There’s nothing more troubling to a responsible homeowner than a water leak. A leak might seem like a relatively small problem, but an intermittent water leak in a house could do a lot of damage to your home.
Water could easily damage your surrounding pipes, electrical work, floor, and even your foundation and walls. Mould and leaks usually go hand in and hand, and there have been countless studies that show how mould can lead to problems with allergies and asthma.
It’s always a good idea to call a plumber for help. However, it’s also helpful to give them as much information about the leak as you can if you want to get their help.
Do you suspect that there’s a leak in your house? Here’s what you can do to check.
Know the Signs
It would be easy to detect leaks if everything looked as dramatic as burst pipe gushing with water. The truth is that most leaks form over time and can cause a lot of damage before they’re detected.
The best way to check for leaks is to know the signs. If you notice any of these problems, call a plumber immediately.
- Wall discolouration (water stains on walls and ceilings usually have a brown or yellow tint)
- Bubbling or bulging wallpaper
- Musty smells
- Dripping sounds
Check the Water Meter
Water meters are one of the best leak detection tools you’ll have at your disposal. Seeing a significant increase in water usage could be a sign that you have a leak.
Here’s the best way for you to use a water meter in your leak detection work. Stop all of the water flow in your home. Turn off faucets, make sure appliances that use water aren’t running, and let the family know to not use water for the next few hours.
Check the meter once everything is off, then check it again after about an hour. If you notice the numbers going up that means you could have a leak somewhere in your home.
While you’re taking the time to check your water meter, take out some old water bills and see if you notice anything strange. A gradual increase in your water bill could show that you have a small leak somewhere.
Look at Your Lawn
Do you have a lawn? It could be a helpful tool when you’re trying to see if you have a leak.
Take a good look at your lawn and see if you notice any particularly green or lush patches of grass. Pay very close attention to the grass that’s directly next to your home, and also look very closely at grass that you know runs along water pipes. Unusually robust grass can be a sign that there’s water leaking out of underground pipes.
If some leaks are severe, you may notice water coming to the surface. Be on the lookout for puddles, and pay attention to any patches of the lawn to feel particularly “springy” or saturated.
Dye Test Your Toilets
There’s been a lot said about how much water toilets can accidentally waste people. Many don’t realize that toilets are one of the most common places for leaks to occur in homes.
One of the most leak-prone areas of the toilet is the flapper. The flapper is a rubber stopper that’s used to help prevent water from entering the bowl until you’re ready to flush. Over time the rubber can degrade and become less strong, so water can trickle from the tank into the toilet bowl.
Want an easy way to see if this is the cause of your leak? All you need is a bottle of food colouring!
Put a few drops in your toilet tank and wait a few minutes. If a shoddy flapper is causing your water leak you’ll see the water appear in the bowl.
Check Around Appliances
It isn’t unusual for appliances that use water to eventually cause leaks. Watertight seals can degrade over time, pipes could rust, or they might be using more water because of their age.
All you need to do to check for leaks is to look around appliances for signs of moisture. Sometimes you might see a very large puddle, other times it may not be more than a trickle.
The base parts of appliances are always good places to check for leaks because of sealing. If you’re worried about missing a leak when you’re out, place towels around the base and check to see if they’re wet when you come home.
Get a Leak Detector
Modern appliances make our lives easier, but they aren’t always foolproof. Some of your most essential appliances may also be the ones that are the most prone to leaks.
Do you have an old water heater in your home? They can be prone to pinhole leaks that can be difficult to detect. Are you living in an older home? If you didn’t do some major plumbing work before moving in, some of your old pipes could be leaky.
Do yourself a favour and grab a leak detector to monitor some of the more troublesome areas of your home. These detectors are designed to emit a loud beeping noise when it detects moisture.
Leak detectors aren’t very expensive, and they could end up saving you in the long run. It’s better to detect a leak when it starts instead of having to wait for a pipe to completely fail and potentially flood your house.
Stop a Water Leak With the Right Help
If a water leak isn’t treated fast, you could have a serious problem on your hands. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to help detect leaks before they cause too much trouble.
Did you follow the tips in this post and find a leak in your home? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!
Whether you have a plumbing problem you need fixed fast or just want someone to check out your pipes and appliances, we’re here for you. Make sure to reach out to us today so we can talk about the best way to help you.