Virtually any house, even a newer one, can develop a water leak.
Leaks can be destructive if not repaired quickly, possibly causing structural damage or damaging furniture and fixtures. There are several clues that water is leaking, and homeowners should stay alert and monitor them:
- A humid, unpleasant smell. A water leak can promote the growth of mold, which may not be detectable visually but can make a room smell bad.
- Wall discoloration. A yellowish or brown stain on drywall or on the ceiling is a sign of water damage.
- Bulging wallpaper or bubbling paint indicates the wallboard is wet. If the wallboard is bulging, that could be a sign of extensive water leak damage. The wallboard may have to be replaced.
- A dripping sound. This clue is quite obvious, but some people will not notice it if the leak is near a water fixture. If you hear dripping, investigate it by checking your fixtures and then listening carefully.
Some water leaks will not leave any clues but can be detected in an apparent change in water consumption in your house. These leaks can end up costing you money and will need to be fixed quickly before they damage your property. Just remember, your water consumption can increase if you have new people living in the house for extended periods.
How to Find a Plumbing Leak
Monitor the water bill. Most people do not review their water bill closely because there are natural changes according to the season – people use more water in hot weather due to more showers and watering plants and lawns. However, the water bill is a good opportunity to detect long-term trends in water consumption. If your bill is going up steadily without any apparent cause, that can be a reliable sign you have a leak somewhere.
Check the water meter. Turn off all appliances that use water, like your washing machine or dishwasher, and write down the numbers you see on your water meter. Wait a couple of hours (without using any water) and see if the number on the water meter goes up.
Investigate whether there is water around fixtures and appliances. If the water meter test indicates you have a leak in your house, you should check cabinets around all sinks, bathtubs, and other fixtures for water. Look carefully at the floor underneath your water heater, clothes washer, dishwasher, and any other appliance that uses water to see if there is a leak.
Check for patches of greener grass. If you have a patch of lawn with greener grass that grows faster than the rest of your lawn, you might have a leak in a buried water line.
A water leak can be destructive, bad for the environment, and expensive. If your investigation indicates you may have a water leak, call Plumbing Outfitters right away so we can fix the leak and any other plumbing problems you may have.