How To Assess Water Damage

How to Assess Water Damage

Water damage can mean a variety of things, particularly depending on what materials are located in that area of your home.

Water damage is a serious problem that affects almost every Maryland homeowner at some point thanks to the rainy springs and icy winters. Unfortunately, water damage can be difficult to spot until it’s too late. Here are our best tips for assessing water damage in your home.

Look for the Signs

Water damage can mean a variety of things, particularly depending on what materials are located in that area of your home. Ceiling water damage can be spotted if there are any stains or brown patches on the ceiling. On the bottom level of your home, a lingering musty smell is a sign that water damage has occurred.

Pools of Water

This is probably the simplest sign that water damage has occurred. If there are any areas of standing water in your home, water damage has occurred. Pools of water might appear from a broken appliance, a leak in the roof, or from an improperly-graded yard.


Ceiling water damage is apparent through the staining and discoloration we mentioned above. The ceiling might appear dry to the touch but actually be saturated with water. The discoloration is often copper, yellow, or brown in color. If the water damage has extended to the walls, the paint or wallpaper might appear to be cracking or bubbling. Rust is also a type of discoloration that results from water damage.


Any change in texture in your home is a cause for concern, as flooring, walls, and ceilings should stay exactly the same once they are installed. Warping, buckling, sagging, sinking, and expansion are all tell tale signs that water damage has affected your walls and flooring.

A Lingering Smell

A musty or mildew-like odor is another sign that water damage has occurred. Over time, drywall can become saturated with water and mildew and continue to emit an odor until it is replaced in its entirety.

Where to Look

The most common places to find water damage in your home include:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • The foundation
  • Attics
  • Roofs
  • Behind appliances

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