How to Find Water Damage and Mold in a New Home

We’ve talked to too many people who bought a house and moved in only to find that their home was infested with mold. Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of people. Without first knowing how to find water damage, it is hard to look for signs of potential mold in your home. However, millions of homes in America are filled with mold, and it is important to recognize the clues as you shop for a new house.

How to Find Water Damage

If you want to know how to find mold problems in a house, you’ll need to know how to find water damage. Here are a few tips:

1. Scan the walls

The number one sign of old mold damage in a home is water stains on the wall. Because mold thrives in damp, dark conditions, water-damaged walls are a great place to start looking for it.

If you see a wall in a house that has a brownish stain on it, there is a good chance that mold is growing behind it. The brown stain is most likely caused by a leaking pipe or a crack in the roof. Unless the space behind the wall has already been treated, you can be sure that it is a hotspot for mold growth.

2. Look at the floors

Similar to walls, floors tend to stain when water damaged. If the floors are uncarpeted, look for signs of old water damage. If the floors don’t have any stains, keep your eye out for warping the wood planks or tile.

If you can feel bumps on the floor as you walk over it, there is a chance that this is caused by mold growing underneath the tiles or floorboards.

3. Check out the basement (and attic)

Obviously, the most common places for mold to grow is in the dampest areas of the house. The basement and attic, due to their proximity to moisture, are common culprits for mold.

Basements are often the place where water from leaking pipes collects. This often results in mold growing in corners, along the walls and behind storage items. Attics, as they often contain old wooden planks, should also be checked. Scan the attic ceiling for cracks and spaces between the wood to see if any mold has grown there.

4. Ask to see the pipes

Knowing how to find water damage requires also knowing where to look for pipes. They are most commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens as well as near laundry machines and hot water heaters. If any of the pipes are leaking or have recently leaked, there is a chance that you’ll find mold nearby.

If you can’t find the pipes, ask the owner or realtor to show you. This will give you the opportunity to look for any signs of old water damage on the floors or walls nearby.

5. Walk around the house

If you ask a professional how to find water damage, they’ll probably tell you to start with the gutters. A leaky gutter essentially allows water to flow directly onto the structure of the house. Take a look at the gutter and make sure that it works properly. If it doesn’t, search for signs of old mold damage.

Additionally, take a stroll around the house’s perimeter. If there is mold growing on the outside of the building or along the ground near the edge of the house, there is a good chance that you’ll find it inside as well. If you find that shingles are missing or there is damage to the roof, you may want to inspect the house’s interior further.

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