Fixing water damage is no fun, whether it’s because your home is in a flood-prone area, or because you have a leaky pipe or roof or other structural problems. “Water damage” usually refers to water that gets into your home through cracks in foundation, flooding, broken pipes or some other way, and that can cause significant problems (and add up to significant expense) for your house. While you can’t always prevent flooding that happens as a result of natural disasters or simply living in a flood-prone area, we have some tips for how to keep water away from foundation, and how to detect foundation damage signs, in addition to what repairs you might want to consider.
How you determine whether or not you have water damage depends on where it is in your home. Foundation water damage, for example, will look different from warped wood floors or ceiling stains. If you are looking at the results of a specific flooding incident, you’re probably checking different things than if you have a slow leak.
Wood floor water damage: Since wood absorbs water, kitchen floors are especially susceptible to wood floor water damage. If you have a wood subfloor layer that’s not immediately visible but is underneath carpet or even a “floating” floor layer, you would need to remove the top layers to see what’s happening with the subfloor.
Water stains: Staining can happen anywhere, but if you have a roof leak, the most likely stains would be on the ceilings or upper areas of the walls. Also, if you have an upstairs bathroom or washing machine, any leaks from those pipes could cause staining on the ceilings below. However, it’s important to note that water in walls can travel — where the stain appears might not be directly opposite where it’s entering your home. It’s a good indicator that there is a problem, but it’s just the first clue in your investigation. In kitchens and bathrooms, staining on the insides of the cabinets can be a sign that the sink plumbing has a leak.
Drywall and foundation water damage: Foundation water damage can be a huge problem, but if you nip it in the bud, you might be able to make the repairs easier. The first foundation damage signs often appear in the other areas mentioned above. If you see warped floors or sagging or stained ceilings, you should be checking your foundation. Drywall could have excess moisture if it is soft and crumbly. It can also appear discolored or swollen (bulging) if there’s water in walls.
Other foundation damage signs:
Fixing water damage can seem like a big task, but it’s one that some homeowners can tackle on their own with the correct resources and time. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this could be a realistic project, depending on the extent of the repairs. Again, how you approach fixing water damage will depend on whether it’s the result of a single flood event or ongoing leakage from cracks in the foundation or other issues.
If you’ve had a single flood event and the walls are now dry, how to repair water-damaged drywall could be straightforward:
YouTube videos can be a great resource for how to repair water-damaged drywall, along with lots of other DIY projects. For a lot of people, watching someone actually perform each step is very helpful for understanding how to get it done properly. Here are some videos that you could view for help learning how to fix a wall with water damage.
You might need to use a combination of methods if you’re fixing water damage, depending on how extensive it is. If you do see foundation damage signs, the first step is to look for the source of the water. A roof leak could cause water in walls to flow all the way down to the foundation, for example. It might take some detective work to find the culprit. When you do figure it out, though, hopefully these tips for how to fix a wall with water damage or dealing with foundation damage can allow you to get things in good shape at minimal expense. If you have suggestions for how to manage water damage, we’d love to hear them. Please share your experiences in the comments below!
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