By Your Side: Finding Hurricane Damage in Your Home

With record rainfall in Southern California, your home may not be able to handle the water. And some hurricane damage can be hard to see. If you don’t notice water damage right away, it can cost you a lot more over time, leading to mold and even structural damage to your home.

An expert has tips on what homeowners should do after the rainy days pass.

This winter has been one of the rainiest on record. And while there are obvious signs of water damage to your home, such as a leaking roof or pooled water, there are also more subtle ways that wet weather can damage your home.

“It’s subtle moisture penetration that tends to create more problems because the moisture is retained for a longer period of time,” said Tod Yamamoto, owner of Restoration 1 of South Bay.

Yamamoto took us around the house to show us what homeowners should focus on.

“Usually we approached areas where the ground meets the base of the outer structure,” Yamamoto said.

And if you see water piling up, look for evidence of moisture intrusion.

“For example, cracking or swelling of the plaster,” Yamamoto said.

If left untreated, mold and wood rot can develop and can be very expensive to fix.

“There might also be areas along the roofline that are worth taking a look at,” Yamamoto said.

He says look for changes in paint, missing or cracked shingles.

People might think that if they don’t see water dripping into their house, it’s okay, but you might have an underlying problem.

Also check sliding doors and windows for cracks and chips.

Moving inside the house, start with the baseboards.

“Especially the areas adjacent to the outer walls,” Yamamoto said.

Look for discoloration, cracking, water stains, and warping.

And if you have parquet floors:

“If there is warping or separation between the boards, that usually indicates the presence of water,” Yamamoto said.

You may also tap on the floor and hear a thud. This may mean that water got under the floors. And check the ceiling for signs of cracking, blisters or discoloration.

Tod Yamamoto says insurance is also less likely to cover damage that has accumulated over time.

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