After a flood and harsh weather, most people know to check their home's interior for water damage. One thing that is sometimes overlooked is the hidden parts of the home's exterior — such as under the siding. Water damage can occur from rising flood waters or even driving rain in a hurricane-force gale. If not caught and repaired, the damage can compromise the structure of your home and works its way inside.
1. Warped Siding Boards
Siding isn't designed to have water under it, so trapped moisture can quickly begin to cause damage. One of the first signs you may see is warping. This is most common on wood siding, although other materials can be visibly affected if wooden nailing strips supporting the siding begin to warp. Any signs of warping need the cause investigated to make sure extensive water damage isn't lurking behind the affected siding.
2. Soft Wood
Wood siding will have another problem if water damage has occurred. The water will swell the wood fibers, causing them to break down and begin the decay process. If you press a fingernail into the decaying wood it will pierce it easily as the rotting process softens the fibers. Any soft siding boards will need to be replaced, but only after the source of the water damage is found and repaired.
3. Visible Damage
A variety of visible problems indicate water damage behind your siding. Blistering, bubbling, and peeling paint is common on any type of painted siding material, for example, when excess moisture is trapped within or behind the siding. Fasteners may also begin to pull out of the soaked framing behind the siding, leading to loose or falling siding boards.
4. Interior Damage
Sometimes the first sign of a siding leak will be visible damage on the interior walls as moisture makes its way through the wall structure of the home from the outside in. Wallboards may develop damp patches or water spots, or paint may begin to blister or peel. Water may also get into the wall and run down internally, so the first sign may be wet baseboards or carpeting.
5. Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are the close followers of any type of water damage. There may be mold and mildew growth on the siding exterior itself, making it easy to see there is a problem. Mold and mildew may also grow on the interior walls opposite the water leak, or you may pick up the odor of mildew as it emanates from inside the walls.
Contact a water damage restoration service to mitigate the damage to your home.