If your home has water damage in the wall, it can be confusing what to do first. After realizing a leakage in your walls, the first step is to identify the water’s source and stop or control the incoming water. The next thing is to call for help, but whom do you call?
After confirming water damage in the wall, you should call water damage professionals. You can call an emergency plumber, a homeowners insurance company, a roofing contractor, an appliance repairs person, or a water damage restoration company.
Water Damage Professionals To Call
The questions below will help you determine who to call for water damage repair.
Are you able to stop the water from coming in?
If you identify the water source, turn it off to stop more water from coming in. If you cannot, the first person to call is an emergency plumber. Plumbers understand all the water systems and appliances in your house, so they will scrutinize where the water is coming from and stop the flow.
You should contact a reliable emergency plumbing company like Emergency Plumbing Squad because the longer you wait, the more damage will happen. Our plumbers are available to answer your call and attend to your emergency 24/7.
Do you have a homeowners insurance policy?
If you can contain the water source causing the leak on the wall, the first person to call should be your insurance company. Your home insurance agent understands the danger lying ahead, so they will help you deal with the situation as soon as possible.
Suppose you do not have links to reliable professionals like plumbers or appliance repair persons. In that case, they will link you up with the best and make the payments to ensure that your home is restored to safety and normalcy within the shortest time possible.
Is the water source fixed?
The first step was to contain the water source, but this did not solve the problem. If the water is contained and the issue left at that, the same issue will reappear in the future. Therefore, you should call professionals to repair the water source for a permanent solution. If the leakage resulted from a burst pipe, you should contact a professional plumber to fix or replace it. You should call a roofing contractor for repairs if the leak is from a leaky roof.
What is the extent of water damage on the wall?
The water damage on the wall depends on the amount of leaking water and how long the leakage has been going on. If the damage is minimal, you can dry the walls using towels.
However, if you have pools of standing water, mold spores, and mildew growth, or dampness, you need to call a water restoration company to help you get your home back. They will come with equipment like air movers to dry the walls, remove mold, and advise or carry out necessary reconstructions and repairs.
Causes Of Water Damage In Walls
Water damage occurs for many reasons, can happen at any time, and is deceptively expensive. What you might consider as small leaks can cause damages worth thousands to repair. Here are the major causes of drywall water damage.
Heavy rains, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and heavy snow are significant causes of wall water damage. Although they do not happen often, they leave many houses with water damage once they hit. For instance, strong winds can damage your roof, which results in a leaking roof and consequently wall or ceiling leak.
Leaking or burst pipes
Broken pipes inside the wall cause leakages that lead to huge damage. If the leak is small and goes unnoticed for a long, it could result in the growth of mold and mildew and damages that would require you to take down the whole wall.
Water drains clog for many reasons, including dirt build-up, hair, grease, toys, and small clothes like socks and toiletries. These clogs could cause water backup and pressure that can burst the pipes inside the walls.
Gutters are supposed to redirect rainwater from your house. However, gutters get clogged over time by leaves, debris, and branches. When this occurs, the rainwater accumulates in the gutters and starts to run down on the walls instead. If it goes unnoticed for a while, the gutter water causes significant damage to the interior walls.
Condensation from the air conditioner
If the drain pan of the air conditioning unit in your house is damaged or the drain line is clogged, the condensed vapor cannot get out; it condenses into water and starts to drip on the wall. The drips might be small but cause significant damage to the walls over time.
Water supply lines to appliances like washing machines and dishwashers can wear out over time and cause water leakages. If the pipe bursts, your bathroom or laundry room will be flooded. However, the damages are worse in case of slow leaks, which go unnoticed and lead to additional damage on the walls. To prevent such occurrences, use supply lines made from braided stainless steel. PVC and rubber supply lines wear out with usage.
Signs of a Water Leak in Walls
Water leaks in walls can go unnoticed, but there are signs to help you detect water leaks in walls. The most common signs to look out for include:
Dark water spots
Wet and dark spots on the wall indicate leakage inside the wall. A dark spot shows that the leakage is current, and it takes at most 24 hours to show. On the other hand, dry, brown, yellow, or white spots signify an old leakage. However, this does not mean that the problem is solved. Water leak issues do not go away on their own; therefore, you should call a professional to identify and repair the source of the leak.
