Where’s That Water Coming From? How To Find a Leak in Your Home
Drips do add up. American households leak nearly one trillion gallons of water every year. That’s enough water to serve more than 11 million homes.
Every homeowner must learn how to find a leak. But that’s about a lot more than looking for a stagnant pool of water.
You need to know where leaks happen most often. Then you need to know what the signs of a leak are. Once you do, you can understand how to respond to and control water damage.
Get the facts you need to conserve water and keep your home safe. Here is your guide on how to find leaks in a home.
Common Places for Leaks
A leak can occur in any pipe in your home. But there are some locations where a lot of leaks take place.
Faucets are the most common source of leaks. Faucets become corroded and wear down with use, causing water to leak through their spouts.
Shower hoses cause similar leaks. Enough wear and tear will cause a shower hose or showerhead to corrode.
Hot water tanks can cause dangerous leaks because the hot water can damage the metal in them. Tanks can also leak from high pressure or mineral buildups. In these situations, you should contact an Emergency Plumber immediately to fix the damage before it gets much worse and becomes too costly to repair.
Toilets can leak from several different parts. The flapper valve controls how much water goes into the toilet bowl.
The valve can pop out of place or break, causing a leak in the tank. The tank or bowl can crack and spill onto the floor.
Many people think of supply lines when they hear about leaks. Supply lines can burst when construction equipment breaks them or when the ground shifts. But manufacturers build lines to last, so look elsewhere if you suspect a leak.
Signs of a Leak
As you might imagine, the best sign of a leak is pooling or dripping water. But a pipe can break in your walls or flooring. You may not notice any water, yet a leak will show some signs.
The paint on your walls may start to peel off. If you have paneling or wallpaper on the walls, it may start to bubble as moisture builds.
Mold and mildew feed on moisture. It may appear along the edges of your wall or floor. You may also notice more mosquitoes, which lay their eggs in small pools.
You may hear dripping or pouring. You may notice a funky odor. If your sewer line is leaking, you may smell feces or urine.
If you examine your water bills, you may notice that you are paying higher rates. If you inspect your water meter, you may see that it is running, even though all faucets are off.
You must be persistent about checking your home for a leak. Walk into each room and inspect all surfaces for signs.
Head into your basement and attic every week or so. Visit this page for information on signs of water damage in your basement.
You should also check your garden and lawns. Your grass may become muddy, or you may notice mold deposits.
Water can leak under concrete. There may be damp patches on its surface, or you may smell mold and mildew.
How to Stop a Leak
You can handle most leaks on your own. Turn off the supply of water running through the pipe.
For a dripping faucet, remove the handles and valve stem. Take a look at the individual components of your faucet.
If parts are damaged or worn down, you will need replacements. If parts are clogged, clean them with a rag and screw them back into place.
For small pipes, you can apply an epoxy putty. This provides a temporary fix, so you will need to get a pipe repair kit for a permanent solution. You can attach a repair clamp to the pipe, patching over the hole.
You may not be able to fix larger pipes on your own. Once you find out where the leak is coming from, call a repair service.
You should not try to fix a leaking sewer line. Sewer lines can spread bacteria and get you sick.
How to Stop Water Damage
You can take some preemptive measures to keep water from damaging your home. Fill in the caulking in your walls and floors. If a leak occurs, the caulking will prevent water from spreading into another room.
Maintain your sinks and drains by cleaning them regularly. Do not pour grease or acid down them.
Store your items in waterproof bins. Place other items on shelving away from the floor. If possible, rent a storage unit and place your belongings there.
Respond to a leak as soon as one occurs. Water can spread bacteria and cause dangerous infections. Use absorbent substances to clean up pools and apply antibacterial powder on the spots where the water was.
You cannot kill mold with bleach. Mix baking soda and water together, then spray the solution onto the mold. Scrub the area with a brush.
Do not panic if you cannot fix a leak. Take your valuables and get yourself out of your home. Call a professional and wait for them to arrive.
How to Find a Leak
Learning how to find a leak takes little time. The most common sites for leaks are faucets, shower hoses, and toilets. You may notice dripping water, but mold and dripping noises are signs of leaks as well.
You can apply epoxy or a repair clamp to fix small pipes. Larger pipes and leaks in sewer lines require special services.
Maintain your drains by cleaning them often. Keep your belongings safe in waterproof containers. Use baking soda on mold instead of bleach.
Keep your home happy with the facts. Follow our coverage for more home improvement guides.