How to Indicate if Water Damage is New or Old


When you have clogged bathtubs, toilets or sinks that flood, you know that you’re in need of water damage repair. Nonetheless, your home can sustain water damage in ways that aren’t as obvious. Because you have pipes running through your house, you can have a pipe leaking or an accumulation of condensation between your walls or ceilings. It’s a difficult circumstance since this isn’t in sight- you won’t know until you there’s water damage, and then it’s hard to diagnose how long the issue has lingered.

For these areas that aren’t visible, it’s challenging to figure out how old or new the damage generated by water is. Though, you could have a leaky pipe that was slightly dripping for awhile but because it’s not in plain sight, you don’t have a timeline. There’s no sure way to find out exactly how long the problem has persisted, but there are ways to approximate the age of the water damage.

Find Out the Age of Your Water Damage

The following step-by-step process can help you judge whether your water damage is old or new:

  • History of the House: An old home may already have some previous damage produced from water, so it’s critical to keep a record of what’s there and to note if the damage alters overtime. Keeping track of the weather is a great idea as well, because if you have a small leak, it can take some time for a spot to appear. Keeping track of your water damages can save you a lot of hassle when figuring out whether your water damage is old or new.
  • Touch the Spot: If the water spot is aged, it will be spongy and soft since during the period of the leaking water, your drywall or ceiling has absorbed a good amount of water. You’ll feel moisture with a newer spot but it won’t be soft like an older spot.
  • Look for Rings: If you see just one darker spot with no rings around it, this demonstrates that the damage generated by water is new. Older damage generated by water usually has rings around it, and just like a tree, the more rings shows the age. Discolored rings shows you that the spot has been soaked, dried, soaked, dried, etc.
  • Examine the Materials: Materials like thick paint and tiles can actually trap water and moisture, so when you have a water spot seeping through one of these, this can mean there’s been a buildup of water for a period of time. Knowing the materials can help you focus on your water damage issues more efficiently.
  • Mold Inspection: Bacteria, or mold, growth usually implies that your water damage has been present for about two to three days.
  • Decay: Rotting material indicates that your water damage is either a repeat offender or that it’s extensive because there’s standing water. A first instance of damage generated by water usually doesn’t cause decomposition.

Get a Knowledgeable Water Damage Repair Specialist

If you’re having water damage problems, look no further than Paul Davis. It’s important to remedy any leaks on your property prior to the damage becoming more extensive. Our water damage repair experts can detect a leak and fix your house back to normal no matter the size of the job. Contact Paul today at 888-473-7669 and a local franchise is there to assist you.