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How to Tell Whether Water Damage is Old or New

How to Tell Whether Water Damage is Old or New

If you notice water damage inside your home, you’re probably asking yourself, “Has that water damage always been there? Or is it new?” You need to determine if the damage has been present for a while or if it’s new so that you know the extent. Identifying the type of damage, you’re dealing with can help you prevent further water intrusion. 

Discover the harm water damage can cause in today’s blog. 

The Dangers of Water Damage

It’s difficult to pinpoint the causes of water damage because it can result from several varying factors. Moreover, there are multiple types of water damage, such as dirty, clean, and black. All of these types of damage vary in contamination levels, but what each of them shares in common are their associated risks.

Unfortunately, water damage can result in allergies, respiratory problems, and mold growth. Here are four steps to help you determine if your home’s water damage is old or fresh. 

Step One: Determine the Materials You Need

Water affects different types of materials in different ways. For instance, if your home contains tile, brick, or other hard materials and they’re showing signs of water damage, chances are the damage is months old. It takes longer for damage to appear on these materials and create leaks. 

Conversely, if you notice damage on drywall, wooden floors, or carpet, it’s more difficult to tell if it’s new or old. Even the slightest amount of water can impact these materials immediately.

Step Two: Search for Rings

Wooden floors, drywall, and other soft materials will develop rings if they have experienced water damage over a long time. Water can soak into the material, resulting in discoloration. Even when it dries, it may leave a stain behind. 

Unfortunately, water damage can be intermittent. If your materials are prone to this damage, you may notice dry spells where the material is completely dry. The source of water could be a fractured pipe that only runs sometimes, such as a supply pipe in your shower. On the other hand, it might be the result of a roof leak, which might only cause damage when it rains. 

Step Three: Feel the Spot

Areas with fresh water damage will feel damp, but not soft. For instance, if your drywall experiences water damage and feels soft, this indicates the water has had time to soak in and ruin the material’s integrity. Furthermore, this texture can indicate the damage is old. 

Step Four: Look for Mold Growth

Mold growth can creep up within two days of water damage. If you can see mold, this indicates the damaged spots have soaked for at least 48 hours. 


RestoreMasters Can Help

Water damage, both old and fresh, can wreak havoc on your home. RestoreMasters can save your home or business from flooding, burst pipes, and other problems resulting in this damage.

Our experts use the best tools and equipment to make sure your home or business is free of moisture damage. We will even dry your home or business and belongings. 


We service Salt Lake, Tooele, Weber, Utah, and Summit counties. Contact us today. 


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