Before you start water damage repairs and restoration, you need to assess whether the damage is new or old. Doing so helps you know the extent of the damage and what kind of repairs are necessary. Early detection of new water damage helps to keep mold at bay and is economical to fix.
Below are three major ways to tell if the water damage is new or old.
- Look for Rings
Drywall, ceilings, and wooden flooring tend to develop rings after water damage. When water soaks into these materials for a prolonged period, the material discolors and leaves behind a stain.
If water leaks in through the same spot again, a ring develops. The ring may be small or large, depending on the extent and period of the leakage.
If you notice such rings on your wooden floor, ceiling or drywall, it is an indication of old water damage. It also shows that the water damage occurs occasionally and then dries out. The source of such water damage could be a roof leak whenever it rains or a water pipe that only runs sometimes.
However, if you notice a single dark spot with no surrounding discoloration, that is a new leak.
- Determine the Effect on Materials
It takes time for water to soak in tiles, hardwood, and laminate floors. New water damage is likely to soak carpets and not penetrate underneath the floor.
Therefore, if you notice adverse effects on your floor such as squeaking floorboards, bouncy and sunken floors, the water damage could be old.
Also, note the feel of the spot. New water damage, especially on ceilings and drywall, feels wet when you touch it, but it’s not soft. An old water spot feels mushy to the touch. It is an indication that water has soaked in the material for a more extended period.
- Check for Mold
Mold growth does not occur overnight. Under the right conditions, it takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow in a water damaged area.
If you notice some mold, it means that the water damage is two days older or more. However, the absence of mold does not always mean that the water damage is new. An environment that is too cold or too hot inhibits mold growth. Also, functional HEPA filters limit mold growth in a water damaged area.
If you have difficulty in determining whether water damage is old or new, consult with professionals. In Marietta, contact Water Damage Marietta Pros. We assess and repair all types of water damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
After how long does water damage start showing?
The effect of water damage on drywall, furniture, and metal surfaces is notable within 24 hours. Mold grows and spreads between 24 hours and seven days after water damage.
What are the effects of water damage on wood flooring?
When water seeps into wood floors and stays there for long, the wood starts cupping, buckling and bulging. You will also notice dark-colored spots on the floor.