Water damage on walls

Signs of water damage in walls

Water damage in the home can come from various indoor and outdoor sources. Extreme weather conditions like hurricanes can cause flooding, but other, more subtle causes can go unnoticed for extended periods. Faulty plumbing, burst pipes, and clogged gutters can all cause water to seep into the property.

You can’t always detect where water is coming from, and often, you aren’t even aware of a problem until signs begin to show on the ceiling or walls. Here are the common signs of water damage in walls.

Signs of water damage in drywall

The composition of drywall makes it vulnerable to moisture, so it isn’t uncommon to see signs of water damage if the area has been exposed to moisture in some way. Look out for:

  • Discoloration – this often presents as streaks running downwards
  • Water spots
  • Soft areas on the wall – the drywall sinks, sags, or warps inwards when pressure is
  • Mold or mildew growth
  • Dry rot where the wall meets the flooring – this may require replacement of the flooring
  • Peeling paint
  • Musty smells.

Signs of water damage on plaster walls

Although generally thicker and more durable than drywall, plaster is susceptible to problems when exposed to moisture. Signs of water damage include:

  • Discoloration – often with a brown or yellow hue
  • Drips or streaking stains
  • Flaking paint
  • Efflorescence – deposits of mineral salts, formed when water is exposed to the underlying masonry (concrete, brick, mortar, etc)
  • Mold or mildew growth.

Is water damage in walls covered by insurance?

In general, most homeowners or rental insurance will cover sudden and accidental water damage, but it’s unlikely to cover damage from gradual leaks or seepage, including damage from mold.

Specific add-ons are available to make your insurance policy more secure. For example, you may add on a flood policy to compensate against damage due to flooding. There are also add-ons for mold to cover the clean-up and testing after the damage is resolved.

Every insurance policy is different, so you must check with your insurer to see what exactly is covered.

How to fix water-damaged walls

Each instance of water damage will require a different level of repairs – some are much easier to resolve than others. Attempting to repair the water damage yourself may cause further issues to your walls.

Whether you own or lease your property, contact your insurance immediately after seeing signs of water damage. Your insurance will advise you on the next steps. Be sure to contact your estate agent and inform them of the concerns if you rent the property. If you are responsible for finding the source of the leak and organizing repairs, contact a reputable professional for assistance.

The Powerhouse team are experts in water restoration for both homes and businesses. We can help with everything from a water damage assessment to mold remediation and odor removal, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.