Water damage can easily be concealed in homes that have suffered from it. When you purchase a house with this problem, you will be facing costly repairs and renovation expenses in the future. With the high price of real estate and all the other expenses that come with maintaining a home, having to pay for the restoration work should be the least of your concerns.
To avoid being scammed into buying a home with unreported damages, it is important that you take the following steps before purchasing your home:
Make a thorough inspection of the floors, walls and ceilings. Watch out for water marks and stains. If the home has experienced any kind of leaking or flooding in the past, the incident will leave behind a water trail. You may want to specifically look out for such marks in areas near bathrooms and kitchen sinks.
Check furniture with wooden surfaces and fabric upholstery. These are materials which are susceptible for mold growth and reproduction. If you see the presence of molds, this is a good indication that some parts of the house have been inundated in the past. Mold can also signal any deterioration underneath the surface. If you can perceive that the molds have rapidly reproduced and the furniture is infested, you have to check if you can still restore it or if you have to dispose of it already.
Observe the floor surfaces around the house. If you see any sign of wrinkling, buckling or waving, this can mean that the floors are suffering from water damage. The water can distort the flat surface of the floors and can cause such deformations.
Inspect the drywall in the house for any clues as to previous contact with water. You should especially check the walls near to floors suspected of having such problems. The key to knowing drywalls damaged with water is to touch and feel them. If they feel soft and a bit damp, it means that they have been exposed to water. They may also appear to be a bit swollen and wrinkled.
These problems can lead to many other repair needs which will cost you a lot. Before you are duped into buying a home with hidden water damage, you must be vigilant enough to make the necessary inspection and inquiries.
Below are links to home inspection checklists available for free download: