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Has Your New or Prospective Home Had Water Damage?
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Much like a car that has hidden mechanical problems that you only discover once you buy it, new home purchases may hold similar secrets within their walls, namely that of water damage. The unaware buyer purchases the home without having proper inspections made, and before they know it, they are on the hook for some major repair work.
So how do you avoid ending up with a home that has water damage? What do you look for? And where do you look for it? A little patience and due diligence will go a long way toward making your home buying experience a happy one.
Where to Look for Water Damage
Homes may be damaged by water by a number of ways: plumbing failures, burst pipes, frozen pipes, overflowed toilets or sinks, roof leaks, broken window seals, inadequate insulation – the list goes on. You should remember that while things like water damage should be disclosed, there are sellers who will take steps designed to cover the problem up, so you should know where to look.
Look for water stains, discolorations that may be found on the ceiling, around windows and doors, and near plumbing fixtures or basement walls. Stains are irrefutable evidence that water has been there, and in enough quantity to leave a mark. Likewise, areas affected by water may be deformed in appearance, such as bubbles, blisters, or other anomalies found in finished materials. Most surfaces will react to water, especially if the exposure has occurred over an extended period.
Look for changes in the appearance of a given surface, such as odd drywall patches, changes in the surface texture, or mismatched wood. Any one of these may be an indicator that water damage has been repaired or covered up.
Musty odors are always a dead giveaway for water damage, as it may be a sign of mold which as we all know requires water to grow. You may also want to ask neighbors about the history of the home. Most will be forthright and tell you if there was a previous problem that they are aware of.
Have a Home Inspection Done
But don't trust your own judgment. Have an inspection performed on the house, someone who knows what to look for when it comes to water damage, as well as where to look for it, including those areas that many of us may not think to look. Water has the ability to get into every nook and cranny of a home, and overlooking even a part of the damage may set the stage for other problems such as mold to occur later on.
Your local water damage restoration professional can be of invaluable service to you in this area, helping you to identify problems before they occur and taking the proper steps to treat them accordingly.
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