Discovering the source of a water leak in your home, can be a lot like finding a needle in a haystack. Virtually impossible unless you’re a skilled psychic, or a professional leak detection specialist. Water leaks are one of the most common problems that homeowners face, and if left undetected for long periods of time, can become a financial repair crisis.
The damaging effects of a water leak may be unknown to most people, but I can assure you, the quicker you find it, the less out of pocket you will be. See the problem is that most leaks don’t stem from a broken washer on a tap, most are internal leaks hidden behind your walls, through your ceilings and even underneath your floors. Without regular plumbing maintenance and checks from professional leak detectors, these water leaks can cause major structural damage and health problems from moisture, mould and mildew exposure.
Here are some of the most common water leak sources found within homes.
The bathroom is one of the most common places a water leak can spring from. The amount of water running daily through different pipes to your shower, the sink, the bath (if you have one) is enough to fill a small pool.
As the main area of the house that is supplied with water, it also holds one of the highest risks of water leaks. These areas should be checked regularly to avoid leaks, and to ensure the correct amount of water is flowing through to each amenity. Your shower can be a trouble spot if not installed correctly, and sealed with the appropriate setting time, as most water leaks from showers seep inside the walls.
Toilet leaks are usually the easiest to spot, as you will notice a small wet patch on the ground behind your toilet base, or the cistern will continuously run. If either of these things occur, call in a plumber who can quickly fix the problem.
External toilet pipe blockages will require leak detection services to locate the site and cause.
Your dishwasher works hard so you don’t have to, but it is also a major culprit for water leaks. Poorly connected pipes, broken or worn hoses, trapped food and grime can all disrupt the steady flow of water to and from your dishwasher, causing major leaks and damage inside your cabinetry and floors. The seal on your dishwasher door should be checked and replaced frequently, to avoid flooding your kitchen.
Make sure your washing machine fittings are secure, and the hoses and washers connecting to the taps are in good condition. Water leaking from your washing machine isn’t always a noticeable flood. If the outgoing wastewater pipes aren’t secure or are cracked, water will begin to seep into the interior walls and structures of your home.
As most of your pipes leading from your water meter run underground, noticing that one is leaking isn’t always easy. Tell-tale signs of an underground leak outside on your property are small puddles alongside your driveway, in your yard, or even overly damp patches in your grass/garden beds. If the ground is always muddy in one spot, or grass feels squishy and wet, you might have an underground water leak.
If the pipes that run along inside your ceiling spring a leak, you may not know it until visible signs appear, which is a problem. Water leaks stemming from here can lead to dangerous problems, and costly repairs. In extreme cases, ceilings are at risk of collapse as the materials, wood and plaster all become water damaged and weakened. Signs of these leaks could be damp patches appearing in darkened spots on the ceiling, bulging or warped plaster, and patches of mould forming as small dark green or black dots. If you notice any of these things, contact a professional plumber immediately.
Suspect you might have a water leak?
If the visual signs of a water leak in your home aren’t present, then there is a way to check if you have a leak yourself. Run a water meter test a couple of times and record the results.
To do this, find the water meter on your property and write down the number. For 10-20 minutes don’t use any water inside your house or garden, including flushing the toilet. Take a second reading after the time is up, and if the number has increased, you have a water leak somewhere.
The best thing to do if you suspect a water leak of any kind is to call a professional leak detection specialist. Using hi-tech equipment the technician will locate even the most well-hidden leaks, without having to destroy your walls and home in the process. You will save a fortune in potential repair work and have complete peace of mind that there are no hidden nasties.