11 Signs You May Have Water Damage At Home

Water Damage
Photo by Engin Akyurt: Pexels

A lot can contribute to water damage in your house, such as burst pipes, flooding, overflowing baths, etc. When unattended, it can lead to structural problems, affecting the strength and integrity of your home. 

Water damage is relatively common in areas like Atlanta, which gets heavy rainfall and strong winds due to heavy thunderstorms. When your house sustains water damage, it starts showing signs alerting you to take restorative steps. 

If you are not sure about hidden water damage in your house, check out the signs mentioned below to know whether you need repairs. 

Paint and wallpaper flaking off the walls

Water damage can gradually deteriorate paint and wallpaper. The moisture can compromise the adhesion of these materials to the walls, causing them to flake off.  

Paint and wallpaper peeling and detaching from the walls not only look unsightly but can also expose the walls to further damage. By promptly addressing this issue, you can preserve the appearance and integrity of your interior spaces. 

Water leaking from the sink

Water leaking from the bathroom or kitchen sink can go unnoticed for a long time. Not all homeowners inspect their plumbing regularly. While some drips are normal, persistent dripping is problematic and can exacerbate the existing water damage issue. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can prevent water leaks and save your house from water damage. 

Mold growing in the house

Mold growing in various parts of your house is a clear sign of water damage. Mold can appear as ugly green blotches on the walls, ceilings, and floors. 

Mold grows fast when the temperature of your area is between 77°F and 86°F, and humidity levels stay high. Places like Atlanta, with a humid subtropical climate, have temperatures reaching nearly 90F and humidity levels touching 86%. Thus, such places are more prone to mold growth and water damage than colder and drier places. If you notice mold, call an experienced Atlanta water damage restoration company to inspect your house with sophisticated technology to locate mold and remove it efficiently. 

Musty smell

A musty smell in the house is not only inconvenient, but it also indicates hidden water damage in your home. 

A musty smell generally results from mold growing away from your eyes, such as behind the wallpaper, bathtub, or other concealed areas.  

In addition, inefficient ventilation, persistent moisture, and darkness intensify the moldy and musty odor in the bathroom. 

Using a fragrance to cover up the odor does not make the problem disappear. Instead, removing moldy smell requires locating the source of moisture buildup to prevent further damage. 

Water stains and discoloration

Water stains on the walls, floor, and ceiling without any visible water source indicate that you have hidden water damage in the house, demanding your attention. While you might be tempted to remove the stains with a fresh coat of paint, this cosmetic change will not solve the problem. In fact, stains will reappear once the water damage reaches the fresh layer of the paint. 

Water stains on the ceiling point to a leak above the ceiling. These water stains are common in areas where persistent rainwater accumulates on the roof or the bathroom. Another reason can be a leak in the bathroom or kitchen above the affected spot. 

The first thing you should do after noticing water stains at any place in your house is find their source. If they are due to a leaking bathroom or kitchen, stop using water in these areas and call the plumber. On the contrary, if they are due to water standing due to rain, indicating a problem with your roof, call the experts to inspect it. 

Bulges on the walls

Bulges on the walls of your house are a serious issue and require prompt attention. They indicate that the wood or drywall has a high moisture level, and their structural integrity has been compromised. This happens due to a hidden leak or heavy rain and flooding. Mold can grow in bulged or swelled walls in as little as 48 hours. When you notice this issue, promptly call water damage experts before the problem becomes serious. 

Sudden unexplained increase in water bills

A sudden increase in your water bills should startle you, especially if there’s no explanation. Such abrupt spikes in water bills can indicate hidden leaks and potential water wastage in your house.

Unexpected and hidden leaks from old fixtures, deteriorating plumbing, or compromised seals can contribute to water damage in the house. So, take an unexpected and puzzling surge in water bills as a sign of a hidden water damage problem and seek a solution promptly.  

Rotting wooden objects 

Wood has a commendable ability to absorb moisture and create an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria to break down its cellular structure, causing rot. 

Therefore, if wooden items in your house look swollen, consider it a sign of leaks and water damage. Additionally, make it a practice to regularly inspect wooden objects in your house.

Sound of water

It might look strange, but water actually makes a sound when it is leaking. So, listening to the sound of water is one of the straightforward ways to detect leaks. 

On a rainy day, switch off all the electrical items in the house and go to the area where you suspect a leak. Try to listen—does the sound you hear feel like rain sliding off your roof, or is it similar to water dripping through your walls? Both of these movements of water produce a different sound. 

If you hear water dripping through your walls, this means some water damage has occurred on your property. Waste no time and call the professionals promptly for a full inspection. 

Dampness on the walls 

Water damage can cause your walls to remain damp persistently, which you can feel by placing your hand on the wall. 

Damp walls can indicate the onset of water-related problems, which ultimately lead to chipping paint, mold growth, and structural issues in severe cases. So, it’s wise to have your house inspected for potential water damage at the start of dampness before its effects become more visible. 

Fractures on the ceiling and walls

Water infiltration, whether through leaks, floods, or persistent humidity, can weaken walls and ceilings, leading to cracks and fractures. As water enters through these openings, it expands and contracts due to temperature variations, speeding up the deterioration process. 

Beyond compromising the stability of solid surfaces, leaks, and cracks also look aesthetically less appealing. Therefore, it is important to address these structural fractures in your property, repair them, and prevent further damage. 


There can be various reasons for water damage in your house, such as leaking pipes, flooding, broken fixtures, etc. But regardless of the cause, water damage is an inconvenience that not only ruins the appearance but also undermines the structural integrity of your house. Therefore, when you detect signs of water damage, call a professional water damage restoration company for prompt remediation.

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