Water damage accounts for 25% of all home-insurance claims in the U.S. and 37% of homeowners claim to loss of property due to water damage.  That is, more than one out of three homeowners has experienced water damage!  Checking for signs of water damage around your home can help you avoid becoming one of the statistics.

Below are some signs to observe that can help prevent water damage.  Regular maintenance and observation against water damage will result in lesser costs and a greater peace of mind.

Visual Signs
Some obvious signs of moisture build-up are dampness, dripping, leaking and flooding.  A drippy faucet or shower should not be ignored.  Get it fixed! (Hint:  It also costs you money in higher utility bills and wastes a precious natural resource, water.)  A drippy faucet or shower can lead to excessive humidity that can escalate to water damage.

Water Stains
These stains can be seen on the ceiling or walls and indicate dripping from the roof, or a leaking behind a wall.  Both types of stains will have browning around the edges, however, a ceiling stain tends to be more circular and a water stain on a wall will be wide where the leakage starts and thin out as it moves downward.

Coolness in the Air
Humidity and coolness in the air are indicators of the presence of moisture.  If a room or a basement is unusually cool, somewhere moisture is evaporating.  Find the source, fix it, and keep your living space dry. This will make a huge difference in the preservation of your home.

Damp Surfaces
If a surface in your home, like a wall, feels damp, you can be sure there is a source causing that dampness.  Whether you have dripping from a loose pipe connection, a pinhole leak, water flow from drainage or a loosely sealed window during rain, repair the fault immediately.  Make maintenance of the home against water damage a year-round practice.

Musty Smell
A rank, musty smell can indicate the presence of moisture and molds.  Toxic molds give off a distinct odor.  If your place smells of molds, look where they are hiding and perform mold remediation.  This includes getting rid of the moisture that molds need to survive.

Listening for Leaks
If you hear unexplainable water movement during the dead of the night, whether it’s tiny dripping or a gushing noise that sounds far-off, it could be that a leakage is present.  In some rare cases, seepage is quickly absorbed by the ground or by material behind the wall leaving no trace of dampness from above or the outside.  If you ears tell you something is not right, investigate!

Spiking Water Bills
If you see a sudden escalation in your water bill and you have made no changes in water usage, it’s a sign that you’ve got a water problem.  Did you know an 1/8th of an inch crack in a water pipe can yield 250 gallons of water a day?  Have it checked out by a qualified plumber.