It's not uncommon to uncover old water damages from a long-ago roof or plumbing leak that has already been repaired. Just because the causes of the damages aren't new or active anymore doesn't mean you can continue to ignore the problem.
1. Check for Rot
A thorough inspection of the damaged area, including behind wallboards or under flooring, is typically in order. Just because the source of the damage was fixed long ago doesn't mean that active damages aren't still occurring. A restoration service will check studs and wooden joists for rot issues that could necessitate replacement. Ignored rot will only spread and lead to more damages.
2. Remove Remaining Moisture
Sometimes moisture persists in certain materials long after the water leak is sealed up. Absorbent materials, like insulation, can remain damp for years in the right conditions. Water in sealed cavities, such as wall cavities, may also fail to dry out because there is nowhere for the moisture to go. Your restoration service will use fans, dehumidifiers, and extractors to fully dry out affected areas.
3. Replaced Damaged Materials
Badly damaged materials that can't be salvaged, such as crumbling drywall or rotting boards and carpeting, will need to be torn out. Your restoration service will do their best to salvage everything possible and will remove the unsalvageable carefully to avoid further damages. These materials will then be replaced in order to rebuild the damaged area.
4. Treat for Mold
Mold spores can persist on surfaces for years after the moisture has dried, so even old dried damaged areas may require mold treatment so that the spores are never reactivated. Your damage restoration service will clean any possible mold-infested area with either a bleach solution or a solution containing a moldicide. You may notice an instant improvement in air quality since most musty odors are caused by active mold spores in a room.
5. Paint and Restore.
Surface damages such as water spots may not require the full removal of wood or drywall if there are no signs of rot. These spots can be difficult to cover with normal paint, though. Your restoration service will use special primers that seal in the stains so they don't bleed through the fresh coats of paint. They will also replace any damaged items, such as carpet pads and carpeting, that were damaged beyond repair.
Contact a water damage restoration service if you find what appears to be old water damage in your home.