How Long Does it Take Water Damage to Show?

How Long Does it Take Water Damage to Show?

If you own your own home or business, a big detriment to your space is water damage. There are many sources of water damage, some immediate and some long-term and not as noticeable. Those instances of water damage that isn’t super noticeable can be an issue for your business building or home in the long run.

There are a few different ways that water damage can happen, and each one manifests in a different way and time frame. Roof leaks, pipe leaks, and improper draining from sinks and tubs can cause major water damage over a long period of time before they become very apparent to your eyes.

Here is a walkthrough on water damage types, what to look for, how long it takes to show, and what to do to fix it.

Water Damage From Roof Leaks

One of the most common sources of water damage is roof leaks. They can be caused by simple breaks in roofing material or something more complex like improper seals on vents or chimneys. This can cause a lot of damage if not taken care of as soon as you can once you’ve found it, especially if you’re experiencing a wet spring and summer.

In the winter, any snow or ice that accumulates on your roof or around your vents and chimney can melt into otherwise hidden leaks in your roof. You may find some new leaks after a good, heavy snow as the sun melts it away.

Signs to Look For in Roof Leaks

There are quite a few signs of potential roof leaks, but most of them require you to go atop your house and inspect your roof in search of these signs. These signs include missing, damaged, and buckled shingles as well as damaged flashings around vents and chimney.

The most noticeable signs of water damage from roof leaks are found on the inside of the house, with stains on the ceiling, soft wood, mold and mildew, and water on ceilings and walls. These signs show up much later than the ones on the roof and indicate that a lot of damage has been done in the roof and attic.

The stains and soft spots on the roof are usually indicative of the leak being directly above them, but in some cases the water travels down a beam or joist before saturating the ceiling, changing the spot you see the stain compared to the actual location of the leak.

How Long Roof Leaks Take to Show

The signs of roof leaks that can be found on the roof show up very early on in the course of a leak causing water damage. In some cases, the shingle issues can be found only a few weeks into the process of water damage from a roof leak. It makes sense since the shingles are the first layer that the water needs to get through to damage your home.

The signs that you find inside your home take much longer to show because of how many layers of material the water has to travel through to get into the visible parts of your house. These signs can take at little as three weeks to appear if the volume of water leaking in is large enough. In other cases, where the volume of water is much lower, it may take five or more weeks for the signs to manifest.

What to Do to Fix a Roof Leak

Roof leaks seem like a simple thing to try and DIY, but shingled roofs are very finicky and need a professional touch at times. Hiring a construction company or restoration company to bring their expertise to your roof is always a good option.

Most of the time, if you catch the signs that have to do with the shingles early, the fix is a very quick and simple process. If the leak has been going for a while, the damage goes much deeper and requires a more complex process to fix and restore your roof and home. In these cases, DIY-ing the repair is almost completely out of the question because of the complexity of the restoration.

Water Damage From Pipe Leaks

Pipe leaks are a common occurrence in any home, but they can be very detrimental if not taken care of quickly. Luckily, most of these kinds of leaks can be found quickly and fixed with only a few materials and low-level handyman skills.

Water damage from these kinds of leaks ranges from small, localized stains and soft spots to large areas of soft wood and problems with flooring, tile, and caulking around the leaking pipe. This water damage can be found around toilets, tubs, and sinks, and can be from the water pipes or the drainage pipes.

Signs to Look For in Pipe Leaks

Depending on where the pipe leak is coming from, there can be a few different signs of water damage that can indicate where the leak is and how severe it is. The wood in the cabinet under the bathroom or kitchen sink is a usual place to find some water damage if there is a leak in the drainage pipe. If there is any softness, there is a leaky pipe under your sink.

The drain in your tub is a bit of a different story since the drainpipe is not easily exposed. A good place to start is the other side of the wall that the tub is on. This wall and the floor around it may seem soft and damp after a shower. This usually means that the water is draining improperly and seeping into the wood, drywall, and flooring around the tub.

How Long Pipe Leaks Take to Show

Water damage from pipe leaks can be spotted almost instantly in most cases. In the instance of a sink drain leaking, you will see the wood softening and discoloring in the cabinet under the bathroom or kitchen countertop after a few hours of dripping. The signs show right away, but unless you look for them regularly, you may not catch it until later on.

A tub drain leak can be found right away in some cases, but in most cases, it could take months to a year to notice any water damage. The wood and insulation in the wall will soak up most of the water and soften for a while before the drywall and paint begin to show signs of water damage.

In this case, when you find the signs of water damage, act quickly to rectify the damage. The ESR Disaster Hero water damage restoration team is able to quickly and efficiently restore your home after an elusive leak has torn through your bathroom.

What to Do to Fix a Pipe Leak

Pipe leaks from under the sink are fairly easy to repair. The skill required is very low and the price for the repair is under $20. This repair usually just entails replacing the pipe under the sink. In some fringe cases, the pipe is fine and the rubber seals are the only thing that needs to be replaced.

Pipe leaks from the tub drain are much more complicated to repair and most of the time require a professional team to take care of the repair. With all the different types of materials involved, the skill needed to do the repair goes up significantly.

Water Damage From Tub Leaks

Tub leaks occur around the edges of the tub, through cracks in the tile, and around the faucet and fixtures. The tub is such a large area that is associated with water that there’s a large potential for leaks. Tubs should be inspected regularly to check for leaks and water damage.

What to Look For in Tub Leaks

Another big place to find water damage in the bathroom is around the tub and shower. If the water is able to escape the confines of the tub, you will be able to catch it by the signs that follow. The tile can start to release from the floor and the water degrades the adhesive. The walls around the tub may be soft from water leaking through old caulking or cracks in the tile and grout around the shower.

As the house shifts from the foundation moving and the expansion and contraction from the heat and cold respectively, the caulking around the tub, the grout between the tiles, and the seals around the pipes and drains can break loose, causing some water to slowly drip out. This can cause a lot of damage to drywall, insulation, flooring, and foundation if not caught early.

How Long Tub Leaks Take to Show

The time frame associated with the signs of tub leaks is based on the severity and location of the leak. If the leak is fairly severe, you should be able to see the signs in the walls and floor shortly after a shower. As the water continuously leaks, it will show more and more in areas around the tub and in the adjoining room.

The biggest water damage issue that you will find in and around the tub is the slow leak. These types of leaks can do tons more damage over long periods of time without you knowing because the water will dry up before you are able to see any signs of water damage.

What to Do to Fix a Tub Leak

There are two phases to fixing leaks in your tub. These two phases consist of patching the leak and replacing the damaged materials. The first step is to patch up the leak to minimize any future damages. Then on to the next step, repairing the damage.

In the first step, there are many ways to stop the leak and minimize further damage based on where the leak is located around your tub and shower. If the leak is around the rim of the tub or down the side of the tub, a simple caulking job should seal up the edges. If the tile has cracked or the grout has separated, one of the easiest and cheapest temporary fixes is to put duct tape over the crack.

The second step is way more involved and getting help from a professional is recommended for the best results. Depending on how bad the water damage had become before the restoration, the repair might just end up being a full tub/shower remodel. If it’s that bad, you might as well start fresh. ESR Disaster Hero has a team that can help you redesign and restore your tub and shower. Give them a call today.

ESR Disaster Hero is a disaster restoration company in Tulsa that serves clients in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, and the surrounding areas with expert restoration and repair. If your home or business has water damage, call ESR today and let the hero come in and restore your space back to the way it was before disaster struck.

Thank you for reading. If you found this article helpful, check out our others here.



Serving Northeastern Oklahoma

ESR Disaster Hero
Tulsa Water Damage Restoration

(918) 844-4357

5901 S 107th East Ave Suite 203, Tulsa, OK 74146


Water damage restoration and emergency storm restoration assistance requires urgency and skill. Trained and certified to the highest standards in the industry, our IICRC certified technicians will be on-site within 45 minutes around the clock ready to mitigate your water or roofing loss with professionalism, reliability, compassion and respect.
Map of areas we wervice.

Our Process

Do you have Storm Damage or Water Damage? Then you need a Disaster Hero!