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Question DetailsAsked on 10/17/2017

How to find source of water damage to floor when no apparent damage to walls?

About two weeks after Hurricane Irma, we noticed damage to our hardwood floors, mostly around the perimeter of the outside walls. We do not how to go about finding the source of the leak before repairing the floor. A claims adjuster said it was surface water, but we still don’t know know where it’s coming from and who to call to determine the source.

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1 Answer


If there is no wetness/dampness around the perimeter of the flooring, and no staining / sogginess in the bottom of the wall drywall in that area, he is likely right. If it was from a leaking pipe it would presumably be wet still, and forming active mold.

You could also go outside and look for a high-water mark round the house - sign of exterior ponding or surface water runup to the foundation wall which could have overtopped the wall and wetted the edge of the flooring. Particularly assuming you have a slab-on-grade foundation (no crawlspace or basement). Figure if there is any chance flood waters reached your foundation top level (maybe check with neighbors on their situation and look for strandlines of flood-borne debris in your yard).

It is also possible, given the amount of rain you likely had, that your gutters overflowed - see if the ground around your foundation is well below the top of the foundationa nd sloping away from the house, or if gugger overflowing (or roof runoff from a no-gutter sitaution) might have backed water up against the foundation, causing a bit of infiltration. You can find a lot of checklists in previous answers about basement/foundation wetness issues in the Home > Basement Waterproofing link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

Given hurricane conditions, it is also possible you had enough blow-in to the walls from water being blown up under the shingles/shakes or siding that a limited amount got into the wall and ran out at the bottom onto the surfloor or floor, wetting the flooring.

If you DO have a crawlspace/basement check for water damage from flooding - or wetness from a current leak if that is the case.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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