Signs Of Hidden Water Damage

Both external factors, like storms, and indoor sources, like a burst pipe, can expose your drywall to water. While it’s a sturdy material, prolonged exposure to water and moisture can cause it to weaken and break down. Remember that the spaces behind walls are also prime spots for mold, making any drywall vulnerable to different issues. 

Whether your drywall water damage came from a roof leak, burst pipe, flooding, or another cause, the problem must be addressed quickly. A swift response is critical to protecting your home from structural damage, and it all begins with learning how to spot water damage in walls. 

Signs of Drywall Water Damage To Look For

If you have recently experienced a water damage event and believe damage might have occurred behind your walls, here are some of the most common signs of water-damaged drywall to look for:

Softened Wall

Affected drywall can look normal from the outside for a while.

What’s tricky about identifying water damage on your wall  is that affected drywall can look normal from the outside for a while. As such, it’s not enough to rely on what you see. Press on the parts where you suspect damage to know if your walls have been compromised. 

If the area you pushed sinks or buckles in some way, it’s highly likely that its backside is already weak due to water. 

On that note, be careful when dealing with softened walls. Since damage showing these signs is often missed, likely, the problem has already progressed, and mold contamination could already be present. 


Mold commonly grows in damp spaces like bathrooms, basements, attics, and kitchens. However, it also loves areas where it can multiply undisturbed, like under wallpapers and behind walls. 

Here are some telltale signs you have mold growing behind your walls: 

    • Visible Growth: Sometimes, mold can be easily seen growing right on the surface of the damp drywall. Look for any black, white, green, or brown fuzzy patches. 
  • Musty Smells: If your walls are giving off any stale or earthy odor, it’s best to schedule a mold inspection as soon as possible. 
  • Allergy Symptoms: If you or anyone living with you is experiencing allergy symptoms only when you’re at home, mold may be the culprit. 

Stay vigilant for these signs, and don’t delay hiring mold inspection and remediation services when you discover mold. Certified professionals can remove the mold and resolve the underlying moisture problem to keep your home safe and healthy.  

Water Stains and Discoloration 

Another sign you have water damage in your drywall is if you notice water stains where there was once a beautiful coat of paint. These streaks can be short or long, with some even running down the entire wall and to the floor. Fortunately, these stains can be quickly seen. 

However, keep in mind that the extent of the damage happening behind the walls isn’t limited to the extent of the discoloration you see from the outside. There’s no telling how much water and moisture has affected your drywall, so having your building assessed by professionals is critical. 

Cracked, Bubbling, or Flaking Paint 

Besides staining your walls, water can cause the surface’s paint to peel, flake, stretch, or bubble. While it’s easy to catch these conspicuous signs, they rarely show how much damage is happening behind the scenes. 

There’s also the risk of water bubbles on walls popping and creating a mess inside your home. In some cases, water can continue to enter your building through the hole and cause further damage to your property. 

What To Do After Discovering Water Damage in Your Wall

Enlisting professional repairs should be one of the first things on your to-do list. Calling in the experts can save you from experiencing more stressful and expensive issues. They have the skills and tools to address the problem efficiently and, most importantly, complete the necessary repairs or replacements. 

How To Tell if Your Drywall Needs To Be Replaced

Your drywall has likely suffered irreversible damage if it shows any of the following signs: 

  • Extensive discoloration 
  • Bulging or sagging 
  • Mold 
  • Damp, earthy odors 

On that note, removing water-damaged  drywall is best left to the experts. Remember that you’re dealing with water-damaged drywall – a small mistake while taking a DIY approach can cause further damage to your home or spread mold spores to other rooms, worsening the problem. 

For everyone’s safety, minimal disruption, and the best results, entrust the job to professionals in your area. 

Pass the Baton to Water Damage Restoration Experts

Learning how to spot water damage is crucial in protecting your home and preserving your sense of normalcy. Detecting problems early spares you from dealing with water that has soaked your valuables, created electrical hazards, and caused other issues inside your house. Fortunately, spotting wall water damage is possible if you know what you’re looking for. 

Once you confirm you have water and moisture problems hidden behind your walls, it’s time to pass the baton to experts like Restoration 1. Certified professionals know the next best steps after evaluating your home’s water situation to address existing problems and prevent potential ones. 

If a softened wall, earthy smell, or bubbling paint has you feeling concerned, Restoration 1 is here for you. Give us a call anytime, and our local professionals will be there when you need us to get your walls – and your home – back to normal.