Five Places You Need to Inspect for Water Damage Water damage is the leading cause of mold and rot in houses. Some leaks are obvious. Water dripping from the ceiling or spraying dramatically from a burst pipe is a pretty big clue that you have water damage on your hands. Some leaks are subtler. You should check these five places every few months to be sure that you’re not sustaining water damage that isn’t obvious. The sooner you catch water damage the less extensive it will be. Photo by jST. Inside your appliances If you have appliances that use water (think dishwasher, clothes washer, and fridge to start) you should have them inspected at least on a yearly basis. You want to be sure that there’s no water leaking occurring under or behind these appliances, but it’s equally important to be sure that everything’s working fine inside of them. Water damage inside an appliance can lead to a total breakdown and one of those obvious leaks you know is happening immediately. Along your foundation Water damage to your foundation is very dangerous. Rot and mold growth can cause structural damage to the property. This can make your home dangerous to live in. Repairs to the foundation tend to be difficult and expensive, so catching cracks and leaks early is very important. Window panes and doorframes Water damage can occur to walls, floors, and ceilings when weather stripping isn’t working properly. Spreading stains tend to show up where water damage happens. Be sure to check your weather stripping for a tight seal every spring and fall. You want to be sure that you’re going to get through the winter just fine. The attic and basement Out of sight, out of mind: the attic and basement can sustain a lot of damage before you happen to notice. These areas tend not to smell the freshest, so even moderate mold growth can go undetected. Every season or so get up and move things away from the wall. Look for patches of mold, stains on the walls, floors, or ceilings, and/or a bad, musty odor. The roof You may need to hire a professional to get on the roof for you. No one who’s less than perfectly capable should be on the roof; it’s not worth danger to check your roof. That said, a yearly or biyearly inspection can help you get a longer life from your roof. There are layers of insulation and building materials between your shingles and your ceilings. Water damage that occurs on the inside of the roof can be difficult and expensive to replace. You’re going to have a better chance if you notice it early; that could get you out of having to replace sheets of insulation or boards of timber. Mold loves the sun-warmed dampness of the inner roof. Water damage is never a minor problem. Leaks that fly under the radar are more dangerous because they can allow more extensive water damage to occur without your knowledge. Inspecting these five areas will cut down on the length of time a leak can go unnoticed. Catch it early, and you can save yourself time and money.