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How To Spot Water Damage In Your Home

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

It is important to check for water damage & leaks in and around your home.

It is unfortunate to return home only to find your house flooded. You immediately rush to find the source and save the affected electronics and furniture. Even if the water didn't overflow, you may have noticed a stain on the ceiling or the bathroom wall. Water leakage is a symptom, and if you do not find and handle the cause professionally, you may end up with a recurring situation. In this article, you will find a short guide for homeowners about the areas to inspect in and around their property for water damage.

What is water damage?

Because of Singapore's fluctuating weather patterns – from intense heat to heavy rains – homeowners in Singapore face waterproofing problems.

Water leakage can cause damage to your home in an unfortunately large number of ways, varying from a small patch on the ceiling to a destroyed property. While the latter is luckily a rare event, small damages can appear easily, and if the issue remains untreated, you can expect the situation to escalate.

Water damage is indeed dangerous as it can cause further damage to walls, furniture, and the entire electrical network around your home. Moreover, if you live in one of the condos in Singapore, you need to take care of the situation to avoid damage to your neighbours' homes as well.

Common areas prone to water leaks and damage

There are several areas in and around the home that are prone to water damage due to the nature of its function. These are several areas that should be regularly inspected for water damage, leaks and dripping.

  1. Joints in-between installations such as windows, bathtubs, sink, toilet bowls and doors.

  2. The building's external facade

  3. Air-conditioning pipes

  4. Kitchen areas

  5. Roofs

  6. Ceilings

  7. Outdoor balconies

  8. Basements

Over time, these areas will be prone to water damage and would require waterproofing inspection and maintenance. It is crucial to identify and repair these areas early as they can cause severe structural damage if left untreated. This damage may cause issues with the building's integrity that can lead to a hefty repair bill or pose health risks to the occupants in the building.

Signs of water damage within your home

It is important to check for water damage within the home to ensure the safety and comfort of its occupants.

Water stains

The most obvious of the visible signs are a sodden or wet surface that may appear on the wall, ceiling, or even floor. As there is a chance that it is a hidden pipe leak, it is very difficult to spot and can easily be mistaken for a lack of insulation. Therefore, it pays to be on the lookout for leaks to prevent more serious damage. A dripping tap is a similarly obvious sign, especially if water continues to leak after the repair. This is a symptom of a faucet system fault, and unfortunately, It is likely that the leak has sprung from a concealed pipe. It's nearly impossible to fix without disassembly. However, it is important to accurately determine the location of the broken pipe. Have you received your water bill and are you looking at the amount with rounded eyes? It may not be the utility, but the plumbing system that has sprung a leak. The surest sign of an unseen burst pipe is the low water pressure in all the water closets in your home at the same time.

Water stain on ceiling
Visible water stain on ceiling

Presence of mould

Visible signs of mould growth are a clear indication that there is a leak in the home. Mould is found where there is moisture and oxygen. This is not only problematic from a water consumption standpoint but can also pose a health risk. Unfortunately, this sign can easily be mistaken for other malfunctions, but water damage should also be considered.

Presence of mould growth on bathroom ceiling
Mould on bathroom ceiling

Damp Air

Damp air is not always a sign of a fault, but it can be a sign of a leak in the home. Especially if the dampness persists over a long period and despite preventative measures. In this case, the drained water has already accumulated somewhere and is constantly being replenished. A thorough check can not hurt. If you notice the air is damp, you can rely not only on your eyes but also on your nose. Sewer stench is a very distinctive smell, and even in this case, a persistent, unrelenting stench can be suspicious. Especially if you notice mud in the yard, sunken pavement, or constant waterlogging. If you can't find the source but the apparent odour returns after briefly airing the room, try looking behind the furniture to spot for water dripping or leaks.

Constant dripping sounds

Although we are familiar with what dripping water sounds like, it might not always be brought to our immediate attention due to noise interference or a lack of awareness. Often, you would be able to hear the sound of water dripping during the night if there is a leak as it is quieter.

Loose or cracked floor tiles

The presence of loose or cracked floor tiles is another common sign of water leakage in the home. This symptom is commonly presented in the kitchen or bathroom area of the home due to the nature of its use. Loose or cracked tiles may present safety hazards to occupants and must be addressed as soon as possible. Read more about inspecting your bathroom here:

Cracked Bathroom Tiles
Cracked Bathroom Tiles

Signs of water damage around your home

Homeowners living in landed properties should perform checks around the home for water damage as well.

Damaged roof gutters, shingles and flashing

The roof is a common problem area for homeowners when it comes to waterproofing. Due to its constant exposure to the weather, deterioration and wear-and-tear occurs at a much faster rate. Inspect your roof gutters for clogs and check if the gutter's joints have been damaged. For roof shingles, a visual inspection of the overall health can provide an indication of its state and susceptibility to water damage. For roof flashings, inspect whether it has cracks or is bent along any point. Read more about performing roof inspections in our article here:

Damaged Roof Shingles
Damaged Roof Shingles

Loose windows or door frames

Loose exterior windows and door frames are another common cause of water damage to landed properties and buildings. Typically, door and window sealants may become loose over time and allow for water penetration to occur. Checking the sealant lining along these areas to ensure they are well-fitted ensures the home is secure from water seeping in.

Repaired window sealant
External Window Sealant

External wall and facade

The external facade of a building will also present signs and indications of potential water seepage issues. Inspect for cracks along the wall to see if they allow water ingress into the home. The presence of rust from metal piping or external metal materials along the wall are also indication of potential water damage.

Cracked External Wall
Cracked External Wall

Contact Hydro-Seal Engineering

If you have noticed any of the above signs of water leakage or even water damage, your first step should be to seek professional help from Hydro-seal Engineering.

Drop us a call at 62896811 or contact us if you require an inspection of your home. Find out more about our professional services. You can count on us to find and fix water leakage problems anywhere in your home.


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