If you have ever experienced a flood in your home due to a burst pipe or weather-related flooding, you know that water damage can set in quickly, leading to mold and a host of other problems. But acute flooding isn't the only cause of water damage that you have to look out for. Your home can sustain water damage in places you wouldn't think to look at from slow, chronic exposure to moisture. Here are three places you should inspect periodically for -- and have treated if you see any -- water damage.

Laminate Kitchen Floors

Laminate flooring, the faux-wood that is so easy to install and fix, is also fairly bad when it comes to water. Technology is improving, and there are now companies that make laminate flooring that's more water-resistant than it used to be. But if you have old laminate flooring or newer boards that aren't water-resistant in your kitchen, start eyeing the floors periodically. Water that drips off your hands after you wash dishes, condensation that drips off glasses on a hot day, water that you track in after being outside on a rainy day, and any other water can gradually damage the laminate.

Look for signs of curling or bending at the edges of the individual boards. You may also see signs that the boards are splitting apart. If you see these, you need to replace those boards and check underneath for additional water damage. Always promptly wipe up any water that's dropped onto the floor.

Decks

Many decks are now made with composite materials that don't suffer water damage, but there are still many wood decks out there. Despite sealants and water-resistance treatments, wood decks can eventually become water-damaged. What usually happens is something falls onto the deck, like a hailstone or even something that you've dropped, chipping the surface of one of the wood planks. That breaches the surface layer of sealant, allowing water inside the plank. Eventually the plank starts to mold and rot.

Chimneys

You wouldn't think your fire-burning chimney would have a bunch of mold in it, but if you have damaged flashing or other cracks in your chimney, you could end up with mold growing inside the structure. If, when you have your home's roof inspected, you find out the flashing was damaged or there were other signs of damage to the chimney, have the rest of the chimney checked out for water damage. Also have the chimney itself inspected regularly, separate from the roof, to catch issues that could lead to water getting inside.

If you have other questions about finding water damage and fixing the problem, contact a water restoration company, like Flood Damage Restoration. The staff will likely have seen everything you can think of and more, and they should be able to help you keep your home safe.

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