If a property has been experiencing water damage over the years and the water damage was not corrected, you might find it difficult to tell the difference between water damage that is new and water damage that has been there for a while. When you can determine whether the water damage is new or old, you can also determine how extensive the water damage is.
Assess the Materials
Whether or not the water damage is old is based in part on the materials used. Sturdy materials such as brick will only have water damage if they've been subjected to water damage over a long period of time. Drywall, carpeting, and hardwood flooring are much more susceptible to damage. Even small amounts of water can affect these materials.
Look for Mold
Look for evidence of mold growth. Mold can grow surprisingly fast, but you won't see mold growth if the water damage is old. However, just because there is no mold, that doesn't mean that the damage isn't more recent. It might be that the conditions are too hot or too cold for mold growth. Visible mold will cause your home to become discolored.
Look for Rings
Certain materials, such as drywall and wood flooring, can develop rings when they are exposed to water and suffer damage. The material becomes discolored as the water soaks into it, causing the rings. When these rings exist, this is because the water damage has been accumulating for years and is intermittent. There might be long dry spells where the material is exposed to no water.
Check to See If the Material Is Soft
Materials that have been exposed to moisture for a long period will likely be both wet and soft. You can determine this by pressing down on the material. Very tough materials, such as tile, will not become soft even if they have suffered water damage for years. However, with other materials, such as wood, water might have been gradually weakening the material and you may need to replace it.
The best way to find out if the water damage is new is to contact water damage restoration services. Not only can they determine how old the water damage is, but can also perform necessary repairs. Not only do you need to repair the damage caused by moisture, but you will also need to identify the source of the water damage so that you can stop further damage from occurring.