Hurricane Harvey: How to Detect for Water Damage

Our hearts are with the victims of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and we are saddened by the devastation it has left in its wake. If you’d like to get involved, we recommend reviewing this list of charities for Hurricane Harvey, and this list for Hurricane Irma.


The most common offender behind  a home’s weak foundation? Water damage.

Water damage is an expensive and inconvenient issue that can affect any home, even if it is not in a coastal region or a flood zone. It doesn't matter if you’re a buyer, seller, or owner; it’s important to check for water damage and take preventative measures.


Start by checking for water stains on ceilings and walls. Look around window and door frames for stains or cracking. If you spot anything unusual, it could be a sign of a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall.



The main indicator for water damage in flooring is a difference in texture.

  • Warping: Typically caused by humidity or extreme temperature changes, causing floorboards to curl.

  • Sagging:  Water can seep into sub-flooring, causing flooring to sink.  Soft spots in hardwood floors are also a sign of water erosion.

  • Expanding: Floors will expand as they take in water.



Check for mildew smells in walls, flooring, basement, and any other place it may collect. Drywall materials often act as sponges, providing ideal conditions for mold to form.



Make sure to check the ground around your home for  damage to your foundation or basement. If the angle of the ground is sloped toward your home, the risk of water damage increases. Check gutters, downspout, and the roof for anything missing or working improperly.


Preventative Measures:

  • Clean your gutters regularly

  • Ensure downspouts are diverting water away from your home

  • Test your sump-pump

  • Repair any leaking pipes


If you suspect your home has water damage, locate the problem area(s) and try to prevent any further damage. Call your home insurance company to report the water damage and contact a professional to receive an assessment.


Article by the Real Producers Team, Image from CNN "Rockport home sliced in half from Hurricane Harvey,"

Grace Sanderson