The moment you go to visit a house to buy, you probably have a mental (or physical) checklist of exactly what you are looking for and what you need to check.
In some cases, this may be the basics, like having a certain feature or design that you find appealing.
In other cases, you may be thinking about what home improvement projects you need to take on when you buy the place. Any prospective home-owner, especially first-time home-owners, should also take the time to look into water damage when they are house hunting.
There are many different issues with a home that may cost you money down the line, but water damage is among the most costly. Not only is there the physical indicators of damage, but fixing it is extremely expensive, requiring both the removal and replacement of damaged walls and floors. In addition, it’s not the type of issue you can simply ignore. Heavy water damage could provide a home for mold and other undesirable elements, and even impact the structural integrity of your home. Here’s how to catch this before you move in.
Professional Home Inspection Maybe Needed
For one thing, you’re going to want to make sure that you keep an eye out for any sort of physical or sensory indicators. Some of these are easily visible, like trademark water damage stains, rotting wood, or the presence of mold.
However, some signs of water damage may not be as immediately noticeable, or attributable to water damage. For example, excess humidity in a home can create an unappealing smell that you may not realize actually stems from water damage.
In addition, you may be planning on doing your own paint job when you buy a home anyway, but if the paint is in bad condition, this is a clear sign that there may be water damage. The moment you detect any of these types of signs, be sure to bring on a professional home inspector to look at the property. In some cases, they may be able to use an infrared camera to look at areas you suspect.
Look Beyond The Obvious
Perhaps the most important thing to do when scouting a home for water damage is not to get too hung up on one particular area. Yes, the basement or the roof may be some of the most common areas to find water damage, but you can see signs of it anywhere in the home if you know what to look for.
For example, take a look at the flooring and see if there is any buckling or warping. Damp carpeting or white spots on wooden floors are also a general clue.
Another place where you may potentially miss telltale signs of water damage is the home’s exterior. Standing water anywhere outside the home is a clear clue, but other things like cracked or missing shingles or leaky gutters could be a potential problem. In some cases, the issue is where the house is on the property. Ideally, it should be on the highest point, with the ground sloping away from it.
What About After The Storm??
Finally, it may be a good idea to pay an extra visit to the home after a storm. In many cases, this gives you a chance to see how it handles excess water in action. Where is the water flowing? Is the gutter running off correctly? Look at crawl spaces and the foundation for excess dampness, as these may not be as easy to detect when the weather is dry.
Despite your best efforts, there’s a very good chance you may still end up having to deal with water damage in your home. Perhaps the signs of damage were in an obscure area you didn’t notice until it was too late. Not to mention, there are plenty of people who buy homes that are perfectly fine and have to deal with water damage after the fact.
In either scenario, to take care of water damage, reach out to us at Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. This means we use the best cleaning and restoration tactics to help protect your home from water damage and other issues. In addition, we make sure that we’re able to bill your insurance company for our services instead of making you pay.