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Determining If the Water Damage in Your Home Is New or Old

water damage

Water damage in your home can be a nightmare to deal with. It may foster the growth of mold and mildew, weaken the structural integrity of your home, and even lead to health problems. 

But before you can address the water damage, it’s important to determine if it is new or old. Knowing the age of the water damage can help you decide which remediation and repair methods are best for your home.

In order to detect leaks early on, homeowners need to look out for vulnerable sections of their houses. Understanding the different materials in the house is also useful because different materials respond to moisture infiltration in different ways.

The sections below show you how to tell if you have to deal with old or fresh water damage.

Note the Water Rings

When water stains appear on the ceiling or walls, a homeowner can determine how old they are. Telling visual cues are the circles that surround the water location. A fresh water spot often appears as a single, solid, dark area without any surrounding rings.

But there will be one or more circles all around an old water area. The problem is older if there are more rings surrounding the wet location. It may also be learned a lot from the colors of the rings because they indicate how frequently wet and dried the affected areas have been.

Inspect the Affected Area

By feeling the water spots with a gloved hand, a homeowner can assess how long water damage has persisted in a given region. To the touch, fresh water damage feels firm. On the other hand, older water damage seems soft and mushy.

The walls, ceilings, or other areas that have sustained fresh water damage are still strong and have not yet been compromised. 

This causes the water-damaged surface to remain wet but stable. Long-term water damage afflicted areas are easily movable and do not require much pressure or force.

Locate Mold Colonies

Once they touch down at a favorable location, mold spores multiply quickly. If there are mold stains on the water-damaged walls or ceilings, the area has been harmed for at least a few days. Within twenty-four to forty-eight hours of water exposure, mold might start to form.

Moldy blotches that are black or gray only represent a portion of the problem caused by water damage. 

The presence of a mold infestation that is concealed behind walls or under carpets is another potential problem. If mold is a hidden growth, it can mean that the water damage has been there for a while.

Put on gloves to avoid cross-contamination and a mask to avoid breathing in mold spores before contacting mold.

Identify Structural Deterioration

The walls, ceilings, tiles, and other structural components of the house deteriorate over a protracted period. When a home’s inner structures fail because of moisture, it usually signifies that there has been extensive water damage.

Under extreme circumstances, such as flooding, the house begins to deteriorate. Standing water enters the home due to flooding from storms, sewage backups, or other factors. The property will suffer significant degradation if the standing water is persistent and lengthy.

Any kind of water damage needs to be repaired right away. Water damage is notorious for spreading quickly, which can harm other areas of the house and necessitate time-consuming and expensive repairs. 

To address any potential water damage, homeowners are encouraged to routinely inspect their properties.


Take immediate steps to lessen the damage if you discover water damage. For prompt and competent assistance, get in touch with reputable water damage restoration professionals. They will restore your property to the way it was before the loss.

Porous materials like drywall, upholstery, and insulation have the propensity to absorb water quickly. As a result, water damage may also cause significant structural damage. 

The good thing is restoration teams work quickly to remove the moisture from the property and completely dry out every square inch.

You can rely on AAA Restoration Utah if you need water damage restoration in Salt Lake City! Our quick response helps minimize damage and ensures that you’ll get back into your home sooner. Call us today to book an appointment!

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