Bent or twisted material
If you notice that materials on the wall are getting warped, there is a high possibility of a leak in the wall. For instance, if a bathroom floorboard is bent, the bathtub drain behind the wall might be leaking.
When moisture is absorbed into the wall, it creates a musty smell in the house. The moisture also leads to mold growth which has a musty smell. If you notice a musty smell that gets stronger by the day on certain parts of the wall, there could be a water leak and mold growing inside the wall.
If your house’s dry or plaster walls start to crack, there is a high possibility of drywall water damage. Moreover, cracking walls are vulnerable to mold and mildew growth, which harms the occupants’ respiratory health.
Sounds of running water
You can also notice water leaks on the walls by hearing the sounds of running water. If you think there is a leak in the wall, put your ear against the affected areas and listen for dripping or running water.
Soft and swollen wall
If a part of the affected area appears swollen and soft on touch, there is no doubt that the wall is leaking. The damaged portion is swelling up because it is soaking water and expanding. This sight is a water damage emergency, and you should call our emergency plumbers immediately.
Mold on walls
Mold mostly appears in areas of the house with moisture, like the kitchen or bathroom. If you notice mold on the ceiling or walls that do not have plumbing fixtures, it indicates excess moisture and can only be from a leak inside the wall.
Bubbling and peeling paint
If the paint on the wall appears to develop bubbles, there is possible water damage on the wall. When excess water seeps through the affected area, it moistens the layers of paint and causes the paint to swell before bursting open. The swelling appears as bubbles.
Increase in water bills
If your water bill comes higher than normal and there are no significant changes in water usage, there could be a water leakage behind the walls. To diagnose the leakage, record the meter reading, turn it off for about three hours and take the reading after three hours. If the readings have gone up, you have a leak. You can only rule out a wall leak if you are experiencing the signs above.
Risks of a Water Damaged Wall
Water damage on the walls can cause many problems in your house, including structural damage and mold growth. If you notice any of the signs above on your walls, contact a professional and have the source of water repaired as soon as possible.
The excess moisture inside the wall causes mold growth which is not good for your health. Therefore, the cause of leakage should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
Water leaks in the wall can also cause the wall to go down. The wall weakens with time, and depending on the amount of moisture, the wall can crack and crumble. The water can also cause electrical damage if it comes into contact with wiring.
If you have the slightest doubt about leakage in the wall, contact a professional for diagnosis and repair.
How To Repair Water Damage To Walls
Water damage to walls can be very destructive, but they can be repaired if noticed early enough. Here are simple steps on how to water damage repair:
Find the source of the water leak
The first step to repairing water-damaged walls is finding the leak’s source. It could result from faulty appliances, clogged gutters, or leaking pipes. Some of the leaks might be easy to identify, but other times you will need the help of a professional plumber. For the right diagnosis, you need to hire plumbers with experience and expertise in dealing with water damage in walls.
Fix the source of the water
After identifying the source of the leak, the plumber will fix it by repairing or replacing it. This step is crucial because it determines if the issue will appear again shortly. Ensure that your plumbers get to the bottom of the matter for a permanent solution. If the issue was a leaking pipe, it is better to replace it than to repair it.
Remove the damaged drywall
The next step is to remove the water damaged drywall and wallpapers. This exposes the wall’s inside, making it easy to deal with mold and wetness. Depending on the level of damage, you can dry the wall on your own using towels and drier machines or hire a water damage restoration company for the drying process. Your plumber will advise you on the best cause of action, depending on the level of damage. After drying the wall and mold removal you can apply fresh paint or install another wallpaper set.
How To Prevent Wall Water Damage
Now that we know some of the causes of water damage in the walls, here are things you can do to prevent it:
· Check pipes and fixtures for leakages and repair them as soon as possible
· Inspect the roof for cracks, missing and damaged shingles and have them fixed
· Turn off water from the water main in case of a significant leak like a burst pipe
· Clean gutters regularly
· Check beneath appliances like washing machines and dishwashers for leakages. Also, invest in braided stainless steel water supply lines.
· Install water detection devices that detect and notify you when there is moisture
If you notice any signs of water damage on your walls, you should act quickly because water damage can cause health issues and structural damage if left unattended. Call an emergency plumber from Emergency Plumbing Squad to help you identify the source of the leak and make repairs. Lastly, contact a water damage restoration company to get rid of the mold and damage in your home.