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How to Tell If Water Damage Is New or Old

water damaged floor

A property can face a number of problems, but one of the most incessant ones involves water damage. It can result in a multitude of issues, mainly when it’s nowhere near plain visibility. This is why dealing with it immediately is crucial, just like a Salt Lake flood cleanup.

The pipes that run across and through your home aren’t just in your basement; they’re also in your walls and ceilings. If there’s a leak or some type of condensation going on with your pipes, your walls or ceilings will likely start getting worn out. A key dilemma in situations like this is figuring out whether or not the water damage is new or has been there for some time and is considered old.

When the eventual ceiling water spots or the wall damage shows up, you can assume that it’s an issue with the pipes. However, given that the area is not in plain sight, determining exactly how long it’s been going on can be quite tough.

How to tell if water damage is new or old?

There is no way to find out the specific duration of your water damage problem, but there are a few methods to figure out whether it’s new or old. Read on for some tips on how you can learn your water damage’s age.

Feel the damaged spots

Simply touching the spot or spots that have water damage will tell you quite a bit about just how old (or new) the water damage is. Older spots will be squishy or mushy since, by that point, there will be quite a lot of water already absorbed by the ceiling or drywall. On the other hand, those will still be strong with a newer spot that’s just wet as it is.

Keep an eye out for rings

This is similar to how you can tell just how old a tree is. A spot that is dark and has no rings around it means that’s newer water damage. When there are rings around the spot, no matter how many there are, that’s an indicator of damage that’s older.

Know your house’s history with weather conditions

It’s important to take note of any water damage spots as soon as you see them. Observe storms that your house gets caught in because those can trigger water damage that’s hidden until it’s too late. Be sure you’re well-oriented with your property if you aren’t already. Months down the line, smaller leaks may make an appearance. If you have a familiarity with the old, you’ll be able to point out the new and start diagnosing the most recent issue faster.


Since water damage can start to occur hidden from plain sight, determining whether it’s old or new can be quite tricky. Ideally, before you call for support from professionals like AAA Restoration in Utah, you already have an idea of what you’re dealing with. To learn whether it’s new or old, you can do things like feel the spots with water damage and keep an eye out for rings.

Looking to get assistance with water cleanup in Utah? Contact AAA Restoration Utah today! We are committed to helping our customers get their lives back to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible.