When it comes to your home, there are few things worse than a plumbing leak. Leaks can cause expensive, time-consuming damages.
Plus, these damages only get worse the longer you avoid the problem.
So what should you do when faced with faulty plumbing? How do you know you even have a leak at all? And what can you do to fix the problem?
The first step is to locate the problem. So, here are 10 signs of a water leak:
1. You Find Mold or Mildew
Finding mold in your home is never a good sign. In areas of the house that are usually wet, such as the shower, mold often makes an appearance. But, mold is capable of growing rapidly on any surface.
In fact, mold can even appear as fast as 24 hours. Mold usually appears as black or white spots that are often fuzzy. As soon as you find some, you’ll know you need to do some further inspections.
Because mold flourishes in wet environments, it’s a good way to signal that you may have sprung a leak. This is especially true if you spot the mold in large patches.
2. Stains With No Known Cause
Lots of things can cause stains. Wine, coffee, and even burst pipes. Unfamiliar stains on walls, ceilings, or floors are usually a sign of some kind of leak.
Because it is difficult to notice wall pipe leaks, stains are usually an excellent indicator. Stains from water leaks can look like blisters or discoloration on the wall. Usually, they’re also accompanied by mold or some foul odors.
3. Wet Spots
One of the clearest indicators of a sneaky leak is wet spots on walls and floors. Sometimes, these can be difficult to spot. A good rule of thumb is to run your hand over any discoloration you see.
If discolored areas feel wet, you’ve likely got some kind of plumbing leak. Again, these wet spots are often accompanied by blisters or patches of mold.
It is also important to check for wet spots outside. Large pools of water in your garden or yard could be signs of a water leak. These leaks will be underground and will require the help of a plumber.
4. Foul, Musty Odor
When water accumulates, it usually leaves behind a foul, musty smell. If you smell something wet in your home, it could be some kind of leak.
Usually, mold growth is the cause of this smell. If you smell something musty, but can’t find any mold, it could be hiding behind a large appliance, such as the refrigerator. You should always investigate any mysterious musty odors.
5. Soft, Flexible Areas
The materials commonly used to build a house, such as wood, have a tendency to absorb water over time. If you suspect you may have a leak, pressing down on the surface area could help.
Soft, squishy, and flexible areas in your walls are never a good sign. Neither are blistered or saggy ceilings.
In your bathroom, tiling could pull away from the floor adhesive, or even become soft and spongy in texture. And, in the kitchen, you could have soft or sagging cabinets.
Outside, you could find cracked foundations or unstable bricks and pavements. This is a sign that things have shifted. The most common cause of this kind of shift is a water leak.
It is important to get the issue checked out right away if you notice any of these changes. This kind of water accumulation could lead to some serious structural damage. Getting it checked out at the first sign of trouble could save you some serious time and money in the long run.
6. Low Water Pressure
If your water pressure starts to drop, it could be a sign of a water leak. Water pressure generally drops when water is being used elsewhere in the home. So, if you’re not using any other water and it’s still low, you’ll probably want to start investigating.
These pressure changes may come and go. But, if they continue to come and go repeatedly, they will eventually become a problem. A plumbing service can help you pinpoint the actual issue.
Low water pressure could also include dripping showerheads, which could signify a shower leak. Trickling faucets and dishwashers that take a long time to fill are also potential signs of a water leak.
7. Trickling Water
If you can hear the sound of trickling water and you don’t live by a stream, you might have a water leak. Once you hear this sound, it’s best to try and locate the source of the problem.
Sometimes, the sound of trickling water will be accompanied by wet or soft spots and patches of mold. After you’ve located the problem, your plumber can help you fix the problem.
Trickling water sounds are especially common in leaking sinks, leaky toilets, or in cases of a shower leak. These could be good places to begin your search.
8. Increases in Humidity
Usually, homes aren’t terribly humid. Even if you have a humidifier, you’ll likely begin to notice as the humidity in the house begins to rise. So, if your house starts feeling like the rainforest, you could have a sneaky leak.
Places like bathrooms or laundry rooms have a tendency to become more humid than other parts of the home. But if you find that the humidity lingers or grows in intensity, begin looking for wet spots and patches of mold.
9. High Water Usage Readings
One useful tip to avoid leaks is to regularly check your water meter. It’s good to get a baseline of the typical water usage for your household. This way, you’ll notice any time the water usage skyrockets for no clear reason.
If your water meter is running high and you haven’t been using more water than usual, you could have a leak.
It is best to record your water level when no one has been using water for a couple of hours. Early in the morning before anyone has used any water is a good time to get an accurate reading.
10. Extra-High Water Bills
Similarly, high water bills can be an indicator of a plumbing leak. Generally, water bill prices should stay consistent. So, if your bills have suddenly skyrocketed and your water usage has remained the same, it’s time for an inspection.
You should compare your water bill to past bills to ensure consistency. It may also be useful to compare your bill with your neighbors. If yours is much higher, it might be a sign of plumbing leaks.
How Can I Prevent a Plumbing Leak?, You Ask?
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How Can I Prevent a Plumbing Leak?
There are a couple of ways you could help protect your home from leaks. Some tips for preventing leaks include:
- Avoid Over-Crowding Cabinets
Having crowded cabinets could lead to water leaks. While it is common to store cleaning supplies in the cabinet under the sink, this could cause problems.
When cabinets become crowded, objects are more likely to jostle the pipes. If pipes are moved too frequently, it could easily lead to leaks.
- Replace, Don’t Repair
While repairing can sometimes be more cost-efficient in the short-run, it’s not always the best way to protect your home.
As some pipes or faucets become too old and rusty, they lose their effectiveness. Additionally, parts for repairs only become harder to find the older the fixture is.
So, if you have an old, corroded faucet, for example, you might be better off doing a full replacement. Even if you love the fixture, total replacement might just be a better investment for the future.
- Know Where to Find Your Main Shutoff Valve
In any home, apartment, or condo, you should always know where the water main shutoff valve is located. This way, you can easily shut off the water when leaks occur. Letting the water continue to run will only make the problem worse.
The first step to fixing any leak is to shut off the water. Some water meters have water shutoff capabilities. But, knowing where your main water valve is located is usually a much simpler option.
When moving into any new home, take a moment to locate the valve.
How Can I Fix a Leak?
You’ll likely be able to repair some small leaks on your own. However, for most leaks, it is best to contact a professional plumber. Contacting a plumber can save you tons of time, and even in some cases, plenty of money.
Plumbers can help you pinpoint the problem. But, it’s still best for you to locate the source of the leak before your plumber arrives. This helps the plumber narrow down the issue to help you get your pipes fixed as quickly and easily as possible.
Sneaky Leaks Need Fast Action
It’s always best to tackle plumbing leaks at the first sign of trouble. Know that you know what to look for, you’ll know how to better protect your home.
But, if you ever do find trouble, contact Plumbers Dubai for fast action. Our experts can help repair your pipes quickly and efficiently.