Florida homes are at a significant risk for water damage. The state is crisscrossed by numerous lakes and streams and bordered by ocean on three sides. Our geographical location places us in a frequent path of powerful hurricanes. All this combines to create a “perfect storm” situation for Florida homes to sustain water damage. This damage is often uncovered during Hillsborough County home inspections.
Damage caused by water is unique in that it often remains hidden for long periods of time. Many homeowners think that there are no problems with water intrusion because the ceiling is not dripping water. Hidden or undiscovered leaks can damage vital structural components and foundations. Serious damage has usually already occurred when obvious signs reveal themselves.
You can prevent expensive water damage by noticing the subtle signs of water intrusion and damage. Here are some common signs of water damage discovered in Hillsborough County home inspections.
Damp or Dark Spots on Ceilings or Walls
Any unusual discoloration on ceilings or walls is a sure sign that water is penetrating your home. Water follows the path of least resistance. This means a leak on the north corner of your Tampa home could cause a ceiling on the south corner to become wet and show dampness. Damp or discolored spots are a sign to begin checking all around your roof and attic spaces for leaks. Dark or wet spots on downstairs ceilings can be a sign of an upstairs plumbing leak.
Bubbles, Flakes or Cracks in Drywall or Paint
Drywall material soaks up moisture. Water intrusion or a leak behind a wall can soak drywall and cause it to swell and produce bubbles. The covering paint will then flake off or begin showing cracks as it separates from the drywall. These signs typically indicate a moisture intrusion. This can be obvious in open areas but bubbles, flakes or cracks in hidden areas are often only discovered during a Hillsborough County home inspection.
Pooled water near pipes or appliances can be a sign of a leak. Recurring pools of water should definitely be investigated. Sometimes pools or puddles can be hidden behind large appliances like washing machines, refrigerators or hot water heaters. Periodically moving these appliances for cleaning is a good time to notice any puddles or wet spots.
Sounds of Running Water
Running water sounds should always be investigated. This could be water flowing through your plumbing because of a leak or water running down from a large water intrusion at the roofline. Storms are times to pay special attention to sounds of running water. Track down the sound and you could find a substantial roof or wall leak.
Higher Water Bill
An automated bill pay feature may cause you to not notice if you have a sudden spike in your water bill. More water usage than normal that registers on your monthly bill can signal a leak somewhere in your home’s plumbing. You can typically obtain a record of the past year’s water bills from your local utility department for performing an easy comparison.
Damp, Musty Odors
Wet materials or stagnant water has a particular odor. A damp or musty smell usually means water has already made its way inside and began damaging your home’s components or even your personal property. Mold is also a concern when damp, musty odors are present. This will be a particular concern if discovered in a Hillsborough County home inspection.
Beryl Project Engineering in Tampa has significant experience with reliable, thorough Hillsborough County home inspections for a variety of situations. Contact us today to schedule your home inspection.