4 Signs of Water Damage and How to Check for Them

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“What’s the most important thing I need to consider to protect my investment against water damage?”

Without a doubt, Keep Things Dry. Your home is constructed from wood that is not treated for resistance to dry rot – a fungus that grows on wood in the presence of moisture. There are 4 major sources of Water Damage:

  1. Leaks in the outer “envelope” of the home. Roofs, windows and doors, siding of any kind, and especially on waterproof decks, a very common problem.
  2. Pipe leaks inside the home at bathroom, laundry and kitchen fixtures and appliances.
  3. Improper drainage under or around the home causing settling, that unchecked, can erode your equity either in repairs or sale price deductions.
  4. Poor ventilation causing moisture retention (and dry rot) in crawlspaces, enclosed eaves, wood-framed deck railings, anywhere where air cannot move freely causing condensation that cannot dry out.

Water Intrusion is the biggest cause of damage to homes like yours. So what can you do? Simple!

Take a notepad, screwdriver (to probe for softness), flashlight and camera and take a walk (and a crawl) around your home, inspecting top to bottom:

  • Attic or crawlspace for roof leaks
  • Exterior walls for signs of water intrusion: splitting, warping or softening wood, stucco cracks, unusual peeling, etc.
  • Under the home: foundation perimeter and under kitchens and baths, looking for wet wood or stains at exterior walls, plumbing pipes, showers.
  • Interior walls and ceilings at windows and doors: bubbling paint, cracking trim or drywall, soft moldings, floor stains or warping.

Take notes, take pictures, and contact a licensed contractor to discuss your options for stopping the intrusion and repairing the water damage. There are usually many options, and it’s important understand their costs and risks.

I look forward to your questions or comments! Please post here or e-mail me at

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  1. […] a doubt: Keep Things Dry. Last post I discussed water intrusion into the “envelope” of your home and how to look for it. This time we’ll get into the 3 types of drainage systems for […]