A water leak isn’t just inconvenient. If left unchecked, a leak will inevitably cause water damage inside the home and endanger your family’s health and safety, not to mention putting a big dent in your wallet for repairs. On top of the risk to your home, leaky pipes and faucets can potentially waste up to ninety gallons of water per day for a single household. To protect your home, valuables, and loved ones, keep a lookout for these four signs that you have a water leak on your hands.
If you have any unnoticed leaks in your home, you will definitely notice them when you get your water bill. Even a small leak will result in thousands of gallons of wasted water over a single billing cycle, which you still need to pay for. To avoid spending real money on wasted water, watch your bill for sudden price increases and identify and fix leaks as soon as possible.
Should you have any outstanding bills pertaining to a water leak, you are eligible to contest them. Your utility company is legally obligated to reply within 30 days of your notice, so it’s advisable to look into any potential leaks immediately after you receive a higher-than-average water bill.
A leak causes low water pressure by reducing the volume of water that flows through the pipe. Low water pressure can also be a symptom of sedimentary buildup or a valve malfunction inside the pipes or system itself. If you experience water pressure that’s lower than normal, consult certified plumbers who can accurately pinpoint the issue. If there are no other observable issues in your plumbing hardware, then a water leak is the likely cause of your water pressure changes.
Be sure to double-check that you aren’t simply using water during high-demand times. You could be running a faucet in the kitchen at the same time that several showers are running in your house, or the sprinklers may be working outside. If you notice significantly low water pressure no matter the time of day, odds are you have a leak somewhere, so it’s best to start investigating.
Stains on your ceiling are a clear visual indication of water damage. If the ceiling is under an upstairs bathroom, it’s a sure sign of a water leak. Usually, ceilings are finished with multiple layers of wood, paint, and plaster, so any noticeable water damage points to a leak that’s been there for a while. Be especially wary if you find dripping or standing water underneath the stain as well. This means that the leak is active and should not be ignored.
Do your best to assess the leak without puncturing or damaging any floor or ceiling tiles or surfaces. The last thing you want is for part of your ceiling to give out while water is leaking. If that happens though, ensure proper cleanup and replace whatever needs replacing.
If your house smells musty or damp, the likely cause is an overgrowth of mold or mildew. These microorganisms thrive in humid conditions, and a water leak provides the ideal conditions for their growth. Many people describe mold and mildew as having a “musty” smell. In many cases, water leaks are hidden, so the smell is the first noticeable sign. Mold spores can irritate allergies and lead to other respiratory issues, so it’s best to address mold as soon as it’s noticed.
Depending on the type of mold that has grown, you can take care of it yourself with a homemade mix of mold-killer. Hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and bleach are all handy tools, but be especially careful when handling bleach. Keep the area well-ventilated and avoid contact with your skin.
However, if the mold is black and musty, it is best to contact mold removal and restoration experts. These types of mold can be dangerous to homeowners, pets, and housing material, so instead of relying on your own intuition, safe removal and assessment are ideal.
Plumbing issues rarely fix themselves, and water leaks are no exception. Regularly assess your home for any changes in your plumbing system that could potentially cause problems later on. If you notice any signs of a water leak, make sure to contact a professional plumber for help.