what happens if you don't deal with water damage right away

Water damage can severely damage your home if you ignore it, and the longer you wait, the heftier your price tag will be. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to repair and clean up water damage is between $1,207 and $5,159.

But how can water damage cause so many problems? What can happen if you don’t repair water damage? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at this homeownership mishap, how to spot water damage and the issues it can cause for you and your family.

Signs of Water Damage

How can you identify water damage and nip it in the bud before it becomes a severe issue? There are two telltale signs to look for.

Discoloration and Staining

Often, the first indication of water damage is visual. Discoloration and stains on your walls or ceilings are typically red flags. Sometimes, these may resemble a dirty brownish-yellow spot. In some cases, it might look like the paint is peeling off. If left untreated, these stains can become permanent, creating more work and items you’ll need to have fixed in the long run.


Another sign of water damage is an unpleasant, musty odor resulting from mold or mildew growth around areas where water pools. While your first instinct may be to try covering up the smell with air fresheners, it won’t go away until you take care of the water damage for good.

the consequences of leaving water damage untreated

The Consequences of Leaving Water Damage Untreated

Ignoring discoloration, staining and water damage isn’t a wise idea. Unfortunately, water damage won’t go away by itself — indeed, it’s one of those problems that will only get worse and more expensive the longer you let it go. Below, we’ll look at what can happen if you don’t repair water damage immediately.

Structural Damage

Is water damage really that bad? Consider that unrepaired leaks can cause severe structural damage that may remain hidden. For example, the wooden beams behind your walls and in your ceilings are essential to your home’s stability. Wood will absorb dripping water, weakening it and causing it to warp. This problem can threaten the building’s structural integrity.

Water can also degrade various metals within your home, such as your air ducts. Your plumbing pipes can also be at risk in these situations if they begin to corrode, which can ultimately lead to more leaks within your home. Essentially, water damage can affect almost every structural and internal aspect of your home.

Health Hazards

As mentioned earlier, water damage can foster mold growth, which may cause health issues for you and your family. These can include respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, stuffy noses and itchy eyes and skin. People with allergies or respiratory issues like asthma can experience more severe symptoms, including a fever and shortness of breath.

Some mold species also pose a risk of even more severe side effects. Black mold is one excellent example of this. In some cases, if you can’t address it immediately or if it has spread to multiple areas in your home, it’s best to evacuate until you can get professional mold remediation. Don’t gamble your family’s health by putting off dealing with this issue.

Bug Attraction

Extreme moisture within your home, especially within wood, threatens your home’s structure and stability. It can also attract many unwanted guests. Many insect species thrive on moisture within homes, including termites and carpenter ants.

When your home’s wood structure constantly absorbs water, it creates the perfect environment for these insects to feed and live. Carpenter ants prefer to build their colonies in soft, rotten wood. Meanwhile, termites drink the water and eat the wood. As you can see, your home’s structure is already at risk due to weakened wood, and insects compound the issue by compromising the integrity even further.


Now, we’ll turn our focus to one of the most dreaded consequences of water damage — the cost of getting it fixed. Because so many factors can play into water damage, accurately estimating repair costs can be challenging. Water damage can result from multiple problems, including flooding, roof leaks, plumbing leaks and many more. However, one thing that will always hold true is that the longer you continue ignoring the problem, the more expensive it will be to fix. This scenario proves the “time is money” adage. Depending on the water damage’s severity and source, it could cost you thousands.

Drake's Construction & Restoration Can Help

Drake’s Construction & Restoration Can Help

If you live in or near Parkersburg, W.V., have experienced water damage and need reliable restoration services, look no further. As a trusted company that has been remodeling, restoring, roofing and constructing homes in the Mid-Ohio Valley for over a decade, our water restoration and roofing services are the perfect options for you.

We are here to help you make your home look good as new, so contact us today or request a free estimate here!