Professional Restoration Logo
Home Damage

How To Find Mold, Fire, or Water Damage In A New Home

Written by Professional Restoration on September 27, 2017. Posted in DIY/How To.

The Denver housing market is competitive and home buyers must take special care to evaluate properties thoroughly. This includes identifying mold and mildew, water and fire damage.

While it’s a good idea to call the experts, home buyers don’t have to rely solely on inspectors to spot warnings while house hunting.

Here’s how to spot problem areas such as mold, water and fire damage when looking for a new home.

Finding Mold and Mildew

There are more than 100,000 types and species of mold, but only a handful can be found around residential properties. Nevertheless, mold can cause mild to severe health problems, especially for people with allergies or asthmatic problems.

Mold thrives in damp conditions but can live just about anywhere. Colorado winters provide ample opportunity for mold to thrive in areas of the home including basements, crawl spaces, flooring, around leaky pipes, window seals, and more. Even new construction homes can develop mold when they’re tightly sealed and lack ventilation.

What Does Mold Look Like?

 Household molds are typically green, white, black, and sometimes, a light pink or orange. While not all molds are toxic, inside a home is no place for fungi and it will require careful cleaning and abatement to ensure the health and safety of every home occupant.

Where to Look for Mold

The first thing you should do when inspecting a home for mold is use your senses. Inhale and try to detect damp, musty smells or mildew. An unpleasant odor may indicate mold or other problems. (Note: if you’re sensitive to mold or have allergies, this may be a job best left to professionals.)

Next, inspect all exposed pipework, under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as other pipework like hookups to the washer, etc.

Check basements for mold in corners and around window seals. If there’s no basement, check the crawl space near pipework and ventilation systems.

Always ask the homeowner about previous water-related problems or mold. As a last resort, you can also hire a mold detecting company to ensure your home is free and clear of any harmful contaminants.

Finding Water Damage

Like mold, water damage can be obvious or well hidden. And because mold thrives in damp environments, it’s very possible signs of mold could point to previous water damage or vice versa.

Water damage is a result of flooding, leaky or busted pipes, or extreme outdoor conditions. While water damage isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it’s important to understand the risks and potential damages that may be lurking beyond what’s seen.

But don’t worry, restoration of water damage can be applied with professional assistance—the trick is finding the source and learning about the problem.

What Does Water Damage Look Like? 

There are four basic signs of water damage: water accumulation, discoloration, changes in texture and odor.

Standing water is a sure sign that water damage is inevitable; other signs often reveal themselves in different ways and to various degrees.

Discoloration, for example, will be plain to see on a ceiling but not easily detected under floorboards or behind cabinetry. Changes in material texture (warping, buckling, sagging, or expanding) can signal water damage not easily seen.

Finally, damp odors or mildew can seep through drywall or from other interior spaces to signal water damage that may have to be inspected by a professional.

Where to Look for Water Damage

Water damage can happen just about anywhere in a home. Here are a few areas that are most at risk in Colorado:

Finding Fire Damage

A fire damaged home can be a diamond in the ruff for renovators or a total nightmare for first time buyers. Knowing what to ask a homeowner will help spur preliminary investigations, but a certified home inspector is the best way to ensure a property investment doesn’t turn into a lemon.

In particular, fire damage can be patched quickly and not to code, which can result in a multitude of problems for a new homeowner. A fire can damage electrical wiring between burned walls or materials, and toxic soot not properly cleaned and abated can pose serious health concerns.

What to Ask Homeowners 

Depending on when the fire happened, the damage may or may not be visible. Even without visible signs of fire, all home buyers should consider these questions:

These questions will point your investigation in the right direction, but you’ll need to follow up with a professional inspection to ensure what the homeowners say is true.

Where to Find Fire Damage

According to the American Red Cross, the overwhelming majority of disasters they respond to are fire related. On average, residential fires total more than $7 billion in property damage throughout the U.S.

Most residential fires start in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean fires don’t start elsewhere, like in bedrooms from forgotten lit candles, or in garages where flammable materials are commonly found.

You’ll know fire damage when you see or smell it: black soot and smoky odors typically indicate a fire-related incident. Any sign of fire damage should signal further investigation, either with the owners of the home or through careful examination by property damage professionals.

Denver homes that have suffered property damage are still viable options for new homeowners and renovators alike. Knowing what to look for, where to look, and what to ask homeowners is the best way to prepare for buying a home.

And if you’re still not sure about potential property damage, you can always call the experts at Professional Restoration to assist you. Our teams are available 24/7/365.

Got some damage you’d like us to look at? Call 303-922-4001 to connect with a certified technician today, or tell us what’s going on online.

Call Professional Restoration Today!

Professional Restoration specializes in supplying Denver, CO clients with exceptional care and dependable restoration practices. Our decades of experience have enabled us to tend to a wide variety of projects with the knowledge and expertise our clients deserve. Our services include a wide range of restorative work, from water and fire damage to mold remediation, sewage maintenance, and structural repair. When the time comes to invest in a high-quality restoration company, look to Professional Restoration to supply you with skilled staff members, reliable techniques, and courteous customer service.

Call Professional Restoration Today!

The Professional Restoration team’s specialty is in offering complete, in-house restoration services to address any type of property damage. Through our decades of experience, we are able to help with everything from the restoration of water or fire damage, to mold removal, and reconstruction services.

We understand that living and working through the restoration process with a remediation and water restoration company can be an incredible headache. That’s why the team at Professional Restoration will be at your side every step of the way, including dealing with your insurance company to ensure the process is manageable and equitable for you. Our staff has decades of experience navigating the intricacies of insurance claims and we’re prepared to put our expertise to work for you. When you’re ready to look for a commercial restoration company, consider Professional Restoration for our reliable processes, certified staff members, and superior customer service practices.