When you are doing an initial walk-through of a potential home, it can be hard for the untrained eye to spot water damage off the bat. However, there are a few obvious clues that will give water damage issues away even if they are undisclosed problems. Here are some ways to immediately spot water damage during a walk through.
You might be so distracted by original hardwoods or brand new carpeting that you neglect to even look up during a walk through. However, the most obvious and common signs of water damage are on the ceilings. Water damage from a roof leak or from an upstairs bathroom will often be indicated by a brown stain on the ceiling. That is if the damage wasn’t too bad. If the damage was bigger, you might see a paint bubble with a hole in it where the water drained into the floor below. These might not be huge issues. Many times it could have just been a child playing in the bath upstairs and it could have been sealed a bit better, but it could also point to a large issue in the future. Either way, it is something you will need to have inspected before you buy.
If you are thinking of buying a cheaper home that has been vacant for a while and flipping it, you might run into a mold problem more often than not. Black streaks on the walls and carpeting point to a mold issue all throughout the house. Mold will penetrate deep within the plastered walls so if you can see it on the outside of the wall, it’s a pretty good indication that there is mold all throughout the home, room, or at least that wall. Companies like Southeast Restoration in Augusta are equipped with infrared monitors that will be able to find moisture even within walls.
Usually, you can smell a water damage problem even before you enter a house. If you walk in and you get hit with a wall of thick, humid air that smells like a loaf of moldy bread, then you likely have a water damage problem on your hands. However, you can have one room of your home that is infected with a mold problem that doesn’t extend to the other rooms in the home. So even if you walk in, and it smells great, you still should make a trek down the scary unfinished basement or have the crawl space inspected for mold growth.
Mold and water damage can be anywhere. It is impossible to know exactly where water damage is or if it is in your home without professional help, but if you keep your eyes open for the obvious signs of it, you will be able to know what you are in store for. If you find the perfect home and it has water damage, don’t just cross it off your list; contact water damage professionals to inspect it and give you an estimate of the costs so you can work it into your contract.