Water may seem harmless. In fact, it’s the one thing that we need to live. But water can also be a significant issue when it invades and seeps into your home’s structural elements, causing unwanted and costly damage.

For the most part, water damage is pretty evident. If it comes from basement flooding or burst pipes, you’ll see the water and all the damage it causes. However, water damage can also sneak up on you when you least expect it. From a roof leak after a heavy storm or a worn pipe leaking that’s out of sight, unwanted water may creep into your home, causing damage.

That said, even if water damage occurs, there will be a few signs vying for your attention. Below, we share some warning signs telling you to call a reliable water damage restoration company to inspect right away.

Musty Smell And Mold Growth

These are probably one of the most obvious and worrying signs that your home’s suffering from water damage. If there’s moisture, mildew and mold are likely to grow and cause a stale, musty smell.

More than cosmetic and structural damage to your home, mildew and mold can contribute to health issues or worsen existing health conditions such as allergies and asthma. Detecting mold growth by smell or sight will simultaneously point to existing water damage. Houses in certain cities like Chicago are more prone to mold and mildew. That’s why there are many companies that specialize in Chicago water damage cleanup and restoration.

So, whether you notice mold accumulating in a certain spot or your home smells musty despite all your cleaning efforts, it’s best to call a water damage restoration specialist to assess the issue, determine the extent of water damage, and restore your home to its pristine condition.

In between, a reliable home property damage attorney can help you claim insurance payout to pay for the restoration process.

Stains And Discoloration

Dark or light brown stains on your ceilings and walls aren’t a sign that you need to repaint the home for better decor. It often indicates seeping water in your walls and unseen water damage. Discoloration can also occur on floors or any areas close to any pipes.

A leaking roof or faulty plumbing could allow water to seep into structures, leaving behind mineral deposits and the infamous stain rings or lines on the surface. Even areas painted with dark colors can also reveal water damage. In such cases, these areas will be noticeably discolored, turning brown, yellow, orange, or green.

Repainting the area won’t do you any good. Unless you resolve the water issue, the ugly stains will only keep coming back and cause further damage.

Bubbling Or Peeling Walls And Ceilings

Other than causing discoloration, moisture on your walls can also cause paints to start bubbling and peeling. The walls will become soft and feature bulges, which is dangerous. Soft walls and ceilings due to excess moisture mean that the area became less sturdy. These reduce structural integrity and may cause baseboards to break.

By the time you see this sign, the damage is already there. Prompt repair is essential to prevent further damage.

Warped Wood Flooring

Water damage is obvious when it affects your wood flooring. Excess moisture is any wood flooring’s number one enemy and causes warped or buckled floors.

Depending on the material of your wood flooring, this can be presented in several ways. Some floors become soggy and may start sinking. Others tend to expand and break away from the foundation. Most wood floors may start to cup, buckle, or rise like a tent.

So, if you notice that you’re walking on uneven ground, it’s best to assume that the layers beneath your flooring are harboring moisture. Calling a water damage expert right away allows for early treatment to save your floors and your wallet from costly floor repair and replacement.

Increased Water Bill

This is probably one of the best early warning signs to look out for. Unless your provider increased their prices, your water bill should be about the same as your last months, give or take a few dollars.

However, if your water bill suddenly spikes without explanation, then there must be a leak in your home. Visible leaks may originate in your faucets, toilets, and main water supply, However, concealed leaks from pipes behind the walls or a broken appliance can be located and fixed by an experienced water damage expert.


Water damage can be sudden and catastrophic, or it could be slow and subtle, which is worse. That said, you can prevent further damage caused by water to your home if you just know what to look for.

So, if you see any warning signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to call the expert immediately to fix your home. Take note that while some of these signs may seem minor, you don’t truly know the extent of the damage until an expert does a thorough inspection.