Has that water damage always been there? Or did it just happen? It is prudent to figure out whether water damage is new or old, so you are aware of how extensive the damage could possibly be, and what exactly you have to do to stop the water intrusion.

Step One: Determine Materials

Water effects different materials in various ways. If brick, tile, or a different tough material was influenced by water damage, chances are the damage is older. It takes time to wear on these materials and make leaks. On the other hand, if your damage is in drywall, hardwood flooring or carpet, it might be new or old water damage. Even a bit of water can impact these materials right away.

Step Two: Look for Rings

Drywall, wooden flooring, along with other porous materials can develop”rings” if they’ve suffered water damage during a lengthy period of time. It dries out but leaves a blot. If this happens a few times, the effect is similar to a number of rings of water damage, some big and some small. This means the water damage is old.

Additionally, this routine of water damage means the water damage is irregular. It occurs often, but there are dry spells where the material can dry out. The origin of water could be a pipe which just runs occasionally, such as the supply pipe into the shower. Or, it could be the end result of a roof leak, which only causes water damage when it rains.

Step Three: Touch the Position

Regions that have fresh water damage are likely to be wet but not tender. Should you touch the water damage and the drywall is soft, the water has had time to soak in and destroy the integrity of the material. This means the water damage is very likely to be old. Although, it is important to note that tough materials such as vinyl may never soften in any way.

Step Four: Assess Mold

Mold growth can begin within 24-48 hours of water damage. In case you have visible mold on the water damaged region you understand it has been soaked for at least 48 hours. More extensive mold growth may indicate the water damage is actually over.

Although, the absence of mold does not necessarily indicate the damage is fresh. There could be additional environmental variables that explain the deficiency of mold development. Maybe it’s too hot or cold for mold to grow. Or, perhaps the excess moisture dries too fast. In case you’ve got a HEPA filter operating it my be eliminating mold spores, limiting their growth to the water damaged region.

If you are thinking about how to tell whether water damage is old or new, it’s likely because you’re not sure of the cause, or if you’re able to blame the previous owner of your house for the trouble. They can assess the age and severity of the damage.