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© Cheryl Ciecko, 2017

Cheryl Ciecko, AIA, ALA, LEED AP is a licensed architect who improves the health of people by helping them avoid toxin exposure in their buildings.  Cheryl also shares information on a variety of other potential toxin impacts affecting health, including food, products, water quality, and air quality.  Individual consulting is available upon request.


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Eleven Signs of Water Damage

December 28, 2016


There's lots of signs of water damage that can be found if you know to look for them.









Here’s some indications that water damage might be a problem in your building:

  1. Color changes or discoloration of surfaces…even slight.



  2. Texture changes of any kind




  3. Powdery surfaces being created

  4. Mold or black, white or other colored spots on wet surfaces like shower areas…this may be an indication that there might be more spores than usual in the air. It might also mean humidity is too high.



  5. Check humidity levels. Winter is the perfect time to notice if any rooms have higher humidity levels than others. This can be a sign of stored moisture behind walls, ceilings or floors.  Humidity levels should be below 40% in heating seasons.  Below 55% when air conditioning is required.



  6. Peeling, blistering, cracking or bubbling of surfaces.



  7. Doors that stick or wood floors buckling.

  8. Turn off all of water faucets and check your water meter to see if it is measuring water usage. This could mean a leak somewhere.

  9. In winter, look for icicles, ice dams, snow melt off roofs which show where warm air is escaping the building.  Ice dams often lead to roof leaks.



  10. Exterior drainage - Check outside your building during rain events to look for how the gutters function, water flow anywhere around the building from the roof to the ground and look for water puddling near the foundation.  Note where walls meet roofs, at window and door openings or other projections through outside walls.  Water stains caused being absorbed by materials is often visible for several hours after a rain event.



  11.   Musty smells always indicate mold is present.  But also know that lack of a musty smell does NOT exclude mold as a possibility.  













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