Leaks in the home’s structure
- Uplifted roof shingles
- Broken siding
- Burst pipes
The impacts of storms can cause any of the above issues and allow excess moisture into your home. Post-storm water damage can vary in severity and have a range of potential consequences depending on the cause of the damage, so it’s important to know what to look for so you can determine the full extent of the issue.
Identifying Signs of Water Damage
Although water can create considerable damage, it can also be very sneaky. It’s important to address water damage early so that you can minimize the damage and protect your home or business. To identify water damage, you can look for a few signs.
Stains and Discoloration on Walls and Ceiling
Unexplained stains and discoloration on your walls or ceiling are a sign of water damage. As water mixes with dust and dirt and drips down onto your walls or ceilings, it can leave brown or yellow staining. These water stains are usually the sign of a leak in your home’s roof or exterior walls.
After detecting a leak, you’ll need to determine the source and extent of the damage. More thorough and detailed testing will be necessary to understand the full scope of the water damage. Consider contacting a professional service to complete a full inspection of your home and determine the exact source of water intrusion.
Musty or Moldy Odors
Musty or moldy odors indicate that something in your home is wet and needs to be addressed. Water is the number one ingredient needed for mold growth, so a musty smell is a sign of excess moisture. Oftentimes, if you notice a musty odor but cannot find the source, it could mean that there is mold or damp building materials in a part of the home you can’t see.
Peeling or Bubbling Paint and Wallpaper
If you notice peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper, it’s likely a sign there is water behind it. This peeling or bubbling is a sign that water is getting into the home somewhere behind the wall. You may also see warping drywall or baseboards if there is moisture behind.
In this situation, you should contact a professional water damage restoration service as soon as possible. The experts will be able to determine where the leak is, how bad it is, and how to begin addressing it.
Warped or Sagging Floors
Warped or sagging flooring is a sign that the wood or foundation is wet and damaged by water. Water-damaged flooring is an urgent issue, as it can affect the structural integrity of your home and quickly lead to further damage.
Warped or sagging floors are another reason to contact a professional service as soon as possible. They will ensure a full repair, prevent additional damage, and do all they can to preserve the structural integrity of your home.
Insulation should never be wet. If it is, then your home has a leak somewhere. Insulation will hold onto water very easily and is very difficult to dry, so waterlogged insulation needs to be replaced as soon as possible to avoid mold growth.
In these situations, moisture meters and infrared imaging are often needed to assess the full scope of the water intrusion. A professional restoration company will be able to identify the source of the leak, remove the insulation, and dry out or repair any other affected materials.
Visible Mold Growth
The presence of excess moisture can lead to mold growth within as little as 48 hours. If you see mold growth anywhere in your home, then you also have unwanted water in your home, and it has been there for some time.
Any amount of noticeable mold growth warrants a visit from a professional mold testing service for more detailed testing and remediation. They will have the tools and experience necessary to remove mold from your home and prevent it from spreading without compromising your health.
Increased Water Bill
If you’re paying more for your water bill and don’t have an explanation, it can be a sign you need to dig deeper. Typically, an unexplained increase in your bill means that there is a leak somewhere in your system that is causing excess water to escape.
Storms can cause damage to your home and water system, whether it’s from upturned trees or flooding that can expose or damage pipes. A storm can also affect exterior appliances like your air conditioning unit and create a leak, so an increased water bill after a storm means you should investigate.
Immediate Steps To Take After Discovering Water Damage
Water damage is a sensitive situation, as it can quickly get worse if it isn’t handled properly. Fortunately, the proper response can make all the difference in minimizing the effects of water damage and protecting your property. You must act fast and take a few key steps.
To properly address water damage, you should take the following immediate steps.
- Turn off the water – If your water damage is the source of a leaking pipe or appliance, then your first step should be to turn off the water to the house, as it will prevent more water from entering your system until you have the leak fixed.
- Turn off the power – If water damage occurs around wiring, outlets, or appliances, it may be necessary to cut off the power to protect your home and prevent further damage.
- Document the damage – Documenting damage with photos is a good idea so you can provide proof to your insurance company and make a claim so you can get the repairs covered.
- Contact a professional service – A professional service will support you with water damage restoration by removing water and making repairs. They’ll also help you address mold remediation if the water damage led to mold growth.
Water Damage Restoration Process
Because water damage can have such harsh, wide-ranging effects, a restoration must follow a detailed process to protect the health and longevity of your property.
An effective water damage restoration process includes the following:
- Water extraction and drying – Step number one in any water damage restoration process is removing all the water. This starts with removing any standing water and includes drying out all your home’s materials.
- Mold remediation – Water infiltration often goes hand-in-hand with mold. This process involves detailed testing and inspection for identifying mold and ensuring that no mold is left undetected and able to fester in your home.
- Structural repairs – Water damage can affect the structure of your home, including the foundation, walls, and roof. Structural repairs are often necessary to prevent the spread and protect the integrity of your home.
- Replacing damaged materials – Water damage can affect the drywall, flooring, paint, and more. To restore your property back to normal, you’ll need to replace any of the materials that are too damaged to repair.
Since water damage restoration is such a detailed process, it’s better to leave it up to the professionals. A professional water damage restoration service will have the experience and skills necessary to address all aspects of the issue.
Preventative Measures for Future Water Damage
Water damage is unfortunate and unexpected, and you can never predict what you’re going to get from a storm, but you can take measures to prepare and protect your home from the potential effects.
Some steps you can take to prevent future water damage include:
- Regularly maintain gutters and downspouts
- Ensure proper insulation and ventilation throughout the home
- Install sump pumps and water alarms
- Periodically inspect the roof and plumbing
- Install a system that diverts stormwater from your property
Find Professional Help from Alpha Environmental
Storms are inevitable, and you can’t always prevent damage to your home or business. However, responding to water, storm, and wind damage with the right approach can protect your property from lasting effects.
At Alpha Environmental, we are experts in both water and storm and wind damage restorations. Whether you experienced significant storm damage or an unforeseen leak, we’re here to help you with your water damage restoration. Our team is available around the clock so we can respond to any water damage emergency immediately.
With our expertise, we’ll create a plan of action to restore your property and prevent the damage from spreading. Contact us today to receive a free estimate and receive the experienced support necessary to restore your property back to full health.