The faster you find a plumbing leak, the more damage you can avoid. You can also avoid wasting large amounts of water. Plumbing leaks are common in homes of all ages, types, and sizes. And it’s not always obvious that a leak is occurring. Professional leak detection can spot the source if you suspect a problem. But first, you need to know the subtle signs and steps to assessing the situation.
Clues to a Potential LeakUnless you see a flood, a pool of water around an appliance/fixture, or a spray of water from a pipe, you may never know there’s a problem. That’s unless you know what to look for. Many pipes and fittings are buried behind layers of building materials in walls. By the time you discover a leak, extensive damage may have already occurred. Here are some signs that mean it’s time to investigate a potential leak further:
- Discolored Walls/Ceilings: Usually brownish or yellowish, these stains mean water is leaking from a pipe and soaking through the material.
- Damaged Paint/Wallpaper: If water is soaking through the wall, paint or wallpaper may not adhere to the surface as it should. A bulging wallboard means there’s more extensive damage.
- Dripping Noises: You won’t hear water if it’s traveling along a wall stud, but some leaks have audible clues, which can point to their presence and/or location.
- Musty Odors: A persistent leak provides the moist environment needed for mold to grow. You won’t see mold inside the wall, but if you can smell it, call a professional.
- Low Water Pressure: If the pressure is low when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, a pipe serving it may be leaking and not supplying enough water.