Extensive drywall damage from water exposure can require expensive and large-scale renovations if left untreated for long periods. To avoid this, homeowners are encouraged to proactively inspect their homes for water damage and leaks, and act promptly when dealing with these damages. In this blog, we have compiled nine indicators that it may be time for you to contact a qualified water damage professional.
1.) Water Exposure or Prolonged Moisture
The first and most obvious sign you may have a wet drywall problem in your home is centered on your home environment. Prolonged water exposure, such as ignored pipe leaks, damp and murky basements, and water flowing through insufficiently sealed entryways, can easily and quickly result in wet drywall and further damages.
To limit this, evaluate your home for any places where water exposure to drywall may go unnoticed for long periods, and check on these areas frequently. You want to limit the potential for water damage in your home any way you can.
2.) Drywall Texture
In many cases, the physical texture of drywall will change after prolonged water exposure, resulting in surface changes, such as spongy or ‘soft’ drywall. You can check for these changes by simply hand-pressing against affected walls and assessing their strength.
If wet drywall still feels hard, like unaffected drywall, you may have evaded any hazardous water damages. However, if the wall feels malleable and soft to the touch, it may be time to contact a water damage restoration specialist near you.
3.) Warped Drywall
When exposed to water for prolonged periods, drywall has a tendency to warp its shape, and bow, bend and slump in affected areas. This is caused by the drywall losing its strength as moisture seeps into the surface. Recall drywall textures from the previous point. As drywall is ‘softened’ by water exposure, it loses its shape and structural integrity, and warps according to weight and moisture.
If you notice warped, bent or bowed drywall in your home, you will likely need a professional water damage assessment to determine the extent of the damage.
4.) Strange or Musty Odors
One of the most common signs of wet drywall is the pronounced, musty and unflattering odor it creates. This odor, also indicative of mold spores, can inform homeowners of water damages in unreachable or hidden areas, such as behind walls or in low-traffic areas of a home.
When homeowners detect musty odors in their home, and believe the cause to be water damage, or even worse, mold, we encourage them to speak to a qualified water restoration specialist. Not only can a licensed specialist help you identify the source of the mold, but can also provide you with effective renovation plans and services.
5.) Staining and Discoloration
In many cases, prolonged water exposure and drywall water damage will result in stains, discolorations or other markings on affected walls. These stains often reflect the severity and extent of water damage, as well as help homeowners pinpoint the sources of water and moisture that is affecting their walls.
If you notice water damage stains or drywall discoloration, it may be time to contact a renovation specialist to evaluate your home’s drywalls.
6.) Water Leak Indicators
As water leaks are the most common cause of wet drywall damage, it can be incredibly helpful to know how these leaks occur, and how to react to them. If you experience one of these leaks, you may deal with drywall water damage if left untreated.
Home water leaks are commonly caused by:
Broken pipe lines, often the result of faulty installation, wear with age and material buildup
Damaged water lines
Poorly sealed water penetration points, such as door cracks, windows and ventilation
Weather damages or other environmental elements
Broken or faulty plumbing systems
These leaks can sometimes be identified and remedied by homeowners, but leak repair specialists are often required for more severe cases.
7.) Cracking Drywall
When drywalls warp in response to water exposure, further damage may occur when the drywall cracks from significant disfiguration. This is indicative of severe water damage, and should be noted and reported to a water damage professional right away.
Circulating the maximum air possible around a damaged area can limit the extent of this damage. Fans, towels and power air conditioning systems can minimize existing water damage, and even prevent future damages from occurring.
8.) Drooping or Sagging Ceiling
There are common and unmistakable signs to look for when dealing with suspected water damage to your ceiling drywall: drooping or sagging drywall and ceiling warps. This is the physical beveling, or sinking, of your drywall ceiling, caused most often by water aggregations, puddles and severe water leaks.
As ceiling water damages are the hardest for homeowners, and even DIY enthusiasts, to repair, we highly recommend contacting a licensed restoration expert to evaluate your ceiling and provide renovations. Temporary solutions can be used to reinforce your affected drywall, such as installing additional screws, until professional restoration can be completed.
9.) Signs of Mold
Concentrations of water in your home, and the drywall damages that often result from water exposure, are often breeding grounds for a much more costly and hazardous situation: mold growth. It is because of this adverse mold and fungi that homeowners are urged to act quickly, and contact a licensed restoration specialist when water damage is detected. In some cases, knowing how to detect mold can reveal water damage in hidden areas of your home.
Similar to the water damage that causes mold spores to grow, mold can be identified by new, musty odors. For mold concentrations within the walls of a home, this is often the only indicator of growth. Mold can also come in a range of colors (white, gray, black or dark green), and even the smallest visual indicator should require immediate response. Experiencing medical symptoms of mold allergies is a more severe indicator of mold presence.
These symptoms include:
Stuffy or running nose
Coughing or wheezing
Itchy eyes, throat and nose
Sneezing and shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in your home, and suspect mold growth or water damage to your drywall, it is important to contact a water damage specialist right away.
To learn more about the hazardous effects of water damage to drywall, and what you can do right now to have your water damaged drywall restored, contact us today.