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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

New vs. Old Water Damage

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

The Many Sources of Water Damage

The most frequent form of property damage is caused by water, and there are numerous ways it can occur. Nature, for one, can be the culprit through sudden storms and flooding. A pipe burst is another common offender, especially those sneaky slow leaks. The worst and most unmistakable type of water loss would be the sewage backups. If you are not sure when the water loss occurred, here are some tips to determine whether it’s new or old.

Firm vs. Soft Materials

If one day you discover some extra water in an area it shouldn’t be, or suspect a leaking pipe, the first thing you can do to determine the age of the loss is to feel the affected area – but only if it is safe. When you touch the potentially affected area and the impacted material is firm, the would be considered a more recent loss. However, if the affected material has more soft, mushy spots it is an indication that the water has been present for a longer period.


Drywall is often affected in water loss, and rings that may develop as a side effect to the water damage. Darker rings can signify that the damage is more recent while older, periodic water damage will have multiple different colored rings around it, like rings on a tree trunk. The different shades of the rings show that the area has been soaked, dried, and repeated multiple times. These can also be called “mit lines” in our line of work.

Mildew and Microbial Growth

Water, especially stagnant water, attracts and produces perfect conditions for mold spores to grow and form colonies. If there is a moisture, microbial growth is never far behind, usually occurring 24 to 48 hours after the initial water loss. Therefore, you spot what you think could be some growth, the loss may be older and would need immediate attention.

If you discover water damage in your home, regardless of if it’s old or new, SERVPRO® of North Augusta can help with our professionally trained technicians. Give our office team a call to schedule services right away at 706-750-0200.

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