Water Damage Guide For Home Buyers in 2024

Best Option Restoration

Buying a home is a big investment, and probably one of the largest purchases you will ever make in your lifetime. Doing your due diligence, knowing what red flags to look for, and bringing in the right experts will ensure you have all the necessary information about the property so that you can be confident in your decision to buy or not buy the home. 

Water damage and mold can be a big issue because of the damage it can cause to the structure and foundation, as well as the negative health effects associated with mold growth.   In your search for a property there are some telltale signs that you can look for that could indicate water damage. Making yourself familiar with these signs can help you avoid potential issues and costly repairs. 

Here are some key signs to watch out for:

  • Musty Odors: Persistent musty smells, especially in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, or other areas prone to moisture, can indicate mold or mildew presence due to water damage.
  • Stains and Discoloration: Look for stains on ceilings, walls, and floors. These can be yellow, brown, or dark spots, indicating previous or ongoing leaks.
  • Peeling Paint or Wallpaper: Water damage can cause paint and wallpaper to peel or bubble. This is often a sign of moisture seeping through the walls. Be sure to look inside cabinets, closets and utility rooms. 
  • Warped Floors or Ceilings: Water can lead to warping or buckling in floors and ceilings. Soft spots on floors are particularly concerning as they might indicate rot.
  • Mold Growth: Visible mold in corners, on walls, or around window frames can indicate high moisture levels and water damage. Mold can appear as black, white, green, or yellow spots. If mold is visible, it is highly likely that there is mold that isn’t as easily spotted, such as inside walls, underneath paint or under floor coverings. 
  • Rust and Corrosion: Check for rust on water heaters, pipes, and other metal fixtures. Corrosion can indicate long-term moisture presence.
  • Swollen Wood: Doors, windows, and wooden baseboards that are swollen or difficult to open may have absorbed water.
  • Cracks in the Foundation: Water damage can cause or exacerbate cracks in the home's foundation. While small cracks can be normal, large gaps or horizontal cracks can indicate serious water damage.
  • High Humidity Levels: Excessive moisture inside a home, leading to condensation on windows or a general feeling of dampness, can be a sign of hidden water damage.
  • Recent Paint Jobs: Be cautious of recent paint jobs in specific areas as they may be used to cover up water damage or mold.
  • Sagging Roof: A sagging roof or missing shingles can indicate water damage, as persistent moisture weakens structural components over time.
  • Damaged or missing gutters Inspect the gutters for damage, holes and missing parts. Poorly maintained gutters can cause water damage to roofing, siding and the foundation, as well as other areas.
  • Water Bills: An unusually high water bill can suggest hidden leaks. You can request this information from your local utility company or your real estate agent.
  • Water Stains Around Plumbing Fixtures: Check under sinks, around toilets and drainage pipes,   and near appliances for any signs of leakage or water stains.
  • History of the Property: Find out if the home has had flood or water damage in the past. You or your real estate agent can request flood loss data from the owner of the property, obtain a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Evaluation) report, and/or talk to your insurance provider, who can also tell you if the home is located in a flood zone. Properties in active flood zones require an additional insurance policy, separate from homeowners insurance. 

Recommended Actions

Get An Inspection

While home inspections are not mandatory for buyers, it is in your best interest to get one done by a qualified inspector. The inspector will carefully inspect the home to uncover any existing and potential issues, mold and water damage, foundation issues, as well as things that you might easily overlook. Most experts will tell you that paying for a professional home inspection is absolutely worth it for the buyer. 


What To Do If There Is Water or Mold Damage

If water damage and/or mold is detected, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should bypass the property altogether. Chances are the damage can be repaired and the mold removed to make the home safe and habitable. Best Option Restoration of NWA specializes in water damage repair and mold remediation and can take care of any issues that were discovered in the inspection, as well as issues that were discovered after you purchased the home. 


We begin by locating the moisture source, assessing the extent of the damage and determine the scope of work. If you are considering buying a property that has damage and would like an estimate for the cost of repairing it, get in touch with us. As a locally based company, we are happy to assist you with your water and mold damage repair needs. Contact Best Option Restoration of NWA at 479-458-8840 to schedule your appointment today. 

Best Option Restoration of NWA is a 24/7 Emergency water, fire and mold damage repair company. We are locally owned and operated, licensed and insured. Our experienced technicians will arrive quickly and with a sense of urgency when you call us for help. We work with all insurance companies and are happy to assist you with your claim. 


You can depend on Best Option Restoration of NWA to have the best equipment and utilize the latest technology to repair your property fast and professionally. If your home or business has water damage, fire damage, or mold damage, contact Best Option Restoration of NWA for fast, friendly, local service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 



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