The steps listed above are how we handle typical water damage situations. We will alter the process as needed to insure we prevent as much damage as possible and get your property restored as quickly as possible.
There are many signs to look for when checking for water damage. Peeling wall paper is one of the most obvious. This hints at water being leaked into the wall from behind causing the adhesive of the wallpaper to peel. Another sign is the bowing of walls or floors. In some extreme cases, water begins to build up and cause large bubbles in the flooring to be formed. Scent is also something to keep in mind when looking for water damage. Musty carpet or odd smells in the walls can hint at some hidden water damage. One more common sign is moisture building up on walls. If water begins dripping down a wall and there is no clear source, this can hint at condensation build up behind the walls creating the dripping on the visible side.
Maybe, if your damage is confined to the area of a small closet or you happen to own a large industrial dehumidifier which professionals use, you can try. You would also need several industrial fans to circulate the air in the effected area in a circle around the room. Otherwise, call a pro, why take the chance?
One test of a water leak from a wall is to tape some plastic or some aluminum foil to the place you think the water is coming from. Securely tape each side of the plastic or foil. Give it a few days and check it. If you see moisture on the outside of the plastic or foil then your basement has a moisture issue. If, on the other hand, you see that moisture has formed inside the plastic or foil between the wall, you can be pretty sure that you have a wall leak.
I live in a part of the country where our winters get really cold. I have an older house and last month a pipe froze and burst causing serious damage to my kitchen. How can I prevent this in the future?
If you live in a cold winter climate where the temperature gets as cold as 20 degrees or below, you have to watch out for pipes freezing over and bursting. This risk is compounded because people tend to go away during cold winter months, turning off their heating systems inside the house. If this happens at the wrong time it can ruin Christmas or other Holiday fun to come home to gallons and gallons of water causing water damage to your house. To prevent this, make sure that exposed portions of pipes are insulated with something. If you are really worried expose piping wherever possible to the warm air of your house (like in your kitchen by opening a cupboard door or a closet door). Another technique that is less eco-friendly but can be effective in a pinch is to leave some small volume of water flowing through a pipe during a freezing spell. Flowing water is more difficult to freeze than water that is just standing but again this isn't particular great for energy and water conservation purposes.
I don't think I need to list this out for you but water damage can be triggered by snow, sudden storms, and floods.
Shame on the homeowner if they don't address visible leaks quickly. Check under your sinks for signs of leaks. Most commonly these are the result of failure on the part of pipe joints or hose attachments. However, it is the invisible wall leak that can result in costly damage to a home.
The usual culprits are clogged toilets and drains, blocked up garbage disposals, rusting of pipes and the occasional malicious root growing into a sewer line. Another thing to think about in cold winter areas are freezing pipes bursting on you. In order to prevent this you should insulate accessible parts of your pipes with something. Another thing you might do is to keep just a little bit of water flowing through the pipe in the winter to prevent freezing, leave them this way as long as it is freezing outside.
Duct systems that are imbalanced can draw outside humidity through walls that can produce water in the walls. If you fail to service your air conditioner on a regular basis it may result in moisture problems. If you mix the moisture in your ducts with dust in the air (which of course contain mold spores) it can lead to mold problems in your home.
Hot water tanks, washers, dryers, refrigerators and water heaters will rust with age, causing water to drip or flood if something fails completely. Especially monitor appliances installed upstairs as they are in a position to do heavier damage to your home. Hot water tanks and washing machines are the appliances which most commonly cause damage to your home.
These are frequently problem areas because moisture in the form of dripping or condensation can accumulate through the concrete or stone foundation of your home.
Air leakage between the attic and the house will bring moisture into the attic which becomes condensation on the underside of the roof. This can then cause rotting and mold. Areas to watch out for would include recessed light fixtures which aren't airtight, holes for pipes and wires going into your attic, leaky attic access points, and exhaust fans venting into the attic.