Signs of Water Damage in Walls: A Deep Dive

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Written By Will Dietrich

I love gardening, building, making and fixing things. 





In this article, we learn how to identify signs of water damage in walls and what you can do about it.

 How Does Water Damage In Walls Happen?

signs of water damage in walls
signs of water damage in walls

Water damage happens by two ways:

1. When the water enters into your house through a leaky pipe.

2. When it comes from outside

Water can enter your home through many different places such as windows, doors, cracks etc. If there are any leaks present then they may cause serious damages to your property.

If you notice some of these symptoms on your walls then it means that water has already entered your home. The common signs of water damage include

  1. Water Stains: Water stains are known for being easy to spot: they are yellowish water rings that form on walls, ceilings, and floors. Inspect those areas to find any water damage.
  2. Swollen Drywall: drywall will occasionally absorb excess moisture in a property, which will lead to it becoming bubbled and swollen.
  3. Rotting Wood: Wood and wooden walls and inner wall frames tend to accumulate/absorb water, this could come from a hidden leak.
  4. Foul Humid Musty Smell: The smell of excess humidity or mold presence in a place is unmistakable, as it has a strong distinct scent of rotten eggs, mixed in with a dash of wet dog. Smell the property intensely to notice this disgusting odor musty odor.
  5. Audible leaking: If you hear water dripping around the house, there may be plumbing leaks. However, if that leak has been there for a long time, then you can almost bet that there is some water damage in the property.
  6. Paint Gone bad: The paint job on the property also suffers when there’s excess humidity or water damage. For that reason, it’s important that you notice its condition: if it’s bubbling, discolored, or it’s peeling off, there may be some damage.
  7. Mold Growth: Few things are as off-putting as this but it’s a big sign of water damage, mold damage on walls can lead to some pretty unpleasant complications and poses as a serious health risk. It can lead to the development of health conditions such as sinus infections and the development of asthma among many other serious issues.
  8. Damp Walls:  Walls with excessive moisture levels will likely never be dry to the touch. Place your hands on the walls and go ahead and feel for wet spots, and sense if they’re damp. If there are wet spots or even soft spots, then there’s likely water damage there.
  9. Large Ceiling and Wall Cracks These can be caused by a myriad of reasons. One of them is water leaking through them constantly. Search for those fractures in the property’s structure.
  10. Roof Damage.  You can see if there is water on the roof by looking at it. It may be because of the water damage in walls that there are dents or missing shingles.
  11. Rusty Metals Around the House It’s a known fact that water makes metal rusty. If you want to know if your property has water damage in the walls, you should inspect the metals in it.
  12. Attic and Basement Since the rooms that are affected first are the attic and basement, they can also be an indicator of some problems. Look for anything suspicious when you visit these areas.
  13. Loose Caulk Around Pipes: Check the bathroom for loose caulk on pipes, etc. This could be the result of water seeping through.
  14. Exterior: Two big signs of water damage to look out for are lots of puddles, or if you notice the property is on a decline and the ground around the property slopes down towards the property.
  15. Sudden Increase in Water Bill: If your water meter suddenly goes off the charts and your bill increases drastically, it is usually a telltale sign of a  hidden water leaks

What Causes Water Damage In Walls?

Water damage in wallsoccurs due to various factors like floods, broken pipes, burst hoses, overflowing toilets, heavy rainfalls, or even a water leak and so forth. In most cases, the cause of water damage is not immediately apparent. But once you find any kind of leakage, you need to take immediate action. If you do not take action immediate you take the risk of more damage including to yourself or your appliances, or even structural damage.

What to do If You Identify Signs of Water Damage in Walls?

water damage in walls

If you suspect that you might have water damage, here’s what you must do:

1) Turn Off The Power Supply – First thing you need to do is turn off all power supply sources. Do this before calling anyone else. Electricity and water don’t mix.

2)  Unless you yourself are a  professional plumber, you will need to call a professional – Once you’ve turned off the electricity, call a professional who specializes in dealing with water damages. They’ll come over and assess the situation.


How Much Will it Cost to Repair Water Damaged Walls?

The average price to fix water damage varies depending upon several factors. Some of which include the size of the area being repaired, whether the repairs require removing existing materials from the walls, and the extent of the damage itself. Removing existing materials from walled will cost more than replacing them. Here are some examples of costs associated with repairing water damage:

Small Area Repair $200-$500

Medium Area Repair $1000+

Extensive Repairs $5000+





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