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Determining If Water Damage Is Old Or New

water damage restoration mcdonoughWater damage is good at hiding and lurking in the dark, out-of-the-way corners of your home. When you discover a water damage problem, it’s not always obvious how long it has been there. However, there are a few indications that can tip you off to this. 

Water Damage Restoration McDonough

From our water damage restoration professionals at Restoration 1 of McDonough, here are a few different ways you can figure this out.


The way that a water-damaged wall or ceiling feels is an indication of how long the damage has been there. A wall or ceiling experiencing relatively new damage should not feel any different than it does normally. However, if the damage has been gradually developing over a long period of time, your walls or ceiling will seem soft or soggy to the touch. 

Water Stains Or Peeling Paint

Lastly, examine the affected materials in general. Thicker paint and/or tiles can trap water, leading to leaks. Something as small as a minor water blotch can indicate there is water that’s been building up behind the materials for a long time, but, of course, more obvious signs like ceiling bubbles from water can point to increasing damage as well.                   

Signs Of Rotting Or Decay

At the extreme end of water damage, signs of rotting or decay in your home indicate that the problem has been there for a long time and is extremely serious. You should call for restoration help immediately if you find any damage to this extent in your home.

Water Rings

Just like the rings on a tree indicate its age, water rings on your walls or ceiling can help you estimate how long the damage has been there. A dark spot with no rings around it means that the damage is relatively new but still serious. Several rings of different colors in the same spot, however, indicate that the area has gone back and forth from being soaked and dried multiple times. 


The longer water damage is in your home, the more likely you are to develop a mold problem and for that mold problem to spread. It can’t give you a definitive length of time, but the more extensive the mold problem is in your home, the longer the water was there in the first place.


Finally, longstanding water damage will cause a musty, mildew smell stemming from mold growth. As this smell gets stronger, this means that the water damage problem is probably getting worse as well.

As you can see, there are a lot of different ways you can determine how long a water damage problem has been in your home. Although, these signs are more important than just helping you know how long the problem has been there. They also indicate the severity of the problem and how important it is to take action quickly. Don’t hesitate to call us at Restoration 1 of McDonough for help with any water damage issues you may have in your home.

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Our promise is that we will use the best materials and above code quality craftsmanship to restore your damaged property.

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