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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Does Water Damage Look Like?

12/13/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on ceiling due to humidity beside a light fixture Water damage can lead to mold growth

Signs of Water Damage

Water damage is something that can happen to anyone, but it can sometimes be difficult to tell when your home is affected. In addition to the obvious signs of a water damage that come from things like floods — such as watermarks on walls and floors or standing water in areas — there are several other indicators that may indicate hidden damage. We'll help you learn what these signs are and how they might affect your home so you can act before your property becomes irreparable.

Water can damage many things around the home.

Water damage can occur in many ways, including floods, broken pipes, and leaks. Water damage is also caused by a fire or even a faulty washing machine.

Water damage itself doesn't always look like water. When you notice a strange smell coming from an area of your home, it could be the result of water damage that you didn't know was there until it was too late. You may also see signs of mold growth on walls and ceilings as well as small stains or cracks in drywall where there wasn't any before.

Peeling, bubbling, or flaking paint

Paint is a form of plastic, so it can be damaged by water. Water damage to paint can also mean that there's been some other kind of damage to your home—because if the paint is peeling or bubbling up, you're probably looking at more than just a little bit of mold growing in the basement. The presence of water damage in your home (particularly on the walls) is likely an indication that there are problems with your foundation and/or plumbing system that need to be addressed by professionals.

Warped or discolored floorboards

If your wood floors have sustained water damage, you may notice that they've begun to warp or discolor. This can happen when the wood swells and shrinks due to the water damage. It can also happen when it cracks, which can cause it to lose its structural integrity. If you notice this type of damage in your home, hire a professional contractor as soon as possible.

Discoloration or texture changes in walls or ceilings

  • Water damage can also cause discoloration or texture changes on walls and ceilings.
  • In addition to wallpaper, water can damage paint, plaster, and the surface of drywall.

Swelling or buckling walls or floors

When a room is flooded, damaged walls and floors can swell or buckle. In some cases, the swelling may cause cracks in the drywall as well. This is because water collects inside these materials and expands over time to break them down. It's important to note that this type of damage can occur even if your home has no visible signs of flooding; if there are leaks or breaks in pipes that allow water into your home's interior, you could still be at risk for this sort of structural damage.

Rotting wood flooring

One of the first and most common signs of water damage is rotting wood flooring. When moisture seeps into a home’s floors, it can cause the wood underneath to rot and crumble away.

Not only because decaying floors can lead directly back towards health issues but also because rotten wood can become more flammable when it dries out. 


Water damage is a serious issue, one that can lead to mold growth and destruction of your property if not properly handled. If you think you may have water damage, call SERVPRO of NE Hillsborough/Plant City for help. We’re happy to come out and assess the situation at no charge. Call us today!

Water damage can be devastating to your home and belongings. The best thing to do is call a professional. You should never try to clean up the mess or fix the damage yourself, because it could cause more harm than good. Water is often not visible to the human eye, so if you spot signs of water damage it's important that you act quickly before additional damage occurs.

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