If you experience a major catastrophe involving water in your home, such as a flooded basement or a pipe that bursts, you probably know that the structure has sustained water damage. But water damage can also happen in more subtle ways. And if you aren’t vigilant about inspecting your home periodically, unseen damage can add up to rotted wood, termite infestation, mold problems, and more. So with that said, make sure to look around your home periodically and take notice of the following six signs of water damage.

Stains where they shouldn’t be. A purple spot on the rug where you once dropped a glass of wine is self explanatory. But if mysterious “stains” start popping up on floors, walls, or the ceiling, especially if you know there’s no other logical cause, then that’s probably water seeping through from somewhere. Also check for cracks in the paint or peeling wallpaper; these are both signs that moisture is building up behind the wall.

Something smells wrong. Remember the smell of laundry that was left in the washing machine for a few days? Keep that in mind when evaluating your home for moisture. A musty, mildew-like smell is a sure sign that dampness is accumulating somewhere nearby.

Take note of flooring irregularities. Soft spots are an obvious sign of moisture and probably rot, but other, more subtle signs of moisture can show up in floors. Look for cracks and buckling too.

Rust on the water tank or pipes. Rust on your water heater or pipes indicate a small leak. But over time, small leaks can add up to major damage.

Signs of mold. If you actually see mold somewhere in your home, you definitely have a moisture problem nearby.

Look outside, too. Signs of moisture aren’t just noticeable inside the home. Check your gutters and roof for pools of standing water, cracks, and curling or peeling shingles. When water is not draining away from your home properly, it’s probably entering it somewhere.

If you do spot signs of water damage, give us a call right away. We can help you get the area dried out while you (or your contractor) identify and repair the source of the moisture. We will also address any mold or mildew issues within the home, to keep your family safe from allergies and illness.