Water damage is not good news for your property under any circumstances. However, there are different levels of water damage, and different steps to take depending on the severity of the situation. One of the biggest factors in water damage cleanup is age. Keep reading to learn how to tell if water damage is new or old, and remember that you can count on our experts at FP Property Restoration for all your water damage needs.
5 Ways to Find Out If Water Damage is New or Old
- Consider Your House’s History: The first step of determining how old water spots are is figuring out if your property has recently experienced any damage. For instance, when was the last time your home went through any storms or flooding? The recency of these events can usually be linked directly to the age of your water damage.
- Touch the Affected Area: Newer water spots will be wet—and yet, when you touch them, you will be able to feel that your drywall or ceiling is strong. Older water spots, on the other hand, may not be as obviously wet, but they will be moist and squishy to the touch, given that water has seeped into your property over time.
- Find the Rings: Rings are a classic sign of water damage, though they only tend to appear when the damage has occurred awhile ago. A dark spot on your ceiling, floor, or wall, with no rings around it, may be left from recent water damage. The further black water damage occurred, however, the more rings there will be around it—just like with counting the age of a tree. You can also tell the severity of the water damage depending on the color of the rings. If they are multiple shades, this usually indicates that the affected area has been soaked and dried on multiple occasions.
- Inspect Your Home’s Building Materials: Different types of materials will interact with water damage in varying ways. For instance, thick paint and tiles trap water more easily than thin ones—meaning even a small water spot can indicate extensive damage. Knowing what materials your walls, ceilings, and floors are made of will better help you determine the age of any water damage that has occurred, as well as the extent to which it has affected your home.
- Look for Mold & Decay: Mold and decay are some of the worst effects of water damage, though they don’t just happen overnight. It takes several days for mold and bacteria to appear after a water leak has occurred. Meanwhile, most home-building materials don’t severely start to decay unless water damage has happened multiple times. So if you find that your structure is weaker after a recent leak, it means your home probably suffered from standing water and/or flooding in the past.