When you see water gushing from a burst pipe, you know you have a serious problem and need to get help to dry your house out fast. However, water damage isn't always so obvious. Your house could have a slow plumbing leak, a leak that's hidden behind the wall, or even a roof leak that's destroying your attic while you don't know what's going on.

By the time you find the signs of water damage, you could be looking at the need for significant repair. Here are three signs of water damage to watch for so you can get your house dried out and restored before extensive damage is done.

1. Rust On Metal Appliances

If there's a water leak under or behind your refrigerator, the refrigerator might develop rust spots along the side or bottom. Anything made of metal in your home might rust if it's near the water leak and kept in high humidity.

If you have a central HVAC, the AC or furnace should keep humidity at a normal level in your home, so if you see rust on your appliances or other metal furnishings in your home, it's time to start looking for a water leak.

2. Musty Odors That Won't Go Away

If you keep getting whiffs of mildew or musty odors, there's probably water damage and maybe even mold growing somewhere. Try to follow the odor so you can pinpoint the room that's the source of the leak. The odor might be stronger near the floor, and that could signal a leaky pipe under the floor or slab.

If the odor is stronger near a wall, the roof might be leaking and dripping water behind the wall. You want your home to be odor free so you're not embarrassed by musty odors, but more importantly, the bad smells could be signs your home is undergoing water damage, and you want to put a stop to that as soon as possible.

3. Discoloration On Walls, Flooring, Or The Ceiling

When drywall and flooring soak up enough water, they may discolor, develop bubbles, flake, or show other signs of damage. If the floor is wet under the carpet, your carpet may smell moldy and feel damp in addition to having dark spots. The first sign of a roof leak in the attic is often discoloration on the ceiling or upper wall.

When you see these signs of water damage, it's time to find the leak, repair it, and then dry out your house. You may need to call a roofer or plumber to make repairs and then call a water damage restoration company to pull out wet materials or dry out your house so you can have new flooring and walls put in if necessary.