NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Cars submerged in water are a common sight during major weather events like Hurricane Barry, but within weeks some of those cars will hit the market without buyers knowing what they’ve been through.

It takes less than a week for mold to grow on the seats of cars after they’ve been submerged in water. A good cleaning inside and out could make it look like nothing happened.

“You can clean the outside really well, and on the painted surface all of that stuff washes off and with wax it looks great,” owner of Terry’s Service Center David Drake said.

People trying to hide water damage to sell their cars is a concern after major storms.

“It’s really like underneath the carpets and in the insulation of the vehicle where it becomes a real problem,” Drake said.

This is why Drake recommends pre-purchase inspections.

“We look for evidence of like river debris and sticks, and straw and grass that get tucked in areas where it shouldn’t be,” Drake said.

Drake says unknown water damage could lead to some expensive repairs down the road and could be bad for your health.

“If it sits for just a few days with water in it or even moisture in it, mold starts to grow pretty rapidly and that could really be hazardous to your health,” Drake said.

Another think Drake looks at and recommends buyers do as well is a CARFAX or previous owner report. It can show if the car was owned by someone in an area where a hurricane hit. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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Brittany Weiner joined the News4 team as a reporter in July 2018.

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