What Are the Signs of HIDDEN WATER DAMAGE?

Sometimes it’s not obvious that you have a leak causing water damage.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • Stains and spots. There may be brown, yellow, or copper discoloration.
  • Smells of mold or mildew.
  • Condensation on ceilings or “sweating walls”.
  • Bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper.
  • Floors may warp, buckle, sag or expand.
  • Inexplicable moisture in the carpet.
  • Baseboards/trim separating from the wall.
  • Areas of darkened grout on tile floors.
  • Swollen door casing or door alignment.


Check the common places for hidden water damage:

  • Around appliances
  • Ceilings
  • Attics
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Exterior and foundations

If you do find water damage, call us today at 505-888-1164 to schedule a free estimate so we can help you get it taken care of quickly.

What Should You Do If You Experience WATER Damage?

Water damage arises from fire damage, broken pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning appliances, storms and other causes. The appropriate treatment depends on the nature of the damage. Some water carries contaminants and should be considered hazardous (see Sewage and Flood Damage, below). Whatever the origin, the prospects for restoration depend largely on the speed with which your building and personal property can dry. Even clean water can generate mildew and other bacterial growth if neglected.


  • Ventilate wet areas. Turn on air conditioning for accelerated drying in summer; in winter, alternate cycles of opened windows and heating.
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
  • Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk.
  • Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Transport computers to a dry environment, remove cases and blow dry with low-pressure air.
  • Remove lamps, telephones and decorative items from wet furniture tops.
  • Open drawers and cabinet doors for interior drying, but do not force open stuck drawers or doors.
  • Freeze valuable books and documents to retard mildew growth until the drying process.
  • Place aluminum foil squares, china saucers or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining.



  • Operate TVs, vacuums or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Serious injury may result.
  • Use heat to dry closed building interiors; mildew and expanded moisture damage may result.
  • Leave wet fabrics in place; space them apart and dry as soon as possible.
What Should You Do if You Experience SEWAGE & FLOOD Damage?

After a storm, raw sewage and flood waters contain bacteria and other microorganisms which are extremely hazardous to human health. These can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. Frequent hand washing is an important preventive measure. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may not be restorable after direct contact with sewage-contaminated or flood-contaminated water.


  • Treat all water-impacted surfaces and furnishings as toxic, until adequately decontaminated.
  • Keep children and pets out of contaminated areas.



  • Track contaminated material into safe, clean areas.

Attempt to decontaminate surfaces with sprays and other over-the-counter germicidal products, which may not fully disinfect contaminated surfaces.

What Should You Do if You Experience FIRE & SMOKE Damage?

After fire damage, it’s natural to want to jump right in and clean the building and contents. Timely action can be a great help, but the wrong action can jeopardize or impede satisfactory restoration.


  • Clean and protect chrome trim on faucets, and other bright work by washing with detergent and applying a coating of Vaseline or oil.
  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery draperies and carpeting.
  • Open windows for ventilation if weather permits.
  • Empty refrigerators and freezers if electricity is off, and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper to allow air circulation.
  • Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, tanks, sink and tub drains to prevent freeze damage if heat is off in winter.
  • Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in winter.
  • Remove pets to a clean environment if heavy fire residues are present.
  • Send a sample group of garments for cleaning and deodorization to observe the results.
  • Retain a contractor to board up open windows, roofs, or other penetrations to prevent additional damage



  • Wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
  • Use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris.
  • Use food items or canned goods exposed to heat.
  • Turn on computers, TVs, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been cleaned and checked.
What Problems Can ASH AND SOOT Cause?

Ash and soot left behind by a fire can cause serious damage. To your property and your health.

They can be corrosive. Ash and soot particles are small and easily ground into materials which make it difficult to remove.

The small particle size also makes them easily inhaled into the lungs, causing respiratory issues. Breathing these fine particles deeply into the lungs can cause breathing problems and worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Ash and soot can also be irritating to the skin, with exposure to soot being linked to some skin cancers.

What Should You Do if You Experience SOOT (FURNACE) Damage?

While soot may resemble smoke residues from a fire, the restoration of soot damage often requires different techniques. Incorrect action can make restoration more difficult and delay the return to normal.


  • Change and save the old furnace filter.
  • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery draperies and carpets.
  • Cover upholstery with clean sheets before use.



Attempt to wash walls, ceilings or contents without professional assistance.

What Should You Do If You Experience VANDALISM Damage?

Vandalism on commercial property often involves spray paint on walls, defacement of furnishings, or spreading noxious substances. It is one of the most difficult forms of damage to restore. Prompt action can often minimize the effect of vandalism or make restoration more successful.


  • Hose down or wash egg damage from building exteriors as soon as possible.
  • Vacuum glass particles from carpet and upholstery.
  • Save containers and spray cans which can reveal the composition of inks and pigments.
  • Save all wood chips and fragments from furniture, porcelain or art objects.



Attempt to remove ink, paint or cosmetic stains: they can be permanently set if not handled properly.