Signs Of Hidden Water Damage

Water damage is easier to diagnose when the issue is apparent or its source is visible. For instance, when water intrusion occurs through a flash flood, burst pipe, or overflowing toilet, it’s easy to conclude the presence of water damage in your property.

However, it’s possible that you can be unaware of both the issue and the cause. Unfortunately, hidden water damage is a common issue among property owners and is potentially destructive, especially when left undetected for a significant period.

In this blog, we’ll delve into how to detect hidden water damage on your property and which signs of water damage to look out for.

Common Places to Check For Water Damage

A comprehensive search is a good starting point when looking for issues that could lead to water damage on your property. Create a checklist of places to inspect to ensure you’ve got everything covered.

The following are some of the common areas you need to prioritize during your inspection:

  • Walls: Water damage on the walls is one of the easiest to spot. Inspect your walls thoroughly, checking the areas behind large furniture and appliances, such as cabinets, sofas, washing machines, and dishwashers, to make sure no signs of water damage are present.
  • Ceilings: If any signs are present on the ceiling, there are a few likely causes, depending on what lies above it. It could result from a leaky roof or dripping water from a pipe.
  • Floors: Minor damage on the floors could be a result of a minor issue, such as an overflowing sink or a spill. However, the overall state of your floors can also indicate the presence of a recurring problem, such as constant flooding from appliances and leaks.
  • Pipes: It’s always recommended to check the state of your piping system to eliminate any possibility of a leak. Check for signs of water damage on the pipes, like corrosion and mold.
  • Foundation: Issues with your foundation can result from poor drainage or inefficient gutter sprouts. Inspect your foundation for signs of water damage to protect its structural integrity.

Hidden Water Damage Signs to Watch Out For

While inspecting your property for potential issues, water damage can still be challenging to detect. However, knowing what to look for can make all the difference.

Watch out for the following signs of hidden issues around your property:

Unusually High Water Bill

A sudden jump in your water bill doesn’t automatically indicate water damage. However, it’s still an important sign to watch out for, considering it can be a sign of an undetected leak.

If you find that your water bill is unusually high and doesn’t match your usage, then it could be your first clue that there’s something wrong with your plumbing that merits your immediate attention.

Pooling of Water

One surefire way to determine whether water damage is already an issue or just about to be is to find signs of standing water around your property. Any water accumulation indicates that water ingress is occurring at a steady rate, either due to a leaky roof or a broken pipe.

Look for pools of water in your walls or around the floor area, especially near appliances such as water heaters and dishwashers.


In many cases, water ingress can be easily detected through the stains it leaves along its path. The color of the stain will depend on the source of the water. For instance, water from a leaky pipe will leave a rusty color on the surface. In some cases, the discoloration could be more subtle, so it’s important to pay close attention.

Change in Surface Texture

When water comes in contact with a porous surface, it’s absorbed, transforming its properties. While some color changes may be observed, the leading indicator of water damage will actually come from the change in the texture of the material.

Any of the following textural changes can happen, depending on the material and the amount of water absorbed:

  • Warping
  • Buckling
  • Sagging
  • Swelling

Microbial Growth

Mold is almost always a natural consequence of water damage. It’s ever-present in the air in the form of spores and grows on any surface given the right conditions.

Generally, mold can grow on almost any surface, given that food and warm temperatures are always present and water is the only missing factor. It can grow undetected when in the presence of all three, especially in the absence of light.

If you spot mold around your home but don’t notice water nearby, then you may be dealing with hidden issues and a much larger problem.

Musty Smells

When mold colonies are large enough, they give off a musty odor that often gets more intense the more significant the outbreak. This can be used as evidence of hidden water damage as it indicates the presence of mold around your property.

Low Water Pressure

Weak water pressure doesn’t automatically indicate water damage. Numerous issues can cause the water pressure to weaken, such as a broken water main and problems with your service provider.

However, if the water pressure is abnormally low, this could mean that water is flowing somewhere else. This could be problematic if you’re unaware of where the water might flow.

If you notice the water pressure weakening for an extended period, it’s time to inspect your property for any leaks before your water damage restoration bill skyrockets.

Seek Assistance From Expert Water Damage Remediation Experts at Restoration 1

The prospect of undetected water damage is a scary thought for property owners. The mere thought of dripping water gradually damaging your property is enough to make you want to tear down your property and look for any hidden problems before they cause significant damage.

However, there are better choices than that. Instead, work with a team of water damage remediation experts to help you diagnose water damage issues and mitigate the amount of damage done to your property.

Equipped with the right tools and vast experience, our Restoration 1 of San Antonio North water damage restoration team can help you detect hidden issues and fix them in order to facilitate the restoration of your property’s pristine condition. Get in touch with us to learn more.